Nathan took them to a nightclub called the Night Vixen that reminded
Ken of one he had once haunted on a mission a few years back. It
brought back sharp memories of the stalk of the target, the taste of the
screwdriver he barely wet his lips with as he sat hunched on a barstool
three seats down from Yohji, watching their victim out of the corner of
his eye. But more than the drink, the target's face, or even the music,
Ken remembered most of all the way his friend had looked that
He was in his element-- the night life had always been for Kudou
Yohji. The drinks, the women, the dancing... and of course the wardrobe.
He'd had to lend some of his clothes to Ken, who felt uncomfortable in
them. The outfit Yohji himself had worn had fit him like a second skin,
flaunting his willowy body, his honey-colored hair framing his handsome
face as he grinned at the women that flicked appreciative glances his
way. Ken remembered he'd gotten up to dance once-- supposedly to get
closer to the target, though Ken suspected the older man was just looking
for the excuse to get on the dance floor. He'd once told Ken in a
moment of loose-tongued drunkeness that dancing was his own form of
therapy, just like sex. He could lose himself on the floor, letting the beat
of the music pound through him, letting his body move by itself among
the other dancers. Ken had never really understood it; he was a
wallflower, himself. He'd only been annoyed that Yohji had abandoned the
mission-- even if only for a minute --to follow the pumping beat thundering
from the speakers. He'd been a good dancer, but Ken hadn't really
noticed. It was only now, coupled with the familiar feeling of loss, that
he could remember how fluidly Yohji had moved, and how honestly content
he had seemed out there on the dance floor.
Ken roughly shoved thoughts of his dead friend to the back of his mind
and shielded his eyes from a flashing strobe light that caught him in
the face. Farfarello appeared at his side, having managed to lose the
clingy Natasha in the crowd for a few moments. He took Ken's elbow in a
light grip and nodded silently to where the Vampires were heading for
some tables on the balcony overlooking the crowded dance floor. Ken
followed, allowing Farfarello to cut a wedge through the people with his
frightening appearance and the occassional dangerous glance that warned
people to get out of the way to avoid trouble.
They climbed the winding steps and found seats at the large U-shaped
table Nathan had claimed for himself and his cronies. The Pureblood in
question was lounging back in the deep cushions of the curved couch, a
Feeder on each side, his arms thrown around their shoulders as he
offered his two guests a polite smile. "Come, order a drink," he called to
Ken over the noise of the music and the people. "It's on me."
"I'm not a big drinker," Ken shouted back, his voice barely
"One drink won't kill you." Nathan motioned to the scantily-clad
barmaid, and Ken gave in, not wanting to offend the other man by turning
down his generous offer. He wracked his brain for the mildest drink he
could think of.
"Malibu and pineapple," Farfarello told the wide-eyed barmaid when Ken
had told him what he wanted. She nodded, jotting it down, then glanced
around at Nathan's crowd before offering the scarred Irishman a quirked
brow. "The house special for you, I take it?" she queried.
Farfarello only gave her a baleful stare that had her scuttling off.
He turned his look on Nathan in a silent demand for an explanation.
"This is my club, Lord Farfarello, no need to look so uppity," Nathan
reassured him. "All the workers here are either Vampires or Feeders.
Not that the poor saps out on the floor are aware of this, of course."
He turned his head slightly to smile down at the dancing throng with a
strange smile of mixed fondness and savagery. "This place makes quite
Ken thought back to the lavish apartments and wondered how else the
enigmatic Lord made his money. But then, he reminded himself, Nathan was
a Pureblood. He could have been saving up cash for hundreds of years,
for all Ken knew.
The waitress returned with their drinks only a few minutes later.
When she handed Farfarello a glass filled with the same dark liquid the
other Vampires received, he flicked Nathan another look, but didn't
bother to touch it. It might have been a little rude, but then, he had fed
just before the meeting. Nathan's Feeders had ordered whiskey and
cokes, and Ken's drink looked small and pale compared to everyone else's.
Nathan was watching him again with his penetrating eyes, so he took a
hasty gulp of the mild-tasting drink and averted his eyes to watch the
people dancing below.
Several of Nathan's Vampires got up at times to join the dancers, but
others simply relaxed and chatted among each other, or enticed
attractive barmaids and waiters over to flirt with or nibble at. Ken felt no
more at home in the flashing lights and thundering music as he had
during missions as an assassin, but at least his own self confidence had
increased somewhat since joining up with Farfarello. So although he would
have preferred a quiet bar or a restaurant, he didn't squirm
uncomfortably in his seat, avoiding all eye contact as he would have done just a
year or two ago. He sat close to Farfarello and let his gaze wander,
taking small sips of his drink to make it last and playing idly with his
lover's fingers under the table.
He glanced up eventually to see Nathan rising to his feet, his Feeders
clinging to him. The Pureblood's eyes found him, and he offered a
small, teasing smile. "Don't tell me you don't dance," he said with fake
surprise. "Come, Necromancer, relax. Let yourself go."
Ken shook his head once. "I'm not much into dancing," he
With an unseen signal from their master, the two Feeders reluctantly
pulled away from him and went together down to the dance floor. Nathan
extended a pale, slender hand in invitation, his smile sultry, his eyes
sparkling with promise of a good time. "Dance with me," he said, more
a command than a suggestion.
Ken blinked. Farfarello looked up slowly to fix a burning stare on
the other Lord, who ignored it. Ken hesitated. There was no way to turn
him down politely. He couldn't even say that he'd promised his lover
the first dance; it might be rare that Ken dug up the courage to dance
even a little, but Farfarello didn't dance at all. Ken was positive
that nothing-- not even an offer from another attractive Vampire --would
get Farfarello's butt out on that dance floor.
With an internal sigh, he rose to his feet and followed the smirking
Pureblood down the stairs, careful to avoid Farfarello's narrowed eye.
Fat lot of help he was, anyway, Ken thought mutinously. He could have
said something. Ken couldn't very well refuse the order, but
Farfarello could have. Or maybe he didn't care. Stung a little by this, and
emboldened by the sudden urge to spark jealousy in his normally stoic
partner, Ken took the hand Nathan reached for him with, and let the older
man pull him through the writhing crowd.
The lights were flashing so erratically, and there were so many people
out there-- some of them simply moving clumsily to the beat in wild
abandon --that Ken felt less awkward as Nathan faced him, seizing his
hands, and began to move in a sensuous, experienced dance. No one was
really watching, and there were plenty of people who couldn't dance. Ken
ignored the other dancers and let his own body move to the beat, unable
to stop the fleeting smile he offered at Nathan's wide, encouraging
Now that he had freed himself of hesitations and restraints, Ken found
it easier to move in a simple but fluid dance that Nathan quickly
adapted to. It was liberating, and made his heart thunder in his ears along
with the beat; he couldn't stop himself from laughing with exhileration
as he moved with the tall Vampire on the dance floor. This, then, was
what Yohji had meant that time. Dancing was free, it was instinctive,
it was anything he wanted it to be. It was as if he'd left all his
sadness, his anxiety, his responsibility back at the table with
Farfarello. He put his hands on Nathan's shoulders and moved with the pounding
beat, blind to the appreciative looks the two of them were earning. He
danced freely for the first time in his life, and it was almost as if
he'd never been an assassin, never had his future snatched from him by
fate. He was just another boy, smiling and laughing, following nature's
rhythm with his body.
A few people-- both men and women --tried to cut in more than once.
Surprisingly, most of them wanted to dance with him. He was new, and
intriguing, and had captured the interest of the regular customers. But
Nathan's hands on his hips were possessive, and he wasn't about to give
up his prize so easily. One song blended into another, this one even
more primitive and sensuous than the fast-paced one from before, and
when Nathan pressed closer, it felt natural.
It wasn't until a hot mouth fell on his throat, just below his ear,
that Ken's euphoria was shaken enough to let in a little common
The intimate kiss went with the song and the movements-- but it felt
wrong to Ken's very core. Because the mouth wasn't Farfarello's.
He pulled back slightly, blinking quickly in an attempt to clear his
clouded mind. He stared up into Nathan's dark eyes and felt a flutter
of uncertainty. Maybe this was a bad idea, he thought with a touch of
guilty unease. Just dancing was fine... but now that he was paying more
attention, he realized more clearly just how close Nathan was holding
him, and recognized with a sinking feeling the look of lust on the older
man's face. He tried to pull away with a muttered apology unheard
above the blaring music.
Nathan's hands only tightened and dragged him closer, and the hot
mouth returned to blow warm breath on his ear, making him shudder in spite
of himself. "Stay," Nathan murmured in his ear, fingers flexing
against his lower back. "Stay."
Ken pulled his head away. "But..."
"Worried your lover will get jealous?" Nathan teased, smirking as he
continued to dance against the hesitant boy. "It's just a dance,
It was hearing his given name that did it more than anything else.
Nathan was an American, and couldn't have known any better, but it meant
something to Ken. His given name was something reserved for use only
by those close to him. Not by one of Farfarello's business partners.
He stopped dancing and reached down to push the hands away. He felt
suddenly guilty and foolish. He should have seen this coming, he chided
himself. Nathan had certainly seemed interested enough in him. He'd
just found it hard to believe anyone could be attracted to him in that
way. He'd always been surrounded by people better looking than him, and
had grown used to being overlooked years ago. And now he had his scars
to mar his face, anyway. Ken was more attractive than he gave himself
credit for, and it was not the first time he'd been caught off guard by
He tried to step back, but the crowd was too thick, and Nathan only
moved closer. "I have to use the bathroom," he lied quickly.
Nathan chuckled, passing a hand down his flat abdomen and making Ken
pull in a sharp breath. "I think you'd prefer to hold it. More people
use the bathrooms here to make out than actually do their business.
Stay. Dance with me." He lowered his head. It could have been for
anything, but it looked like an attempted kiss. Ken jerked back and
reached up to push Nathan hard.
The Vampire stumbled back a step. A look of surprise flashed across
his face, quickly shadowed by an irritated scowl. This was a man used
to getting what he wanted.
Ken met the glare with one of his own, unintimidated. He'd always
been stubborn, and was unimpressed at the hint of anger on the face of a
race he'd grown accustomed to being around for the last year. "I'm
going back to see how Farfarello's doing," he said firmly. He turned his
back and began to push his way through the crowd.
Many tried to stop him, to entice him to dance with them, but he
ignored them, making his way to the steps. Making his way through the
people lounging on the steps, he almost ran into Farfarello at the top.
The Irishman was standing by the rail around the balcony, right by the
stairs. He was staring with a hard glittering eye at Ken, his hands
gripping the railing so tightly his knuckles were white. The rush of
jealous rage Ken felt across the bond between them startled him and made
him flinch in a mixture of guilt and confusion. He'd never seen
Farfarello so jealous before. Despite the immediate rush of guilt and
uneasiness Ken experienced at the revelation, he couldn't quite crush the
flickering of satisfaction at the proof of Farfarello's possessiveness.
Shooting a quick look over his shoulder, Ken could see Nathan heading
towards the stairs. Pushing aside his survival instincts-- which
insisted he walk softly around Farfarello and not meet that icy eye --Ken
reached out and wrapped a hand around Farfarello's wrist. He glanced up
and met Farfarello's glare solemnly. "Let's sit down," he shouted over
Farfarello hesitated. His narrow eye flicked from his lover to
Nathan. He was still angry, but seemed mollified at Ken's obvious gesture--
that he would rather be with Farfarello than Nathan right now. Still
scowling, he pulled free, hooked a finger under the leather collar on
Ken's neck, and led him back to the table.
Halfway there he seemed to change his mind, and veered off. He pushed
through a knot of people and dragged Ken closer, shoving him up against
the wall. Ken stiffened in surprise, half expecting a rebuke or maybe
even violence. Farfarello was still angry, he could tell that much.
But he was jealous, too. He didn't demand an explanation or grab him
angrily. He held Ken firmly against the wall and seized his mouth in a
rough, bruising kiss that snatched the Necromancer's breath away.
Ken squirmed in the strong hold and reached up to wrap his arms around
the Irishman's shoulders, kissing him back just as fiercely. The
pounding music and the freedom of the dance just a few minutes before only
heightened the sudden spark of lust, and he squirmed restlessly, giving
a little moan as calloused hands shoved past his coat and slipped under
his sweater to run a quick path up his stomach and chest. He arched
against the touch, and Farfarello gave a quiet growl against his mouth,
grinding against him. Mine, his body insisted savagely. Ken had
no problem with that. Already he could see where the end of the night
was leading, and hardened at the thought. A hot mouth found his ear,
and he gasped, digging his fingers into a strong back. He'd forgotten
all about the dance and Nathan. All he could remember was a comment
He pushed Farfarello away a few inches, panting for breath, and met
the burning amber eye. "Bathroom," he gasped. Farfarello gave him a
blank look, hesitating. Ken seized the man's wrist and moved away from
the wall, giving an insistent tug. Farfarello followed slowly, led by
lust, but still obviously confused.
The men's bathroom was indeed filled with people making out-- men on
men, men on women. No one seemed interested in using the stalls or
urinals for their proper use. One couple was emerging from one of the
stalls, and Ken pulled Farfarello inside before someone else could claim
it. He shut and locked the door and turned to his lover. Farfarello had
finally figured out what Ken had meant, and he met him as he turned,
capturing his mouth in another hard kiss, strong hands reaching down to
seize his ass in a possessive hold that dragged their bodies together.
Ken gave a muffled grunt and twisted, attempting to get some leverage
in the small space. His searching foot encountered the toilet bowl, and
he quickly propped his foot on top, using the leverage to hike his body
up a little. Farfarello seized his other thigh in a strong hold, and
lifted him the rest of the way, pressing Ken firmly against the stall
wall and searching for his mouth again.
When he began to grind against him, Ken's gasps and short cries went
unnoticed by the other occupants of the bathroom, drowned out by similar
noises of desire by those with the same idea.
"Ano... Fujimiya-san, is it all right if I get a ride home from you
and your friend today?"
Aya looked a little surprised, then smiled at the nervous girl. "Of
course! I'm glad you're feeling better. Though.." she frowned, "I'm
not sure he'll pick me up today. We kind of got into a fight."
"U-un.." Laura could not meet the other girl's eyes, and pretended she
was searching for something in her locker. This was her job, she
reminded herself firmly. Whether she liked it or not; whether she'd asked
for it or not. But she couldn't stop the feeling of guilt that rose
whenever she saw the braided girl's trusting smile. Surely Felix wouldn't
hurt her, she consoled herself as she followed the chattering girl down
the front steps towards the parking lot. She wasn't a target; her
German friend was. Surely. Surely she would be unharmed.
Aya glanced around the parking lot, looking partly relieved and partly
disappointed. "He's not here," she said. "I guess he's still mad."
She gave a toss of her head. "Fine by me!"
Laura also felt mixed feelings. She tried to crush the relief.
"Th-that's ok. I can take the train."
"If you really need a ride, I can call my brother and ask him to drive
you," Aya said quickly.
Laura bit back a wince. Aya would hate her if she ever knew... "No,
that's all right. Thank you."
"All right... see you tomorrow!" Aya called, waving as she strode
Laura managed to force a smile and wave back.
Felix was not going to be happy.
Schuldich had headed for the school without even thinking about
It had become a habit, picking Aya up from school, and when the clock
showed it was time for school to be out, his hands had automatically
turned the wheel in that direction.
He was nearly there when he remembered with a dark scowl that they
were still fighting. Why should he do the little brat a favor and pick
her up? Anyway, she would probably refuse the ride if he did show up.
He sent a questing probe her way almost unconsciously. He told himself
it was to savor the irritation she must feel at having to walk home,
but part of it was to see if she had finally gotten over her foolish
anger towards him.
He was already taking the next turn so he could head back home, when
he caught it.
It was a name that caught his attention so fully, he didn't even hear
whatever thoughts were running through Aya's head.
Felix isn't going to be happy.
He wrenched the wheel around with a florid curse, ignoring the blaring
horns behind him as he got back onto the main road. He threw the gear
up a notch and slammed on the gas, teeth clenched as he snatched at the
fleeting thought and piggy-backed it, racing along it in an attempt to
get a clue about the head he was invading.
Whoever it was, they must have felt him-- and obviously knew what was
going on. A solid shield slammed into place, cutting him out of the
mind he'd been digging through before he could get any real answers. He
cursed again, running a red light and narrowly missing a car coming
from the other direction.
A girl. He'd gotten that much. One of Aya's friends. A new girl,
worried about Aya, but worried about what Felix would do to her when he
found out she'd failed.
He slammed his fist angrily against the wheel. Failed at what??
Damn! If she hadn't put up that damned shield...
Schuldich let out his breath in a hiss, ticking off the evidence
Felix... A strange girl who'd felt him and shut him out... Someone
who'd been trained to recognize a telepath's touch and how to shield
herself against it.
"Rosenkreuz." The word came out like a growl. Schuldich's knuckles
were white in their grip around the wheel as he glanced left and right,
searching for a familiar figure amid other students walking home.
He should have known that just killing the Four wouldn't stop them.
But why was Felix still alive? He'd assumed Farfarello had killed him
that night in the subway. Since when had Farfarello failed to kill
anyone? No way to find out now... both he and Hidaka were in America, much
too far for any telepath to reach.
He slammed on the brakes and jerked the wheel to the left, cutting off
another driver and ending up with two wheels on the sidewalk. Startled
pedestrians shrieked and jumped back.
Aya stared at him through the windshield with wide eyes, obviously
caught completely off guard by his sudden appearance. A moment later her
face darkened in a glare that would have done her brother proud. She
gave a toss of her head and started to walk around the car, not
bothering to spare him a second glance.
But Schuldich was not in the mood for her cold shoulder routine. He
shoved the door open and stepped out. He caught up to her in two long
strides and seized her arm in a rough hold that made her gasp, her glare
wiped away for a moment by a look of surprise.
"Schuldich," she hissed, glancing around at the staring pedestrians.
"What the hell is wrong with-"
"Get in the car," he said in such a menacing tone of voice that she
shut her mouth and obeyed after only a slight hesitation.
Once she'd gotten in, Schuldich got behind the wheel again,
disregarding the seatbelt as he roared back into traffic, heading for the
Aya shot him a look out of the corner of her eye, half wary, half
angry. She was embarrassed and irritated by his rough treatment, but
confused by his obvious dark mood.
"There's a rat at the school," Schuldich informed her with a forced
smirk that felt more like a painful grimace.
Aya stared at him blankly.
"Shut up," he snapped when she opened her mouth to question his
sanity. "Just shut up. I'll explain when we get to that soup kitchen your
brother calls a restaurant."
Aya made a face at him, but obediently kept her questions to
Schuldich probed at her mind in hopes of finding some hint about the
girl who seemed to know Felix. But Aya was already pulling up a shield
around her thoughts as she turned to stare out the window. He
considered ordering her to put it down, or simply bulling through it, but
stopped himself at the last minute.
No matter. Once she found out what he'd just heard, she'd be picking
her own mind for any helpful information. He forced his fingers to
loosen their deathgrip on the steering wheel. Well, at least he had a
one-up on Felix and his little chick. Even if she'd somehow guessed that
the questing brush at her mind was him, by the time she ran to that
English bastard and told him, Schwarz and Weiß would be long gone.
Feeling more confident, he began wracking his brain for possible safehouse
He didn't know he was already too late until Ran's shout of warning
exploded in his mind an instant later.
(1) I wish I could think this way, but I can't. ^^; I cannot and will
not dance. The more someone tries to make me, the more stubborn I get.
I don't care if anyone's watching or not-- I won't do it. ^^;;;
Author's Notes: @__@ waaaghh I'm so out of practice with writing
the WK boys! I stopped this chapter right after the scene where Laura
and Aya part ways, and have been on a GW binge ever since. So if Schu
seems pretty OOC or the last part is pretty rough.. *wince* Gomen.
Hopefully I'll get back in the swing of things in time for the next
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