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* There are still many references to the anime, since the manga was incomplete ^^;;;


Tarnished Rhapsody

September 2004


To say life after our first night is Heaven is an understatement. I mean, who knew there’s such an adventurous soul underneath the thick layer of indifference? True to my words, (aren’t I always?) I went to Osaka during the weekend a week after that wonderful night and bought at least two dozen of good quality, both domestic and foreign, porno tapes. I told him that we won’t watch them unless he is in the mood, and we’ll toss out any ones he doesn’t like. I mean, I got them ranging from those cheesy plain-old one-on-one sex to kinky things like BDSM and group gang bang, just to see what are his dislikes and what will turn my kitten on. The result was, to my utter surprise, that he never once said no to any of the tapes, but only got extremely turned on. After denying with that adorable blush of his, he eventually learned that sex was not a bad thing, so long as you’re doing it with someone you love.

And he so vehemently denied that he loves me, yet still cried out my name whenever he reached the peak.

It’ll not be long before I bag the little kitty… and keep him forever mine. I can’t help but grin like a retarded fool even when he’s glaring at me, knowing what train of thought I’m currently taking.

Ouch, the pillow to the head is NOT fair, damn you!

Alright! Put the damn pot down! If you don’t cook, don’t touch it!

I think when the both of us called in sick the next morning, the town all knew what went on. It has always been a mystery to me as to why such a small, remote town would be so open to our relationship, even giving me encouragement when Aya was still clueless and I was extremely frustrated. Not that I’m complaining, of course. I mean, hell, Keiko and her sisters keep their yaoi doujinshi open in their room, and their mom even helps them stick the toners on the yaoi doujinshi they’re publishing when she has time. So after giving her three triple-layer devil chocolate cakes (two more for gratitude) and successfully gave her three more pounds, I cornered her and asked her about this slightly disturbing fact. She blinked, and laughed as she waved it off.

“Oh, that was easy. We get too many of them here!”

I raised my eyebrow, “What, this is a gay town?”

“No!!” she laughed hysterically, “But the beaches somehow attract many couples, straight and gay, domestic and foreign, flocking during summer time. Hell, last time Mrs. Hanesu was walking back from the market before the soap opera at night and tripped over two gay guys fucking in the bushes! It was classic!!!”

My eyes were wide like plates as I asked eagerly, “And then? What happened?”

“She broke the soysauce she bought and demanded one of them to pay for it, then offered her own home for them as long she gets to tape them and sell it on the internet!! They ended up being great friends with her, and still send her Christmas presents even now.”

This tidbit somehow doesn’t surprise me, but I have never lived through what they call a summer Hell. Rumor has it that when summer comes, the restaurant will be so busy I will need surgery and chiropractors throughout the year from making food. When I asked Aya about it, he shook his head since he’s never experienced summer before, and he was not looking forward to it.

I think after our first night, he started to change ever so slightly, but it was noticeable. For better or worse, I guess. I mean, I’m glad that he started talking to me more, moving from one and two sentences to a full-fledged dialogue, from saying only affirmative or negative responses to actually expressing his opinions. When he first told me that he doesn’t like the first-person shooting game I bought for thrills, that it makes him think of the past, I was so delighted that I jumped him immediately, kissing him until he kicked me and forced me to stop. I also think I have detected traces of smiles every now and then, usually when I’m making a fool of myself or that he is content with the silence and a good book and some good tea. I enjoy those traces immensely, knowing without looking into his heart that he has begun his healing slowly. It’ll be a long process, but I don’t mind sticking around to see him become the Ran I’ve seen in the pictures. Bad thing is that the changes also attracted many unwanted ‘flies’, also known as interested persuers, that I need to constantly be on guard for.

It also excited me when Aya asked for my assistance several weeks ago. I was reading one of the English novels I had purchased when he sat next to me, and even though he tried his best to hide his nervousness, the slight flicking of his fingers and re-arranging the apples on the table repeatedly gave it away quite obviously. I put my novel down and grinned at him, and was surprised when he pointed at the book. “….Teach me…. English, please?”


He scowled, and crossed his arms, “I never finished high school, thanks to you.”

I winced at the accusation. I read from my Psychology class oh-so-long-ago that for someone to mention the greatest pain in their life so casually is somehow a healing process, but it still pains me that I am the one that robbed him of the life he deserves. I cupped his face in my hand, and sighed, never knowing how to apologize for the greatest sin I feel I have ever committed. Nodding, I leaned in and kissed him softly, something I found I enjoy more than sex, and nuzzled against him. “Well, how about I homeschool you for high school? I mean, Japan has some kind of GED program, I hope?”

Aya looked at me dubiously, “You?”

“Hey, I’m hurt. Just because I don’t like to use my brain doesn’t mean I don’t have one, okay? For your information, lovely, Estet forced us to finish college before we even turned fifteen, along with the special training for powers and strategical battle planning and crap. So I think I am well-suited to teach you simple math, history and Japanese.”

So that started our tutoring sessions. I never expected less when Aya had no trouble picking up academics, even with so many years of gap in since the last time he attended school. He was excellent in many subjects, skipping through lessons as if he couldn’t get enough. I think he enjoyed learning more than anything, and I hardly needed to supervise before he would complete the assignments given to him. Math tended to be his weaker field, since he hadn’t had a soild base from before. And many years of not using those algorithms that you only use because of some bald-headed teachers forced you to in school tends to make one forget about them. But the boy picked it up quickly, and I must say, I am impressed with his progress. It was a wonder that Estet never recruited him, since he would’ve made an elite addition even without any supernatural powers.

My wandering thoughts are interrupted when the phone rings, and I grin as my love shoots me another nasty glare for bringing such an annoyance back into his life. “Moshi moshi?”

Hm, I think the sound of his delicate voice as it is trying its best not to sound annoyed is so worth the glares…

“I see…. Thank you,” he puts the phone back to the receiver, and continues his way from the kitchen to the table where I’m at. After seeing him put down the pot of tea, I wrap my arms around his waist and force him to sit in my lap so I can nibble the back of his neck. “Who was it?”

“The book store… Your Tolkein books are here,” he replies, squirming a little to get himself comfortable. Over the months, he went from shying away from every affectionate touch to getting used to them and taking advantage of them. Of course, my not letting him go no matter how much he struggled would be one of the factors, too. I’m much happier with an armful of Aya than him sitting across from me. I’m restaking my claim and letting him know it every day and night, and I’m certain that, as dense as he is, it is finally getting through now.

Now I just need to do something about that new clerk at the book store… How dare he check my Aya out the other day… I wonder which would be better, knives or guns?


Walking down the busy street, I marvel at how summer can bring so many people from so many different places into this tiny town that is usually isolated when not in season. Keeping my sunglasses on and my hands in my pocket, I appear just someone here to pick up a girl for a summer fling, my tight, light blue jeans and black shirt attract many girls, just about everywhere I go. What intrigues me, is that somehow only girls from metropolitan cities are interested in me, whereas the local townsfolk are quite unfazed by my appearance, which makes asking questions more difficult than it usually is.

It has been nearly a year since our great leader picked up his pretty ass and left us, and I think we all have suffered somewhat from it. All three of us had held, to various degrees, affection and love toward the redhead. Omi saw him as his favorite brother before he hit puberty, and once he did he wanted him to do lovey-dovey sex with him. I want to ravage him day and night until he can’t walk, and make him kneel in front of me pleading for my cock. Ken is more subdued, wanting to curl up in front of the fireplace with champagne and some poems and a night of passionate sex like those in a romance novel. Granted, we all have our sexual desires toward him, but he never picks up the clues that we have left behind. We reached an agreement long ago that we would not try and force him until he chose one of us.

But his walking out on our lives changed everything. For a while we all thought that it would be like last time, where he would leave and it would be easy for us to find him, then we would send someone that joined Kritiker with a horrid past to convince him with some drama. Botan’s death was unexpected, but it sure as hell did the trick. He felt so burdened by that Kritiker’s death that he stayed with us until Estet was taken down. We just never expected that he would leave once again, and this time, he covered up his tracks so well that it took us this long to track him down. Had it not been for some yaoi doujinshi with someone that noticed him and his foreign book purchases in a small town here, we’d never have found our redhead. This time, we were under the order to keep him with us until Persia personally released him, no matter the cost.

As if we really need an order for that.

The July sun burns down on me mercilessly, and my silk shirt is now wet with sweat, sticking to my body quite uncomfortably. I curse at the heat silently, and usethe file folder I have in my hand to start fanning myself, hoping to be rid of some of this heat. We can barely find any information, he has learned too much of concealing himself the years he worked through the system. We were only able to learn from the rare sighting of him in Osaka once, and some BBS searches online that some girls have sighted a beautiful redhead in a remote town. But the existance of a ‘roommate’ seemed bizarre to us, since he was never one to share his personal space with anybody. Then again, I guess we didn’t really know him considering how we focused our search in high-priced communities, bypassing this town numerous times until now.

Walking to the only bookstore in town, I halt in mid-stride as I see the one that has been plaguing my mind ever since I met him standing outside of the store, leaning against the wall. His hair is longer now, tied into a loose ponytail with a lavender ribbon that he glares at half-heartedly, picking the string ever-so-slightly as if he wants to take it off but dares not to. Several plastic bags of groceries from a local supermarket are by his feet, food by the looks of it is enough for two people.

I never knew he cooked….

Then, I feel like I have been nailed to the place where I stand. The cursed German of Schwartz walks out of the bookstore. He hands a paper bag of some books to our Abyssinian and kisses him on the cheek, then bends down and takes all the groceries. Aya frowns slightly and protests about handling some of the load, but is lightly batted away by the German and silenced with another kiss. I trail after them from a distance as they walk home, that mind-playing bastard talking most of the walk while Aya replies every now and then. There is a smile on Aya’s face, one that we have never seen before, no matter how faint it is. This has got to be a trick. No, I remember reading it somewhere… Some syndrome that people have…. if they have been kidnapped and end up falling in love with their kidnapper. There is no way our Aya would smile like that for him. He’s ours! And even if somebody should break through the ice, it should have been me! I don’t know how many times I’ve tended to him, helped him escape from fan girls, and saved him during missions… How can he repay me like this!? That smile should have been mine! He should have been mine!

A group of girls, high school at best, walks past the two and giggle. A sinister, mischievous smile appear on Schuldich’s face, and suddenly, to my utter disgust, he bends down and kisses Aya deeply. The girls squeal and jump in excitement while my fingernails dig into my palm hard enough to draw blood, refraining from strangling the German right here and now. No, I can’t kill him yet. I have to rescue Aya from the evil first, then I can kill Schuldich. I’d first peel off his skin, and inch by inch, muscle by muscle, scrape off his flesh from his bone. His screams would be the most beautiful music I have ever heard.

Schuldich grins, his smile so irritating to me that it feels like pin needles are stabbing my nerves directly, as he turns and strides over to the group of girls, holding his palm out as he pathetically and dispicably asks for a ‘service charge.’ The girls laugh and hand him various of change, which he bows mockingly and returns to the waiting Aya, who is blushing furiously and smiling in amusement.

::What are you doing here, Balinese?:: a nasal voice rings in my head suddenly, and I narrow my eyes as I freeze in place, staring at the departing forms.

I hiss, ::Taking back our friend. What have you done to him?!::

::Nothing that you haven’t seen. Now, I am not going to let your filthy claws dig deep into him again, so you might as well give up.::

::OUR filthy claws!? How dare you, Mastermind! You’re the one that has your claws in Aya’s mind! What are you doing, taking him hostage and abusing him!? You sick bastard!::

He scoffs, ::Such an imagination, Balinese. That’s what you want to do to him, not me. Thanks to you and the other kittens and your king and his empire, you have all but destroyed whatever desire to live was inside Aya. It took me months to finally make him smile and end his suicide mission, and I am not letting you take him back to Hell again.:: with that, he cuts off the communication.

I growl, my sunglasses fall from my trembling body, and I crush them with an angered stomp. I will not let him get away with this, or my name is not Kudou Youji.


“…So the difference between ‘can, could, will, would’ depends on the tenses, and you use it when…” Schuldich’s voice continues as he points at the textbook that he had mail-ordered from the United States, something about them doing a better job in explaining grammar and usage. I stare at him, hearing the words but not listening at all. I think I have been doing that for a while lately, just looking at him, at his movements, and letting my mind think of nothing but enjoying his company.

En…joying? Since when did I find his company a blessing instead of a curse?

At first, I let him stay with me without much of a protest because I figured having him torture me is another way to repent my sins, as if that way I can somehow die happily when the time comes. His annoying presence and his persistence irritates me extremely, yet many times when I see things that remind me of the past it is his loud voice that distracts me. Thanks to him, I guess, I never have time to dwell in the past, but rather think of ways to shut him up or make him stop harassing me for some mundane, boring things. But… I never thought I could actually live again. When Mother and Father died, and Aya-chan was thrown into a coma that even the doctors held no hope for her recovery, I vowed only to live for their revenge. I never thought the price for revenge was so high. Yet, now I have friends once again. I have normal work, living on minimal, but clean salary, one that is not bathed in blood, and I have, in some form, a family.

I don’t understand, though… How can I feel more ‘at home’ with him when I feel suffocated with Weiss? It was the primary reason why I left. None of them are bad… we all came with our own baggage, but somehow, whenever we gather in the same room, be it mission room or the common room, I can’t help but feel… Filthy. As if my clothes are soiled with blood, and I’m drowning. That’s why I never stayed in the common room long, and always left once the mission was accepted and all necessary strategies planned. Being with each and every one of them alone was okay, even in the shop, since there was always an open space. But in a closed room I would always have the urge to escape. I trusted them with my life, yet I can never find peace when I’m with them.

And this man… The one that was responsible for pushing the button that caused the explosion, the one that had wanted my life and I his, the one that had kidnapped Aya-chan to use her against me, the one that I used to despise with my entire heart, somehow gives me the peace and comfort that I had long forgotten. Hell, what am I, twenty-four? And I felt like I’m eighty. But his jokes, his stupidity, and his love always remind me that I’m only twenty-four, and I should at least act like it, if not younger. With him, I found the innocence that I had somehow forgotten, and rediscovered what beauty was. He never gets tired of reminding me how delicious food can be, how mesmerizing music can sound, how gorgeous flowers can look, and how happy people can make me.

For all the time I was in Weiss, flowers were a matter of delicate plants that I sell. Now they’re alive and meaningful.

It’s almost amazing when I found out that he has a conscience. He never regrets anything he did in the past to achieve his goal, but it’s his–no, their style to kill everyone related to the intended victim. I never understood why, thinking that was an act of cruelty, until we talked about it. We were watching a foreign movie on DVD, where the contract killer always goes out of his way to slaughter the intended victim’s parents and young children, no matter how far away they live.

“…That’s cruel,” I commented when the movie was over, my body trembling slightly in both disgust and rememberance.

He studied me silently for a while, before he got up to refill the plate with some more chips. Sitting back down, he sighed, “…No, he’s not.”

“What do you mean, he’s not!?” I cried, and reacted before I could think, slapping him across the face. He took the blow without even wincing, only took my hand, red with the force I delivered, and kissed my fingers softly.

“My little kitten…. How foolish can you be?” He chuckled, “You have a one-track mind…. Think about it. If a person dies, who are going to be the most devastated ones?”

I blinked, speechless. “…Parents and….”

“And their children,” he nodded, smiling sadly, the first time I saw such a raw, painful emotion on him. “He reminded you of us, didn’t he? That was why I rented it. I wanted to see what the director did with him in the end…. I guess it was another disappointment. They never understood why we did what we did.”

“But… To kill them all…”

“So they won’t suffer the pain and agony of being left behind, and struggle to survive.”

“…They deserve a chance to live.”

He sighed, “And what? To grovel through life doing who-knows-what, to be filled with hate and eventually become killers themselves? Or….” he looked up at me, “To be so enveloped by hatred and revenge and lose the purpose of life?”

My eyes widened, “But… I….”

“You were an exception,” he chuckled sadly, “and I still don’t know if the decision was right…. I never thought that she would be in the way of that rock. I just wanted you to live. I wanted you when I saw you. But you disappeared, and reappeared couple years later, holding a blade and pointing it at me. I just hope that you can forgive me, whether it is for ruining your life or letting you live.”

That was the only time that we had ever talked about the past, and the next day it was as if nothing had happened, the DVD already returned. I don’t know the answer to his question yet, whether I should hate him for ruining my life or letting me live. But I know that for a while he was afraid to visit Aya-chan, feeling guilty of ruining her life. It took some coaxing to finally have him visit her, and I believe that, if she was awake, she would have forgiven him.

Just like I did.

“Aya?” I blink as a large hand suddenly covers my eyes, and warm lips cover my own in a tender kiss. He always kisses me like that, as if I am some delicate china doll that will break if he isn’t careful, and pampers me with anything I want. I think if I ask him to build me a castle, he would simply ask me where and how long does he have.

I shake my head, “…Read to me.”

He smiles, and flicks my forehead slightly. “Slacking off, my little kitten? You’ll be behind in your studies!” But even with that, he still reaches to the bookshelf for that Tolkein book, Lord of the Rings, that he got several days ago. Opening to the page bookmarked, he shoos me to bed and I get under the covers. Even though I haven’t needed any bedtime stories to put me to sleep since I was six, his deep, comforting and seductive voice always makes me sleepy yet, embarrased to say, loved.


“Bye, Ken-niichan~~” I wave goodbye to the group of elementary kids I teach soccer to every Thursday afternoon, promising to see them next week. Even though playing with kids certainly is different than playing professionally, it actually doesn’t matter much to me since I still get to play nonetheless. Besides, seeing these little ones grow up and learn my skills by purely observing the way I play just make me like a proud father. Their innocent laughter and teasing jeers serve more than bringing joy to my life, also lifting the darkness that I feel so heavily these days.

I can’t say that it’s all Aya’s fault, really. Sure, I’m as heart-broken when he left as the other two, but I got over it. After all, I like him, and I even have a little crush on him, but I saw how he suffered when he was with us. Besides, I doubt I can ever love again, since the people I love tend to leave me eventually. With him, it’s more of a companionship that I long for, and with him gone I am able to see how foolish the idea was. I think I have grown stronger, much more able in controlling my anger and rage without depending on him. But… I don’t think I can say such a thing for the other two, I’m afraid. Sometimes, I fear that Weiss will crumble eventually, all because of the obsession of one person.

Tch, had it not been for the years living with the silent redhead and knowing that he had no other special powers than his determination and his stubbornness in shielding the frail heart within, one would have thought that he had some sort of nymph ability to make everyone fall in love with him without barely lifting a finger. Then again, we don’t get to go out much, and we don’t have any chance of a serious, long-term relationship. So no one can blame him.

In a way, I am the least affected by Aya’s absence. Omi tries to act the same, but something disturbing is lurking within as far as I can see. The way he organizes and plans a mission became more thoughtless of the bystanders, and he doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that needless blood has been spilt. I have tried to talk to him several times regarding the position of the bomb and the time he sets, but it doesn’t seem like it’s having any effect at all. As for Youji… Well, if he was messed up before by Asuka’s death, he’s more fucked-up now by Aya’s… what did he call it? ‘Desertion’, that’s right. I never understand why Youji feels that Aya abandoned us, since this time the redhead had actually announced his departure before he packed his bags. And it didn’t seem to have affected them that much the last time Aya tried to leave, so I don’t understand why they were taking it so hard. Youji had, for some reason, stopped his womanizing routine, and spent more time either on the computer with Omi or cruising out with his bike aimlessly. He also began to drink more heavily, converting a small portion of the mission room to a mini bar where he stocks just about every hard liquor there is.

Sometimes I feel that I’m the outcast, seeing as I still act the same as before and continue my routine: water the plants, bring in the inventory, joke and chat with customers, play soccer with kids, carry out missions, eat and sleep. But the air in the Koneko no Sume Iie is getting heavier day by day, like a rubber band stretched to its extreme and any tiny little force can break it in half. And I must say, Persia’s last mission request has not helped a bit. I mean, what was the old man thinking?! Sure, Kritiker had spent lots of money training him, but so did they to us and any other agents, but I’ve never heard so much anger from the distorted, computer-generated voice. It was as if Persia was taking this too personal, and that somehow rose the red flag for me.

I nearly get knocked over by Youji storming past me and down to the mission room. “Hey, watch it, Yoj!” I call, but he gives me no reply. Odd, I’ve never seen him this angry before. Following him down to the basement, where Omi spends most of his time now, I see the little Bombay stand up in anticipation.

“Well?” Omi asks, and Youji brushes past him to the mini bar, to pour himself a Scotch on the rocks. He finishes the drink in one swallow and pours himself another just about when I reach down to the bottom flight. Gritting his teeth, the brunette thinks about his answer before he replies, “…He betrayed us.”

“Youji, I don’t think trying to live a normal life constitutes betrayal…” I start, and his vicious glare to me shuts me up immediately. I have never seen such fiery, dangerous madden eyes on him before, and it feels like I am his enemy, not his teammate.

“He’s fucking that German, and you don’t call THAT betrayal?!” he barks, and finishes his third Scotch and pouring his fourth, the ice hasn’t even had time to melt yet.

I look over at Omi worriedly, hoping our leader will stop Youji’s binge drinking and convince the brunette that it is just his imagination and jealousy at play. However, an equal amount of rage and a cold fire of calculation burning within Bombay’s eyes startles me, and I find myself taking a back step instinctively. What have these two been doing to themselves?! Rather, where did the obsession come from?

After a period of heavily awkward silence, Omi smiles suddenly, yet there is no warmth to the smile. “It’s not Aya-san’s fault,” he says, and I breathe a sigh of relief. Maybe I just think too much. Omi is the smartest one among us. He always manages to put aside his own personal bias and try to see it both ways and….

“It’s Schuldich’s fault.”

…What?! “W… What makes you say that, Omi?” I ask incredulously.

“Because he must have controlled Aya-san. That’s the only logical solution.”

“B… But… But Omi, there’s no reason for him to ‘control’ anybody now. Schwartz disbanded already, and most of them are doing legitimate business, and they’re perhaps the only entrepreneurs that are honest and legit.”

Omi narrows his eyes, “They’re evil. Just because we couldn’t find any fault in them doesn’t mean they’re not doing anything.”

I stammer. The logic is true enough, and anybody with a brain should have thought of that. But somehow, I just don’t believe that Schwartz would go through all the trouble they did just to commit the evil acts they did before. And sure, I should have been more suspicious of them, but I can’t find it in me. From the file and the preliminary investigation done by the Kritikers, I only find Schuldich seems to be another victim of the lovely redhead, and that he is the only one succeeding in getting him. From the pictures I’ve seen, I’m actually relieved to see Aya looking much better than he did when he was here. He seems to have made some friends in the restaurant, and to be picking up life where he left off. I applaud him for having the courage to return to a normal life, where I think the rest of us lack in that department.

“Omi, be reasonable. Aya looks happy in his life, and Schuldich didn’t do anything wrong. How is it his fault?” I reason, almost desperately.

The young boy’s glare sends chills down my spine, and that means something, since all of us have been given the death glare treatment by the redhead. “…Ken-kun. Don’t be a fool. All we need to do is kill Schuldich and Aya will be ours again.”

Youji looks up from his drunken stupor, his eyes glitter with a dangerous delight. “Do you have a plan, Omi?”

A smile that can only be a mimic of Schwartz’s appears, and Omi nods once. I glare at them both, “You’re both insane! You can’t just go kill Schuldich when he has done nothing! We only slay the dark beasts, and he no longer poses a threat!”

“Then you don’t have to be a part of it.”

I hiss, and storm out of the basement. “Fine! I won’t!”

But I will, as I am sure they know already, warn Aya and Schuldich about their plan. I just hope those two can prevent whatever plan Omi and Youji think up. Hopefully it’s not too hard, and Aya knows how they operate already….


Sitting, or rather, slumping down on the chair in the back room, I put my arms on the table and my head on them, letting out an exhausted sigh. When Keiko warned me that summer would be Hell, I really never expected it to be this busy. From the moment we opened until now, I didn’t even stop to take a sip of water. My throat feels raw speaking so much, and those words can’t even be considered as conversation, but simply repetitive citations about today’s special.

A glass of lukewarm water is placed before me, and soon, firm yet comfortable hands start one of his incredible massages on my shoulders, then down my spine. I let out another sigh, this time of comfort. I close my eyes, determined to fall asleep before Kiyoshi-san can rush in to bark at me for being a lazy cat. Ever since they heard Schuldich call me ‘kitten’ in public, they always refer to me in feline terms. It amuses and annoys me at the same time.

“Tired?” he asks, and chuckles when I give him a half-hearted glare. Why ask when you already know, idiot?

He smiles, and nudges me to the water. “Have some. Kimiko is covering your shift now so you can have a bit of rest, but she says you only have ten minutes.”

I grumble something in reply, and tilt the glass enough so that the water can reach my dry lips for me to sip, and put it back when moving seems too much of a hassle. Closing my eyes, I lean against the warmth to give him better access to a very sore spot on my lower back. His deep chuckles disturb me slightly, but swatting him requires moving my arm.

Suddenly, he cries out as a much thicker, darker arm knocks the back of his head rather hard, and he turns to glare at Kiyoshi-san. The Japanese man slaps me on the back of the head, too, but much lighter than he does Schuldich. “Lazy bum! Feed your cat and get back to the kitchen! What do you think I have, eight arms?!”

“You sure fucking hit like it…” Schuldich grumbles, and earns himself another smack in the head. Really, if he knew he’d get hit, why does he keep saying stuff like that? But it sure amuses me greatly as I chuckle softly, sitting up and stretching a little.

He smiles and hands me a sandwich he made earlier. “You only have time for this… But I’ll make it up to you tonight if you’re not too tired.”

“…I want steak.”

“Aiyee!! Do you know how expensive that is?!” he cries in mock anger and disbelief, earning another chuckle from me. I think I smile and chuckle more now, and I enjoy the feeling of it as much as he does.

“With mushroom sauce.”

“Fine, fine, fine…” he pouts as he leans in for a chaste kiss, and hurries when Kiyoshi-san barks again from the kitchen. I smile at the sight of a young German who can easily kill everyone in the restaurant, including me, having a sissy, pouty fight with a fifty-year-old Japanese man that can barely reach Schuldich’s shoulder. This sight always cracks everyone up, and I think I’m getting close to laughing one of these days.

Finishing the delicious cream of salmon sandwich, I sip the water until Kimiko glares at me with her hands at her waist from the door. Straightening up, I walk to her, and she pouts, “You deliberately left me five more minutes in the chaos!”

“Tab on Schu,” I say with a shrug, and she slaps my butt, a recent habit of hers, hard.

“Do not gloat that you have a boyfriend who worships you and does your every bidding, Fujimiya! Now get, before I make him permanently impotent!”

“Be my guest, Kimiko,” I say, a slight hint of smirk in my voice as I pick up a menu for the recently-seated customer. It’s past three in the afternoon, and even though the small restaurant is still quite packed, it isn’t as bad as lunchtime, where there was a long line of people waiting to get in. There are only two restaurants here… and it’s either this, an actual meal, or the coffee and crossaint in the cafe next block. There are some venders on the beach, but they sell mostly ice treats and some to-go food. Japanese people still prefer a sit-down restaurant, I guess, and since we’re so close to the dock our sashimi is the best.

I set the menu on the table for the customer along with a glass of ice water. “Welcome to Kiyoshiya, my name is Fujimiya. May I get you anything to drink?”

The man that faces the window, gazing into the crowded street slowly turns, and he smiles brightly at me. “… Long time no see. You’re looking good.”

I gasp, my eyes widening as I study the man before me. He has grown a little bit taller than I last remember, though probably still shorter than I. The tan is probably from playing with children under this year’s unbelievably scorching sun, and the wisdom and age that his eyes show is probably from all the missions that they took after I left. I smile softly, and turn to Keiko, who is just about to take a break, and gesture to her for covering my shift. She flips me the bird, but grins as I glare at her. Noticing the young man, she frowns and points at the kitchen, which I nod in acknowledgement. She probably is already planning another blackmail. No matter.

I sit down across from Ken, “As do you. What brings you here?” I feel a prick in my mind, and Schuldich whispers a ‘sorry’ in my mind before he cuts off the link. A minute later, he’s by my side and glaring down at Ken.

Ken grins as he looks up at Schuldich, “So the rumor is true. You toss away prestige and wealth to be with him, and become a cook.”

“As if you didn’t already investigate thoroughly with your king’s pawns,” Schuldich growls, and takes the seat next to me, putting his arm around my waist. I frown in slight confusion at him, but he ignores me and watches Ken as if facing an enemy. I kick him slightly under the table, warning the German to play nice.

Ken only chuckles at Schuldich’s idiotic actions, before sighing and shaking his head. “I wish they could see you two now, then they would probably understand.”

I blink in confusion, and I’m pretty sure Schuldich is stunned as well. Ken smiles, and props his elbows on the table, resting his chin on his hands. “I’m here… To warn you. I will probably get punished for this, but I don’t think it’s fair.” He pauses slightly, his expression turning serious, “Persia gave us a mission — to bring Abyssinian back, no matter the cost. Youji did a scope-out after Kritiker tracked you down, and somehow he got in his mind that you betrayed us. Omi seems to have sided with him, and they will be the ones on the mission.”

“And you won’t?” Schuldich narrows his eyes at Ken, which the soccer player waved off, undaunted by the deadly glare.

“I wouldn’t come and warn you, now would I? You’re free to check my mind if you want to.”

I pinch the hand on my waist in warning, and Schuldich glares at Ken for a little more, before letting out a frustrated sigh. “If Aya trusts you… But the minute I find out that today’s visit is any ploy of yours, and I mean any, I will personally wipe out Weiss completely, no matter what my kitten says.”

“You have a deal,” Ken smiles in… relief? Now they are just confusing me. Before I figure out why, Kiyoshi-san’s famous bark sounds from the sushi bar, and Schuldich tightens his hold on me briefly before leaving in a hurry. I watch him go with a shake of my head, finding the fact that Schuldich is seeing Kiyoshi-san as somewhat of a fatherly figure interesting.

“…Are you happy?” Ken asks suddenly, gaining my attention once more. I turn, and slowly nod, feeling a little heat across my face. I never really thought about the question, but since Ken asked, ‘yes’ seems to be the only answer I have. My former teammate smiles brightly, and pats my hand. “I’m glad. I knew you weren’t happy there… and I think Youji was just jealous that it wasn’t him that could bring such a beautiful smile to you. I’ll try to reason with them, but… I don’t know how much help I can be.”

I nod, “We’ll be fine, I’m sure….” I pause, and smile slightly. “It’s just… easy, yet… incredibly comfortable.” I shake my head, a little bit embarrassed at revealing my inner thoughts. My eyes wander to the sushi bar when Kiyoshi-san walks to the back for a brief break, letting Schuldich take control for the smaller crowd. My mind quickly goes over every possible strategy that Omi and Youji could come up with, but given the vague detail, as I’m sure Ken wants to warn us without giving away the complete details, and since he’s not part of the mission, he wouldn’t know how they plan on completing it. I sigh, putting my thoughts aside and refocus on my friend. “…I’m sorry,” I say softly, lowering my head slightly. “I should have contacted you guys once I settled down, but…”

“It’s alright,” Ken interrupts, “It really doesn’t matter, probably best the way it was, considering their reactions when they found out where you are and whom you are with…” he trails off, and shakes his head to dismiss the direction the conversation heading. “Besides, as long you’re happy the way you are, and you’re not being controlled by him… I’m okay with it.”

“Controlled by him?” I blink, and frown slightly, “That’s what they think? They underestimate me.”

“You didn’t exactly leave in the best mental shape.”

“…I still wouldn’t let anyone control my mind.”

Ken pauses, a mischievous glint seeping into his eyes, “… So have you guys… you know…?”

“Know what?”

“Oh, come on… Just a little bit of juicy detail… How is he?”

Frowning in confusion, I cross my arms, “What are you talking about? You just saw him.”

Rolling his eyes exasperatedly, Ken leans in, “How is he… in bed? You know, sexually?”

My eyes widen at the question, and my face burns as I deliver a deadly kick to Ken’s groin, missing that vital part by about an inch. Ken yelps in pain, and laughs as he clutches his crotch, “I…. I guess I deserve that….”

I huff, standing up and return to my job. I am not answering this ridiculous question after being tortured by this restaurant’s employees months before. Once is enough for me.

—- To Be Continued


Author’s Mewlings: Wai! I’m back! >w< Sorry for the late update. I’ve been sick after Courante, and Aya and Schu took the chance and went on vacation without me. T_T Now they’re back and I made them work immediately. *grins evilly* The next chapter will really be late in publishing, unfortunately, because it’s going to be long and my school is starting soon, which will make writing harder. T_T I’m still considering whether or not to cut the next chapter into two, but I also don’t want this fic to be longer than it has to chapter-wise. We’ll see how it goes. *nods*

Special thanks to tima-san for pointing out some of the little loops that I fail to address in the last chapter. ^_^ Also, thanks to all that have reviewed and be faithful to this fic! I’m really honored! >w< I hope the fic has not fail you so far, and please continue to review for me! *heart heart* It always feels good to have people to read and comment on my work, and I just can’t thank you guys enough. ^_^

Well, that’s enough babbling from me. *giggles* See you next chapter! *heart*

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