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eye of the storm

September 2008

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eye of the storm

Falling Empires ch.6

Title: Falling Empires ch.6
Fandom: Weiss Kreuz
Pairings: CrawfordxRan, SchuldigxYohji
Rating: R
Warnings: violence

Chapter 6

Schuldig yawned loudly as he walked out of the elevator into the pent house flat. Despite the fact that he was tired, his clothes dirty from being a day old, and his hair barely under control under the bandana, he walked with a swagger and a smile that would have put a Cheshire cat to shame. Oh yes he thought to himself last night had been great, Yohji was great. If Schuldig had one complaint it was that Yohji was too great, it was now becoming so hard to not tell him the truth, and the thought of how Yohji will react after hearing the truth, it didn't bare thinking about.

Schuldig's internal ministrations over what he was going to do about his situation ended abruptly, as he was overcome with a barrage of annoyed, confused and embarrassed thoughts. Looking at the table where the others were gathered for breakfast, Schuldig couldn't help but smirk (and sulk) to himself, as he realised what had happened the night before, and the fact that he had missed it all.

/Well oh fearless leader, do i get three chances to guess what you got up to last night?/

/Shut it Schuldig, i haven't got time for your games, and don't even think of teasing Ran about it either./

Schuldig walked towards the table and sat himself down, helping himself to toast and coffee. Tossing a wink to Ran, he chuckled as the boy blushed and then threw one of his little glares at him. Ran's embarrassment, however, was very easily overtaken by the overwhelming thoughts of anger radiating from Nagi. Schuldig had to admit that he was surprised, that kid hardly ever had any emotion let alone to be feeling this pissed off. Crawford had said that he couldn't annoy Ran, he didn't say anything about dear, young Nagi.

/Awwww things not go so well with your dear Omi huh?/

/Bite me./

/Nah you're not my type./

/Pervert./

/Didn't i just say i don't do kids. Anyway, you didn't answer my question./

/No and I’m not going to./

/I could always just pry it from your mind you know./

Nagi gave Schuldig a particularly cold look, it was true that Schuldig could do that, there was no way that Nagi could keep him out, even with putting his mental walls up. However, Nagi was far past the age where he would let someone bully him, he wasn't exactly a damsel in distress and maybe Schuldig needed reminding of that. At that moment, the knife that Schuldig was using to butter his toast jumped up poking him straight in the eye.

“Oww, shit, fuck, you little -”

“That's enough now children, and you lot stop laughing as well.”

Everyone in the Schwartz household had been, at some point or another, the victim of Schuldig's intrusion and teasing. It was nice to see someone deliver some revenge, which was why at the moment Farfarello was laughing hysterically, whilst Ran and Nagi were giggling into their cereal. In fact, even Crawford was smirking at Schuldig.

“Bunch of little bastards.”

“Well you shouldn't have been ridiculing them then. Anyway we have important business to discuss, which requires all of you to be paying attention. These next few weeks are going to be crucial for us. We will be recruiting more members, and will be moving on towards our goal.”

Ran perked up when Crawford began talking, listening intently, he really wanted to know exactly what was going on, he wanted to feel a part of things.

“So what exactly is our goal, what are we doing?”

“I've told you before, i'll tell you when you need to know and no sooner.”

With that Crawford looked away from Ran, completely in business-like mode, there was not one ounce of emotion in his voice or eyes.

Asshole

/Here here./

“Three very important things will happen today: Schuldig you will tell Yohji everything, within reason of course, and persuade him to come here; Farfarello and I will be dealing with some sewer rat that's been pissing off Takatori; This person has a lover who happens to be a talent, we will also be bringing this person in. We will all meet here at nine o'clock tonight. Nagi don't think that I don’t know about you and your ‘study’ partner, however, he will prove useful in the future, and so i am going to let him live. Now go to school.”

Nagi's face had gone from horrified to relief in a matter of seconds, and he didn't argue at all as he picked up his school bag and headed out of the door. The other four continued to sit at the table in silence. Ran refusing to look at Crawford after the way he had been treating him this morning, Schuldig was pissed off at not being able to handle Yohji his way, plus he really was quite tired now, and Farfarello was using his knife to (rather surprisingly) butter his toast.

“Schuldig i think that it is best that you get some sleep for a few hours, then you can continue to teach Ran his power and the other stuff, Farfarello you need to get ready to leave.”

Schuldig and Farf wasted little time in getting up from the table and leaving the area, you didn't need to be a telepath to know there was an incredible amount of tension in the room. Ran got up and started to collect the plates, whilst Crawford remained in his seat watching him. As Ran leant over to pick up the man's plate, Crawford grabbed his arm and pulled him down into the nearby chair.

“Ran you need to understand -”

“- I don't understand anything because you don't tell me.”

“I know and you will know soon, i will explain i promise. But Ran you need to promise me not to freak out, take the time to understand things and listen.”

“Why Crawford, what are you planning on telling me?”

“You'll find out when we have the two new people involved. Why don't you get some rest, you didn't get much sleep last night.”

“Do you regret it? Last night i mean?”

“Not at all, why would i? You have no idea how special you are do you?”

Ran blushed deeply at the comment, averting his eyes to the floor. Crawford smiled, the boy could be so lovely, and soon when he becomes a man, he will be even more lovely. Getting up from his seat Crawford kissed him on the top of his head, before walking off to find Farfarello.

* * * * *

Everyone was out, it was so boring. Well, everyone except Schuldig, but that didn't count because he had spent the entire day in bed. Ran didn't want to see Schuldig anyway, because all he would do is tease him about Crawford. Ran did desperately want Crawford to come home, he hated being alone. He had spent so much time on his own since his parents death. Being here, he couldn't help but feel like he was part of a family again.

Ran was jolted out of his thoughts when he heard Weiss shrieking from down the hall, soon followed by a swearing Schuldig.

“Fucking cat! Thing needs to be dumped in the river.”

Ran raced down towards all the commotion, picking up Weiss he glared at Schuldig, though as usual it did very little to intimidate the man. Ran made a mental note to himself that he really needed to perfect that. Crawford had an amazing way of staring at people when he was angry, it was so frightening, Ran loved it.

“Can't you think about anything else, God. If it wasn't for that bloody fur ball of yours, it would have been you waking me up with your ‘Crawford this’ and ‘Crawford that.”

“Oh shut up Schu, you're just jealous. And don't threaten to drown Weiss again ok.”

“Jealous! Of you and him, you have to be joking. And keep that damn thing away from me.”

“Yes i think you are jealous. I saw your face this morning when Crawford told you that you had to tell this Yohji the truth. You're worried that he'll leave you, that's why your jealous, because i don't care about the things that Crawford does.”

“Oh you'll care trust me.”

A cruel smirk twisted onto Schuldig's face. God how he hated people pointing out the truth to him, they always seemed to forget that he could do it better then anyone, he new more about them then they new about themselves.

“No i don't and i won't. I'm not an idiot Schu, i realise that you're all criminals and what you do for Takatori is bad, and from the things that you've been making me practice with my power and the fighting, i would say that you were killers too.”

“Oh wow, clever you for working it all out on your own.”

“Yes it is, and i still want to be with Crawford no matter what.”

“Hahaha no matter what huh?”

This time Schuldig's face had contorted into something particularly vicious, it was something that many of his victims had seen, but Ran hadn‘t.

“Let me tell you something shall i Ran-kun, a bit of advice if you like. Crawford is a cold blooded murderer who will kill anyone who gets in his way, but he'll also use whoever he needs to get what he wants.”

“He's not using me.”

“How sure are you about that?”

“Why are you saying this.”

Ran knew that Schuldig could tease and be mean, but he had never been this cruel to Ran before. Ran could feel his voice cracking at the question, he didn't want to believe anything that Schuldig said, but then Schuldig had known Crawford far longer then him.

Schuldig looked at Ran and swore to himself. What was he doing? Ran was a team mate, not an enemy to be toyed with and broken.

“Forget it kid, i was just angry about Yohji, i didn't mean it.”

Ran sniffed whilst pulling his eyes up from the floor, he wasn't going to cry, he wasn't going to be weak.

“I'm sorry to, i shouldn't have said that stuff about Yohji. And stop calling me kid, i'm nineteen, i'll be twenty soon.”

“Ah don't worry Ran-kun you'll be a man soon, once you join the family business.”

* * * * *

Crawford and Farfarello walked up the staircase, towards the flat that their target lived in. Crawford looked around with disdain, refusing to run his hands along the banisters as he went. There was one thing that Crawford could never grasp about these low life criminals: For most of them, the reason they became a criminal was the money involved. Yet there was people like this Kase person, a no mark drug dealer according to their information, who clearly weren't making that much money, because they still lived in shit holes like this.

Crawford heard Farfarello chuckle behind him.

“Getting excited are we?”

“Yes i am, but i was laughing at you.”

Crawford turned around to look at his subordinate, eyebrows raised.

“Why do you come on these missions when you clearly detest them. Way you act it's like you think that you can catch something from these people.”

“Half the time you probably can Farfarello, and that reminds me no licking the guys blood ok, we don't want another scare like last time.”

Farfarello grumbled behind Crawford as they continued to walk. Reaching the landing that they were looking for, they proceeded to the door of the flat.

“But why didn't you just send Schuldig to come? It's clear that you consider killing these kind of people as beneath you.”

Oh great, Crawford thought, he's in one of his saner, talkative moods. At least he was more controllable when he was like this, but it also meant that he used his brain, which in turn meant that he was more likely to question, and Crawford hated to be questioned.

“These kind of low lives are beneath all of us, even Schuldig, but they're a means to an end, a way of getting much bigger prizes”, he added with a calculated smirk. “Killing people like this Kase will give us the leverage that we will need.”

Outside the door of the flat, Crawford and Farfarello stood side by side, as Crawford knocked on the door.

“There's only two of them right?”

“Yes and we're killing one and taking the other.”

Farfarello licked his knife, excitement beginning to rise. He wasn't really mad, well not all the time anyway, he just enjoyed ripping people to pieces. Now who hasn't wanted to do that at some point in their lives?

“What the hell do you want? Look if you're from those Takatori bastards you can just go and tell them to - “

Crawford smirked as he saw the man hit the floor, he always did have a good right hook. Farfarello was chuckling again, clearly enjoying the blood trickling down from the man's nose.

“Kase, kase? What's going -”

Ken stooped dead as he came into the living room from the bedroom. He looked from Crawford to Farfarello to Kase on the floor. He took a step back as Crawford approached him, not knowing whether to keep watching the man coming towards him or the other man now circling his ex lover.

“We're not here to hurt you, we've come to take you.” Yet there was nothing in Crawford's voice that was remotely reassuring.

“But Kase, you -”

“I said that we wouldn't hurt you, not him. Besides what do you care, weren't you about to leave him?”

“Yes, but - i don't understand.”

“You will.” With that he turned from Ken, looking towards Farfarello he nodded his head so the show could begin.

Farfarello gave his knife one last lick before plunging it deep into Kase's right cheek, delighting in the screams and blood oozing out of the wound. Moving the knife down towards the man's jaw, cutting away his bottom lip, Farfarello proceeded up the left cheek. He was amazed that the man was still awake, still screaming, still desperately trying to buck him off, he laughed at the man's fight.

In the background Ken was screaming, trying to get to Kase to save him, as futile as that attempt would have been. Crawford was holding him off with ease, whist calmly explaining to Ken all the things that Kase had done; the drug dealing and the murders.

Ken knew this stuff already, that was why he was leaving him. It didn't matter though, Kase was still a human being, he couldn't let this happen.

“What's wrong with you, despite what he's done he doesn't deserve this. LET ME GO!”

Ken was swinging his arms about, trying to twist his body out of Crawford's iron grip.

“Even though he was the one that drugged you, got you kicked off the J-league Ken? Ruined your life and career?”

Crawford timed his little announcement to perfection, just at the moment that Farfarello cut out the man's tongue, leaving him to choke to death on his own blood.

Kase's desperate gagging, though, could not be heard. Not over Ken's screams of anguish at seeing the man die, and learning to truth of the betrayal of the man he had loved. Fire erupted over the dead body, catching Farfarello by surprise, who jumped up quickly. More fires sprang up on the couch and in the kitchen. It was definitely time to leave.

Crawford turned the boy around, grabbing his face, “Ken we have to leave now before the fires gets out of control, you can't handle it yet.”

“Kase - drugged me?”

“Yes he did. but he's gone now, come on.”

With that Farfarello and Crawford lead a shell-shocked Ken out of the building, with most of the upper floors engulfed in flames. Fire engines were just pulling up outside, with people in the building screaming out of the windows, not that the three men walking out took much notice: two because they simply didn't care, and one because he could barely acknowledge anything.

* * * * *

Schuldig grabbed Yohji's wrists as he leant in to kiss him, causing the younger man to stare up at his lover in confusion.

“What's wrong? You've been acting strange all evening. Has something happened? Is it me?”

Schuldig pulled back with a gasp, as he was overcome with intense anxiety and pain. God, Schuldig thought, Yohji could sure promote his feelings, they really needed to get a grip on it.

“No it's not you, there's nothing wrong, i hope.”

“What's going on then?”

“We need to talk, about that stuff from last night.”

Schuldig took Yohji by the hand, and lead him to sit at the kitchen table of Yohji's small studio flat. Turning so that he was looking directly at Yohji, he braced himself for the worst.

“The thing is i know about Asuka, and i know who is responsible for her death.”

As each word of the sentence had left Schuldig's mouth, Yohji had shrunk further back desperate not to believe the words.

“What? - how?”

Schuldig exhaled, he had gone over how he was going to put this many times, but now the moment was here, every way of saying it seemed so stupid.

“I know because i am a telepath, and i read it in your thoughts.”

“Haha,” Yohji looked at Schuldig in disbelief, his face and empathy betraying his emotions of intense hurt and pain. “Your making jokes about the death of the woman i love“.

/No, i'm not./

“Holy shit, what the hell?”

“Yohji calm down please, just listen to me.”

Yohji got up from his chair, pacing to and throw in his kitchen. The man can speak in my mind, read my mind, intruded into my thoughts and is now throwing the memory of Asuka back in my face. Yohji let out a scream as an intense pain, that he hadn't felt since he had seen Asuka die, ripped through his body, leaving him lying on the floor in agony.

Schuldig raced to his young lover's side, pulling him up in his arms and cradling the back of his head.

“Yohji i'm sorry, i should have gone about this better.”

“What have you done to me?”

“It wasn't me, it was you.”

“No.”

Yohji violently shook his head, despite that doing so was causing him more pain. It couldn't be true, he hadn't been responsible for all that pain. He had always known that he was extremely sensitive, feeling so much pain throughout his life, but he had a hard childhood, it just meant that he was sympathetic to others that's all.

“No Yohji, it's not just that. The pain that you felt when Asuka died, the way you can pick up on others hurt and anxieties, that's not normal.”

“No, your wrong. I'm just sensitive, that's all.”

“Please listen to me so that i can help you. You feel emotions, other people's emotions, and your own intensify because you can't control it.”

“No. Let me up, i want you to leave. You're a liar and a freak, and i'm not like you.”

“Yohji, the pain that you felt just a minute ago, the pain that you felt when Asuka died, you remember right? You did that, it's your power.”

Yohji wanted to scream out no, that Schuldig was wrong and it was just his weird ability playing with him, but the memory of Asuka's death combined with his new lover's betrayal once again filled him with agony.

Schuldig clung to his lover, lambasting himself for not going about this better. Stroking the younger man's face, he attempted to get Yohji to experience some of his feelings, how much he cared and how much he was worrying about the man.

Yohji continued to shake violently, as the image of Asuka dying, and the acknowledgement of what Schuldig had done, replayed in his head. Desperately trying to overcome the intense pain anyway he could, Yohji began to feel other emotions enter him; loving worry and the want to comfort and protect. How could he be feeling these things when he was in so much pain? Whilst Yohji had always been able to feel a little bit of what others could feel, it had never been like this before. As the pain inside of him began to ease, he knew instinctively that it was Schuldig that he was feeling.

“Schu - what's happening to me?”

“You're gonna be ok, i'm going to help you. Don't be afraid Yohji you're special, and i'm going to take you with me to meet other special people ok?”

“I'm scared, I’ve never felt things as much as this before, i thought that it was just because i was a sensitive person.”

He attempted a laugh, the only way he felt that he could cope with what had just happened to him.

“You are sensitive, you‘re just extra-sensitive. Do you think you can get up? we need to leave.”

“Yes i can, where are we going?”

With Schuldig's feelings inside of him, the pain he had felt was beginning to fade, and Yohji wondered for a moment what that meant. Did it mean that Schuldig's love could overcome the pain of Asuka?

“You're coming to meet my family, and i mean family in inverted commas by the way.” 

* * * * *

“Do you get it now Nagi-kun?” Omi gave his young friend a smile.

“Yes thank you Omi.” He had never had a problem with it to begin with, he was a young genius after all, but Omi didn't need to know about that.

“I don't know why you're so worried though Nagi, you're already so advanced, they won't mind that you take a while to understand some things.”

“Yes i suppose you're right, i just want to get it all right.”

“Your family must be so proud.”

“Ah - yeah i guess, they know i'm smart and they - find it very useful.”

“I'm sorry Nagi, i forgot that you were like me, not actually raised by your family. You would think that i would remember, i'm just so worried about Ken.”

Oh great him again. Nagi screwed his face up in annoyance.

“It's ok, Crawford and that lot are effectively my family.”

“Yes of course he must be, he raised you after all. Is he a nice man? Would you like a drink?”

“Oh yes please.” Omi got up from the table and went to the refrigerator. “Crawford's ok, he's quite strict but he's always been good to me.”

Omi returned to the table with orange juice for them both.

“So what about you? How come you ended up here with Mamoe-san?”

“Oh - erm.” Omi went slightly red and looked down at his drink, he very rarely had to explain this story, most people didn’t like to ask. “Well i don't have a family really either. I have an uncle, but i don't see him that much. He left me here with Mamoe-san because she's an old friend of his, and he sends his PA around sometimes to check up on me.”

“Oh, don't you wish that he played more of a role?”

“Well... i don't really know him anyway, and Mamoe-san is lovely and she looks after me, besides he thinks this is the best way to keep me safe.”

“What do you mean?”

Nagi was really curious now, of course he had done some research into Omi but found very little on him. What information there was of him, only went back ten years ago, it was as if he hadn't existed before that. Actually it had infuriated Nagi that he hadn't been able to find out more, he had never failed in finding information before.

“Well... i was kidnapped.”

Omi looked up at his young friend as he said it, he never told anyone about it, he didn't know what to expect from Nagi. Nagi, for his part, was completely at a loss at what to say. Staring at Omi with his mouth open, gaping like a fish, he had not expected that at all.

“Gosh Omi, i - i don't know what to say.”

“It's ok, you don't have to say anything.” Offering a reassuring smile, he added “would you like to stay for dinner?”

/Answers no Nagi, Crawford says get home now, we have two newbees./

/Fine, i'm coming, stop listening in to my conversations./

“I'm sorry Omi, I have to go, Crawford's expecting me. Can i come around tomorrow?”

“Of course you can, I’ll show you to the door.”

* * * * *

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