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Disclaimer: Weiss and Schwarz do not belong to me. I'm
borrowing them for my and (I hope) my readers' amusement only and have
no intention of trying to make money off of them in any way, shape or
Warnings: Yaoi. Swearing. References to past child sexual
abuse. Nonconsensual sex. Bondage. Although I'm setting this a couple
of years past the main series, Nagi's age combined with his actions may
squick some people. Also, I'm ignoring Gluhen and the drama CDs, so
don't expect this to be consistent with them.
Pairings: Nagi x Yohji. References to Crawford x Aya-chan.
Author: The RCK
Last updated: 31 August 2004
Thanks to Amy the Evitable, Hope of Dawn, Olna Jenn and Tritorella
beta reading, suggestions and general support.
rhe-o-tax-is: the tendency of an organism to move in response to the
stimulus of a current of water, either with the current or against it
Nagi sighed and felt some of the tension leave his shoulders as the
shut behind him. I'm no closer to figuring out what's wrong with
computer, but I was definitely right not to hook Yohji up to the damn
The blowout this afternoon proved that. Pity it didn't fry her...
Telat had been sitting on the couch when he'd entered and immediately
to her feet, bowing deeply. "Kudoh-san is sleeping, sir." She spoke in
and didn't meet his eyes.
"Good." He suppressed a surge of disappointment. Was I expecting
greet me at the door like a devoted housewife? Well... It would have
nice. "Did he eat?"
"Several times, sir. He... The kitchen seemed to make him nervous."
She looks distressed. Why? Or is it just language hangover? I wonder
she could manage a sentence in any language other than Japanese right
He allowed amusement from that thought to buoy him. I'd much rather
was personal distress than something about Yohji. "How so?"
"Naoe-san, I... He asked me to explain how things worked. I did. He...
think he didn't want to believe me." She looked at the floor and
her fingers together. "He made me... demonstrate several times."
Nagi blinked. The kitchen. What-- Oh. "Did he learn how to heat
chill things?" he asked mildly. How to find things, too...
She looked up and gave him a tentative smile. "Yes, but he wasn't
convinced that some of the food was safe."
She's so easy to reassure. Pity Yohji won't be as easy. "How
has he been asleep?" He walked past her to look at his aquarium. The
almost glowed in the light from the sun lamps. He smiled at the
blues, pinks and oranges, letting his eyes unfocus a little so that
softened and blurred into each other, contrasting with the background
and whites. Did Yohji spend any time looking at this today? He
his finger against the glass as a small striped fish darted past. This
in, he could see small particles in the water. Hm... Need to clean
"A bit more than an hour." She remained silent for a moment then said,
He waited a few seconds before turning back to her. "Yes?" I've
seen anyone actually wringing their hands before. What's she so upset
"Well, sir... Kudoh-san, he asked me... He wanted me to..." She pulled
folded piece of paper out of her pocket.
For god's sake, finish a sentence woman! Nagi extended his hand.
His irritation sharpened the word. "What did he want?"
"He asked me to take it to the red haired man, Mr. Crawford's...
She stumbled a little both over the form of address and over the
Both Crawford and I insist on being addressed according to our
customs. I suppose it's humorous in a way. He took the paper and
it. His mouth set in a hard line, and his teeth pressed hard together. What
Yohji have to say to Fujimiya? They have nothing to say to each other.
Not now. Not ever. He half crumpled the paper and had to smooth it
again before reading it.
Your sister's safe; I'm sure of it. Crawford seems to be devoted to
I'm fine, too. Take Omi and Ken and get them out. Aya-chan and I both
people to look after us. The three of you have no reason to worry about
and we'll be better off if we don't have to worry about you.
You're the only one who can get them out. Just do it.
Nagi read the note through three times then refolded it carefully and
it back to Telat. "Go ahead and deliver it." I wouldn't mind if
three weren't around anymore, and it's about time Fujimiya got the news
Yohji's mine. No matter what Fujimiya wants, how hard he fights. He
"Thank you for showing this to me. You did the right thing."
She gave him a deep bow.
The day's tension started to ease. It's good to be home. And
that he belongs with me. The notion warmed him, rather like a good
or a cup of hot chocolate. "Is there anything else?" No? Good. Get
But for once he felt no particular animosity toward her. I just
privacy... with Yohji. "You may go. I'll call you if we need you
She bowed again and turned to leave.
"Oh, and let my assistant know what your decision is about your next
He'll know what to do." Although until you're able to speak Taisken
again, trying to talk to him won't do you much good.
"Thank you, Naoe-san." She bowed again then left.
He relaxed fully once she was gone. Time to look in on Yohji.
quickly toward the bedroom then hesitated in the doorway. Why do I
so much? He shook his head. It doesn't matter. I like having
Yohji lay curled up on the bed, facing the door. He'd wrapped
around a pillow. I should find out what happened to the cat... No.
probably bled on it. Just get a new one. No. I'm sure it can be
and it was the first gift I gave him.
Nagi crossed the room without really thinking about it. He looks so
right there. Mine. He reached out to smooth Yohji's hair.
Yohji tensed minutely, and his hand shot out to grab Nagi's arm. Then
eyes opened, and he flinched. His arm fell to the bed, his fingers just
of Nagi's hand. "I'm sorry, Nagi-san," he whispered. He didn't quite
at Nagi but rather focused his eyes on his hand. His whole body seemed
"I-- I was asleep. I didn't know it was you." He raised his head, and
saw that the pillowcase had left a dent across Yohji's face.
Nagi let go of the energy he'd gathered instinctively. The killer
in there. Good. He was afraid he'd lost it. "That's all right,
I didn't mean to wake you." He inhaled slowly. But I almost...
I thought Crawford said I was past that... That I wouldn't hurt Yohji
by losing my temper again. "How are you feeling?" He sat on the
of the bed and stroked Yohji's hair.
"I'm fine." Yohji hesitated just for a second then leaned his head
Nagi's leg. "I was just a little... tired, and she was dull. I missed
Did you? I... I'd like to think so. Nagi sighed. "You're looking
I think the bruises will be gone tomorrow." Did Crawford lie to me?
did he just not See it? If he wasn't sure-- I might still kill
without meaning to.
"I really am sorry. I meant to be awake when you came home--"
voice held just the barest hint of panic, but he remained completely
under Nagi's hands.
What? Oh... "I'm not angry with you, Yohji-kun. It's something
not you." Nagi smiled and put up some sketchy mental shields. I
helps. "I've started looking into someone to teach you about
I think I've found the right person, but... The language barrier is a
for the next few days." Will he ask? I bet he will.
Yohji frowned. "I don't understand that. Yesterday, that woman couldn't
a word of Japanese. Today, she couldn't manage anything but."
"I had her programmed with the language. It's a fairly simple process.
it is now." He pushed his remembered irritation behind his shields.
some reason, Japanese wasn't one of the available languages until I
about it last week. They had German and English and Mandarin and
and Russian but not Japanese."
"Programmed?" Yohji sounded dubious.
"It's easy, really. Just a bit of time with a computer sending signals
your brain. I've gotten several languages that way. The worst
is that you usually can't speak anything but the new language for a day
Yohji fixed his eyes on Nagi's face. "There's more to it. Why can she
it and I can't? You're not going to convince me that Taisken's not
His expression combined puzzlement with shrewd suspicion.
"Well..." Nagi found himself suddenly reluctant to explain out loud how
he had cared if Telat's brain got fried. Not that he doesn't know.
hell-- Why should I care? She's utterly replaceable. He ran
fingers through Yohji's hair and started to relax a little. I have
explain, though. Otherwise-- I bet he thinks I want him helpless.
he realize I want the killer? "The complex's main computer
acting... weird. There've been some things overloading, data getting
that sort of thing. Until we isolate the cause and fix it, programming
person is a bit of risk. I spent the afternoon working on the problem.
doesn't trust anybody else with it."
Yohji stared at Nagi for a moment then looked away.
"I won't put you in danger like that." Nagi felt he had to emphasize
"So I'm valuable?" Yohji didn't sound entirely happy about it.
Nagi set his jaw and took a deep breath. After a brief hesitation, he
"Very much so. At least to me." Nagi ran fingers along Yohji's jaw. Hm.
needs to shave again. Speaking of which... "The next few days may
get a little confusing. Crawford's requested a stand alone language
which won't be affected by our computer problems-- He doesn't want to
harming Fujimiya-- but it's going to take some time to arrive." Carefully.
not going to like this. "Tomorrow afternoon, I've got you scheduled
for a simple medical procedure--"
Yohji's jaw tightened, and his hands clenched. He looked down at the
Nagi saw him shudder.
"Relax, Yohji-kun. It's... cosmetic and painless. I don't like you with
He touched the tip of Yohji's chin. "This will stop your beard
and not affect you at all." He smiled. "Unless you think you're
by your hair follicles..." It will please me, Yohji-kun. And
some... negative associations. Better for both of us.
Yohji managed a weak smile.
Close enough. "We'll also be seeing some people about clothing
about planning new quarters, and I plan to introduce you to your
teacher. I-- or Telat-- will translate for you." I won't always be
to be around. Much as I'd prefer to be. Yohji winced, and Nagi
that he'd tightened his grip on Yohji's hair. He relaxed his hand and
in apology. "For tonight, I've got something more relaxing planned."
For just a moment, Yohji looked dubious. Then he nuzzled at Nagi's
"I'm sure I can come up with some ideas--" he purred, rubbing his face
against Nagi's crotch.
Nagi's gut tightened, and for a second, he couldn't breathe as his body
to the stimulation. Oh-- Yes! He shifted a little,
to give Yohji better access. This wasn't-- Oh, god! He buried
hands in Yohji's hair.
Yohji was doing something with Nagi's pants, but Nagi couldn't spare
to think about what. Yohji pulled back. "May I use my hands?" He kept
head bent, eyes lowered. He made no attempt to escape Nagi's hold.
What? Nagi blinked. Hands? He stared at Yohji then
uncomfortably as he realized just how tight his pants had become. Oh!
"Go ahead." Just finish what you damn well started! Wait-- Isn't
a bad idea? I wasn't planning-- Not this, not now. But-- He shifted
grip on Yohji's head so that he could see his face. He leaned in to
Yohji's forehead. "My Yohji," he whispered, trying to project feelings
affection and tenderness to temper his lust. He is volunteering,
Yohji's hands trembled visibly as he reached for Nagi's belt.
Nagi rocked his hips a little, silently urging Yohji to continue. He
his eyes for a second. That felt so good last time-- Last time!
jolt of doubt went through him at the thought. He clenched his hands
attempted to think of something other than his arousal. "Yohji-- This
your choice-- not like-- last time--" Though if you keep doing that,
damn well not going to let you stop!
Yohji finished opening Nagi's fly and pressed a kiss against the tiny
of flesh visible between boxers and shirt. He rubbed his cheek against
fabric covered bulge. "Last time was my choice," he replied
"It just... I wasn't... ready."
Good enough. Nagi lifted his hips to make pulling his clothing
easier. "No-- No further." He put a hand on one of Yohji's, preventing
from pulling his pants any lower. I'm still that much in control.
Yohji ran his tongue along the length of Nagi's cock, effectively
the thought. HE had to put his hands behind him to keep from collapsing
All his attention focused on his cock and on what Yohji was doing to it.
Warm wetness, just a hint of rough texture. He gasped as Yohji moved,
trails of warmth to cool. His fingers clenched on the sheets as Yohji
wrapped his lips around his cock. He thrust upward, desperately wanting
More warmth. More wetness. More contact. More...
It ended faster than he'd expected. His body tightened as he tried to
on, but Yohji seemed to know exactly what to do to force him to lose
He thrust upward one last time then gasped and shook with his release.
collapsed backward and lay gasping for several seconds.
Then he reached down to touch Yohji's hair. He felt a sudden, not
unpleasant chill as Yohji released his cock and laid his head on Nagi's
I like having him there. He sighed. But I want him to
now. He smiled. "Come up here, Yohji." He tried to make it a
rather than an order but wasn't sure he succeeded.
Yohji hesitated, pressing his face against Nagi's leg. Then he sat up
used his arms to pull himself to where he could lie down next to Nagi.
Nagi turned to take Yohji in his arms and pulled Yohji's head to rest
his shoulder. He laid his fingers over Yohji's lips and said, "Thank
I could kiss him. That would be nice... No. He barely managed to
a shudder. I bet he tastes like-- Bad idea. Very bad idea. He
his body up against Yohji's, and Yohji obligingly relaxed against him,
neutral and his breathing even.
Nagi ran his hand through Yohji's hair and down his back, making small
noises as he moved. I wonder what this would feel like longer, much
He could feel each strand as it passed between, under his fingers. We
find out. "Have you ever worn your hair longer than this?" He
some of it and let the strands fall slowly from his fingers.
Yohji shook his head without raising it from its resting place on
shoulder. "No. Didn't want to look like a girl..." he mumbled
Nagi laughed "That seems unlikely. Which is just as well. If I wanted a
I'd get one." And I really could, couldn't I? I doubt anybody'd
if I built a harem. Well, Schuldig'd make snide-- The recollection
Schuldig wasn't speaking to him ended his amusement abruptly.
Yohji's steady breathing stopped for about two seconds then resumed.
Nagi tightened his grip on Yohji. "It's all right, Yohji-kun. Just a
thought. Nothing to do with you..." Well, not directly. "It's
a long and frustrating day, and some of it is hanging on." He rubbed
back and concentrated on recapturing the peace and pleasure he'd felt
before. "Would you like to go out tonight? I was thinking of a picnic
some star gazing..."
"Really?" Yohji twisted to look at Nagi's face. "Out? Just us?" His
was half longing, half terror.
"Yes, really outside." Nagi couldn't keep from smiling. "I think you'll
it. The garden's not as nice as it could be right now... I got kind of
the other day and took it out on the walkways and benches. For some
at the time, it seemed better than taking it out on Crawford. But out
that, I've got my own spot for looking at the sky."
Yohji settled his head back on Nagi's shoulder and turned his face in
Nagi's chest. "That'll be very nice. Thank you, Nagi-san."
Yohji pushed one foot carefully forward, probing for safe ground. Thank
he gave me shoes. This crap'd cut the hell out of my feet otherwise.
He hesitated and looked around, trying to get a better impression of
Nagi had assured him was a beautiful garden, but the darkness hid all
a general sense of shape to the badly broken pathway and its flanking
I think those are topiaries back there. And judging by the scent,
a shitload of flowers around. Somebody's put a lot of time and money
the landscaping. He stumbled forward, toes connecting hard with one
the larger pieces of debris as Nagi tugged at the light leather leash
to Yohji's neck and wrists. Fuck! I keep forgetting. Hasn't he
"Are you all right, Yohji-kun?" Nagi stopped and looked back, letting
leash fall slack between them. Yohji could feel his concern.
How's he managing so easily? Yohji glanced at Nagi's feet. Are
even touching the ground? "I think I need to go a little slower,
Nagi-san, or maybe walk on the grass." I should be better at this.
my job! I sneak around in the dark all the time, and I'm really not
badly hurt any more. Not really. Yeah, but if I were sneaking through
I wouldn't be walking on this-- Yohji'd bent to investigate when
first emerged from the building, while they were still close enough for
from the window to let him see details. Not a piece larger than the
of my hand and not many of those. And
he did this. Because he was angry. I'm not going to think
"We can walk on the grass for a little bit." Nagi frowned thoughtfully.
touched Yohji's cheek. "I'm sorry, Yohji-kun. I should have thought to
a light. I know the way so well I don't need one." He shrugged. "We'll
back during the day some time, so you can do more than smell the
Yohji studied what he could see of Nagi's face. What does he want?
"How can we have a picnic in the dark?" He was afraid he sounded
but he couldn't seem to avoid it. I hate not knowing what's going
And I can't ask. "And we're not carrying any food--"
"I ordered a blanket and a meal set up out here before I left my
If we hadn't... If we hadn't indulged in that very pleasant...
it'd still be light out." Nagi sounded amused. He looked Yohji up and
and then looked at the path ahead of them. "There's a light waiting for
there, too. I thought we'd need it on the way back in."
So he didn't expect a blowjob? But he was-- is-- pleased about it.
was the right thing to do. Yohji considered the aftermath. Cuddling.
was... nice. Then clean clothes, even shoes and socks for the first
time. Even if I did balk at the... leash. He closed his eyes. Did
think I wouldn't? That giving me other things would make that-- He
tried to remember the expression on Nagi's face as he'd offered Yohji
choice between a delicate silver chain with equally delicate wrist
and collar and a similar set up made of soft leather. He'd smiled as
had tested both leashes and realized they were useless as actual
No. He knew I wouldn't like it. He just... let me have a little
Deliberately. And he did feel like he was telling the truth
said it was 'necessary.'
"I just don't want to twist my ankle." Yohji shrugged, trying to look
if he didn't care. I don't want to look even more... stupid, don't
to be more helpless. "Whatever suits you, Nagi-san."
"I could always carry you..."
Nagi's amusement at the thought made Yohji want to smile even as his
made him want to cringe. No. Please. Leave me some dignity. "I
manage, and it's... nice to have a chance to stretch my legs." Not
I can stop you...
"All right." Nagi turned away. "This way then."
Yohji found his efforts to note details as he passed through the garden
both by the darkness and by his need to concentrate on his footing. I
if I'll be able to see the nearest city? Probably. That'll at least
be useful. If I could just see the flowers, I'd have some idea where we
be. Being a damned florist has to be good for something.
Eventually, they reached a path that hadn't been torn up by Nagi's
Yohji kept his sigh of relief silent as he felt an even, paved surface
his feet. From what he could see the path was about a meter wide, with
pruned trees to either side. At least, I assume they're pruned. I
run into any branches yet, and I can see the sky. I wish the moon were
a crescent's not enough to see anything by. Just shadows of leaves.
"We're nearly there, Yohji-kun." Yohji could feel Nagi's uncomplicated
in sharing something special to him. "I think you'll really like the
Maybe this won't be so bad. He doesn't feel like he's planning
awful. There's a little bit of anticipation, like he thinks he'll
me, but it's... There's no cruelty, no sense of power over me. Maybe...
bother hoping. He took a moment to look up at the sky. "I'm sure
be beautiful, Nagi-san." He made himself smile a little, remembering
Nagi could 'see' with his power. He took a deep breath. "I'm already
the fresh air." The heavy scent of flowers bred for show and
Fertilizer. Damp soil. Does he even know what he's smelling? It's like
bit of home...
Home. Right. There's irony for me. I don't think any of us thought
it that way. It was a place we were passing through... A place none of
The path slanted upward. Yohji hesitated for a second, trying to judge
angle. It's not just up. I think we're going along the side of
Circling up. Just how high up will we be? I wish I had light--
"Nagi-san--" What am I going to ask?
Nagi turned back to look at Yohji. "Yes?"
I'm a moron. Damn it! Say something! "Why is this--" He tugged
on the leash. "--necessary? I'm not going to run." Yet. The damn
can't be just decorative. He didn't feel like that about it.
Nagi frowned briefly then smiled. "Not yet anyway." He continued
forward, no longer looking at Yohji. For a long moment, he didn't say
Yohji focused his attention on Nagi's back. Is he even going to
"It's a symbol, like a caste marker but not. The Taisken are big on
Normally, everybody, no matter who they are, wears something
tells people who they are, where they fit in, who they answer to. We're
of lax about it here, apart from special occasions, but you... Slaves always
wear a mark. Always. And... As long as you wear mine, only someone who
me can touch you without my permission. On this base, that means
Kind of." Nagi shrugged.
That feels... complicated. Pleasure and guilt and loyalty and pride
doubt and ambition and... I think the pleasure's from protecting me
but I just don't think I want to... I'm not going to ask about Crawford.
Yohji tangled his fingers in the soft leather of the leash. "And if--
if I weren't wearing it? Or if you..." What if you take it away?
"If I take it away and I don't replace it with something else, then
thrown you to the wolves." Nagi didn't look back.
And you're not saying you won't. Yohji's fingers tightened on
leather. Not that I'd believe you if you did...
"Don't go out without me." Nagi stopped and turned. He put his hands on
cheeks and pulled him down for a brief kiss. "I'm having something a
more permanent, a lot nicer, than this--" He tugged lightly at the
"--made for you."
Great. Something else to look forward to. Yohji suppressed his
by leaning against Nagi. He's warm, and he... He likes me.
to protect me.
Nagi put his arms around Yohji. "I changed the rules when I..." He
his throat. "When I took you to my rooms, you stopped being a prisoner
became a slave. Before, well... You were legally protected against
unofficial. You had some status. Now it all depends on what I think of
whether people think I'll listen to you, protect you..."
Stay calm, Kudoh. Yohji's stomach clenched. This doesn't
change anything, and the idea pleases him. You can live with that.
we're going to a romantic picnic. Throwing up is not going to
No matter what he thinks of me, what he feels, vomit is not endearing.
at this range.
"But... Schuldig..." Nagi shrugged. "This way I can shield you from
Otherwise... I don't think Crawford would."
But that's not everything. You... want too strongly for that.
Yohji shuddered. "I'm... I'm not ungrateful." And I'm not. God help
"It's just... hard to adapt." He turned his head a little to look away
the darkness. "I'm sorry, Nagi-san." He could feel Nagi's emotions as a
tangle of conflicting impulses. Pride, grief-- Does he regret
so much? Possessiveness. Anger. And lust, always lust. He fought
"You're doing very well. Kidnapping and empathy and weird
Nagi rubbed one hand in little circles on Yohji's back. "And you really
need to think about it right now. Come on--" He stepped away and put a
on Yohji's arm. "We'll eat and look at the stars, and I'll explain a
more about the Taisken."
Explain? That's... weird. I expected something more... passionate.
Yohji followed along obediently, letting Nagi steer him along the path.
clenched his hands where Nagi couldn't see them. I don't like
any more. He hurts me the most when he's not trying to. I
it when he's not seeing me. That focus is terrifying. I can use it. I
so use it, but... Fuck.
"I wish we'd come up here while it was still light-- Perhaps we can do
in a few days-- I think you'd like the garden and the plants by the
You do actually like plants, don't you? You seemed to be good
them, so I thought--" Nagi gave a light laugh that sounded forced.
"I like plants okay." Yohji worked at matching Nagi's tone. He
planning something. He thinks it's good, but he's nervous. "I
think they'd have been my first choice for a cover, being a florist,
is. The schedule's not really flexible, and--" He shrugged and didn't
to finish the thought. "But with plants you can... I don't know, kind
lose yourself in caring for them, arranging them, and they're alive.
you kill, you need something to anchor you, something that isn't all
Damn. I'm starting to babble. Control. I need to keep control.
Neither man spoke for a while. The path continued to wind upward.
it widened and let out on the middle of a grassy open area that sloped
up to a line of trees and down to foliage Yohji couldn't quite
Nagi led the way toward a large, light colored blanket spread on the
trimmed grass. There were small lights placed at regular intervals
its perimeter and a large basket lay at one end.
Yohji blinked and looked away from the lights, temporarily dazzled. He
has gone all out.
"We'll want to put out the lights so we can look at the stars." Nagi
Yohji looked at him. He's looking at the sky, not at me.
"Look-- We're in time for moonrise." Nagi pointed. "I didn't think we
Moonrise? But it's already up-- Yohji looked in the direction
was indicating. And that's not where it is. But... Something is.
eyes widened as he saw a second moon edge over the horizon. No!
other moon, the crescent, was still there. There can't be
"I'd hoped to have the lights off already. I wanted you to see this
I thought... I thought you'd need something concrete to prove I was
the truth about the Taisken, and it really is beautiful..." Nagi didn't
look at Yohji.
Yohji felt as if his throat were blocked and as if the ground were
unsteady under his feet. No. Please, no. Fuck. We're not
Earth-- His knees started to buckle. He staggered forward a couple
steps. This means-- This means... They can't get out. No matter
do. It's for nothing. I've sold myself for nothing. Nothing at all. His
was a bitter, devouring thing. It ripped at him, and everything around
him seemed to blur and shake in response. I failed.
Nagi had a second to realize that something was wrong before Yohji's
response crashed into him. He felt Yohji's instant of disbelief and
like a shock of ice water. Nagi blinked. I didn't know he could
too. Then, like a solid wall, raging despair smashed into his
just barely diverted by his shields.
The tiny portion of his mind that was neither caught up in the emotion
struggling to shore up his shields wondered how he could still be
and then noted in a vague, detached way that Yohji hadn't moved
there's no hope
they can't escape
I failed them
Nagi wasn't sure afterward just how long it took him to protect himself
enough to start thinking again. Most of his attention remained focused
seeking ways to better shield himself, but he could think. Words.
getting words. I shouldn't be getting words. Why--
:Actually, you aren't.: A familiar mental presence
itself known, slipping through the gaps in his shields. :You're
too damn close.: Schuldig gave a mental push, strengthening
Nagi's shields and starting to fill in the holes. :Just what
fuck are you doing anyway? Your shields are for shit, and you're
with an empath.:
:Thank you for your help, sempai.: Nagi found he
no interest in explaining the situation. I was getting by. Kind of.
He set his jaw and clamped down on his emotions. I'm not letting
see me panic. :Now go away.:
Schuldig settled into Nagi's mind, an unwelcome visitor sprawling in
best chair. :You took him outside? Oh, smooth, kid. I told
you were going to break him. You're so hard on your toys.:
comments almost glittered with gleeful malice. :You can keep
get those last exquisite drops of agony, break whatever he's got left...:
Nagi remained quiet, working on keeping his reactions hidden from his
guest. He wasn't sure how successful he'd be under the circumstances,
trying was almost automatic after years of dealing with Schuldig. 'I
well' doesn't cut it. Especially-- No! He shook his head and closed
eyes as he felt Schuldig attempting to hijack his senses to observe
:Ask permission first.:
:Why?: Schuldig seemed genuinely curious. :The
thing to do now-- assuming you want to be kind-- would be to put
him down. He's too damaged to recover.: His mental voice
a profound satisfaction that Nagi found repulsive.
No! Nagi hardly cared that his instinctive protest was open for
:There's almost nothing left, kid. Time to move on to the
toy. Something better looking, more even tempered--:
:Shut the fuck up and get the hell out of my head, Schuldig.:
Nagi's mental voice went utterly cold. And stop lying to me!
:You can't keep him out on your own. Your shields suck.:
This time the malice was aimed at Nagi. :He's stronger than
infallible leader thought. I doubt there's anyone with any trace of
who's not picking this tantrum up, at least not within a kilometer or
Just kill him. Put him out of our misery, and we can all get back to
Get back to normal? Is that it? If Nagi'd felt
off balance, he might have tried to hide his sudden understanding of
motives, to keep himself from revealing any pity or compassion, but his
irritation at the telepath's actions combined with his fear that he
couldn't save Yohji. :Schuldig nii-san, there is no normal
more. Everything's changed, and it's going to keep changing. Killing
won't change that. I'm busy now. Please leave us alone.:
Schuldig's presence in Nagi's mind went cold and still. :So
to have bothered you. Have fun.: The sneer was audible. :I
bother you again.:
And if I believe that... Nagi braced his own shields as
protection dissolved. Part of him wanted desperately to call Schuldig
to have him fix the problem. Except he wouldn't. I don't want what
wants. He took a deep breath. I can do this. I can. He
his hands into fists and stared blankly at Yohji for a moment. Focus.
at him. See him.
Yohji was on his knees. Both hands were clenched around clumps of grass
pulled from the ground. He stared up at the sky, frozen, eyes wide.
How the hell do I fix this? I don't even know what 'this' is.
despair was angry, ravenous, and it clawed at Nagi, trying to pull him
suck him under. Why does where we are matter? I mean, sure,
tell him before, but... Why is not being on Earth so terrible? He
his throat and said tentatively, "Yohji-kun?"
Yohji didn't move. Nagi'd have thought Yohji hadn't heard, but fresh
crackled through the emotional storm at the sound of Nagi's voice.
Anger. That's better than despair, right? So I give him something
to focus on. Nagi swallowed hard. Yes, well... I knew this
be easy. I just... I knew it. "Yohji-kun." Nagi forced his
into firmness. "You're projecting. To everyone in about a kilometer." Certainty.
Not-- He pushed back his own doubts and hurt feelings. "Everyone's
feeling what you feel. Everyone." He took a step forward then
He might lash out. I would. But he... doesn't feel like he... It's
nothing can be worse for him now. He might do anything.
Yohji's despair became a quieter and more invasive thing, seeping into
It felt like a film between him and everything else.
Yohji bowed his head. "I'm sorry, Nagi-san." The words sounded
Shit. Schuldig's right. Nagi swallowed hard. Maybe not...
moved closer and went down on one knee so he could better see Yohji's
"What difference does it make? What planet we're on, I mean. I
I thought you were... content... to be mine. Nagi shook his
trying to deny the ache cramping his gut. I knew better. I
what... I raped him. He's trying to keep me happy by acting...
I did. I know how this sort of thing works. He-- I-- So why does it
"I told myself the others would get away, that I was helping
Yohji still spoke in a dead monotone, his pain only obvious because he
stopped projecting it. "Anything to buy that... Any price."
Nagi buried his jealousy beneath his concern for Yohji. "What would
it... What would feel worthwhile, make it not a betrayal?" How
will it cost to buy you? If I can't have you any other way...
Yohji looked up, his eyes meeting Nagi's. "I--" He shook his head. "How
we get here?" He almost succeeded in sounding as if it were a matter of
interest, but the tremor in his voice spoiled the effect. "You said--
first day, you said it hadn't been long, but this-- How did we get
Is that accusation? Yes, I think so. But of what? He-- Never mind.
"We came through a gate. It's small, more or less portable--"
"So we just kind of... stepped through from Tokyo?" Yohji studied
What's he looking for? "More or less." I don't think he
Wait-- Is that it? "Yohji-kun, I've left a lot of things out, let
assume things, but--" Nagi hesitated for a moment, searching his
of their conversations. He nodded firmly. "I don't think I've lied to
Yohji laughed, a choked, painful sound. "You wanted my trust." He
at the ground. "Lying would have been... counterproductive."
Making a conscious effort to be gentle, Nagi hooked a finger under
chin to lift it. "I still want your trust."
"I..." Yohji refused to meet Nagi's eyes. "That's... It's not that
Nagi forced a smile. "The things worth having never are." He laid his
along Yohji's jaw. "What do you want, Yohji-kun? I can't give it to you
I don't know." I think he's calming. He's not as... loud now.
his shields soften a little then winced. Not calmer. Quieter,
He's not... shouting any more, but... It's still very intense.
He concentrated on restoring his protections. How can he stand
"I--" Yohji shook his head and hunched his shoulders. "I want to please
He still didn't quite look at Nagi. "I do. I really, really
spoke rapidly, urgently, his desperation coming through clearly like an
thread binding the words together.
Does he think I won't believe him? Probably. "I know. You do
very well." Nagi tried to project a solid approval of Yohji's success
Yohji took a deep breath and seemed to center himself. "I want..." He
his head as if he'd lost track of what he was saying. "Please. Please,
I can't..." His voice broke as he spoke, and he seemed to be having
controlling his facial expression.
"You can tell me. Whatever it is, Yohji-kun, I won't punish you for
I have to know.
Yohji cleared his throat and bowed his head. "I want not to be hurt..."
words were barely a whisper. "Please... Don't hurt me any more?"
This is when I should tell him he deserved it, asked for it, when I
bend him more, but... Nagi's throat felt tight. But that would
him, and I want-- I want something else. "I don't think that ought
be a question." He did his best to put humor into the words. Not
he'll necessarily appreciate it. And I wonder... Does he realize what
giving me now? What I could do with it? "That's... something you
want. You're allowed."
Yohji bowed his head further, dipping it almost to the ground. Then he
up and looked at Nagi's chest. "I..." He gripped his hands together in
lap and raised his chin. "I want to be safe from other people hurting
He looked down at his hands and then went on in a low voice. "and I
really want my family to be safe--" He cleared his throat again and
"I'll do whatever's necessary for that..."
That's the heart of it, isn't it? The heart of him, even...
Nagi couldn't move. This isn't just surrender. His fingers
I could-- But that's not what I want. Not... Not really.
Yohji's jaw tightened under Nagi's hand. "Nagi-san...?" He started to
up then froze and lowered his head.
He's waiting. I have to say something, but what? Nagi sighed.
all right." He moved a hand to rub Yohji's back. "I asked the question."
Yohji leaned against Nagi.
There's a plea there. I've taken the last of his dignity, and it
not private. "I won't let anyone else hurt you." Nagi wrapped his
around Yohji. That's the easy one. Fuck it. Not like he doesn't
"I am not... Kindness is... alien to me, a weakness I've never been
to afford." And I seem to hurt you worst when I'm trying to be kind.
Yohji tensed then sighed heavily, turning his face in toward Nagi's
A shiver ran through him. It grew till his whole body shook.
Nagi tightened his arms for just a second then continued to rub Yohji's
What now? Right. His... family. Weiss. Knowing that Yohji
see him, Nagi let his lips curl in a sneer. The bastards don't
him. He-- Wait. He had to clamp down hard on a sudden spike of
and jealousy. That whole thing with Hidaka, it was a game, a show
No. Stop. He can't take my anger right now. "It's okay,
I'm not mad at you," Nagi lied. At least he didn't try to pull
I've got to stop being pleased by things that show he's broken. No. He's
not broken. He can't be. I won't let him be.
As afternoon progressed into evening, Omi found himself relaxing. I
Ken. Ran doesn't know how to keep me steady. He resolutely
from looking at the fact that Ken's presence was temporary. And
handling Ran just right. I haven't seen him this... content in a long
:Actually,: Ouka put in. :I'm surprised
left him here this long.:
Omi's mental voice had a sharp bitterness that he couldn't conceal. :Thanks
much for reminding me.: He leaned back against the cushions
of the couch, laughing as Ran threw a small pillow at Ken in response
a teasing comment.
:Well, I'm thinking it's time to move back into our room. Who
how much warning we'll get?: Ouka's tone made it clear that
too, would regret having the evening end. She gave Omi a gentle,
emotional caress. :He's doing okay, nii-san. I'm sure he'll
Omi nodded abruptly and opened his mouth to speak.
Ouka moved sharply inside Omi's head. He felt her push hard against his
and then she faded back as if her attention were elsewhere. :Ouka-chan?:
Ken reached up to block and catch the pillow but fumbled as his hands
to close over it. He jerked back in his chair, fingers clenching into
as his arms fell.
"Ken-kun!" Omi was on his feet and at Ken's side before he even had
to think about it. He fumbled, grabbing at Ken's arm and feeling for a
as he noted other physical signs. Eyes open, but not focused. Jaw,
shoulders tense-- Seizure? No. No rigidity. It's more like he's in
Heart rate up... No noise. Not even a whimper. "Ran-kun, give me a
I want to lay him on the couch." :Ouka-chan? What's going on?:
He tried to suppress his panic. Probably just Schuldig...
No response from anyone.
"Ran-kun?" The name came out more sharply than Omi'd intended. After
seconds, he heard Ran stand. About time.
:Um, Nii-san--: Ouka sounded distant and strained.
Ran's steps moved away. The sound was rapid and irregular, as if he
injured but moving as fast as he could.
What the hell? Omi turned to see Ran stagger toward the kitchen.
happening? Are we under attack?:
:Not exactly.: Ouka's voice gained strength as she
but Omi could tell he was only getting a fraction of her attention. :You
to go after him, nii-san.: She spoke with absolute
:Ken-kun's not going anywhere. I don't think...:
last sentence sounded quiet and unsure, as if she hadn't really
Omi to hear it.
:But--: Omi glanced down at Ken and hesitated.
:They're hearing-- well 'hearing' isn't the right word--
It's... bad. Now go after him. Now!:
Ouka's tone sent Omi after Ran before he'd even had time to register
words completely. As he crossed the threshold into the kitchen, he
for a fraction of a second. :Yohji-kun? He's in trouble?:
:Not nearly as much trouble as Ran-kun's going to be in if
don't get over there and get that knife away from him.:
Ran stood next to the cutting board. He'd picked up the knife he'd used
to chop vegetables for dinner. As Omi watched, Ran shook his head and
it down. He reached for another knife from the storage block.
"Ran-kun?" Omi spoke softly, trying not to startle the other man. :We're
to have a Talk in a few minutes, Ouka-chan.: He spread his
hands wide to show that he wasn't carrying a weapon.
Ran didn't look at Omi. Instead, he tested the new knife against his
drawing blood. "Better," he said grudgingly. He looked up at one of the
and no longer functioning monitoring devices. "I'm sorry, Aya-chan. I
do this any more--" His voice broke, and he shuddered. "...and you
really need me any more." The last words were almost inaudible.
"Abyssinian!" Omi put more command into his voice and took a step
If I didn't know him, I wouldn't know what he was saying. This is
down side of convincing him he doesn't need to protect her.
Ran continued to ignore Omi. He appeared to be contemplating his wrist.
shook his head. "Damned nanites," he muttered. "Need an artery. Need to
Shit. What's he thinking? Scratch that. He's not thinking. :What's
getting hit with? I need to know now.: Omi didn't even try
to moderate his mental tone. He felt the heat of anger warring with icy
in his guts and somehow not canceling each other out.
:It's... Yohji-kun is angry and hopeless. More than that,
That doesn't sound so bad. :Let me feel it. Now.:
:No.: Ouka hadn't sounded so adamant since--
Omi couldn't remember her ever sounding that way before. Shock froze
for a moment.
Ran raised the knife toward his own throat.
No! Get the knife-- Fear for Ran broke Omi's temporary
and he darted forward to grab for the knife, terrified that he'd be too
His fingers closed over Ran's wrist. Lock. Hold. He raised his
hand, palm toward his face, in case he needed to block. This would
when I'm in crappy physical shape.
For the first time, Ran looked directly at Omi. His expression seemed
lucid, given what he was doing. "I promised, didn't I? To look after
I mean. I failed that, too. I'm sorry." For a second, his shoulders
and his fingers loosened on hilt of the knife.
Omi turned Ran's wrist, trying to take the knife, and started to hope
the worst might be over.
Ran resisted. His eyes widened slightly, and a spark of grim energy
his face. He tried to turn the knife to attack Omi. "I'm afraid it's
I can do for you," he explained in a reasonable tone as they struggled
control. "Please hold still."
Fuck that! Omi used his leverage to twist the knife from Ran's
He used Ran's own momentum to trip him so that he crashed head first
the wall. A quick nerve strike turned Ran's temporary disorientation
unconsciousness. Thank god. He started looking around for
to use as a restraint. He discarded the dish towels as too short. And
I rip them up, Ran-kun'll have to explain it. Hell, he'll have to
this anyway. I may have to wake up officially. He shook his head
started out of the kitchen. I'm going to have to look elsewhere.
Probably all we've got. He hesitated, knowing he should keep going
find a way to restrain Ran before he regained consciousness. But I
to know how Ken-kun is doing...
Tears streaked Ken's checks. He'd gotten his hands on the pillow and
his arms around it, clutching it to his chest. He looked up and met
eyes. He almost managed a smile. "You must have amazing shields, Omi.
didn't even twitch." His voice sounded thick.
:How does he know that? Ran-kun had no idea what hit him.:
Ouka sounded more tired than curious.
:How should I know?: Omi suppressed a surge of
irritation. :Maybe Crawford's given him more than just the
He chose not to acknowledge Ken's implied question. "I'll be back in
a minute." He gestured vaguely back toward the kitchen. "Ran-kun's--"
"I heard." Ken looked away. "I'm sorry." He rocked back and forth in
seat then appeared to catch himself. He sat up straight. "I'm sorry I
"It's okay. We're okay." Omi shrugged and kept walking. "I'll be back
you in a few minutes." :Now, Ouka-chan, tell me about
By the time Nagi carried Yohji back in from
garden, he had a much better understanding of the difficulties Yohji'd
on the walk out. It's not so simple walking around the debris when
see it any more. His back hurt. I didn't realize he was this
But he's in no shape to stand, let alone walk, and I don't dare let my
He glared around the brightly lit entry. Why the hell couldn't
come out and help me? There must be someone in this place with shields
to the job. But Crawford had said no. In fact, he'd insisted that
be kept in a shielded room and have no contact with anyone but Nagi
he was calm again. Well, actually, he said, "You've alienated the
person who might have volunteered, and I'm not ordering anyone to
themselves to Kudoh right now. Drug him, put a limiter on him or lock
somewhere shielded. I don't give a damn as long as he stops causing
immediately. We've got two deaths and several injuries from this...
At least, he agreed to have them put shielding on my rooms. He
and looked around, getting his bearings. Hopefully, that won't take
long. In the meantime... He nodded and headed for one of the
rooms. I'm not drugging him until he's some place he knows, and
Yohji turned his face away from the light, almost burrowing into Nagi's
Nagi leaned down to press his lips into Yohji's hair then cursed softly
he felt one of his hands slip a little. If only he wasn't so damned
When he'd first picked Yohji up, Nagi had had just enough power left
after reinforcing his shields to relieve himself of some of Yohji's
but he had quickly discovered that he was better off bearing Yohji's
weight and using his telekinesis to hold Yohji's limbs in close.
He walked faster.
The nearest practice room was small, maybe three meters across, heavily
and completely unfurnished. Nagi didn't like the color scheme, a
of browns, grays and greens that reminded him of military camouflage. But
better than the alternatives. Hidaka's in the infirmary, even if he's
not in the shielded area. I'm not sure I wouldn't kill him right now.
for the other alternative-- The shielded cells look just like the
ones. Yohji'd think I was abandoning him.
"We're going to stay in here for a while, Yohji-kun." Nagi set Yohji
leaning him against the wall opposite the door, then sat beside him. He
Yohji's hair, pushing it back off his forehead. "As long as we're in
nobody else can hear you, so if you need to be upset, go ahead." Please
My shields won't stand too much. He tried to project calming,
comforting feelings but knew he wasn't completely succeeding. I'm
a calm, comforting person, I guess.
Yohji made no effort to move, but he started to tremble. His breath
raggedly, and placing his hand on Yohji's chest, Nagi could feel
He needs to sleep. Nagi smoothed Yohji's hair. I think that
me more than it does him. But then, calming me makes him feel better.
He sighed. I should at least offer. "Do you want a sedative?
are several things that might calm you down..." If I call, someone
drop it off outside the door. It'd be easy. "Or would you like
to eat? Something to drink?" He wouldn't keep it down, but if he
Yohji shook his head and clutched at Nagi's arm.
Nagi jerked away, not quite able to suppress his instinctive response.
Yohji whimpered and curled himself up, facing away from Nagi.
"I'm sorry, Yohji-kun." Nobody can see us here. Nagi sighed.
not you." He pulled Yohji back against his chest.
Yohji's reply was soft enough that, for a moment, Nagi wasn't sure he'd
heard it. "Then why do you keep punishing me for it?" His voice was
and he coughed after the last word, a soft, sticky, throat clearing
I don't! Nagi's arms tightened around Yohji who didn't react at
But... He cleared his throat. "Because you're there, I suppose."
haven't, have I? He closed his eyes. I have. "I don't plan
you know." He can't possibly be up to discussing this-- He felt
surge of possessive pride. "You keep amazing me..."
Yohji started to shake with something stronger than the constant tremor
had been with him since he'd seen the second moon.
Startled and worried, Nagi pulled Yohji closer, trying to figure out
was wrong. Oh-- He's laughing. How can he be laughing?
After a few seconds, Yohji's silent laughter changed to a quiet sobbing.
Nagi started humming a song, something Tot used to sing. He couldn't
the words, but the tune had stayed with him. He nuzzled Yohji's hair.
be all right. Really." He went back to humming. Gradually, Yohji
Nagi let his head fall back against the wall. I just want to get
and go and think... I need to think this through. I-- When did I lose
When did Kudoh Yohji become something-- someone-- I need?
He started humming another song, one he'd learned from Farfarello. I
I should be glad Yohji's unlikely to know the words...
Yohji sighed and curled himself in against Nagi.
How do I show him that things have changed, that we're not back in
cell any more? Because he is, I think. I've been... stupid. Just because
I know things are different... I'm forgetting my psychology. It's
the place that matters to him. It's me. I'm everything that's bad
everything that's good. He forced himself to face it squarely. Even
he can't tell when I'm going to... I don't mean to! Yeah, but he's
to hurt than he was, and the physical is the least of it. Uncertainty's
fastest way to break someone...
An hour later, when the shielding was finally in place, Nagi carried
back to the suite and put him down on the edge of the bed. Yohji didn't
anything and didn't look up.
"Yohji-kun, are you up to taking off your shoes or would you like me to
it?" Nagi hesitated, looking down at Yohji. He's so exhausted-- I
know if he can do it without falling over. I'm certainly not
to suggest anything more complicated.
Yohji shook his head then bent to reach his shoes. He swayed, and his
shook visibly. "I-- I'm sorry. I... can't."
Nagi pushed Yohji back to a sitting position. "It was a genuine
"I don't want you to have to do it."
"I don't have to." Nagi managed a laugh. "If I minded, well, that's
minions are for." He knelt and slipped Yohji's shoes off his feet.
"Aren't I a minion, Nagi-san?" Yohji blinked at Nagi, looking
"No. No, you're not a minion." Nagi stood up. I'm not sure exactly
you are, but you're not that. "We'll talk about that tomorrow." After
figure it out myself... "Do you need to use the toilet?" He kept
voice as gentle as he could. "I'm going to give you something to help
sleep, and you'll be out for a while."
Yohji shook his head.
Is that true or just what you think I want to hear? Damned if I can
any more. "All right then." Nagi maneuvered Yohji under the
"I'll be right back." He patted Yohji's leg.
Retrieving the hot chocolate he'd ordered before coming back to his
took only a few seconds. Finding the sedative he wanted, the one with
to blunt a psychic strain headache, took a little longer. He measured
a careful dose then frowned. How much does he weigh? He cut the
just a little then mixed the drug into the cocoa.
Yohji had retreated across the bed until he was almost pressed against
far wall. He hugged one of the pillows against his body.
Definitely get the cat cleaned. And he expects me to join him. Good.
Nagi smiled. Of course, after what I said last night-- Guilt
foreign sensation, one Nagi didn't much like. "I mixed it into hot
again." He raised the mug. I don't think I can trust him to hold it
I bet he hasn't stopped shaking yet. He climbed onto the bed,
himself a little telekinetic boost to make things easier and to help
the contents of the mug from slopping out. "Here."
Yohji drank obediently, almost mechanically. He didn't stop until he'd
the last drop. Then he sat still and stared at Nagi.
He's empty... "Yohji-kun--" I was going to wait, but I think
needs this now. Nagi floated the mug to his bedside table. Something
hold on to. "I can't give you a lot of promises, and I think most
of it can wait till later, when you're awake, when you're feeling
Just... about your family..." I want to be your family. The
the need for that connection squeezed him, leaving him almost
for a moment. God... That hurts... "I can give you something
Unless they attack me or you or someone I need to protect, I won't hurt
Not Hidaka, not Tsukiyono and not Fujimiya. I can't promise I won't say
things to them or about them. I'd end up breaking that one. If Fujimiya
Tsukiyono try to escape, I won't try to stop them. I won't help them,
I won't stop them."
Nagi took a deep breath. Now for the tricky one. I do not want
explain Hidaka's... situation tonight. "As for Hidaka--" How to
say it? "If he chooses to leave and tells me so in a rational
or is moving under his own power, aware of what he's doing, I won't
him at all." I won't have authority to if he's sane. "I give
word." He met Yohji's eyes. It's not all for nothing. You haven't
Yohji nodded, and something intangible in him seemed to relax. He
"Go to sleep." Nagi smiled, feeling almost painfully relieved. "I'll
over you. Tomorrow will be easier."
Note: I used pictures at this website: http://www.angelfire.com/art/espiritu/myaquariums.html
as inspiration for describing Nagi's aquarium.
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