Ch. 34: "Goodbye"
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
No talking when I want you to listen
No Talking cos it's Living Torture, Living Torture
No talking when I want you to listen
Don't tell me what Iím trying to say to you
Ken was sitting on the back porch of their new safehouse with some of his teammates, going over their tentative stradegies, when it happened.
Sayonara, you bunch of crackheads.
Ken sat up straight; behind him a lawn chair clattered over as Yohji shot to his feet. Crawford paused in lighting his pipe.
The screen door banged open, and Nagi stepped outside. "That was Schuldich!" he gasped. "What-"
Crawford blinked slowly and shook out his match, his face carefully emotionless. "Iragadachi got to him," he said quietly. "He's gone."
Yohji rounded on him. "What do you mean gone?" he snarled.
"He is no longer Schuldich." Crawford puffed at his pipe and gazed stonily up at the stars. "He is our enemy, now."
"You're a fucking liar," Yohji spat. Turning sharply on his heel, he stormed inside.
"Yohji-" Ken called helplessly, then sighed. He turned an accusing look on Crawford. "Don't you care?" he demanded. "Schuldich was your teammate!"
"He should have been quicker," Crawford said calmly. "He shouldn't have let himself get caught like that."
Ken felt his throat close up in sudden anger and disgust. "How could you say something like that about your friend?" he asked hoarsely.
Crawford levelled him with a frosty look. "Assassins have no time for 'friends'," he said sharply. "Schuldich and I were business partners. Nothing more."
"You know what?" Ken pointed accusingly at him, and realized belately his hands were shaking with fear and anger. "Yohji was right. You are a fucking liar. You're lying to yourself." He turned and stomped towards the door. Nagi stepped aside.
"Where are you going?"
"I know someone who will miss Schuldich," Ken shouted. "And he's on YOUR team!" He slammed the door behind him.
Nagi sighed and massaged his temples, looking towards his leader. His young face was calm, but underneath he felt a little lost and bewildered. How could they have lost Schuldich? Schwarz was all he knew. Life would be strange without the German's constant wisecracks and teasing.
Crawford was gazing up at the stars again, but though his face was relaxed, his eyes were flashing.
"Ignore them," Nagi advised quietly. "They're both hotheads- and you know Kudou was getting fond of Schuldich."
"It doesn't matter," Crawford said curtly. He glanced at Nagi out of the corner of his eye. "After all," he said more quietly, "that idiot's still alive, isn't he?"
Nagi managed a tiny smile. "Aa," he murmured.
From the open kitchen window, Aya heard the quiet exchange, and frowned to himself.
Ken found Farfarello slouched in the den's sheet-covered armchair, scowling darkly at the crackling fire in the fireplace.
He hesitated in the doorway before walking slowly towards the Irishman. "Farfarello... did you hear?" he asked tentatively.
Farfarello didn't look at him. "..Ja," he answered so quietly Ken almost didn't hear him.
Ken paused and swallowed, looking around uncomfortably. He'd gotten the impression awhile ago that Farfarello and Schuldich were semi-close... in their own twisted way. And by the look on the man's face, Ken could tell that Schuldich's farewell- with its undertone of weary pain and forced sarcasm -had affected Farfarello more than the Berserker himself had expected it to.
Ken stepped closer. "Daijabou?" he asked softly.
Farfarello didn't respond.
Ken walked up to the chair and sank to his knees in front of the scowling Irishman. After a long moment Farfarello's amber eye finally focused on him, and he gave the faintest suggestion of a sneer. "Begging for pets, angel?"
Ken made a face at him. "Do I look like a dog to you?" He reached out and touched Farfarello's calloused hand tentatively and lightly, to make sure the other man's attention didn't waver. "We'll get him back, Farfarello," he said, his face somber. "They're not going to win."
Farfarello sneered. "You say that because you are naive. You know nothing of Rosenkreuz."
"Then tell me," Ken said stubbornly. "I know that one of them is a stronger telepath than Schuldich, and another can erase memories. OK... but we could get to them, right? I mean, Aya or Nagi could probably kill them from across the room with their Gifts. What about the other two members?"
Farfarello's lip curled in disgust. "An Illusionist can also get you from across the room."
Ken blinked. "An Illusionist?" he echoed. Farfarello was being unusually cooperative, and he was going to get as much information from the man as he could.
Farfarello's tone was dull. "Souma pulls painful memories from a person's mind, and Urumi can project them." His eye glittered at Ken. "Her Illusions are very realistic."
"There's a female in Rosenkreuz?"
Farfarello snorted and glanced away, losing interest in the conversation.
Ken gazed up at him helplessly, then gave a sigh and rose to his feet. Hearing a slight noise, he glanced quickly towards the living room doorway.
Aya was standing there, watching them with an unreadable face. Ken felt his face flush for some ungodly reason, and wondered suddenly how long the redhead had been standing there. He opened his mouth to speak, but Aya beat him to it.
"Get some sleep," he ordered. His eyes flicked towards Farfarello, then back to Ken. "You're going to need it. They could show up any time."
"Shouldn't someone keep watch?" Ken asked.
Aya pointed behind himself with his thumb. "Yohji's taking first watch." He hesitated before adding, "He can't sleep."
Ken bit his lip and nodded. Aya turned and disappeared.
Ken was halfway to the door when Farfarello's emotionless voice stopped him in his tracks.
Ken turned quickly to face the Irishman, his heart giving a little startled leap. Farfarello had never called him by name before. "H-hai?"
Farfarello's eyes were closed, and he looked as if he planned on spending the night right where he was. "Vampires have their own telepathy," he said.
For some reason Ken remembered the man's 'feelings' that had drifted in Schuldich's web rather than thoughts. He stared at the pale man. "You mean.. even without Schuldich?"
Ken watched him for a moment. "You can talk to any of us?" That could be useful if they were in trouble.
Farfarello's eye cracked open, and he regarded Ken from the corner of it. "Iie," he said calmly. "Vampires share telepathy only with other Vampires. And their Feeder."
Farfarello twisted the key in the lock and pushed open the door of the apartment. It was nicer than the last one; this one was almost as nice as the flat Schwarz had lived in. It suited Verrat better than that piece of shit room he'd put her in before.
He shut the door behind him and glanced around. All was quiet. Verrat must already be asleep. He didn't bother with the lightswitch, his Vampire eyes adjusting easily to the darkness as he moved on cat's feet towards the bedroom.
He hesitated before the closed door, remembering when he had accidentally burst in on her in the bath. Hoping darkly that she slept in decent pajamas, he nudged the door open and stepped inside.
Something was wrong.
The scent of fear filled the room-- and the stench of Vampires, hours old.
He slammed his hand into the wall, fumbling for the lightswitch. Overhead, the light blinked to life.
Something inside his chest turned to ice.
Verrat was lying on the bed in a flannel nightgown, on top of the covers. But she wasn't asleep.
Her neck was twisted at an unnatural angle, and her wide eyes stared blankly at the far wall.
Farfarello heard a low, strange noise emit from his throat as he sprang for the bed and seized her shoulders, jerking her upright. Her head lolled like a broken doll's, her skin the pasty white of the dead.
They'd killed her.
Farfarello opened his mouth to howl in rage, but something akin to a scream ripped itself free.
"Oniisan! Oniisan, mommy says you have to stay home today!"
Blood splashing across the walls, covering him, landing in his open mouth. Hands shaking, eyes wide in horror.
"They're dead. Look what you did. Oh, Jei, Jei, how could you...?
We won't tell anybody."
"It was a burglar, Jei."
I KILLED THEM
Farfarello sat up so fast his head spun, a sharp cry dying on his lips.
Panting, he looked around frantically.
He was still in the armchair in the living room. It had just been a nightmare.
He took a shuddery breath, reaching up to wipe the cold sweat from his brow. There seemed to be a lot of it on his cheeks, and he wiped it away absently. It had been too long for him to recognize tears when he felt them on his own face.
There was a quilt pooled in his lap, thrown off from his sudden jolt to wakefulness, and he stared down at it blankly for a moment, heart still hammering from the nightmare.
"Ken put it on you."
Farfarello looked up quickly, instantly alert. He'd been so shaken up he hadn't even heard the quiet step in the doorway.
Yohji was watching him dully, cradling a mug of coffee. Farfarello forced his nerves to relax.
"Kuradan," he said shortly. He leaned back in the chair and attempted to reclaim sleep.
"Is this a game for you?"
Farfarello didn't even bother to open his eye.
"I mean, is he just a game for you? Ken."
Farfarello opened his eye and turned his head to stare balefully at the older man.
Yohji stared back, unafraid in his numb state.
Idiot, Farfarello thought to himself. Schuldich cares for no one. Letting yourself feel anything for him is a waste of both your times.
"Ken and Omi have one major thing in common," Yohji was saying calmly. "They feel too much. They have a harder time than Aya and I in not letting their emotions come first. Now I don't know why, but I do know Ken seems close to you."
Farfarello sneered and turned his head away dismissively.
"You think I'm making this shit up?" Yohji's voice sharpened. "Here's a news flash for you, psycho. Ken is the only one of us- Weiss -that stands up for you. He's the one offered to let you... drink. He seems more comfortable with you than the others of your twisted team. I don't know why- none of us understand. But listen and listen well."
Farfarello didn't look at him, but he listened.
Yohji straightened a little, glaring at the man's turned head. "If you hurt Ken, your life expectancy is going to drop dramatically. You understand me, bloodsucker? I'm going to kill you first, and Aya will be right behind me. I wouldn't be too surprised if Omi turned on you, too. You watch it with that kid, you got it? None of your sick games."
Farfarello turned to offer his most unnerving stare. Yohji, for once, seemed unaffected. Farfarello sneered. "I'm not the one playing games here."
Farfarello tilted his head slightly, his tone patronizing. "If you think Schuldich might care even a little about you, you're in for a rude awakening," he informed the other man. "Schuldich cares about one thing- himself."
Yohji's face was white and drawn with sudden anger. "You-"
Farfarello closed his eyes again, as if his attention span had run out. "Too much pain in the past to allow room for... that. Feelings."
Yohji stared at the Irishman, confusion clouding his initial anger. "His past? What happened to him? Is that why he acts the way he does?"
"I'm sleeping now," Farfarello informed him.
"Then you're talking in your sleep," Yohji snapped. "Answer me."
"Ask him yourself," Farfarello muttered rebelliously.
"I CAN'T," Yohji practically shouted. "He's GONE! Remember? He isn't Schuldich anymore! Those fuckers erased his memories, right? He isn't himself anymore, he's just their god damn doll again-"
Farfarello snatched a vase from the coffee table beside his chair and hurled it furiously at the playboy. Yohji ducked, and it shattered against the doorframe. "Urusai, kisama!" he shouted. "You don't know anything--"
"Farfarello." Crawford's stern voice cut him off. The American appeared behind Yohji, gazing hard at the snarling Vampire. "Get some sleep. Don't listen to him- he's only Weiss."
Yohji glared at him. "Fuck y-"
Crawford grabbed his shoulder and turned him firmly, marching him out of the room. Once they were in the hallway, Yohji twisted away angrily. "Let go of me," he snapped. "What the fuck is wrong with your pet psycopath?"
Crawford's eyes were hard behind his glasses. For once he didn't seem to see anything wrong with Farfarello's anger. "He's right," he said coolly. "You don't know anything about Schuldich. Or us, for that matter. Schuldich was just a fuck to you- he meant more to Farfarello than he ever will to you."
"A fuck??" Yohji made as if to strike the American, but Crawford batted his fist aside easily. "Fuck you!" he snarled in fury. "You have no fucking idea what I think or feel, you bastard. Fuck you." Whirling, he stomped off.
Crawford watched him go for a long moment, frowning to himself.
Outside, Jevara turned to her twin brother and smiled unpleasantly from where they were crouched by the window.
Jakamo grinned back. We found his 'special person'.
He called him 'Ken', right? Jevara looked through the pane again at the slumbering Irishman. We'll have to inform Lord Agammedo.
I don't see the girl. Jakamo scented the air. I haven't smelled female since we've been here-- other than the woman with the taint of Talent on her.
Jevara glanced over her shoulder. Rosenkreuz is making their move tonight. I'd love to stay and watch, but we have to get back to Lord Agammedo.
Besides, we'll see them again when Rosenkreuz brings them to the taverns. Jakamo's fangs glinted in a fierce grin. Once they Erase them.
Yes. His sister shivered with anticipation. Then comes the execution of the Traitor.
Disclaimer: Lyrics from Finger Eleven's "Sad Exchange", off the Daredevil soundtrack (great song XD)
Author's Notes: Once again I apologize for the German that has been in previous chapters; I suspected it was incorrect, and two or three readers confirmed that. ^^;; So.. Gomen. One reader was kind enough to give me the corrections, so I'll probably go back and fix all of it and give her credit in the next chapter for being such a help.
Ja ne until the next chapter. ^.^; (drawing to a close! finally! be prepared for surprises, tho... and don't kill the poor authoress! X_X)
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