The minute Farfarello's knife got knocked from his hand, the attitude of their attackers changed.

Assassins for the assassins, Schuldich said in silent mockery. This is sad. Look out, Farf. They think their dicks are a few inches longer now that you don't have your damn frogsticker anymore.

Farfarello's hooded yellow eye barely flickered his way. You were the one stupid enough to get captured, he pointed out in a deadpan.

Schuldich managed a small shrug despite the fact that his arms were restrained. Whatever. Every dog gets their day. I wasn't expecting a damned sniper. These guys aren't too shabby. Now are you gonna clean house or what?

Farfarello ignored him, weighing his opponents calmly.

He'd arrived to find his partner unarmed and pretty badly beaten. His sharp, mocking smile probably had a lot to do with his bleeding face. Schuldich never did know when to shut the fuck up.

He'd ignored the men holding his moronic companion and taken out three of the nine men in rapid succession. But as Schuldich had said, they weren't bad. Highly trained, it seemed; someone had paid a lot of money to get rid of Rosenkreuz's pitbulls. They'd managed to get his knife away from him, then kick it far out of reach. The brief panic and horror that had stamped their faces upon witnessing the deaths of their three comrades was now quickly being replaced with triumphant arrogance. Farfarello thought briefly of his other knife, the one he usually kept in the slim sheath down his back and beneath his shirt, but Nagi had confiscated it just that morning. It seemed he had something against it being used to punch holes in furniture.

Six men left. Farfarello had been standing like a statue, arms limply hanging by his sides. One of the men shifted, moving towards him slightly. He lifted his gun, aiming right between Farfarello's eyes.

Farfarello allowed him a moment to fire, but there was nothing.


Yeah, I forgot to mention, Schuldich put in. They wanna question us before killing us. You're pretty low on their list of priorities, though. You give them too much trouble, and they're supposed to take you out.

Because he was too dangerous. That left Nagi out, too. You two are their primary targets, he guessed.

Schuldich didn't need to ask who the other person was. Yeah. Lucky us. By the way, this asshole's about to wrench my fucking arm outta its socket. Now you gonna do something, cyclops, or--

"I don't need a knife," Farfarello informed the man with the gun flatly.

One of the other men's survival instincts kicked on belatedly. "Take him ou--" he started to say, but Farfarello was already moving.

There was a minute of harsh screaming, gunfire, and the spray of blood.

Farfarello didn't need knives.

Not when using his bare hands brought him that much closer to the death he delivered.

They took it out on Schuldich before he got to the two men that were holding him. Schuldich managed to twist out of the way and headbutt one of them, but he still got a bullet in the side for his trouble. Then strong pale hands were twisting a head viciously, snapping the neck like brittle wood. Without stopping Farfarello reached out and snatched a jagged chunk out of the other man's throat.

And it was over.

Schuldich stumbled over to the wall, ignoring the gruesome bodies as he clutched his side and cursed in three different languages.

Farfarello stood over his kill, lifting his hand with vague interest to watch the way the blood dripped from his fingertips and dribbled down his wrist towards his elbow. Finally he turned towards his partner, as if just remembering his presence.

Evidently Schuldich's curses had been aimed at him for the last few moments of his vulgar monologue. "Nice of you to notice me, fuckaroo," he growled in dark sarcasm. Farfarello's eyes drifted down to the hand clamped against his side, and the blood spreading slowly across the material of the coat. "You done playing? Cuz if I don't get some happy pills in me soon, I'm gonna be a hell of a lot madder than I already am."

Farfarello eyed his coat for a few more heartbeats before slowly crossing the room, seemingly unconcerned with the actual pain such an injury must be causing his partner. Schuldich watched him come with a light of wary respect in the back of his eyes. "I'd heard the rumors," he said suddenly, "but I didn't know you were that psy-fucking- chotic."

Farfarello stopped and stared up at him with an unreadable expression. It had only been a month since his release, since Crawford had taken him into Schwarz. He hadn't had much of an opportunity to let loose, and had come to his new partner's "rescue" only for the excuse to finally drag his knives through flesh and paint the surrounding walls with a fresh coat of red paint. He still wasn't sure to think of the cocky German who had been the one to take him from his cell.

Schuldich's mouth twisted into a harsh smile. "Could be useful," he added. "And here I thought having a Berserker on the team was just going to be a big pain in the ass."

Farfarello eyed him silently.

"Let's go, Farf," Schuldich grumbled, pushing himself from the wall and staggering towards the door. He stopped to bend over painfully and steal a gun from the corpse. Farfarello noted that he neither flinched at the sight of the mutilated body nor bothered to ask for help as he limped onwards. Slowly he turned and followed the other man.

Later, he reminded himself, he would have to get the son of a bitch to drop the use of that idiotic nickname. For now, he would let it pass.

He was a moron who had managed to get himself shot and captured, but...

He was beginning to think Schuldich might be a man he could work with.

Given enough time and bodycounts.