SYN: When You Gonna Learn?

Part Two

      Schuldich made it back to the apartment a little before midnight and found that Nagi had beaten him back, most likely because he didn't trust Schuldich to get there ahead of him. The thought amused the team's German and he offered his youngest teammate a cold smile when he came across him in their kitchenette area. The youth was at the table with files he must have retrieved from Crawford and he flicked Schuldich only the barest of glances as he continued to go through them. Neither said anything to each other and Schuldich helped himself to some juice from the fridge.

      Farfarello wandered in as Schuldich was putting the pitcher away and the telepath tilted his cup at his teammate in a silent greeting. Farfarello didn't bother to acknowledge it and instead moved to the table, reaching out and pulling over the stack of finished paperwork. Schuldich rolled his eyes at his cup for being passed over in favor of work and decided that Crawford had done that to Farfarello. If Farfarello had managed to make Crawford loosen up a little, then the precognitive had in turn offered Farfarello some of the stability the Irishman needed. With that stability was the ability to finally focus on the more technical details of what they were doing.

      /I'm obviously missing out here,/ Schuldich sent at Nagi, and he tilted his head towards the Irishman when Nagi glanced his way. /I don't know if you've noticed this, but everyone in this unit is getting ass except for me. That means that everyone's having more fun than I am, and I see issues with this. Do you see issues with this?/

      Nagi's expression was hard. ~Why don't you stay out of other people's business?~

      /It is my business,/ was the lazy response. /Schwarz is my team. You know, I figured Kudou was easy, but I didn't think you were./

      The cup gave a rough jerk in his hand, tilting against his fingers to splash bright red juice all down his front. Schuldich swore, slamming the cup down on the counter, and pulled his shirt away from his chest where it was sticking to him. "Take a joke, for Christ's sake," he snapped out. "Didn't anyone put you through Humor 101?"

      "I must have missed that," was the edged response, and they traded scowls across the room.

      Farfarello offered Schuldich a lazy little smile as he collected the paperwork, and the telepath sent him a dirty look as he worked on the buttons on his shirt. They started for the door at the same time, but Farfarello reached it a step before his teammate did and reached out to press one pale hand against a well-toned chest.

      "Looks like blood," the Irishman decided, flicking his yellow gaze up to Schuldich's face. "It looks good on you."

      "Bite me," Schuldich offered him, and Farfarello curled his lips back to show Schuldich his teeth. "Queer. Go lick Crawford's dick or something."

      "Someone's in a bad mood," Farfarello observed, stepping through the doorway. "Maybe you should go kill something."

      "That's a wonderful idea. Let's go hunt down one of Weiss. Balinese, perhaps? He's annoying."

      Nagi's gift crunched down on Schuldich's socked feet and he clenched his teeth around a curse as he caught at the doorframe. He flicked Nagi an acid look and a rude gesture over his shoulder and Nagi returned it in kind. Farfarello didn't notice, as he was already heading down the hallway towards Crawford's office. "Crawford says he's still useful to us," the Irishman answered with a shrug, and Schuldich looked towards his back.

      "Oh? Did he say why?"

      Farfarello paused outside the door and sent Schuldich a sidelong glance, considering him in silence for a moment. At last he offered the ghost of a smirk and twisted the knob, letting himself into Crawford's office without answer. "Your conversational skills suck, Farfarello!" Schuldich sent after him as the door clicked into place, and he raised his voice to be heard. "Normal people at least end it with a 'who knows?' or a 'good bye', you antisocial little prick."

      "You *are* in a bad mood," Nagi decided.

      "Finding out that your youngest teammate is fooling around with Weiss's oldest crybaby is enough to put anyone in a bad mood," Schuldich said. "You're what, twelve years old?"

      "Why does it matter?" Nagi demanded, giving a sharp wave of his hand to tell Schuldich to keep it down. "As long as I still know where my loyalties lie and still get the job done. If it was going to be bad for Schwarz Crawford would have seen it coming and stopped me. His gift is trained to protect us."

      "I think Crawford has better things to do than watch you let Kudou fuck you," Schuldich said, and that's about the point he realized Nagi had never said that he *wasn't* sleeping with the man. The German hadn't meant it when he'd spat it out at Nagi in the street outside the restaurant but Nagi hadn't had a hot retort in response other than it wasn't Schuldich's business. "Oh, hell. I'm going to go be sick somewhere."

      "Stop being such a prick, Schuldich."

      Schuldich half-turned to face him and stabbed a finger at the telekinetic. "You wouldn't be arguing with me if you didn't know you were out of line, but you know you're in the wrong. Otherwise you wouldn't have asked me not to tell Crawford that you two were bonding at Ming Yat over fried rice."

      ~Crawford says you should probably stop whatever you're doing if you don't want to end up bleeding all over the place,~ Farfarello spoke up across Schuldich's gift. ~He says you're harassing Nagi.~

      /The kid deserves to be harassed,/ Schuldich sent back. /Tell Crawford to bug off./

      ~Your bones,~ Farfarello relented.

      Schuldich decided to think better of it and shut up while he was ahead. He settled for a disgusted "Keh!" and turned away, leaving Nagi to his work as he headed down the hall to his room. He peeled off his shirt as he stepped through his door. Blue eyes spotted the mirror he'd passed just a few hours before and this time he gave his reflection a critical look, studying the disgruntled expression on his face. It looked out of place where haughtiness usually reigned, and he tossed his shirt to one side as he stepped closer to his dresser.

      A hand lifted and fingers grazed over cool glass as he forced his expression to relax. Lips curved into a smirk that was past automatic by now but he could see the lie in the look for the first time in years.

      Kudou and Nagi, hm?

      There was something seriously wrong with that.

      He pulled a clean shirt from one of the drawers and left the room again, heading towards the bathroom to wash the juice from his chest. He took more time than he needed to because he wasn't particularly interested in rushing and he kept his gaze on his hands so he wouldn't have to deal with the reflection just a short space in front of him. Stupid mirrors.

      Even still, he found his eyes automatically lifting to the glass as he was turning to go, and he offered his reflection a cool look. Kudou and Nagi could do whatever they wanted; who gave a damn, anyway? As long as Nagi remembered Schwarz came first and knew that one of these days Schwarz was likely to grow bored of Weiss and off them all, fine. See if he cared, and he'd just have to take his enjoyment in harassing the youth about his poor taste.


      "Keh," he said again, and he flicked the bathroom light off as he stalked out of the room.


      Schuldich decided that the Koneko no Sumu Ie was far more popular than it had any right to be. Flowers were flowers and utterly useless in their existence unless the one they were given to was allergic to them, and the four men who pretended to run the shop weren't anywhere near worth the adoration that was heaped upon them.

      He could watch them wade through the mess from his spot across the street only because of their height. Tsukiyono was lost somewhere in the throng but the other three were easy to pick out, their oldest assassin easiest of all. It was him that Schuldich's blue eyes followed and he reached up, using his thumb to push his sunglasses up into his hair. He was propped against a Yoshinoya fast food shop and the smells coming off of it just reminded him that it was more than definitely lunch time and he should be stuffing his face instead of spying on someone so useless as Kudou.

      On any other day he would agree, except any other day wasn't the day after he found out Kudou was banging his teammate. It was one of those days that would never happen again, no matter how long or short he lived, and Schuldich decided that meant it deserved special attention.

      ~What the hell?~ Schuldich wondered, watching as the other smiled and flirted shamelessly. ~What the hell does he see in that? I'd like to think Nagi doesn't have such bad taste. I can't approve of this.~

      And so he continued to watch for another half hour, struggling to see something in the other man that he'd missed in all of their previous encounters. There was nothing there he hadn't seen before; rather, he liked flower shop Kudou a lot less than he liked the Kudou on missions- at least that Kudou was killing people, though he tended to angst dramatically about it. Kudou and Nagi hadn't always been an item- because Schuldich refused to consider that- so when had it happened? What changed?

      He was about to give up in disgust when the shop closed for lunch, and he slid down the wall where a phone booth could hide him from sight as Weiss worked on ushering their rabid fan base out onto the sidewalks. He could still hear the piteous cries and the invitations for lunch and he wondered how such high pitched voices would sound raised in screams. ~Just douse the lot in lighter fluid and toss a match on…~

      It took several minutes for the girls to accept that the closed door really meant they couldn't hang around, and Schuldich watched as they finally drifted off. He reached out with his mind to search for Weiss, tagging them all, and settled on Kudou's.

      ~Hungry…~ was the stray thought across the other mind.

      /Yeah, and watching you four be treated like celebrities almost ruined my appetite,/ Schuldich sent back, and smirked at the startled spike in the other's thoughts. /Get your ass moving, Kudou. You and I have some things to clear up./

      ~I'm not feeling inclined to go anywhere with you,~ was the edged return. ~You can talk to Nagi if you want to know what's what.~

      /But I'm going to talk to you instead. If you can find the courage to cross the street, that is. This Yoshinoya is going to have to do because I'm starving. I suggest you come join me, because you're not going to like it if I come get you. You especially won't like it if I have to rip the answers out of your head./ He decided not to mention that this was impossible; his talent was in reading others' thoughts, not digging through what had already been stored long ago. He needed to get Kudou thinking about things in order to get anything substantial from it.

      ~You're not seriously across the street…~ Schuldich's smirk spread wider on his face when he saw the curtains on an upper story window of the Koneko move. Kudou came into sight and blue and green met across the space between them. ~I guess you are.~

      /Stop wasting my time and get a move on. Farfarello's waiting down the street unless you want to give me trouble, and I'm rather broad in defining 'trouble'./

      The distance wasn't great enough for Schuldich to miss Kudou's scowl. ~Color me surprised.~

      /Color me counting to ten. Let's go./

      There was a hesitation, then the curtains fell back into place. Schuldich decided that meant he was coming and went inside, not seeing any reason to wait on Kudou before stuffing his face. He found a spot at the counter and kept the seat beside him empty with a cold smile. It took just a minute to get his order placed and not even another minute had passed before Kudou stepped through the sliding glass doors of the fast food place. Kudou found him instantly and started across the shop towards him, a grim expression on his face.

      /You could attempt to look more cheerful,/ Schuldich pointed out. /These people are going to think you're racist or something./

      ~Maybe I am.~

      Schuldich tripped him with the ease of long practice, and Kudou had to clutch at the walls for balance. The German didn't look back from where he was watching his food be made but he did let a smirk stretch across his lips. He shifted to rest his shoe against the leg of his stool again and drummed his fingers on the counter where Kudou was to sit. /Maybe you should watch your step./

      ~Because tripping people is really mature,~ Kudou sent back.

      The other's annoyance was amusing. /Maybe I was talking about Nagi. Now sit down before I take this conversation out loud. I'm not sure what these people would think to hear that their neighborhood florist is screwing a male kid./

      Kudou sat down stiffly just as Schuldich's order was set down on the counter in front of him, and the server turned to the Weiss boy for his pick. It was easy for Kudou to come up with something and the waitress darted away to take care of it, temporarily leaving the two to each other's company. /So,/ Schuldich prodded him.

      ~Don't 'so' me. What do you want?~

      /I want to know what drugs Nagi was on when he thought you were anywhere near good enough to sleep with,/ Schuldich answered, shoveling rice in his mouth. /I want to know how long it's been going on./

      ~What, can't spy on your teammates well enough to keep track of these things?~

      "So I hear you're fucking my flatmate," Schuldich said conversationally, twirling his chopsticks through the air.

      ~Two months,~ Kudou told him, sounding irritated, and Schuldich offered him a lazy smile in triumph. Kudou's food showed up then and the other man tucked his bowl close. ~And I would ask you to remember that the majority of the blame is his; he's the one that offered.~

      /It's hysterical to think that it would have gone the other way when Nagi's a telekinetic,/ Schuldich pointed out condescendingly. /It was thoughtless of him to extend the invitation; the stupidity is yours for accepting. First off, you're fucking a telekinetic. Secondly, you're thereby fucking Schwarz by extension because Nagi is ours./

      ~Then you should already know that I'm the best lay you'll find around and this conversation's pointless,~ was Kudou's answer.

      /And humility runs deep./

      ~Pot and kettle.~

      /And the dish ran away with the spoon,/ Schuldich said breezily, and he reached out to tangle his fingers in Kudou's hair. A pull turned the other's face towards him and Schuldich gave him a critical look. /You're not attractive,/ he decided, /and I haven't seen any other intriguing qualities./

      ~I hope you're not expecting my feelings to be hurt by your opinion of me,~ Yohji sent back, reaching out to take his bowl from the server. ~I don't give enough of a damn about you to let your opinion bother me.~

      /Then I'll keep going,/ Schuldich told him, /since it's not going to bother you. You know, you never struck me as a pedophile./ Kudou's expression tightened and Schuldich let a slow smirk curl on his mouth. /I thought you didn't care, but it looks to me like I hit something there. Tell me, he did tell you how old he was, didn't he?/


      /You want me to tell the whole store how old he is?/

      Kudou gave him an eat shit and die look. ~He told me.~

      /Funny how you claim you won't fuck any girls under eighteen but you didn't let that stop you with my teammate. What'd he do, hold you down and make you rape him? Damn, these telekinetics can be dangerous for one's moral standing./

      ~Fuck you.~

      Schuldich arched his eyebrows in mock surprise. /My, aren't you the optimistic little slut./

      Kudou scowled at him. ~I wouldn't fuck you for all the money in the world.~

      Schuldich's smirk widened as he imagined stabbing his chopsticks through the other's eyes. What the hell was that supposed to insinuate, that Kudou would sleep with his tiny teenage partner but not him? The man's tastes were seriously out of line, and even though Schuldich knew he didn't- rather, shouldn't- care, he was offended nonetheless. Both Kudou and Nagi had serious, serious issues. That Nagi would look to Weiss and that Kudou would prefer Nagi…

      /I guess we'll see,/ he answered.

      It took Kudou a moment to come up with an answer to that; that obviously wasn't what he had expected and he wasn't sure whether or not to take Schuldich's words seriously. Schuldich was glad for the pause, as it gave him a moment to try and decipher the words as well. He'd said them without thinking, more out of his stung pride than any interest, because the thought of sleeping with Kudou was utterly ridiculous and Schuldich figured it would take weeks to wash the cooties off if he did.

      ~You shouldn't joke like that,~ Kudou said at last.

      /Who said I'm joking?/ Schuldich sent back, but inwardly he thought, ~I'd better be fucking joking.~

      ~Then you shouldn't say things that you can't carry through on,~ Kudou said, pushing his bowl away, and the older man rose to his feet. Schuldich just blinked up at him, not quite sure how to process that response, but he didn't have time to really think it through before Kudou slipped past him and headed for the register. ~It's a waste of both our times.~

      ~Wait, what?~ Schuldich's mind was tripping over itself as he eyed the other man; hooded blue eyes followed Kudou's progress and he watched as a lady hurried over to the register to help him. Kudou offered her a killer smile, all perfect white teeth and lazy-boy charm, green eyes dark with a warmth that was a little too friendly to be appropriate. One hand went up to pull his sunglasses out of his hair and he held onto them between his thumb and forefinger as he brushed errant locks of honey hair out of his face. Schuldich couldn't make out the words with the space between them but he could hear the other's amused drawl.

      /I didn't tell you that you could leave,/ Schuldich pointed out.

      ~My lunch break isn't long enough for me to hang out here and listen to you fuss at me because I got to Nagi first,~ Kudou sent back, accepting his change and offering the server a wink. ~Take your jealousy somewhere else; I've got work to do.~

      And with that, he turned and walked back out the sliding doors into the bright midday sun, leaving Schuldich to stare after him. By the time Schuldich came up with a list of responses, Kudou was already stepping off the curb to head back across the street.

      /Jealous?/ he asked, and he didn't feel the amusement that laced his mental voice. /Neither of you are worth my time or energy to be jealous over./

      Kudou just shrugged; Schuldich could see the gesture even with the space between them, and he scowled in the direction of the door.

      ~I'm not jealous,~ he thought, annoyed that Kudou would even think that. ~I have no reason to be.~

      He turned back to his lunch but his appetite was gone, and that did nothing to improve his mood. He left without paying, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he started down the sidewalk. He was riled by the conversation and he turned it over in his head as he headed for the train station.

      'I wouldn't fuck you for all the money in the world.'

      ~Says you,~ he thought, annoyed. ~You'd fuck me if I wanted you to, but who the hell is desperate enough to settle for you?~

      This again begged the question of what Nagi saw in him, and Schuldich's frown deepened as he remembered the way Kudou had looked while interacting with the server. Idly he wondered who that act had been for- the server or Schuldich himself- and he flicked a cool look over his shoulder in the direction of the shop.

      'Then you shouldn't say things that you can't carry through on. It's a waste of both our times.'

      What the hell was that supposed to mean?

      He didn't know, and he wasn't sure he wanted to figure it out.

Part 3
Back to Mami's Fics