Disclaimer: None of the characters depicted here belong to me. I'm just taking wild liberties with them.
Eifersucht - Part 1
By Alexis C.
The streets of Tokyo were silent tonight. Street lamps lined the concrete road shedding soft yellow pools of light at regular intervals on the ground beneath. The lanes that were teeming with people and salesmen in the light of the day were now devoid of human life. A torn newspaper drifted across the road as the chilly wind danced through the streets.
The soft purring of a mechanical engine far off into the distance ended the silence.
The noise grew gradually, punctuated by a series of faint explosions ringing across the night.
And the night erupted into a fury of noise and colour.
A car spun wildly around the corner, its tires screeching madly. Half of its bumper was trailing on the ground, sending up a shower of sparks. The smell of burning rubber was heavy in the air. The car was bullet-ridden, heavily dented in several areas and hardly seemed capable of pulling off those sharp turns. But it held together, and pushed onward, as if it was being fueled by the desperation of the driver himself.
Several other cars rounded the corner as well. These were black, sleek and powerful cars that were none worse the wear for the long distance they had covered or the punishment their owners had forced on them. A window slid open on the first of these cars and a black nozzle appeared through the opening, aimed right at the moving heap of scrap metal ahead.
A short pause, then a burst of gunfire in rapid succession.
The tyres of the car in front exploded. It spun across the road, the abused metal screaming all the way, and slammed head-on into a lamp post.
The car door flew open, and a man half-fell, half-scrambled out of the car. He couldn't have been any quicker, for he'd barely crossed a safe enough distance before the car exploded into flames. The resulting force of the blast knocked him to the ground, and he let out a gasp, as raw pain sliced through his body. The blood from the injuries he'd sustained earlier had soaked deep into his clothes, staining them a dark rich shade.
He was getting dizzy.
He forced his weary limbs to move, gritting his teeth as he got to his feet, and then swayed dangerously, as his vision blurred.
A soft metallic click beside his head.
He didn't look up. He was having too much trouble staying upright as it was.
Besides, he didn't need his eyes to know he was surrounded.
"To resist us is folly. You will only bring more pain upon yourself. Come quietly now."
A mirthless chuckle.
The men around the lone figure tensed, guns at the ready.
The man in the centre of the circle closed his eyes and concentrated.
The soft whispering of a thousand overlapping voices filled the air.
The men glanced uneasily around, their guns still trained on the target before them.
It was beside their ears, and suddenly it was in their head, growing louder and louder until it became a roar in their minds, a terrible raging presence they could not throw out. They were puppets, they could not move. Their bodies were not their own anymore. To their horror, they found themselves raising their guns slowly to their own foreheads.
"W-What... are you doing?!"
The man raised his head. Although he still trembled with the mere effort of standing, his emerald-green eyes were cold, and the smirk on his lips was cruel.
"I am Schwarz. We do not... 'come quietly'."
He closed his eyes.
There was the thunderous sound of multiple guns going off simultaneously.
The bodies fell to the ground as one.
The glass shattered into tiny sparkling fragments, its contents spilling across the black tiles in a dark stain.
The blonde dropped to his knees immediately, reaching out for one of the broken shards on the floor without thinking.
Pain lanced through his finger and he dropped the offending shard immediately.
"Shit! Yohji, are you okay?!"
Yohji raised his gaze from the mess on the ground, dark crimson blossoming from the cut on his hand.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
He smiled reassuring at Ken, but the other man was already vaulting across the counter to him. Ken seized his hand and inspected it carefully.
"Tch. Looks bad," Ken muttered, a little crossly. "What were you thinking?" He grumbled, grabbing a handful of tissues from a box nearby and pressing the paper to the wound firmly to stem the bleeding.
"You spaced out again, didn't you? Do you have any band-aids here?" Ken asked accusingly, opening a cupboard and searching sloppily through it.
"In the drawer to your right," Yohji responded tiredly. He almost regretted telling Ken about the episodes he had been having, but Ken had noticed that something was amiss with him recently and he had badgered Yohji incessantly about it until Yohji had finally given in and told him.
The blood was soaking through the tissues as it was, but Yohji couldn't seem to bring himself to care much about it.
"It's just a minor cut. Go home, Ken, I can manage this."
Ken scowled darkly as he trampled over the shards, sending some of them sliding across the polished floor as he kicked into them in his hurry to get to Yohji.
"What are you so worried about?" Yohji asked lightly. "You've certainly seen me with worse injuries."
Ken frowned in concentration as he carefully positioned the plaster over Yohji's cut before pressing it firmly onto the wound.
It stung a little and Yohji winced slightly.
"I've seen enough blood tonight. I don't want to see anymore of it. Especially on you," Ken muttered. His dark head was bowed before Yohji's, his bangs covering almost all of his face, but Yohji knew the expression that Ken was certain to be wearing now, with his eyebrows furrowed together and his forehead creased with worry lines.
"Maybe you need to see a doctor."
Yohji shook his head with a sigh.
"I just haven't been sleeping well lately. It's probably what's causing these drifts in my attention span," he admitted.
Ken's thumb brushed over a scarred line across Yohji's wrist and a slight tingle ran up Yohji's spine. The phantom pain would never go away so long as the scars in his heart never healed.
Yohji sighed softly and patted Ken's head gently. He knew why Ken was so upset of course. It was his fault after all. But it had all happened such a long time ago.
"I'm okay now."
Gently, he withdrew his hands from Ken's grasp and stood up.
"You've had a long day and I'll be done as soon as I clear up this mess, so why don't you just head for home? I'll pop by the flower shop tomorrow, I promise."
Yohji grabbed the broom and began sweeping up the glass shards into the pan.
"You're awfully eager to get rid of me tonight," Ken grumbled, picking up a cloth and bending down to mop up the liquid on the floor.
"Yeah, so just get the hint and go already," Yohi replied with a grin, relieving the cloth from Ken's hold and going over to the tiny sink in the enclosed area to rinse it.
"Oh god. You're not expecting that muscle bound oaf from the jungle tonight, are you?" Ken asked, in horrified tones.
Yohji smacked him in the back of the head, pain in the hand forgotten.
"Ass. You promised not to mention that again," he said, flushing.
"Well, it wasn't a sight that I could forget easily," Ken muttered, rubbing the back of his head resentfully.
He had only forgotten to lock the door ONCE. And of course, Ken would have to amble into the pub with Ran on that night of all nights to catch Yohji in the midst of a drunken sex romp.
He had all the luck, really.
"If you want my opinion, he was bad. Even for your standards," Ken offered helpfully.
"I never asked for your opinion," Yohji told him grumpily. "And I've explained it all to you before. I was drunk. I had no idea who I was doing."
"It looked more like he was doing you," Ken muttered.
Yohji flung the cloth at him, cheeks burning hotly.
God. His friends were all idiots.
He didn't know how long it'd been since he'd killed those men. It could be minutes, it could be hours, it could be days. He drifted in and out of consciousness. Each time, when he awoke, he found himself in a place different from the last place where he'd collapsed. It was as if he was moving without even being aware of it. He was burning with a fever and too weak to keep up his shields. Thoughts assaulted him, encroaching on his own sanity and they left him more drained with each successive wave. He had no way of making them go away. He was drowning, he was breaking, he couldn't find himself...
And still he kept moving, stumbling from place to place like a street vagrant. He didn't know where he was going, just that he had to keep on moving, or they'd find him.
The streets of Tokyo were wet tonight.
Rain poured down from the heavy overcast sky in a relentless torrent. It ran down the transparent pane of the car window in tiny rivulets. The images of the outside surroundings were distorted, reduced to mere smudges of colour by the many trickles of water sliding down the pane. Yohji stared out at the window, his mind not really registering the strange-looking images that flashed by. Beside him, Ran was driving in comfortable silence, soft melodious tunes playing from the car radio while Ken slumbered away in the back.
"Ken said you haven't been sleeping well lately."
Yohji suppressed the small sigh that threatened to escape his lips, but remained silent. He had been having dreams recently. Disturbing dreams that shook him from his sleep, leaving him gasping and clutching the blakets in his sweat-slicked palms in the dead of the night. Yohji had always had bad dreams but they had been fading away away with time. Lately though, the dreams had been coming back with a vengeance. Yohji's dreams were never really a welcome subject of discussion. After all, some things were better left in the past. And his dreams were definitely something that Yohji wanted buried away for good. Dreams about his days as an assassin were bad enough. Now, he had to contend with dreams of a lover, six years gone.
"He's worried about you."
Apparently, Ran was not to be dissuaded from this conversation.
"And you're worried about him because he's worrying about me."
Ran scowled ferociously and sneaked a peek in the rearview mirror to make sure that Ken was still sleeping.
"Don't try to change the topic. Are you?"
"Am I what?"
"Having trouble sleeping."
Yohji frowned at his reflection in the side window.
"Ken worries too much about me."
"He thinks he has reason to. Is he right?"
Yohji made a dismissive sort of noise.
"I'm just an ordinary bartender manning an ordinary pub now.You're the ones putting your necks on the line night after night. If anything, I should be the one worrying about you guys. You almost bungled your last mission, didn't you?"
"It all worked out alright in the end," Ran replied, a defensive edge creeping into his tone.
"Omi said it was because you lost it when Ken got struck by that dart."
Ran said nothing, but his expression was stony.
"When are you going to tell him?" Yohji pressed.
"There's nothing to tell."
"We both know better than that."
Ran growled warningly, low in his throat and Yohji fell silent, vaguely satisfied that Ran had given up pressing him on details about his dreams.
Ken stirred in the back seat.
"Are we there yet?" He mumbled, eyes shut, obviously still half asleep.
"Soon," Ran informed him, eyes darting up again to the mirror, looking slightly unnerved.
"Oh okay," he murmured and sank back down to sleep again.
He wanted a cigarette. He was trying to quit, but some days, he just felt like giving in.
Why had he started dreaming about him again? He hadn't thought of him for some time. For a while, Yohji had thought that he had finally gotten over him and then suddenly the dreams had started. So it had taken him awhile to stop trying to imagine that each person he bedded was him. So he still found himself biting his own tongue every now and then to keep from moaning out his name. It didn't mean anything.
Old habits were just hard to break.
It wasn't as if he was still obsessing about him. It had been six years for crying out loud! That was more than enough time for a broken heart to repair itself. He'd even dated a few people. Admittedly, these hadn't lasted, but that was nothing new.
The car rolled to a halt at its destination. Yohji didn't move. He sat quietly in the dark for a while, watching the rain beat down on the windscreen.
"I'm worried too."
Yohji glanced over.
Ran was wearing his habitual frown, staring at the steering wheel in front of him.
"It's not just Ken I'm worried about."
Yohji blinked, startled by Ran's unusually honest admission.
"... I know," he said, and his expression softened into a smile. "All of you shouldn't... but I know you do anyway."
He pushed the car door opened, and the roar of the rain filled the small space within the car.
"I'll see you soon."
Ken blinked sleepily at the sudden noise.
"... Bye, Yohji."
Yohji gave him an amicable smile, waved and darted out of the car.
He charged into the building as quickly as he could to avoid being thoroughly drenched.
In the end, he'd gotten soaked after all.
Yohji sighed heavily as he let his sodden clothing drop to the cold tiles of the bathroom floor with a wet splat. He hoped the guys were back at their respective apartments already. No one should be out in this miserably cold and wet weather.
Shivering, he stepped into the bathtub and twisted the knobs quickly, eager to immerse his cold body in the anticipated warmth of the water. The water was hot, and as the heated liquid gushed down upon him, his skin tingled with pleasure. For a while, he simply stood there, his head down, eyes shut, letting the water trail down his skin and luxuriating in the warm comfort of the water.
He knew the guys had worried for him for a long time after the break-up with Schuldig. He had been difficult in the aftermath. Bad-tempered and miserable, he'd turned to alcohol, drugs and mindless sex to take the loneliness and the pain away. At the height of his depression, he'd even taken a blade to his wrists. Ken had discovered him that day and rushed him to the hospital, something that Yohji had never forgiven himself for. He knew Ken was still haunted by the image of him sitting there with blood running down his hands. That was why he got so paranoid about Yohji sometimes. Yohji couldn't blame him for it. He really had scared Ken that day.
So it was a good thing that Ran had dropped by Yohji's apartment one day in the wake of Yohji's suicide attempt and happened upon the drugs. That had been the last straw for the redhead. He had yelled at Yohji for hours about his stupidity and his selfishness. The shock of Ran, the ice king himself, being so concerned about Yohji's welfare had overwhelmed the core of him that had been left hurt and blistering in the wake of Schuldig's departure. In the middle of Ran's angry tirade, Yohji had just broken down and cried himself stupid into the flustered man's arms. He hadn't been able to look Ran in the eye for days after that and Ran had acted as if Yohji was made of porcelain in the same few days, being very very careful not to upset Yohji in any way for fear that he would suffer another emotional outburst, but it had all worked out in the end. Yohji had thrown out his drugs, given up his suicidal tendencies and Ran and him had grown closer after the embarrassing incident.
Yohji had still been depressed after that, but he had stopped messing with the drugs and having suicidal tendencies and that was something at least.
Yohji turned off the shower and began to slather soap liberally over the hard contours of his body. He had stopped working as an assassin for Kritiker even before he had started associating with Schuldig on a more personal level, but he had kept himself in shape. The future was after all, unpredictable and there was no telling if he would one day be dragged back into the world of blood and shadows. One stayed a killer no matter the amount of time that had passed. The blood could never truly be washed off his hands once they were stained with it. Yohji had turned in his gun, blades and various assortment of lethal weapons that he had stashed away over the years under Kritiker once he left their employment, but he kept his watch and his wires.
"Think you can kill me, Weiss?"
His eyes were cruel and mocking, even though Yohji had his wire wrapped around the other man's neck. Yohji scowled, he had the upper hand here, he could crush Schuldig's wind pipe with one hard tug, yet... He let out a sharp gasp as Schuldig jerked forward suddenly -
Yohji slammed on the brakes to that particular memory and scowled.
Yohji sat quietly in the darkness of his living room, watching the strange fluid shadows of the rain that was still pouring down, on the walls of his apartment. He couldn't sleep. Thoughts of his Schuldig kept flooding his mind.
The dreams of the past nights... they had been warped. They were filled with blood, pain and at the center of them all was always Schuldig. He dreamt of Schuldig being hurt, he dreamt of Schuldig killing and he dreamt of Schuldig being the way he was when they were together all those years back.
Something was... off. It felt almost as if Schuldig was calling for him?
But that was impossible. No one knew where Schwarz was now and he had heard no news about Schuldig after Schuldig had walked out the door that day. The team had just disappeared into thin air after that huge incident in the warehouse.
A bitter little smile twisted his lips.
He hated himself for not being able to forget Schuldig, but there was no help for it. Schuldig was just like Asuka. He was a memory like an old injury that would never fully heal. Schuldig was a scar that had carved itself onto his soul permanently.
The sudden bang on his door made him jump.
He shot out of seat instantly, his back ramrod straight as he stared at the door, his fingers twitching over his bare wrist. Paranoia was just something that came naturally to assassins and Yohji had never been able to free himself from its grasp. After all, who would come looking for him at this ungodly hour in the morning?
... Ran, Ken or Omi.
He found himself almost tripping over the coffee table in his haste to get to the door. If any one of them were in trouble and couldn't go back to the flower shop, this was one of the first places they would turn to, Yohji had made sure of that. What if Ran and Ken had been attacked on their way back? What if one of them was hurt, or bleeding to death on his doorstep? It wouldn't be the first time they had come to his place as a refuge.
Yohji grasped the door knob and twisted it sharply. The door swung inwards.
The first thing that registered was the colour red.
The next was the impact of another body against his. Fingers twisted against his shirt, staining them red as Yohji stared numbly down at the injured man slumped against him.
Slowly, almost mechanically, Yohji's arms came around the trembling figure before him. Something was clawing painfully at his chest, tearing its sharp talons into a world of hurt and forbidden memories that he wanted locked away forever.
The man clutching him let out a soft gasping noise of pain. He raised his head slowly, revealing a painfully familiar face that was partially obscured by messy long bangs. There was a flash of brilliant green and a hint of recognition and relief in them with the soft flutter of eyelashes, then the body went completely still in Yohji's arms.
End Part 1