Notes: Struggled not to write this, but my muses will NOT leavemethefuckalone about it. >__< Like I don't have enough fics on my plate. *buries face in hands* Though this song didn't inspire the fic, it does make me think of the fic whenever I hear it-- "Whispers in the Dark" by Skillet. Lyrics are here.
Warnings: As always-- YAOI!! Don't like, don't read. Very simple, ja? Also, this happens right after the WK series, (Gluhen does not exist) but with a few tweaks to the ending of WK. You'll see as it goes along. Enjoy ^^;;
1: Lost Time
It took Nagi several moments to realize he was conscious again, and once this was firmly established, he wished he'd never noticed. He winced, unwilling to open his eyes. His entire body felt as if it had been attacked with an over-sized meat tenderizer. His muslces felt torn, and every square inch of him felt like one big bruise. And with awareness came the mother of all headaches. The symptoms were familiar, if more punishing than they'd ever been before. He reached up in alarm to check if his nose was bleeding-- or tried to. His arm seemed heavy and weak, and trying to move it too much was painful. His muscles screamed in protest.
Slowly the rest of the world started to fade in with the rest of his senses. He could hear his own raspy breaths, the rythmic ticking of a clock somewhere... and voices, muffled as if he was hearing them underwater.
Panic struck him belatedly as memories came crashing down in horrifying clarity. Drowning. He was drowning, and the others-- He twisted suddenly in a frantic attempt to get his body to obey, to swim, to reach the surface. A strangled noise of desperation tore itself from his throat.
"Whoa! Grab him!!"
He was falling, making his stomach twist in sudden naseau and fear--
Then strong hands were catching him by the shoulders, holding him up.
Slowly the voices were becoming clearer, becoming actual words. Gradually Nagi felt his racing heartbeat begin to slow, his panic fading. They'd found him. Somehow, they must have found him and pulled him out. Relief washed over him almost painfully. Not dead. Not drowning... He'd survived.
"Jesus Christ... I can't believe you brought him here," came a disgruntled, unfamiliar voice from a little farther off.
The hands were manuevering him back onto a solid surface, and he forced his stiffened limbs to relax somewhat. He was having difficultly getting his eyes open.
"We have to report this, you know," someone sighed. The voice was vaguely familiar. "I'd hoped we'd seen the last of them..."
"Yeah, I was hoping they'd all drowned," came the harsh reply. "And good riddance."
Something... wasn't right here. Nagi pried his eyes open, blinking quickly in an attempt to clear his vision. Everything seemed fuzzy, out of focus. He squinted at the blurry form above him, but that made it worse.
Salt in the eyes, he realized when he recognized the sting. He tried to reach up again to rub at his eyes, but it hurt too damn much, and he gave up with a huff of irritation. He continued to blink, letting his body react and take care of the problem for him. A few tears leaked free, slowly clearing his view somewhat.
"Oh-- he's waking up!" It was a woman's voice. What the hell?
The hands on his shoulder disappeared immediately.
Nagi closed his eyes longer this time, and when he opened them, he was able to see better at last. Warily, he glanced around, taking in his surroundings.
The room was unfamiliar, and that alone was enough to put him on edge. It couldn't be a safehouse-- the place looked too lived-in. He was stretched out on a couch, an old blanket tangled in his legs from his near-fall. There was a wide-screen TV up against the far wall, a loveseat, an armchair, and a computer desk, the monitor glowing brightly in the shadowed room.
Finally he focused on the nearest person, the one who had evidently prevented a painful collision with the floor.
It took longer than it should have for him to process that face.
"Siberian...." his voice was thready and hoarse, barely human.
The brunette frowned at him and rose to his feet from where he'd been crouching at his side; he must have been the one to stop his fall.
Nagi's eyes flicked around in growing disbelief and alarm. All of them-- they were all there. Abysinnian glaring darkly at him from the foot of the couch, arms crossed. Balinese, fiddling nervously with a cigarette in the doorway, stairs leading upwards behind him. Bombay, seated on a stool nearby, watching him warily. And a girl who seemed familiar somehow... it took him a moment to recognize her. He had only seen her with her eyes closed and her hair braided. Fujimiya Aya. Abysinnian's sister. So... she was awake after all.
Nagi had tensed up, which only hurt his abused muscles more, so he forced himself to relax a bit. His heart was thudding in his ears. Weiß. What was he doing with them? If they'd been the ones to find him, then where were his teammates?
He shot his eyes towards Siberian, who was closest, and gave an experimental shove with his mind. The ensuing headache almost blinded him again, and Siberian didn't so much as twitch.
He hissed a curse, closing his eyes tightly. Still weak. He'd overdone it... back there.... Tested the limits of his own strength. He hadn't drained his powers this badly since he'd been a child.
"Why did you bring him here, Ran?" he heard Balinese ask quietly.
Abysinnian had been the one to find him? He was surprised he was still alive. The swordsman had expressed nothing but a smouldering hatred towards Schwarz. Nagi forced his eyes open once more.
"what did you expect him to do, just leave him there?" the girl-- Aya --asked incredulously. "He's even younger than Omi is!"
Bombay gave her a wounded look. "You say that like I'm a kid..."
"I'm surprised your conscience had a say in the matter at all," Siberian admitted, pushing himself to his feet and sending his partner a narrow look. "But even then, you could have just dropped him off at the hospital."
"It's forty minutes away," Abysinnian reminded him sharply, still glaring at Nagi as if wondering why he had allowed a stray dog to enter his house and leave muddy footprints and fleas all over the place. "And I wanted to let Manx know Schwarz is still alive. This brat can answer some questions for us."
Nagi stared back at him with hooded lids. "I'm not telling you anything," he rasped. He struggled to sit up. "Get out of my way before I make dents in the wall with your bodies."
They all shifted uneasily despite themselves, and he felt a moment of hope. They'd seen his power in action. They wouldn't be stupid enough to stop him. He managed to get into a sitting position, but the minute he shifted his feet onto the floor and tried to stand, his knees buckled. This time no one stepped in to help, and he hit the ground hard, making his already bruised body scream in pain. He clenched his teeth hard to prevent making a noise, though that only served to make his head throb more. It also caused a stinging pain in his lip; reaching up with a shakey hand, he felt carefully at his mouth with his fingertips. His lip was split and puffy. That surprised him more than anything else. No way would he have allowed anyone to get close enough to hit him in the mouth during the fight at the tower. It couldn't have been done by Abysinnian on his way over here; there was no blood. The injury had to be at least a day old.
Abysinnian's glare was cold and fearless. "If you were going to use that power on us, you would have done it the minute you realized where you were," he pointed out.
"Maybe he's dying," Siberian said hopefully, perking up. "Maybe freaks die when they can't use their powers."
Nagi twitched and lashed out without thinking.
Siberian swayed slightly, but otherwise there was no effect. He blinked, startled, then grinned. "I think his powers are pretty much tapped out."
"Can that happen?" Bombay asked, interested despite himself. He rose and moved a bit closer. Nagi's fingers dug into the carpet in sudden alarm, glancing around at them as they moved towards him.
"Feh. He's just a kid, then," Balinese scoffed. "Without his powers, he's just a skinny kid with an attitude problem."
Strong fingers wrapped around his arm and lifted him without effort back into the couch. Again he reacted with his mind, but all he caused was what might have been a slight breeze that ruffled Balinese's hair as he settled Nagi roughly on the couch. His heart was hammering, his head heavy and burning. He closed his lips tightly and breathed through his nose to disguise how quickly he was breathing. For the first time in many years, real fear boiled inside of him. He had never been without his ultimate defense, his gift. No one laid a finger on him without him wishing it so, no one got too close, said such things, looked at him with such scorn...
No one, not anymore.
"You're scaring him," Aya protested.
"Good," Siberian snapped over his shoulder.
"Aya-chan, you don't know what this kid is capable of," Balinese assured her, glaring suspiciously at Nagi. "He's a little monster, just like those other freaks he works with. Trust me, if he could, he'd rip us apart with his power."
Nagi flinched violently, jerking out of his grip. "Get away from me," he said through his teeth. He managed to keep his expression dispassionate and distant, as if none of this bothered him. He could only do so from years of wearing such a face.
"He doesn't seem very scared to me," Bombay hedged nervously. "Are you sure he can't do anything?"
"I think he's broken," Siberian said with a grin, hands on his hips.
Abysinnian came around to glare down at him. "Where are the others?"
Nagi stared back at him in silence.
"There are two ways to do this, chibi," Balinese said with mock cheer, green eyes glinting dangerously. "You can cooperate, and go to something similar to a hospital with really little cockroaches and stale bread instead of no bread-- if you're lucky, they might even have aspirin --or you can sit there like a bump on a log. And go see some of our boss's friendly interrogators. The ones with sharp objects and straps to hold you down. What's it gonna be?"
"Yohji-kun," Aya protested in a faint voice, looking horrified.
Yohji turned his head slightly, and Nagi noticed how that hint of darkness that had lurked in the backs of his eyes was carefully absent.
"Aya-chan," Abysinnian interrupted, never taking his eyes from Nagi, "why don't you go make dinner?"
Aya hesitated, gazing at her brother.
Nagi stared up at Abysinnian. The hint of darkness to Balinese's eyes had nothing on this man. His face was just a little softer than Nagi remembered, when he spoke to his sister. But those eyes were the same. Burning pits of hatred and caged violence, with a healthy dose of desperation. For some reason, the return of his sister had not quelled whatever dark fire burned in Abysinnian's heart, and for just an instant Nagi wondered why.
The observation was there and gone in the blink of an eye. There were more important things to deal with right now. Like getting out of here alive. He no longer had any way to defend himself, and if he didn't say something, they were going to kill him right here, right now. It was why they had sent the woman away. "I don't know where my team is," he admitted, his voice still gravelly. "Drowned, for all I know."
"Not that you'd tell us if you did know, anyway," Siberian grumbled.
Nagi didn't answer that.
"Where has Schwarz been all this time?" Bombay demanded. "It's been over a month since that tower collapsed. I'm finding it a little hard to believe that you never found the rest of your team during that time, or at least found out if they were dead or not."
Nagi felt a frown twitch at his mouth. His eyes shot unconsciously towards the stairs where Aya had gone. It should have occurred to him earlier-- no way should that girl be walking around only a few days after being in a coma. She would need at least some physical therapy after lying motionless for so long without the use of her muscles. A month?? Impossible. Still, the girl was walking... "You're lying," he said anyway.
"The hell we are," Siberian snapped. "You're the liar here."
"The last thing I remember is the tower collapsing," Nagi said through gritted teeth, struggling to maintain his cool demeanor despite the confusion and fear washing through him. A month. A month.
"Don't bullshit us," Siberian growled, voice turning sarcastic. "Are you trying to tell us you just floated around the sea for a month, unconscious, without food or water? Do we look fucking stupid to you?"
Siberian lunged for him.
"Ken-kun, no!!" Bombay shouted, struggling to hold him back. "Stop it!"
"You're telling me to stop?" Siberian demanded incredulously, struggling in the grasp. "I saw what this brat did to you! He nearly killed you in that tower!"
"Ken-kun, stop it!" Bombay ordered sharply. "We need answers. Don't let him provoke you."
Nagi's eyes drifted towards the stairway. Could he make it?
There was a chink, and Nagi looked to see Abysinnian was wearing his sword for some ungodly reason, and had used his thumb to snap it from its sheath an inch. He was glaring at Nagi. "Don't even think about it."
Not that he thought his legs would support him, anyway. Nagi stared back coolly. "Do you always carry that butterknife with you everywhere?"
The man's eyes flashed. "Try and run, and you'll see how sharp this 'butterknife' is," he promised ominously.
Bombay had managed to calm Siberian, and he reached up to massage his temples wearily. "Yohji-kun isn't kidding, you know," he said firmly. "You had better cooperate. It'll be easier on all of us, especially you."
"I told you--" Nagi said, and then he started coughing and couldn't stop.
They watched him for a moment before Bombay finally turned to Balinese. "He needs water. He's probably dehydrated."
"We're not giving him shit!" Siberian interjected heatedly. "This is one of the bad guys, Omi. In case you'd forgotten."
Bombay ignored him and stared his older companion down until, grumbling, Balinese shuffled off upstairs.
Bombay eyed Nagi clinicially for a long moment before shaking his head in resignation. "We're not getting anything out of him right now," he admitted quietly. "He's in bad shape. Ran, call Manx. Fill her in. Tell her we need some kind of medical attention." He glared sternly when Abysinnian looked ready to protest. "I'll get a better blanket and something light for him to eat. Ken-kun, you keep an eye on him."
"He's not going anywhere," Siberian assured him, scowling at Nagi.
Nagi ignored him, letting his head drop back against the couch's back and sliding his eyes closed. It looked like he was safe for now, which while it made sense on some level, was still puzzling. While it was true that he was in no condition to put up with an interrogation right now, he was surprised they had come to this conclusion so quickly. If the roles had been reversed... if it had been one of them in Schwarz's clutches...
Feh. They were too soft. Why were they still alive?
He opened his eyes a crack to watch Bombay precede Abysinnian up the stairs. Mentally, he did a quick readjustment. It seemed Bombay's position in Weiß was higher than they'd assumed. The others followed his commands, whether they liked it or not. Strange how the youngest of the group seemed to have some control over them. It was strange, but he stored the information away for later.
At least, he thought hazily as sleep dragged at him, he would have an opportunity to gather intel and pass it on to his team. When he got away. When he found them.
If they were alive.
He slept, and dreamed of Tot's laughter.
"Sorry it took me so long," Manx apologized breathlessly, ducking under the gate as Yohji held it up halfway for her. Another woman followed, clutching a satchel to her chest. "There was quite a bit of excitement at the office when we got your news. Plus, it took me awhile to find a doctor that was available for house calls." She flicked brightly painted nails at the woman beside her. "This is Doctor Akutsu. She's fairly new to the company, but she came highly recommended."
Doctor Akutsu was only in her early thirties, but looked like she belonged at a library desk with her short, unstyled black hair and thick glasses. She pushed them further up the bridge of her nose, staring at Yohji with a pinched mouth. "Where is the patient? I hear it's possible he suffers from dehydration?"
Yohji waved over his shoulder. "Downstairs, in the basement. Ran's watching him right now. He passed out again for a few hours, but I think he just woke up. He drank some water, and Aya-chan got some food down him, but he threw most of it right back up."
Akutsu looked less than pleased. "Do not try to get someone in that condition to eat or drink without a doctor present," she said sternly, striding past. "I will attend to him."
Manx rolled her eyes behind the older woman's back. "Despite how, mm, tightly-wound she is, she's a good doctor," she assured Yohji quietly when he arched a brow at her. "Now, you say Abysinnian found him under the bridge?"
Yohji led her towards the kitchen. "Yeah. Actually, I'm surprised he didn't just leave him there to die. I think Aya-chan's makin' him go soft."
"Or perhaps he just realized how much of a help it would be to us if the boy were to be questioned." Manx smiled as they entered the kitchen and Aya greeted them cheerfully. "It's nice to see you moving on your own two feet again," Manx said warmly, eyes flicking unconsciously towards the wheelchair in the corner. "I'd heard you were walking again, but it's still nice to see it with my own eyes."
Aya beamed. "Thanks. I still get tired sometimes, but I just sit down for a little while. The doctors say I recovered in an amazingly short time."
"Yes, you did," Manx murmured under her breath, eyes saddening slightly when the girl's back was turned. "...He hasn't told her yet, has he?" she demanded quietly while Aya set about making tea, humming happily to herself.
Yohji's mouth jerked as he suppressed a frown, and he looked away. "No."
Manx sighed softly, then forced a smile when Aya turned their way again, mugs in hand. "Thank you, Aya-chan. Balinese, I'd like to speak with the boy. You said it's the telekinetic, right? I looked through what little information on Schwarz we have. He goes by the codename Prodigy. His real name is Naoe Nagi, age unknown."
"He looks Omi's age," Aya put in helpfully. "Maybe a bit younger. Is he really a telekinetic?"
"Omi can vouch for that," Yohji assured her dryly.
Manx frowned, blowing on her tea to cool it. "Yet you say he hasn't used his abilities since he was brought here?"
"It doesn't seem like he can," Yohji admitted. "I think he's tried a few times, or at least Ken thinks he felt something, but if he really was the cause of the tower's collapse, I think it was too much for him. It doesn't look like he's able to use that 'ability' any more. Also, he claims not to know where his team is, and insists that the last thing he remembers is the tower's destruction."
Manx's eyebrows twitched upwards. "That was over a month ago."
"Yeah." Yohji ran his hand through his hair, frowning. "He's Schwarz, so I don't believe a damn thing he says on princible, and neither do the others...but..."
"But?" Manx eyed him. "You have a personal opinion? I know you still retain some instincts as a PI."
Yohji wrinkled his nose slightly. "He's been pretty stoic since he was brought in, acting like he's above us, but when we mentioned how it had been a month, for a second there was honest disbelief on his face. He seemed honestly confused, before he managed to get his expression under control again."
"You think he's telling the truth?"
Yohji shrugged. "I think right now, all he can remember is the tower. Whether it's because he's sick or woozy or whatever, we'll see soon enough. I figure once he's better, things will come back. Unless he's a better actor than we thought."
"Hmm." Manx set her mug on the table. "I'd like to speak with him, now. While it may be true that his memories are kind of hazy right now, I don't believe that he doesn't know about his teammates. He has to at least know whether any of them survived or not. Where are the others?"
"Ken had to go make a delivery really quick, and I think Omi's downstairs doing some research on the computer. Ran's probably standing over the Schwarz kid with his sword right now."
"Nagi," Aya corrected without thinking.
Yohji pretended he hadn't heard.
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