Ch. 30: "Mixed Emotions"
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
Catch me as I fall
Say you're here and it's all over now
Speaking to the atmosphere
No one's here and I fall into myself
This truth drives me
I know I can stop the pain
If I will it all away
As he fell, Ken tried to scream, but it was as if panic had seized his lungs. Up above him he saw Aya leaning over the edge, arm outstretched from the wild grab he had made- and failed. His face was white as a sheet with shock and fear for him, and all Ken could think was,
I'm going to die.
Something shoved Aya aside and leapt from the rooftop, like a diver from a diving board.
Ken opened his mouth again- but his lungs still refused to work. He knew he was rushing towards the ground at sickening speed, but things seemed to go almost in slow motion.
Then Farfarello smacked into him, wrapping him in a tight bear hug, and the breath whooshed into his lungs. Farfarello did a twist in midair, and Ken instinctively clung to him, panic and confusion exploding in his mind. Farfarello was beneath him, he realized dazedly.
They fell with a loud crash and a crunch, right into the crates that he and Aya had used to make crude stakes. The air was driven from his lungs again, and he thought he heard Farfarello grunt.
The dust began to settle, lazy motes dancing on the shadowed morning air, and then a heavy hand was striking Ken between the shoulders. He sucked in air greedily, still clinging to the Irishman sprawled beneath him. He was sore and his head was ringing, but nothing seemed to be broken.
Farfarello had broken his fall.
Realization hit him like a ton of bricks, and he pushed himself up on his hands so fast his head spun.
Farfarello had jumped from the roof and used his body like a shield, taking the brunt of the crash.
Why? He tried to say the word, but it came out a squeak of air.
Farfarello detached his arms from around Ken and stared up at him with a hooded eye. "Clutz," he said emotionlessly.
Ken stared at him.
"Ken!" Aya was clambering down the ladder. "Daijabou??"
"H-hai!" Ken dragged himself to his feet, wincing, and reached out to take Farfarello's arm. The other man bat him off impatiently and rose carefully. He sat back down again immediately, his face still unreadable.
"My leg is broken," he stated calmly. He might as well have been talking about the weather, for all the emotion there was in the voice.
Ken knelt hastily and put his hands to the horribly twisted limb. "Kuso... I'm going to have to put it back in place first. It's going to hurt." Aya was running towards him, but he barely noticed.
Farfarello looked unconcerned. "I don't feel pain," he said.
Ken looked up at him, hesitating, then gritted his teeth and shoved the bones back into a straight position, letting his Gift flow from him immediately afterwards. Farfarello didn't so much as flinch.
"Ken-" Aya came to a halt beside him, breathing heavily, his face still a little pale.
"I'm all right," Ken said quietly, focusing on Healing the silent Irishman sitting before him. "He... broke my fall. And his leg."
Aya's eyes flicked towards Farfarello, and his mouth made a strange jerky movement, as if he still couldn't believe what he had just witnessed. Farfarello ignored him, watching Ken Heal his leg.
Ken pulled back, finished, and breathed a sigh of relief. "Try it out."
Farfarello rose smoothly to his feet. He reached down and seized a fistful of Ken's shirt, hauling the indignantly squawking boy to his feet. "I told you not to Heal that," he said calmly.
"Not that again," Ken protested, reaching up to cover his scarred eye. "Will you drop it? It was hard for me to see, all right?"
Farfarello reached up and touched his own patch silently.
Ken stared at him.
"Farfarello, where have you been?" Aya asked quietly. His tone was accusing, but there was- for once -no animosity behind it.
"Out." Farfarello lowered his hand, looking towards Aya.
"Did you hurt anyone?"
Farfarello stared at him for a moment before shaking his head once. Aya arched a brow as if he didn't believe him, but didn't comment.
"Farfarello," Ken said quietly, "why did you do that? Why did you.. save me?"
Farfarello turned away dismissively, reaching down to pluck up a piece of the broken crate and sliding it into his belt like a clumsy sword. "I'm hungry. I'm going back," he said, ignoring the question, and started back towards the flower shop.
Aya and Ken exchanged a helpless look, then slowly followed him.
Ken reached up again to touch his scar, biting his lip.
'He called me a clutz,' he thought dazedly. 'Is this what being off the medicine does to him?'
In his mind's eye he saw again that blur of white, shoving past Aya and diving from the rooftop.
'Does it make him more human?'
A Vampire isn't Human, Farfarello reminded him, almost coolly.
Ken realized he had let that thought slip into the telepathic net, and quickly silenced his mind. The two assassins followed the scarred Vampire down the alley and out into the sunlight without speaking-- a strange sight for the woman lounging in a windowsill above, watching their every move.
"I see you've learned to control your 'Gift' more or less," Crawford remarked dryly from the bedroom doorway.
Aya looked up quickly from where he was seated on his bed, lighting the candles lined up on his windowsill one by one with just a pointed index finger and a thought. "What are you doing here?" he demanded, face hard.
The older man sipped calmly on his wine cooler. "Living here, last time I checked."
Aya had to bite his tongue to keep back a short retort. He turned his back stiffly on the other man and continued to light the candles from across the room. Crawford watched for a moment in silence before taking a step into the room. Aya shot him a glare at this invasion of his privacy. Never had he thought one of the cursed members of Schwarz would be under his roof, much less crossing the very threshold to his bedroom. "I don't remember inviting you," he said coolly.
"Neither do I," Crawford remarked, arching a brow. "But I need to talk to you."
"I have nothing to say to you," Aya declared, turning from him dismissively once more.
"I think you do." Crawford strode over to the desk by the window and set his bottle down. He turned and leaned against the edge of the desk, arms crossed as he gazed impassively at the glowering young man on the bed. "Schuldich managed to pick some of what happened this morning out of Hidaka's mind, but it was garbled with his own disbelief about something that looked like a rescue of some sort. I need you to clear some things up for me."
Aya glared frostily at him. "You're not just going to get your lackey to pick it out of my head?" he asked acidly.
Crawford's mouth quirked in a sardonic grin. "I could do that," he admitted. "But I'm hoping you'll cooperate and it won't have to come to that."
Aya lifted a finger, and the candle closest to Crawford's elbow lit up suddenly with a three-inch flame. Crawford tactfully scooted over an inch, away from the flame, his expression never changing. "Do you mind?"
"I want you out of my room."
"Do you want me to get Schuldich?"
Aya's eyes narrowed to slits. "Don't threaten me," he said in a low voice.
"I shouldn't have to," Crawford said in clipped tones.
Aya rose and headed for the door.
Crawford intercepted him in three long strides. "I don't appreciate it when people walk away when I'm talking to them," he informed the younger man coldly, ducking a split second later.
The blow he had forseen swung wild over his head, and he reached up, snatching the thin wrist in an almost painful grip, glaring right into the angry man's eyes. "Don't be a child, Fujimiya."
"Let GO of me," Aya snarled furiously, trying to wrench free.
"Why do you think Farfarello saved Hidaka?"
Aya paused, a little thrown by the unexpected question. "What are you talking about?"
Crawford shook his head slightly, the light flashing on his glasses. "Like we said earlier-- without his drugs, Farfarello gets back some of what he lost to insanity. Clarity of thought, more vivid emotions... but also his bloodlust."
"I don't see what-"
Crawford bulled on as if he hadn't heard Aya speak. "Farfarello is a murderer and a Vampire. He is perhaps one of the most bloodthirsty of his kind, aside from this Tokyo Lord. Especially on his medication- because of the dementia it brings on. But Farfarello wasn't born a Vampire, he was Turned. That means that some of what's left of Farfarello's human side is still inside him. And humans have very strong emotions-- love... and hate."
Aya stared up at him blankly, his hand limp in Crawford's firm hold. "What does any of this have to do with Ken?" he demanded at last.
"You had better keep an eye on Hidaka," Crawford said quietly. "This 'pet' fascination Farfarello has could get out of control. It could make him think Hidaka means something to him, when really he's just confused by his previously buried emotions. With all this confusion and possessiveness, things could get dangerous for Siberian when Farfarello begins to take his meds again."
Aya's heart sped up a notch in sudden fear for his partner. "Has he already taken the meds?"
"Nagi is getting them now. I suggest you warn Hidaka."
Aya scowled at him. "Why are you telling me this? Why should you care what happens to Ken? Or Farfarello for that matter."
Crawford's eyes narrowed slightly. "I care nothing about what could happen to Hidaka, other than the fact that as a Healer he is useful to us all. And whether you believe it or not, Farfarello is--"
Someone in the doorway cleared their throat. "Am I interrupting something?"
They both turned their heads to stare at the man in the doorway.
Schuldich waggled his brows at them, visibly trying to fight off a grin. "I can come back later," he offered innocently.
Aya yanked his hand from Crawford's loosened grasp and shoved past the smirking German. "Get out of my way," he snarled before stalking off down the hall.
"Yare yare," Schuldich sighed, scratching his head as he watched the fuming man leave with appreciative eyes. "A pity he's such a stick in the mud. Have you caught a glimpse of that ass?"
"I doubt that's all you're looking at," Crawford said drolly, brushing past. "Keep your eyes in your head, Schuldich."
"Why? Is he already spoken for?" Schuldich leered suggestively.
Crawford flicked him an unamused look. "No, but you are," he reminded him shortly.
Schuldich glared at him. "Oi-"
"Better not let Kudou catch you ogling his teammate," Crawford advised as he headed for the stairs. "He might castrate you in your sleep."
Schuldich watched him go in furious silence for a moment before turning his glare on the unoffending wall.
How dare that pompous ass suggest he, Schuldich, was under the thumb of some slutty boy? No one owned him. He didn't "belong" to anyone, and he wasn't "with" anyone. Kudou was.. just a good fuck. Nothing more. And Kudou had better fucking realize that, too; if he began to think the wrong thing... began to think there was something between them...
He offered a cruel smirk to no one.
The minute Kudou began to think like that, he was going to find himself with an empty spot in his bed.
Crawford walked in on an already flustered and short-tempered Aya arguing with Yohji about something. He didn't care to pay much attention; he suspected it had something to do with Schuldich anyway. Aya must have finally put two and two together. He was yelling, now. Something about Kudou being a slut. Uh oh.
Crawford's precognition twitched, and he leaned his head calmly to the side as a blast of fire shot by, crashing into the cabinet.
He lowered his wine cooler and turned with raised eyebrows.
Yohji was staring at Aya, stunned, his left sleeve charred. Aya was shakily lowering the hand he had been pointing accusingly at the other man, his eyes wide with horror.
As Manx had warned him, his power had slipped from his control in his anger.
Finally Yohji seemed to snap to awareness. "Aya, you asshole!" he shouted. "You almost killed me!" Shoving the man violently aside, he stormed from the room, afraid he would hurt Aya in his fury.
Aya stumbled, and Crawford's hand fell lightly on his shoulder, steadying him. Aya yanked away, a little unsteady on his feet, his face still torn with dumb surprise and sick horror.
He looked up at Crawford and shook his head almost accusingly. "This isn't a 'Gift'," he rasped. "It's a curse."
Crawford lifted his wine cooler in ironic agreement. "Now you're beginning to understand," he said simply.
Aya blinked up at him dumbly. Crawford calmly tossed his empty bottle in the trash and pulled something from his pocket. As he made his exit, he dropped it in Aya's hands. "For luck," he said drolly, and disappeared from the room.
Aya looked down and opened his hands, half expecting to find some sort of gag.
It was a slim dagger, the thin, short type that could be hidden in a boot.
Instinctively he knew it was silver, and turned quickly, but Crawford was already gone.
"Why did you save me?"
Farfarello glanced up from where he was busy carving a sharpened stake out of the piece of wood he'd brought from the alley. He watched Ken for a long moment, then returned silently to his work, slashing with an expert's grip at the wood with his razor sharp knife.
Ken hesitated in the bathroom doorway, watching, before clearing his throat and looking around in a business-like manner. "Did you really plan on living in the bathroom for the rest of the time you're here?"
Farfarello lifted his gaze to stare at Ken in stony silence.
Ken quailed. "I mean, you're not insane anymore, right? At least.. now that you're, uh, not on your meds. It's kind of inhumane to keep a sane guy locked up in the commode 24/7, don't you think?"
"You trust me?"
Ken blinked at the quiet question. "Well... I don't know. I guess... a little... I mean...." he faltered.
Farfarello rose gracefully to his feet to face the fidgeting boy. "You shouldn't," he advised calmly.
Ken scowled. "Oh, please. I don't trust you like a brother or anything. I just... trust that you won't kill me. Us."
"Right the first time, maybe," Farfarello mused, his eye roving over Ken's shoulder towards the hallway. "The others..."
Ken bristled. "You had better not hurt them, Farfarello," he said angrily. "If you touch them, I'll-"
Farfarello's full lips quirked in a slight, eerie smile, his golden eye glinting with amusement. "You're not frightened when you're mad," he observed quietly.
Ken stared at him.
Farfarello seemed to lose interest in him, inspecting the stake in hand.
"Look," Ken sighed, "will you quit trying to piss me off? Is that a hobby for you?"
Ken glowered at the pale man. "Well quit it. Here I am, trying to be nice-"
"I didn't ask for your pity," Farfarello said shortly, his eye glittering dangerously.
"I don't pity you," Ken said quickly. Liar, his mind murmured. "Do you really like sleeping on this tile floor that much?"
Farfarello seemed vaguely amused. "And where else would you have a Vampire sleep?"
Ken tried to ignore that. "In my room."
Farfarello finally looked up at him, arching a brow.
"Not like THAT," Ken said hastily, flushing. "I mean... you can have my bed. I'll sleep somewhere else or something. I.. kinda owe you one now. For saving me. Which reminds me, you never answered--"
"My pet should sleep with me," Farfarello said calmly, turning his attention back to his stake. "At the foot of the bed, or in a little basket, perhaps..."
"You must think you're pretty damn funny," Ken snapped. "If I'd known the real you was a smartass.."
Farfarello didn't look at him, picking a splinter from his stake. "You are what you live with."
Ken opened his mouth, closed it again, then sighed. "So what is the real you?" he asked in exasperation. "The meds make you insane, the Vampire makes you a bloodthirsty killer, and your teammates managed to influence your sick sense of humor. What's the old you like?" He remembered suddenly the Vampire on the roof. "What was Jei like?" he asked abruptly.
Farfarello's head snapped up at the name, and he half-raised the stake as if he intended to use it on Ken. Ken took a step back, startled.
Farfarello lowered the stake with obvious reluctance, his eye narrowed dangerously. "Never speak that name again," he growled quietly. "Where did you hear that?"
"A-another Vampire," Ken stammered, confused at the man's reaction to his human name. "What-"
"I'll sleep in here," Farfarello said crisply, and sat himself back down on the cold floor, carving the stake again with his glittering knife.
Na, chibi, are you bothering Farfie again? Schuldich's voice seeped into Ken's mind in a private message. Better leave the old grump alone before he decides to decorate the bathroom with your entrails. He chuckled.
Stay out of it, Schuldich. Farfarello's mental voice was like a whip. Schuldich fell silent in shock.
Ken stared at Farfarello, his eyes wide.
That message had been a private one, soley from the German to Ken.
How had Farfarello heard it??
Lyrics are from Evanesence's "Whisper"
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