If I thought he was taciturn before...
At least when he was trapped in here, I could annoy him until he snapped back, or I
could at least see him. Now he ignores me most of the time, or throws up a bristling
wall to keep me out and muffle my voice. It's infuriating at first, but eventually I learn
to back off when he pushes me away so forcefully. We kept each other sane when we were
trapped together, but now he has no need of me. And I'm sure someone randomly calling out to
you from nowhere gets distracting when you're walking down the street or trying to eat.
So out of respect-- albeit a sullen one --I retreat and try to give him his
At first, he won't respond at all, other to tell me to leave him the hell alone.
This goes on for what feels like days, and I have to struggle with my impatience and remind
myself of what Schuldich said. Time feels longer in here than it really is. For all I know
I have tried to get his attention a dozen times in the space of a few hours, and that would
I wait until I can't stand it anymore, and when I think I sense a calmness from him.
I have been touching that spot randomly, trying to discern when he is busy or at rest, and
this seems like a quiet time.
I hope he's not taking a shit or something.
There is no response to my timid call, and I sigh in frustrated defeat. Looks like
I'll be stuck trying to amuse myself again. But I am swiftly running out of ways to keep my
His annoyed reply catches me off guard, but I try to hide my surprise. "Um, how long
has it been?"
....Twenty-nine hours, comes the clipped answer.
"What?? No way!" I gasp in horror. "It feels like days!" How am I going to be able
to stand this?? I wince belatedly. "Sorry. Um, for bothering you all day. I thought it'd
been a lot longer..." I fall into a squat, burying my head in my hands helplessly. "I'm
going to go crazy in here," I whisper.
I didn't really mean for him to hear that last bit, but he does. He is silent for a
long moment, then I get a sense of disgruntled resignation. From anyone else it would be a
sigh of defeat. Schuldich wants to kill you.
That gets my attention. "What?" my voice is sharp with alarm. "When?"
Crawford won't let him. Farfarello sounds unconcerned about the whole matter.
For now, at least, you're needed alive.
I blink, confused. "Why would he care about my safety?"
He doesn't, Farfarello says bluntly. Others do.
"Fine, never mind," I grumble, knowing that trying to pry answers out of him will
only earn me the cold shoulder. "I don't suppose you've seen my brother lately? Is he all
I get the sense of a mental shrug. If he saw my brother, he didn't think twice about
it. I roll my eyes. "I meant, is he still alive?"
I breathe a sigh of relief. A part of me was terrified that the instant he escaped,
Farfarello would kill him out of spite.
I'm going to sleep now, he informs me.
His walls are cropping up again, pushing me away, and I slump to the floor. "...Good
There is no answer.
I've found one way to amuse myself, at least. I have figured out a way to get some
memories and scenes I remember from movies to play out in front of me. The images are fuzzy
and a bit distorted, but it's better than nothing. I run through every clear, good memory I
have and most of the movie scenes at my disposal before I speak to Farfarello again.
A throb from his mind catches my attention, and I reach out curiously. It isn't
pain, obviously-- more like surprise or adrenaline. I stop myself from calling out at the
last minute. If he's in the middle of a fight or something, I might distract him and...
Wait a damn minute.
"You'd better not be fighting with my brother!" I shout indignantly.
No such luck.
I am surprised he bothered to answer. "What are you doing?"
Murder, he says deliberately, knowing the reaction that will get.
I scowl, crossing my arms over my chest as if he can see me. "OK, I don't want to
know," I say firmly. "What was that? Did someone catch you by surprise?"
A scratch, he says dismissively, and I frown. A 'scratch' to someone who
feels no pain could be a hacked-off limb for all I know.
"A scratch as in 'I'm going into shock and need a blood transfusion now please', or a
scratch as in 'I need a band-aid'?" I ask primly.
There is the vaguest hint of dark amusement from his end, but he muffles it quickly.
You're as annoying as Schuldich.
"I resent that remark."
"You know, if I'd known you were hiding such a smartass sense of humor under all that
bullshit--" I start, but we are suddenly interrupted.
Something shifts in his mind, and his walls snap up in place. Caught by surprise, I
am bowled out. "Hey--!"
I race back along the thread, suddenly uneasy, and force myself a bit past his
I slip in right in the middle of a conversation, and feel my blood go cold.
What the hell is this? It's the voice of the Jerk, incredulous and irritated.
Was that the Fujimiya cunt?? How the hell did she get a link up with you?!
Why don't you ask her? comes the bored reply.
Oh, I'll 'ask' her all right, Schuldich snarls. Irritating bitch-- he
seems to somehow sense my presence. Something hot rolls across Farfarello's landscape
towards the edge of the walls where I am hovering. Well, looky here. Nosey little brat.
Guess I went too easy on you last time...
I gasp, trying to recoil, but I am snagged. Whether it is because of Farfarello's
walls or Schuldich's power, I'm not sure, but his intentions are clear. He's going to finish
what he started. If he finds a way to piggy-back on the link between Farfarello and I, he
could smash my shields completely. I struggle frantically, but just then I feel the white-
hot touch of his mind against mine. I can't hold back a shriek of fear.
Suddenly Farfarello snarls and retaliates. GET OUT!!
Farfarello's walls crash against Schuldich's mind, rippling as they block his way to
the link, putting up a firm barrier. Not quite strong enough; he wasn't unable to push the
man out of his head completely. But for now it seems like he can't reach our thread.
Schuldich's mental voice is stunned and angry at the same time. Farf, what the
FUCK are you doing?? You can't carry that little twit around in your head! Cut it out, let
your walls down some. I'll get rid of her for you. Crawford may want her alive for now, but
I can at least sever that damned link--
Get out, Farfarello repeats coldly. You're annoying.
The walls around me prickle in warning. I get the hint. This is between them. I
retreat quickly without a word, slipping back into my own mind. I find myself staring numbly
into space, eyes wide in disbelief.
Did Farfarello just...
stick up for me?
No. I shake my head sharply. If there's one thing I've learned about him, it's that
he doesn't give a damn about anybody. He must have had his reasons. Perhaps he has just
been fighting with Schuldich all day and the abrupt battlefield created in his head by that
Jerk was the last straw. Whatever the case, he just saved my sanity; possibly my life.
The thought that I might owe a Berserker a favor is a bit unsettling.
I don't try to contact him again for a long time.
It is maddening, having no one to talk to, but I am too afraid of running into
Schuldich again. He must have a link up with Farfarello as well. If he tries to use it to
talk to Farfarello and catches me there again, there's no guarantee that Farfarello will be
able to stop him again. Or that he'll bother. I don't want to push my luck.
But eventually I can't take it anymore. Cautiously I reach across our thread again,
ready to jump back behind my shields at a moment's notice.
He feels my touch against his mind this time, and I don't have to call out.
Didn't you learn your lesson last time? he demands impatiently.
"I know, I know, but I'm about to fucking lose it here," I say hastily. "He's not
around, is he?"
"What are you doing?"
Trying to sleep.
"Oh..." I deflate.
Again there is that hint of resignation. What do you want?
"I don't know," I admit in a small voice.
He is silent for so long I am sure he has drifted to sleep, and disappointed, I start
Something flickers across the bond, faintly at first, then more clearly.
I gasp as I find myself suddenly surrounded by images.
Small slender hands wrapped around a cup of tea, dark eyes shifting upwards in
dispassionate contemplation. A vague image of a kitchen that I don't recognize.
Rain against the window, streaking down the panes like tears. Headlights on the
road, wet asphalt. The lights of Tokyo coming alive as night falls.
School girls laughing as they walk along the sidewalk, a dog barking somewhere, the
smell of coffee brewing. Clouds rolling in to cover the sun, then later the moon. The way
the lamp light catches and shines along the length of a blade.
Blood on the floor, such a brilliant red-- real color --that I cannot find it in
myself to be horrified.
The sound of a refridgerator cutting on, clothes warm from the dryer, the muffled
sounds of a neighbor shouting at his wife, the acrid scent of a cigar.
He is showing me his day.
When the images fade and he draws back, it takes me a long time to find my voice
again. When I speak, my voice is hoarse and subdued.
Now go away.
"Thank you," I repeat, quieter.
His walls shift into place, and I leave him in peace, clutching the memory of those
images to me like a precious gift.
Farfarello's sharp call hums along the link between us, startling me from a doze.
Startled, I reach out and touch his mind. He's never tried to contact me before.
And I don't like that edge to his voice. "Farfarello?"
The hint of tenseness I thought I sensed is gone instantly, and I wonder if it was
even there to begin with. I creep forward a bit more. "What's wrong?"
There is a pause, then an image of an empty hospital bed flashes across the thread.
It takes me a moment to figure out what he's showing me, and when it does, icy fear grips me.
"Someone's taken me??" I gasp. "Wait-- it wasn't Schwarz, was it?"
No. Crawford wanted to know if you were still alive.
I mean to ask who could have taken me-- there is a brief hope that it is my brother
--but irrational annoyance suddenly sweeps up. "Oh," I say a bit coolly. "Him. Well you
can tell that 'Oracle' that I'm still here. Was that all? I was having a nice dream."
There is a long moment of stony silence.
"Sometimes I forget I'm just part of some secret-squirrley plan you guys are cooking
up," I continue, temper sparked. "Whoever took me, my brother will find me and save me, and
then we'll see about your stupid 'plans'. You're horrible."
A flash of irritation from his end. And you're annoying, he snaps. He shifts
his walls into place, thorny as they were when he first got caught in my mind, and I
We each sulk in silence and ignore each other for a long time. I don't bother to
wonder why I am so angry in the first place.
One can only stay angry for so long. Especially when the meaning of the irritation
is a mystery. Eventually I reach out to him again, telling myself I'd better apologize if I
ever want someone to talk to again. Besides, I'm nervous about that last image he showed me.
Is my body still missing?
"Farfarello?" I press hesitantly at his shields. After a moment they lower
My mind goes blank. The implications of that simple sentence are like a blow. "Wha
-- You--" My mental shout makes him flinch. "YOU'RE KIDNAPPING ME??"
"And what do you mean 'heavy'??" I demand, immediately embarrassed. "You pig! What
are you doing?"
Your precious kittens thought they could pull the wool over Crawford's eyes.
Farfarello sounds darkly amused. He didn't appreciate it.
"What are you talking about?" I demand, grasping at flickers of thoughts in his mind.
It takes me a moment to piece some of it enough to get a coherant answer, and when I do, I
start lashing out in a fury. "You jerk!! What do you think you're doing?! My brother
finally got me back, and you STOLE me?? Put my body down, damn it! Let GO OF ME!!"
Quit screeching, he grunts, unmoved. Or I will drop you. Off a
"Don't you dare!"
Then quit poking at my mind, you little cockroach.
"You sound like the Jerk," I snap accusingly.
Maybe he's rubbed off on me, he jeers impatiently. Now shut up.
"I'm not going to leave you alone until you take me back to my brother," I warn.
Then I begin singing as obnoxiously as I can. I sing every song about love and rainbows and
kindness that I can think of, deliberately loud and off-key. When I run out of songs, I
start over again.
At first he ignores me, but the longer and louder I sing, the angrier and more
frustrated he gets until at last he snaps. SHUT UP!
I wince at the mental swipe, barely managing to keep a foothold in his mind.
I'll kill you, he promises darkly.
"You must look pretty strange, threatening an unconscious girl," I point out calmly.
"Anyway, you can't kill me. Crawford has 'plans' for me, right?"
I'll give him your dead body. He'll never know the difference.
"Don't be an ass. Where are you taking me? What is Schwarz going to do to me?
I'll break your arms, then. In four places.
I wince, but put on a bold front. "So what? I don't think I'm ever going to use
them again, anyway." I burst into braying song again. "I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS-
He throws up his shields with furious force, throwing me out of his mind.
I try to ignore the disgruntled call, still pacing and fuming. It only feels like a
few hours have passed since Farfarello kidnapped my body, but I know in the outside world it
has probably been longer.
Pay attention when someone's talking to you, brat, he snaps, impatient at my
I stomp to the edge of my wall and throw myself down the link into his mind. "What
do you want? I don't have anything to say to you."
Good god, she's even more annoying than I remember.
I try to retreat hastily, but his mind reaches out and touches mine, pinning me in
place. Not so fast, chica, he drawls. Good grief, I've never seen anyone get Farf
so worked up. I was sure he'd broken your back when he got back and threw you on the ground
like that. Looked ready to kill someone. You're lucky you arrived in one piece. What the
hell did you say to him?
"What do you want, you German bastard?" I snap defiantly.
I see rooming with Farf hasn't done much for your temper or language, he
notes, amused. Quit bitching. I'm just here to take care of this stupid link you've got
I immediately try to wriggle free of his mind. "Wait! Why? Don't-- it's the only
link I have to the outside world!"
Tough cookie. Your idiot brother and his vapid-eyed little friends have showed
up, and I don't want Farf distracted while we kill them.
He actually flinches at the force of the cry, but it only seems to irritate him, and
his grip on me tightens painfully.
"Don't kill my brother," I plead. "You can kick me out of Farfarello's mind, just
don't hurt Ran!"
I didn't come here to bargain, princess, I came here t-- Shit!
His mind releases me and retreats hastily. Startled, I hesitate, hovering on the
threshold between Farfarello's mind and my own. "Farfarello? What's going on?"
Shut up and get out. Despite the calm words, the flurry of dark activity in
his mind gives him away. He's fighting. The battle has started. I claw frantically for a
firm grip in his mind, making sure it's a somewhat painful one for him.
"Farfarello! Please don't!" Panic floods my senses. "Don't hurt my brother!"
Tell that to Crawford, he says dismissively.
"Crawford? He's fighting my brother? Stop him! Please!"
He tries to bull me out again, but I only cling harder. It's difficult, but not
impossible; most of his attention is on the fight at hand. "If I ever get out of this and
find out you all hurt my brother--"
Will you shut u-- Surprise flashes across his mind like a bright light. I
force myself into his mind a bit further, trying to get an idea of what's going on.
"Farfarello?" I seize the foremost thought in his mind and focus on it as a picture flickers
briefly to life.
The floor is collapsing under his feet.
The building is--
The building is collapsing, with everyone in it. Including Ran. "NIISAN!!"
Then Farfarello's mind goes suddenly blank, and I am sent spinning back into my
The second I land on my back behind my own walls, I am already scrambling back up. I
reach out through the link and hurl myself at Farfarello's walls. I break through easily,
and it catches me off guard, sending me stumbling into the darkness of his mind.
I look around in growing fear. There is nothing, only a blank dark stretch. No
thoughts, no nothing. Is he... dead?
No reponse. I force myself to calm down a bit. No. He can't be dead; there would
be no mind to enter. He must be unconscious. The fear rushes right back as I remember the
image of a floor cracking open, of rocks falling from above.
"Farfarello! Wake up!" I begin striking at the mind around me, trying to pummel
some activity into it. "Wake up, damn it! You're going to die! Farfarello!"
Panic and fear give me an added boost of strength, and I strike his mind repeatedly,
each blow jarring. "WAKE UP!!"
Finally there is a flicker of awareness, dim and small. I reach for it, but it
flutters and almost goes out again. "Farfarello! You need to snap out of it," I gasp,
frantically trying to figure out what to do. "Farfarello??"
The light sputters, then grows a bit. I get a very weak image-- water, all around,
I reach out recklessly and emcompass that flicker of life with my own mind, throwing
all of my concentration into the words. "Farfarello, WAKE UP!" I shout. "You need to
The walls of his mind ripple slowly, then shift more firmly. The light of his mind
expands even more as he comes groggily to his senses.
Relief mingles with the fear, but he isn't out of this yet.
He's a bastard, a monster, and he doesn't deserve this lifeline--
But I still can't bring myself to just watch this Berserker's life fade from the
edges of my mind. "SWIM, YOU IDIOT!!"
I become aware of something tickling the edges of my thoughts, but before I can think
to shield myself from it, something is bursting past Farfarello's weakened barriers. I
recognize the firey presence and shrink back from it, though I refuse to relinquish my grip
on the semi-conscious essence in my grip.
Jesus, you scream like a banshee, Schuldich complains, but I can hear the
tense edge of relief under his tone. Get out of the way.
I back off slightly, and his mind shoulders my own aside impatiently when I don't move
fast enough, leaving a stinging pain. He taps into Farfarello's fading consciousness, and a
throb of light flows from one mind to the other.
Farfarello's walls twitch violently, and suddenly his awareness comes pouring back
in, nearly throwing Schuldich and I both out with its sudden reawakening.
The mouse saves the snake, Schuldich murmurs, sounding more solemn than amused
for once. Never saw that coming.
Relief almost makes me dizzy. Schuldich must have either heard me or sensed my
activity in Farfarello's brain and tracked it down to find the unconscious Berserker. Fear
quickly replaces the relief when I feel that sparking attention focused my way. Well, so
much for all Crawdad's plans. But at least while I'm here I can tie up one last loose end--
He reaches out with his mind and touches me so fast I don't even have time to
contemplate the thought of retreat. I scream at the pain of his mind burning through the
Then suddenly thorns are springing up, piercing Schuldich's mind and hurling him back
to the borders of Farfarello's mind.
What the-- Farf, you've LOST YOUR FUCKING MIND!! Schuldich's surprise is
quickly replaced by fury. Knock it off! What the hell do you think you're doing??
He is met with cold silence, but the thorns forming a barrier between myself and
Schuldich only bristle more.
There is a long tense moment of silence, then abruptly the hostility emanating from
Schuldich's presence fades. Fine. Well, the little twat did save your scarred ass, I'll
give her that. And she's useless to us now.
I tense up as he focuses on me again.
I guess the princess deserves a reward, then, he sneers. If only to get
you out of our lives.
And he hurls forward with all his strength behind it, smashing through Farfarello's
thorns. I try to collect my own barrier around myself hastily, even as I realize that I am
nowhere near strong enough--
But he flashes right past me, racing along the link and--
Back into my own mind.
Gasping in horror, I fly after him, not sure how I'm going to stop him, only knowing
that I have to, before he gets to my weakened defenses and crushes my mind completely--
His mind throbs and then seems to explode like a bomb in my mind, erupting and
striking it from every angle.
I scream at the impossible pain, and then an unconsciousness as dark as death seizes
me and drags me under.
It takes what feels like a lifetime to identify the low, soothing sound that slowly
I remember the sound from when our parents took Ran and I to the beach one summer;
the hiss and pull of waves against the rocky shore. Is Farfarello giving me another of his
visions of the day? Does that mean I somehow survived Schuldich's attack?
But everything around me is still dark, and everything hurts, especially my head. I
struggle to bring light to the world, fumbling for my wall, but there is nothing. Just inky
nothingness. Do I still have a body? It's too dark to tell. Maybe if I imagine opening my
The struggle is harder than it should be. Slowly I force my eyes open, then end up
blinking painfully as harsh light invades them.
What the... Are the belongings in my mind still up? I'm lying on something soft--
No. The flimsy imaginings of my bed were never this solid, this...
And my surroundings...
It takes me several moments to recognize the inside of a car, and the sight of a girl
in a dress standing at the edge of a cliff. Confusion trips my mind for an instant. Is that
me? Am I having an out-of-body experience? Or seeing my life flash before my eyes?
The voice makes me flinch. It's too loud, too harsh, nothing like the intimate voice
of Schuldich's or Farfarello's directly in my head.
Still befuddled, I force myself to raise my head a bit and stare up into an
unfamiliar smiling face, framed by thick red curls.
Belatedly I notice the faint rhythm in my chest, amplified by the lap I am stretched
The pulse of my heart.
My eyes widen in disblief. Tears, real ones, begin to prickle at my eyes. My limbs
lay unresponsive, but I can hear my heart thudding in my ears, can feel my lungs pulling in
Incredulous joy slowly starts to build, making it hard to breathe.
"I guess the princess deserves a reward, then..."
Author's Notes: XD XD Kekeke...
For anyone that doesn't remember enough of the series to understand what happened at a couple
parts (hell, I had to go look up episode summaries to get it right), the part where
Farfarello tells her she's been kidnapped is when Schreint takes her, and the time he's
carrying her is when Ran gets her back from Schreint but Farfarello knocks out Birman and Omi
and takes her back again. The fight at the tower and its collapse are rather self-
explanatory, I think ^.^;
And no, this is not the end.
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