This fic is for Mami-san, because I told her I'd write a fic on this couple if she would do a fic on the couple of my choice. Enjoy, Mami-baka =p
"Crawling" belongs to Linkin Park. not me =p otherwise i'd be rich~ la~
"Weiß Kreuz" obviously doesn't belong to me, either. -_- damn

"...Why are you helping me?" Even through the pain, his voice was biting.
"Are you always this grateful?"
"Keep away from me." Weaker. He could hear it in his own voice, and struggled to keep a grasp on consciousness, unable to put up a fight as arms wrapped around his torso and hauled him away from the bodies, the gravel grinding against his lower back painfully, his blood staining the white rocks nearly black in the moonlight.

// Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real \\

"Nngh.." Blood sliding into his eyes... He blinked, shaking his head lethargically in a weak attempt to prevent it. The hands shifted, got a better grip, and pulled. He was sliding over grass and dirt, behind the bushes and away from the massacre he had created.
Finally the movement stopped, and he was released, falling softly back, resting his head on the grass and staring upwards at the foliage of the trees of the park. The park? Oh... Yes, there had been a park across the street, hadn't there? The others... why weren't they calling for him? It was past the time he should have finished.
He raised his hand, which seemed heavy, up to his earpiece, clearing his throat to call to his team mates. A gloved hand clamped over his own, and he darted his eyes to the side, gazing into calm brown eyes, a nearby streetlamp glinting off the rim of thin-framed glasses. "I don't think so, Weiß," he said smoothly, and Aya growled in frustration as his hand was pinned easily to the ground and the earpiece was tugged free and tossed carelessly into the brush. "You made quite a mess out of yourself, little cat." The voice was laced with dry humor, and Aya had to fight to keep himself from leaping for the smirking man's throat.
"You... what do you want?" his voice was raspy, and he could taste copper on his tongue. "If you're going to kill me, get it over with, Schwarz."
One elegant eyebrow arched in derision. "If I'd wanted you dead, I would have left you there to bleed to death," he informed the helpless man coolly. "You're far more useful alive, Weiß. You do our dirty work for us, remember? Those men you just butchered were an annoyance to Taketori." He gave a faint smile at the sudden stiffness of his enemy at the mention of the older man. "Congratulations, you just aided Taketori. As you have before without knowing." The taller man straightened and climbed to his feet, glancing around, the front of his suit stained with Aya's blood.
Aya tried to say something, but a sudden coughing attack had him rolling partially onto his side as he hacked up spittle and blood. The leader of Schwarz hesitated before turning back and crouching, placing a hand on Aya's shoulder and pushing slightly, keeping him on his side so that he didn't choke on the blood. When the coughing had subsided Aya shot the older man a wary look, wiping his mouth with the back of a trembling hand. "What do you want?" he repeated, forcing back another cough. "Get away from me, I don't need your help."
"Really." Crawford seemed unimpressed as he released the other man, letting him sink onto his back wearily. He rose again, dusting himself off calmly. "Try not to die," he said mockingly, "and don't go anywhere." Then he was gone, striding off purposefully.
As soon as he was gone Aya struggled to rise to a sitting position, hissing with pain and wrapping an arm around the gash in his abdomen, coughing harshly. But he refused to wait for that Schwarz scum to reappear with the rest of his men. After several faulty tries he finally succeeded in getting to his feet, leaning heavily on a tree for support. Coughing and gasping for breath, he fought down the rush of dizziness and put one foot determidely in front of the other, staggering towards the bushes where his earpiece had been thrown.

// There's something inside me that pulls beneath the surface
Consuming, confusing
This lack of self-control, I fear is never-ending
Controlling, I can't seem

To find myself again
My walls are closing in
(Without a sense of confidence and I'm convinced
That there's just too much pressure to take)
I've felt this way before
So insecure \\

"Well, well, look what the cat dragged in."
The lazy, purring voice caused Aya to freeze, gripping a low tree limb as he looked around frantically for the source of the voice. "Who's there?" he demanded, coughing. His katana.. where was it? Had he left it in the lot?
A figure emerged from the shadows, the moonlight making his wide grin seem almost demonic. "Guess who, Weiß," the taller man sang softly, stepping into sight. Aya clenched his teeth in recognition.
The flame-haired German laughed slightly, eyes hooded as he strolled forward leisurely, hands thrust in his pockets. "I saw what you did back there with those men," he drawled. "Nice work. Farfarello would have loved to watch..."
"Get away from me, you freak," Aya snarled, lashing out as soon as the assassin got close enough.
Schuldich dodged nimbly out of reach, seizing the fist and grinning wickedly. "Nuh uh... naughty kitty. Do you know how long I've waited to get one of you disgusting little boys at my mercy? This is almost too good. I'm a little sick of taking Taketori's anger for the times you botch things up... You especially, little red kitty."
Aya strained, trying to yank his arm free, but the jerky movements send flares of pain from his wound and throughout his body. He gasped sharply as Schuldich moved, shoving him roughly into a tree, leering at the look of strained pain on the slim boy's pale face. He seized both of Aya's wrists in one hand, jerking his arms up to pin his hands above his head, gripping Aya's chin roughly in his free hand and grinning insanely down at his narrowed eyes. "Don't you worry, Weiß, I'm going to send you back to your little buddies. But I'm going to send you back in little itty bitty bite sized pieces so they can all share. Isn't that nice of me? Farfarello's going to help... aren't you, Farfie?"
Aya sent a quick, alarmed glance to the side, helpless to do anything in his weak condition. There was the slightest rustle of grass and the crazed Irishman stepped into the moonlight, his single amber eye locked on his prey with the relentless lust for blood. He was gripping a long, wickedly curved knife in one hand, his grip on the handle so tight his knuckles were white.
"See that?" Schuldich said pleasantly. "He's going to carve out your eyes with that. That way you can't see the rest of the things we do to you." Aya could only watch the Irishman advance, unable to tear his eyes away from the fearsome sight. He knew his heart was pounding but refused to acknowledge it as fear, swallowing hard and narrowing his eyes defiantly. "And then," Schuldich continued happily, tightening his grip on Aya's slim wrists painfully, "He's going to slice you up very slowly and let you bleed to death while I..." he traced his free hand down Aya's torso and pressed heavily against the waistband of his pants, causing Aya's gaze to shoot back to him. He grinned widely, "..make you bleed from the *inside*."

// Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real \\

Aya brought up his knee, shoving forward with all the strength he had left, trying to throw the German off-balance.
Schuldich laughed harshly, knocking Aya's blow aside easily with his own leg and driving his fist into his captive's stomach, just above his wound.
Aya gave a soundless cry of agony, his vision flooded with white as he doubled over, unable to draw in breath, his body screaming in pain. He was dimmly aware that he was connecting with the ground in a rough way, and fought for air, gasping in the life-giving element and fighting back tears of pain as he groaned, slowly becoming aware of what was going on around him.
He was on his back, with Farfarello crouching near his head, eye gleaming madly, knife held at the ready while Schuldich kneeled by Aya's feet, yanking impatiently at the button to his pants.
"Y-yamero," Aya gasped, struggling, trying to kick Schuldich in the head. What felt like a blow to his head caused him to arch his back with agony. Schulich smirked as his mind attack caused the Weiß member to go limp. "Hurry it up, Farf," he urged. "Cut out those pretty purple peepers and you can keep 'em in a jar to look at. That'll piss God off. That'll make him cry."
"I'm going to hurt God," Farfarello breathed in Aya's face, gripping his face roughly with one hand and tapping the tip of his blade right below his prisoner's eye. "So hold still."
Aya couldn't deny the sudden rush of panic that flooded through him, and he gasped back a painful sob of fury and shelplessness, squeezing his eyes shut and striking at the Irishman with his fists. The strange young man seemed unaffected by the blows, managing to capture one of Aya's arms and trapping it under his knee painfully, prying his eyelids open and laughing eerily. Schuldich was yanking on his pants, muttering curses as they caught around Aya's knees. "Hurry it up, Farf," he snapped. "But stuff something in his mouth; I don't want the cops to hear him screaming and come ruin our fun." He fumbled with the zipper on his own pants.
Farfarello obliged silently, ripping a piece of his shirt off and balling it up, prying Aya's mouth open with his blade. Aya twisted his head away, coughing hoarsely, the blade slicing into his cheek. He could feel his strength sapping. For the first time in his entire career with Weiß he wished desperately that his team mates were around. That he could call out just once for help...
Aya-chan! He couldn't die, he had to live for Aya-chan!
"Hanase..! Hanase yo!!" he shouted hoarsely, tossing his head as Farfarello growled in irritaion, grabbing a fistful of hair to stop his struggles.
"Hold him still," Schuldich hissed. "Shut him up!"
"Kisama--!" He bit into one of Farfarello's hands hard enough to draw blood.
Farfarello shook his hand free impatiently, completely unfazed, and dealt Aya a vicious blow to his temple.
Everything spun and started to fade, and Aya blinked groggily, a moan forcing its way free as he fought to keep from passing out.
"Don't knock him out," Schuldich snarled. "I want him awake for this, liebe. Now carve out his damn eyes."
"Aa," Farfarello said agreeably, and Aya could only blink dazedly as the Irishman raised the knife with steady hands.

// Discomfort, endlessly has pulled itself upon me
Distracting, reacting
Against my will I stand beside my own reflection
It's haunting how I can't seem...

To find myself again
My walls are closing in
(Without a sense of confidence and I'm convinced
That there's just too much pressure to take)
I've felt this way before
So insecure \\

"What's going on here?"
The cold, quiet voice seemed to make everything come to a screeching halt. Aya blinked several times, dragging himself stubbornly from the edge of darkness as Farfarello's blade hesitated, his one mad eye flicking to the side. At his feet, Aya felt Schuldich go still and heard him murmur a German curse.
Aya twisted his head to the side, trying to see past the Irishman crouching beside him. The name was out of his mouth before he could stop it, a breathy whisper of surprise. "Crawford..."
Crawford was standing on the fringe of the trees, staring at the scene with a straight face, though his eyes were narrowed dangerously. Aya's eyes travelled to the object he was holding in his left hand and felt a twinge of disbelief. A first aid kit..?
"What are you two doing here?" Crawford demanded slowly. "I thought I told you to stay at the hotel."
Aya flicked a frantic glance towards the silent Irishman beside him. Then... he hadn't sent them??
"Just having a little fun," Schuldich said flippantly, but as Aya raised his head to look down at him, he saw the wary look in the German's normally mocking jade eyes as he released his victim's pants and rose to his feet gracefully, not bothering to button his own pants. Farfarello flicked his gaze from Crawford to Schuldich, then back to his leader, but he did not move, holding the knife edge threateningly against Aya's bleeding cheek.
"Get back to the hotel." Crawford's cold voice had a tone of finality. "Now."
Schulich's lips curved in a sneer of derision, his eyes flashing in defiance, but he managed to hold his tongue with difficulty, calmly zipping and buttoning his pants, gaze still locked challengingly with the older man's.
Farfarello remained where he was. Aya held his breath, watching the whole scene with a pounding heart. All he could think about was Aya-chan opening her eyes, joyful to be awake, and asking for her brother.
He couldn't die. He couldn't! He had to stay alive for that day.
To see his sister... when she finally woke up.
Finally the staring contest between Crawford and Schuldich concluded; the German looked away with a toss of his head and a "ch'!" as he straightened his pants and turned his back contempteously. "Fine, then. Have fun with the kitten, Crawford. Try not to let him claw your eyes out."
The American ignored him, turning his piercing gaze on the immobile man still crouched by Aya's head. "Farfarello." His voice was commanding. "Go home."
Farfarello bared his teeth wildly, his eye lighting with furious defiance. His blade pressed against Aya's pale skin, and he winced.
"Liebe." Schuldich's voice was unusually sharp and loud. "Leave it," he growled, glancing over his shoulder at his companion. "We'll go hurt God another way tonight."
There was a long moment of tense silence as Farfarello glared at the silent German, seeming to debate with his options. He flicked a glance back towards Crawford's hard countenance and finally rose fluidly, sliding the knife into his belt deftly and turning an unreadable look on his leader before striding silently after the retreating German. Aya lifted his head, watching them leave.
Finally they were gone, and there was no sound but the sound of Aya's own heartbeat thudding in his ears and his raspy breaths.

// Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real \\

Aya let his head sag onto the grass, closing his eyes tightly as his entire body began to tremble violently with the aftermath. He fought to control it, savagely pushing back the almost-painful relief and panic in his mind.
Crawford's expensive shoes crunched on dead leaves as he walked over, and Aya opened his eyes slowly as the older man crouched beside him, studying him with emotionless brown eyes, the first aid kit on the ground by his knee. "You look like shit," he offered calmly.
"Fuck you, Crawford," Aya sighed, closing his eyes and turning his head away. Slowly his heartbeat was slowing down and the trembling was subsiding. Aya couldn't keep the sarcasm from his voice, trying to hide his relief at seeing the American. "You need better friends."
"That was a personal thing, not business," Crawford said shortly, opening the kit and rummaging for bandages. "Schuldich and Farfarello are slaves to their anger and their hatred. They saw you as an easy target to vent it all on because they cannot get the man who causes all this pain for them."
Aya opened his eyes again, attempting to push himself up weakly as Crawford's hand on his upper back pushed him into a sitting position. "Who?" he asked, pricked with curiosity despite himself.
"Taketori, of course," Crawford answered smoothly, finding the antiseptic tube and popping open the lid. He ignored Aya's wide-eyed stare, changing the subject. "You seemed unusually happy to see me, Weiß. Did you miss me?"
Aya glared daggers at the older man. "Don't be stupid," he growled. "I didn't need your help."
"Ah, of course. You were handling things nicely."
Aya glared mutely, unwilling to admit that he'd needed help desperately.
"Hold still," Crawford commanded, wiping at a cut above Aya's eye with a damp cotton. Aya flinched, glancing uneasily up at him.
"Why..are you doing this?" he demanded sullenly.
"I told you. Your team is more useful to us alive."
"So why didn't you let me call the others?" Aya shot a look towards the bushes where his earpiece was hidden. A sudden, unhappy thought occured to him, and before he could stop himself, make himself realize that he didn't want to consider it, he blurted, "Because they wouldn't have made it in time?"
Crawford made no reply, tossing the bloodied cottonball aside and pulling scissors from the kit, peeling Aya's bloodied shirt from his torso. "Hold still," he said shortly, and began cutting the shirt up the front. Aya sat still and watched, his mouth glued shut, his mind in a turmoil.
Crawford held up the two sides of the cut shirt, inspecting Aya's abdomen wound with emotionless eyes. "You're going to need to get to a doctor," he stated, reaching for the gauze and bandages. "Soon."
"I need to call Weiß," Aya said stubbornly. "So they can get me to the doctor."
Crawford raised his eyes to meet Aya's stoney gaze. "They're twenty minutes from here," he reminded the younger man. "The hospital is only ten minutes away." He pulled a cell phone from his jacket pocket and handed it over. "Call the hospital, tell them to send an ambulance. Then you can tell your precious team mates to meet you there if you're going to be so stubborn about it." He returned to his task, putting pressure on the wound and wrapping it tightly to try and stop the bleeding. Aya gasped with pain at Crawford's quick, rough ministrations as he gave directions to the doctor on the line, and handed the phone back with shakey hands when he was finished.
Crawford wiped blood off his hands on Aya's shirt and rose to his feet, kicking the first aid kit aside and leaning over to grasp Aya's arms, pulling him slowly to his feet. Aya gritted his teeth and hissed with the pain, but forced himself to rise. As soon as he found his feet they tried to give out on him, and he found he had no choice but to lean heavily on the taller man. He flushed with humiliation; he was helpess and depending on Crawford, and both men knew it.
Crawford paused for a moment to let Aya get his bearings, holding onto Aya's shoulders as the smaller man sagged against him, collecting his scant strength, body shuddering slightly with the effort to hold back the pain. Crawford blinked as Aya's hot breath fell on his neck. "If my team is so damn important alive," he whispered, "why am I the only one you ever bother to help?"
Crawford didn't respond, and Aya closed his eyes, trying to dispell his dizziness as he swallowed hard.
"You've watched as my team mates have been nearly killed or cornered over and over," he said hoarsely. "But two months ago you shot that man.."
Crawford frowned slightly. That man...? Oh. The guard who had exploded from hiding on one of Weiß's missions and tried to shoot Aya from behind. He had fired without thought, filled with a calm, deadly indignation that such a punk would try to take the life of the one who he alone had the right to kill.
"And other times..." Aya pushed back slightly, untrusting eyes skimming over the American's expressionless face.
Crawford's mouth twitched just the slightest.
Ordering Schuldich to pressure Aya into turning away from a room that would have resulted in a bloodbath... Calmly dispatching a man who had been stalking an unwitting Aya while leaving Kudou to fight against three guards... Other times. Always he had given a chilling smirk and a promise to finish Weiß off when Aya turned to him. But...
Why did he save him again and again? He had said it was so he himself would have the pleasure of killing the redhead.
And here he was, helpless, unarmed, and pressed against him and it was just now occuring to him that he could solve a lot of problems if he were to simply take his gun from its holster and press it to that pretty pale throat. Pull the trigger, take out the leader of Weiß. Simple.
Aya was staring dully up at him, his voice a breath of air. "Are you going to kill me now, Crawford?" he asked. There was no fear in his eyes, only heavy acceptance and expectancy. He hung limply in the older man's grasp and stared death in the face unflinching. Crawford stared back at him, mouth a straight line, and said nothing.
He could kill him.
Kill him where he stood and forget there had ever been a Ran Fujimiya.
But what was the fun in that?

// Crawling in my skin
These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real \\

He glanced to the side, towards the road, as the sound of sirens penetrated the night, growing louder as the ambulance arrived. He smirked a little and gazed down at the redhead, tracing a finger along the pale throat. "Cats are supposed to have nine lives," he said. "I think you're on your ninth, little Weiß. And aren't you reserving that one for *her*?"
Aya's breath caught in his throat, his eyes widening slightly. "..Wha..."
Crawford shifted, tugging Aya's pants up firmly around his hips and buttoning them, pulling the zipper up, feeling an unasked for flash of smouldering anger as he recalled what Schuldich had been ready to do. He felt Aya's fingers tighten on his arms instinctively and the shudder that went through the slim body revealed his own loathing and disgust towards the German at the memory. If Crawford hadn't stopped them....
Crawford was looking at him again, smirking just the slightest. "If you insist on obsessing about the times I've saved your worthless hide," he said calmly, "then don't you think you owe me?"
Aya blinked, caught off guard, offering a half-hearted glare. "Nani?"
Crawford chuckled, lowering his head so that his bangs hid his eyes, grinning to himself. "Nothing. Hurry up, Weiß, or you're going to miss your ride."
Slender but strong hands clamped suddenly on his shoulders, and he looked down into fierce violet eyes, quirking a brow curiously. "I don't owe you anything," he snarled. "You got that, Schwarz?"
Crawford grinned humorlessly, pulling the pale hands from his shoulders and heading towards the road, tugging the stumbling boy with him. "We'll see, Weiß. Hurry it up."
Aya followed silently, biting his lip as his heart pounded with confusion and frustration.
The ambulance came into view, rushing towards them, sirens blaring, lights spinning.
Cats have nine lives, do they?
"Crawford," he said abruptly, turning a fierce look on the calm American. "I'm not on my ninth life. Don't think I'm going to die so easy, Schwarz."
"Then you're on your eighth," Crawford said agreeably, then reached out suddenly to seize Aya's chin in a strong grip that caused the other man to jump. "So what are you going to do with your eighth life, Aya?" he demanded quietly, eyes boring into the younger assassin's.
Aya stared mutely up at him, unable to tear his eyes away.
Crawford released him, stepping away and flashing an unnerving grin. "Tell me your answer," he offered, "when you've healed. Ja, Weiß."
And he turned and disappeared into the darkness of the park.


"Aya, are you gonna lock up?" Omi shrugged out of his apron, glancing over his shoulder at his friend, who was sweeping behind the counter. "You sure you don't want to get home and rest?"
"I'm fine," Aya grunted, flicking him a Look.
"It's been almost three weeks since the hospital visit, Omittchi," Yohji chuckled, patting his head as he passed, already tugging his cigarettes from his pocket as he headed for the door. "You worry too much."
Ken tossed a soccer ball carelessly from hand to hand, smiling at Omi. "Come on, leave him alone before he bites your head off. Want to come with me to the park? The kids are coming again today."
Omi smiled at him, reaching for his backpack. "No thanks, Ken-kun. I'm going over to a friend's house to study for my science class."
"A friend?" Yohji blinked quizically. "I didn't know you had any friends at school, chibi."
"Yeah, well.." Omi flushed. "We.. have a lot in common. He's new to the school."
"Good for you, Omi," Ken grinned. "I'm glad you're making friends."
Aya merely grunted, reaching for the dustpan.
"You should bring him over sometime," Yohji offered airily, rummaging in his pocket for his lighter. "Let us meet him."
Omi gave a watery smile. "Uhhh.. no, I don't think he would feel comfortable around you guys."
"Why not?" Ken looked mildly offended. "What's wrong with us?"
"Ano..nothing! It's just.. uh... you might not like him."
"Why's that?"
Omi looked flustered. He brushed past his team mates, heading towards the door. "C'mon, you guys, what's with all the questions?? I've got to go, see you later!"
"Oi, Omi, what's the big deal?" Ken hurried outside after him, calling hastily over his shoulder, "Ja, Aya, see you tomorrow!"
Yohji snagged Ken by the sleeve to slow him down, wiggling his fingers at Aya as he, too, left. "Ja, Aya. Oi, koi, slow the hell down, will ya? Jeez..."
"B-baka! Don't call me that around the others," Ken hissed.
The door shut behind them and their voices faded as they hurried off. Aya sighed slightly, bending over to sweep the dirt and trash into the dustpan. As he straightened and carried it over to the trashcan, something on the counter caught his attention. He paused, peering at the cover of the tattered book.
Science II.
Omi's textbook? But hadn't he said...
The bell jingling over the door alerted him to another's entrance, and he frowned to himself as he dumped the garbage into the trashcan, setting the dustpan aside. "We're closed, he called over his shoulder, picking up the textbook and opening it to the front where the student's name was. "Come back tomorr.." his voice trailed off as he stared dumbly at the book. It wasn't Omi's. He must have accidentally picked up his friend's. But this name... Noe? His eyes skimmed reluctantly to the name beside it.
Noe Nagi.
His eyes widened. Masaka... Omi's 'friend' was....
"I'm just here to buy some roses," a quiet, familiar voice interrupted.
Aya went rigid, staring down at the countertop in silence as he felt his heart jump in his chest. He whirled around and stared at the man standing by the door, smirking at him. "C..."
Crawford flicked a stray strand of hair from his face, reaching up to grasp the handle of the metal gate. "If it's closing time why is this still up?" he asked, and pulled it firmly.
Aya could only stand and stare as Crawford calmly pulled the gate down to cover the windows and door, letting it lock at the bottom before straightening and striding purposefully towards him. Aya blinked, seeming to get ahold of himself, and retreated. His back connected with the counter and he grunted a little in surprise, dropping the book to the floor.
"Well?" Crawford asked mildly. "You still owe me, Weiß. I see you lived through the hospital food, which means you're still on your eighth life. Have you decided what to do with it?" He stopped before the younger man, still smirking slightly.
Aya gazed up at him, heart pounding in his ears, and said nothing.
Crawford reached out, tracing one finger lightly along the redhead's jawline, and Aya couldn't suppress a shudder, feeling his face heat up at the feather-light touch. "Wh..."
"So, Weiß, is there a room in the back?" His face was inches from Aya's, his voice a murmur, and something inside of Aya twisted hotly, pushing his trepidition insistantly aside. He swallowed, raising a hand meekly to point.
Crawford grinned, and reached up with his free hand, removing his glasses and setting them carefully to the side. Aya stared up at him. He'd never realized how young Crawford looked. And...
not bad looking.
"Lead the way, kitten," Crawford murmured, moving his mouth close to the other man's ear, lowering his hands to skim over Aya's torso.
Aya reached down and seized his wrists, stopping him, glaring into Crawford's calm gaze. He hesitated.
"This isn't business, Aya," Crawford said calmly. "This is personal."
Aya blinked.
Crawford took advantage of Aya's momentary indecision, leaning in to press his mouth against the younger man's, gently tugging his hands free and resting them against Aya's hips.
Aya gave a little gasp, stiffening in the other's embrace, his eyes shut tight.
But surprisingly, Crawford's mouth was not rough or demanding, but slow and encouraging. His hands on Aya's hips were a light touch, not the fiercely possessive, violent hands of Schuldich.
Was Crawford... offering this?
He had known Crawford expected some sort of payback... but he had been expecting the American to force it out of him.
This was his choice. Crawford was offering a choice.
What are you going to do with your eighth life, Aya?
He lowered his hands, resting them on Crawford's wrists, and took a step back.
Crawford's mouth smiled against Aya's, and he followed as the slender assassin led him towards the back room, out of sight.

// There's something inside me that pulls beneath the surface
Consuming, confusing
This lack of self-control, I fear is never-ending
Controlling \\