Ch. 6
"Dangerous Dance"

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 night.
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 audible.
"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 a profit."
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 admitted.
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 grin. (1)
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 sense.
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, Ken."
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 another's interest.
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 the music.
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 about bathrooms.
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 off.
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.
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 mentally.
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 restaurant.
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.
"Schuldich.. what...?"
"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 herself.
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 locations.

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 chapter.

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