Soccer and other games

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Warnings/notes : Schuldich/Ken, slightly weird, drabble-is shortie, ooc?.

Disclaimer : I don't own Weiss Kreuz.

written at 20th august 2004, by Misura, for Minerva Solo.

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"Manchester United beat Bayern-Muenchen with two to one yesterday," is the first thing out of Ken's mouth as he spots Schuldich. His pronunciation of the foreign names is painstakingly precise, as if he has practiced for hours at getting them exactly right.

Ken's eyes glitter, as if in his mind he still sees the game and could burst out cheering any moment now. Schuldich finds it strangely endearing.

And yet another proof that Ken really is nothing more than a kid. A kitten.

"Which should matter to me ... why?" Schuldich drawls lazily.

He could read Ken's mind, of course, and find out everything. All the answers to any question he might ever have concerning Ken Hidaka, also known as Siberian. Bypassing the barrier of language, since although Schuldich speaks japanese reasonably well nowadays, he knows there are still nuances that go past him.

It's why he usually employs his gift during conversations with people not Schwarz. Just enough of it to see what they're thinking of while they're talking.

To do such a thing in his little chats with Ken though would be cheating. Schuldich loves his games too much to spoil them for himself by breaking the rules he has made for them. Now, if, for example, -Crawford- would have laid down those rules, making them some sort of order ... then, yes, Schuldich wouldn't have bothered sticking to them.

The name of the game Schuldich is playing with Ken today, and has been playing for the past few months, is 'a relationship'. It's not one he plays often, preferring the kind of game that leaves people to wake up in a seedy hotel-room, feeling sore and dirty, without any memory of how they got there.

In those games, Schuldich is free to use his telepathy as much as he likes. And Schuldich likes using his gift quite a lot, even if he sometimes wishes he'd never been born with it.

But a good four months ago, Crawford has mentioned that within one year, Schwarz will have to lay low for a while. A long while, actually.

Crawford hasn't said anything beyond that, nothing to indicate he expects Schuldich to make an effort to restrain himself or to practice at not being able to read minds. Yet Crawford -has- mentioned that Estet will be the ones whose attention they are going to have to evade.

Because of that, because for once, Crawford seems to put some trust into him and hasn't tried to boss him around, Schuldich is making this effort.

Probably, Crawford wasn't expecting him to pick a member of Weiss to practice with, but Schuldich enjoys the taste of danger. Or maybe it's just the thrill of having power over someone who hated him not so long ago.

"You're german, aren't you?" Ken replies. He really eyes Schuldich as if that answer should have been obvious. As if Ken himself supports each and every japanese soccer-club and doesn't have posters of english and spanish teams hanging on the walls of his bedroom.

It almost made Schuldich feel like a pedophile that one time he dropped by for a visit, at a night when the rest of Weiss wasn't home. Adults -do not- plaster their walls with soccer-posters.

"Kritiker's research on Schwarz has yielded some of my deepest, darkest secrets, it seems. Did they also find out I have red hair, or is that information classified?" Schuldich inquires, amused by the way Ken stiffens at the name of Kritiker.

Well, they -are- in a rather public place, in theory. Anyone could see them. Anyone could overhear them. And Kritiker's almost as messy as Estet in dealing with people who don't know how to keep their mouth shut.

Schuldich doesn't worry. Crawford needs him, so he'd have told Schuldich if some creep from Estet was going to overhear his chat with Ken today. And since Crawford needs Weiss as well, it's a logical deduction that none of Kritiker's agents is here today either.

Crawford may be a prissy, uptight and bossy bastard, but nobody ever accused him of not being able to ensure the safety of his team or of acting illogical.

"They have a picture of you in their database," Ken admits reluctantly. As if Nagi hasn't hacked into Kritiker's files hundreds of times already to satisfy Crawford thirst for knowledge about how much Kritiker knows about them. Not that Ken's aware of that, of course.

"I hope it does me justice. Pictures so rarely do. Take yours, for example." Estet does not have any pictures of Weiss. Why bother, if they can simply use Kritiker's database to find out what their teams look like?

For the same reason, Estet does not keep pictures of their own teams. They have the number of Crawford's cell-phone and unlimited credit-card, and that's enough for them. They trust Crawford to manage his team and complete their assignments, in exchange for the money they pay him and the right to remain alive.

"Do you have a picture of me?" Ken sounds surprised. His 'you' sounds like it's singular. Like he expects Schuldich to whip out his wallet and open it to reveal a picture of Ken.

Schuldich wonders how anyone can be so naive.

"Sure. I carry a cute, little portrait of you wherever I go, so that the rest of Schwarz can see I'm dating someone they'd love to cut to pieces." Schuldich snorts. "Well, actually only Farfarello would do that. Crawford would just shoot you and Nagi'd simply make you go 'splut' to some nearby wall."

Schuldich is lying. The rest of Schwarz knows already. But once again, it's none of Ken's business to know that. Better to let him believe Schuldich's in the same boat he is.

Ken's face darkens. Not in anger, but rather like he has become aware of the real world again, like his earlier sunny cheerfulness has been overshadowed by the knowledge of what he is. What Schuldich is.

"And you?" Ken demands, almost growling.

"Me?" Schuldich plays innocent.

"How do -you- like to kill people?" Ken's voice has risen in volume.

"You're drawing too much attention to yourself, Kenken." Schuldich clucks his tongue disapprovingly. "Besides, you're perfectly aware what my weapon of choice is."

"A gun." Ken sounds disgusted. As if ripping a person's guts out with a pair of bugnuks is so much cleaner than shooting him.

Schuldich shrugs. He was actually referring to his mind, but he doesn't feel like correcting Ken. If the boy's too innocent to realize that Schuldich's mind is more lethal than any gun could ever be, well, that's his problem.

"I'm out of here." Ken shoves his chair back, so violently it clatters to the floor. A few other customers of the cafeteria look up. Ken's cheeks are red with anger already, so it's hard to tell if he's blushing with embarrassment as well when he picks up his chair and sets it upright again.

"I'll see you this evening, the usual place, the usual time," Schuldich remarks calmly, feeling like Crawford. He grimaces.

"Don't count on it," Ken snaps, before stalking away.

Schuldich finishes his coffee, not responding to the waitress who flirts with him as he asks for the bill, telling him he deserves someone better than that rude young man who walked out on him.

OWARI