Disclaimer: The settings and characters of Weiss Kreuz belongs to Koyasu-san and Project Weiss © I do not know these fine gents from Japan, nor do I claim these characters are mine at all. There will be no need for international lawsuits, since I am a flat broke otaku that just like to torture these characters.

Feedback: I’m a review whore….. So…… Please review???? >< This fic will be a multi-chapter, and I will need all of your help and support to finish this. ^^;; So please let me know what you think of this!! And for FF.net reviewers: I’d love to send you emails so if you can attach your email in the review I would be honored! >w<

Note: Many settings from this fic is derived from the manga of Weiss Kreuz instead of the anime, so Schuldich hair is green instead of orange, and Aya’s parents were killed in the explosion in their office building instead of their home. Just to clarify that in case there are some confusion in terms of history and colorings. *nod nod*


Tarnished Rhapsody

August 2004



Somehow, the three flight of stairs back to the apartment seemed much longer and tougher to walk than this morning. I squint my eyes tighter, lifting my leg up for another step, feeling as if they weighed a ton. Weird, I was never this tired in the past, even if we had went on a three-day non-stop mission. It feels as if every atom of my body is screaming at me, and the dust-covered ground certainly looked more inviting than it has the right to. Shaking my head furiously, I clear the mist that starts to form in front of my vision, and continue up the stairs.

The apartment is a rat hole compared to what I used to have with Weiss, but at least it’s less stressful for my conscience living here. At least the rent money is no longer covered with blood. Mrs. Masato is standing before my door pounding loudly when I finally manage to get to the third floor, and she turned immediately to me, asking for the rent of the month. She isn’t really a bad person, but it seemed that in the past, her tenants have always given her grief, thus making her a difficult landlady. Well, her place was the only one available at the time, and I really don’t feel like moving anymore.

The woman studies me thoroughly, and frowns with disdain at my grime-covered work clothes. “I hope you plan on washing those things, young man. And by the Gods, eat something! A twig looks fatter than you!”

I chuckle softly, a forced one that I picked up for the ‘normal life,’ “Yes, Mrs. Masato… Here is this month’s rent, ma’am.”

She nods as she takes the envelope from me, and her mood visibly lightens immediately. Patting my shoulder, the short Japanese woman repeats her scoldings before she descends down the stairs, leaving me to my solitude. I sigh softly, a mannerism that I find myself to do often nowadays, and retrieve my keys from my pocket. Entering the small apartment, I tear off my work clothes immediately, the rough, horrible cotton grating on my skin. Sighing once more, I take the light blue uniform with me to the tiny bathroom. It is actually a luxury for a standard studio apartment to have its own bathroom and kitchen; then again, I am in Nagasaki, not in Tokyo. In Tokyo, you can barely get a four tatami-square studio with no other amenities for triple the price I am paying now. For me, I have about eight tatami-square space, which is more than enough for me.

Turning on the shower head, I let the burning sensation of the hot water remind me that I am still a cursed existance on this world. It takes me nearly an hour to finish the shower and wash the clothes as clean as I can, just so I can hang them dry by the window before I leave tomorrow and they will be ready when I get home for my night job once more. I head for the kitchen for a glass of water, and look at the refrigerator that came with the apartment with a sardonic smile. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t need such a space-taking appliance that I don’t use. Eating is not necessary for someone as sinful as me, and besides, Keiko, my mentor at the restaurant, makes it her personal business to force-feed me whenever she sees me. I’ve asked her to stop many times , but she ignores my pleadings and does what she wants.

Keiko says I’m depressed, and even though I don’t have a Psychology degree, I think I can see that too. It just doesn’t make sense, since I left Weiss to search for a better life, that it ends up worse than before. But then again, the mindless, repetitive work that I overload myself with is better than the downtime during Weiss. Less time for me to think. I can occupy my mind with the special of the day, or the amount of cement and bricks needed that day.

Finishing my glass of water, I rinse out the glass and put it aside. I watch the water going down the drain, my mind wandering from everything to nothing. Sometimes I regret leaving Weiss, but whenever that happens, images of the men and women that died from my blade appear before my eyes. I know I shouldn’t feel bad… They were the Dark Beasts, the ones that were hurting society, plaguing and preying on the innocent citizens who have no power to fight back.

Someone… like Aya. Innocent, beautiful… Someone that is destined to have grown into a beautiful young woman, graduate high school that she was looking forward to with such enthusiasm, and go into the college of her choice. We used to sit together in my room late at night, when mom and dad had both gone to sleep, and talk about our future. Aya always hated the typical Japanese women, taking occassional schooling just so they could get into a large company, doing menial labor, and hoping to find an up-and-coming husband. She was always an independent woman, whereas I dwarf in ambition and goal compared to her. When I was in high school, I never really decided what major I wanted to go into, and my teacher told me try and find what piques my interest, though business would be the most dependable one in life. I never got the chance to decide anyway.

Aya wanted to be a Psychologist…. She wanted to go to America, to study in a place where women aren’t suppressed and people would appreciate a woman. I often joked that I would have to be the leech brother in the future, begging her to spare me some change to feed my family.

Well, there won’t be any family for me in the future, I’ve long given up hope. And I can only hope she will eventually get the chance to wake up and enjoy whatever life she has left. I will give up anything, even my life, so long as she can find happiness when she wakes up. I just hope it won’t be too late.

Drying my hair with a towel with more time than before, I look into the vanity mirror and finger my longer hair idly. Vaguely, I recall what Youji told Omi once when the boy complained about his long hair, saying that longer hair seduces women easier, and that he was too lazy to go to the barber’s. I snicker mentally, knowing that my longer hair is really the result of laziness, and that I really don’t have the time. Whatever spare time I have I spend on keeping Aya company, or trying to sleep as much as I can.

Stepping out of the bathroom, I crash down onto the sofa bed by the window, my body finally giving in as my eyes refuse to open any longer. I like exhaustion better than just ‘going to sleep,’ since my body will decide for me what my mind won’t. I guess I’m what people would call a walking corpse now, but I really don’t care. I’ve got everything taken care of, and if I somehow, fortunately, die, I have made sure Aya will be well-taken care of, even if she never wakes up.

With the dreadful thought of Aya and the memories of my short childhood, I feel the darkness grip at my consciousness and pull me into a restless slumber.




I stand across the street, right under the lamp post in broad daylight, not even bothering to hide in the shadows like I used to do whenever I watched him. It is around six in the morning, but I’m not feeling the fatigue that I should be, especially since I’m a night person. Crawford always had to dish out some sweet deal to get me to work on missions that involved times before noon. And yet, here I am, standing in the chilly, damp morning across from a pathetic excuse of an apartment, just waiting and watching. Not for financial purposes, not for my world-changing revenue, but for the one person that I have grown fond of, and the person that steals my heart without even trying.

And being the Mastermind, I’m not about to ruin my reputation and let the person steal from me without getting anything back. I’m going to make him pay… by stealing him.

The whole package.

On the dot, my little thief comes out of his apartment, tightening his hold on the trenchcoat that is probably the only thing he keeps from the good old days. I frown tightly at his figure. Nagi had given me a picture of his before I come; it was taken from a long distance, and even then, he looked paler and skinnier than I had remembered. But now, being so close to him, especially with that familiar dark leather trenchcoat, I am this close to crying out and yelling at him for being an idiot to let himself waste away like this. Now, being a genius in tricking both men and women to bed that I am, where that Balinese kitty looks like a pathetic teenage amateur compared to me, I am more than good in judging a person’s size from their neck all the way to their toes in one look. Sure, my little Abby here is always covered from head to toe, afraid to show that delicate, creamy skin I have had the previlege of seeing many times, albeit during bad situations and timing, but I’ve become such a close friend with his trenchcoat that I know how to do some calculations of my own. He has lost at least half of his weight over the three month period that I’ve last seen his pretty little face before we pulled their asses out of the water, and the dark circles under his eyes look worse than before. Has he gotten any sleep lately!? I fume to myself, my fists tightening, the pain of my nails digging into my palm the only way I can refrain from grabbing him tightly and tying him down to bed until he gets back to being at least somewhat healthy.

Woo, tying him down on the bed…. Such nice images that thought conjures up….

Down, boy, I know you’re eager. So am I.

It is almost alarming to me when he walks down the empty, cold pavement streets without even looking at me. Either he knows I’m watching him already and doesn’t care, or whatever he’s doing to himself is affecting his senses. Hell, six months ago when I watched him, I had to come with full peeping-tom equipement – binoculars, high-quality far-sight scope, the whole charade, just so I wouldn’t be detected. The man has senses and intuition better than a real cat’s… More like a jaguar. Always cautious, always watching his back, but never loses the grace that can only be praised as one of God’s best works.

But now, I hate to admit, but the jaguar is no more. A sickly cat, wobbling down the street, stopping every now and then to catch his breath, before continuing on a trip that looks like he’s heading for the River Styx. I trail behind him by about a foot or so, not even bothering to wear a hat or pull up my collar to conceal my unnatural hair. Hey, I like green , and it looks good on me. Who cares about stares from just about everybody except my beloved kitty in bewilderment and fingers pointing at me, gossip so loud that it really shouldn’t be called gossip anymore. Honestly, I wouldn’t have any problem with them just coming up to me and telling me that my hair is defying nature and that I am a bad boy or asking if I’m involved with the mafia. I would have given them either the finger or a very long, confusing speech on how wrong they are and how right I am and mess with their minds until they couldn’t function. Personally, I like the second method better, since it’s more fun, even though it’s time consuming. Well, most fun things in life make one forgets about time easily.

Yet he still doesn’t notice me, even after he enters the restaurant he works at, changes, and starts mopping the floor. I look at the quaint little Japanese restaurant located in the heart of town. It is large enough to comfortably seat at least thirty people, with a sushi bar and a karaoke stage. I can already imagine my kitten’s nose wrinkling ever so slightly in his distaste for loud noise, and his grip on the plates increases just a little so he won’t rush up the stage to strangle people. I don’t understand how those other Weiss idiots keep complaining how cold, distant and closed-off Aya is; you just have to know where to look. Tiny gestures that are done unconsciously, with their sole usage being to control any appearance of his emotions. He was brought up like a normal boy, after all… Just life playing its trick on my kitty and making him oppress that part of him that is nothing but purity and innocence. I want to see that, one day, if possible.

No, scratch that. I will see that. I will see the part of him that even he has forgotten about.

The part of him that I killed three years ago, on that fateful, rainy night.

The night that I killed his parents, and fell in love with him.



It is ten til four in the morning as I lean against the rust-stained wall of his apartment, chain smoking. Sure, the nicotine will give me cancer and kill me one of these days in the very distant future, but try waiting on a guy who keeps the most insane hours that I’ve ever seen while having no fun humans to toy around with. At least in Tokyo mind-sick people are everywhere, and waiting was never dull or boring. In the past several hours I’ve already gone through every creatures’ mind around the immediate neighborhood of the boy, and I’ve got to say, this is the most boring bunch I’ve come across so far.

I really don’t need to know how to cook a tuna in a million ways…. Come on, people! At least have a sex affair or money problem so that I can be entertained! I’ll die of boredom before I die of lung cancer, I swear.

It takes me only three days to know Aya’s schedule thoroughly. The town must have been rubbing off on him, not that he was interesting to begin with. He gets up at six, sometimes seven if his body is complaining, and goes to the hospital, then work, then hospital, then more work until three or four in the morning, depending on what his foreman decides that evening. Then my dull little kitten comes home, washes his clothes, showers, and passes out until his nightmares wake him up. More accurate than an alarm clock.

Well, I hope he enjoys abusing himself for these three months while I have to spend in Tokyo helping Crawford to set everything up and running, then tie up a few loose strings before I am allowed to leave. Which proves how much trouble he went through to cover up his tracks when it took Nagi that long to find his location. Well, then again, Nagi was preoccupied since the Feds and SECs were breathing down dear Crawfish’s neck, and the little genius just had to keep him out of hot water over and over. Nagi may be a submissive in bed, but damn can that boy be aggressive. I wouldn’t be surprised if Crawfish eventually bottoms up.

I would pay to see the video of that…. Wonder if Farfie would like to make some money on the side. All he has to do is set up the camera that I’ll buy and send the tape to me….

My train of thoughts of where the camera should go in Brad’s bedroom is cut short when heavy, exhausted footsteps begin up the stairs. I straighten my clothes slightly, then slap myself on the head mentally for caring how I look. He wouldn’t care if I’m standing naked in front of him, not now, I bet, and I don’t even need to peek into his mind for that tidbit of information. Who would care much about how an enemy that tried to kill you viciously with unfair supernatural powers just three months ago dresses? Slipping into the world-defying smirk I usually wear, I resume my relaxed wall-leaning position.

It takes him another five minutes to finally make it up to the third floor, and I frown slightly at that. When I say I know Aya’s schedule thoroughly, I mean down to the minutes and seconds he spends doing certain activities, and he never needed more than three minutes to get up here. Something must be wrong with him. Did he injure himself at work? I wasn’t there watching today ’cause I was busy shopping in the supermarket next town, which explains the numerous plastic bags next to me now on the floor.

When he gets to the third floor, he finally looks up to me, sensing my presence at last in the days that I have been watching him. His delicate face colors with an ill, yet incredibly seductive blush, and his eyes cloud as he squints those misty amethysts to get a better look at me. Realization dawns on him eventually as his hand flies to his right side where his katana’s handle used to be, then he curses at the lack of weaponry there. “…What do you want, Schwartz?” he grits out, glaring at me with an expression that even Crawford had learned to fear.

I smile bitterly, never knowing how much hurt it would bring to see such distrust and hatred in his eyes, and how the way he said my family’s name could sting so much. “What do you think, kitten? To see you, of course.”

“Come to seek your revenge?”

I shrug, my hands out to the side in the most disarming way I can muster, “Pat me down if you like, Aya. I didn’t bring any weapons with me.” I pause, switching to those alien voices that were on the most recent sci-fi movie, “I come in peace.”

The beautiful redhead only narrows his eyes more, the dangerous glint intensifies tenfold with that hardened look, “You don’t need weapons to kill, Schwartz.”

Ouch. Who knew that having supernatural power would hurt so much? I sigh, giving him the ‘are-you-an-idiot?’ look, “If I wanted to kill you with my powers, wouldn’t you be dead already?”

Amazingly, Aya smiles, the curl of his lips stuns me at the most beautiful display I’ve ever seen, even if it’s dripping with dark sarcasm and amusement. “You’re more of a cat than any of us, Schwartz. You enjoy toying with your victim before brutally ending its life.”

This time, I freeze because of how painful the truth is. He looks at me heatedly, before all of the emotional appearance drops as he takes out the keys from his apartment. Perhaps knowing that he can’t escape my wrath should I choose to do so, he opens the door with a casual pace, and enters it without even looking at me. I put my foot between the door and the wall to stop him from completely closing it, and he sighs softly, leaving it open for me to enter. I stand at the doorway, watching him as he turns on the single lightbulb in the middle of the room, the dim light only sufficient to let the boy walk around without bumping into anything.

I move the instant he starts wobbling in his walk, putting a hand on his back and another on his shoulder, wincing slightly at the lack of muscle or fat there. He struggles weakly, glaring at me as he delivers several kicks to my knees, ones that should have hurt but didn’t. Sighing, I lift him up and toss him over my shoulder, where he gasps and stills, probably extremely confused at the current situation. I dump him unceremoniously on the sofa, and keep him there with a hand on his chest while I pull out the entire bed with another. He let out a grunt, but otherwise just keeps glaring at me as I proceed to strip off his dust and oil-covered uniform. Fuck, is that motor oil? I’m gonna burn this later. Dust and grime I can tolerate, but my kitten should not come within breathing distance of motor oil.

“What are you doing?” he asks oh-so-intelligently, his voice too weak for my liking, even though his glare is still chilling enough to make ice cream with it.

I don’t even bother to stop my work as I finish unbuttoning the many annoying and ugly buttons of his shirt, “Stripping you.”

“Schwartz, just kill me. Don’t humiliate me.”

I sigh as I scoop him up enough to peel the disgusting shirt off of him, and lay him down gently. I can see confusion swirl in with the feverish glaze in his eyes before I start to unbuckle his belt. “Believe it or not, that’s the last thing I would do to you.”

He huffs, calling me a liar without verbalizing it. Rolling my eyes, I strip him of the horrifying pants and dump them into the bathtub. When I come back, I frown at him for trying to get up, and I growl. He looks up hesitantly at me, the confusion intensifying as he focuses on my angry look. “Lie down, you stupid bastard. You have a fucking fever and who knows how high your temperature is. And don’t be a pain or I’ll call Nagi here to hold you down with his power. You don’t want two Schwartz under your roof, do you?”

Aya stares at me defiantly for a while, but this is not a staring contest that he can win, especially when I’m the one that’s healthy and he’s not. Giving up at last, he slumps back to the bed, closing his eyes in defeat. Knowing that the boy won’t try that stunt again, I start searching around the apartment until I find spare clothing enough to keep him warm and an unused cloth. Wetting the cloth with warm water, I play a dutiful nurse as I start cleaning the grime off of his body gently, using enough pressure to make the touches not seductive. God knows how hard that is, really, especially when the object of my masturbating fantasy is lying in front of me naked. But sex is the last thing I think about now, when beating the shit out of this beautiful kitten for not taking care of himself is more of a priority than fucking him silly. That’ll come later.

Having him cleaned of dust and grime, I return to the bathroom to put aside the cloth, noting to myself to clean it later or the kitten might get angry. When I return, I am more than shocked to see Aya fast asleep, curling up ever-so-slightly on the bed. While thinking that he trusts me is too much of a hope, I do find myself giddy for him to let down his guard enough to sleep in front of his former enemy. Then again, he could just be thinking that since I’m here to kill him and he has no way of fighting me, it doesn’t matter if he sleeps or not. The thought put a damper on my giddiness quicker than you can say ‘sushi’.

Don’t know where the sushi comes from. Don’t care.

I gently lift him up, causing him to whimper slightly in protest before growing silent once more, and I dress him as carefully as I can. Thankfully and perhaps regrettably, he does not wake up from his slumber as I tuck the blanket over him. Now finished with my first task, I set about getting the groceries that still sit in the hallway outside his door and bring them in. Just as I suspected, the boy went as far as not having anything remotely edible in his entire apartment, and not even bothering to have a pan. Putting away the fresh ingredients first, then the canned goods and cooking utensils, and finally the additional silverware and china, I am not surprised when the sun is up when I finish. Looking about the small living arrangement of his, I roll my eyes at the lack of phone and proceed to search the house for clues. Eventually I find the numbers for both the restaurant and the foreman of the construction site, my kitten being one that never tosses away anything people give to him, and call in sick for him at the restaurant and quit at the construction site. Presumptuous of me, but I will not allow him to work at the construction site, if I have to fight him fists and kicks. He is going to keep a sleeping and eating schedule that resembles normal human beings from now on, or my name ain’t Schuldich.




For the first time in perhaps years, I wake up not feeling comfortable and fuzzy in regards to reality, albeit the fact that my nose feels stuffed and so does my head. The first thing that I notice is the wonderful smell that seems to occupy my immediate surroundings, and the next is that the fear and panic and guilt that usually accompany my waking is absent. Turning my head to the side, I wonder at the image of seeing a massive display, in my own terms, of food on the kodatsu table a few inches away from me.

Then I sit up straight, glaring at the square table with a heating fan underneath to keep warm in the center of my apartment. Add onto that a sizzling sound coming from the kitchen, where I can see many pots and pans are now hanging from a hook from the cabinet, and the plates that I have no memory of with food that I do not remember knowing the recipe of. Then again, even if I did know, there is no way in both Heaven and Earth the outcome would be this simple yet elegant. I look around the small space, and am too shocked to even form a decent anger towards the culprit whom I know could be the only one that has the audacity to change my living quarters without informing me.

Other than the kodatsu in the middle, with four matching mats on each side for sitting, there is also bedding rolled into a ball tucked neatly away in a corner. A stack of DVDs and games are on my large, unused cabinet, with a large TV and a PlayStation 2 next to it. There are some books on the other side which I find to be interesting and intriguing enough just by the title alone to keep, even if I throw away the rest of these items plus the fucking German that put them there, and hell, even my light is changed to a florescent one that guarantees more comfortable lighting at night. I stand up slowly, frowning at the new blanket which is much too warm for my taste that was wrapped around me the night before, and slowly trot to the kitchen. I can hear clearly that someone is singing in the shower stall, an out-of-pitch German song at that, and that a pot is slowly cooking miso soup as the other pot is simmering porridge that is the ideal food for one that is ill. Opening the fridge, my eyes widen at the packed space with every food from the five food groups, even with some chocolate sauce and a six-pack of beer. There are some frozen ingredients in the freezer, and two types of ice cream that I used to love when I was still in school.

Before I can decide whether I should throw the porridge on the German when he comes out or the miso soup, a nasal voice drolls, “What are you doing out of your little bed, kitty? Kittens are not allowed in the kitchen, you know.”

I turn, closing the fridge as gently as I can before glaring at the Schwartz with my hopefully full-hearted hateful glare, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

“I thought it was obvious,” he smiles, waving the towel that hangs around his neck at me, “I am cooking a meal and since they both take a while, I went to take a quick shower.”

I glare harder; that is not what I wanted to know. His left eyebrow arches up amusingly, and he leans on the small bar, looking at me with that annoying smirk of his. “Oh, didn’t you know, kitten? I’m your new roommate now.”

My eyes widen at the words as if I should have known of the fact, and that it is my fault for forgetting. After a while of speechlessness, I manage to ask, quite intelligently, “…..What?!”

Schuldich laughs, and straightens as he walks around the bar to me, putting his hand on my forehead. I flinch, and I blink confusingly as a flash of pain quickly disappears from his topaz eyes. He looks as if nothing happened, and starts pushing me out of the kitchen, “Go back to bed. And for crying out loud, put on that jacket that I put next to you, will you? Has nobody ever taught you how to take care of yourself? Geez.”

I let him half-guide, half-force me until I sit on the bed, while trying to use my hazy mind to determine what exactly it is this man is trying to do. He could have killed me yesterday at any time, and yet he is cooking me lunch now.

Wait, lunch!?

I look at my alarm clock abruptly, and inhale sharply as the digital numbers of 1:30pm glare back at me. I stand and am about to change when Schuldich is at my side once more, taking away the clothes I have in my hand. “Oh, no, no, no. You are now confined to the bed until I say so,” he says, his tone chastising like one would a kid. I turn to glare at him, hating the fact that even though I am considerably taller than most Japanese, he still stands a good three inches above me, his ethnicity helping him out in dwarfing me. Forcing me back to the bed for the second time this day, he shakes his head as he goes back to the kitchen to tend the soup and porridge. “Oh, and you know, you really don’t need to change Aya-chan’s flowers everyday. They do live three days after.”

I growl as I glare at him, he probably got my routine of life from my mind. I hate it when that happens. “None of your business,” I hiss out.

Schuldich frowns slightly as he studies me for a bit before setting down two bowls of porridge and the miso soup, and sighs, “Give me some credit, will ya? I am perceptive and charming, not to mention incredibly handsome. So, naturally, the nurses in that hospital volunteer the information before I even ask. I don’t need my power in such trivial matters. And, yes, kitten, now you may move your cute little butt here and start eating your lunch.”

I look away, the feeling of guilt in consuming resources returns at the mention of food. I make no move from my spot on the bed, having no will or intention of eating the food. The hateful German watches me for about five minutes or so before dramatically sighing, “Well, guess I’ll just have to throw away this extra serving since I can’t finish it.” With that, he stands up, and proceeds to take the other bowls of porridge and miso soup away. I glare at him, daring him to do such a heinous act in wasting food resources. But when he moves to the kitchen and starts pouring away the miso soup, I cry, “All right! Stop!”

He turns, a triumphant smile tugging at his lips, and I find myself being set up. He knew of my personal morals, or as Youji often calls it ‘pet peeves’, before he even started cooking. I am willing to bet the limited money that I have on me that he anticipated what I was going to do and came up with counter-arguments before I spoke my first word upon awakening.

And I am beyond furious in knowing that he has more than likely to used his powers in obtaining that information.

Sitting down on the mat across from him, I pick up the chopsticks and try the teriyaki salmon, and my eyes widen slightly from the absolutely exquisite taste I am experiencing. Growing up a banker’s son, no matter how short such life was, I was able to experience life with material goodness, which includes food from fine restaurants in major cities in Japan. This, however, even though it is just simple Japanese traditional breakfast for the sick, it is the best that I have ever tasted.

And this comes from the man that I hate, who suppose to hates me enough to toy with me before ending my life.



I was confined to my home for a total of four days until my fever came down, during which I was fed three times a day with food equivalent to a five-star restaurant, and given medicines that knocked me out nearly immediately. And during that time my apartment went from below bare minimum to a comfortable home, cursed to say, for two. In his days here, forcibly entering into my life without my consent, he decided to add more china and silverware, some even matching for reasons he would not tell me, and many other redundant items that he claims are his and I cannot discard them. There is now a bookshelf that hosts the books, DVDs, and games he bought, and suddenly, this apartment has cable for the TV and a working phone.

My living quarters transformed into a liveable, comfortable home.

And that unnerves me greatly.

Knowing that I am rid of the annoying flu that keeps me incapable of tossing the German out, I wake up much earlier than I did the past four days. I look at the alarm clock and know that there is no time to visit Aya-chan today, but at least I can get to work before the German pesters me with more pampering. His tactics in seriously annoying me have succeeded, and I decide to counter that by leaving earlier than he wakes. Since my work schedules occupy me most of the day and night, I will only have to worry about seeing the man for two hours out of twenty-four.

But my hope is quashed when I see the kodatsu that folds away every night to give him space for his bedding returned to its day position, with a net cover over a well-made breakfast. A note is on the table next to an envelope, and the apartment is empty. Whenever he’s around, he makes sure to make as much noise as he can if I’m awake, and the television is usually on a very soft level when I’m going to sleep. After a quick glance, I frown slightly at the absence of the German, hoping that he wouldn’t be out shopping once more. Sighing, I sit down on the mat, and pick up the note.

My Little Kitten~ (with a sketch of a cat next to it)

Breakfast is on the table. If I find it left alone, I’m just gonna throw it away. You know the drill.

Your check for the construction site is on the table. I’ve called your foreman, and quit your job for you. Not sleeping is not good for you, especially not for your beauty. So for my eyes’ benefit, you have to keep that pretty little face of yours beautiful at all times. Dairo-san was nice enough to give you the entire month’s pay, isn’t he sweet? ^v^

I’ll see you later! *heart*

Your Beloved Handsome Schuldich

I sit on the mat, my brain completely malfunctioning as any curse words in any known language in the world cannot describe how furious I am at this German right now. I open the envelope, and sure enough, the minimal monthly pay from the site is accounted for. I find it appalling that the foreman would give my money to some complete stranger. Then again, I wouldn’t put it above the German to not use his power in persuading the poor workman.

Since there is a phone in the house now, even though it will create great annoyance, I decide to use it. I find the foreman’s telephone right next to the phone, and I dial it, using the phone for the first time in three months. The man answers sleepily, and after knowing who I am, he speaks frantically about not being able to hire me anymore even if I do want to come back, and that he knows of no one that will give me any night job in ten miles’ radius around this town. I try to speak with a steady voice, promising the man his safety front and back to finally get him to tell me why exactly I am not welcome to any job after eight p.m. Turns out that Schuldich brought with him a small handgun, and with his ever-so-charming smile, though Dairo-san refers to it as the smile of Satan, told him to spread the news to all the contractor he knows not to hire me. He was only too happy to oblige.

I thank the frightened man before hanging up the phone. Unable to control my anger, I slam my fist down on the kitchen counter, needing the pain to drain off my fury. There is no reason to maintain the anger; what’s been done is done. I sigh, feeling exhausted even though I just woke up, and start to get ready for work. At least he did not think of getting me fired from my day job, thankfully, in the most horrid sense.

I arrive at the restaurant ten minutes before eight, having misjudged the time since I haven’t eaten breakfast for a while and didn’t know how long it would take. As I start to change into the uniform, Keiko comes up behind me, and slaps my back hard as she laughs, “He did a great job!! Look at you, gaining a bit of weight and looking more like a human!”

I choke at the sudden hard slap, and sigh as I finish buttoning my shirt. I frown as I study the short, stout woman, deciding to play ignorant, “Who?”

“Who else?” the deep baritone answers for her from behind me, and I feel as if the hairs on my back all do a standing ovation. I turn, and my eyes widen at the sight of the German—

In a working apron.

With the stupid fish-headed child logo in the dead center.

“You like?” Schuldich smiles widely, too happy to see my stunned look. He twirls around playfully, only making me wince in disgust. “I start work today with you! Isn’t this exciting, kitten?” he asks, using the most annoying tone that guarantees my death looks.

I glare at him, “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

Schuldich fakes a hurt look, pouting as he clutches onto Keiko, who is trying her best not to laugh her ass off next to me, “Well, if I want to live with you, I need to make money for my rent, right? So I’m getting a job, dummy.”

I arch my eyebrow at the statement, but years of training helps keep my expression neutral. I’m more than sure that he takes great joy in seeing my anger, and I refuse to give him the pleasure. “Kiyoshi-san must’ve been blind,” I comment nonchalantly, finish tying my own apron and get ready for work.

He gasps in pain dramatically, and collapses on my mentor, who starts laughing loudly. “Oh! How low you take me for, my darling?! Did you not know I have the skill of a five-star professional chef?! I am crushed.”

I resist the urge to roll my eyes as I pass by the laughing duo, surprised at myself for being angry at how well Keiko and Schuldich seem to get along. If she wishes to befriend that idiot, it isn’t my place to say otherwise.

Keiko comes out from the back after I take down all the chairs on top of the tables, and starts filling in napkins into the metal holders. “I really don’t see why you need to be so pissy about Schuldich, you know,” she says, and I purposely ignore her as I start filling the condiment jars with the proper sauces. Too used to my silent treatment, Keiko continues her talk as if I have just responded, “I mean, he obviously is from that past of yours you never wanted to talk about, which everybody respects that and stuff… But he came to you, and so far as I’ve seen, he’s been good to you. Got you to eat too.”

“I don’t like to waste food,” I say slowly, starting to distribute the condiment trays around the tables. Keiko follows me with the napkins, determination clear on her face.

“You don’t eat at all! Even if it means threatening you, it’s still good to have him watch over you. You don’t know how good you’ve become after only four days!”

“… …”

“Listen, I don’t know him as well as you do, but I do know that he cares very much about you. So why not just be civil to him, since I doubt you can get rid of him that easily as a roommate? Besides, you need a roommate to watch over your insanity. Not eating like you do… It’s not as if you need to be on a diet like me!”

“… …”

“Fine, don’t talk, but I’m siding with Schuldich and I will rope Kiyoshi-san with me. Then you’ll be all alone and concede!”

I sigh, returning to the register and turn to Keiko, “All right. You win. But the moment he crosses my line of tolerance, he’s sleeping on the streets.”

Keiko only smiles too victoriously for my liking, “I’ll make sure to let him know.”


—To Be Continued


Author’s Mewlings: I’m kind of imitating my favorite FFVIII author’s, Sukunami-sama, style for writing a fic in terms of length and point of view. So far all I’ve encountered are really tense shifting (since I’m used to writing in past tense) and adding a ‘s’ at the end of a verb or not. >w< Surprisingly, Schuldich and Aya are being very cooperative in this story, and it’s coming along quite nicely. However, I realize why Sukunami-sama writes about one chapter a month now, since it is quite time-consuming in writing a chapter length about 7k words per chapter. ^^;; It took me nearly 2 weeks to finish this chapter. I’m going to try to speed it up in the next chapter or so, since I really don’t want to drag this fic into school year…. But if it does, I’ll try to write as much as I can in the weekends. T_T

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