I lay in bed, stretched out on the sheets, a thick quilt covering me and the man curled up against my side, my eyes on the ceiling. I can not sleep. My mind is in too thick of a mess. I search for something to occupy my time, and Crawford's face drifts into view. Ah, Crawford...An interesting study, him. It is hard to get a glimpse at his thoughts, hard to see what is inside his mind. This is a slight annoyance for one such as me, who is so used to having everyone in my reach, everyone so open so that I may delve in and amuse myself among their minds, witnessing their lives in their memories and brushing against their deepest secrets, their hidden desires. Thoughts flow like silk through me, rich and velvety smooth, sweet as honey and addictive. Thoughts that stick in my mind, catching on my own personal musings, attaching themselves to me until it hard to tell what is up and what is down...

    Maybe the silence I receive from him is the reason I stay around him. It is nice to have that cushion of blankness behind all the cacophony that runs wild in my mind. I have never told him this, and will never, for I am not one to express such trivial things, but I do not have to. He knows. I can see it in his brown gaze. He needs me for my talent, that is all, needs to use me as he sees fit in order to get his work done. I don't care that that is the way he sees me. I need him as that spot of silence that I can come to when I feel my grip on reality slipping just a bit. Sometimes I wonder how much longer I will be able to hold on, how much longer I will remain in control before the voices succeed in eating me from my inside out. Having Crawford's blankness helps to lessen the pain. He does not care that I use him that way. Neither of us speak of the way we rely on each other.

    Crawford has a sense of humor. It's hard to see, and I believe I am the only one who has seen it. Perhaps that is because his humor is the kind many people scream and cry over, not laugh. It is not the type of humor you would like to be the brunt of. I see it because in a way, Crawford and I are the same. He and I hold the same disregard of human life and value. It does not matter to us if the person before us is guilty or innocent- whim will decide if the unfortunate lives or dies.

    That is the most obvious of our similarities. Just as visible are our differences...Crawford has a sense of duty. He cares little for the people that give him assignments, only cares about completing them perfectly and on time. He is a perfectionist, used to giving orders and having them obeyed. Nagi will obey him because he knows nothing else to do. Nagi is a weak child in many ways, following Crawford blindly. It is Crawford that manipulates Nagi to keep him in line. I don't have to say a thing. It is amusing to see the way Crawford has the powerful child wrapped around his fingers. Nagi is at his disposal, to order around as he wishes. Farfarello will obey Crawford for his own reasons, for the revenge he continually seeks out on the God I long ago stopped believing in and Crawford probably never believed in. Farfarello follows Crawford's orders simply because he views Crawford's path as the quickest way to get the revenge he wants. Sometimes the Irishman comes free of his control, and that is where I step in. It is my job to keep Farfarello in line. The term 'job' is used lightly, as a job is usually hard work and a lot of stress. I welcome the time around Farfarello. He's got such a fresh mind, thoughts tangled but still with an air of naive innocence that not even I am able to change.

    As for my role with following Crawford, I follow when I care to, and don't when I don't. If Crawford does not give me work that interests me, I will not take it. I know that he is annoyed by this aspect of my personality, that I have such a low work ethic. Ch'. The jobs I take I do well, and that's what he should worry about. I know that most of the annoyance of his is because I'm such an efficient weapon, but a weapon that rebels against his chain of command. It is fun, striking out against him. I never know how he might react to me. One time his reaction was simple- he just calmly put down the folder he had originally offered me and spoke a short sentence: "Weiß needs to be occupied." Ah, Weiß. He knew that would get my attention. By the way a lazy smirk curled around my lips, he knew that I was listening, and explained in calm tones that I needed to keep Weiß off-balance. However I did it he didn't care, as long as the job was done. When he finished speaking, he waited patiently for my reply.

    Now, if there is anyone more fun than Crawford to play with, it is Weiß. Such possibilities among them... The innocent and cheerful blond boy raised by darkness, so easy to taint and manipulate. The fun loving but quick tempered brunette, easy to aggravate and as easy as the first to manipulate. The lazy playboy that is the eldest of the group, with his reckless exterior and closely guarded heart, not as easy as the first two to play with, but no challenge for one such as me. The last, a silent redhead with a mask of stone hiding an inner turmoil that never ceases, the one that others who had tried against fell back with helpless shrugs. The untouchable one.

    Untouchable, but never impossible. I left Crawford then to observe them, especially the redhead. I'd seen him before, of course, but he'd never struck me as anything worth my time. Sure, he was elegant and cold, and seemingly uncaring by that mask of his. Now, though, I watched and dabbled among his thoughts. Unlike what many thought, he had emotions and feelings- and no clue as to how to deal with them. When he met something that was confusing or painful, he retreated further. I watched the way he interacted with the group, and learned something very interesting. They said the quick tempered Hidaka Ken was the one who was totally naive about love and sex and such, but this man took the cake. He knew absolutely nothing. His entire self was so focused on other things, like business, that he never actually took time out to have fun. Fascinating.

    I began to wonder, then, what it would be like to watch that mask he was so proud of crumble, to see him finally exposed without it, to gaze upon the expressions that went along with his flurry of emotions. I wanted him to lose control. And considering one of my specialties tends to be seduction...I figured I was perfect for the job Crawford had laid down. I mentioned to the American in an aside that I would take care of Weiß. Even now his response is etched into my mind, and I realize that he must have seen this coming a mile away, must have seen the predicament I find myself in now. He told me to go right ahead, and to try not to have too much fun. I warned you he had a sense of humor, and after finding myself at the end of his attention, I do not like it a single bit. He *knew* this was going to happen, yet he let it anyway without any thought. He wanted to see what would happen, how I would react, when I got my claws snagged in the net I'd laid out for my victim.

    Because that's what's happened. I realized that yesterday, when I realized I couldn't kill him. I look over at his sleeping form, his expression peaceful in his sleep. This trap I put out for Fujimiya has snared me as well, and I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to get free. I'm not even sure I want to, anymore.


Part 1