Ch. 21: "Schloß Krankenhaus"
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
Does it really mean that much to you?
To hide your fear, to test the way I feel?
"Calm yourself, Abyssinian," Nagi suggested calmly, gazing up at the furious redhead without a trace of fear. "If you're referring to Farfarello, he was placed at the hospital as your sister's bodyguard. He won't do anything to her."
"Her bodyguard?" Aya was at the couch in two angry strides. Ignoring Omi's cry, he seized Nagi's collar and shook him hard. "You bastard! How dare you put that lunatic to 'guard' my sister! I should kill you for that!"
"Aya, calm down," Omi protested, seizing Aya's arm frantically. Ken said nothing. He thought Aya's anger was justified.
"Wouldn't do anything?" Aya hissed right in Nagi's calm face. "That maniac just kidnapped my sister!"
Nagi's brow rose. "Maybe Crawford told him to," he said with a slight shrug. "The mind link has been cut. Whatever startled Schuldich could have hurt- possibly killed -him. If it was Vampires, Crawford might have wanted your sister away from where the Vampires would find her."
"Why was he watching my sister??"
Nagi looked at him coolly, holding still in the older man's grip. "Because," he said slowly, "the Vampires won't hesitate to take her out to cause you pain. We're supposed to be allies, and we can't afford to have you snap. So Farfarello was watching her."
"You..little..." Aya started to shake Nagi again, and Omi was looking ready to Possess him when they heard a stifled scream of shock from upstairs, then a crash.
Ken turned to the stairs. "That sounds like Yohji!"
Yohji came barrelling down the stairs a moment later, his face as white as a sheet. He grabbed Ken's shoulder on seeing him. "That fucking maniac is upstairs!" he nearly shouted, eyes wide and face pale. "He was just standing there in the kitchen!"
Ken's heart skipped a beat, and he went rigid as the pale, scarred Berserker of Schwarz came walking calmly down the stairs, his single golden eye meeting his gaze.
"Farfarello-" Nagi pushed Aya away with his Talent and leapt to his feet. "Where have you been?"
"What have you done with Aya-chan?" Aya demanded at the same time.
Farfarello turned to look at him and said nothing.
"Farfarello," Nagi said firmly. "Did you take Fujimiya Aya from the hospital?"
Farfarello was still gazing at Aya maddeningly as he answered. "Aa."
Aya's fists were clenched and trembling. Yohji blinked and looked around at them all. "What the hell is that runt doing here?" he asked weakly. "And what's all this about Aya's sister?"
No one seemed to hear him.
"Why did you take Aya-chan?" Ken forced himself to ask when Farfarello didn't answer Nagi's inquiry.
Farfarello turned his single eye towards Ken, the corner of his mouth turning upwards slightly in a derisive, creepy smile. "I felt like it."
Ken stared at him. Was Farfarello trying to be funny? Christ, he'd be sporting a tutu next.
Nagi shook his head impatiently. "Answer me, Farfarello," he said firmly. "We told you to guard Fujimiya, not kidnap her from the hospital."
Farfarello ignored him, still looking at Ken, and Ken realized suddenly that the Irishman was only going to answer his questions. He swallowed hard, a little unnerved by the piercing stare. Was it because of this whole "pet" business? "Why did you take her?" he asked again.
Farfarello gave a small shrug, looking unconcerned. "They'd killed the Mastermind and the Oracle. Possibly the other one.." his eye slid momentarily to Nagi.
"And they might come after you next?" Ken ventured.
"Where is she?" Aya snarled, gritting his teeth and glaring at the Irishman with hatred.
Farfarello offered the taller man another of his creepy half-grins. "Safe," he said mysteriously.
"I doubt it," Yohji muttered. Ken elbowed him sharply.
"Where is she, Farfarello?" he asked bluntly.
Farfarello turned to look at him at the sound of his name. "Schloß. Schloß Krankenhaus."
Ken blinked. "What the hell is that?"
"It's a hospital," Nagi answered, nose wrinkling in puzzlement. "One of Rosenkreuz's hospitals."
"NANI??" Aya was livid. "You said Rosenkreuz was with the Vampires!"
"A double-edged sword, maybe?" Ken ventured. Everyone stared at him. Farfarello gave his familiar, creepy grin and said nothing.
Then Nagi blinked. "Perhaps," he agreed slowly. "That would be the last place the Vampires would think to look, since they're working with Rosenkreuz. It's still dangerous because Rosenkreuz might discover she's there, but it's probably the safest place for her for the moment."
Aya looked as if he wanted to find his katana, so Ken said hastily, "And what about the other two? Schuldich and Crawford?"
Presumed dead, a calm voice said in his mind, and he gasped. He could tell by the look on the others' faces that they had heard it, too.
Footsteps on the stairs, then a familiar figure was walking into the light, smiling mirthlessly. The Vampires blew up the building they were in.
"Manx?" Yohji said incredulously. "You're-"
"A telepath," Nagi said calmly. "You didn't know?"
The members of Weiß gaped first at him, then at Manx.
"Ryo is outside, being guard dog," Manx said, waving her hand over her shoulder. "Calm down, Aya. It's probably for the best that Farfarello moved your sister. Shortly after he left, the Vampires came to the hospital to look for the both of them."
"So you think Schuldich and Crawford are dead," Nagi repeated quietly, his face carefully neutral.
Manx looked at him, and Ken could detect the note of sympathy in her voice. "I can't say for sure, Nagi. The mind link has been cut and the rescue workers are still digging out bodies." She paused. "I'm sorry." Ken noted she didn't direct these sympathies towards Farfarello. Probably because the Irishman didn't give a damn whether his teammates lived or died.
For some reason that realization changed everything.
In that moment, Ken's fear of the Irishman dissolved. It was hard to fear a man you were disgusted with. Suddenly he loathed the Irishman, and wished he had been the one to die, instead of his two arrogant teammates. He also wondered on some vague level just what had made the albino so fucked up in the head in the first place.
Manx flicked him a glance, and Ken's eyes widened. That's right- Manx was a telepath. Like Schuldich. He glowered at her and tried to keep his mind a blank.
Manx looked away from him, and back to Aya, who seemed to be struggling internally with the fact that there was really nothing he could do about his sister at the moment. "I know it's hard, Abyssinian," Manx said soothingly. "But right now the best way to get her back is to take care of the Vampire threat."
"And just how do we do that?" Yohji demanded calmly, crossing his arms over his chest. "Aren't there supposed to be a lot of them?"
"Cut off the head and a snake dies," Nagi intoned.
"Agmed?" Omi guessed.
"Agammedo," Manx corrected. "And Nagi's right. Once that sleazeball is out of the picture, it will make our job easier. Take out as many as you can, but the real target is their leader. He's the one running the show. Without him there to shove the risky idea of a Vampire-ridden world in their faces, it's likely they'll back off."
"Likely, but not one hundred percent sure," Yohji pointed out the error drolly. "What if we do take out this bigwig, and the bloodsuckers decide they still wanna rule the world? Oh, and let's not forget revenge for their master."
"I don't think we have to worry about the revenge factor," Nagi interrupted, flicking a confirming glance towards Farfarello, who bared his teeth. "He leads by fear more than any semblance of loyalty or love. If, however, the Vampires do decide to continue in an attempt to wipe out the human race, we'll just have to keep thwarting them. Though without Agammedo to propel them into battle, I doubt they'll keep at it for long. Especially when Hunters and people with Talents are picking them off." He gave a small shrug. "They'll be confused and unorganized right after Agammedo's death, and that's when our attacks will cause the most damage."
"Exactly." Manx nodded firmly, palms cupping her elbows as they all looked to her. "I want you to start as soon as you can. Go out, find them, start picking them off. See if you can worm any information from one of them on Agammedo's location." She hesitated, lips pursed in thought, before adding almost reluctantly, "It would be best if you would form a truce and an alliance with the two Hunters who have been tailing you."
Nagi's lip actually curled in mild disdain. Farfarello gave one of his scary smiles.
"You mean that blond creep who came into the store and tried to see Omi's neck?" Yohji asked with a frown.
"Yes. There's two of them, actually. They think Ken is going to Turn, so they want to kill him," Manx said calmly. "And they're tailing Schwarz.." she flicked a look towards the two silent young men, "well, they work for Rosenkreuz." She shrugged one shoulder. "They think that makes them Vampire sympathizers. They could help you, though-- both in killing the bloodsuckers and helping you find them. They've studied the race for years, after all."
"What if they're the ones who blew up the store with Crawford and Schuldich?" Nagi demanded in a quiet, heated voice. "They-"
"I seriously doubt it, Nagi," Manx cut him off. "The Hunters aren't stupid enough to do something that showy. They're assassins like you, even if they are a bit cocky. Silent, swift, invisible. Placing a bomb in the front of a grocery store- especially at the risk of civilian casualties -is something they would never do."
Nagi looked only half convinced. Farfarello didn't seem to be paying attention, and was staring unnervingly at Ken again, who was glaring back. The Irishman seemed to think it was amusing in his own twisted way that the soccer player was so boldly standing up to him.
"Yare yare..." Yohji sighed, stretching. "It's too late to go leech hunting tonight. We can start early tomorrow morning, though. Aren't vamps allergic to light or something?"
Aya arched a derisive brow at him. "They didn't seem to mind when they came after Ken this afternoon," he pointed out coolly. Yohji offered him a Look, and Omi sighed at the obvious tension still between the two.
"Sunscreen?" he guessed feebly.
Nagi offered him a small smile. "There's a lot of things you need to learn about Vampires," he said quietly. "Sunlight is only deadly to Purebloods."
Omi stared at him blankly. "Purebloods?"
"Don't you watch TV, chibi? Never seen Blade?" Yohji flapped a hand, fighting off a yawn. "A Pure-whatsit is someone born a leech, right?"
"Aa," Nagi confirmed, mouth quirking just the slightest at Yohji's nickname for their prey. Farfarello had transferred his gaze to the tall playboy thoughtfully. "Ones that are Turned- like Ken would have been if he hadn't had the transfusion -are just fine in the daytime. A stake or silver will kill them, though. Wood kills them, silver incinerates them." He gave a delicate sniff. "Speaking of which... It smells like you did a little staking yourselves already."
"Ah-" Omi pointed towards the closet, looking to Manx. "Two of them tried to get Ken, and he and Aya took them out with some stakes. They smell awful... could you do something with the bodies?"
Manx made a face, but went over to investigate.
"What are you staring at, whitey?" Yohji snapped, unnerved by Farfarello's unwavering gaze.
Nagi gave the ghost of a humorless smile. "You remind him of Schuldich," he said. "You're alike in a few ways, I suppose. You both like the sound of your own voice, and act more flippant the more dangerous a situation gets."
Yohji scowled darkly at the two men of Schwarz. Farfarello stared back solemnly.
"That's a good thing," Nagi assured Yohji calmly. "Schuldich was the only one on our team who Farfarello seems to have some kind of bond with."
"I'm touched," Yohji said, his voice dripping with sarcasm as he eyed Farfarello warily.
"I'll take care of the bodies," Manx said briskly, coming back. "Nagi, will you move them to my car? The trunk." She rubbed her forehead wearily, preparing herself for the storm she knew was about to come. "These two will have to stay here until further arrangements can be made."
"No w-" Aya started heatedly, but Omi cut in hastily,
"All right. They can use Yohji's old bedroom." Aya glared at him, and Omi decided to ignore him rather than get into an argument.
Manx offered Omi a grateful look. "Good. Nagi can use Kudou's old room, but Nagi will have to take care of Farfarello's living arrangements. They're a little.. different."
"We usually have him in a padded room with a straightjacket," Nagi said calmly when Omi looked at him quizzically.
Aya made a strange noise in the back of his throat, and Yohji's face did a strange contortion. Ken glared at the Irishman and said nothing, seething in silence. Just the thought of the one-eyed madman sleeping in the same house as his team made his skin crawl and his stomach roil with rebellion.
"It's settled, then," Manx said crisply before mayhem could break loose. "Nagi, come help me with the bodies."
Nagi rose silently and went over to help her. A boy used to obeying orders.
Yohji began muttering to himself, patting his pockets for his cigarettes.
Unnoticed, Ken and Farfarello continued to stare defiantly at each other.
"You can say that again," Talon remarked, staring at the police cars, ambulances, and firetrucks crowded in the street outside Schwarz's demolished apartment.
"Shit," Tatiana repeated weakly.
"I didn't mean it literally," Talon snapped impatiently, running a hand through his hair irritably. "God damn it."
"Maybe Schwarz had a falling out with their bloodsucking buddies," Tatiana suggested, watching a groaning woman wheel past on a stretcher. "No sign of the midget or the Irishman. Think we should check on the hospital and check on the survivors from the store bombing? Those other two might have survived."
"If not, we check the morgue," Talon said grimly as they headed towards their car. He frowned. "This doesn't make sense," he muttered.
"You never make sense," Tatiana pointed out primly.
Talon offered her a quick glare, and the woman held up her hands defensively. "Chill out. So you're thinkin' maybe Schwarz isn't so friendly with the bloodsuckers after all?"
"I don't know," Talon growled, turning the key in the ignition. "It doesn't add up. Why wouldn't they be with the Vampires? They work for Rosenkreuz, and they have that albino freak with them. Yet both of these cases reek of Vampire plotting."
"Why, Watson, I believe you're onto something," Tatiana said dryly, then shrugged. "Who knows? I guess there's only one way to really find out."
"If you mean confronting them about it, you're wasting what few brain cells you have left," Talon said mildly as they pulled away. "They'd just deny it. Leave the thinking to me, little girl."
Tatiana offered him a withering look. "If I did that, we'd be long dead, sweetcheeks."
On the nearly empty third floor of Schloß Krankenhaus, one of Rosenkreuz's smaller and less-funded hospitals, a sulky nurse was making her rounds.
She should have been off at eight, but instead that damned bitch Rina had taken emergency absence, and she was supposed to fill in for her. It wasn't fair. She'd been planning to screw her boyfriend, but nooooo.
She pushed open the next door and glanced in casually after a quick look at her clipboard. This was the new one that creep from Schwarz had brought in. No name, no explanation. A vegetable, basically. The nurse didn't know what she was doing here, and she didn't care. She hadn't bothered to check on it with any of her supervisors, and as far as she knew, if they were aware of it, they hadn't been stupid enough to call up Rosenkreuz's four founders and check on it, either. Schwarz's Berserker was one of Rosenkreuz's favorite "pets". If he brought in some strange, comatose girl, no one was about to question him.
Except this couldn't be the right room. The girl the Berserker had brought in had been deeply asleep, clinging onto life with her fingernails.
But when the pouting nurse glanced into the small room, the girl on the bed was very much awake.
She was sitting up, looking around dazedly, a hand to her forehead like a child who had just awoken from a nightmare.
Translation: Schloß= castle, Krankenhaus= hospital
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