Public Enemy #1

The back door crashed open violently enough to cause several nearby pots to fall from their shelves.

Ken, nearest to the door, jumped, almost dropping his broom. At the last second he lifted it, weilding it like a staff as he gaped at the man who came stumbling inside out of the rain, coat clinging to his body, long wet hair practically covering his face.

Schuldich of Schwarz looked about ready to wet himself.

"You!!" The German headed for Ken in long strides, eyes wild. "Quick-- where do you keep the guns?"

Ken back-pedaled frantically, waving the broom wildly in front of himself to keep the other assassin at bay. "YOHJI!" he shouted. "Your fucking boyfriend has lost it!"

"Fuckbuddy," Yohji corrected with a displeased frown, appearing in the doorway. "He's a fuckbuddy, Ken-Ken. Playboys don't have 'boyfriends'." He arched a brow at his frazzled-looking lover. "What the hell's wrong with you?" he demanded. "You look like a drowned rat. Did Taketori ask you to be his love slave or something?"

"Shutthefuckup," Schuldich snarled, shoving Ken aside and heading for the front of the shop. "Guns. Ammo. Napalm. Anything. Give it to me now. Rat poison-- you have that, right?"

Yohji turned and grabbed his arm, hauling him back. "Are you insane?" he hissed. "There's customers still in there! And if Aya catches you, he'll skin you alive and use your flesh to wrap flowers with."

"YOHJI," Ken shrieked breathlessly.

The three men jumped aside as another figure came barrelling through the open door, sopping wet despite the ragged blanket held over his body. Farfarello's single golden eye was a little wider than normal as he looked around at them all in stony silence.

"What is he doing here?" Yohji snapped, backing off warily.

Farfarello pulled the blanket up and covered his head with it. Ken and Yohji stared.

"Idiot," Schuldich snarled, hurrying to shut the door. "What if she followed you?"

"She?" Ken repeated, crushing himself against the wall in an attempt to get as far away from the Berserker as possible.

Schuldich had the door nearly shut when a foot jammed itself through the opening. "If you lock me out here with it, I will kill you," came an ominous growl.

Schuldich stepped back to allow Crawford inside, with Nagi trotting right on his heels. Crawford looked a little harried, but calmer than the rest of them. Nagi's eyes were large as dinnerplates. Ken wondered for a moment if the boy was about to start sucking his thumb in terror.

"There is not a Schwarz Special on dead flowers, if you were wondering," Yohji pointed out a little uneasily.

"What the hell are all of you doing here?" Ken squeaked. "You want to fight here??"

"Quiet," Nagi whimpered. "She'll hear you." He shut the door and locked it, propping a potted tree in front of it. Then a few stools. He began stacking random pots on top of the stools after a moment's hesitation.

Ken and Yohji exchanged a quick glance.

"Schuldich," Yohji started nervously, "um, I know weed seems like a fun thing to try out, but did you really think it was a good idea for all of you to take it at the same time? It doesn't really work well for people who are already a little off the deep-end--"

"I said shutthefuckup," Schuldich interrupted angrily.

"What's going on in here?" Aya stepped in, frowning. "Yohji, how many smoke breaks--" he stopped, eyes widening at the sight of the four soaking-wet, pale-faced assassins. "Die," he intoned, lifting a trowel threateningly.

"The death threats can wait, Abysinnian," Crawford announced coolly, straightening his wrinkled suit. "We didn't come here for a fight. We'll be leaving momentarily."

"I'm sorry. Did you just threaten us with a fucking trowel?" Schuldich demanded, looking indignant. "Just for that, I'm going to give you nightmares of your sister being raped by sea lions for the next two months."

Aya went red with rage.

"Yeah. Leave. As soon as that thing is gone," Nagi muttered feverishly. He elbowed past Ken and began stacking more pots into his arms while the ones on the shelf across the room began flying over to join the steadily growing pile by the door.

Farfarello crouched in a corner and peeked out of his blanket cover to stare at Aya.

Aya stared back, nonplussed. He pointed at the man in a silent demand for a sane explanation, glaring at Yohji accusingly.

"Hey, don't look at me," Yohji said hastily. "They've all gone fucking nutters. I don't know what's going on."

"Is Tot following Nagi or something?" Ken asked curiously.

Nagi turned a heated look on the older man.

Ken held up his hands defensively. "Or not."

"Worse," Schuldich insisted, trying to peep through a crack in the curtains without daring to actually move them aside. "Kudou, guns."

"We don't have any, and even if we did, why on God's green earth would we keep them here?" Ken snapped. "Don't YOU have guns?"

"Don't bring guns in here," Aya started angrily.

Schuldich was already turning to offer Ken a scowl. "If we HAD them, don't you think we'd be using them? Dumbass."

Ken looked insulted. "What'd you call me, you Nazi bastard??"

Schuldich leered at the younger man. "Cute but dumb. Aren't those the key ingredients to a member of Weiß?"

Ken sputtered, flushing.

Schuldich laughed out loud at whatever he'd picked out of the boy's mind.

Aya looked around for a more suitable weapon than a trowel, but Nagi beat him to the rake. "We'll leave momentarily," he said calmly, responding to Aya's glare with an unimpressed look. "As soon as--"


Everyone froze.


"..." Yohji turned an incredulous look on Crawford. "...'Bradley'?"

Crawford's face was a cold mask of death. "Shut up," he suggested quietly.

Yohji shut up.

"Shiiiiiiiit she came in through the front!" Schuldich hissed, looking close to panic.

"What did you expect?" Ken shot back nastily. "Who would come through the back door except you idiots?"

Schuldich ignored that.

Nagi was scrambling for the door that led to the shop, obviously intent on blocking it as well. Aya barred his way, glaring fiercely. "Get out of my shop," he snapped.

"Yeah, good idea, let them take care of the little cunt," Schuldich said quickly, and began shoving the makeshift barricade away from the back door. Ken flinched as a pot hit the ground and shattered loudly.

"Careful with that!" he yelped.

A high-pitched giggle made them all freeze. "There you are!"

Schwarz shrank back against the far wall, looking like cornered dogs. The puzzled members of Weiß turned to stare at the small figure in the doorway.

It was a girl. A girl in a frilly yellow sundress with impossibly long wavy... silver hair.

She was also startlingly beautiful, and was beaming at them all so brightly Omi instinctively raised a hand to shield his eyes.

She looked at them all with bright interest, full cotton-candy lips stretching wider in a smile of greeting. "Oh, and the rest of you are here as well!" She clapped her hands, giving a tinkling little laugh. "How wonderful! I'm Crystalla. How do you do?"

Schuldich frantically resumed his attack on the barricade.

Yohji gaped at the girl for a long moment, then flashed his most winning smile, procurring a rose from nowhere. He dipped a bow at her, offering her the flower with a flourish. "Crystalla," he repeated in a throaty murmur. "A lovely name for a lovely young lady."

"Why thank you," she said sweetly, dimpling at him as she accepted the rose. "Yo-tan."

Yohji blinked.

"Stop it," Ken hissed, trying to pry a large potted plant from Schuldich's deathgrip. "It's just a girl! What the hell is wrong with you?? Stop breaking all these pots-- OOMPH!"

Nagi flattened him against the wall with a stern glance and moved to help Schuldich.

Yohji was peering at the girl with a mix of amusement and confusion. "Wait, how did you know my--"

"Oh, Ran, don't look so grumpy," Crystalla exclaimed with an adorable little pout. "You look so much prettier when you smile!"

Aya's eyes slowly widened. "How did you-- Wait. Pretty??"

"I heard that, Schu," Crystalla added chidingly, giving him a sad little look. "So impolite."

"Gah!" Schuldich reached up reflexively to put his hands on either side of his head. "Stay out, you prissy little cunt!"

"Farfie!" Crystalla let loose another little laugh of delight. She crouched down by the wad of blankets on the ground, tilting her head as she tried to see through the tiny opening around Farfarello's face. "What are you doing in there, you silly man?"

Farfarello withdrew further into his cocoon, hiding himself completely from view.

"Leave him alone," Nagi spoke up bravely.

"Ohhh, Nagi-kun," Crystalla sighed, rising to her feet and offering him such a look full of sad pity that he actually took a step back. "Why must you try and be so grown-up? You're still so young! You should be enjoying life like a normal boy your age. I know!" She giggled. "I'll take you to an amusement park today! It will be fun, and you'll see what you've been missing all these years! Trapped in Schwarz all this time, unable to enjoy a single day of happiness, forced to wear an uncaring mask, longing for love but not trusting yourself to experience it for fear that your beloved will be dragged into your dark life.."

Aya turned and glared at Crawford, ignoring her continuous babble. "What the HELL is going on?" he growled.

"What IS she?" Ken added, staring at her wide-eyed.

"Evil incarnate for all we know," Schuldich muttered out of the side of his mouth, keeping a wary eye on her as she chattered cheerfully on about Nagi's doomed childhood. "Beats me. The little twat showed up in the middle of a job. Somehow managed to take out fifteen men that she thought had 'cornered' us... Never mind the trap we'd set up for them. Thinks she saved the day. Managed to ruin everything we've been working on with that client for four months." He shuddered. "We haven't been able to get rid of her since. She's been tagging after us all goddamn day. Farfarello threatens her, and she laughs at him and goes on and on and on about what a sweet boy he used to be, how much he must be hurting inside, how he only needs some love... yadda yadda yadda. She's managed to scare the shit out of him. That blanket's not for the rain. He's been hiding under it since she started talking to him. Oh." He winced. "And she seems to have telepathy, too. Oh, and TK that is supposedly stronger than Nagi's."

"As well as precog," Crawford muttered. "And she seems to be better at any of those Gifts than we are. She claims to have some 'secret' power as well. She wishes to join us."

"Then take your new member and get the hell out," Aya said coolly.

Crawford arched a brow at him. "By 'us', I meant all of us," he explained. At Aya's blank look, he clarified. "She wishes to be the one to join Schwarz and Weiß together."

Aya's eye began to twitch violently. He swung his heated glare towards the bubbly girl, who was just wrapping up her spiel. Farfarello was now nothing more than a very small ball of blanket, rocking back and forth frantically. Nagi looked shellshocked.

Omi felt himself sympathizing despite himself. "Hey, leave them alone," he started hesitantly.

His intervention only earned him a glossy-eyed gaze. He balked as Crystalla came right into his personal space, hands clasped at her breast. "Omi-chan, you're just as bad as poor Nagikins! Deprived of a childhood, unable to explore life outside of this dark and dreary mission!"

Aya's mouth jerked reflexively, but he managed to hold his smirk back just in time. "Nagi..kins..?"

Nagi shot him a dirty look. "Would you like me to tear you apart with a thought?"

"Try it."

Nagi stared hard at him, testing the older man's conviction. Abruptly he turned his gaze on Schuldich. "You're sleeping with one of these idiots?"

"Their stubborn idiocy makes things entertaining," Schuldich smirked.

Aya snatched up a pot to throw.

"Boys, no fighting!" Crystalla cried, putting herself firmly between the two groups, eyes practically overflowing with tears. "Can't you see? I'm going to help all of you. I'll bring you together, and you'll all be stronger for it! You shouldn't be enemies!"

Schuldich raised a finger. "Do off-hours count?" He leered over the girl's head in Yohji's direction.

"Shut up, Schuldich," Yohji muttered, flushing slightly.

Ken made a break for the door, but froze in midair. His eyes slid towards Nagi accusingly, but the younger boy held up his hands in innocene, darting a glance towards Crystalla, who was glaring at Ken indignantly.

"At least she's got big boobs," Yohji muttered under his breath. "Is she legal?"

Aya stared at him, nonplussed.

Crystalla giggled, blushing prettily. She batted her eyes at Yohji. "I'm exactly eighteen," she claimed. "Legal enough for anyone."

"...Anyone," Omi repeated in a deadpan, beginning to look a little trapped himself.

"Oh, I just can't choose!" Crystalla moaned, looking around at each of them beseechingly.

"...Choose?" Omi sent Aya a frantic look.

Aya jumped when Nagi sidled up behind him. "You distract her," the younger boy murmured. "We'll run for it and I'll try to hold the door shut behind us."

Aya started to nod, then jumped again when he felt a curious poke on his rear end. "I don't think it's their 'hardheadedness' that you appreciate," Nagi sent towards Schuldich drolly.

Aya stared down at him, and after a moment Nagi offered a slow, promising smile, interest lighting in the back of his eyes. Aya blushed to the roots of his hair.

"Can we focus on the problem at hand, you horny little shit?" Schuldich hissed, eyeing Crystalla warily. She had trapped Crawford in a corner and was bemoaning his fate as a civilized nice young man who had been forced to adopt an indifferent facade in order to survive the cruelty of Rosenkreuz and so on and so forth. Crawford was having a hard time keeping said "indifferent facade" intact, his eyes beginning to look a little wild.

"Right." Nagi dragged his eyes away from their speculative exploration of Aya's body and focused his attention on Crystalla. "On three..."

"I can hear you, you know," she interrupted herself, turning to offer Nagi a pitying look. "I am the world's strongest telepath you know." She hesitated, blushing a little. "And aren't you a little young to be having thoughts like that about poor Ran-chan?"

Ran's blush intensified. "Thoughts?" he repeated a little hoarsely, trying to edge away from Nagi.

Nagi offered her a lofty stare. "I'm a teenager," he pointed out in a patronizing tone.

"The thoughts running through her head aren't much better," Schuldich put in, looking a little queasy. He strategically placed himself behind Yohji. "I think we should kill it and put it out of our misery."

Crystalla laughed her tinkling little laugh. "Oh, don't be silly, Schuldich! You don't really want to kill me. Stop with the tough act. I know how you really feel about me." She gazed at him demurely through her lashes.

"Give me that trowel," Schuldich ordered Aya tightly.

"I do like older men, though," Crystalla mused, glancing towards Crawford thoughtfully.

Crawford looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He sidestepped hastily as she came towards him. "I'm seeing someone already," he said quickly, tone flat.

Crystalla blinked. "No you're not."

"No you're not," Schuldich agreed with a frown.

Crawford's eye twitched. "I am."

"Who?" Crystalla pouted, placing her hands on her hips. "You've never bothered to date anyone before!" She beamed. "That's why I'm here! To help you open your heart to new possibilities, to break down the barrier around your heart and mind and--"

Crawford's eyes had been darting around, looking for an escape, any escape.

Abruptly Farfarello rose, blanket still wrapped around him with only his face peeping out. Crystalla hesitated, giving him a curious look.

Farfarello gazed back silently for a moment, then suddenly gave a small, eerie smile. He reached out, snagged Crawford by the front of his suit, and yanked him down for a savage kiss.

Crystalla gave a little shriek. Schuldich burst into slightly hysterical laughter. Nagi was examining Aya's ass again.

Crawford finally managed to wrestle out of Farfarello's grip and fell back against the wall, staring incredulously at the madman. Farfarello leered back.

"OK, Farfarello's meds obviously need to be checked," Schuldich sniggered.

"I'll kill you," Crawford promised the Berserker coldly.

Farfarello looked decidedly unimpressed.

"Oh oh oh!" Crystalla squeezed her eyes shut and placed her hands over her ears as if trying to block whatever thought she'd picked up on. "Bradley, no! You--"

"Enjoyed that??" Schuldich finished, crowing in triumph.

Crawford offered them all a glare that should have peeled the paint from the walls.

Farfarello smirked.

Aya batted Nagi's straying hand away, flushing. "Stopit! I thought we were going to--"

"Oh, right. One..two.. three!"

Aya sprang for Crystalla.

She gave a little squeal, but instead of blocking the attack, she threw open her arms and caught him in a tight embrace. He gave a squeak and immediately tried to untangle himself from her.

"Thanks for being the martyr, Absynnian," Schuldich called over his shoulder, already hauling ass towards the shop, Yohji right behind him.

Farfarello snagged a finger in Crawford's beltloop and dragged the indignant-looking assassin after the other two at a fast clip. Omi and Ken practically had to fight to get out the door at the same time. Nagi hesitated in the doorway, lip curling at the squeals of happiness coming from the silver-haired girl.

"Oh, Ran! I knew it would be you, I always knew it! Somehow, I knew you could do it. Break down that icey wall for me and--"

Nagi seized Aya with his Gift and yanked him violently from Crystalla's grip. Aya gave an "oof" as he collided with the younger boy.

Slender arms wrapped around his waist tightly, trapping him, and Nagi offered the girl an unpleasant little smile from around the other's shoulder. "Hands off." And he slammed the door in her face as she came stumbling towards them with a wail.

Aya struggled in Nagi's grip, lifting an arm to stare down at the smaller boy. "H-hey," he sputtered, face reddening. "You can let go now--"

Nagi gave a slow smile, looking very much like the cat who had caught the canary. "Mmm, no," he decided.

"Come ON, Nagi!" Schuldich shouted from the shop.

Nagi sighed, pouting a little, but released Aya. The two of them hurried to catch up with the others. Crystalla could be heard pounding on the door, beseeching them to return to her in a strident voice.

They all dodged the bewildered customers and burst out the front door into the summer sunlight, where they paused to catch their breath and gather their wits.

"At least.. the rain's... stopped..." Yohji wheezed.

"She'll be after us in no time," Nagi panted. "She's strong. I can barely keep that door shut against her, especially from here."

"We'll have to split up," Crawford decided, reaching up to push his glasses further up the bridge of his nose. "We'll be harder to track. And distance is key; her telepathy will hopefully weaken when we're farther away."

"Right." Yohji glanced towards Schuldich.

"My place is farther away than yours," Schuldich put in, looking at his watch. "We'll just make the train."

"You're going with HIM?" Omi squeaked.

Yohji leered. "And what a fun few days it will be." He waggled his eyebrows for emphasis.

"Forget them," Ken snapped. "Omi, you're not staying at your apartment. It's not safe. Just bunk with me for a little while. I've got a place downtown."

Omi hesitated, blushing just a little. "U-um... okay..."

"I'll be at my apartment if you need to contact me," Crawford informed Schuldich. "Drop Farfarello off at the police station closest to your place. You won't have to be creative thinking of a crime. One look at him will convince them to put him safely behind bars. She might not think to look for him there."

Farfarello arched his eyebrow. "I'm going with you," he said, as if it were obvious.

Crawford stared at him. "The hell you are."

Farfarello seized a handful of the man's dark hair and jerked him down to face level. His smile was creepy but full of forbidden promises. "Yes I am."

Crawford hesitated.

"Well, since Fujimiya obviously can't stay here..." Nagi drawled.

"No," Aya cut him off sharply.

Nagi offered him a patient look. "I could always drag you kicking and screaming," he pointed out.

Aya stared at him wildly, then looked to the others for help. They all offered blank looks in response. Finally he scowled, glaring at the younger boy. "Fine," he snapped, pointing threateningly. "But no funny business!"

Nagi gave a sultry smile. "I won't do anything you don't want me to do," he offered sweetly. "...Or beg me to do."

Aya's face turned crimson.

"Now that that's settled.." Yohji clapped his hands together once briskly, glancing uneasily over his shoulder towards the shop. "Let's get going while the going's good. I don't know who the fuck that chick was, but that is the creepiest craziest bitch I've ever set eyes on."

"Mary Sue," Ken and Omi muttered under their breaths at the same time. They glanced at each other and laughed.

"What?" Aya repeated blankly.

"Never mind," Ken snorted. "Yohji's right. Let's go, Omi." Omi smiled shyly up at him.

"Meet again in three days," Crawford said firmly.

"Make it a week," Schuldich insisted, leering at his lover. Yohji arched a brow, grinning back. "I got some catching up to do."

"Others of us have, hm, 'training' to do," Nagi added thoughtfully.

Farfarello smirked.

"A week, then," Ken agreed, oblivious to Omi's stained cheeks. "See ya!"

The eight of them split off and ran, ignoring the indignant shrieks coming from the shop.

"NO NO NO This isn't supposed to be a yaoi!! You're supposed to be with meeeeeeee!!!"

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