“I know just what it feels like

to have a voice in the back of my head.

It’s like a face that I hold inside

A face that awakes when I close my eyes.”

-Papercut by Linkin Park

-Chapter Two-


/It means.. guilt.. doesn’t it?/

I lean back in the chair, slinging my arm over my eyes. Crawford is kneeling before me, wrapping my legs with gauze. I guess I cut them up a little when the building fell. God I hurt. Every part of me. But having a guy like Aya land on you, as well as a building, can do that to you. Make you sore.

Nagi is seated on a chair behind Crawford. I peek at him. He still looks pale. Wiped out is the term I would use to describe the way he looks really. Totally, and completely fagged. He opens his eyes and looks at me. It’s almost as if he knows I’m thinking about him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did know. Like Crawford he has this ability to look into people’s heads even though his power isn’t telepathy.

//Why do you ask?//

/What do you feel guilty about?/

//Don’t answer my question with a question.//

/Why not? It’s what you just did./

I smirk as I remember the conversation Aya and I had a few moments ago. He woke just long enough to speak to me. I’m not sure … really, if it was real. It feels like a dream. But it must have been real… it must have…

But how could it be real? Aya was civil to me. He looked at me, from where he lay on my bed, and calmly and rationally spoke to me. He didn’t scream. He didn’t rant. He looked at me with eyes that were dead and spoke to me like I was a human being.

He’s never done that before.

Not when he was sane anyway.

//My room. My rules.//

/Hn… fine. No more questions./

And then he’d closed his eyes and gone to sleep. And I had watched him sleep for a moment before Crawford dragged me here to take care of my wounds.

Crawford… shit he was angry. Heh.. just thinking about the situation we put him in amuses me though. Nagi almost dead on the grass, Aya out cold in his arms, and me out cold at his feet. I don’t know how he got us all home, but somehow he did. I only got up when he carried me into the house and dropped me rudely onto the couch.

As I sat on the couch, confused and rubbing my head, he carried Aya and Nagi in.

“Ouch! SHIT!” I groan as Crawford, none to gently, wipes the cut under my knee clean.

“Shut up.” He growls.

So I sigh and lean my head back. He’s in a bad mood all right. But I can’t really blame him. He must curse the day I joined Schwarz. It must seem to him like I go out of my way to make trouble for him.. but I don’t. Not really anyway.

Not today for sure.

“Is he all right?”

I look at Nagi, his eyes are fixed on me. He looks… worried? Why the hell would he be worried about Aya? Our enemy. “I don’t know… you threw a lot of energy at him, kiddo, and I’m not sure he’ll be able to move..” /Ever again./ I add silently. I don’t want to seriously upset the kid.

He doesn’t like hurting people.

I can’t figure him out.

How do you become part of a group like Schwarz when you don’t like hurting people? “I’m sorry.”

“What?” I couldn’t have heard him right. He’s apologizing now too?

“I’m sorry.” Nagi repeats, his gaze level, “I know you love him.”



I can’t move. I concentrate hard on making my body respond, but it just won’t. With a defeated sigh I close my eyes. This is great. Just great. I’ve been captured by Schwarz, I can’t remember anything about the mission, and I can’t move a single muscle in my body. Except for my eyes.

Not that they matter. A lot of good eyes will do me. Maybe I could stare Schuldich to death if he tries to attack me? How do I get into these situations? Do I have a cursed horse shoe up my ass?

“YOU KNOW I WHAT?!!!” I jerk, the yell sounds like Schuldich’s voice. What on earth? I guess he and his.. partners must be arguing. Not that I care.

I’m not the least bit curious.


I’m not…

I’m just straining to hear better so I can find out what they’re going to do with me.



Both Nagi and Crawford are looking at me like I’m insane. Maybe I am. Shit.. Nagi couldn’t.. he can’t know.. he can’t!

But he does. I can tell by the look in his eyes. And dammit! So does Crawford. With a groan, I squeeze my eyes tightly shut. This can’t be happening to me…

“You love him.” Nagi repeats carefully, as if I’m slow in the head.

I think I am.

“Like I’d fall in love with the enemy?” I manage to say with a snort.

“Love isn’t something we make happen. Or that we choose.” Crawford murmurs. Shocking the hell out of me.

Who would have thought Crawford was so.. romantic? He sits back, finished with torturing.. er, bandaging me. “Don’t be so upset. Everyone knows.”

“You’re full of shit.” I growl at him, trying to hide my emotions still.

“No more than you.”

He shrugs and walks over to sit beside Nagi. Any other time I’d stay to watch. They’re cute.. but right now I don’t need to see them cuddling. I get up, forcing my stiff lips to curl in a smile. Can’t lose face. Can’t let them know how lonely I… no. I’m not lonely. I can’t be. How can a person be lonely when the thoughts of a thousand people run through their brains every few minutes?

“Go check on your kitten, Schuldich.” Crawford murmurs. Damn him. He can probably tell how uncomfortable I am… either that or he wants to be alone so he and Nagi can do something other than cuddle.

They’d make me sick if they weren’t my only family.

Hell, family or not they make me sick. Nobody should be that happy.

I grunt and get to my feet. My head spins a bit, but not so much that I can’t walk. I flash a grin at Nagi and Crawford to show them how much their cuddling -doesn’t- bother me, then head for my room.


I can’t quite make out what they’re saying. After a minute I give up trying and stare at the roof. I’m beginning to really hate not being able to move. The door opens, I know who it is before he speaks.

“Ah, you’re awake.”

Schuldich. I try to move my head so I can look at him, but even though my head is something I still can move, it doesn’t obey my orders this time.

I ignore his comment, and wait for him to come to me. And then regret my decision as he leans so close that our noses bump together. “Ignoring me?” Schuldich purrs, his hands on me. I can feel him touching my stomach, and his other hand touching my arm.

The bastard. How dare he… but.. it feels almost nice.

If I could kill myself right now, I most likely would. It should not feel nice when the enemy touches me. It’s just not natural.

But then.. when has anything I do been natural?

“Quit thinking so loud.” Schuldich sighs, his tongue darts out and to my shock and utter horror, he licks my nose.

The he grins and pulls back, watching my face for my reaction.

What the hell is wrong with him?

Is he on drugs???

He licked my nose!!!

Oh gawd!!

He’s chuckling now, obviously amused by either my expression, or what he hears of my thoughts. The bastard! If I could move I’d wring his rotten neck.

//Well, then it’s good you can’t move, now isn’t it?//


//Tsk tsk… you really need to calm down kitten. You’re going to give yourself a heart attack at this rate.//

I try to. Not because he told me to, but because I don’t want to lose my carefully collected cool around him. It takes a great deal of effort, but I manage to curb my shock and anger.

He looks almost disappointed. Like I took a great toy away from him. Hell if I’m going to be his entertainment. The sick.. bastard…

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