Part Five: Mission

   "Keeping yourself busy, bishounen?" a husky voice asked from by Nagi's ear.

    "Don't lean over my shoulder, Schuldig. You know I hate that." The man laughed quietly, amused. Of course Schuldig knew. That was why the German was doing that. Nagi turned his head to give the German a strange look. Schuldig seemed more lax than usual, like he had just gotten out of bed with someone. But who was around for him to sleep with? They were at a hotel. "What do you want, Schuldig?"

    "Who said I want anything?" Schuldig smirked, eyes still on the computer screen. "Starting your own personal war?" Nagi looked back at the files. Omi had sent him the information earlier, and he was going over it. Schuldig's eyes glinted as he picked up Nagi's thought. "Ah? Omi gave you this?"

    Nagi turned his chair and Schuldig straightened, running a brush through his mane of fiery orange hair. "Where's Crawford?" he asked, closing a lid over the rest of his mind before Schuldig could probe it. He didn't want the German to know what was going on before Crawford did. "I'll tell you only if he's here."

    Schuldig yawned. "He's getting coffee." The door clicked open then and Crawford entered. "And here is Mr. Bradley now." Crawford gave Schuldig a measuring glance, picking up the same thing that Nagi had about Schuldig's behavior. Schuldig smirked. "Everyone's interested in my sex life, hm?" He seated himself on the edge of the bed.

    "Crawford..." Nagi started. The American turned towards him. "I just received some information from Omi."

    "Oh?" Crawford seated himself in a chair, adjusting his glasses.

    Nagi took a deep breath. ~Please let them agree.~ "Aya-chan was kidnapped, and Omi would like us to help get her back." When Schuldig snorted, Nagi added, "Taketori took her."

    Jade eyes narrowed slightly. "Didn't Fujimiya kill him back during the Group?"

    Nagi shook his head, eyes trained on Crawford. "If we help get Aya-chan back, Aya won't have any reason to hold a grudge against us, right?" There was silence for several long moments, and Nagi was sure Crawford was going to say no. He looked away, turning his eyes back on the computer screen. This was their only chance to make things right. He silently pleaded with Crawford to agree with him, to give in and say yes.

    "Where is Farfarello?" Crawford asked instead.

    Schuldig licked a finger, smirking. "Lets just say he'll be sleeping for a while to get his energy back."

    Nagi's eyes slid over to Schuldig, digesting that comment. ~He didn't.~ Schuldig turned his head towards Nagi, smirk widening. ~He did. Oh, gross.~ Schuldig and Farfarello. Now _that_ was interesting. What had ever happened to Schuldig and Yohji? Schuldig was such a slut!

    /Didn't we already establish that?/

    "Stay out of my head, Schuldig," Nagi replied, giving the man a sideways Look. The German grinned. "Don't _you_ want to help, Schuldig?"

    "Help Weiß?" He laughed derisively. "What a ridiculous idea. Kittens are for playing with, not for helping."

    "This could be your chance to kill Taketori." Schuldig's eyes met his briefly before turning towards Crawford. The German's pose was a relaxed one, and his smirk was in place still, but Nagi was pretty sure that those had been the right words to say. This one mission was made up of a lot of last chances- for Weiß and Schwarz to disband, for Schuldig to get revenge on Taketori, for Aya to finally drop his grudge against Crawford, for Omi and Nagi. Nagi turned back to the computer screen, running his eyes over the information. Omi was still online, waiting for a reply from Nagi about the pages. "Please, Crawford?"

    "Write Omi back." Nagi opened a small screen to send his message to Omi, fingers posed above the keyboard as he waited for Crawford's decision. "Tell them yes, but only because they were an aid against the Group, and to make sure Taketori is finally killed."

    A burst of elation rose in Nagi's chest and a rare smile crossed his face before he managed to mask it, fingers dancing over the keys. It wasn't long before he got a reply: /Tsu_kitten: Yay~! I'm working on the plan for tonight right now. It will be done soon. Do you think it'd be best if you four came over?/

    Nagi passed the question to Crawford, and then typed in the man's reply. /Lost_child: Schuldig and Farfarello will stay here. Crawford and I will be there shortly. Ja, Omi./ He logged off, standing and turning back towards Crawford.

    The American looked over at Schuldig, pushing his glasses further up on the bridge of his nose with a finger. "You stay here and keep out of trouble."

    Schuldig raised an eyebrow. "I _am_ trouble," the German replied.
    "Then go back to bed and stay there with Farfarello."

    "Sick, sick man." Schuldig tsk-tsked, sliding to his feet. Crawford gave him a Look. "Well then, move along, Bradley. I'm sure you and Aya will be happy to see each other again."

    Nagi hesitated on his way towards the chair where his jacket was, glancing over at his partners. Crawford was giving Schuldig an assessing look. Schuldig looked like he was entertaining himself with some secret. The words would seem more a taunt than anything else, meant to remind Crawford that the redhead hated his guts, if it weren't for the tone. It was too amused to be a jibe. Schuldig knew something. Well, it wasn't any of his business. He slid his jacket on, adjusting it so it hung right.

    Crawford was at the door when he was done, and the two strode out of the room. They made their way down the hall side by side. Nagi had been relieved to no end to find out Crawford hadn't gotten them an employer yet, though he found it a bit strange. He didn't think the man would have any trouble finding them someone. Crawford had a nose for business, and the perfect analytical mind for it as well. So he had been surprised last evening when Crawford had taken them to their old headquarters to ransack it and then to a hotel.

    The elevator was empty as it went down. Classical music was playing quietly. Nagi sighed inwardly. He didn't like classical music. It seemed like it'd be something Crawford would listen to. The thought of Crawford relaxing and listening to music made Nagi pause. What an interesting thought.

    The elevator dinged as it touched the bottom floor and the doors slid open. They set off across the floor towards the door, towards their car that would take them back to the Koneko flower shop- back to Omi.


   Yohji looked up from where he and Ken stood in the kitchen when there was a knock at the back door. He moved past the soccer player, going through the storage room to the door and unlocking it. It opened to reveal Crawford and Nagi. The three gazed at each other for a moment, the Schwarz's breaths visible in the chilly night air. Yohji stepped aside, motioning for them to enter. They stepped past him and Yohji shut and relocked the door, leading them back to the kitchen to pick up Ken before the four made their way downstairs. Aya was upstairs at the moment, dressing from his recent shower. The redhead had only woken up an hour ago, and had been told that after a shower the rest of Weiß had something to tell him.

   The basement was dark, lit only by the light from the computer screen. Omi's form was highlighted by the bright white glow. Juice bottles and empty Pocky boxes were spread all around him. The lunch Ken had brought to the boy- and the dinner- remained untouched. Ken sighed upon seeing them.

    "It doesn't hurt to take a break from work long enough to eat some real food," the brunette spoke up.

    Omi turned in the swivel chair, rubbing his eyes wearily. Yohji flicked on the lights. "Gomen, Ken-kun, but every time I was going to take a break I found something else." He lowered his hands and paused mid-yawn when he saw Nagi. He smiled widely in delight. "Nagi-chan, Crawford, welcome. I've got a plan worked out finally, but we'll have to wait until Aya's done to go over it."

    Nagi crossed his arms over his chest, studying the two plates. It was easy for the young boy to put each plate together in his mind as a separate meal, meaning Omi had been working for a long time. He turned a stony face on Ken. "He needs to eat something," he said.

    The tone were inflectionless, but it was obviously a hint. Ken blinked when he realized the boy was giving him a quiet order. "I'm fine, Nagi-chan," Omi protested, but Yohji held up a hand.

    "The chibi's right, Omi. Ken, go get him some real food."

    "I cooked the last two meals," Ken grumbled, heading towards the stairs. Yohji and Crawford seated themselves to wait.

    Nagi moved across the room to Omi, leaning against the back of the chair and draping his arms over the side so his hands rested on Omi's chest. "You need a break now and then, Omi," he chided the boy quietly. "It's not good to work for so long like that."

    Omi sniffed. "You can't tell me that you've never done that before."

    No, Nagi couldn't. Instead of replying, he raised his hands to Omi's shoulders, slender fingers flexing against the skin to work out any tension or sore muscles. He got the response he wanted, as Omi gave a quiet sigh of relief. A slight smile touched Nagi's lips. He knew exactly which places hurt the most after a long day of computer work, so it was easy to relax Omi. When he was sure all of the spots had been stretched back to normal, he lowered himself to a crouch beside the chair. Omi gave him a drowsy smile of gratitude.

    "What are _you_ doing here?" All four looked up, startled, at the icy voice. Aya was standing, dressed in black pants and a similarly dark long-sleeved shirt. His arms were crossed over his chests, his hands cupping his elbows and hugging his arms to him. His violet eyes were narrowed and fixed on Crawford.

    "I was invited," the American replied simply.

    The glare didn't move from its target. "Yohji?" Aya asked crisply.

    "Manx came by earlier while you were asleep. She brought with her some information about Taketori, which Omi has been working on since before her visit, totalling about twelve hours of computer time." At this estimate Nagi gave the boy a reproachful look. "Omi, would you care to explain what you've learned?"

    Aya lifted some fingers from their spot to forestall anything else. "What is he doing here?" he repeated.

    Crawford stood. "Would you like me to explain upstairs?"

    "Only if your explanation is worth my time."

    Crawford and Aya moved up the stairs, the American following close behind the Japanese swordsman. They met up with Ken at the top of the stairs, and the soccer boy came down past them with wide eyes. The door shut behind him.

    "Man, if looks could kill!" Ken said, shaking his head as he handed Omi a plate. "I told you Aya wouldn't be happy." He sat down next to Yohji on the couch, tucking his legs up against his chest and hugging his knees against him. Omi ate ravenously but quietly, as four pairs of ears strained to hear if the two above started arguing again.


   "You don't look so good, Aya," Crawford said mildly as he closed the door after the soccer player. "How much sleep have you gotten?"

    "Don't call me Aya," the man snapped back testily. Crawford made a mental note to himself that Aya without Aya-chan was especially crabby. And yet, there was something to Aya's voice. It wasn't completely hostile, instead more frustrated in tone. "Well? Why are you here?"

    "Apparently your Kritiker contact suggested to Omi that you four accept our help in your latest mission. From what Nagi's told me, Taketori has your sister and Omi has a way to find him." Aya's jaw tightened at the mention of Taketori's name. "We four have our own scores to settle with the man, and a debt to repay to you as well. You helped us with the Group, so we should return the favor by aiding you in the hunt for your sister."

    "You took her once before. What's to say you won't again?" Aya was clearly distrustful. The man turned away, leaning against the wall.

    "We have no use for her anymore. I don't know what else I can say to you to make you understand that Schwarz is gone." Crawford moved closer to the American. Aya's eyes were closed. His skin was so pale.

    ~He's scared.~

    Crawford blinked as the thought registered. Aya was scared. Aya, the impassive and cold leader of Weiß. It was a strange sight to see. Aya was afraid for his sister, afraid for the girl that he'd clung to for so long, the only link he had left of his past and his future, the source of this grudge he had so much trouble dropping. Crawford wasn't thinking before his hand was reaching out, touching Aya's shoulder. The boy tensed at the contact, eyes snapping open. Dark emotions flickered in those violet eyes when he realized Crawford had moved in front of him.

    "Accept our help, Aya. If it makes you happy, the truce will once again drop upon her safe return, and we will disappear again. Is that what you want?"

    "What I want..." Aya breathed. He looked away. "I want her back." He looked back at Crawford. His eyes weren't narrowed for once, and laced through the usual hard barrier that covered Aya's eyes were cracks, cracks that showed his pain and loss. One part of Crawford's mind reflected on how fascinating Aya was. The man had always been an interesting character, but within the past week and a half Crawford had been noticing small things about the way the man acted or talked. The man was an intriguing study. The other half of his mind was letting his body act, as Crawford moved closer still. He reached out with his other hand, taking Aya's chin in his hand gently and tilting the man's head up. Their faces were mere inches away now.

    "We will get her back, Aya. I promise."

    Aya was silent. Brown eyes locked with purple, one pair comforting and the other seeking reassurance. Finally Aya looked away. Crawford received a brief image of the future- of Nagi coming up to check on them. He released Aya, taking a step back and lowering his arms to his sides. The door opened just then and Nagi leaned against the doorframe.

    "Well?" Nagi asked. "Omi's ready to lay out the plans. If we're going, we need to go soon. I'm not sure Omi will be able to stay alert for more than an hour or so since he's been working so hard all day."

    Aya's mask was back in place, his eyes once again chilling and unreadable, the air of an efficient killer and leader wrapped back around him, as he moved past Crawford towards the stairs. Crawford turned and followed. "We will leave immediately, then," Aya said calmly.

    "All of us?" Nagi questioned as he stepped aside.

    "All." Aya easily went around Nagi, footsteps silent as he headed downstairs.

    Nagi glanced up at Crawford, a relieved look in his eyes, but also curiosity. "No arguing?" he asked, mildly surprised. Crawford didn't reply, instead just motioning for Nagi to follow him back downstairs. The two Schwarz trotted down the stairs, steps quiet. Crawford's mind briefly went over one fact before he locked it aside to concentrate on the task at hand. It was going to be a bit different, having a Weiß boy make the attack plan, but he would not complain. Some things had to be endured in order to reach a goal.

    He picked a chair to stand behind just as Aya sat down in it. The man glanced up briefly at him before turning his attention back to Omi.

    ~Does he know he let me see his weakness?~


    Omi felt much better after the meal, as it was the first real food he'd had since breakfast. He looked up as everyone else came downstairs, moving aside his plate and grabbing his stacks of paper where he'd taken notes, flipping through them until he found the ones he was looking for. "All right...Nagi, how much did you tell your team about the information I gave you? Did you tell them about his contact?"

    Nagi shook his head. "No."

    Omi leaned back in his chair, looking over at Crawford. "Basically it narrows down to one thing- someone had to have rescued Taketori from the building he was chained at. The officer who filed the report on the place altered the files he'd been given dramatically. This man, one Wakasatzi Mochitaru," and now his eyes drifted over the group as a whole, "has ties to Taketori in that he is a strong supporter of one of Taketori's prostitution rings. If anyone found out that they were linked in this way, he would lose his job and reputation, so he did the natural thing to do and covered Taketori. He freed him and let him go. Where he sent him for safety until all this dies down is something only he knows.

    "Tonight Wakasatzi is off. We are going to his home to get the information from him, and to make sure he's dead. If at all possible we have to go straight from his place to Taketori, because we don't want Taketori to find out what's going on. The reason we need at least five people coming for Wakasatzi is because the security and guards are so great that we need to be able to get through it quickly and get him before he can alert Taketori. Taketori is expecting us to find Wakasatzi. It's an obvious route for us to take, so all he doesn't know is when we will find the man and get the directions from him.

    "After we've got an address, if Schuldig and Farfarello would like to meet us there, it'd be helpful." Omi looked over at Crawford for a moment. The man gave a slight nod. "Does everyone understand the situation, then?" Omi asked. Nods all around, with a lazy grin from Yohji. Omi scooped up a small stack of printed paper and headed over to a bulletin board, tacking them up one by one. When put together they formed the schematics of a large house. "I got this from the construction company's files," he said with a slight grin, stepping back. "This is Wakasatzi's home." There were already lines and arrows going across it, each set in a different color, making six total sets. One of the rooms was also circled multiple times.

    He headed towards a large box he'd pulled out of a closet earlier, rummaging around in it and digging out small electrical objects like headsets and the like. He handed one headset to each person, speaking as he did so. "Aya, you're in red. Yohji, in blue. Ken is in black. Nagi is in green. Crawford is yellow. I am purple." The five studied the map silently. "The circles surround our target's room. Now," Omi went on, returning to the map. "Lets go over the plan."


    Omi and Nagi were the first to move into position, slipping together over the section of fence Omi had deaded the security alarm on. Both dropped lightly to the ground, moving quickly but cautiously towards the building. Nagi couldn't help but wonder what someone with so much money was doing working as a police officer, as the house was huge. They approached a ventilation entrance, right where Omi had said it would be, and Nagi quickly unscrewed it. Omi's computer case was slung over his back. They entered the vent, Omi first so Nagi could refasten the lid where it belonged, only putting the screws in tight enough to hold the screen in place in case they needed a quick exit.

    Omi reached out, searching for Nagi's hand. Nagi could barely see it, as the only light was from a security lamp a distance away outside. He took it, squeezing slightly. They set off through the darkness. The vent began to get slimmer the further they went from the entrance. Omi and Nagi's free hands were against the wall, keeping track of how narrow it was getting and searching for the first branch off. Omi found it to the right, and they turned onto it. Now that they were out of sight from the entrance they flicked on small flashlights that were attached to headbands. They were forced to release each other as the vents got too tight to do so, slithering through the passage. Nagi had run over the plans in his head many times, memorizing the route, but he was getting lost. Omi didn't seem to have a problem, so the telekinetic faithfully followed the other boy.

    There were some places that Nagi almost got stuck, and he worried briefly about Omi. The boy was slightly bigger than he was. But Omi seemed used to running across tight spots and just wriggled through them. Soon it widened out, and Nagi could see a glow from an exit vent ahead. Their flashlights were turned off. Omi lay flat, letting Nagi crawl over him. Nagi needed to be in front now and that was the only way they could get around each other. They inched close to the exit screen, Nagi leaning against it and Omi leaning against the other wall, their knees bent and shoes resting against the opposite walls.

    Within seconds Omi had his computer out and in his lap, flicking the screen on. He had set up his computer before leaving and just put it in sleep mode until now. The screen faded in, showing an option of multiple desktops. Omi reached up, flicking on his microphone, and Nagi did the same. "This is Bombay," Omi murmured quietly, the microphone picking it up easily. "We are in place. Abyssinian?"








   "Abyssinian and Balinese, proceed to your second step." Omi began typing rapidly on his computer, the soft clicks of the keys almost silent, trying to get online with the house's electrical system. There were affirmatives from the two Weiß as they reached their next positions." Omi looked over at Nagi and mouthed, 'Ready?' Nagi nodded, turning to unscrew the vent. He held it in place with his gift as he worked. When all four were removed he glanced back at Omi. "Move in on my word..." Omi pressed a key that depressed all security. "Security is down. Now."

    Nagi checked for anyone outside the vent, then exited it. Omi held the screen in place as he screwed it back in, watching as the younger boy vanished through the room. Omi already knew how the police would write off this murder and mission. Wakasatzi preached loudly against gangs and such, and had twice already been the target of some. Nagi's job was the decoratory branch of this- it was his job to deface the property, damage other parts, and carry some valuable things away to destroy later. Omi had given him the safe job.

    He turned back to his computer. One desktop showed him where each of the others were, the screen split into six parts with his section blank. Aya and Yohji were the first to enter the building, coming in from the west and east sides through upper story entrances. Crawford and Ken were both coming from the north, as Nagi and Omi had entered through the south side. Aya ran into some guards, but they were taken out easily. Crawford's gift allowed him to spot confrontation before he'd meet it, so his path through the building was the clearest. Satisfied that they were on their way, Omi switched to the desktop that had him linked to the building's wirings, hacking onto the phone lines and taking them down. Another glance at the video screens showed that the four were rapidly approaching Wakasatzi's room, and that Nagi was having fun coloring all over a priceless picture.

    Soon they would have what they needed.

Part 6