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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 form.

Author: The RCK

Pairing: Omi/Aya
Rating: R
Note: First part written for the Weiss Kreuz Anonymous Kink Meme. This is an R for themes. The sex is not explicit (weird for a kink meme inspired story, I know). Since I intend to keep writing this, I'm looking for a beta reader for it and will rewrite the first two sections later. The various parts should be read as stand alone stories in an arc rather than as chapters of a larger work. I may stop writing this at any point.
Prompt: Omi/anybody except Nagi. Slavery. Dubious consent or non-consensual fine. Bonus points for multiple slaves. Prefer a canon derived AU to a transplant AU.
Warnings: AU, dubious consent (Aya thinks he can consent. I'm not sure I agree), dark Kritiker, slavery, mind control, sort of a WIP, currently unbeta'd
Summary: Weiss is Aya's last chance, and it looks a lot better than any of the other Kritiker teams he's been on. He offers Omi the only thing he can think of that Omi can't get just by issuing orders.
Posted: 26 April 2008 - parts 1 and 2.

Thanks to those who tried to beta this for me. It's not your fault I couldn't handle the rewrite or that this one is squicky. Since I didn't end up taking your advice, I'm not going to name you, just apologize for wasting your time.

All mistakes and infelicities here are mine.

Living Through Life's In Betweens
Part 2

Neither Aya nor Omi told the others about the change in their relationship. Neither made a real effort to hide it, either, so Aya wasn't sure how long it would take before one of them noticed. Yohji, probably. I think Ken works at not noticing, sometimes.

Omi had asked, the first night, "If I mark you, Aya-kun, where everyone can see it, what will you tell the others?"

That it's none of their business, he'd thought, but he'd known, even then, that he wouldn't say that. That would break the team. "The truth. That I offered and you accepted."

Every night, Aya visited Omi's room. Sometimes, Omi wanted him. Sometimes, he didn't. Mostly, though, he does. I'm a hell of a lot better than his hand. Even if I am getting tired of being on my knees. Not that I expected anything else. He really hadn't.

Two weeks after Omi accepted the bargain, Ken put a hand on Aya's arm as Aya prepared to leave the shop after closing. "We need to talk."

Aya stopped, blinked and stared pointedly down at Ken's hand. "About what?"

"You know." Ken glared at Aya. "It's not like you're trying to hide-- I keep seeing you going into his room. If you hurt him, I'll fucking kill you."

Aya wanted to laugh, but he knew that Ken would take it wrong. You're worried about him. You should worry about yourself, Ken. Do you know what he could do to you, what he still might do to you? He pulled his arm free and found a place where he could put a wall at his back. "If you really want to talk about it--" As opposed to just threatening me. "--lock the door. We can stand here-- or sit on the floor if you prefer-- and talk." I think I'd prefer the floor. It'll be harder for him to attack me if we're sitting.

Ken looked at Aya for a moment then nodded. He locked the front door. "Do I need to lock the back, too?"

"I'm not worried about customers."

Ken hesitated. Then he shrugged and walked into the back room.

Aya allowed himself a moment to relax, to try to choose his words. He doesn't want to think that Omi's dangerous, but he knows that I am. When Ken came back, Aya offered him as much of a smile as he could manage. "This is the sort of discussion that really goes easier with alcohol."

"I hope you're not suggesting I should buy you a drink."

No, but it would be nice. "Let's sit." Aya slid down to the floor, hoping that Ken wouldn't use the advantage that gave him.

Ken sat, keeping his distance.

Let's start simple... "Do you think I could disobey if Omi gave me an order?"

Ken blinked and looked like he didn't get why that mattered.

"Could you?" Aya tugged on his earlobe, the one where he used to wear his sister's earring. "If you think I could, you should either kill me-- Kritiker wouldn't question it, not with my record-- or tell Omi and let him decide whether or not to kill me." He doesn't like that, does he? Aya sighed. "I offered, Ken, and he accepted. I think he said yes because he can't break me worse than I'm already broken." Will he understand?

Ken looked thoughtful. "Does he... Does he give you orders when you--?" He shook his head.

He's not sure he really wants to know. Too bad. I'm not protecting him from that. "Of course." He and Yohji won't be really useful to Omi unless they understand. "Omi's my fourth team leader. He's the only one who waited for me to say yes. Kritiker doesn't care." Kritiker encourages it.

Ken looked like he needed a drink, too. "But that--" He couldn't seem to find the words to continue.

"Have you met people from other teams?" How is it that you and Yohji are so sheltered and don't know you're sheltered?

"Not really. Recruitment, conditioning, weapon training, Weiss and Manx." Ken ticked them off on his fingers.  "Omi said he could take care of any training we needed apart from weapons. Isn't that normal? I mean, what I don't know, I can't tell, right?"

Aya found himself shaking a little. He let that out as a sharp laugh. "I wish Weiss had been my first team. You have no idea how lucky you and Yohji are. None." I wasn't going to tell him. Omi must not want him to know. But Omi didn't tell me not to say. But...

Ken looked like he was about to ask more questions, but even as he opened his mouth, they both heard a key in the lock of the back door.

Omi. It's Omi, It has to be. Yohji's already gone out. Aya stood up and waved for Ken to do the same. "Start cleaning. Please." He tried not to sound like he was begging.

Ken must have heard the urgency anyway because he stood immediately and reached for the broom.

Aya started checked the potted plants to see if any of them needed water. He'd already checked that night, had already watered those that were dry. But checking something doesn't require finding anything wrong. And Omi knows I find the plants soothing.

Omi stopped in the doorway. "If you want to look busy, you should work on the back room. There's a lot more to fiddle with."

Aya brushed his fingers against the leaves of the next plant. He didn't ask anything or order anything. He nodded a greeting.

"Hi, Omi." Ken leaned the broom against the wall and gave Omi a guilty grin. He rubbed the back of his head. "I'll go work on that, then."

"No, Ken." Omi looked at Aya. "Go downstairs. Both of you."

Aya went without looking back. Ken followed with Omi bringing up the rear.

Aya paused in the briefing room. Here or--? He wasn't sure of the extent of the maze under the block where the shop stood, but he knew that Kritiker had been building down under its properties for decades before the idea came into vogue. Building up attracts attention and is vulnerable to sabotage, and building horizontally costs too much and attracts attention. All I've seen so far is the briefing room and the practice room under it.

Omi waved for them to continue to the practice room. When they got there, he walked to a panel in the south wall and slid it open to reveal a short hall. "There's a maze of corridors down here for practicing close combat," he told Aya. After he closed the panel behind them, he added, "All of the monitors down here are mine. I'm less sure about the practice room, and I know the briefing room isn't clean. The shop and our rooms are mostly safe because I check them and because monitoring them would take more people than it's worth.

"We'll use this space eventually. I'm looking for a doctor and a chemist. I can justify that without changing our missions." Omi shrugged. "They wouldn't work in the shop."

They'd never come out, would they? Aya shuddered.

"It's been suggested that I should keep one of you three down here. It gets dusty down here, and Momoe-san can't keep up as well as she used to." Omi opened a door and waved them inside. He followed them and flipped on a light to reveal a larger, grungier version of their briefing room.

All it needs is a staircase and the electronics. Aya wrinkled his nose. The air's a little stale.

"I think they're afraid that someone will add up numbers and realize that the flower shop couldn't possibly support five people." He looked at Ken. "Sit. Pick a chair." He looked at Aya.

Aya froze. After a second, he realized that Omi was waiting. "I did say 'anything.'" He could barely hear his own voice. He didn't have to ask.

Omi nodded. "Strip." He took a chair where he could easily see and be seen by Ken. He caught Aya's eyes and pointed to the floor by his feet.

Aya removed his clothing rapidly but  carefully, folding each item and placing it on one of the empty chairs. When he was naked, he knelt at Omi's feet.

Omi put his hand on Aya's head. "Aya-kun isn't going to break my heart, Ken-kun. I'm more likely to break his.

He looks like his world just turned upside down. Aya tried and failed to catch Ken's eyes. I suppose it did.

"You could have asked me. Or even Yohji."

The pain in Ken's voice surprised Aya. He... loves Omi? That didn't seem right. Aya fidgeted under Omi's hand.

Omi pressed down on Aya's head for a moment then stroked Aya's hair. "Neither of you could say no."

"And he can?" Ken seemed poised to throw himself out of his seat.

"No." Omi sounded tired. "But he knew that when he offered. You and Yohji-kun don't really know it. I'm not a child, Ken-kun. I never was." He wrapped some of Aya's hair around his hand and tugged so that Aya was looking up at him. "My training included a lot of things that I hope you and Yohji-kun won't ever have to learn. If you do need to, you'll learn them from me-- or from Aya-kun-- not from Kritiker's training program." There was a warning note in Omi's words that made Aya shudder. "I still train there, and Aya-kun may, but I have Persia's protection, and Aya-kun has mine."

He's Persia's protégé. Aya wasn't sure why he hadn't realized that before. That's why he's a team leader so young. That's why he has so much latitude. That's why he can talk about getting more people. He felt his eyes widen. Then why didn't he punish me for talking about Persia when...

"My training included sex as a tool. Seduction and interrogation. That's nothing to share with a friend unless he already knows what's involved."

Interrogation as a euphemism for rape. Aya felt his hands clenching. He forced himself to look at another point. "Am I a friend then, sir?" He half dreaded the answer.

Omi let go of Aya's hair. "You could be, I think. Under different circumstances." He rubbed Aya's back.

Ken made a strangled sound. "If you don't even like him--" He waved a hand as if to say that anyone could fill in the rest of the sentence.

"I didn't say that, Ken-kun. I like Aya-kun, but... Aya-kun, do you think you could consider me a friend? Answer honestly."

Aya looked at the floor. "No." Omi hadn't asked him to elaborate, so he didn't.

"Aya--" Ken sounded uncertain. "Are Yohji and I your friends?"

I don't know. I think so. Aya opened his mouth then closed it again. What serves Omi best? He cleared his throat. "I hope so." He let the wistfulness he felt into his voice.

Ken looked like his heart was breaking. "Why can't Omi be your friend?"

Omi's hand stilled on Aya's back. "You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but you can."

Aya hesitated. He knew the answer, but he wasn't sure he was ready to say it. I'm already naked. That kind of makes the point, doesn't it? "He's my--" Our. "--master. He owns me." Us. "Even if he never hurts me--" And he will. He's ruthless about too many things. Ambitious, too, I think. "I can't ever forget that he could or that I couldn't do anything about it." Then, surprising himself, he added, "I think I could love him, but I can't be his friend."

Omi squeezed Aya's shoulder. "You need some time to think, Ken-kun. Perhaps some exercise would help?" When Ken nodded, Omi said, "Use the practice room, if you'd like, or run through the corridors or--" He waved a hand to indicate that Ken could do what he thought best. "We'll be here in the meantime. Just don't go upstairs until after we've talked again. I want to be sure you're not going to say anything foolish to Yohji-kun or Momoe-san."

Or to anybody else, for that matter. Aya closed his eyes and just listened as Ken left the room.

"You did well, Aya-kun." Omi kissed the top of Aya's head. "I'm not sure he was ready, though."

"He asked me." Aya tensed. If he blames me...

"Yes. I didn't think he would. Of course, I also didn't think he'd be jealous." Omi sighed. "He's going to be a while. You stay here. I'm going to get us some dinner and a few things to... keep us occupied. If he comes back while I'm gone, assure him that I'll be back soon." He stood up and stretched. "Make yourself comfortable. Relax if you can. Stay naked. I like the view. The toilet's through that door over there."

Aya shivered and realized that part of his discomfort came from the fact that the room really wasn't very warm. Of course, with nothing down here, they wouldn't pay for heat. Hell, if one of us lived down here, I doubt they'd pay for heat. It would need three or four and probably a working lab. "Please, may I have a blanket?" He tried not to expect anything.

Omi stopped and turned back. He looked startled. "I suppose it is cold down here." He blinked then smiled. "If you're really cold, you can get dressed. I'll bring some blankets, too. There's a store room of sorts just down the hall. It has supplies in case we ever have to retreat down here for a while." His smile deepened but also became less pleasant. "We're going to be doing more down here, all of us, I think, and I want Kritiker to think that it's all for sex." He drummed his fingers on his thigh. "Yes. I'll be giving you a budget-- a monthly budget-- and a credit card-- so they can track it of course-- to buy toys, décor, whatever the well-equipped, decadent retreat ought to have. I'll bring you a notebook so that you can jot down some ideas."

"Are you going to make me stay down here?" Aya couldn't quite keep fear of it out of his voice.

"You could hardly go shopping if I did that." Omi came back, bent down and hooked fingers under Aya's chin. "Do you think I'd be that cruel?"

"If Kritiker... suggested it." It would be me they'd prefer down here. Less room for... error. It would be me you'd prefer down here, too. You still want to keep the others whole, and I'm already... not.

Omi didn't deny it. He shrugged. "I'll cook the books to show that the shop's more profitable now that you're there. Nobody cares about you that much, as long as you don't make trouble."

Omi returned with blankets, a notebook and a pen in less than ten minutes, and Aya curled up in one of the chairs to work on the list Omi'd asked for. He wasn't really surprised when Ken turned up only a few minutes after Omi left for the second time. Just right if he came down immediately after Omi passed through the practice room.

Ken stood in the doorway with one foot inside the room. He fidgeted back and forth as if he were about to bolt.

Aya put down the pen and notebook. "Omi will be back soon." He didn't think that Ken would find the statement reassuring, but he had to say it.

"How do you-- How do you keep going? How do you live with it?"

Aya was sure that Ken didn't really want to ask the question. But he did. He deserves an answer. "It's like enlightenment. The world doesn't go away. You see it differently, but it's really the same, and you have to keep chopping the wood and hauling the water. Or in our case, selling flowers and killing people." I'm not sure he understands. Yet.

Ken shook his head. "I don't really know him at all, do I?"

Aya just managed not to grind his teeth. "Omi hasn't changed. The circumstances haven't changed. You don't even really have more information than you did yesterday. You've just had to think about it. It's not Omi's fault if you didn't before." Except that he discouraged you from doing it. He sighed and sat up. "You're really very, very lucky. He could do anything to you. He always could. Some team leaders do."

Ken looked away, and Aya knew that he wouldn't have to explain to Ken exactly why he knew. He doesn't want details. I'll just be thankful for that.

Ken finally came the rest of the way into the room. He leaned against the wall. He studied Aya. "Do you know what he's going to do?"

"No idea." Aya preferred it that way. "I don't want to borrow trouble." He picked up his notebook. Now go away. After a few minutes, he looked up again. "You still know him better than I do, Ken. Really. Him fucking me doesn't give me any insights."

Ken opened his mouth then closed it and shook his head.

"He'll be back soon. He just went for food. If you're here when he comes back, he'll want to talk. If you're not..." Then he'll want to fuck me. Aya looked away. "Stay away for a couple of hours, then, please." I'd rather not have you walk in on us. I'm not sure what Omi would do then.

Ken fled.

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