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Disclaimer: Weiss Kreuz does not belong to me.
I'm just borrowing the characters for my and (I hope)
my readers' amusement only
have no intention of trying to make money off of them in any way, shape
Warnings: Spoilers through the
end of Kapitel
Fandom: Weiss Kreuz
Author: The RCK
Last updated: 5 June 2009
Written for the 2009 Weiss
Day Exchange for Purkledragon.
Thanks to Olna Jenn for cheerleading and to Chichiri no Da and Hope of
Dawn for beta reading.
Sakura had thought that she couldn't hate Crawford-- any of Schwarz,
really-- more than she already did. The loathing vibrated through her
body, knotting her muscles, but she didn't let it show on her face. She
allowed herself a glance at the girl seated next to her then looked
away quickly to keep herself from saying anything she shouldn't. Witnesses. Never forget witnesses.
Kritiker can't know we've spoken before, can't know-- Anything.
Her time with Schwarz served her well now, and she hated them for
teaching her to lie. For teaching
both of us. I doubt Aya knew. She has the easier part. No one will
expect her to know anything. Me, though.... She turned and hid
her face against Aya's hair, knowing that she'd use anything she had to
if it kept them both safe. The
American bastard has been right so far. She pushed her wish that
he'd been wrong to the back of her mind, burying it as deeply as she
could. I don't have time for that.
And I want him to be right about some things. He said all eight of them
would survive. He said he was certain, and he didn't lie. He stopped
lying when he realized I could tell.
She squeezed Aya's hand then turned to look out the window of the red
haired woman's car as it moved rapidly back into the city. She hasn't even given us a name. I don't
want to know, but shouldn't she say something? She forced a
smile. "He never gave up on you, you know." All three of us know who 'he' is.
"He brought you flowers. He worked with them. You'd have liked seeing
that, wouldn't you?" She kept her voice light, trying to sound like she
was soothing a child or an animal. The
matters more than the content, and it's all harmless.
Aya sighed and shifted a little but didn't pull away. She'd barely
spoken at all since she'd woken.
Sakura wasn't entirely sure that Aya could speak at the moment. She
wasn't going to ask. I'm supposed to
be stupid, too stupid to think of that. She looked up to see the
red haired woman studying them in her rearview mirror. Sakura refused
to look away. I'm not ready to hide
completely yet. He said we'd have a little time. That was truth.
The red haired woman turned her attention back to traffic.
Sakura closed her eyes. 'The woman
with red hair won't be an ally, but she won't be an enemy either. Just
don't ask her to lie. She doesn't give a damn about Kritiker's
policies.' I'll use what he said, follow his.... Not instructions. He
didn't-- quite-- tell me what to do.
Crawford had predicted the apartment, so Sakura wasn't surprised. Except that he bothered to tell me.
She tried to guess if he'd told Aya. I
tell. Why did he bother? So much time on us, with us, for us.
What does it buy him? He'd refused to tell her, simply stating
that they were an investment. I wish
I could think he lied. Truth telling is less useful-- and less
pleasant-- than it sounds.
The red haired woman unlocked the door, opened it and handed Sakura the
keys. "I have things to take care of. There's food here and a bath. I
don't expect the clothes will fit, but you can probably find
something." She gave Sakura a tiny push. "Take care of Aya."
Sakura pulled Aya inside but didn't turn her back on the other woman.
"May I call my parents?" She already knew the answer, the real answer.
Crawford had told her that, too, and the truth of it had been solid
enough that she knew she'd never speak to them again. 'If you seek them out, they will die.' I
wonder if he meant die eventually as we all will or if he meant he'd
kill them? She put the question aside. I'll not risk it.
"There's no phone." The red haired woman bit her lip then nodded firmly
and added, "There's also no one watching or listening...for here and
Sakura blinked. Half-truth, truth
and truth. "I'm sure we'll be...comfortable." She smiled
politely, offering a bow. Thank you.
"I'll send Momoe-san-- the lady from the flower shop-- to check on you
tomorrow. Stay here until she comes." The red haired woman didn't wait
for a response. She simply turned and was gone, leaving Sakura and Aya
alone in the doorway.
"Come on." Sakura wanted to get the door shut as quickly as possible.
She wanted time with no Schwarz and no Kritiker. "I'm amazed you're
even on your feet." She locked the door with some relief. "You don't
seem to have any muscular atrophy or deconditioning."
"I feel fine." Aya sounded uncertain. "I think--" She shrugged. "I
guess it's part of the perfect host thing." She looked around as if
trying to assess their surroundings.
"She was telling the truth about no one monitoring the place." Sakura
wandered into the apartment, guessing that this was likely to be her
one chance to enjoy such a luxurious set of rooms. "Bath first or food?"
"I'm not hungry."
Sakura frowned. "Maybe some miso...." How
since she ate anything? She tried to remember the details
of the hospital room where she'd kept vigil the night the Prime
Minister died. Was there a feeding
tube? "We don't want to hurt you by stressing your stomach, but
you do need to eat a little." Don't
you? Yes. Even if it's only so no one notices anything...not normal.
Aya walked over to the television but didn't turn it on. "Do you like
this Momoe-san any better than you like Schuldig?"
Sakura managed not to drop the bowl she'd just pulled from the
cupboard. "She's a nice lady, but she answers to people who...may not
be so nice." Let's not discuss
Schuldig. Please. She closed her eyes and focused on Crawford's
words about Kritiker. It will devour
you if you let it, if it thinks you know too much. Too much about
Kritiker or too much about us. Be stupid and sweet and traumatized--'
She shook her head. That line of thought led to Schuldig's offer to
make sure she didn't have to rely on her acting skills when it came to
making Kritiker think she was traumatized. Crawford spoke enough truth about Kritiker
that I'm going to be very, very careful.
Sakura prepared food without really noticing what she was doing.
Aya watched silently.
After a few minutes, Sakura said, "Schuldig enjoys being cruel. He
wasn't allowed that with you." She knew the truth of her words as she
spoke them. I was guessing, but....
She shook her head. Later.
Aya turned away. She walked to a window and looked out. "He let me see." She smiled. "It wasn't always
what I wanted to see, but anything was better than the darkness."
I have nothing to say to that.
Sakura finished preparing the soup. She started rice. I'll want that later. "Eat the
"You can use my name if you want to." Aya knelt by the table and picked
up a spoon.
I don't want to. Sakura opened
the refrigerator again, trying to find something she wanted to eat.
"It's his name. It feels like giving up on him." 'You won't see him again.' He believed it.
It wasn't certain truth, but he believed it. As much as he believed
that 'encouraging' my...talent was something I'd thank him for.
By the time Sakura came out of the kitchen again, Aya had finished half
her bowl. She laid down her spoon. "Thank you."
Sakura picked up her own spoon. "I'm sorry." She took a deep breath.
"It's been a long time." And I won't
see my parents again. I want them. "It's going to be a longer
time starting in the morning." Forever.
"How long were we with Schwarz?"
"Not long." Except in our heads.
"Barely long enough for Schuldig to teach me shoot." And to make me try to shoot your brother.
Crawford said I should be grateful they had an excuse to teach me, that
I'd need to know. That was mostly true. "Did they teach
you...things?" Schuldig could, in
your head, couldn't he? He did in mine.
"A few things." Aya folded her hands in her lap. "He never said why. I
was just glad for the company." She untied one of her braids. "He did
say I'l have to do most of my training in the real world, building
muscles and such."
"I can help with that." I'm good at
that. "I went back to running after-- after--" She shook her
head. "It's not important." All that
matters is that everyone will believe that I'd think working out would
help this time.
"I would be grateful." Aya loosened her other braid.
"You can call me Sakura if you want." Sakura picked up her bowl and
drank. The fluid had cooled enough that she didn't burn her mouth.
"Sakura-chan...." Aya hesitated. She rubbed her throat then cleared it.
"I'm sorry, too." The words came out as a whisper. "We got you into
"You didn't." I wish you could get
me out. Sakura rubbed her face. 'Just think-- This is all because you look
like her. No-- Because he thought you looked like her. Aren't you
lucky? We'd never have found you otherwise.' Hell. Schuldig's not even
here, and he's still in my head.
"Will you really tell me everything?" Aya ran her fingers through her
hair. "Really everything, I mean. I know what I heard, but...I'm not
sure how often I didn't hear, and I don't know.... I didn't think to
ask Schuldig and...." She shrugged.
Sakura weighed Aya's words. Mostly
true except at the end. She did think about it, but either she was
afraid to ask or he wouldn't answer. Probably. Crawford said I'll get
better at interpreting what I sense. I am better already. "I
will." I have to. "We don't
have a lot of time. After we leave here, we can't, not about anything
that matters." Sakura choked on laughter, her shoulders shaking. I'm missing Schuldig. I never-- How can I
miss Schuldig? No. I miss his
powers. I'd take any other telepath first-- Well not any other telepath, not an Estet telepath,
not-- She covered her face as tears started to escape her.
Aya's hug surprised Sakura. "I'll take care of you, too. I'm older than
you are, so I'm responsible."
Sakura found herself crying in truth. Neither
us are old enough for this. She gave herself up to the tears
even as part of her mind started counting the seconds she was wasting.
Aya rubbed Sakura's back and made soothing noises.
Is it wasting time if I need this? She tried not to think about
how good it felt to have someone hold her without violence. Without threat. Without fear. She
let herself relax a little. She
doesn't feel anything like Schuldig or...any of them.
"Maybe we should have that bath now?" Aya asked. "It might help."
Sakura wiped her face on her sleeve, reflecting that she never planned
to wear these clothes again anyway. "A bath sounds good." The rice cooker will turn itself off.
"I want to wash." Wash off Schwarz.
Wash off Estet. Wash off...me. "It can be a new beginning. I'll
tell you everything. We'll take care of each other." I lost my parents. Maybe I can gain a
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