Special Notes and Disclaimers: Weiss Kreuz is not mine and I'm not making any money off of this. It is property of whoever owns it (yeah, I suck with names and can't remember who Weiss belongs to and am too lazy to go through my dvd collection to find out.), and not me, so don't sue. I'm just playing.
The "Griffyn" belongs to Gil Hibben Knives. You can see it (or purchase it, should you so choose) at www.swordsdirect.com. Though I've tried to describe it as best I can, I can't quite find words to explain it very well, and it really is a very cool weapon.
Any original characters herein are my own, so please don't steal them. If you would like to "borrow" them, then please give me credit and send me a link so I can see what you're doing with my brain-children. Heh. Any songs or poems in this story ARE written by me, if you borrow them or use them anywhere, don't claim them as your own. Even if they aren't very good, I work very hard on these things and stealing is bad.
Italics with ++ in front of them indicate songs that are being sung aloud. If the ++ isn't there, it's either being written, or just thought.
This is my first attempt at Weiss fanfic, so I apologize for any ooc behavior. I don't have the boys down yet, but this story just wouldn't leave me around until I wrote it. I was planning a one shot. Heh--89 pages later…we have "Calico." Geez. Maybe one-shots just aren't my forte.
Warnings: cross-dressing…sort of. Not much else to note.
By: Banshee Puppet
Part One: Caught in the Spider's Web
"Hurting innocent children?!! I won't…I won't allow it. I won't…I won't ever allow it!!!"
Aya awoke with a gasp. "Won't ever…allow…" he mumbled.
It had been on their last mission. "That girl…" He couldn't shake the image of her from his mind. Shoulder length black hair and pale skin, but what haunted his dreams was those gray-green eyes. Cold, unforgiving eyes that had stared right past him at the man he'd come to kill. He'd seen eyes like that somewhere before, and as he stood before the bathroom mirror brushing his teeth, he realized the eyes like that girl's, the eyes that he couldn't place…they were his own. Not the color, but the expression. In another person, it was…haunting. He couldn't forget those eyes at all.
He leaned over the bath and turned on the faucet, tested the water with his hand. 'Hotter,' he decided, turning the hot tap a little further and letting the old plumbing run for a bit as he stripped out of his pajamas with a pout. God, he really wanted to go back to bed. He hadn't been sleeping right at all.
He stepped into the steaming water and leaned his hands against the wall, stretching out the kinks in his back and letting the droplets ease out the tension, pinken his flesh. That felt good. Nothing like a nice, hot shower to make your troubles go away. And Aya Fujimiya had plenty of troubles to go around.
With closed eyes, he ran his fingers through his red hair and those spider-web eyes came back to him. 'I totally failed this time,' he told himself as the scene came back to him. The way she broke the arm that had the gun in it without any trouble or panic at all, the way she snapped the man's neck with no sign of remorse. Aya had stood there watching impotently, his katana held loose at his side. He was supposed to be saving that girl, those children. And that young man who'd died before Weiss had even arrived. And yet, she…she didn't need their help, hadn't needed their help at all.
When they had gotten the mission report, Aya left the room before Birman told them any names. It was better that way. If they were given names, a personal connection was formed. That made it harder to move past, harder to forget. But he couldn't forget anyway, so what was the point? Now, he realized, that girl's name…he wanted to know it. Why did he want to know it?
His hand turned off the water before his mind registered that he'd finished bathing. And only his voice was heard in the silent room at that time.
"Because," he said softly. "She is the person most like myself."
"Isn't Aya coming down for breakfast?" Omi asked as he finished putting the scrambled eggs and toast onto a large plate in the center of the table. He'd been acting strange for over a week now. Ken reached for an egg with his fingers and Omi slapped his hand away with a scowl. Ken just gave him a smile that said, 'can't blame a guy for trying.'
"Orange Juice?" Ken asked.
Omi nodded. "But we'll have to go buy some more today. You drink it like it's going out of style Ken."
"I'm a growing boy!"
"Give it up Ken. You haven't grown an inch in three years. Omi will be taller than you soon," Yohji's voice said from the doorway. They looked to find him yawning and scratching behind his ear. He made a peace sign and said "yo" before dropping into his usual seat and proceeding to cross his arms and fall asleep at the table. He'd still be in bed if he didn't have the morning shift, most definitely.
"Did you hear Aya when you were coming down Yohji?" Omi asked.
Yohji lifted his head, and after a moment of looking dazed, grinned impishly. Omi was such a cute kid…well, not so much kid anymore, or much longer, but he was always worried about everyone, it was cute, regardless. "Let him sleep, Omi," Yohji said cheerfully. "If he wants to sleep in sometimes it's okay. He'll be up in time for his shift."
Omi sighed. Ken knew what was bothering him.
"It's not like him," Omi pouted, giving Yohji his coffee and sitting down, staring at the empty spot where Aya's breakfast would go cold…again.
"Aa," Ken said. "That last mission, it went well, mostly, but it really shook him up. Omi's just worried, Yohji."
"We all are, right?" Yohji said, starting to regain consciousness now that the caffeine was circulating through his system. "But Aya isn't the type to talk about it. So he'll just get through it on his own, same as always."
"What do you think's happened though? This isn't like him. He's normally so calm and collected…" Ken said.
Yohji cleared his throat as Aya sat coolly in his seat. He took a sip of his tea and scowled. It was cold. An extended moment of awkward silence passed, and then Aya said evenly, his hair still wet and dripping onto his shirt, "next time you feel like talking about me, make sure I'm not in the room."
"Aya…we're sorry, really! It's just…you're acting so strange. We're worried about you," Omi protested. That kid never knew when to give up.
"Why…did you just…?"
She smiled softly at him and said, "you think it's because I'm angry at him for killing my brother, don't you? But..it's not that at all…"
'…not…that at all…' Aya's mind still traced over the words.
Aya said nothing. There were things that could be said, but he wasn't one to waste words. And they didn't know. They had no idea that he wasn't the one…
'They don't know that I wasn't the one who killed that man.'
"Yo Birman!" Yohji said cheerfully over the rim of his sunglasses as he dropped his arm over the brunette's shoulder. She had her hair up in a ponytail today, and as a result, her usual school teacher charm was replaced with something reminiscent of an adorable high-schooler. Granted, Birman had been out of school for quite some time, but she still had something of a baby face.
The woman tensed and shrugged out from under his arm. Unlike Manx, Birman just couldn't get used to the overly flirtatious Yohji. And speaking of Manx…
"That's enough, Balinese. You won't have as much time as usual, so we need to debrief you quickly."
"You can debrief me anytime Manx!" Yohji said, using the obvious joke.
Manx just rolled her eyes, and so did everyone else.
"From the look on your faces, I'd say this one is going to be trouble," Ken scowled.
"I wouldn't say that…exactly," Birman hedged.
"Let's not beat around the proverbial bush boys. Due to recent circumstances and increasingly more dangerous missions, Persia has decided that Weiss is no longer able to handle such threats as they stand at current moment."
"WHAAT!!!???" Ken freaked, naturally, and the others looked none too pleased. "You're not disbanding us again are you!?" he fumed.
"Not at all," Birman added coolly, trying to get the boys to calm down, which never seemed to be all-business Manx's strong point. "Actually, you're going to be getting a little extra help from now on."
"Define extra help…" Yohji said skeptically.
"A fifth member."
Ken blinked. Omi gaped. Yohji stared over his sunglasses looking confused. And, as usual, Aya wore a pensively skeptical scowl.
"Try not too worry too much about it, just clear out the extra room where you keep all that junk you four have been collecting. Calico is going to need a place to sleep on occasion, after all."
"Calico," Aya stated dryly. So that was the new member's codename. Well, frankly, he didn't like it. Now not only would they have to work, they would have to baby sit some new rookie.
Manx nodded. "Your new member's codename is Calico. Unfortunately, due to the nature of this new case, you'll be meeting for the first time during the mission. It can't be helped."
With each word, Aya's eyes narrowed more dangerously, his scowl grew darker. He didn't like this plan. He didn't like this mission or this plan one little bit. They had their mission parameters. It seemed simple, but there were a lot of guards and a lot of ways to make mistakes if they weren't careful. Security was top notch, but that wasn't usually a problem with Omi and his hacking skills. The problem was there were two separate places within the building that needed to get hit, and this newbie was going to be…doing something else, apparently, so that meant somebody had to go alone. Of course, Aya volunteered. He'd always been a lone wolf, and though he knew the advantages of teamwork, he still felt if someone had to go it alone, it would be best for it to be him.
He would carry out the assassination. Ken and Yohji would rescue the "test subjects". Omi would take care of security. And apparently Calico would be doing…something that he didn't understand the least little bit, but Omi nodded gravely.
"Are you sure?" the youngest member of Weiss asked. "Even the slightest miscalculation…"
Manx smiled slightly. "I wouldn't worry about that person. Calico, if nothing else, still seems to have a very strong will to live. God only knows why. Anyway, here."
Manx handed a small envelope to Omi. It was hand-written, but you'd hardly know that the whole thing was written by the same person.
"What is it?" Yohji asked, peering over the young man's shoulder from behind the couch.
"Looks like our first communication from Calico," Omi said, reading aloud:
Avoid second level conference room and all vents excluding first floor duct, west wing. Rendezvous at point 7-3-21 (see blueprints enclosed) at 03:27. Don't be late. Keep your ears open. From the fist "clanking noise" you'll have exactly twelve minutes to make it to rendezvous. Watch out for the heat sensors on the third level. And if you hear a ticking sound and don't see a clock within 3 yards, duck. …quickly.
"Well, there you have it. I know you're not the most trusting guys in the world, but I'm sure you'll all get along just fine."
Aya's glare darkened on Manx.
"I don't like it," Yohji huffed. "It sounds like we're going to be putting a lot of faith in someone we don't even know, who's going to be doing something that we have no information on."
"If it works out though, extra help will be good, right?" Ken offered.
"I wonder what he's like," Omi thought aloud.
"Don't give me that look," Manx scolded the two elder members like spoiled children. "I think you'll all get along just fine."
Birman nodded and chuckled. "It's true," she said. "The first time I met that one, I thought, 'wow, it's Abysinnian…only shorter…and without the sword.'" Her expression got more gentle. "Seriously though, just trust that Calico is a person who will not allow innocent people to get hurt. I think, the only place in the whole world for someone like that one…is Weiss."
Yohji sighed. "Aya, only shorter, and without a sword, huh? So we're dealing with a monosyllabic, grumpy midget who likes to throw temper tantrums?"
Yohji rubbed the back of his head after a textbook came flying in his direction. "Ow! Aya!"
Aya just glared at him, but it was his "good natured" glare. The one that said, 'haha very funny, now shut up before I throw the whole shelf.'
"It's not that," Birman said softly as she stopped before ascending the stairs. "It's just…the eyes. Anyway, good luck."
"Birman!" Ken called on second thought. "What's his name?"
Birman gave them a sad little smile before turning and leaving without giving them an answer.
"Why didn't you tell them?" Manx asked when Birman closed the car door.
"The name that that person has…is not one that can be used so easily. Calico is a person who can create an entirely new identity. I wouldn't dream of taking that chance away from her."
"Do you really think this is a good idea? Putting that girl in the flower shop with Yohji around?" Manx said wryly.
Birman smiled, amused at the joke.
"Oh, I think it'll be just fine. Anyway, you and I both know what happened on their last mission. After that sort of thing… …"
"It has to be Weiss. A person like that has nowhere else to go. You're right, of course. Still, they're all so young. It's a shame."
"It's just…this sort of person will never be punished by the law. If Taro was the last one, if I could be sure this man would never cause any trouble again, I would be able to walk away and leave him his life. But I'm not an idealist, and I can't allow him to hurt anyone else. That's all. People like this…can't be allowed to continue down such dark paths. That's all. You understand, right?"
"I…" Aya had been at a loss for words. This person was…someone who understood. If she knew who he was, why he was here…she wouldn't have a problem with it at all.
"It's okay. Don't say anything. I already know the answers, because, you're the person…" Those spider-web eyes locked his like a magnet, like she couldn't help it any more than he could. "You're the person…" she seemed to be lost, unable to put the right words to what they both already understood, but didn't really understand much at all. "…who's most similar to me in this world," she decided on finally. "Well, the police will be here soon. You should go."
"What are you…?"
"Going to do? Who knows? I think I'll wait for them to arrest me. I did kill somebody , after all. It's no more than I deserve, right? It doesn't matter who he was or how bad. I still killed a person, and I won't run away from that."
Aya sighed, staring up at the ceiling. He was supposed to be resting before what promised to be a very annoying mission, but he couldn't get his mind off of that girl. He still couldn't forget about her, when he should be thinking of someone else entirely, of Calico. He scowled at the thought. "A fifth member of Weiss, huh?" he said, sitting up. "That person…does that mean that this person, is also dead?" He threw his legs over the side of the bed and decided to head downstairs.
"How terrible," Ken said, clenching his fists on his knees from where he watched the television. News. Ken really only ever watched sports or the news. He liked to call the news "homework". Knowing everything that was going on would be good should a case arise that he'd seen something about. Well, it was something like that. It had yet to happen that Ken ever remembered what he saw though…
"What is it?" Aya asked as he leaned against the wall.
Omi looked up from the corner where he was working on the computer again. He was busy trying not to pay attention to the news. Didn't want to think about it.
"Do you remember that mission two weeks ago, Aya?"
Aya's eyes widened marginally. 'Two weeks ago…' "I won't ever allow it!" Remember? He'd been trying to forget. "What about it?" he asked finally.
"It seems that guy, the singer, died in a car accident yesterday. Drunk driver."
'That, guy. The singer…but…he's been dead for two weeks! He was the one who'd died before…what the hell is going on?!'
"What do you mean died in a car accident?" Aya demanded. "That guy died before we even got there," he said, taking a few steps forward and glaring at the television. He knew that guy was dead.
"Are you sure you're not just over-tired Aya?" Yohji asked from the stairwell. "We all know that mission got to you. It was the guitarist that died, wasn't it? His sister."
"NO!" Aya demanded of them angrily. "I'm telling you it was that guy. I'm absolutely positive. That girl…she was definitely alive when we left." He clamped his mouth shut. He'd already said too much. Damnit.
"Aya?" Ken asked, eyes wide. "What are you…?"
"I'm going out," Aya said. "I'll be back in time for the mission."
'That girl. That girl is definitely not dead. If she…no…she would never die that easily. I refuse to believe it.'
It wasn't until he got halfway down the street that he realized he didn't even have a name to go on. Had no idea where that man's body was buried. He pulled over to the side of the road and rested his head on the steering wheel. 'Damnit. What's wrong with me?'
Aya's head shot up. "Sakura…"
Sakura, she'd told him she was in love with him once. Maybe she still was. But to return her love…it was…impossible. 'I'm sorry. But even now that Aya has returned to me, all I can see in you is her.'
"Are you alright, Aya?"
"You're lying," she said, smiling sweetly down at him as she leaned on the car door. "What's wrong? Something you can't tell me about, right?"
"… …" He said nothing right away. By all rights, that was true.
"Aya-chan is at the store. She wanted to buy Black Friday's newest CD. That accident. It's so sad, they're all dead now," Sakura sighed. "They weren't very much older than us, and they were just about to become really popular. And then poor Taro-kun, dying in that car accident last night. But at least he'll get to go to be with his sister. It's so sad, but I have to think about it like that, or I might start crying again," Sakura said.
It took a moment for Aya's mind to do the math. That's right. That mission two weeks ago. It had been a new band who was doing a benefit concert for a Children's Hospital that was being used as a base for medical experimentation. Dozens of children had been killed over it. And one of the people in the band seemed to have some inside information. How they got it was a mystery, but that's how that guy ended up dead, that guy the news was calling "Taro".
"Sakura, is there anywhere I can see a picture of this band?" his voice came off a little more urgent than he meant it to. He didn't know why he cared, really. Weiss had done their job. He should let it go, move on…but…something just wasn't settling right about all of this at all.
Sakura dug around in her backpack and produced the album. The band members were on the cover, and, sure enough under "Taro's arm" was a girl who looked almost identical to him. A girl with black hair and gray-green eyes.
"…you understand, don't you?"'Twins. They were twins. But, then, is she really dead? Was she killed by a drunk driver?' "I think I'll wait for them to arrest me. I did kill somebody , after all. It's no more than I deserve, right? It doesn't matter who he was or how bad. I still killed a person, and I won't run away from that." But, then, why would she be in that car? Wasn't she going to let herself get arrested. She shouldn't even have been on the street. It had to be a mistake, right? The reporters got it wrong.
"Aya, what is it?"
"I…know this girl. There's got to be a mistake. It doesn't make any sense."
"Oh Aya. Even you can be in shock, huh?" Sakura said sadly as he handed the album back to her. "I'm sorry. Were you close?"
"I…didn't even know her name," he answered before turning the car back on and driving off again without another word. He just needed to clear his head before the mission, that was all. She was dead. People died all the time. It was just that something seemed so off about it somehow, something that seemed so contrived. And he wasn't really sure why he cared.
"Ran! Ran!" He looked up from where he'd parked his car on the side of the road. He hadn't even realized he'd stopped driving, he was so preoccupied.
"Aya…" he got out of the car in time for his sister to cheerfully tackle him, a small shopping bag in her hand. He gave her a little squeeze in return. It still felt like a dream: Aya being awake and well.
"How are you? You haven't come by to see us in our new apartment yet, you know," she scolded her brother. Since she and Sakura had met, they had hit it off really well, and now they shared a small apartment while they worked and went to school. It had been about two months.
"I've been busy with work," he hedged.
"Pah. Liar. Sakura said she saw you driving around a little while ago. You were troubled. Do you want to talk about it big brother?"
"Hey, is it really true? What Sakura said…" Aya-chan shifted her weight from foot too foot. "You knew Taro's sister."
Aya nodded slightly. "We met once, so I guess you could say I know her."
"It's so sad!" Aya-chan protested. "I learned a saying in school," Aya-chan said. "In my English class. It was something like… 'the candle that burns brightly only burns for a very short time.' Do you think that's really true? So bright…that's just too sad…"
'A candle…' An image of those spider-web eyes passed through his mind once again. 'Is that really…how it was for her? Like a flickering candle…?'
"How old was she?" the word escaped his lips before he knew what he was asking. He didn't realize he wasn't asking about all of them, or even both of them, just her, just that one girl.
"She was nineteen. Ran, did you like her?"
"Of course not," he scoffed.
"You really did, didn't you?"
"Cut it out, Aya," he grumbled as she reached up to touch his face. He caught her hand. "It's nothing like that at all. I met her once. I didn't even know her name." He got back in the car. "Do you want a ride somewhere?"
Aya-chan shook her head. "No, I'm just going home. It's only around the block."
"Alright. Be careful then."
"Ran? Do you want a copy of their cd? She sings on it. She never sang on any of the other ones. It's such a pretty song. I think you'll like it. Do you want…?"
"… …yeah. Thanks. I'll stop by to pick it up sometime next week, okay?"
Aya-chan smiled. "Okay! Call before you come! Sakura and I will make dinner alright!"