SNAFU: The World According to Schuldig

Part Thirteen
"Whatever happened to Darwin?"

    Farfarello is still annoyed with us when we go out to meet up with Takatori that evening, but I'm as happy to ignore him as he is unhappy with what happened this morning. I don't need to listen to his opinion because he's a dangerous crazy at worst and a fat liar at best. Well, technically he's skinny, or lean, or something nonfat, but a liar. You can't trust liars, you know. Once you start listening to them, then you start really listening and then you start believing, and then who knows up from down anymore. So what if Crawford eats spiders? At least they're not anywhere near me if they're in his stomach and last I heard, Farfarello likes to eat roasted children. I don't know what Nagi sees in him. Crawford's already suggested that it would be an abusive relationship, though he then turned around and said they'd be good for each other. I don't know which it is but he needs to make up his mind.

    "Schuldig?" Crawford asks from the driver's seat, sounding a little concerned.

    Schuldig. Guilty. Stole an apple and didn't even get to eat it. What the hell is up with that?

    "Schuldig," Crawford tries again.

    I don't look up from where I'm hunched over my knees because I can't look up. If I look up the car's going to start that spinning thing again and I'll throw up again and throwing up is not a lot of fun. I threw up after sex last time, too. What's up with that? Is that some sort of natural instinct in humans to get violently ill after sex just so they won't have babies endlessly?

    "Oh shit."


    Fuck. I must be pregnant. I'm bloody pregnant.

    "What did you give him?" Farfarello wants to know. I feel the chair creak a little as he leans forward between the seats to eye me. He sure can move around a lot back there. Is he even wearing a seatbelt? Maybe we should get him a straitjacket. It'd be bad for the baby if he was loose all the time.

    "I didn't read the label," Crawford confesses. "It didn't have one."

    "Do I even want to know why you had something like that on hand?"

    "I found it in the kitchen downstairs."

    "And you decided it would be a good idea to give it to him? How do you expect us to run this job with him looking like that?" Farfarello demands.

    "He will be fine," Crawford reassures him. "Let's go, Schuldig."

    "I can't drink tonight," I tell him, not budging. "It'll be bad for the baby."

    There's a long silence before Farfarello speaks. "He'll be fine," he says, a cool accusation. "Leave him here to guard the car."

    "Nagi's going to guard the car."

    "Then Schuldig can keep him company."

    "I'm not staying in the car," I argue, untangling one hand from my hair to wave it in protest. "It's rocking too badly and if I throw up, I might throw up the baby."

    "What baby?" Crawford wants to know.

    "You got me pregnant," I snarl at him. "Now I'm going to puke all over the place."

    "You're not pregnant," Farfarello says, sounding like he's losing his patience. "Men can't get pregnant."

    "You want me to trust you?" I ask incredulously. "You're a fucking liar, Farfarello. You want to see something? I've got a picture here that says you're a liar."

    "A picture," Farfarello echoes.

    "Schuldig, you're not pregnant," Crawford reassures me, and I feel the weight of his hand as he rubs my back. "You're just having a bad reaction to the medicine I gave you."

    I think about that. "Was I sick?"

    "You are now," Crawford says.

    "I should get out of the car before I throw up," I decide.

    "What picture?" Farfarello asks.

    Crawford reaches past me and gets the door handle, and I make it out onto the sidewalk and over to a nearby trash can in time to get sick. The sidewalk rocks underneath me and I almost fall down, but Crawford's arms around my waist keep me up. He must have said something about the picture on his way out of the car because Farfarello goes straight for my pocket when he shows up at our sides. I glare up at him as he studies it and something twitches on his face before he rips it in two.

    I make a grab at the halves but he tosses them into the trash and I'm not good enough friends with Tot to pull them off the sticky mess they've landed in. Instead I glare at Farfarello again. "That wasn't mine," I tell him. "You can't go around ripping shit up, you psycho."

    "Yes, I can," Farfarello assures me.

    "He was a lot better at it when he used knives," Crawford tells me, sounding a little too proud of that, and he turns me towards the front door of the building. I think I can stand on my own so I push his hands away and then latch onto his sleeve instead when the world tilts a little bit.

    "Things change," Farfarello says, starting for the door.

    "No," Crawford says a little mournfully. "People do." Farfarello comes to a stop at that but Crawford doesn't notice. He digs through his pockets and comes up with a silver stick, which he offers me. "Gum?" he asks. I take it from him and toss the wrapper off to one side. Crawford nods as I chew it. "Feeling better?"

    "I don't think I'm dying anymore."

    Crawford looks worried. "Were you dying?"

    "For a while," I tell him. "I'm better now. I think."

    I show him how much better I am by walking towards the door, but the door keeps moving from side to side to taunt me and every time I blink I see white shadows on my eyelids. I end up running into the door when it's still an arm's length away and go stumbling back hard into Farfarello. "Owww."

    "You should wait in the car," Farfarello says. "You're not fit to be in here."

    I throw him a sneer over my shoulder as I teeter off to one side. "You're not fit to be here, either. Which one of you was really locked up at Rosenkreuz? I bet it was you and Crawford's the one who let you out because he saw you'd be good for Schwarz."

    Farfarello just stares at me before turning on Crawford. "What the fuck did you give him?"

    "His telepathy is doing marvelously," Crawford says, sounding proud again. I teeter into him, soaking up that approval, stomach shaking a little at the thought that I put that tone in his voice. Or maybe the shaking is the nausea, because in the next second I'm leaning past him and throwing up again. Crawford pats my back encouragingly. "Your shields are a little broken," he says. "It will take time to adjust."

    "How much time?" I gasp out. Damn, I lost my gum. I can see it in the puddle. I hold my hand out for another and Crawford's already ready with it. I straighten as I pop it in my mouth and let Crawford get the door this time, since it doesn't seem to shy away from him.

    "A couple hours, perhaps," Crawford guesses.

    "Right." I wander past him inside.

    "When I said his madness was interesting, I wasn't telling you to get sucked up into it," Farfarello informs me.

    "You didn't say interesting," I correct him, wagging a finger in his general direction. "You said it was contagious."

    "I meant it in a less literal term."

    "Whatever, liar." I scrub at my eyes, trying to erase the shadows from them.

    Farfarello's rubbing his temples when I lower my hands and muttering something in English under his breath. Crawford says something back to him and it takes me a second to guess a translation as 'He's a telepath'. I don't understand what Farfarello says back but there's at least two 'no's in it. Crawford starts for the elevators and I offer Farfarello a triumphant little smirk before following after him.

    The elevator wipes that smirk off my face pretty quickly and I end up huddled in the corner as my stomach acts up. It takes me a minute to figure out how to get back to my feet when we stop at the floor where Takatori's having his meeting and I stumble after my teammates into the hallway. Crawford considers me for a moment before pointing.

    "You should drink some water," he tells me. "It will help."

    "Will it?" I ask. He nods and I turn around and wander off in the direction he's pointed. I can hear him and Farfarello arguing quietly as I leave but I trust Crawford to be able to handle our weak-minded teammate.

    I pass a lady on my way down the hall and stick my arm into her path. "Water," I say in Japanese. "Now."

    She looks a little startled and a little bit offended, but she says something in Japanese and points at a door just a little further down. I let my arm fall away and she continues quickly on. I head on over to the door and push it open, only to come to a stop in the doorway.

    My good friend Red Haired Asshole is standing inside the room over a dead body that's bleeding a lot. He turns quickly at the sound of the sound of the door opening and I'm treated to the sight of a long sword in his hands. I blink at him as he stares back, and recognition has his face twisting into a furious look.

    "Hey," I say, pointing at him. "You're that prick." I look down at the body. Wow, a real dead body. It's been a while since I last saw one, but somehow, the smell is still too familiar. It does shitty things to my stomach and I grit my teeth against the need to throw up. I'm not entirely sure I want to keel over right here when he's got a sword in his hands.

    "You," he growls, pointing his sword at me.

    "Me," I agree. "I'm Schuldig. I'm Schwarz's telepath. Who are you?"

    "Weiß," he answers coldly.

    I blink at him, then blink again, and then start laughing. "What the fuck is Byce?" I ask. "It's Weiß, you thick-brained Japanese idiot."

    He starts for me with his sword then and I leap backwards, scrambling to get my gun out. It stops him in his tracks in the doorway and I sprawl back against the wall. "Weiß," I say. I want to tell Crawford, but then I wonder if he already knows. I'll tell him anyway. "Get out," I tell him, lifting my empty hand to point down the hall. His fingers twitch against his sword hilt. "Get out," I say again.

    His purple eyes dart to the side, down the hall in the direction of Takatori's meeting room, but footsteps from the other direction have him looking back that way. Crawford and Farfarello are standing a little further down the hallway, each standing against opposite walls.

    I shake my head at him as he turns a murderous look back on me. I wonder if he's still dumb enough to try anything and I'm not sure I want to test my aim against his sword, even with just four feet between our bodies. I turn on him the smirk I gave myself in the mirror the other day and make my words a pure threat. "I said get out, Weiß."

    He doesn't have a whole lot of options when faced with all three of us, but it's still another minute before he lowers his sword. Anger and pride keep his back stiff as he starts down the hall, but it's still a retreat and we all know it.

    "I'll make sure he leaves," Farfarello says.

    "No worries," Crawford reassures him. "Schuldig's telepathy will make sure he goes all the way."

    Farfarello gives an irritated sigh. "Whatever," he says. "Your client, your loss."

    "Did I look cool or what?" I ask.

    "Your safety is probably still on," Farfarello says, and I eye the gun. "He looked familiar."

    "Yeah," I say, and I point my gun at the room. "Crawford, there's a body in there. Get rid of it before I get sick again."

    Crawford and Farfarello move over to investigate. Farfarello goes right up to the body and prods at it with his bare hand and I tilt my head back to count imaginary cracks on the ceiling. "Someone important?" Farfarello asks.

    "Not anymore," Crawford answers. "I will tell Takatori it's for the best."

    "And he's not going to care that he lost an ally?" Farfarello asks a little sarcastically.

    "He's intimidated by Schwarz," I remind Farfarello. "He'll trust us."

    Farfarello doesn't answer that- or maybe he does, but the ceiling above me has flickered back and I realize I'm falling. I don't feel myself hit the ground and it's morning again before I wake up again.


    I wake up with the worst headache in the history of mankind and end up lying there for half an hour as I try to figure out how to get out of bed. I'm still stretched out there when Farfarello comes in search of the coffee pot and seeing him just brings back memories of last night.

    "I didn't mean most of it," I say, letting the pillow muffle my words.

    He looks back when he realizes I'm awake and I stare back at him, unwilling to actually offer up the stupid S word over something like last night. At length Farfarello turns back on the counter and starts setting up the pot to brew. I wonder if that means I'm forgiven or totally scratched off of his 'will tolerate' list.

    "What did he give me?" I ask. I remember Crawford handing me the pill after we came back from my afternoon driving lesson and for the first time in my life, I'd been dumb enough to take it without a second thought or even a suspicious question. I'd been feeling a little trusting after what had happened yesterday morning and now that trust has been squished a little. I'd say a lot, but since it's the next morning and I'm still here with my bed, I'm feeling forgiving- when it comes to Crawford, anyway.

    "I don't know," Farfarello says. The conversation dies right there, at least long enough for him to get the coffee started. Only when it's started dripping does he turn to face me again and I take that as a good sign. "Whatever it was," Farfarello says, "has it worn off?"

    I do a little mental check. The checklist comes up empty for both nausea and pregnancy. "I think so."

    "Good," he says shortly.

    "You're still a liar," I tell him. "That hasn't changed. You said you found Crawford your freshman year of college, but someone else said you joined up with him four years ago in Europe. You're not old enough to have been a freshman four years ago, and you purposefully let me think you were new to this whole mess. I want to know why."

    "Things were different four years ago," Farfarello says. I wait for more, but the only thing he has to add is, "Very different."

    "That's what she said, too."

    "Tot?" Farfarello guesses.

    "She said things were different now. She also says you're crazy."

    "And you believe her?"

    "She's told me more truths than you have."

    The coffee maker gurgles and Farfarello turns away to pour himself a mug. He doesn't offer me any and I feel miffed before deciding I can't sit up to drink it anyway. Farfarello doesn't even bother to answer that accusation but takes his mug with him out of the room. I scowl across the room at the counter.

    I'm still there an hour later when Farfarello comes back to drop his mug off. "I'm leaving," he says. "Are you ever getting up?"

    "I'll get up when I feel like it," I say.

    He doesn't answer that, either, and I decide to write it off as me having the last word. It sounds better that way, and it lasts until I realize I have no clue where Crawford is. "Where's Crawford?" I want to know.

    The door shutting is my only answer. I'm left with the last word but Farfarello takes the point. I was right about him being a selfish, petty bastard. One-eyed prick. I make a note to ask Tot how to say "Cyclops" in English. I think it'd be useful.

    I think about that, then realize I'm still dressed, which means my phone is in my pocket. I dig it out and dial her number, and she picks up on the second ring.

    "Hi hi!" she greets. "Am out front! Almost!"

    "Just come upstairs," I answer. "I'm still in bed."

    "With Crawford?" she asks eagerly.

    I reach behind me and check. "No."

    "Okay!" She hangs up and I stuff my phone back in my pocket. Not even a minute later she knocks at the door and I wonder if Farfarello locked it. I yell at her to try the knob and she comes bounding in, kicking her high heels off at the entrance with an ease I really need to learn. "Schuldig!" she chides me, sliding to a stop in front of my bed and showing me her watch. "Look! Why you in bed?"

    "Long night," I answer.

    "With Crawford?"

    "What the hell is up with your obsession with us?" I demand.

    "It's interesting!" She spreads her hands out at her side, all 'what can you do' about it, and spins away to swing herself up onto the counter. She points at the coffee pot and I point, and she takes that as a yes and pours herself whatever Farfarello left.

    "We had a job last night," I tell her. "I almost got to use my gun. You should've seen it. I was real badass."

    "Yay!" She cheers, and she sets down her mug to thrust both fists in the air.

    "But get this. That ugly redhead from the hospital? He was there last night- with a sword. Real what the fuck or something, but he killed a guy. Blood everywhere. Called himself Weiß but he couldn't even say it right. I showed his ass a thing or two and kicked him to the curb."

    That earns another "Yay!" and she leans forward, looking excited. "Was it exciting? Was there big fight? Movie style! Bang bang!"

    I wave that off. "No, I didn't have to shoot him. I just told him to get out and he did. Telepathy and all that, you know."

    She smiles, leaning back and picking up her mug again. "Tot is happy!" she says. "And Darwin! He would too! Be happy!"

    It takes her all of five sips to realize she's said something wrong. "Schuldig?" she asks, worried.

    "…Darwin," I echo.

    "Oh!" She waves that off. "He's dead. All dead! Crawford's parents? They killed him." She rakes a finger across her throat. "Now they're dead too!" That last is said with a little too much glee, but maybe it's that it's the dark edge to that glee that has the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end. "They are- were- scum."

    "Darwin," I say again. "Whatever happened to Darwin?"

    She frowns, looking confused. "Dead," she says again, but I don't hear her.

Part 14
Back to Mami's Fics