Sequel to Unmitigated, which is sequel to Xantippe and makes reference to both Zodiacally and Vulgus, but this can stand entirely on its own. Crawford loses his temper, Schuldig loses his mind, Nagi's already lost his virginity, and I'm rapidly losing the ability to summarize. German, intense amounts of vulgarity, and a good deal of sex are contained within. Please, please R&R. Thank you, and enjoy.


…for every grief,
Each suffering, I craved relief
With individual desire;
Crave all in vain! And felt fierce fire
About a thousand people crawl;
Perished with each,--then mourned for all!
…No hurt I did not feel, no death
That was not mine; mine each last breath
…Ah, awful weight! Infinity
Pressed down upon the finite Me!
My anguished spirit, like a bird,
Beating against my lips I heard;
Yet lay the weight so close about
There was no room for it without.
And so beneath the weight lay I
And suffered death, but could not die.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay, Renascence

It's really a fucking shitty way to wake up in the morning. One hell of a god damn way to wake up in the morning. First, there are the dreams, nice soft dreams that involve nice soft arms wrapped around you, a nice soft body against your own, nice, soft, steady breaths moving against your neck. There's a nice soft cheek, even, pressed against your chest, and nice soft hair tickling your collarbone. And then there's this sharp voice cursing, cursing like crazy, waking you up out of this soft place. There's hand on you're wrist and OK, you're still half-asleep, because you'd be so much more grateful if you were awake. You're dragged out of your bed and that soft thing isn't up against you anymore and you're trying to find your balance.

That's when the fist connects with your face and Jesus Motherfucking Christ in Heaven, you're awake now.

The blood runs over Schuldig's lip and he's had enough fucking blood in his mouth for one day, for Christ's sake. He holds both hands over his nose and he's making these choking sounds, like shit, fucking shit, what's happening to me, Christ. He has this vague, amused sense that maybe all the blood going into his mouth will choke him and that would be a suitable end. Actually, he'd like that. He'd feel justified by that.

The thing is, he knows who throws a left hook like that. He's memorized the practiced motion before. It's just never been thrown at him, he's never even thought it would be thrown at him. Crawford throws a mean fucking left hook that hurts like shit.

"My nose is fucking broken," Schuldig tries to say, but it's all muted by his palms covering his mouth, by the blood on his tongue. His words come out as just more of those choking sounds. Schuldig notes with some vague amount of Well It's About Damn Time that Nagi, naked and small, is standing between him and Crawford now, Crawford who looks angry enough to shit five hundred and one bricks. Schuldig has blood all over his hands. His nose is bleeding like it only ever did once before. He chokes on his blood again, drops to his knees.

"Don't hit him," Nagi says. The glass in the windowpanes rattle. Jesus Christ, but this is one fucking mess. Schuldig can't even speak to say 'I told you so' but if he could, they'd damn well better believe that's what he'd be saying. Right now, though, he just hurts too much to think. His nose hurts too much to draw breath through. He sounds like a drowning fish. He's stunned and shocked and slightly terrified that maybe Crawford will kill him because shit, Crawford has never fucking hit him before. Crawford really doesn't lose it like that.

"You don't understand," Crawford says, calm and clipped, but his breath is coming quickly to his lungs, his chest beneath the dress shirt rising and falling a little faster than usual. "Get out of the way."

"I asked him to sleep with me," Nagi says, "I told him, he kept saying he wouldn't but I kept asking him."

"No is a very simple concept," Crawford returns even, "one with which Schuldig simply must become acquainted."

"You don't understand," Nagi protests, "you don't understand, I went to him, it's not his fault. It's my fault. Don't hit him. Don't hit him." The pieces of Schuldig's broken lamp shake on his bedside table and he laughs slightly, but it just sounds like he's choking, really choking, like he can't breathe. Nagi's really angry, and if Crawford's as pissed off as he seems then he's not thinking clearly, and this could end damn badly. Nagi making Crawfords fucking self-centered head explode or Crawford having to pull a gun on Nagi or something but if they don't fucking calm down soon then someone's going to get hurt, someone's going to get killed.

"Step aside," Crawford warns. Another rattling of the room, the very foundations of the building, as Nagi clenches his fists, and Crawford tightens his jaw. That's real anger, right there, in the tight muscles of Crawford's jaw. "Just step aside."

"You're going to hit him again," Nagi says.

"Probably," Crawford says, truthfully. "Get out of my way."

"You're not listening to me!" Schuldig spits blood out onto the carpet. Fuck. His nose really is fucking broken. That's the second time. Jesus shitfuckingmotherfuckingshit Christ. Fucking machismo, fucking boxers, fucking sex, fucking Nagi, fucking left hooks. Fucking broken nose. Fucking Farfarello. Fucking shit. He swallows some blood and wants to vomit, but it's his room and he's already bleeding all over it. He can't stop bleeding. "You really hurt him," Nagi says, casting a wary look back over his shoulder. "You really hurt him." Crawford's never hurt Schuldig like that before. He's punished him, kept him locked up, sent him to Estet once, but he's never hurt him before, not with his own two hands. Nagi can't believe it. "You really hurt him."

"I broke his nose," Crawford says. Some of the anger fades from his tense muscles. "Step aside, Nagi, please." Nagi gets down onto his knees, tries to pull Schuldig's hands away from his face.

"No," Nagi says. "Let me see. Schuldig, let me see." Schuldig coughs, rough and wet, with the liquid in his throat, trying to force it back up. He can't move, can't make his muscles respond in the way he needs them to. "Take your hands away." They're both still naked. How fucking comical is this shit, huh? How fucking insane? They're fucking insane. But this really does take the insanity cake, man, this really fucking does. Schuldig feels Nagi pry his hands away from his face and there's blood on his cheeks and his mouth and his nose is at a fucking weird angle. And then, Crawford's crouching down next to him as well, with a tissue in one hand, trying to clean the blood away from around his nose, his nose with the bridge all crushed in, it feels like. Crawford must have been trying to send bone splinters right into Schuldig's fucking brain, Crawford was punching to kill, to maim, to destroy; not to warn. Nagi's on one side of Schuldig and Crawford's on the other and Schuldig's just laughing, like he's finally gone off the 'deep end,' and maybe he has. It sounds like he's choking, though. He squeezes his eyes shut and his body shakes and he's this close to vomiting and his room is a fucking mess. He's a fucking mess. He feels hands on his shoulders and he wants to be dead.

Get the fuck off me, Crawford, his minds sending out, wild and fierce, get the fuck off me, get the fuck off, get the fuck off or I'll fucking, I don't know, shit, fuck you. Crawford puts a delicate, firm hand on Schuldig's back.

"Get up, Schuldig," Crawford says.

"How can you do this?" Nagi asks, wild-voiced and probably wild-eyed. Nagi knows exactly how Crawford can do this. Schuldig chokes again.

"At least get your head down, Schuldig, or you'll choke on the blood." Crawford ignores Nagi's question because he ignores rhetorical questions like that.

Fuck you, I'll choke on my own fucking blood and then you'll have to go buy a new telepath at the fucking telepath store and that'll be fucking inconvenient, won't it, at least I should be an inconvenience when I die, shit fuck to you, you fucking asshole.

"Schuldig, stop that." Crawford puts his hand on the back of Schuldig's neck and pushes his head down and then he pulls Schuldig's hair out of his face, sweeps it back with confident, capable fingers. If Crawford hadn't been the one who did this to him in the first place, Schuldig would give a shit about how gentle Crawford was being. "Nagi, get the first aid in here." Nagi's stubborn, he's not moving, but Schuldig can feel him comply, can feel the mechanisms of his mind jump to, all the cogs whirring. The first aid kit floats in or some other surreal shit and Schuldig feels the tissue just pressed up underneath his nose.

"Ow," he screams, "fuck fuck fuck that hurts, fuck you!" The words can be made out this time and Nagi presses himself in to Schuldig's side for a minute before he pulls away a little, opens up the first aid kit. The tissue is useless. It's soaked through with blood in fifteen seconds, less. Crawford's running a hand up and down Schuldig's back.

Why the fuck would you do something like this, Crawford. What the fuck is wrong with you. What the fuck time is it? Shit. Jesus mother fucking fuck you.

"It's eight thirty-five, Schuldig. I broke your nose because you an irresponsible fool and an idiot, at that." Another tissue, no, two tissues. It'll last about half a minute, but it'll keep the blood from going into his mouth. He feels weak, he feels completely numb, except for his nose, which is throbbing, pounding, all the nerves in his face screaming in pain. "Nagi. I need one of the ice packs from the freezer. One of the soft ones." That's a blessing, Schuldig thinks, and he laughs raggedly. His nose is about to fall off and Crawford's getting him an ice pack. His fucking hero. His fucking savior. What a fucking asshole.

The ice pack floats in and Crawford snatches it up and pulls Schuldig's head back easily, quickly. He presses the ice pack against the bridge of Schuldig's nose and Schuldig screams, howls in anger and pain.

"Hold that there," Crawford says. "And Nagi, get dressed, for Christ's sake." Schuldig hears Nagi moving around the room with an annoyed air, hears him open one of Schuldig's drawers and hears him put a shirt on. It's probably too big but at least it's something. "There's a bruise on your shoulder, Schuldig. Tell me how you got it." This is what Crawford does when Schuldig gets hurt, potentially seriously. He talks calmly to him. Asks calm, polite questions, waits to see if he can answer them.

"Farfarello," Schuldig mumbles. He's getting the ice pack bloody. He spits blood when he talks. Nagi's kneeling down next to him again, brushing hair back away from his face.

"There should be a hair tie on the bedside table," Crawford tells the boy. "We can get his hair out of his face." Nagi gets it and kneels down at Schuldig's side and pulls his hair out of his face. It's in a loose ponytail, now, brushing over his good shoulderblade. The other one has begun to ache dully. Everything hurts. Crawford rubs his lower back, is careful not to brush into the old scar at the base. Nobody knows his body like Crawford knows his body. Crawford knows his body so well. Schuldig leans to the side, curls up against Crawford's chest. Half of it is because he needs to be held by stronger arms. Half of it is because he wants to get blood all over him. Schuldig can be one vindictive bitch. It's second nature to him, that revenge thing. "You're bleeding on me, Schuldig," Crawford says. Of course he knows Schuldig's ulterior motives. But he lets Schuldig lean in against him anyway.

"You still don't understand," Nagi says, softly. Schuldig almost forgot he was there. Shit. Shit. Fuck.

"Not now, Nagi," Crawford says. "Schuldig. Is your nose numb yet?"

If you mean does your nose still hurt like its fucking on fire, then yes, Schuldig returns, a direct mental connection.

"Right." Crawford nods. "Will you re-set the bones, Nagi?" Schuldig feels Nagi nod. Crawford finds one of Schuldig's hands.

I hate you, Schuldig tells him. And then he feels the bones beneath his swollen skin start to shift, little fragments inching around and he's terrified. He gouges Crawford's hand with his nails. They never did this before. When his nose broke before Estet handled it. Nagi's careful but shit, Nagi's fucking moving his bone around, re-fusing his fucking bone. Schuldig whimpers. Crawford lets Schuldig mangle his hand. I hate you I hate you I hate you, Schuldig keeps telling him, son of a fucking bitch, control your fucking temper, Jesus Christ my nose. It's been a rough few days. That was an understatement. Such an understatement. Ow. Shit. Fuck. Ow. What the hell. His nose still hurt but it didn't feel so strange a shape, now. Ow. Crawford's knuckles must be hurting like hell at that punch. Shit. Crawford was strong.

Schuldig feels dizzy when Nagi stops.

"Go to your room now, Nagi," Crawford says. It's calm, but it's an order.

"No," Nagi says, "how do I know you won't-"

"I won't," Crawford says. "Go. I'll be in to talk with you. Go." Nagi stands, lingers by the doorway, and then leaves. Schuldig can't look up but he's sure the kid feels like shit. Good. Poor kid, though. But good. His fault, anyway.

Crawford starts to wipe at Schuldig's face with tissues covered in rubbing alcohol. There's a cut on the bridge of his nose and that stings like hell, but Crawford's gentle. Schuldig's nose has stopped bleeding. Crawford lifts Schuldig's head up, fingers underneath his chin. He cleans all the blood off Schuldig's face and puts a small gauze bandage on the cut on his nose.

"Get into bed, Schuldig." Schuldig rubs his hand over his own mouth. His lips feel like rubber.

"And after you went to such trouble to wake me the fuck up?" Schuldig snaps. God, it feels good to be a bitch out loud again. God, it makes a guy feel normal again.

"Just do it. I'll be back. I have to talk to Nagi."

"I fucked him, you know."

"Yes, I know."

"It was a good fuck. You tell him that, okay? Tell him he was a good fuck. Tell him I had a good fucking time last night. Tell him he was good. Tell him that for me. I didn't get to tell him that. He'll want to know. He'll need to know. You have to tell him he was a good fuck." Schuldig sounds hysterical. Schuldig probably is hysterical. That's probably why Crawford doesn't punch him again. Crawford probably wants to punch him again, though.

"I'll tell him," Crawford says.

"Good. It was his first goddamn fuck, you psychopath. You sick fucking freak. You fucking tell him. Tell him he was a good fuck." Crawford helps Schuldig to his feet, helps Schuldig sit on the side of his bed. Crawford looks at Schuldig's face again, inspecting his handywork, probably - whether it's the odd angle of Schuldig's nose or the good job Crawford's done patching it up, Schuldig can't discern. Either way, Crawford's a sick fucking freak. A sick freaking fuck. "Tell him he was fucking good."

"I'll tell him," Crawford says. "Don't go anyway."

"I want to go to the goddamn ball," Schuldig says, and then he curls up, and Crawford leaves. A little later, Schuldig rocks himself into a catatonic state, seeing nothing, feeling nothing, numb and cold.

Crawford cleans his hands off in the bathroom and changes shirts because the one he's wearing is stained with Schuldig's blood. He's pissed off. No, he's really pissed off. He had been earlier that morning far more pissed off, but he's still pissed off. He doesn't get this angry all too easily. Schuldig sleeps with everything that moves, really; Schuldig sleeps with Farfarello and it's okay until Schuldig gets himself hurt, and Schuldig sleeps with Balinese and it's okay because Schuldig won't fuck himself over with that, and Schuldig sleeps with too damn many people and it's okay unless Crawford has to rescue his ass from some unforeseen turn of events that could be dangerous. Crawford minds only when it endangers them, any of them. Schuldig included.

Schuldig sleeps with whatever and so long as Crawford is there to pick up the pieces then it's okay.

But whenever Schuldig got it into his fucking head to sleep with Nagi he took one step too far, and that was it. The last straw. First of all it was dangerous on a physical level, dangerous because Nagi was young yet, hormonal, had the potential to be dangerous in such a situation beyond Crawford's capability to repair damage already done. Second of all, it was Nagi, and that Schuldig would fuck Nagi the way Schuldig would fuck any other fool Schuldig fucked was simply repulsive. Third of all - well, Crawford had been too angry at the time to reason out the third of all, and now that he'd calmed a bit, he wasn't going to go into it.

He's just pissed off.

That's enough.

When his hands are dry and his shirt is clean he walks to Nagi's room and opens the door without knocking. Nagi's sitting on the edge of his bed with his hands on his bare, slim thighs. Crawford pulls up a chair and sits down in it.

"You just don't understand," Nagi says, very quietly. His eyes, emotions inside indiscernible, are fixed on the wall across from him.

"I don't understand because you asked Schuldig to sleep with you," Crawford says. He's very calm. He's very patient. "Is that it?" Nagi nods, once. "And yet you don't understand," Crawford goes on, "because whether or not you initiated those actions is not a matter of my concern. Because Schuldig had the ability to stop such actions at any point and chose not to. That is where my anger lies."

"He tried. You don't understand; he kept trying. But I wouldn't let him."

"You pinned him down with your powers and refused to let him leave?" Crawford lifts a slim, dark brow.

"No," Nagi says, shaking his head, staring down at his lap. "No, that isn't it. But - he kept saying you were going to kill him. And I kept…you know. I mean. I wouldn't go away. And Schuldig is Schuldig. You can't break his nose because he is who he is." Crawford rubs the bridge of his nose, sighs.

"You're saying that the events of last night were entirely your fault."


"That is an impossibility, Nagi. Schuldig was, technically, the older one of you two and therefore the one with whom responsibility is placed. Therefore, he is to be punished for this."

"Why do you have to punish someone?" Nagi looks up at Crawford's face and his small mouth is tight, his skin pale. "I mean. I asked him to sleep with me because he's beautiful and why can't you just leave at that? It wasn't any more wrong than it is when Schuldig lets Farfarello fuck him, lets Farfarello hurt him. I mean. I broke Schuldig's lamp and he thought I was going to maybe kill him if he had sex with me but he, he did it anyway. I don't know why. He's crazy. I mean, he's crazy like that. But he did it anyway because I wanted him to." Nagi toys with the hem of Schuldig's t-shirt, tugs it down a little more, self-conscious. Crawford is silent for a long while. "I was just cleaning him up," Nagi says, after a little while, "I mean, Farfarello really hurt him, his lip, his shoulder. And Schuldig looked so torn up about it, I think, because he was out in the snow and everything. So I just cleaned him up and then I went into his room and I asked him to. He made me promise to tell you that I started it. I asked for it."

Crawford gazed levelly at the wall over Nagi's shoulder. Nagi was telling the truth.

"He used to give me ice cream," Nagi says thoughtfully, "when you'd told me I couldn't have any. He used to give me cookies even if I hadn't finished dinner."

"Shit," Crawford says. He very rarely curses like Schuldig: as if it explains everything. As if it's a valid excuse or replacement for coherent language.

"You shouldn't have broken his nose," Nagi goes on. "You could have broken my nose. He's had his nose broken before. I broke his nose before. It's not really fair because now I think I've broken his nose twice. If you look at it that way. Do you think he'll be really pissed off about it?"

"Of course he'll be really pissed off about it," Crawford says, "but he'll be pissed off about it at me, don't worry."

"You should talk to him."

"I know."

"Is this like - did you make a mistake?" Crawford's gaze snaps to Nagi's face.

"No," Crawford says slowly. "No, I think Schuldig needed that."

"Schuldig's had a rough week," Nagi says. "First Farfarello, and then me, and then this."

"Yes," Crawford says. "But this might help. He needs to be woken up, sometimes. He needs someone to be angry at."

"It's always you."


"Why is that?" Crawford sighs.

"Oh. He wants me to tell you," Crawford says, not answering Nagi's question, "that it was good. That it was a good fuck. In those exact words. You know Schuldig. Anyway, he wanted me to tell you that." Nagi just stares at him. Crawford stands and puts the chair back where it belongs, then goes over to the door. "You know how Schuldig is," Crawford proffers as some sort of explanation. He closes the door quietly behind him.

Nagi closes his eyes. A good fuck. He smiles a little. Of course. Schuldig would say that. Of course.

Crawford doesn't go straight back to Schuldig's room. Crawford lets Schuldig alone for exactly an hour after speaks with Nagi and then he goes back to Schuldig's room, opens the door, again without knocking. He sits down by Schuldig on Schuldig's bed. Schuldig is sitting exactly the way Crawford left him, more than an hour ago.

"Well," Crawford says. Schuldig doesn't move, but Crawford knows he isn't sleeping. Crawford puts his arms around the German's thin shoulders and pulls the curled figure into his lap. Schuldig still doesn't move, which may be a worse reaction than bothering to pull himself away. "I spoke with Nagi," Crawford says. "He says it was his fault entirely, is that true?"

"Yes. Did you break his nose?" Schuldig's voice is muted and muffled by his knees. Crawford sighs again. Sometimes, he feels like he's taking care of three children, each with their own varying degrees of ineptitude and insanity.

"No, Schuldig, I did not break his nose."

"Blatant favoritism."

"You're using big words, Schuldig, did I punch some sense into you?"

"Don't joke, you scared the shit out of me." Schuldig knots his fingers in Crawford's shirt, right over his shoulders. He's snaked his arms around Crawford, underneath Crawford's armpits. Crawford lets himself be held that way, or holds Schuldig that way. Schuldig feels so frail, when you forget what his mind can do, how fast and strong his mind is.

"What do you need, Schuldig?"

"I don't know, some fucking underwear?" Schuldig pulls his head back, rubs at his cheek with the back of one hand. "I hurt all over, Crawford. I need something for the noise."

"That's two sentences."

"What the fuck?"

"Two sentences, two whole sentences, you didn't curse once in."

"Ring the fucking bells. La dee fucking da. You are such a fucking son of a bitch, did you know that? You are fucked up in the head. Jesus fucking Christ." Crawford sighs, shakes his head.

"Back to normal again, though." Crawford touches the gauze at the top of Schuldig's nose, right between his eyes. "Does that hurt?"

"Fuck." Schuldig bats Crawford's hand away. "No. It doesn't. It's fine."

"Do you want me to fuck you?" Crawford makes it sounds like he's just said, 'Do you want me to get you a cup of coffee?' Schuldig thinks for a few seconds that Crawford has actually said 'Do you want me to get you a cup of coffee?' and not, indeed, 'Do you want me to fuck you.' Crawford does not say things like that. Crawford never says things like that. If Crawford ever said something like that it most certainly would not be to Schuldig. Schuldig is speechless for a full minute.

"What the fuck did you just ask me?" Schuldig asks at last. Crawford touches his hair, not awkwardly, just Crawford's fingers against Schuldig's hair. For a minute Schuldig thinks maybe he was hallucinating. For a minute Schuldig thinks maybe Crawford did ask him if he'd like a cup of coffee, not a dick in his ass. Maybe there's a piece of bone lodged somewhere in Schuldig's brain and Schuldig's head is going to explode because of it. Maybe Schuldig's just gone insane. It's hard to tell what's real and what's not, lately. Schuldig feels a headache coming on.

"You said, once, that it made things quiet." Oh, business as usual, then. Go out, shoot a couple of guys, file some paperwork, clean up the gun, break the redhead's nose, fuck the redhead, get some rest, wake up, have some coffee, go to the bank, cash a check, fuck the redhead, take a nap, maybe go to the gym, order takeout for dinner, do more paperwork, fuck the redhead, call Estet, get orders, go out, shoot a couple of guys… Schuldig's brain was rambling again.

"So you're going to fuck me to take care of me."

"I suppose."



"And you're going to punch me in the face to take care of me."

"Schuldig." Crawford's voice is firm. "What are you talking about?"

"I'm not a child!" Schuldig screams it, screams it as loud as he can and feels his whole body shake with the vigor behind the scream. It hurts. His head is pounding. "I'm not a child and I'm not your child, you fucking sonofabitch!" Schuldig pulls back. The world swims, literally swims, all around him. He feels like he's going to vomit, but he wants to get one clean shot at Crawford's face first. Maybe he could vomit all over Crawford's fresh, clean shirt. Now that would be a comforting turn of events.

"Stop," Crawford says, "you'll hurt yourself." He holds Schuldig by the shoulders, holds Schuldig still. Schuldig struggles and then gives up, whimpering, shaking his head.

"You bastard," Schuldig whispers, "you condescending bastard. You treat me like a child. You'd fuck me like a child."

"Like you fucked Nagi, you mean," Crawford responds, very evenly.

"Fuck you, no!" Schuldig tries to hit him again but Crawford's hold tightens. "No," Schuldig says, a moment later, voice calm now. "No, I fucked Nagi because Nagi asked me to, because Nagi was naked in my lap and he's a pretty fucking kid. I fucked Nagi because I needed someone to give two shits about me and it wasn't going to be Farfarello and it sure as hell wasn't going to be you. So you come here and you try to say I fucked Nagi like I was fucking pitying him but even I don't do that, you asshole, even I don't fuck a friend because they're fucking pathetic."

"Schuldig. I'm not offering this as an attack. And I wouldn't offer it if I thought you were a child."

"But you think I'm pathetic," Schuldig hisses, low and gutteral.

"We all are." Schuldig feels stunned. "Aren't we?" It hurts to hear Crawford admit what Schuldig's been feeling so deeply all along, this helplessness, this misery. Crawford hasn't come right out and admitted it, oh no, but he's come damn close to it. Schuldig sinks into him again.

"Well are you going to fuck me with your clothes on," Schuldig asks, "or what?"

"You'll have to get off me first," Crawford says. Schuldig slides his hands down Crawford's arms and feels the muscles beneath his fingers tense and then he gets off Crawford's lap, pulls himself back and away. He watches Crawford as Crawford undresses with methodical, mechanical precision, buttons undone in some strange, tune-less rhythm. Schuldig feels small and dizzy and naked. Crawford folds his clothing, of course, puts it on the floor by the side of the bed and folds it very neatly. It's amusing to note certain minute details about people and their habits of undressing, but Crawford takes off his socks last.

Schuldig remembers when he used to crawl in next to Crawford every night, nightmares gnawing away at the center of his stomach. Schuldig remembers a softer, younger Crawford, who used to allow that sort of shit. Schuldig flushes a little, with embarrassment or anticipation, and lets Crawford take him into his arms.

"Do you want?" Crawford asks. Lube.

"Christ, no," Schuldig says against Crawford's neck. "I want to feel shit. I want you to hurt me again."

"I'm not going to hurt you again," Crawford warns, and he stiffens.

"It won't hurt," Schuldig says, "if you don't want it to." Crawford touches Schuldig's shoulder, the one without the bruise, and holds him in his lap. Neither of them does anything."You're not even fucking turned on," Schuldig says quietly, "fuck you. I don't get you. Fuck you. Christ."

"Do you know how you got that scar, the one on your stomach?" Schuldig is quiet for a moment.

"No," he says finally. "What the fuck are you getting at?"

"Estet told me. I asked. When I got you. Not that I mean to make it sound like you're a piece of property because you're certainly not, but you know what I mean."

"Yes." Schuldig sounds wary. "Well?"

"The first asylum you were at. In Munich. Do you remember it well?"

"Bits and pieces," Schuldig says. "But only the beginning." Crawford touches Schuldig's lower back. Crawford's hands have calluses on them, gun calluses. Schuldig really likes the feel of them, moving over his skin.

"Apparently, you kept doing things. It upset them."

"Yeah." Fuck, but Crawford isn't one for foreplay like normal people were. It scares the shit out of Schuldig, sometimes, the way Crawford does things.

"They cut you open. They tried to see what was inside you." The reason Crawford doesn't feel naked, Schuldig decides, is because Crawford hasn't taken his glasses off.

"Why are you telling me this?" Schuldig asks, softly.

"They didn't know what they were doing," Crawford goes on. "That's why Estet found you. Why you were taken to Rosenkreuz. Because of the sounds you made," Crawford touches Schuldig's temple as if to illustrate his story, "because of the sounds you made when you were crying out for help."


"I heard you, that night," Crawford says. "Everyone in Rosenkreuz did. I only found out later that you were what that was and I had to have you."

"What a modern love story, Brad," Schuldig says, snorting. "Jesus Christ. You're more fucked up than I thought."

"Precisely," Crawford says. "Grow up, Schuldig, and maybe I'll treat you the way you want." Schuldig is silent for a bit, mulling this over.

"Are you gonna kiss me, or what?" Schuldig asks finally.

"I wasn't aware you wanted to be kissed," Crawford says. "My offer was for sex." Schuldig touches Crawford's chest, the left of his chest, feels the smooth skin and the tensed muscle. The last person he touched before this was Nagi, smooth, skinny Nagi, Nagi smaller than he is, the positions reversed. Schuldig sighs.

"You are such a romantic," Schuldig snaps irritably. "Fuck, you make my head hurt." Crawford presses his lips against Schuldig's temple, not softly, applying pressure there with his mouth, heat with his breath. Schuldig lets out a gasp, feels his cock jump a little, feels himself press closer. When Schuldig was a little kid he would lie for hours, awake, next to Crawford's back and he would feel Crawford breathing in his sleep. It was steady and soothing and eventually, Schuldig would fall back asleep that way. "You had to have me?"

"Yes," Crawford says. "The sounds you made. That was power." Schuldig arches himself backwards, still feeling Crawford's lips against that point of pressure, still feeling the silence like hands on his brain. Schuldig whimpers, runs his hands down over Crawford's shoulders, over his back, feeling the ribbed muscle patterns, wanting to cry.

"What's wrong with you. What's fucking wrong with you." It isn't a question. Crawford's getting hard and Schuldig still wants to cry. Schuldig wants Crawford to fuck him half-dead to the mattress but Crawford isn't going to do that. That certainly isn't Crawford's style. "I hate you. I hate you so much. I'm not some fucking teenager. I'm twenty-one years old. You fucking asshole." Schuldig was a teenager, once. When Schuldig masturbated he would think of Crawford. When Schuldig let someone fuck him in the ass he would think of Crawford. When Schuldig pulled down his pants and felt hands on him, he would think of Crawford. "It hurts," Schuldig whispers against Crawford's cheek. He's going to cry now. And maybe Crawford will still fuck him. Maybe it'll be neat and simple, like folding clothes. "It hurts."

"I know," Crawford says. Crawford holds the back of Schuldig's head, gentle, gentle.

"It was cold," Schuldig says, "you were right, it was cold, on the roof, and Farfarello came up, he said you sent him up, and then we were having sex and it was nice but I said God, I'm such a fucking idiot. I said God. I said - and then he bit my lip, almost ripped my lip off, and then Nagi was acting like you and then he came into my room and put his hand on my thigh. Nagi put his hand on my thigh and he wouldn't go away and I thought if I fucked him and he killed me at least it wouldn't be some innocent chick he got a crush on later." Schuldig feels himself breaking, feels the walls breaking. He wants to scream. He wants to crawl into one of Farfarello's straightjackets, where it's so safe and white. Only he hates white, he hates white things, he hates this feeling of being so blank on his own, such an empty slate, but with no purity and no hope for redemption. He doesn't give a shit that he's not pure and he doesn't give a shit that he's never going to be redeemed. That's not what bothers him. It's the blank feeling. It's all the white everywhere. Crawford rocks him back and forth. Like a baby. Such a baby. Always a baby in Crawford's eyes. "Because fuck, how would Nagi feel then. So I had sex with him, I fucked him and he broke my lamp and then you broke my nose and now it hurts. It hurts."

"I know," Crawford says. Crawford shifts himself and Schuldig moves their hips together, their erections together. Why does this turn them on, he wants to know. Why does helplessness turn them on. Their own helplessness. Why does Crawford get a hard-on after he shoots someone, why does that make him feel so fucking good. Why does Crawford let Schuldig take care of it in the care afterwards, hand down Crawford's pants, ever since he learned that was what you do with an erection, your own or someone else's. You take care of it. Nurse it like a baby. Something like that. Why had he put his hand down Crawford's pants that first time, oh, because he'd wanted to feel it, wanted to know what it was like: it was Crawford's. Schuldig's breathing hitches in his throat. They're turned on. That's all that matters. Right? That Schuldig's naked and crying in Crawford's arms, breaking down, breaking the fuck down. Schuldig hurts, he hurts so badly. His head pounding, his nose throbbing, his shoulderblade, his lip. He bites Crawford's neck, kisses his jaw loudly.

"Why the fuck do I turn you on," Schuldig asked, roughly, "when I'm like this?"

"To be honest," Crawford answers, "I don't know, Schuldig. I don't."

"Why the fuck did you hit me. You've never hit me before. Not even when I tried to give you a fucking blowjob that time, you didn't hit me."

"I don't know, Schuldig."

"It hurt. I was scared. I thought you were going to kill me."

"I didn't."

"I don't care! You scared the shit out of me, you asshole, I hate you, I hate you so much!" Schuldig slams a fist into Crawford's chest but the attempt is weak and helpless. Schuldig flattens his hand from fist to palm-down, touching Crawford's cool skin. "All I did was fuck Nagi," he says softly. He smoothes at Crawford's skin, odd, absent patterns on his skin.

"And Farfarello," Crawford says.

"And Farfarello," Schuldig echoes.

"And Balinese," Crawford says.

"I don't fuck Balinese, I suck his cock and I talk shit about his dead girlfriend and listen to him feel sorry for himself, I don't fuck Balinese."

"My apologies."

"And I put my hand down Abyssinian's pants and pretended to be his sister."

"That's fucked up, Schuldig," Crawford says.

"I know," Schuldig replies, "I was really fucking bored." Crawford presses his hands palms-down on the scar on Schuldig's stomach. Schuldig shudders, skin convulsing, a shiver racing down his spine. "All I need is some fucking painkillers," Schuldig says, conversationally. "So I don't feel anything. Not a fucking thing. Wouldn't that be great? Not feeling a fucking thing? I think that would be great." Crawford moves his hands to hold Schuldig's hips; Crawford lifts him up and lowers him down, legs spread, onto his erection. Schuldig whimpers and buries his face in Crawford's neck. Just like that, they're having sex, and they've done a lot of shit together, but they've never just fucked before. "You've got a fucking big dick," Schuldig says conversationally, but his voice is a little breathless. "You know that?"

"Schuldig, be quiet." Crawford kisses the corner of his mouth and Schuldig clutches suddenly at Crawford's face and he needs it to be hard but it can't be, or the cut on his lip will break and bleed and he's had enough of his own blood for a while. Crawford sucks at the corner of his mouth, tugs very gently at his top lip with his own lips and then pulls back. He does it again. Crawford has his cock in Schuldig's ass and this is what he's doing, kissing him, very nonchalantly, as if it don't mean a thing.

"We should fuck all the time," Schuldig whispers, breathily. "You know what? We should fuck all the time. I don't know why you haven't done this before."

"Because you need it."

"It wasn't a question. I wasn't asking you. I don't want to know. You're fucking me. You lunatic, you're fucking me. That's okay, though. Shit. Oh shit." It felt good. Schuldig would be the first to admit that. "Take off your glasses."


"I think it's really funny. You know that? I think it's really funny that you can see God knows when into the future but you need fucking glasses. Don't you think that's funny?"

"And you're half deaf," Crawford replies, smoothly, "but you can't stop from hearing things, you're always complaining on and on about how you need some quiet."

"And Nagi's, Nagi's one tiny little fuck, but, oh, shit, Crawford, fuck me, he could kill both of us if he wanted to, could, could crush us, please, Crawford, oh, God, please." Crawford sucks on Schuldig's ear and Schuldig loses it then, loses it completely, sobbing against Crawford's neck. He curses like those are the only words he knows, German, English, Japanese, anything he can think of, vulgarity his common tongue. He bites Crawford's neck, bites it hard. He can tell all Crawford wants is to be rough with him but he can't, that's not what Crawford came in for. Crawford came in to be the adult again. "We're not playing house. I hate you. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck you. Scheisse, sweet fuck, you are one fucking, fuck, fuck." The last fuck gets held for longer, drawn out, plaintive, whining. Schuldig has a nasal voice. It's appealing only some of the time. Sort of like really bad singers are appealing only some of the time. "Tell me something, Crawford. Shit. Say something. Shitshitshit. What the fuck is wrong with you, anyway, I want to know what the fuck's wrong with you. What makes you tick. What makes you tock. What do you want me to do, 'cause I'll do it, Crawford, I'll do it if you just fuck me harder, you want to, c'mon, please. Schweinhund."

"I like redheads," Crawford says. "But I don't like them when they won't shut up."

"I'm not your fucking bitch," Schuldig snaps. Crawford clutches at Schuldig's ass, at the muscle, taut and lean.

"No." Crawford says the monosyllable easily. His breath isn't even coming fast. He's one powerhouse of a man. His thighs are all muscle, not a scrap of anything but muscle, and they're holding Schuldig up, moving Schuldig with the rhythm of Crawford's hips. Schuldig's head is spinning.

"I'm gonna need a cigarette," Schuldig whispers. "Crawford. Crawford. I need you, Crawford." Crawford slams hard into him and Schuldig screams.

"Ja," he says, "fich, ja!"

"This changes nothing, Schuldig," Crawford says.

"This changes everything, Crawford," Schuldig says. He whimpers. He wants to get down on his knees and tuck his head against the ground and let Crawford fuck him that way. He sends a picture of it to Crawford's mind.

"No, Schuldig."

Schuldig makes it look really fucking hot.

"No, Schuldig.



"Bitte, Crawford." Schuldig won't let the image of himself, all curled up, ass in the air, out of Crawford's mind. Crawford's getting a little out of control with the sex and finally he makes this animal sound, thick and low in his throat, and Schuldig scrambles away as Crawford pulls out of him. Crawford grabs him by the hips and pulls him back and Schuldig pulls away, laughing, terrified but loving Crawford like this. "Take your glasses off, Crawford," Schuldig says, and then Crawford has him bent over the bed with his face pressed into the mattress. Crawford's face is flushed, it's so pale, but flushed now, and his hair a mess around his flushed face. Crawford slams into him from behind, hands on Schuldig's hips as he fucks him and Schuldig makes noises of encouragement. When's the last time Crawford got laid, Schuldig finds himself wondering, or is it just my hand after a kill, just my hand down his pants? They're unfair to each other. At least it's mutual. But Schuldig treats Crawford like the adult and doesn't think about him more than he does within those confines. And Crawford treats Schuldig like a child and doesn't think about him more than he does within those confines. It's self-perpetuating and absolutely hideous and it's starting to get unbearable.

So they're fucking. They're fucking like two people, like two old friends, like two old friends fucking. Schuldig's incoherent. Dizzy and incoherent and so, so tired of it, but he's laughing, too, as the tears, purely physical, course down his cheeks.

Crawford grunts and Schuldig cries out and they orgasm and then Crawford's being careful again, trying to pretend like he isn't, as he drops down to the bed, at Schuldig's side. Schuldig doesn't move, just crying, just empty now, of everything. Silence. Crawford holds him close and there's more silence, sweat in his hair, semen on his ass, nothing in his head.

"Your problem is, you don't think," Crawford says, sounding tired.

"I think too much," Schuldig says. "Too much. Too much." Crawford pets his hair.

"If you fuck Nagi again I'll kill you," Crawford says.

"I just wanted him to hold me. He held me. He held me. Fuck you, Crawford." Crawford kisses the back of Schuldig's neck.

"Get some rest. You need it."

Crawford is right.

Crawford is always right.

Schuldig used to hate sleeping, until he stopped dreaming. Now he sees it just as a momentary respite, purely physical, like crying is. If he falls asleep he'll wake up in the morning and the injuries of the day before will have begun to heal. If he's lucky, there'll be a cup of coffee waiting for him, and in a week, there won't even be scars left to mark where the days before marred him, tried to claim him as their own.

Schuldig didn't belong to time like that.

Crawford had seen to it that he wouldn't, a very long time ago.