Part Four: Jei
// = Flashbacks
When the images didn't stop, he tried again. "Enough!!"
They slowed, faded, and finally he was left alone, surrounded by just darkness. He could hear harsh, rapid breathing and recognized it to be his own, though he could not feel it as it entered and left his body. He couldn't faintly feel soft, cold fingers brushing along his forehead. The contact was soothing, helping to fight the terror echoing within his mind. He twisted and turned in the inky blackness. Where was the exit? Where was the light? Where were Schuldig and Farfarello? The thought that they might come back for him was terrifying. He didn't want them to come back. He wanted them to go away and stop hurting him stop touching him stop cutting him because it hurt it hurt it hurt-
~Who am I??~
Despite the panic running in circles around his mind, there was another part of him that merely shook its head. Schuldig and Farfarello wouldn't hurt him. They were friends...weren't they? Rapid flashes of Weiß and Schwarz flickered in his mind. Both groups were friends, yet both couldn't be friends because one had to be the enemy but both were the enemy but one was his team! Where did he come in? Who was he? Omi or Nagi? Nagi or Omi? He couldn't remember anymore.
Maybe he was neither. Maybe he was just alone. Alone, alone, with only painful memories. He gasped for air frantically. ~I don't want to be alone!~
A hand cupped his cheek and he blindly grabbed at it, unable to make his eyes open though he desperately wanted to see who was with him, wanted to see the light from wherever he was. Anything was better than this darkness. His hands closed on another person's flesh and he squeezed tightly.
"It's all right."
~Who am I??~
The memories began to slip and give. While earlier they had just been removed to the back of his mind, now he could feel them being tugged away. He clung to them. Horrifying as they were, they were all he had! He let out a keening sound as he felt them vanish, leaving no trace except the knowledge that they had been painful. He thrashed, and felt hands hold him down.
Were they talking to him, or to someone else?
"Nagi, it's all right." The tone, despite the reassuring words, had no concerned overtones to it. It was just a simple statement. There was a brush in his mind, and he could feel memories rising. They rushed through him so hard and so fast that he could feel his fingertips tingle, and he gasped, eyes finally managing to shoot open.
~I am Nagi.~
Omi was sitting beside where he lay on the bed, his hands closed on Nagi's shoulders. Nagi met his gaze with a bit of hesitant fear. With a gift as powerful as his, Nagi feared no one...Until now. Omi had gone through more than what he would ever believe the boy could take. The innocent boy had fallen, and a dark Omi had risen from its drying corpse. That was the Omi that was sitting before him- once bright eyes now darkened with maturity, condescending amusement, and traces of malicious intent. Everything about him had an air of his power to it, an air that only now Nagi could see.
~This gift...This is the strongest gift!~ Nagi thought, dry-mouthed. With Omi's gift, he could do anything he wanted. He could rewrite lives. He could ruin anyone he wanted.
Omi smirked and leaned down, ignoring the way Nagi tensed and planting a kiss on the tip of his nose. "Now you know, like you wanted to. What is your verdict, Schwarz-chan?"
~Verdict?~ Nagi's thoughts spun in all directions as he tried to remember what Omi was talking about.
"You asked if I'd had enough," Omi reminded him, smirk widening and tone dry with faint amusement.
The two boys stared at each other in silence for several long moments before Nagi looked away. "Haven't you?" the telekinetic asked. His mind was screaming at him to throw Omi away and run for it. It screamed at him to kill the boy quickly, before he could do anything. Maybe beat him against a wall hard enough to knock him into unconsciousness. Neither option was available. His sore body told him he'd never make it to the door, common sense told him that Omi couldn't die because the boy might be able to fix Schuldig, and knocking Omi out was asking to have a mindwash when the boy woke.
Not to mention that Nagi needed to know the answer to the question.
Omi slowly lowered himself to lie down by Nagi, pulling the boy close to him. Their foreheads and noses touched as they gazed at each other. Omi laughed softly, cool minty breath washing over Nagi's face. "I thought I did. After all, without Schuldig I wouldn't have survived the interrogation. You saw that, yes?" Nagi gave a slight nod. "But I've discovered something very interesting." Small hands reached up, brushing along Nagi's arms and stomach.
~To ask or not to ask?~ "What?" Nagi asked him, wondering if he was going to regret it.
Omi snickered quietly, tilting his head to lightly kiss Nagi's lips. He moved his head so his mouth was by Nagi's ear, lighting nipping at the younger assassin's earlobe. "Just how much fun it is to play with my food." With that, Omi rolled away and sat up to face his computer again. His fingers began to run rapidly over the keys.
"Why just Schuldig?"
Omi laughed again, and Nagi decided it was not a pleasant sound. "Not just Schuldig. I was only messing with him earlier because he's so much fun." Nagi could see the boy's reflection on the computer screen, and the look that crossed Omi's face was a mix of sultry desire and thrumming pleasure. "Oh, how lovely he is to play with. It doesn't take much to slip past those walls he loves so much. And he makes a wonderful lover."
Nagi hesitated, a question balancing on the tip of his tongue but afraid to fall off. "And me?..." he finally asked.
Omi considered this before shaking his head and tossing a dark grin over his shoulder. "Only thing you're good for is using to hurt the others."
Under other circumstances, Nagi would have felt insulted. Now what he felt was an intense relief that he would not be the brunt of Omi's power. There was also shame and guilt, knowing that he had been used to hurt Schuldig, knowing that he could be used again. As he clenched his hands on the material of the mattress, Omi returned to typing. For several moments that was the only sound in the air, and Nagi thought longingly of his room at home. What he would give to be there...Crawford was probaby hating both him and Schuldig and wondering where they were.
Omi closed what he was doing abruptly and stood. He carried the computer out of the room. Nagi watched him go, slowly pushing himself to a sitting position and wincing at the pain in his backside. ~I can't believe I slept with Schuldig last night...~ There went his virginity, right out the window- and what a person to lose it to!
Omi entered again and crossed the room to the door. "You can go home when you're well enough to walk. Remember to lock the door when you go. I'd hate to have a break-in." Omi sent him a sideways glance and smirk before letting himself out of the apartment.
Nagi sat on the bed for several minutes after Omi was gone, making sure the boy wasn't coming back. He slid painfully to his feet, nearly collapsing to the ground. He cursed, clutching at the bed. ~Damn! Why does it hurt so much? Why did Schuldig have to be so rough?~
He shook his head to clear his thoughts. There were more important things to think about- like finding Schuldig and explaining to the telepath that he hadn't been raped last night. Then they had to get home and talk to Crawford, and see how they were going to handle this Omi situation.
Most importantly...Where were his clothes?
~Ahh...Farfarello.~ Omi watched the Irishman clean his knives from a short distance back. The man had escaped from the apartment where Schwarz lived and was now crouching on the curb in front of a church. The songs of the congregation inside could be heard filtering through the open front doors. Omi didn't need Schuldig's gift to know what Farfarello was thinking. It was obvious that the man was ready to go on a hunt.
Omi's lips curled into a dark smirk. This toy was more violent than the other.
Hopefully it would be just as fun.
He crossed the street, coming to stand right behind Farfarello. The Irishman was too busy whispering Bible verses under his breath to notice, his single golden eye gleaming with bloodlust. Omi leaned down so that his mouth was beside Farfarello's ear. "Jei..." he whispered.
Farfarello jumped up and whirled around in the same moment, knives brandished. Omi allowed him the one second it took for recognition to set in before he slammed his mind violently against Farfarello's. While Farfarello would never truly appreciate the pain like Omi wanted, the feel of another mind crashing into his- rougher than Schuldig's and with a far more hateful intent- would be enough to leave the Irishman restless and unnerved for months.
Farfarello stiffened, back arching. His hands went lax, and Omi picked up the knives as they clattered to the ground. He tucked them inside his clothing. They were Farfarello's favorite knives, he'd seen from memories, Farfarello's favorite possessions.
Now they were Omi's.
The boy straightened to gaze at Farfarello, whose eye was dark and blank as his mind lay open for Omi to play with. Omi calmly tucked away all of Farfarello's memories- jumbled up things that could only make sense to the one who'd created them, until the only ones exposed were the ones from when Farfarello was Jei, a religious boy. Jei blinked, trying to focus. Omi watched. Jei was more sane than Farfarello, but Omi could not cure an insane mind. The only thing that would happen was that Jei would be off balance, struggling between personalities.
"Jei, come on," Omi spoke to him in a soothing voice.
"Where am I?"
"At church, Jei. At church." Omi reached out and gently turned the older man around so he could see the church. "Hurry or we'll be late."
"Father doesn't...like it..." Jei's face twisted briefly.
"Of course not. Come on." Omi took Jei's hand, interlocking their fingers, and led him inside. Some of the singers faltered when they entered. Most managed to keep singing, though their eyes were glued to the two. Omi nodded to the church-goers and slipped into a nearby empty pew. "You know the words, don't you, Jei?" Omi asked him. A long, tense pause, then a slight nod. "Sing?" he implored.
Jei began to quietly sing. "And together we will spread the news that God is in our land, and they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they'll know we are Christians by our love." Omi watched him, listening to Jei's words blend in with the other voices. His singing voice wasn't that bad, he mused. The faint Irish accent seemed to add to the song. Omi lowered his eyes briefly, feeling a smirk tug at his lips. Jei paused in his song. "You don't like?"
"Farfarello..." Omi raised his eyes again to lock his gaze with the man. "Do you know what you're singing?"
Everything hit the Irishman at once- Omi's words, the realization of what he was doing, and the memories of who he was. Farfarello recoiled, sputtering hisses and curses. Omi tilted back his head and laughed. Farfarello snarled at him. "Lying son of a treacherous God!" he practically shrieked, words ringing with hate.
The song came to a dead halt.
Omi raked his fingers through his hair. "I wasn't the one singing, Farfarello."
The man searched himself for his knives. Omi calmly pulled one out from where he'd tucked it inside his waistband and held it up for the other assassin to see. The churchgoers cried out in alarm as the Father started towards them, trying to figure out what was wrong and see who was disrupting the service. Farfarello's eye fixed on his knife- his beloved knife, held in such a blasphemous person's hands. He lunged towards Omi, war cry ringing from his throat. "YIYIYIYIYIYIIII!"
Something white stepped in between them. Omi blinked in surprise. Farfarello went slamming into the person, and both crashed into Omi. All three ended up sprawled on the ground.
Omi winced as he pushed himself into a sitting postion, turning to see who had interfered. Crawford was sitting against a pew where he'd been knocked, Farfarello laying across his lap and trying to figure out what had just happened, why Omi was not dead, and why he did not have his knife back. Omi and Crawford met eyes, each assessing the other. The priest had frozen in his tracks, watching with a dumbfounded look on his face.
The silence was broken when Farfarello spotted Omi. Letting out another savage snarl, the Irishman twisted and started towards Omi. Crawford grabbed him, yanking him back forcefully so that the man was practically sitting in his lap. Farfarello spat and twisted, trying to get away. "Child of God! Your death will hurt God the most! Angel of Lies!! I will take you apart piece by piece until you beg to tell me that God does not exist!!"
Omi sniffed and stood gracefully. "I wasn't," he repeated, "the one singing."
Farfarello got lucky and elbowed Crawford in the face. Omi could hear the crunch of glass as the Irishman totaled Crawford's glasses. He had to give the American credit- he didn't so much as flinch. He stood instead, roughly yanking Farfarello to his feet. Omi let out a ripple of power, washing the events of the past few minutes from the congregation's minds, as the three started towards the door. Omi watched slowly and confidently although behind him Farfarello was straining to get out of Crawford's grasp and get his hands around Omi's throat. Omi knew Crawford would not be able to hold him for very long. Farfarello was stronger.
As soon as they stepped outside Omi blanked Farfarello's mind. The Irishman went lax suddenly and sagged. Crawford had foreseen it, and merely released the man so he slumped to the ground. Crawford removed his broken glasses and he and Omi stood, gazing at each other in silence for several minutes.
Finally Omi spoke, voice steady and calm. "Do you like this, Crawford? Do you like what you see?" He paused, but Crawford knew that he wasn't done speaking. "This is what is the result of what you told Schuldig and Farfarello to do seven months ago. I hope you don't find the end product too repulsive."
"You learned how to use your gift."
"Lets just say that the people who helped you helped me, and they don't remember doing it."
Silence again, then Crawford spoke. "Where do we go from here?"
"You have accepted it, then?"
Crawford inclined his head slightly. "I am not a fool. With your gift and trained, you have managed to take advantage of three of my teammates. The gift of Zanzou is one to be treated with a cautious respect. I know that you hold the future in your palms, and I, who can see the future, cannot see it. I can see that you know what will come next."
"And you want me to tell you." Omi smiled faintly.
It took a while, but Nagi finally found his German teammate. The man was standing in the middle of a bridge, leaning against a railing and gazing out at the water of the canal running underneath him. Schuldig looked up, his jade eyes talking in the limp Nagi couldn't hide when he walked and his mind easily picking up the pain in his thoughts. He turned away again, inhaling from his cigarette.
"Schuldig?" Nagi asked softly.
He got no reply, and tried again. "Schuldig, please talk to me."
"What do you want me to say?" Schuldig bit out, smoke leaking from between his lips.
"Schuldig, don't be angry at yourself." Schuldig said nothing. "This has all been just a trick by Omi. You didn't rape me."
"Did he actually say those words?" There was a sarcastic bite to the German's tone.
"No, he did not." Schuldig inhaled again.
"I know I wasn't raped last night."
"Or maybe you were..." Schuldig said without looking at him. He exhaled smoke into the air with a sigh and stubbed his cigarette out on the railing. "...And you just don't remember. The thing you forget is that I could have raped you and Omi is making you think it didn't happen, or that nothing happened and he's making me think it did. He would pick either one."
Nagi reached out, brushing his fingers on Schuldig's hand. The telepath sent him a quick, guarded look. Nagi gave a slight, faint smile of reassurance. "What I don't remember," the boy told him softly, "never happened. And if it did, I blame Omi, not you. Now lets go home." He lightly closed his hand around Schuldig's wrist and stepped away from the railing.
Schuldig hesitated, then flicked his cigarette over the side of the bridge and followed.
Continue to Epilogue