Part Five: Wearing Down

   Three weeks have gone by. I have stuck to my word- I do not sexually harrass Aya when we are on a mission, only when we are on free time. I go to him just about every night, and even sometimes during the day, to disrupt his work. His teammates do not understand why I show up since I bug them all equally. Hidaka is fun simply because he is clueless, Tsukiyono because he is a mere child, Kudou because he is so much like me, and Aya...Aya, because he is so gods-damned hot when he is pissed off.

    Three weeks, and Aya still fights me. Every time I come he has more spirit and energy rallied to try and get me away from him. It is really quite pathetic, albeit amusing. Once I have forced him back onto his bed and our clothes are halfway off he drops the fight. He cannot deny the lust between us. He cannot deny that he is my fucktoy.

    By now Nagi knows what is going on, as does Farfarello. Nagi remains mostly quiet on the matter, though his thoughts are mixed exasperated that I am sleeping regularly with a Weiß assassin and relief that it is not Tot I am after. I don't see why he thinks I would go after her -she is rather disgusting- nor why he should care. *He* doesn't love her. He likes someone, but I haven't delved far enough into his mind to find out who. I'm not interested yet. When I need something to mock him about I'll find out.

    Farfarello is supportive of my choice. I taught him about sodomy a while back, and he is all for anything that is a sin and will make God cry. Him and his God. I roll my eyes, shifting my position in my chair. There is no God, and even if there is, why would the guy care what one little psychopath does? The whole world is full of idiots just like Farfarello. If what Farfarello does makes God cry, then so should everyone else's actions, and then God would do nothing but weep. If that's true, who needs a blubbering God?

    Crawford turns a Look on me, noticing my restlessness. I smirk back. I can't help it if I'm bored. He's going over tonight's mission. Weiß is expected to make an appearance, his visions have said. I'm glad. Aya is sexy when he still smells of blood and carnage. How many times have I taken him when his sword still lies nearby, waiting to be clean, when his hands and clothes still glisten with the life-fluids of the night's target? He reacted very violently the first time I took him so. I believe he holds his cleaning of himself and katana highly in his mind, a way of washing away another man's blood and guilt and getting him closer to the revenge he so desperately wants for his sister. I snigger quietly.

    "Schuldig, since you find this so amusing, why don't you summarize this?" Crawford's voice bites into me, shaking me from my pleasant reverie.

    /He wasn't paying attention again,/ Nagi sighs.

    //And how much were you listening?// I taunt him, sensing a distracted air to his thoughts as I quickly scoop out what Crawford has just gone over. //Probably daydreaming about your crush.//

    He sends me a murderous look, slamming a wall down on his thoughts so quickly that I am bounced out. Ouch. Getting struck from someone's mind is not the best of experiences. It's down there with getting stung by a bee. I allow my smirk to widen, though, masking the sharp but brief pain. Crawford is waiting, expression calm and patient. Cool and collected as always, that one. I once sought to break his cold exterior, the same way I am breaking Aya's. I slept with him a few times. Good fuck, but we both lost interest.

    My mind appears to be fixated on sex today, I muse as I prop my feet on the table. Crawford's eyes lower to them, resting there significantly. He doesn't have to say anything. The masked disapproval is enough. I slide my shoes back off, rolling my eyes. "Another simple mission. We go in and make sure the documents are destroyed while Weiß takes care of the prey. Nagi and Farfarello will be watching Weiß to aim them the right way and you and I will be wrecking things." I meet Crawford's gaze. "Pathetically easy."

    Crawford's mouth twitches in what appears to be a smirk of his own. I've learned that when Crawford smirks like that, he knows something that's going to affect us but isn't about to reveal it. I lean over mentally and tap his mental shields. //How rude, keeping something from your beloved teammates.//

    /You will find out what it is soon enough. Now stay away from my mind./

    I flick my fingers through my hair, heaving a mental sigh of mock exasperation. //Not allowed in it, not allowed to go near it, next you will say I can't even think about your mind.//

    /That's how it should be./

    //Life is never as it should be, now is it?// I tap his shields again for good measure before withdrawing. Farfarello had traced designs into the tabletop with his knife, and now has sliced open his arm to allow the blood to fill the etchings. I watch him with detached fascination, letting his thoughts flow through me briefly before growing bored with him and shutting him out.

    "We leave in five minutes," Crawford tells us before exiting the room.

    Nagi frowns slightly at me as he rises and leaves, Farfarello behind him. He has realized that I skimmed his mind in order to answer Crawford's question. Jeez. Some people are so territorial about their thoughts. Nagi and Crawford are lucky; they know how to shield themselves against me. But a certain somebody doesn't...

    I lean back in my chair, casting my mind out in a search for Aya. Weiß is already in position. We will be there by the time they get past the outer guards. //Knock knock, Aya-kun,// I whisper into his mind.

    /What do you want?/ He sounds edgy.

    //Oh, a bit of this, a bit of that, perhaps you naked and willing beneath me...//

    /Get out of my mind./

    //Make me.//

    Angry curses and threats on my life. /Don't bother me when I'm on a mission./

    //So I can bother you later? How kind of you to give me permission to.//

    /You've never needed permission before./ His thoughts scatter briefly as he begins to fight, concentrating on the work at hand. Through his mind's eye I can see the man he is fighting with. I seep further into Aya's conscious, melding myself to him. His mind sets off an alarm. He can *feel* the difference in my presence. I carress his mind. The man falls dead at the same time Aya stumbles, and my Weiß redhead leans against the wall to try and gather his wits- wits I am calmly knocking all over the place.

    //How would it feel, Aya, if I were to fuck you right here?// I murmur throatily into his mind. I have never done this to him before on a mission. It is rather fun, I decide, feeling a thrum run through me that is made up of both his reaction to my words and the pure pleasure of being inside of him. //I could drag you back into one of those dark corners and take you right here...// I send him small flashes of me slowly removing our clothes, pressing him back against the wall surrounding the mansion where the dim yard lights do not reach. A shiver ripples through both of us at the imagery.

    //I could bite you, kiss you, touch you...//

    His thoughts, when he manages to grab enough of them together to speak against me, is cracked and slightly pleading- I doubt he realizes that. /I'm on a mission!/

    The fact that that's all he said in reply to me instead of calling me all various sorts of a bastard and hentai is welcome and amusing. It seems Aya does not mind my suggestion at all. Perhaps he is weakening. My smile widens. //So what you're saying is that if you weren't on a mission I would be allowed to ravage you.//

    /That's not what I said!/

    "Schuldich." It's Crawford's voice. I want to ignore it. I want to stay here, within Aya's mind, within this being. I have never so perfectly seemed to fit in anyone else's mind. It is intoxicating, to be so completely one with someone else, even if the someone else is just a mere fucktoy. "Schuldich."

    Pain sears through me suddenly- mingled pain and noise. Someone who has always kept their mind guarded against mine has opened the gates, and my mind is not programmed to accept the mental thoughts. Adapting to Farfarello had been harsh because of the condition of his mental state, and to Nagi it had been uncomfortable simply because he was a fresh mind. Now a sadistic man's mind is washing through mine. I might have made some sort of mental noise- I know I gasped aloud- because Aya is alerted that something is wrong.


    I exit his mind as quickly as possible, melting off of him. In this unguarded state of mine I cannot block myself from this new presence, nor hear it clearly, nor identify it. Only when I am completely disentangled from Aya do I realize it is Crawford's mind- and just as I realize it, he clamps it back shut again. His eyes are watching me coolly, watching as I stare up at him with a disoriented air.

    "Nagi has been trying to get your attention for two minutes now," Crawford informs me in a flat, inflectionless voice.

    I am still trying to get my mind back. Crawford, the one man I have always counted on for his mental silence, had opened his mind to mine. I feel off-balanced and edgy as I shoot Nagi a quick glance. He is standing in the doorframe of the room, face betraying nothing but thoughts confused. In his thoughts I see myself from a few moments ago, sitting with an expression that is mixed rapture and sultry desire, eyes gazing at a fixed point on the wall. He has never before seen me in such a state, and he does not understand why I could not hear him like that.

    I could not hear him because I did not wish to.

    I climb gracefully to my feet as my mental footing is secured, letting a smirk play along my lips. "Since when do I ever pay attention to the kid?" I ask him in a lazy, mocking tone.

    "We are leaving." Crawford turns away without answering my question, moving back out of the room. Nagi eyes me a moment longer before turning to obediently follow Crawford. I assume Farfarello is already downstairs in the car waiting for us. I turn my feet towards my two teammates and join the small procession.


    I stroll down the street in the direction Aya has gone. When he left the Rujimi household- the target's home- he did not return to the flower shop with his team. I was watching at the time, and saw the way he quietly excused himself from their presences. His mind was- and still is- a jumble. Something is bothering my little toy.

    I find him in the park, sitting on a bench and staring up at the sky. His eyes...are very odd. There is a strange glint in his amethyst eyes that borders on fear and loathing, hidden behind an almost vacant look. I step out of the shadows across the small path from him and lean against a tree. "What's wrong with you *now*?" I ask, eyeing him. It seems like Aya is always in a bad mood over something. This disrupts my plans for the evening, which are: Find Aya, Fuck Aya, Leave Aya, of course. The Aya in the plans, however, is supposed to be his normal quiet self, or perhaps that half-willing Aya from right before the mission, not this person that now sits before me. He drops his gaze from the stars to stare at his hands with a peculiar fascination, one born from disgust and horror.

    "That man we killed tonight," he says quietly, "had children."

    "A lot of people have children," I reply airily. "It's a result of hetero sex."

    "You don't understand." Aya's hands clench into tight fists and he raises his face to mine, lips drawn into a thin line of pain, eyes filled with grief. I gaze at him, feeling something inside me flinch. Saa...Whatever is bothering him is not good. I decide to let him finish talking without any further smart comments and give a slight nod of encouragement for him to continue. "He had a son, and a daughter...They saw his death. And the son..." Aya pauses, tearing his eyes away to fix them on his hands again. "The building was collapsing by the time Rujimi died, from the explosion Omi set off. Part of the wreckage killed the boy. The girl was whisked away by a servant right after her brother's death. The girl will always remember me, Schuldig. She will always think of me as the man that killed her father, and probably think I killed her brother as well. She will see me like I see Taketori."

    Ahh...I see, now. What happened tonight is a biting reminder to Aya of his past and the devasting role Taketori played in it. Aya hates Taketori with all his body and soul. To imagine that someone else will think the same of him is a hellish thought for him.

    I have no clue what to say. There are conflicting urges within me, to comfort or to abandon him, for he probably won't be up for much sex tonight. And sex is the only reason I come, right?...

    I move away from the tree, towards him. I crouch in front of him, peering up at him with jade eyes that are calm instead of mocking. "Drop it, Aya."

    "I can't!" he snaps vehemently.

    I reach up, taking his hands in mine and squeezing. The blood from his gloves stains my hands. "Just drop it. Drop what happened tonight, drop your hatred for Taketori." He tries to jerk his hands away, but I don't let him. He is unable to move his eyes from mine, from the gaze I have him locked in. "If you keep picking at a wound, Aya, it will never heal."

    "What would you know?" His tone is caustic- it is his turn to be mocking, now. "Did *you* ever have someone you would willingly give your life for- and fail to protect them?"

    It is hard to describe just how much that heated remark stings. I am not sure whether it is more from the way he doesn't think I am capable of caring for anyone, or in sharp remembrance of my sister's cheerful smile and her lilting voice. I yank my hands back from his as if I was stung, standing in a lithe move. I think he can sense my anger, because the look he turns on me is wary. I grab his chin, lifting his head and lowering mine close to his. There is a flicker in the back of his eyes. He thinks I'm going to hurt him.

    Damn straight I'm going to hurt him.

    But as I look into his violet eyes, as I taste the pain swirling through his mind, I feel some of my anger dissipate. I claw at it mentally. I want to stay angry. I want to hurt him, for saying such a thing to me when I was only trying to help.

    Why the *hell* would I want to help Aya? He's my *fucktoy*. And look what helping got!

    My anger is gone, though pain lingers. My grip gentles and I release him, stepping back and stuffing my hands into my jacket's pockets, my pose relaxed once more. "I had a sister," I finally say.

    Aya is surprised. He blinks, gazing up at me. "You did?"

    "Aa." I turn half away. Why am I telling him this? Only Crawford and those who trained me know of my past, and Crawford only knows because he was told everything that was known about me. "She was killed -my entire family was killed- when we resisted my coming to Schwarz." The bitterness and pain I have kept so carefully buried and concealed is threatening to come free. I need to forget about this. I need sex. I put a lazy smirk on my face with only slight difficulty. "No use dwelling on such things, though."

    "Why do you work for them?" Aya is on his feet now, standing right to my side. Damn. He senses my pain. I do not want him to see it.

    I turn to him, reaching up and trailing my fingers along his cheek. "Not now," I chide him, smirk widening. "I *did* come here for a reason."

    I'm not sure what I expected him to do when I said that, but his reaction to my words surprises me. He gives a slight nod, and allows me to lean in and kiss him. There is no fight this time- he is responding from the beginning, peeling off his bloodied gloves while we kiss. I take the gloves from him, putting them in my pockets. His hands are on me now, fingers trailing across my hard chest and abdomen. I am not sure whether to be surprised or amused that he is so willing. We are still in public. Granted, no one else is around, as it is after midnight, but still...Ch', enough thinking for tonight. I dig my fingers into his hair, curving my hand to the back of his head, my other hand carressing the skin near his waistband.

    We are interrupted by the sound of a motorcycle. The policemen are out on patrol to make sure nothing bad is going on. I briefly wonder what they will thing if they came across Aya and me like this, then decide Aya probably will not like it. Aya hears them as well and pulls back. My mind searches for the nearest place to go and settles on a nearby hotel. I loop my arm through his and we head away, with neither of us leading and neither of us following. The walk is silent, and even Aya's mental noise is relatively quiet.

    It looks like both of us are through trying to think for tonight.

Part 6