Part Nine: Considerations and Possessions

    Suddenly the man arched, as if in pain, and collapsed to the ground with a heavy thud. Farfarello registered the thought that the man was dead at the same time he noticed someone had just entered the apartment. Apparently the man had not locked his door.

    Schuldich flicked his long hair over his shoulder, swinging the door shut behind him. "You know, Farfarello, as long as you decided to pick up a date, you could have picked an attractive one." He crouched beside the man's form, taking hold of his hair to lift his face. "You have no taste."

    Farfarello didn't answer. He gazed down at Schuldich, lifting one hand to wipe the back of it across his mouth. His mouth tasted funny now that that man had kissed it.

    Schuldich stood then and returned Farfarello's gaze, letting silence stretch between them as they both thought. Finally the German stepped towards Farfarello, one hand lifting and moving towards Farfarello's face. The Irishman's lips thinned at the thought of being touched by hands that had touched that Weiß man but he did not move away. His teammate cupped his chin in long fingers as jade eyes scanned his face.

    "You do not know what sodomy is, so you just went home with anyone to find out?"

    "It does not matter."

    Schuldich allowed himself a faint smirk. "Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't."

    Farfarello pulled Schuldich's hand free and brushed past him, sparing a glance for the corpse on his way towards the door. And now the man was dead, so he would not learn. Instead he was being forced back into a position where he would have to deal with Schuldich and _that man_. Briefly he wondered if Schuldich had brought him along. If he was here, Farfarello might just lose control and have to kill him.

    He had his hand on the knob and was starting to open it when a hand reached past him, shoving it back shut. Farfarello turned to face Schuldich once more. He was being studied again, though he didn't know what there was for Schuldich to wonder over. They had known each other for several years. Schuldich had seen him enough in that time. Nothing had changed about him. So what was Schuldich thinking about?

    "He's not out there," the German said in response to Farfarello's thoughts on the Weiß assassin. Farfarello digested this, mulling over it. Schuldich continued. "He won't be out there anymore."

    Farfarello didn't understand and frowned.

    "I've grown tired of him," Schuldich said with a faint smirk, turning away and taking hold of one of the corpse's hands. He dragged the man across the room, bringing him from the apartment entrance to the kitchen. His voice carried behind him. "He makes the same mistake as Crawford."

    Farfarello understood that reference. A couple years ago, Schuldich attempted to seduce Crawford. It hadn't succeeded- Crawford wasn't interested in Schuldich, and Schuldich realized that sleeping together would change nothing. Crawford would still be the untouchable leader, the one who gave demands and dictated everything. Schuldich refused to have his life read out to him. Apparently the Weiß had tried to tell Schuldich what to do.

    News of the broken fling was met with a dark wave of satisfaction.

    Schuldich returned and approached Farfarello. The teenager watched him approach, feeling all hostility for the white assassin fade now that he was not a threat.

    A what?

    Schuldich reached towards him again, fingers ghosting across his face. "You do not think highly of his kiss?" he asked at last, referring to the dead man. Farfarello gazed back in silence. Schuldich considered this. "Perhaps he did not do it right."

    Saying so, he ducked forward. Farfarello lifted a hand as if to stop him, but Schuldich easily snagged it and pulled it aside. Then Schuldich's mouth was on his, hot and demanding. Farfarello's thoughts evaporated as he froze under the kiss. His fingers twitched helplessly as Schuldich ate at him, Schuldich's mouth coaxing him to follow the leader and learn. Then a hand was on him, sliding across smooth skin to make Farfarello's nerves jump.

    He uttered a quiet sound of protest, free hand grabbing Schuldich's wrist. Why did the contact bother him so? There was something about it, something so very foreign yet so very familiar, stirring a feeling he recognized. It was the same nameless feeling that had haunted him for years after brief contact with his older teammate. This time it was stronger, however, and he could feel a soft pushing at his mind, a voice telling him that now it was going to happen. Now something was going to change, it had to change.

    Schuldich withdrew and Farfarello realized then just how out of breath he was, as if Schuldich had sucked the very air from his lungs. He gasped for air, staring at the man's face. Schuldich released Farfarello's wrist, fingers rising to touch Farfarello's lips before tapping against his own. "You taste different," he mused, "than I thought you would. You taste different than everyone else."

    Farfarello raised his free hand, intending to rub his lips to ease the tingling there. Instead, his fingers moved of their own free will to touch Schuldich's mouth instead. He traced them with a detached fascination, amber eye following the movements as Schuldich gazed at him.

    ~You are gone, Weiß,~ he thought now, finally understanding what was going on. ~Now he is mine.~


    "Maa~," Yohji sighed, running the back of a hand across his forehead. "This is too much work."

    Ken laughed from where he was propped against the doorframe. "If you didn't slack off so much at work, you might be used to this, Yohji!" the boy taunted.

    Yohji made a fist at him before flopping down on the couch. The previous owner of this apartment had left some of the finer furniture behind, as he had inherited one of his relative's already furnished house- or so the landlord told him. This couch was soft enough to be a bed. Yohji briefly considered the thought of taking up dating again to try out the couch, but found the mental images uninteresting.

    No...He'd had his share of women, he supposed. What he ached for now was men.

    Ken dropped onto the couch beside him, stretching and yawning noisily. "What are you thinking about, Yohji?" he asked, blinking wide-eyed at his friend.

    Yohji studied Ken's face. "You're a man..."


    Had he said that aloud? Yohji laughed, waving a hand in dismissal. "Eto...Nothing, Ken." Eesh...

    Ken raised an eyebrow at him. "You're weird, Yohji."

    "Look who's talking."

    Ken rolled his eyes, pushing himself to his feet. "How long did that lady say it would take before the air conditioning would be fixed?" he asked, running a hand through his hair. "I'm hot already, and there are still more boxes in the car downstairs..."

    Yohji winced at the reminder of the work ahead of them. The one downside to this apartment was that the air conditioner was broken. The previous owner had ordered another, but it had yet to arrive. "A few days," he said.

    "Well, we can always relax in my room after we finish unloading," Ken said thoughtfully, tapping his chin before turning towards the door. Ken had found his apartment first. Yohji had liked it so much that he had looked for another room in the same building. It so happened that the only other empty one was the one right next door to Ken's. Yohji didn't mind. With Weiß reaching the end of its frayed thread, who knew how easy it would be to keep in contact with each other?

    "Are you coming, Yohji?" Ken called over his shoulder, already on his way to the door.

    "I don't suppose you'll be nice and just carry them all up?"

    Ken made a face at him. "In your dreams, Yohji!"

    Yohji sighed heavily and stood, following after Ken to the elevator. Yohji had left his car unlocked, and they both loaded up with more of Yohji's boxes. They waited in the lobby for the elevator to return, boxes by their feet. "There is a God," Yohji declared as the elevator doors whisked open. He used a foot to shove the box in and stepped in behind it. Ken followed suit. "If there wasn't, we would have to use the stairs."

    Ken shook his head. "Yohji...You're impossible."

    "I know."

    It took two more trips before the other boxes were upstairs. Ken dropped his final one on the couch, scrubbing at his forehead. "Jeez...You own too much stuff, Yohji. How can you have so many boxes?" He rapped his knuckles on the lid. "I bet half of these are clothes."


    "Gah..." Ken started out of the room, tugging at his shirt. He draped it over an arm when it was free and stopped in the doorway to look back at Yohji. "I'm going over to my place where the air is actually cool. Are you coming?"

    Yohji didn't answer, allowing himself to study Ken. Consider sleeping with Ken? Maybe. Gazing at the boy's finely chiseled chest brought memories of Schuldich to mind and he shifted, stemming the flow of warmth that tingled in his fingertips. Schuldich had said he wasn't in it for the long run, and Yohji understood that. He and Schuldich were of the same type, people used to brief encounters with faceless people. Apparently, Farfarello was of the other kind, the kind that sought for long-term relationships.

    Ken seemed to be of that type as well. Yohji didn't think Ken would even consider a fling. That time, with that girl...Yuriko? It had only lasted a handful of days, but Ken had given his all to it. He had intended to make it last.

    To consider sleeping with Ken was to consider staying with him for some time.

    ~Could I stay with you long-term? Could I make it work?~

    ~Would I want it to?~

    He lifted his eyes to Ken's face, studying the confused eyes. These were the eyes he knew, the eyes of Hidaka Ken. Ken- the man he had known for so many years, the man he had killed with, the man he had laughed with. To take these steps towards Ken, he would have to move slowly and carefully. He did not want to ruin the friendship a relationship would be founded on.



    "I asked if you were coming."

    ~Am I?~

    Yohji offered a faint smile. "I'll think about it."

    Ken blinked, then threw his hands in the air. "I give up trying to understand you," he declared as he exited the room. Yohji remained where he was for several moments, mind racing. This would change everything.

    But everything was changing already.

    ~Yes, Schuldich...I'll think about it...~

    "Hai, Ken, I'm coming," Yohji said aloud to the empty air.

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