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eye of the storm

September 2008

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eye of the storm

Falling Empires ch.3

Title: Falling Empires ch.3
Fandom: Weiss Kreuz
Pairings: CrawfordxRan, SchuldigxYohji
Rating: R
Warnings: violence, references to rape, torture.

Chapter 3

Ran warily entered the club, he hated these kind of places. It was dark and smoky, the music was loud, vibrating on his ear drums, the people were all sleazy and sex crazed, as always. Even now he could see them in the dark corners of the room, grinding their bodies and doing god knows what. He sighed reminding himself that they were the kind of people that he needed. Looking towards the dance floor, he stared at all the young people his age, drinking, dancing, having fun. He could never be like them.

Ran noticed the looks being given his way, he knows what most of them are thinking, the building lust in their eyes gives it away. He had grown up always feeling like a freak, at least one thing he had learnt in the last year was that his looks got him punters. Ran walked over to the bar, he wanted to attract the right sort of guy. Ideally someone rich, and someone not to violent or in to all that BDSM stuff, he hated that, normally he couldn't walk for days afterwards.

At the bar Ran locked eyes with the barman, a young guy with blonde hair and green eyes, good looking too. They nodded to each other, though they have not always got on in the past, he had never stopped Ran from touting in the club.

"So what brings you here?"

"Wow Yohji, do you get dumber every time I see you? What do you think i'm doing here?"

"So it's not for a nice drink, and to have some fun like a normal person then Aya?'" Yohji laughed at the red head.

Winding him up was so easy, and it served him right for being so stuck-up and prickly all the time. Honestly, the guy’s a bloody hooker and yet he still finds a way to look down on everyone, unbelievable.

"Leave it alone Yohji, I’m not in the mood."

Yohji noticed the dark circles under the boy’s eyes, his skin was paler to (if that was possible). He could sense that the guy was extremely low and depressed, the fact that he hadn't argued more with Yohji worried him. Even though Aya was a prostitute he had always been a fighter, now it was like he was giving up. All of a sudden Yohji was overcome with feelings of desperate despair, anger and loneliness. He only ever felt something like that when he thought of Asuka. No. he told himself, I mustn't think of her now, she’s gone.

Ran watched Yohji with complete bemusement, what was he playing at? He acted as if someone had kicked him in the gut, how weird was that?.

"What the hell is wrong with you? Why you acting all weird?"

"Ah ...... heart burn, it's alright now. So how comes you ended up here, you don't normally come to these places unless you have to right?"

"Well that should tell you something then shouldn't it"

"Yeah well, whatever man, do what you want."

Yohji had his own life to deal with, his own demons to face. The last thing he needed was to deal with some mouthy street whore, with a terrible attitude problem.

Ran snorted to himself, that guy was such a prick, he had no idea what kind of shit other people have to deal with. Anyway it was time to find work, the sooner the better. Looking around he could see the stares still being generated his way, all he had to do was wait, someone will finally pluck up the courage and ask. He was right, it wasn't too long before some guy did come up to him. Dark hair, dark eyes, slimy little pervert, the usual.

"Hello there gorgeous, i haven't seen you around here before."

"Well i prefer to not work in these kind of places usually. Of course that doesn't mean that I’m not eager." It was always better to just get to the point.

"I see, well... how much are you exactly, maybe we could reach a deal."

The man smiled showing white teeth, and Aya had to fight to suppress a need to gag.

Over to his right he could see Yohji chatting to some guy with bright orange hair, and what the hell is he wearing? It was funny because for a minute Ran thought he recognised the guy, but that couldn't be possible, he didn't know any foreigners, and he would definitely remember a guy with hair like that.

"I'm 200 for the night."

"200 that's steep! Hmmm well…" The man looked Ran up and down "You look like you may be worth it, so we'll see shall we?"

"No. I want the money up front, NO disappearing acts."

The man just laughed, he liked the boys spirit, it was refreshing to see.

 

* * * * *

 

"AYA you little shit! How dare you lie to me?!"

Ran stood in horror as Ryuuichi stormed towards him, now he was in trouble. How did He find out?

"Out doing extra work i see. Are you forgetting that i own you? Everything that you make comes through me first, got it?"

It was emphasised with a brutal slap to the face. Ran gasped as his cheek began to sting and blood poured from his lip.

"Look I’m sorry, but i needed the money, and i knew that you would take it, and -"

A punch to the gut cut-off Ran's sentence, leaving him gasping in pain.

"You little shit, like i give a shit about you and your needs. You work for me, whatever money you make goes to me and i decide if you deserve any."

Ryuuichi grabbed Ran by his hair pulling his face upwards.

"You honestly thought that you would get away with it? You stupid boy. I control your life Ran, Aya whatever name you choose to use it makes no difference, you're still mine."

With that said, Ryuuichi continued to pull on Ran's hair leading him towards the exit.

"Ah...hang on just a minute, but we had just been discussing a price and -"

"Not tonight buddy, this one needs to be taught a lesson, another time maybe."

Ryuichi and Ran continued on their way out of the club.

* * * * *

At the other end of the bar, Schuldig turned to the sexy barman he had been chatting to.

"Wow...wonder what that was all about huh?"

Yohji looked concerned, things did not look good for Aya. He had heard of Ryuuichi and never anything good, he hoped Aya would be alright.

"It was just a whore and his pimp, we get them in here sometimes, classy place that we are."

He smiled at Schuldig, this foreigner was pretty cool and he made him feel so at ease, in fact he didn't feel anything when he was around him, it was such a relief.

Schuldig smiled at Yohji, he liked this guy, he was fun and easy going. Of course he, like nearly everyone else, had terrible pain in his past, but like Schuldig he had managed to hide it pretty well. Schuldig had caught his earlier thoughts of Asuka, and even though he himself was no empath, he could tell the pain that Yohji inflicted upon himself whenever he thought of her. Silly really, but Yohji didn't really know about his power and he definitely didn't know how to control it, but Schuldig would show him, teach him, love him. And why not? Crawford was going to get his powerful little pet, why couldn't Schuldig have one too?

Oh thinking of mister-stick-up-his-ass...

/Bradley, your little Kätzchen is about to get his pretty little ass kicked./

/I know all about the pimp Schuldig, and do not call me that. It's Crawford, C-R-A-W-F-O-R-D./

/Ja ja whatever./

/Just make sure you're there on time tonight okay./

Schuldig snorted to himself, Crawford... what an ass. Smirking he turned back around to mister-sexy-barman and asked:

"so what time do you finish tonight?"

* * * * *

With hands shaking violently, Ran finally managed to get the keys in the lock. He opened the door and stepped into his run down bed sit. Flicking on the light, he limped over to his bed, and rather unceremoniously fell down on to it. Yelping in pain he quickly jumped up again, realising that he has just laid down on his bad arm.

Ran slowly made his way over to the mirror, placed above the sink in the corner of the room, to look at himself... split lip, bruised and cut cheek, black eye and that was just his face. His arm felt sprained and so did his ankle, and that was just the beating. Ran didn't want to think about anything else, the other stuff He had done. It wasn’t as if it was the first time He had done it to punish him, but that didn’t stop the tears of hate, anger and humiliation well up inside.

Ran managed to steady himself. No, he couldn’t cry, he had to be strong, he had to be, there was nobody else now, he must be strong for them both.

Turning the taps on, he began to wash his face, the warm water stinging each time he ran the cloth over a fresh cut. That done he gingerly took his clothes off, there tightness making them inevitably touch his injuries. Ran winced and once again had to steady himself, breathing heavily. Finally clean, out of his rotten working clothes and in to a baggy jumper and jogging bottoms, Ran searched his one cupboard for food.

His bed sit was small, it only contained a bed, a sink with mirror above and cupboard underneath, a rice cooker and microwave next to that, to the left was a small wet room with shower and toilet, there was also a small chest of draws for his clothes. It was dirty and grimy, the wall paper and paint pealing off the walls, barely fit for human habitation, but the best that he can afford. Besides it was better then a squat and Ran definitely did not want to go back to that again.

Finding just a can of tuna left, Ran shook his head his dismay. He really needed to go shopping, but with no money and that bastard on his case he was not able to. Checking his pockets, there was just a few notes left, Ryuuichi had taken everything.

Suddenly remembering that he also had another mouth to feed, Ran limped over to the window and opened it. It didn’t take long for the kitten to arrive, it never did, the poor thing was as hungry as he was. Opening the can of tuna and quickly eating half of it, Ran then looked down at the pitiful creature now on his bed. Sitting down next to it, Ran gave a small sigh before offering the other half of the can.

Looking down at the little fur ball, Ran allowed himself to smile, it was such a rare thing he had almost forgotten how. In truth this kitten had gotten him through some pretty bad times, it was his only friend in the world, and he really did need a friend right now.

"Oh kitten, what am i going to do hmmm?"

The cat looked up at Ran to give a small meow as it moved over, closer to him. Ran smiled again and began to stroke it behind the ears.

"Asking a cat for help, i really must be losing it. How am i going to get myself out of this? Where am i going to get that kind of money from? Why did he have to ...? how did he know ...?" Tears welled up again in Ran's eyes, as he picked the kitten up and drew it towards him.

"No one deserves this."

Ran lied down on the bed, cradling his kitten in his arms and began to sob to himself, as he slowly carried them both off into sleep.

* * * * *

Across town Crawford stepped along the corridor of a filthy block of flats, each room giving off noises of some lewd act or drunken and drug fuelled debauchery. The block was in the centre of the red light district of Tokyo, and it showed. Crawford tried his best not to show how much the area and its filth affected him, it was simply disgusting and usually he would not be seen dead in a place like this. Walking up to number 30 Crawford stopped to check that his suit is still immaculate, and turned his nose up as he saw the dirt on his usually pristine shoes. Knocking twice on the door he could hear the noise of a chair being knocked over, and a man cursing about his disturbance. Crawford smirked, it was time this guy got his comeuppance.

"What the hell d'you want? Who are you?"

Crawford looked down at the man and asked "Are you Ryuuichi?"

"Yeah, and who the hell are you?"

Crawford easily pushed past him and into the man's small flat. Looking around the place Crawford sneered to himself; the man was simply disgusting. He could not wait to make him pay for what he had done to Ran.

"Oi, what the hell are you doing? Who do you think you are? Do you have any idea who i am? I'll have you fucking killed you shitbag."

Crawford turned to the man and smirked at him, pleased to see the man blanch slightly and then try to hide it.

"You pathetic piece of trash!"

Crawford's blue eyes turned to cold steel, and his face took on a mask of indifference that promised pain, as he pulled out his gun and shot the pimp in the leg.

The room was filled with screams and curses, as Ryuuichi thrashed around on the ground, his face contorted in a expression of agony. Behind him there is a deep chuckle, and he suddenly realised that he had left the door open after the man had barged in.

Crawford knelt down and looked at the man on the floor, pure hatred radiating across his face.

"We're taking the boy off of your hands. He is far to good for a pathetic normal like you. But don't worry you won't miss him, you won't miss anyone soon enough."

Giving a small laugh Crawford stood up and began to head towards the door.

"Can i play now? I want to make him bleed".

"Whatever you want Farfarello, take as long as you need. No one will care about him."

Ryuuichi's blood turned cold at those words and he began to shudder violently. Crawford carried on his way out the door, as Farfarello took out his knife and licked the sharpened blade. Screams of agony followed Crawford out of the building and into the dark and dirty street.

* * * * *

On the other side of Tokyo, Schuldig slowly woke up from a comfortable sleep. Looking around he realised the room was not his own. It was a nice place, though a little messy, and it smelt of cigarette smoke and booze. Schuldig began to remember the night he had, and smirked to himself as he looked to his left at the young man next to him. Oh mister-sexy-barman how good you were tonight. Yohji shifted uncomfortably in the sheets, and Schuldig recognized the pained look on his face.

"Asuka... Asuka... No please no…"Oh this again, that damn woman! If she wasn't already dead i would kill her myself

Gradually and with caution Schuldig slipped into Yohji's mind, to see again that repeated nightmare. Treading carefully Schuldig attempted to will Yohji's subconscious away from the scene, without waking him up, it proved to be rather tricky.

Eventually Yohji did leave the nightmare and went on to another dream. Calming down he emanated a feeling of comfort and trust. Schuldig deeply regretted that he had to leave right at this moment, but if he is late Crawford will probably shoot him, and that could be painful.

"Don't worry my little kitten, I’ll come back i promise."

/I'll keep you safe, I’ll love you, you will be mine soon/

Carefully, so as not to disturb his sleeping lover, he got out of bed, put on his clothes, and headed towards the door.

* * * * *

The door to the bed sit unlocked easily and quietly, without disturbing the sleeping forms on the bed. Crawford walked into the small room and looked around. The room was run-down and sparse as he had expected, though there were a few material pocessions. On top of the chest of draws was a picture of the boy’s family, and next to that was a picture of the girl in the first photo, which Crawford knew to be the boy’s sister.

Walking over to the bed he peered down at the two forms sleeping there and gave a small chuckle, the boy was soft and it will be easy to manipulate him. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, Crawford noticed the dried tears on the beautiful face and something inside of him tightened. It was true that when he had found out about the pimp and what he had done to Ran, he was indescribably angry, and anything that Farfarello has done the guy he had deserved. That did not mean, though, that he felt something for the boy. No, certainly not.

As Ran continued to sleep, Crawford lowered his hand to the boy’s face and brushed the bangs away, causing Ran to stir.

"Ran, come on, wake-up now sleeping beauty."

A slight shake and the boy's violet eyes fluttered open and stared at Crawford, completely dazed.

"What? You! What do you want? How did you get in here?"

Ran shifted on the bed as he tried to move further away from Crawford. The kitten woke with a start, hissing at their intruder and his own personal disturbance from sleep.

Crawford couldn't help but give a mocking laugh as he watched them both, neither of them seeming to realise they really had no way out.

"You need to calm down Ran, I will explain everything to you as soon as you come along with me."

"What? Get the hell away from me!"

Ran quickly got up and seeing that he could not get past, he lashed out at Crawford, hoping to catch him by surprise. No such luck. Though the boy had some skill, and obviously had past training, he was no match for Crawford. Besides the boy was injured, he didn't even really need to use his power to beat him, but thought he might as well just to prove his point. Every attempt by Ran was dodged and soon Ran found himself on his back on the bed, held down and helpless, his kitten hissing in the background but not making a move.

"I can counter any move you make. You will never to able to strike me. I can foresee your every move."

"Foresee my every move? What -"

"- the hell, you're mad, get away from me, right? I even know what you are going to say. I know everything that you will do."

Noticing the boy wince, Crawford released his arms and rose from the bed. In the doorway Ran noticed another figure come into view.

"You're late Schuldig, i started five minutes ago."

"Yeah well, i figured that you would want some alone time, just the two of you yeah." Schuldig said as let himself into the small room and closed the door behind him, turning around to look at the boy.

"What do you want with me?" Oh god not again, not again, I’ll fight, i won't let anyone do this to me again.

"Ha, don't worry little kitten that's really not my style, actually neither are you really. Well... i don't know though, i guess you are kind of cute, isn't he Crawford?"

/Enough Schuldig. Just show him your power so that we can convince him to come with us, and get out of this dump./

"God Crawford, always straight down to business, you know some people have fun."

/Schuldig!/

"What's going on? How did you know what i was thinking?"

/Because that's what i do. I can read your mind and communicate with it just like I’m doing now./

Ran noticed that the other man's mouth wasn't moving as he spoke to him, and the voice was in his head, not coming through his ears.Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.

/Crawford he's gonna freak out./

/We'll deal with it./

Ran jumped up from the bed and ran towards the door, in a vein attempt to escape. His injured leg proving again to be a major obstruction, as again did Crawford, who easily grabbed him and pulled him back to the bed, holding him down.

"Stop struggling and listen to me."

"Just tell me what you want."

"What Schuldig just did, this man here with me. What he did is called telepathy. I can see the future and you can conjure things out of thin air. I know you can do it I’ve seen you, you did it when i fucked you remember, the knife."

"Yes...Ok. I did that, i can sort of, but... not very well, and that doesn't explain what you want."

"We want, no we insist that you come with us. You're one of us and we have others like you at home. You will be one of us and you will have a proper life. Furthermore you will be free, we have killed your pimp."

"You.... you've what?"

"Oh please" Schuldig butted in, "don't tell us you're upset for the guy. He beat you, he raped you, he took all your money so you couldn't save your sister."

"How do you know about my sister?"

"We know all about you" Schuldig answered. "But with us, you'll be paid loads of money, and in fact we'll pay your sister's medical bills for you, tomorrow actually, if you come with us."

Ran looked from one man to the other, hardly daring to believe what he was hearing. His pimp dead, his sister safe, others that are just like him in the world.

"Of course we'll also train you in your power, get it to work for us all." Crawford interjected. "Not to mention we know who is responsible for your families... 'accident'. We can get you that revenge that you so badly want. We'll help you and you'll help us."

 "I...i need time to think."

"Think quickly."

In truth there was not much for Ran to think about. I could pay my sister's medical bills, he thought, have this power thing work properly, and get out of this horrible way of life.

/I think we have nearly got your little boy Crawford./

/How much more convincing does he need?/

/Nothing that i can't handle./

/Then do it quickly./

It didn't take much, a small mental nudge and the boy was theirs. Think of your sister you can save her, you can avenge her, you can have a family and friends again. Schuldig smirked as he saw his manipulation work, as the boy came to his inevitable decision. Something else caught his attention though, connected to that last thought, an image of Crawford. Schuldig had to restrain himself from making a snarky comment, Crawford will have his hands full with this one.

"Alright i'll come... for my sister."

"Of course" Schuldig replied with a smirk.

Ran quickly packed his stuff, he didn't have much; some clothes, toothbrush, the photographs and the kitten. Both Crawford and Schuldig did a double take, a cat!

"Ah no, you can't bring that." Crawford said very stiffly.

"But his mine, i look after him. I won't leave without him." Ran sat down on the bed, pulling the kitten close with a hard scowl on his face. Schuldig laughed out loud this time.

/Ah, come on Crawford, what harm can a kitten really do, besides it suits him./

/I hate animals!/

Crawford looked again at the boy and his kitten, massaging the bridge of his nose in annoyance. It was a common thing to do whenever Schuldig was around, it was just surprising that this time Schuldig was not the one causing him problems.

"Alright, you can keep the damn pet. Now lets get out of this dump."

* * * * *

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