Long time no see. I've used the time to correct various grammar- and spelling mistakes of the previous chapters. Or let's say I tried to. I still have meagre knowledge of the English language. Anyway, I was horrified about the amount of what I found, and I want to thank my dear English readers for reading on. Kudos to you! You all have nerves of steel.

Well, here's the final chapter. Enjoy, minna-san!

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Disclaimer: To whom it may concern Weiß Kreuz doesn't belong to me. It's the property of Kyoko Tsuchiya and Project Weiss (if my sources are correct). And I don't make money out of writing this story.

Warnings: NO BETA. German's my first language and this won't change as long as I live. Basta.

"blah blah" … thoughts… /telepathy/

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Black Kitten's Dream

This is SO not happening!

Part 19

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

"Liebling?"

"What?"

"... Nothing."

Frowning at the sullen voice, Ran turned his head to observe Schuldig who was lying beside him, and, after a stunned moment, widened his eyes in incredulity.

"You're pouting!"

"... 'm not."

"Your lower lip's sticking out, Schu."

A short, almost tense moment, and then Schuldig turned with a barely audible huff until Ran was faced with his back. Fascinated, Ran stared at the bare shoulders. Oh gods, it was true. Schuldig was actually pouting!

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

"You've slapped me." Holding a hand to one of his abused cheeks, Omi stared aghast at Nagi.

Nagi was a little confused about Omi's flabbergasted reaction to his well-meant deed, and so he reminded his lover with a small frown of a crucial detail. "You've slapped me too, Omi."

"But... That was just once! You slapped me twice!"

"Only to make sure that you'll come out of your shock!" Nagi shot back, irritated about the fuss Omi was making about a theory the young Weiss member himself had born only a few minutes ago; Nagi's own still burning cheek was a silent evidence for it. And despite the fact that Nagi's voice was still thin and more of the peeping kind, his already frayed nerves let the tone of it raise a few levels and so it sounded unexpectedly loud through the corridor until it trailed off again to leave them in silence.

In suspiciously silent silence.

Wide-eyed and stiff they stood waiting, listening carefully for any noises or unnecessary comments of their team members that would, without a doubt, follow their dispute like a donkey a carrot.

Nothing came.

They looked at each other in disbelief; mouthing silent words full of doubt, almost unwilling to believe of miracles that would spare them more cruelty, more mockery.

But nothing came.

And after some more silent minutes they finally realized that such miracles aren't some fairy tales elders tell their little ones to give them false hope while sitting by a hardly warming, tiny fire to ease the cold of the winter because they have no roof over their head and nothing to eat since the mean, cruel, bad but handsome sorcerer had turned their lovely but terribly naive princess into a fat, warty, rather gross looking toad. No, such miracles actually exist.

And they began to shout words of joy - silently of course, they didn't want to challenge their luck - and they stepped up to embrace, to hug each other and to swing soundlessly to the imaginary music of a waltz to celebrate their happiness and bliss. They were ecstatic. Euphoric! Downright over the moon!

Until Omi stepped on Nagi's little toe.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Almost apathetic, Ran listened to the funny noises coming through the closed door. It sounded as if some imp was hopping on one leg, wailing and cursing about a... little toe? Well, it actually brought some, albeit short-living amusement into his currently idiotic life regarding the idiotic situation he was in thanks to some idiotic broken cuffs and an idiotic boyfriend who believes that a pouting however-formerly-evil assassin was a cute one.

Okay, actually, it was cute.

But just not in the current situation!

"Talk to me, Schu."

"..."

"You can't stay silent for the rest of your life, you know?"

"..."

"Come on, Schu. Why are you in a bad mood anyway? I'm the one who's shackled to the bed."

"And whose fault is it?"

Astonished by the content of Schuldig's quite grumpily made reply, Ran blinked a few times in incredulity before he answered him very slowly.

"Yours?"

Schuldig didn't turn around, but he snapped back, angrily. "Oh, that's so typical. Why is it always my fault, huh? Your sister bought the cuffs, as far as I can remember. Cheap cuffs, by the way, or they wouldn't be broken. And to think that I'm pouting is ridiculous. I do not pout. Ever. Keep that in mind, Ran."

"Your arms are folded across your chest, Schu. Even now and you're lying on your side. A sign that you're in a defensive--"

"It's comfortable, don't interpret more into it. And to look down while having a conversation does not necessarily mean that one is lying, you wanna-be psychologist."

"Oh, and how should I know? I'm talking to your back instead your face right now."

A low mumble and the shoulders tensed further, showing him that Schuldig had tightened his - of course solely for comfort - folded arms. Turning his eyes heavenwards, Ran silently prayed for patience.

"Please, turn around."

"Don't wanna."

"That's just childish, Schu."

A short shrug and Schuldig continued his non-existing pouting.

Ran had no intention to play along with the German's absurd mood swings, the situation was ridiculous enough already. He would force Schuldig to face him and they would talk about whatever was irking the Schwarz member. And so he made short process and took the initiative.

He shifted forward to get a better angle and wrapped his right leg around Schuldig's thigh from behind. Tensing his muscles, he pulled the body towards himself. And Schuldig moved, millimetre for millimetre, but only his lower part because the German had the nerve to play dead.

Gritting his teeth about the stupid reaction of his lover, Ran took all he had and pulled like crazy. And he made it. Schuldig actually moved a few inches... only to roll back into his former position when Ran relaxed his muscles again.

The urge to strangle the German was immense.

But Ran managed to restrain himself.

How, he had no idea.

But he did.

Somehow.

Or not.

"Schuldig, I swear, if you don't stop this at once I'll... AHHHHH! OH FUCK! AHHHHH!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

One moment, Schuldig was grinning gleefully at his lover's feeble attempts to make him turn around. He knew his behaviour was totally childish, really, but it was so much fun. However, the next moment, his eyes widened in shock at the cries of pain Ran was making. He turned around as fast as he could, reached out to his distressed lover frantically, and stopped short.

Violet eyes looked at him in amusement and lips greeted him with a pleased smile.

"Gotcha."

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

The golden eye was mocking, taunting. Thin lips a cruel smirk. The scarred face was nothing but a parody of a saint who was showing way too many sharp and pointy teeth as the slender but lethal body bent downwards to take the helpless victim into a deadly embrace.

"Wait... Farfarello... Wait... I said WAAAAAIIIIT!"

--CRACK--

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

"... I said wait."

Crawford's unmistakably accusing words left his trembling lips as he stared unblinking up at the ceiling. He was in shock. He wasn't sure if Farfarello had set his displaced vertebral body, or if he had just broken the spine. According to the short but acute pain and the terrible sound of bones grating against each other, there was no mistake that it couldn't be anything else than a broken spine. Therefore, Crawford remained motionlessly on his back on the floor with a flat breath and too scared to move an inch.

"Wow. Didn't know that it's so damn funny to see you flat on your back, helpless, scared shitless."

Sadistic little bastard. Crawford threw him a killing glance while forcing out the next words carefully through his gritted teeth in order to not interrupt his flat breathing.

"I'm... not... scared... shit... less."

"Ho?" Farfarello raised one eyebrow mockingly, grinning down at him from his crouching position in sheer delight. "I'm impressed, really. Could have fooled me, you know."

Maybe he could try to move an inch, just one, to see if his spine was still intact. And then he could strangle that Irish sadist. Okay, here we go.

"Say," Farfarello drawled after a few seconds of silent watching, eying him with mock curiosity. "Do you really believe to move one finger makes any difference? Or have you suddenly gone mute and this is your funny way to communicate with me?"

Sarcastic little... asshole. The irritation about Farfarello's open amusement let Crawford clench his hands into tight fists. Oh, good, his upper body was still working.

"Yay. That's the spirit, old man," Farfarello commented dryly. "And now try to wiggle your toes."

Arms shot up, took hold of the shirt and pulled the younger man down.

"Enough," Crawford hissed into the face, nose to nose, ignoring the hunting knife against his neck. "Do not mock me any further. Do not taunt me. Do not underestimate me."

"Or what?" Farfarello asked, still amused, with an excited glimmer in his eye. "You'll hold that position until I'm being forced to squint? Eeh, now I'm really scared."

It was futile, Crawford realized. He had started a game with a rapid wildcat, and now had to deal with its dangerous playfulness. It was as simple as that.

The hunting knife Berserker had drawn and placed against his neck was not a joke. Farfarello was dangerous, a born killer. He was faster, deadlier, had brains. Had all human emotions, and maybe even some more, but never had and never will experience the sensation called fear. And that put him above everybody else. And Crawford knew that the combination of all that was Farfarello wasn't something one should play with without accepting all inevitable consequences.

Well, Crawford had started the game. And Berserker was in the mood to play.

"Don't challenge me, Jei." Crawford spoke softly, a last, almost comical attempt to hold up his authority, and he got an equally soft reply back.

"Ah, but I do, Brad, I do."

And then it was silent in the room, their breaths the only sound. Staring into the golden eye, Crawford could feel the warm touch of the Irishman's breath on his face, on his lips, and the razor-sharp blade of the hunting knife softly pressed against his neck. It was a sensation that quickened his heartbeat, because he knew that he was one of only a few human beings, perhaps even the only one who was nose to nose with Berserker without having the cruel certainty that he was about to lose his life within the next seconds.

But Crawford didn't fool himself. He was realist. He knew how dangerous Farfarello was, how unpredictable, regardless of their friendship. Crawford absolutely knew the danger he was in, and fuck, it was so damn arousing.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Farfarello was thrilled. Crawford, just like the older man had said so himself a few seconds ago, wasn't someone one should underestimate. Crawford wouldn't have reached the position he was in, leader of an assassin group of powerful talents and one of the highest ranking psychics around the world if he wasn't smart, cool, calculating. Farfarello wouldn't have accepted him as his leader otherwise. And now, this powerful man was lying underneath him with a hunting knife against his neck.

It was somewhat funny that Crawford apparently still didn't know that Berserker respected him to some extent, that he was already part of the family called Schwarz Farfarello had chosen years ago as his own. A family Farfarello wouldn't hurt deliberately. The current situation was nothing more than entertainment, a harmless little game. Maybe he had overdone it with the knife, but it was interesting to see how far Crawford would go to defend his rank.

Right now, Crawford was studying him, just as Farfarello would have expected from him. Analyze the situation, consider all possibilities, and act after the one which was going to bring the best success. A code for survival, quite simple in its structure. Every living creature on this planet had it in them, be it rudimentary or on its highest level as in Crawford's case. Because Crawford, gifted with intelligence and precognition, made it into a fascinating, perfect weapon.

And that made it so damn exciting for Farfarello to provoke him, to challenge him. To see where Crawford's limits were, how far Farfarello could go, and what would happen if he steps over it.

Suddenly, the hands holding his shirt let go and reached up for a new position. When fingers laced with white hair and Crawford began to draw him down to close the last distance between them, Farfarello knew what decision the older man had made.

He wasn't disappointed about it, no, not at all. It wasn't as if he was giving up, as if he was declaring defeat in their little game. If anything it was a truce, because deep down Farfarello already knew that they were equal. He was just trading one climax for another, nothing to complain about.

When their lips met, the hunting knife retreated, leaving not a single cut on Crawford's neck. It was a fervid kiss, wild, a continuation of the passion they had shared in the kitchen. Eyes were shining in lust when Crawford broke their kiss to push him slightly away, their lips still in contact through their heavy breathing. With the hands firmly pressed against the sides of the younger man's head, Crawford spoke again, huskily, with arousal coloured voice.

"By the way, you're bottom."

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

"Ran?"

"Hm?"

"Do you know the story about the shepherd-boy and the wolf? You know... Aaah! The wolf's coming! Ha Ha! Pulled your leg! Aaah! The wolf's coming! Ha Ha! Pulled your leg! Aaah! The wolf's comi--"

"Schu, I really love your passionate and not to forget extraordinarily animated storytelling, but could you please get to the point?"

"Of course, my impatient little dimwit. It's gnaw, crunch, swallow."

"The shepherd ate cornflakes?"

"..."

Speechless, Schuldig turned around into his former position to stare at the opposite wall across the room in utter incredulity. He refused to believe that his lover could be that addle-brained. Or uncultured. Or dumb. Or... Wait, wasn't the Heidi cartoon a Japanese product? Schuldig turned around again.

"Okay. Same story, other protagonists. Heidi's plucking flowers. Suddenly, Peter comes running to Ulm-Uncle shouting AHHHH! ARE YOU CRAZY?!"

"Oh, Schu, I just love it when you try to put some culture into my poor, illiterate, uneducated, empty Japanese head. Your enthusiasm and never-ending patience is adorable. Thank you so much, oh great German man."

"... Okay, let's say your sarcasm might be reasonable. In this case. However, to twist my nipple is not an adequate response to my honest attempt to make you understand that to cry out in pain just for fun is NOT FUNNY!"

"No?"

"NO!"

"Wasn't it arousing?"

"Pardon?"

"I thought nipple-playing is a turn-on."

"… Good grief, I'm in love with a loony."

"Thrilling, ne?" Ran grinned back before his features turned serious again. "Look, I know it was a dirty trick to trigger your protective instinct and I won't repeat it. However, you cannot deny that it worked. And now, tell me why you were pouting."

"I wasn't--"

"Whatever. Just spill it. It may look as if I've all the time in the world because I'm shackled to a bed, but I can assure you I've no intention to stay in this situation forever. Thus, make it quick."

"Could it be that you're a little bit annoyed?"

"Do I look like it?"

"..."

"I'm waiting, Schu."

"Um, it's silly, really. And I'm sorry for my behaviour. Really, really sorry. Let's forget it, okay?"

Ran looked calmly back; his eyes were searching Schuldig's as if he could find the truth in them. He won't find it in them. Schuldig was the Mastermind, a player, an illusionist.

"Honestly, Ran, it's futile, because I'm the mind reader in our relationship."

"I see."

"What...?"

"I know what's wrong with you."

Snort. "Oh, please, never."

"You were pouting because I didn't react to your amorous advances."

Schuldig stared back, flabbergasted. And then he turned around to stare at the opposite wall, again, while presenting Ran his terribly interesting bare back. Maybe, just maybe, if he denied it long enough, Ran would give up.

"Schu, I hope you're not going to deny it. That would be downright ridiculous."

Oookay, change of tactic. Maybe, just maybe, if he ignored him long enough, Ran would give up.

"Schu."

Ignore him.

"Okay, I take it back. I've all the time in the world."

Just ignore him.

"Oh my, so much time and nothing to do. Oops, I think I'm getting horny."

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

"Must have been the nipple-playing."

La-la-la-la-la-la-laaaaaa.

And then, a soft, shy whisper from behind, only centimetres away from his right ear. "Are you horny too, Schu?"

With the warm breath playfully washing over his right ear and with a little help of the last bit of his self-esteem, Schuldig suppress an unmanly whimper... to make a girly one.

Metaphorically speaking, Schuldig died on the spot.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

They circled each other like two wild cats, slowly, predatorily, with narrowed eyes and bared teeth.

"Coward."

"Sissy."

"Wuss!"

"Whimp!"

"CHICKEN!"

"SCAREDY-CAT!"

"GODDAMNIT! YOU'RE THE ONE WHO DOESN'T FEEL PAIN!"

"I REFUSE TO PLAY THE BITCH!"

"Pardon? But I should? If you believe I would play the bottom for one of my subordinates, you're SO mistaken!"

"HA! So you would spread your legs if it were someone else? I'm SHOCKED!"

"SHUT THE FUCK UP! My home got destroyed and my orders get constantly ignored! I'm the goddamn leader! I've the fucking RIGHT to be the top!"

There was a knock, the door opened, and Siberian stuck in his head.

"Ah, excuse me for interrupting. I've overheard your little dispute and I just want to say that it doesn't make any difference if you're uke or seme. If you love each other, that is. And... It isn't really manly to fight over something so silly like a position. I mean, who cares who's on top or bottom. The main thing is you've a really nice time with each other, and believe me, to be uke is really, REALLY great. Um... that's all. Bye."

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Ken closed the door and turned with a satisfied smile to his lover who was staring at him in incredulity.

"Ken, baby, I don't know if you're just plain crazy or if the life of an assassin has made you so reckless to the point where you don't think twice before you barge in like that while two of the most dangerous men in the world are fighting. Either way, it's stunning, really, and I love you. However, there's one thing that puzzles me the most. Where the fuck do you want to know how ukes are feeling? You're ALWAYS the seme!"

"Shush!" Ken grabbed Yohji by his arm and hauled him down the corridor, away from the closed door and out of earshot. Walking side by side to the living room, he turned his attention back to Yohji to regard him with a stern look.

"You almost screwed it up, Yohji. There's no need for them to know about my super-seme-status."

"But isn't that lying?" Yohji lifted a brow, astonished about his otherwise truth-loving boyfriend.

"No! ... Maybe. Oh, the heck with it! Look, Yohji, we both know that they're living examples of ultra-seme. And I mean ULTRA-SEME. They would have fought forever! Okay, they're smart, so they would have figured it out on their own that one of them has to be uke, eventually, but then one of them would be also dead. I've just pushed them a little into the right direction. It was a good deed. They'll thank me afterwards, you'll see."

Utterly amazed and quite speechless, Yohji followed him to the living-room and watched, still in a daze, as Ken opened the door to step in. He wasn't sure if he should first fret about the consequences of Ken's little stunt - meddling with Schwarzs' love-life just couldn't be healthy - or if he should rather start to get worried about the carefree, the-world-is-especially-pink-today-flower-power little world of him.

Yohji let out a small, resigned sigh. Too many problems and neither of them would be solved easily. Shaking his head, he stepped into the doorway only to collide with Ken when said young man whirled around without any warning to step out again.

Ken's face was white, eyes wide, horrified. His mouth half-open in unspeakable terror.

He was clearly in panic.

And Yohji, after furrowing his brows in puzzlement, opened his mouth to question his terrified lover when a saccharin-sweet voice interrupted him and at the same time let Ken freeze on his stampede like way out of the living-room.

"Oh, by all means, why don't you come in, hm? Balinese. Siberian. RIGHT. NOW."

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Oh-so-slowly, Farfarello tore his eye from the closed door to look back at Crawford who stood with a blank look on his face. Their bafflement about Hidaka's speech lasted only for a few seconds before Crawford snapped out of his daze by adjusting his perfectly sitting classes, and Farfarello shook his head with a smirk on his lips.

"Idiot."

"Moron."

"Toddler."

"... Rugrat."

"… Fraidy-cat."

"Weenie!"

"Pussy!"

"Pansy!"

"Fag!"

"IRISH FRUITCAKE!"

Crawford never knew what hit him.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Ran cleared his throat to end the embarrassing silence between them.

"Schu, did you just whimper like a--"

"No."

"... Okay!" Ran chirped cheerfully, sending a grin at his lover's stiff back. It was hard to ignore that it was finally his time again to turn the tables, to have a little fun at Schuldig's expense. However, his desire for peace was stronger, and so the grin turned into a smile as he waited for Schuldig to calm down and to forget the latest crack in the German's manly pride. Patiently, Ran watched as his posture slowly relaxed, and when a faint noise announced that Schuldig was picking on the sheet, he knew that everything was alright again.

They lay silently. Minutes went by, peaceful. The picking turned into soft stroking to straighten out again the slightly wrinkled-up sheet.

"You weren't really horny, were you?"

"No," Ran admitted, not really surprised by the content of the softly spoken question. He had been teasing Schuldig with it to get a reaction out of him, another dirty trick he had pulled on the German within a couple of minutes. Ran could understand him, even felt sympathy for him. And he made a decision. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision, made without a second thought, and he delivered it playfully and somewhat teasingly.

"But who says this can't be changed, hm?"

The stroking stopped abruptly.

"Really?"

Ran almost chuckled at the disbelieving but at the same time hopeful voice of his lover. "Really."

"You're not pulling my leg?"

"No."

"You're serious?"

"Hai."

"Really serious?"

"Hai, hai."

Schuldig turned so fast that Ran hardly managed to push his head back in time to avoid getting hit. The German was grinning in delight; clearly overjoyed by the sudden turn of events. Suddenly, Schuldig's eye-lids dropped down to a half-lidded leer. He reached out to Ran's face, fingers ready to brush over his cheek, and his voice changed into a perfect bed-room one as he started to speak sensually, almost purring the words.

"Hey there, kitten."

Arching an eyebrow, Ran regarded him with a flat look. "Kitten? You've got to be kidding. Do I look like a kitten to you? What am I? Some domestic pussy-cat?"

Hand hovering over Ran's cheek, Schuldig blinked slowly back. "What...? I... What...?"

"I really hope you won't give me a flea collar in case I decide to leave the house."

"What...?"

"Or cut my nails so that I can't ruin your couch."

"... Ran?"

"Or even castrate me. I wouldn't put it past you, Schwarz and all."

"... Dr. Jeckyll?!"

Ran couldn't hold back anymore at Schuldig's hilarious shriek. He snorted with laughter while Schuldig was staring at him wide-eyed, and he laughed until tears were running down his cheeks. Regretting that he couldn't wipe them off, he finally calmed down again and even tried to wave his cuffed hands in reassurance.

"Sorry, sorry, just a little joke."

Schuldig, having already withdrawn his hand as if Ran had suddenly got a very nasty contagious disease, threw him a long, strange look.

"A joke."

"I swear."

"You do."

"Yes."

The long, strange look became serious. "I want your permission to scan your brain."

"Why?" Ran furrowed his brows, more baffled by Schuldig's grim look than about his demand.

"Schizophrenia is more popular than you'd think."

"It was a joke, Schu."

"Denial is a symptom of it."

"IT WAS A JOKE!"

"See. There's he again. Dr. Jeckyll."

"What...? Look, Schu, I'm sorry I pulled your leg even though I've promised you--"

"And now you're Mr. Hyde."

"What the hell...?"

"Jeckyll."

"What...?"

"Hyde."

"SCHU!"

"Jeckyll."

"STOP IT!"

"Hyde... Oops, that would be Jeckyll again. My mistake."

Ran stared open-mouthed at Schuldig. Who was smirking. Smugly. And then he burst out laughing. "I don't believe it! You've got me there!"

"Yeah." Schuldig's smirk vanished and he regarded him with a mock-glare. "You certainly know how to kill the mood, Ran."

"I'm sorry."

"Again?"

Smiling softly at Schuldig's teasingly made question, Ran shifted forward with a whispered promise on his lips. A promise which let Schuldig widen his eyes, and Ran sealed and shared it with a tender kiss.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Schuldig closed his eyes and melted into the kiss. It was gentle and warm, a display of their feelings, their affection for each other. He could kiss like this forever. The soft contact of their lips and the little touches of their tongues were incredible. It brought a feeling of euphoria; the sensation to experience something solely they were sharing was wonderful and increased his heartbeat.

Ran shifted forward, closed the distance between their bodies, and Schuldig moaned at the pleasant discovery he made. Ran was aroused, undeniably so, and Schuldig reacted instinctively to the new sensation. Eagerly, he pressed his groin forward and wrapped a leg around Ran's thigh to hold the physical contact, mindful of the fact that his lover's own movements were limited due to the cuffs.

Hands started to explore the skin beneath them when Schuldig shoved the shirt up, exposing the smooth, flat belly and the chest with those perfect nipples. He let a thump run over one of them, played with it first teasingly with light touches, then got more demanding. Ran moaned into his mouth and started to shiver as he rubbed the nipple, pulled at it. At one particularly demanding twist of the erected nipple the younger man threw back his head, panting.

"Gods, Schu, please, the jeans."

It was amazing, Ran not only willing but submissive, too. Allowing Schuldig to touch him freely, giving him the control to set the pace. Bound by cuffs, helpless, at his mercy. Reduced to pleading and begging.

It's a wet dream come true.

A strong wave of lust hit Schuldig, and he reclaimed those lips possessively the moment his hands shot down to open the zipper, to pull down the material from Ran's slender hips. It was messy for a few seconds. Hectic movements took over that ended first when they were both free of every unneeded cloth. The undressing had changed their positions; Ran was now lying on his back with Schuldig on top of him.

Schuldig bent down to place kisses on exposed skin. His hands were now roaming freely over the body underneath him and they drew new moans and pants from Ran's lips. The shirt, the last remaining material on Ran's body, got in the way, hindered Schuldig in his exploring and he reached up to get rid of it.

"Don't destroy my shirt."

… Oh well, so much to being submissive and begging. A change from dominant to completely submissive would have been too surreal anyway.

And therefore, Schuldig shrugged lightly, "Okay.", and yielded to Ran's wish. So, instead of ripping the shirt in half like a testosterone driven barbarian as he had intended to - Darn! It would have been sooo much fun! - he simply reached up and carefully shoved it over his lover's head, up to the cuffs and out of the way.

Satisfied to have the entire body for himself, Schuldig bent down again to fasten his mouth on one of those beautiful nipples when Ran's voice stilled his movements again.

"Get the lube first. It's in the drawer."

Schuldig stared unblinking at the nipple in front of him, before he slowly lifted his head to peer through his bangs up at his lover.

"I know it's too much to ask for your surrender as my will-less sex-slave, and believe me, I'm not that megalomaniac to even hope for a harmless little master from you. I'm entirely satisfied with you being shackled to a bed, even with pink fluffy cuffs. But for the sake of my petty fantasies, can't we at least keep up the appearances? You know, not ordering me around and such?"

A bark of laughter escaped Ran's throat at his last words, and it was clear that he would have covered his mouth to stifle it if he were able to, but he wasn't, and so he pressed his lips together while his eyes were openly laughing down at Schuldig.

"I'm sorry." Ran's lips twisted into a grin. "I wasn't aware you want to play Master and Servant."

"Hellooo?" Schuldig's look turned incredulous. "Cuffs, Ran? What did you think this would trigger in me?"

"Just get the lube, Schu." Ran gave him a low chuckle, still amused.

Pulling a face, Schuldig got up and crawled over to get the lube. His return was accompanied by muttering about unromantic fellows and about miracles regarding virgins who have lubes in their drawers. He sat down on the bed again with his back to Ran, with a deep sigh, and with his eyes focused on his lap.

Ran watched him for a moment, puzzled. "What are you doing?"

"Nothing," Schuldig shrugged, still staring down into his lap. "I'm just trying to convince my little buddy here that he doesn't need to hide from you."

"… Oh."

"Yeah, oh."

"I'm sorry, Schu. I'll try to be… less dominant."

"He says he doesn't believe you anymore."

"… You're not really talking to your dick, are you?"

Propped up on his arms, Schuldig leaned back to look challengingly over his shoulder down at him. "He says he's scared."

"He says he's… Well," Ran cleared his throat. "Tell your buddy that's not necessary because I… belong to his master."

"Tease."

"Schu… I'm still aroused."

Schuldig's eyes shot to Ran's groin. He turned without hesitation and crawled over to resume his former position. Ran's member laid swollen, not so hard as before but still erected, and Schuldig began to nuzzle it happily, humming in pleasure at the velvet feeling of it. He caressed it with his cheek like a cat, then with his nose, teasingly, before he licked it tentatively. The moment he heard his lover sigh in approval he intensified his attention. The licks got longer with more pressure until he reached the head where he let his tongue swirl around it a few times, teasing the slit in the middle of it.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Ran moaned, the muscles of his thighs were flexing uncontrolled, and his flesh grew hard again. It was pure bliss what Schuldig was doing to him. The tongue, the lips, the hands running over his inner thighs with light touches to his balls. It was the caress of a lover who wanted to make love to him, not some fast and rough sex, and the attention he got from Schuldig brought an additional fluttering sensation in his abdomen.

His muscles went stiff and he took a deep breath at the sudden sensation of stretched lips around his member, at the incredible heat of the mouth and the tongue that were playing with him. And then Schuldig was sucking, moving up and down his hard flesh, drawing long moans out of him. Ran lifted his head, driven by the sudden urge to visualize the sensation, and what he saw took his breath away. Schuldig's eyes were closed in pure bliss, his lips firmly wrapped about the erection, taking him deep into his mouth. The young German was enjoying it, loving it, and when he started to make noises that sounded surprisingly like a purr, Ran closed his eyes and laid his head back, giving himself to the new sensation of vibrations.

The desire to reach down, to wind his fingers into his lover's long hair was strong, and Ran let loose a deep moan of protest, frustrated at the impossibility. And suddenly, he started to realize the situation. Bound by cuffs, he was being forced to be the passive part. To let Schuldig do what he want, how he want, submissively.

Ran gasped, the meaning of his position was suddenly incredibly erotic. To open up to another man, to take what was given. To trust. So different from what he had heard, read, now that he was experiencing it on his own. It opened up a new world for him, and he let himself fall, surrendered, took what was given, trusting.

His hips jerked sharply as Schuldig took him further into his mouth, swallowing him whole down his throat. So tight, so incredibly tight and hot. Teeth were grazing over his sensitive flesh, letting his toes curl into the sheet in ecstasy. His gasping got deeper, louder; his arms were strained under the unconscious movements he was making. Fire spread through his groin in hot waves, and when Schuldig went up again to suck on the head forcefully while nibbling on the sides of his length and at the same time massaged his balls with strong fingers, Ran exploded.

Muscles constricted and liquid fire shot through his member. His body reared up and he screamed, white light blazing behind his closed eyes. For a moment he couldn't breathe, couldn't hear, and when he came out of it again there was harsh wheezing and his heart was hammering in his chest almost painfully. He was dazed, stunned by the experience. Blinking slowly, he tried to focus on his surroundings, to gather himself.

Schuldig came into his focus and a hand cupped his cheek, fingers stroking lightly over his lower lip.

"So beautiful," were the whispered words. "So damn beautiful."

Lips closed over his own and hands started to stroke him gently. Ran tasted himself on those lips, on the tongue travelling into his mouth, and he wanted to embrace his lover, wanted to make it perfect with sharing the tender touch.

Schuldig hushed him softly, stopping his jerking movements effectively with well placed hands. Holding Ran's arms immobile, he gazed down at him with lust filled eyes, and there was something hidden in their depths that brought a new shiver through Ran's body. Schuldig was still enjoying the dominance, it wasn't over yet.

Ran was caught by those eyes, it was thrilling. The hands, showing him with slight pressure to hold still, trailed down his arms to his chest, rubbed over his sensitive nipples, pinched them hard. And then Schuldig was twisting them, experimentally, still holding the eye contact, and Ran answered him with a deep groan.

He gripped the chain of the cuffs, ready to restrain himself. And he opened up again to the sensation radiating from his nipples, to the burning waves shooting down to his groin. His member reacted instantly, stiffened to the almost tormenting play of his hard, erected nipples. Ran gasped with each new twist, and when it changed into pulling, his back arched from the bed and his knuckles became white from holding the chain.

Suddenly, Schuldig was over him again. Arms caught his legs, pulled them up to his chest, and lube covered fingers drove into him roughly, painfully.

Ran gripped the chain harder, unwilling to put the pain into words, to speak out loud. He knew Schuldig was highly aroused, driven by lust. He could endure it, it was nothing compared to the feeling of being wanted, of being desired. But suddenly, the sharp movements stilled and an apology was uttered with harsh breathing. Before Ran had a chance to respond, the fingers started their dance again, this time stretching him carefully. They were searching, probing, and they found what they were looking for when rays of hot lust shot up his spine.

And a new torment started with the rubbing of his prostate. Each hit, each stroke of the gland deep inside him let his hips jerk in an erotic dance. His member became painfully hard, first drops of white liquid appeared on its tip. Ran threw back his head and deep moans broke from his chest. It was maddening to be stimulated in such a way, not being able to escape. His breath got faster and he started to tremble; sweat was covering his body.

Every fibre of his body was burning when the fingers finally drew back again and hands settled on his legs to press them further to his body, to his chest. The hands vanished again, leaving an unspoken order to hold them in this position, and a new weight pressed up against his bottom.

Schuldig entered him.

And it was nothing like Ran had imaged it would be.

The alien sensation of being stretched, penetrated, and the sudden burning pain took his breath away. He felt himself tighten up, a natural reaction of his body to the intrusion, and he had to fight against it, to force himself to relax. He focused on it with bated breath, but the pain was still there, didn't lessen, and the first taste of panic rose in him. And then, Schuldig's voice broke through, comforting.

"I know it hurts. Just try to breathe slowly. Concentrate on relaxing."

And Ran wanted to snap his neck for this stupid comment, wanted to drill his finger nails into Schuldig's skin to show him by sharing some of the pain that it doesn't just hurt but hurt, goddamnit. His lips pulled back until he was showing teeth, the only thing he could do at the moment to show his displeasure about unwanted, idiotic remarks and instructions. And then, out of the blue, he remembered the shower and his own instructions he had given Schuldig, and felt ashamed.

"Gods, I'm such a wuss."

"No, you aren't," Schuldig's voice was soft, knowing. His face was flushed, and those licks he made to moisten his lips in an unconscious act showed Ran that he was restraining himself, that he was patiently waiting for him to adjust though he wanted nothing more than to start the dance of lovers.

It was this display of patience that let Ran relax at last, and his senses started to feel the change within his body, the fullness, the heat. And with the realization that Schuldig was indeed deep inside him, that they were forming a connection, Ran opened the dance by letting down his legs to fold them around his lover's waist.

Schuldig recognized the invitation for what it was and started to move. The movements were slow, again searching, and Ran knew at once that the angle was perfect the moment hard flesh hit his prostate, rubbed over it, and pressed against it. His gasp signalled Schuldig that he had found it. The pace increased, and with each new thrust a rhythm was born.

The feeling of the hot flesh sliding in and out of him and the constant stimulation of his prostate drew deep groans out of Ran. His member, soft from the earlier experience of pain, grew hard again, and he started to pant. Their breaths became faster, nearly matched the rhythm of their hips, and teeth left imprints on lower lips. Their gasping was quickly filling the room, got louder. Ran tightened his legs around the waist to pull Schuldig closer to himself, deeper into his body. He answered his lover's thrust with equal force, wanted to share with Schuldig those mind blowing sensations running through his body and at the same time asked for more of it. Deeper, harder, faster.

There was no pain anymore, only passion and pleasure. And Ran let go, opened his mind and body. He rode those waves of pleasure mindlessly. It was like flying and falling at the same time, and for the first time in his life there was no place for rational thinking, only feeling. Raw and pure and suddenly, there was a hand on his already pulsing member, and with firm movements it started to rub his length in the same rhythm as the thrusts.

And Ran's groans and pants became shouts of mindless lust. His hips began to jerk wildly, his body tight around the flesh thrusting in and out of him. Liquid fire shot up and he climaxed, hard.

And for a heartbeat time stood still.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Schuldig's arms were trembling in effort to hold himself up as he stared gasping down at his lover, dazed by his own powerful orgasm. Gods, it had been incredible. The sight of Ran, flushed, throwing his head from side to side, moaning, screaming. The bucking of his hips, the tightness of his body and the flexing of the muscles deep inside, everything had been incredible.

His arms gave away and he fell down on Ran, careful to not crush him beneath his body. Pressing his face into the sweat covered neck, Schuldig tried to catch his own breath while listening to his lover's harsh breathing. He could feel Ran's pulse beneath the heated skin and the racing heartbeat through the chest. They calmed down, relaxed, and Schuldig almost purred in satisfaction at the slow rise and fall of Ran's chest and at the fingers gently stroking through his damp hair.

Blinking a few times in incredulity, Schuldig lifted his head to throw a bewildered look at his lover. Ran, leisurely continuing his affectionate petting of the long hair, answered him with an amused smile.

"I don't remember the exact moment, but suddenly the cuffs were open."

"Both of them?"

"Yes."

"... Damn, I'm good!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Forgotten was the brutal impact caused by Farfarello who had jumped him with the grace of a furious lion, golden eye glowing in anger. The younger man had knocked him over, had overthrown him with ease and had ended their dispute by taking over the position of the top in one liquid motion. Crawford had reacted immediately, had seized the head to pull him down and instinctively Farfarello went along with it. Still furious, still snarling. Still the dangerous killer.

It had been an eruption on both sides and it was far from being gentle. Born out of irritation, of anger, accompanied by the natural drive to make the other one submit, the kiss started out of rage had taken its time to turn into passion. Their teeth had clashed painfully against each other and hair wound tightly around fingers that had tried to hold the other one still for the forceful kiss.

Somewhere down the road, the fury had changed into lust. Bodies pressed against each other, their groins grinded vigorously to increase the friction, to let already swollen flesh get harder, hotter. They didn't interrupt the kiss when they started to tear on their clothes to get rid of them, to release the skin beneath them. They were feverish, their movements wild. Hands, calloused and rough, roamed over freed skin, tightened hard enough to painfully squeeze the muscles under their grip and to bruise the texture of the skin through their claiming.

"Fuck," Crawford tore his lips away, panting, holding the younger man's head in a steel grip. "You wanna fuck? Make up your mind."

It wasn't a demand, it was an ultimatum. Surrender or leave. Crawford gave him a choice, wasn't he nice?

"Scared of a little pain, Brad?" A taunting, rewarded with a angry hiss.

"How would you know, Berserker?"

Farfarello bared his teeth. In one liquid motion he sat up and reached down to get rid of the glasses. The noise of them clashing against some furniture was a perfect background sound for the violent atmosphere. Straddling the older man, Farfarello grinned down with a wolfish smile.

"You think you can control me by just being the top, Brad? Ah, you poor, misguided lamb. Let me show you my reality."

And in one motion, Farfarello impaled himself.

Without any lube.

The shock was immense.

"Oh... my... God..."

Crawford lay moaning on the floor, staring blindly up at the ceiling. Regarding his normally a hundred per cent accurate calculation he should be moaning in pleasure by now, not in acute pain. But he doesn't. What the hell went wrong?

"God?" Farfarello's bored voice broke through his agony, a routine counter, nothing more.

"Not now, please," Crawford begged while blinking tears from his eyes. "I think you fractured my dick and skinned it at the same time. You broke it. Are you happy now?"

"Poor you," Farfarello regarded him dryly without any pity. "Well then, if it's broken it's useless. Let's cut it off. I highly doubt you'd have been man enough to satisfy me anyway."

Crawford's eyes narrowed. He knew it was a trick, a calculated provocation. To insult and to challenge in order to get what he wants was Farfarello's speciality. It was nothing new, nothing surprising. However, it worked, as always. It brought back the sweet aggression from moments before, and Crawford bared his teeth, showing that he was gladly accepting the challenge.

He took Farfarello by surprise. Rolling to the side, he twisted his body to reverse their position, and with firm hands flipped him into a kneeling position. He didn't give the younger man any time to react. His hands shot down. One took hold of a wrist, bending the arm back behind the back in a threatening angle, while the other one took the neck into a tight grip from behind, holding the body effectively down.

Crawford stared down at the back, at the submissive position he had forced onto Berserker. The thrill of what he was about to do let raw lust emerge in his groin until he was hard again. It was the promise of wild, unrestrained sex that brought hot liquid to moisten the tip of his flesh, and it jumped in excitement, eager to carry out its duty.

"You're right. Let's fuck," Crawford hissed. His hand was a firm weight on the neck to keep their position while he let go of the arm to position himself. And he entered without hesitation. He broke through the ring and moaned at the tightness of it, pushed in until he was fully embedded in the body beneath him.

With a deep growl he pulled back to push in again, hard, relentlessly. Quickly, the thrusts became a wild motion as he pushed in and out. The hot channel surrounding his member was squeezing him in a delicious manner. His growls became feral, and the urge to drive as hard as possible into the younger man felt natural and oh so right.

Farfarello was breathing heavily by now, his arms were stretched to balance himself and to absorb the impact Crawford was creating with each new thrust. White skin was glistering in sweat, muscles tensed. His own answering snarls to Crawford's growls displayed that he was still challenging him, still refusing his submissive part. It only increased Crawford's lust.

The hand holding the neck shot up to get hold of the white hair and he yanked Berserker up and back against his chest. His groin connected with the firm butt; the new position pushed his member even deeper into the body. Crawford pulled Farfarello's head back against his shoulder, forcing the younger man to bare his throat to him. This symbol of complete submission was highly arousing, and Crawford went on with the dominant thrusts, grunting and growling, until the pressure was too much and he climaxed.

The orgasm was so powerful that it reduced his world to his tightly drawn up balls and to the fire shooting through his jerking manhood. His body tensed for a moment before he gave a few more thrust until he was spent. He came down again with his own harsh breathing in his ears, dazed, exhausted, and with wildly beating heart.

Panting, Crawford stared at the sweat-covered shoulder in front of him. He had fucked Berserker, had been in control the whole time. It was a victory, a conquest, a sweet triumph. He had put the Irishman into his place and had shown him the difference between their ranks. And this was good, this was very good.

However, Crawford was aware of the consequences this will bring. He had forced Berserker to submit in a very intimate way, and he knew that he had to look out for any signs of an attack coming from the younger man who, without a doubt, would seek bloody revenge. Farfarello was still a dangerous beast in human form. Perhaps now he was even more dangerous and unpredictable than before. Any miscalculation regarding Berserker's reaction could be fatal.

Prepared for the worst, Crawford let go of the hair and watched him carefully with tensed muscles.

Freed of the tight hold on his hair, Farfarello slowly straightened up, breaking the contact between them. There was a silent moment where nobody moved, and Crawford's guts clenched in foreboding. Farfarello was too calm. He didn't speak, didn't react as usual. And this was bad, this was very bad.

And then Farfarello moved. The young Irishman flopped down on the bed and rolled over until he was laying flat on his back, where he looked up at him with a smug grin on his face, a mocking glimmer in his golden eye, and an unmistakeable white liquid on his belly.

"Say, Brad, from now on, do I have to provoke you every time I want a passable fuck?"

"... Oh, shut up."

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

In the meantime, Omi not only had managed that Nagi finally accepted his sincere apology for the hurt little toe, he had also managed to turn out various very suspicious noises and screams coming from different directions. Well, to make a long story short, they both played deaf and kissed and everything was good again.

A few minutes later, one floor upstairs, there was a short quarrel between two groups of sweaty men about the right to use the hot running water and soap first.

Farfarello won, by the way.

After the refreshing cleaning, Crawford stepped out of the bathroom again, Farfarello right behind him. Confronted with scowls from the waiting men, the leader of Schwarz answered them with a arrogant smirk.

"Next, the losers."

Ran stuck out his tongue at the retreating forms, and finally able to take the much needed shower, entered the bathroom with a bitching Schuldig on his coat-tails.

At the same time, Omi and Nagi were walking hand in hand like Hansel and Gretel into the living room, blissfully ignorant of the witch who was waiting for them to fall into her trap.

Crawford and Farfarello followed their path equally blissfully ignorant. Alarming, really, considering that one of them was a clairvoyant.

And the witch was cackling.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Refreshed and out of the bathroom again, Ran came to a new conclusion.

Never in his life would he have thought that the 'funny walk' really was a funny walk and not some nonsense hetero-oriented people joke about gay ones. It hurt. Not in the I-am-dying-here way, but it burnt, terribly so. And as a reaction to the not so pleasant feeling his butt cheeks clenched and tightened alternately every few seconds. It was an instinctive attempt of his body to allay the burning. It didn't work, which wasn't a surprise per se, but the combination of it with the natural instinct to hold his legs apart in order to not put more friction to the already sore place made the famous walk perfect. Too perfect, in Ran's mind.

Kami-sama, I'm waddling like a duck! Ran suppressed the urge to rub his butt while he threw a puzzled look at Schuldig. If his memory wasn't playing tricks on him he could swear that Schuldig hadn't had these problems in the forest after his deflowering. In fact, the German had walked fleet-footed through the woods and his smile had been especially bright. Yes, Ran remembered quite clearly the picture of the thoroughly pleased and happy man he had received every time he had turned around to Schuldig.

... Wait a moment. Ran's eyes narrowed in suspicion. There was something completely wrong with this picture. Schuldig had hopped around like a baby deer after he had lost his virginity while Ran himself was suffering? There was something fishy going on, Ran was sure, and to solve the mystery he started to consider all possibilities.

Firstly, there was the possibility that he had been more careful with Schuldig's deflowering than Schuldig with him. No, he knew first handed that Schuldig had been gentle and watchful, concerned about any discomfort. He'd been the tender lover Ran had been wishing for.

Secondly, he had been tighter than Schuldig. Well, remembering the tightness of Schuldig's body and the faint, pain-coloured moans the German had made while being entered in the middle of the woods without any lube, Ran knew that this option was nearly impossible. There was no mistake that Schuldig had suffered just as well.

Thirdly, screw strawberry-flavour lube because contrary to public opinion body fluids were actually better. Nice thought, and it would be even cheaper, but again a big, fat no.

Fourthly, Schuldig had--

Ran jerked to a halt and his eyes widened in realization. Devil and hell, Schuldig had lied! All of it had been an act! The fleet-footed walk! The broad grin! The overly cheerful--!

"SEX! It had been mind-blowing, by the way. You were great, Liebling. Fantastic! I loved it. I love you. But above all, I love your tact best. You're so tactful, it's wonderful. I mean, what's more erotic than a tactful, caring gentleman who isn't petty-minded? Hm? What did you say? Oh, yes, you're so right. I don't have to speak out loud what's obvious. We're in complete agreement, after all. And yes, I love you, too."

Rooted to the spot and with his jaw hanging low, Ran watched speechlessly as Schuldig turned the corner without having turned around once during his speech. He didn't know if he felt cheated by the fact that Schuldig had read his mind against their agreement, or that the German had put him into a position where he couldn't grill him about it anymore without being seen as heartless and cruel. Oh, that sneaky bastard!

"Did I already mention today that I love you, Liebling?"

Ran couldn't help but snort in amusement at the voice floating around the corner. He started to walk again, following his lover with a short shake of his head. Again, Schuldig had stolen his thunder. It was stunning how easy he managed this task. Normally, Ran wasn't appeased that easily.

"Believe me, Liebling, it's hard work. I swear my brain feels like pudding."

Rolling his eyes, Ran stepped beside a grinning Schuldig and reached for the doorknob. He was about to push it down to open the door to the living-room when an on hysteria bordering voice let him freeze in his motion.

"Nooo! Don't come in, Aya! It's a trap! She's like a spider, I tell you! A SPIDERRR!"

"For the last time, Siberian, his name is RAN."

"Ran, Aya, who the hell cares, you hair-splitting, pedantic Schwarz leader! It's a trap, for God's sake! That's what's important!"

"I swear, Siberian, if one of my subordinates were that addlebrained, I'd--"

"Oh, EXCUSE ME for warning one of MY FRIENDS!"

"I'm sitting right beside you. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SHOUT!"

"AHHH! RIGHT INTO MY EAR! ARE YOU CRAZY?!"

Slowly, Ran let go of the doorknob, took a few cautious steps backwards, and turned to Schuldig. After a few silent seconds he addressed him with a helpless, little gesture and a half-said request.

"Could you...?"

"Whoa, wait a sec!" Schuldig held up his hands, eyes wide in amazement. "Just for the record, you want me to scan one of your precious friends' brains?"

"Yes."

"Really?"

"Yes!"

"Even though he's acting totally normal? I mean as normal as Hidaka can be."

"Just do it already!"

"Okay. Can you confirm this in paper? Just as a precaution. Not that I don't trust you, but I want to be prepared when you find your morals again somewhere in the near future and decide to turn this against me."

"Oh, Kami-sama, just forget it!"

Ran whirled around and threw open the door, ready to question Ken and Crawford about their silly conversation. He stepped in and froze. A strange sensation caught him and let the fine hair of his neck raise as if he was a cat reacting to danger. The trigger for such a reaction of his normally well-trained body and mind could be either the sight of the occupants in the room – more precisely two of them - or Schuldig who was standing right behind him, looking over his shoulder to peer into the room while the orange hair created a tickle on the side of Ran's neck.

"What's wrong, Liebling?"

"..."

It wasn't that he didn't want to answer Schuldig. Or that he couldn't. Though, actually, this could be an option, frozen as he was due to the shock. However, it wasn't really necessary to bribe his vocal cords or his brain to resume work. It was the help of an overly-sweet voice that brought Schuldig his desired answer.

"Mastermind. Ran. Why don't you both sit down and join our little, happy group?"

Staring at the get-together in the living-room, Schuldig spoke out loud what everyone was thinking.

"Shit."

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

It was vexing, toilsome, tedious and maddening, and Birman was about to explode when finally - after some more unnecessary shuffling and shifting - everyone was sitting more or less comfortably in the living-room. Ken had a seat between Crawford to his right and Yohji to his left side. They had occupied the smaller couch, leaving Omi and Nagi to share the remaining larger sofa with Birman and Aya-chan. Being the last of the arriving persons, Schuldig and Ran had been forced to take an armchair together while Farfarello was lazily lolling in the other one, one leg hanging over the armrest with his head propped up on his hand. The enthusiasm of the attendees about the gathering was practically non-existing.

Throwing one last critical look into the round, Birman patted Aya-chan's shoulder in reassurance and turned with a saccharin look to Ken. If Ken were a diabetic he would have dropped dead on the spot.

"Ken, darling, do you want to start our little session with an explanation about what you meant by 'She's a spider', hmm?"

Ken sat stiff, the embodiment of a metal rode. First, it looked as if he was too scared to utter a single word, throwing helpless glances at his comrades who, by the way, were suddenly occupied with various things like fingernails, invisible dust particles on shirts and trousers, or highly interesting, barely noticeable, teeny-weeny imaginary cracks on the wall.

One didn't need to be a genius to realize that he wouldn't get any help from his so-called friends. Even Yohji, that traitor, refused to respond to his silent pleading. It even looked as if Yohji had unnoticed slipped a few inches away from him to draw a line, to erect an invisible wall between them.

Ken took a deep breath. He didn't need any help. He was an assassin, a fearless one, for crying out loud. He would master this difficult situation alone, and Yohji would pay later for it. And so Ken took another breath to calm his racing heart and pulled himself together.

Meekly, he shook his head in negation.

"No?" Birman asked in mock-disappointment while Ken repeated his action, this time he shook his head faster, frantically. Almost hysterically.

"What a shame." Pure sarcasm was dripping down her lips, and her piercing gaze let the young assassin shrink in his seat. Satisfied that Ken was suffering at least a little bit for his impertinence, Birman turned back to the remaining attendees. And instantly narrowed her eyes in annoyance. Oh, she could overlook Berserker's smirk or Mastermind's stupid grin, both immensely amused about Ken's misery. But the sight of the leader of Schwarz inspecting his fingernails with a bored look was certainly too much.

"I'm sorry if I bore you to death, Crawford," she hissed in his direction, getting an indifferent look in reply.

"I don't need your sorrow, Birman. What I need is an explanation why we're gathered like sheep."

The killing glance Birman shot him let everything whither within a radius of thirty centimetres. Thankfully, everyone was outside of it. Except one person, but this person, namely Aya-chan, was just too busy shooting wide-eyed looks from one person to the other, thus refused unconsciously to whither right away.

"Well," Birman snarled, eyes narrowed to two pinheads. "Let me explain why I found it necessary to require this meeting. You see, warm-hearted as I am, I decided to come back to give both groups support, a little help, some advices for your new living arrangement. Ha, fool that I am! However, what do you think I found in the middle of the living-room?"

"A broom to fly away?"

The world stood still.

Birman's ear-splitting "WHAT?!" came at the same time as Ran not so subtly elbowed his lover with a hissed "Schu!" to get a mock-hurt pout from the German. "What? She asked, didn't she?"

Sure that she wouldn't be able to see anything anymore if she narrowed her eyes any further, Birman relaxed her facial features. It wasn't an easy task, surrounded by such imbeciles. She virtually had to force her muscles into relaxation. More or less satisfied with the outcome, she crossed her legs and leaned back into her seat, sneering.

"Well, if Laurel and Hardy are ready for us, we can finally go back to the current problem."

Schuldig froze and Ran looked scandalized. Gods, that feels so good! Birman cheered silently and tossed in a smug smirk for good measure. Take that, you wimps!

"What's the Drag-queen mumbling about, Liebling?"

Her right hand flexed once. It was an unconscious gesture, showing that her brain was screaming at her to strangle Mastermind. Or Berserker, whose wide grin and amused snorts were already dancing foxtrot on her nerves.

"You have nothing to say, Birman."

Crawford. Oh how she'd missed his unneeded, meaningless, through and through snotty and stupid remarks!

"Kritiker's lackey is mocking you." The words were for Crawford, the sneer for her.

"Don't read her mind, Schu!"

"Why not?" Schuldig shrugged nonchalantly at Ran's rebuke. "You even gave me permission to scan Hidaka's."

"What?! Mastermind read my mind?!" Shock and horror were clear on Ken's face as he stared at his comrade with wounded eyes. "How could you, Aya!"

"God, he's driving me crazy!" Crawford was visibly at the end of his tether, the daggers of death he was shooting at Ken were proof for it. "It's Ran, you dumb moron. If you can't remember one simple name then just call him by his code name!"

Instantly, green eyes narrowed and a hand hovered threateningly over a certain watch. "Don't call my lover moron, Schwarz."

"Or what, Weiss?" Crawford snarled back, glasses flashing for a moment. "I get clean teeth thanks to your dental floss watch?"

"Stop it, all of you!" Ken's shout surprised them into silence. "Why can't we just get along? Look at Omi and Nagi! They're younger than us but so much more willing to find peace and love in... each... other..." Ken trailed off at the looks the boys were giving him. As if he had lost his mind. "Ano, why are you staring at me like that?"

"You just have to bring us into this mess. We were thoroughly satisfied with just watching, thank you very much." Omi's eyes were accusing while Nagi was eying him curiously, "Didn't know Siberian's a preacher man."

Birman's snort stopped any further arguments. "What nonsense are you spouting, Ken? Do you really believe Schwarz and Weiss can live together in love and peace? Get real."

"I beg to differ." Schuldig's peeved disagreement caused Birman to drawl a sarcastic reply.

"Oh yeah?"

"Oh yeah," Schuldig aped mockingly, "I admit there're times when there's not so much peace between Ran and I. But they aren't real fights, more trifles. Therefore, the love between us is proof even you cannot deny."

"Oh, please," the young woman waved her hand dismissively, "We all know that you're just killing time."

"Huh?"

"You're just fooling around, fucking around. Christ, do I have to spell it out for you? You meet a sworn enemy on a mission, jump each other bones out of the blue in such a ridiculously short time, and you call that love? I call it a one-night stand, if anything. Some horny screwing to get rid of spare hormones."

"Look, you bitch-- No, Ran!"

Schuldig jump up in time to wrap his arms around his lover's chest from behind. Rendered immobile, Ran stood red-faced, both hands clenched into tight fists.

"I dare you repeat that just once, Birman. JUST ONCE!"

"Chill, Liebling," Schuldig spoke soothingly, trying to calm his fuming lover without letting loose of his firm hold on him. "Just ignore her."

"No! She's dragging our love in the mud, Schu! Do you really think so lowly of me, Birman? Do you really think I would give away my virginity to anyone? JUST FOR FUN?"

Eyes blazing in fury, Ran made such an impression on the young woman that though she stubbornly tilted up her chin, she also made an unconscious motion back into her seat. However, she wasn't intimidated enough to not give response to it.

"It's a matter of common knowledge that men are thinking with their dick."

"WHAT?!"

"Chill!"

"What a load of crap."

"Nagi-koi! Don't use bad language! It doesn't suit you!"

"Gomen ne, Omi-kun."

Crawford, unimpressed by the heated discussion or the love-filled looks the two youngest of their groups were currently throwing at each other as if they were in a competition of who's looking more in love - it was disgusting, really – well, Crawford calmly rose to speak.

"To put the male part of the human race into a stereotype category is ignorant and just plain stupid. I've expected more from you, Birman."

"You don't say," the young woman replied flatly, throwing an icy glare at the Schwarz leader. "So you weren't screwing Berserker like an animal in heat just minutes ago? Oh, pardon me... for knowing otherwise! I heard you! We all heard you!"

The adjusting of the glasses was being made reflexively. The face, in spite of the heavy blush, looked frozen. The voice was as rigid as the posture. "I'd prefer that you don't invade my private sphere."

"Ha!" Triumph let Birman's eyes shine brightly. "So you're conceding that I'm right!"

Before Crawford had a chance to defend the rest of his dignity, Schuldig beat him from his place behind Ran, chin propped up on the younger man's shoulder. "You see, Birman, just because ol' Crawford over there has problems with libido-control, a pity, really, could be his--"

"Shut the fuck up." Crawford's glare was pure venom. "I'm not in the mood for any of your idiocy."

"...prostate, you know," Schuldig continued smoothly. His lips were twisted into a smirk, and though he never let his eyes from Birman, the young woman knew that this time the words were not meant for her. Completely unimpressed by Crawford's snarled command, Schuldig went on. "Or some other age-related problems like the fear to die a virgin."

"Don't you dare ignore me, Schuldig. I'm fucking serious."

"Perhaps he's even got detritions in his right wrist. Monotonous masturbation's a bitch."

"Schuldig!"

"Still, that doesn't mean we're all dirty, lecherous, drooling, uncontrolled old lechers."

"As your leader, I hereby order you--!"

"Holy shit, it's true! You can actually screw someone's brain out! Nice work, Farfie." Schuldig gave the Irishman two thumps up.

"SCHULDIG!"

"BRAD!" the German shouted mockingly and equally loud back, before he dropped his charade with a killing glance at Crawford. "Newsflash, Brad. You can shove your orders up your ass. I won't follow them anymore. You sent me on a goddamn fake mission with the knowledge that Ran and I will fall in love. You didn't warn me. You didn't give me time to prepare. You had the power to prevent all those embarrassing situations I had to endure with just a little hint, asshole."

"Don't be irrational. We both know the moment I'd have told you about your upcoming relationship with Abyssinian you'd have first died of laughter and then called me an irrational, senile old man. Correct me if I'm wrong, but at that time, I believe Frigid Ice Princess was your pet name for Abyssinian."

Ran turned his head until he was looking directly into the face of Schuldig who was playing deer-caught-in-the-headlights. Calmly, he repeated this utterly fascinating and through and through new discovery.

"Frigid Ice Princess?"

"... That's not true, Liebling."

"Or was it Asexual Ice Block?" Crawford mused, tapping his lower lip with an exaggeratedly pensive look on his face. "So sorry, it seems I can't remember clearly. Must be my age."

One fine red brow rose constantly. "Asexual?"

"Not true!"

"Oh, I almost forgot that Schuldig also said that--"

"Birman could be right."

Ken's softly spoken words, as if he himself was utterly surprised and flabbergasted by the meaning, by the impact of his conclusion, brought an abrupt silence. The sudden lack of noises drew Ken's attention and when he abandoned the spot on the floor he had been looking at absorbed in though for the last few minutes, he was instantly confronted with thoroughly incredulous looks from the male attendees. Hastily, he held up his hands, a gesture to defend himself.

"It's just a thought. I mean, Yohji and I do screw like bunnies. We just have to look at each other and we do it. Up to three times a day. Not that I'm complaining, far from it, but three, sometimes four times a day is more than female lovers would do. Think about it, there's a meaning behind 'Not now, I've got migraine'. So, maybe we really do think with our dicks."

Funnily enough the silence continued.

Confused, Ken blinked into the round. When his eyes fell on Birman, who, despite the fact that he had actually backed her up, was also staring at him in incredulity, he knew that it was time to get nervous. The realization that he should stick to soundless thinking came too late, as always, and the awareness that he wouldn't be able to defend himself against seven assassins and one furious woman brought a strong shiver down his spine. Well, the good thing was he didn't need to wait long for the storm of protest.

"Baby, do you realize you've just called both of us brainless sex maniacs?"

"Four times a day? That's impossible."

"Oh, that's nothing, Nagi-koi, I can tell you. The whole time while Ran was on his mission they did it everywhere. Nothing was safe. Not even the toilet!"

"I take it all back, Liebling. I love that boy. He's funny."

"... Ken's a dork, that's what he is."

"Did you just say that we women are frigid, boring, lackadaisically creatures who are lying their way out of sex, Hidaka?"

It was Ken's turn to look like a deer caught in the headlights. Or like a frightened little bunny cornered in a corner by a wolf. By a very huge and very hungry looking Birman-wolf. In any case, his defence came rather meekly.

"I didn't make it up. I read it somewhere."

"Where?" Birman shot back. "In some corny page for men only? That's so typical! Men are all full of prejudice! A headache is a headache, you insensitive moron!"

"Let's say Hidaka's point of view is as much cliché as yours, Birman," Crawford spoke calmly. The hint of rationality was being trampled in an instant by pure sarcasm.

"Oh, I'm so sorry, Mister Know-it-all, or should I call you smart-ass? I don't know if you've noticed, but Ken just confirmed my thesis!"

"I so wish I hadn't." Ken's sour mumble remained ignored. Birman and Crawford regarded each other like two gamecocks while the others were watching them in anticipation of who would win the fight.

"It's foolish to judge the entire male population solely on the performance of two unrestrained individuals, Birman."

"Oh, so sorry. I didn't know Berserker and you had boring 08/15 sex. I wasn't aware that you're such a bore."

"Are you making fun of my masculinity, Birman?"

"Why? Did you keep on your socks?"

"..."

"HA! YOU DID!"

"Yes," Crawford growled back. "Indeed, I did. And do you know why? I didn't take them off and folded them because passion and lust generally don't give you time to think about something as trivial like socks! You don't think! You just fuck!"

"So you admit that you were thinking with your dick!"

"Yes! I proudly admit that we had wild, uncontrolled sex! It was purely instinct driven! It was hot! It was great! We were feral! We were growling and snarling while we fucked each other raw!"

"PERVERT!"

"FRIGID!"

"SEX MONSTER!"

"Well, in my humble opinion, I'd say it's ordinary jealousy. Birman's the only one in this room over twenty without a sex-partner. She needs to get laid, badly. But how should I know? After all, I'm just a little crazy psychopath. My, isn't my knife especially shiny today?"

Farfarello's endlessly flat and bored voice was as effective as a bucket full of ice water. One by one, the befuddled looks he got for his insight changed their direction to the object of his little speech. To the person whose face was glaring red in embarrassment.

"That's... a lie... you... evil, evil man." Birman's weakly stammered protest brought disbelieving snorts and one silent giggle.

"And what, pray tell, are you laughing about?" Farfarello drawled tauntingly, tilting his head lazily to his new target. "Could it be that you think it's hilarious that your brother still thinks that you're a virgin?"

"WHAT?!"

Almost everyone winced at Ran's sharp yell. The young man was clearly aghast as he stared open-mouthed at his sister who gazed back at him from her seat at Birman's side. Aya's former amusement about the childish bickering of the grown-ups was all forgotten, and she glanced nervously back at him while her brain was working overtime to find a fitting reply. And suddenly she got one. And it was a good one.

Self-assured, Aya pointed at Birman. "She doesn't get laid and she's an adult."

Strangely enough, Aya's ingenious diversionary tactic to draw the attention back to Birman was being completely ignored by Ran who was glaring down at her.

"Repeat that because I cannot believe it."

Or not. Aya blinked once and nodded, positively surprised by her brother's command. "Okay. She doesn't get laid and--"

"Not that!" Ran interrupted her sternly. "What did Berserker mean by you're not a virgin anymore?"

"Oh, that one." Aya pursed her lips, thought for a moment, frowned, and then regarded her brother with a curious look on her face. "Why's Farfarello-kun being called Berserker, Onii-san?"

"Yes, Ran-chan, tell us. Why am I being called Berserker?" Farfarello smirked from his seat across the room, entirely satisfied with the whole situation.

"... Don't call me Ran-chan, Bers--... Farf--... Irish… man."

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

/Liebling?/

/What?!/

/Don't snap at me. I can help. I could erase Aya's memory./

/No./

/Just the important parts, not everything. She doesn't really need to know about you being an assassin, or does she?/

/... Still.../

/She's already asking about our codenames, and sooner or late she will learn about your line of work. She'll find out that you're a contract killer, a slayer. A cold-blooded murderer and an evil slaughterer./

/Hey!/

/It will scare her to death, Ran. No, not only scare her, but scar her, too. For the rest of her life. If not longer. She will be unhinged. An emotional wreck./

/Schu.../

/But I can prevent it, Liebling. Imagine no angst, no doubts. A future filled with love and peace./

/You sound as if you want to sell an insurance./

/... See it as a one-time investment into the future./

/But--/

/No buts. It's your only chance to live a happy, blissful life./

/Schu--/

/As brother and sister./

/Schu--!/

/Side by side./

/SCHU!/

/Hand in Hand./

/SHUT UP ALREADY! I CANNOT THINK!/

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

"Guys, can you hear that cricket, too?"

"Ken, baby, please, not now."

"I know it was terribly silent for the last couple of seconds, Siberian, and though I'm itching to respond with pure sarcasm to that completely unnecessary and plainly dumb commentary of yours I try not to, the emphasis lies on try, because I'm aware that such a simple-minded dork like you is undeniably prone to give his fancy full scope when the situation's too stressful. Or too boring as in this case. Hence the imaginary cricket."

Somewhere far, far away, the still lonely Nairobi cricket objected vehemently. 1)

"Anyway," Crawford went on. "I have to admit that it was also terribly funny to watch Schuldig and Fujimiya making faces at each other. Especially the part where Fujimiya stomped his foot while Schuldig was looking like a slimy insurance salesman. And no, Fujimiya, I'm not a telepath. You can minimize your eye size to normal. Well, it seems both of you aren't capable to hold a secret conversation as you're supposed to do, namely a secret. This was the second time already, hence, oh how I love that word, from now on if anyone should ask me about someone called Mastermind I'll deny everything. You're disinherited, Schuldig. No son of mine makes such poor performances."

"Ha ha, Brad. Ha ha."

Crawford, demonstratively ignoring Schuldig's retort, threw a patient look at Ken and began to speak very slowly as if he was faced with an imbecile. "No, Hidaka, Schuldig isn't really my son. That was cynicism. Sorry, my bad. You see, cynicism isn't really real per se. It's more like an image, a symbol. And per se is Latin for--"

"Why does everyone act as if I'm an idiot?" A deep blush spread over Ken's cheeks and he folded his arms, glaring. "I'm not dumb!"

When the silence got too awkward, Ken turned with a hurt look to his lover who instantly threw an arm around his shoulder to draw him into a comforting embrace.

"Of course you're not dumb, baby. We all know Schwarz's nothing but a bunch of lying bastards."

"Oi! Don't call me a liar, Kudou! Ran, say something! Defend your lover!"

"I'm an assassin."

Ran had spoken calmly with a steady voice, his eyes fixed on his sister. He had chosen to tell her the truth, had spoken from the bottom of his heart with the knowledge that this could destroy the connection to the last living family member. He had chosen to take this risk instead of living a life full of lies. And so he blocked out the incredulous looks and mumbled commentaries about the questionable state of his sanity, or in Schuldig's case the panic filled look. But for the sake of it he couldn't ignore his sister's nonchalant shrug and her carefree voice.

"Shit happens."

The incredulous looks shot to Aya. Ran was by no means the only one who was baffled by her answer, and he shook his head with a disbelieving frown. "Pardon?"

His flabbergasted reaction let Aya giggle, and suddenly she was all laughter and mirth. "Sorry, Ran-niisan, it was just too perfect to let it pass."

Ran was having a hard time to accept that his sister had been joking about his confession, but Schuldig, considerate lover that he is, helped him to come out of this small shock with Schadenfreude coloured voice.

"Joking during a serious situation. Well, Liebling, if there was any doubt about your blood relationship, now you've got proof that you both are truly related. Like brother like sister, as the saying goes. Congratulations. Let's throw some confetti."

"Shut up, Schu," Ran shot back, equally irritated about his lover's misplaced amusement and his sister's lack of seriousness. Frowning, he regarded her with a disapproving look. "It's not the time for joking, Aya-chan. I was being serious."

Suddenly, Aya's merry expression became sad. "Onii-san, you already tried this assassin nonsense once and--"

"And it's true," Ran cut her off. "The flower shop is nothing but a disguise, a hideout. After you fell into the coma, I became a professional killer. It was revenge for our parents, for you. I killed people, Aya-chan. I still do. They deserve it, every single on of them. They're bad people, evil. I... We kill them for the collective good. Yohji, Ken, Omi, and I are Balinese, Siberian, Bombay, and Abyssinian. We're assassins of a secret organization called Kritiker. We're Weiss. And they, Oracle, Berserker, Prodigy, and Mastermind are the other side, the dark side. They're Schwarz. The bad ones, by the way. And they're gifted with psychic talents. Crawford's a clairvoyant, Naoe's telekinetic, Schuldig's a telepath, and Farfarello's a... berserker. I lied to you, Aya-chan, the whole time, and I'm sorry about it. I regret it. However, now you know the truth."

Aya had listened with big eyes, and it was obvious that she was very impressed by it.

"Wow, I don't know what to say, Onii-san. It's... intriguing. The whole story is so complex."

"... Come again?"

"No, really, it's fascinating and has so many details! Telepaths, seers. The good and the bad. It's full of interesting characters. And those codenames! Seriously, you should be a professional story teller, not a flower seller."

"…"

"That story's so good you could make a manga of it."

"Aya-chan--"

"Or even an anime!"

"Listen, Aya-chan--"

"It would go like this!" Aya continued excited, unimpressed by her brother's attempts to catch her attention, and she let her voice drop to a more-or-less masculine voice. "Weiss, you're the good ones. Go, destroy those … wicked beasts of the night."

Aya's cheerful snigger died away at the long looks the others were trading, mainly between Yohji, Ken, and Omi. Even Birman looked uneasy. The first one to break the silence was Schuldig.

"Did they really say something that corny?"

"No," Yohji answered him with a small, amused smile. "It was 'Deny those beasts their tomorrow'."

"You're joking."

"Nope."

"Christ, that's fucking hilarious."

"Don't swear in my sister's presence, Schu," Ran reprimanded him automatically, staring at his sister with an unreadable look.

Aya, getting the feeling that she unintentionally had overstepped a line, regarded him unhappily.

"I'm sorry, Onii-san. I didn't make fun out of you this time. I meant what I said. The story's really great, but… I don't want my brother lying to me. It makes me sad, because it shows me that you have no trust in me. Why can't you just tell me the truth? Is it really that bad? Am I such a terrible sister that you can't tell me your problems? Your desires? Your preferences?"

Aya's eyes were pleading silently, desperately, and Ran relaxed, nodding.

"You're right, Aya-chan. The whole assassin story's fake. I apologize."

/Wait, Liebling! Don't be too rash! With a little persistence--!/

/No. It's better this way, Schu. You were right. She doesn't really need to know about our profession. I'm sorry I didn't listen to you. I should have known that she would never accept it as the truth./

/… Er… That's nice and all but actually--/

"I know you're not an assassin, Ran-niisan." Aya beamed at her brother with wonderfully understanding eyes. "Schuldig-san has already told me that you're a Drag queen dancing for money, and guess what! I don't mind at all!"

The shock was so big that even the lonely cricket in the desert of Nairobi stopped its chirping, thus, the silence in the room was akin to the silence of vacuum. However, nothing lasts forever, and so a shrill shriek tore from one brother's throat.

"WHAT?!"

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Schuldig entered the kitchen, bitching and cursing under his breath. "Fuck, I thought I'm dead meat. Stupid girl just had to open her mouth."

"Abyssinian spit you out already?" Farfarello grinned from his place by the kitchen counter, holding a mug with freshly brewed coffee. "And he even let you live, who would have known."

"I'm innocent! It's not my fault that her imagination ran amok. Took me some time to explain the whole mess to Ran. He chewed me out for an hour! And can someone explain to me why she believes that her brother is an exotic Drag queen dancer but refuses to consider the fact that he's nothing but an ordinary assassin? Give me that mug. I need some drug to cool down."

"Oh, I believe you're as innocent as a guilty-one can be. Look on the bright side, Schu. The others were roaring in laughter, the tension vanished, everyone is happy again. Peace and love all around. And if you care for your hand you'll take your own mug."

"Bite me."

"I believe that's Abyssinian's department." Farfarello smirked back. He sipped his coffee and watch Schuldig filling his own mug, bad mood still visible on the German's face. When Farfarello spoke again it was with a casual voice, almost bored, as if it was only to fill the silence between them.

"How was he?"

Instantly, a huge grin spread over Schuldig's face and the victory sign confirmed Farfarello's guess. "That good, hm?"

"Oh, Ran was great!" Schuldig turned to him in excitement. "Erotic, passionate. And those sexy little moans he makes! And he's a real screamer, not some shy virgin. Christ, you should have seen him in those handcuffs!"

"Are you finished with gossiping behind my back about our sex-life or should I come back later again?"

Wide-eyed, Schuldig whirled around to stare at Ran in utter shock. "Liebling… We… weren't... really… not… at all."

Farfarello snorted at the stammering and at the realization that Schuldig already has been turned into a henpecked husband. Smirking, he put the mug down, pushed away from the counter, and crossed the kitchen. Reaching the young Weiss leader, Farfarello stopped in front of him to consider him thoughtfully.

"It wasn't gossiping behind your back. I just wanted to know if Schuldig was good. You know, as passionate and wild as a skilled lover can be. He's fun, isn't he? Consider a three-some sometimes, Red."

Closing Ran's slack jaw with the tip of his forefinger, Farfarello winked with a leer and strolled out of the kitchen. First, there was silence, and then…

"Don't believe him, Liebling! It's not true! He's lying!"

Growl. "Schuldig."

"He's Schwarz's JOKER!"

"And where the hell does Schwarz's joker know that you're skilled?"

"It was an assumption!"

"He guessed that you're passionate? Wild? SKILLED?!

"An ASSUUUUUMPTIOOOOON!"

"SCHULDIIIIIG!"

"FAAAAARFFFFFIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIE!"

Leisurely, Farfarello turned the corner, stretching himself like a big cat after a kingly feast.

Oh, yes, life was fucking great.

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

Later that night...

"Good night, Birman-san."

"Good night, Aya-kun."

-Hug-

"Good night, Omi-kun."

"Good night, Nagi-chan."

-Smooch-

"Good night, Yohji-love."

"Good night, Ken-baby."

-French kiss-

"Good night, my bitch."

"Dream on, bottom-boy."

-Feral kiss-

"... Good night, Liebling."

"Grrrrr."

And somewhere far, far away, the Nairobi cricket finally found a mate.

OWARI

.-. .-. .-. .-. .-. .-.

1) I hope everyone's still remembering the lonely cricket in the desert of Nairobi and its desperate mating dance. I think it was in chapter 3 or 4.

annakas: As the saying goes: Hope dies last, because... Ran finally got deflowered! #throws confetti# And Yohji and Ken will remain sex maniacs forever, no doubt about it. About Farfie's and Brad's alpha male attitude... Thank god they have Ken to show them the right way to live peaceful seme and uke lives #meaningful look#. Thank you for all your reviews!

Mujyakina-Hitokoroshiva: Well, it certainly looks as if Ran-chan finally felt the power of Schu. Even the cuffs conked out. And what do we learn about it? Never buy cheap handcuffs! Prefer pricy... #cough#... I mean best quality ones! Not that I'm a salesman for handcuffs, BUT if you do want some really, REALLY great cuffs... #gets all slimy and holds out binding sales contract about 1000 insanely overpriced 08/15 plastic handcuffs#... Er, just ignore my evil twin #sweat drop#. Thanks for all your reviews!

KT: I would never abandon a story if the readers are still interested in it! I'm just a slow updater, sorry. Well, what naive ones are capable of was being wonderfully demonstrated by our beloved Ken. Barging in into Farfie's and Brad's seme/uke fight like he did was just so... so... totally... Ken-like. Helpless Crawford and crazy Farf? Yup, how right you were! #grins# Many thanks for your reviews!

Psycho Senshi 2.0: I think I've broken a new record regarding my slow updates. Sorry! I hope you still remember the storyline and it wasn't too confusing for you to read the final chapter. #hides in shame, comes out again and gives hug# Thank you for your reviews!

RuByMoOn17: Hopefully Ran and Schu were as funny as in the previous chapters and I didn't disappoint you. Sorry for the terribly long wait and thanks for all those reviews!

Spawn of Hell: Nah, I'm not crazy. I'm... I'm... Er... Say, wasn't this chapter terribly funny? And sooo witty! (I do know that I'm babbling just to distract you from my questionable state of mind.) And look at the length of the chapter! Incredible, isn't it? And all those hilarious grammar- and spelling mistakes!... #blinks#... Oh, look! It's time for my rainbow coloured pills! Thank you for all the great reviews! #hugs and gives one of her precious funny pills as a souvenir#

izedlatte: Farf's and Brad's relationship of certain doom? What fitting description #grins#. Anyway, it looks as if it's going to be a very long, very chaotic, but also very entertaining relationship. I don't know if I should pity those two or all the other - more or less innocent - victims around them. Well, due to the fact that this was the final chapter we have to use our imagination, ne? Thanks for your many reviews!

Udyiay: A hyena? Good Lord, your laughs can't be that bad, now can they? #winks# Thanks for the many reviews! Oh, and your wish was my command. You see, there's no chance I would have finished the story without Schu getting on the top. Sorry about the long wait (you can put the whip away). I hope the chapter was to your liking. Thank you for your reviews!

Nariel: 3 computers for 800 people? You poor thing! Well, I don't know what to say to your review, except: Wow! My eyes went bigger and bigger with each new sentence. So much praise and you even recommended the story. Thank you so much! I hope you've found something amusing in this chapter, too. If not, shame on me! Sorry for the long wait. Thanks again for the review and hopefully it was worth waiting for this chapter. Grüsse von Wien nach Leipzig und danke für Deinen Kommentar!

artemis347: Noooo! Nagi and Omi should not copy their team members! They should stay pure, and innocent, and... What boring thought #shudders#. But have no fear, artemis347. Even though I won't write about it (the story's finally finished), we ALL know that sooner or later they will match the others. It's the dreadful curse of growing up. #winks# Thank you for your review!

Gunning Angel: Was there enough interaction between Farfie and Brad for you this time? I know there wasn't any kink in this chapter, too - pink fluffy cuffs don't really count for me - but hopefully the dynamics between Farfie and Brad was a nice addition. And Schu finally popped Ran's cherry. They took their sweet time for it. Well, it took one day for Ran and Schu but three years for the readers. What did Einstein say again? It's all relative, isn't it? #winks# Thanks for all those great reviews!

Kyra2: #LOL# Yeah, they shriek a lot. And they call themselves men. Tsk, what a disgrace. #grins# Thanks for staying and thanks for all your reviews!

GaBo0: I drew your attention even though you're a Yohji/Aya skipper? Wow. Or in other words, I do hope you read the whole story and didn't stop at some point because it was getting too boring for you. If that's the case, my answer to your review would be rather pointless now because you won't read it anymore... Well, I'm optimist, so thanks for the review!

Lazy-Hime: Oh gods, I'm so sorry that I didn't update faster. #hides in shame# It's somewhat sad that you can't write down your thoughts because your Dad and sister are always behind your back. However, sooner or later you'll have your own computer and then you can type lots of stories. It's fun! And time consuming. Well, just give it a try and see for yourself. I hope you liked the final chapter and many thanks for your review!

Well, that's it. I want to thank everyone who had the patience to stay with me until the end of the story, and I want to thank for all those great reviews I've received during this time. You're the best! #hugs#

Maybe we'll see each other again. There's a good chance that I'll write a Naruto story involving Iruka and Kakashi. It's in my mind and it wants to get out. So, until next time, minna-san!