Title: Never Saw It Coming
Author: Mookie
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 1,469
Warnings: mention of male/male sex, some strong language, first attempt at writing for this fandom, blah blah blah, hope it doesn't suck
Notes: response to ficondemand request by nerein. Takes place post-series and pre-Glühen.

Schuldig rolled his eyes for the fourth time in the last hour as Crawford continued to berate them for their crowning achievement to date - failing to take down Weiss once and for all.

The bastards were lucky, he acknowledged grudgingly, picking up his wineglass and deliberately extending his pinkie as he did so, giving Crawford a small mental nudge so that he'd notice the gesture.

He was sure that their illustrious leader knew that in spirit, it had been a completely different finger.

They were holed up in this dump temporarily, something that irritated Brad to no end. That alone almost made it bearable to Schuldig, that and watching the expression of distaste cross the brunet's face with increasing regularity.

No one would ever accuse Crawford of wanting less than the best, however. Nagi had brought them a rather elegant meal. A neat trick, watching each course barrel through the broken window, then gently coming to a rest on the tablecloth.

Technically, it was a bed sheet, but it was a clean bit of linen and Crawford had not wanted to look at the layer of grime that covered the chipped table.

Only the two of them were seated at the table. Nagi was staring out the window, most likely recovering from the incident with that annoying snip of a girl. All the members of Schreiend had been entertaining to watch, but Nagi had taken a real shine to Tot for some reason.

Schuldig smirked at Crawford and set his glass down, drumming on the stem thoughtfully.

Nagi was young, and as such was more vulnerable to such things as the illusion of love. Up until recently, Schuldig would have written it off as a simple mislabeling of teenage lust, but the Nagi surprised him.

The boy might be heartsick, but Brad needed to get laid. Schuldig suggested as much to him without saying a word, receiving one of Crawford's imperious glares.

He leaned back and looked at the ceiling. Crawford wasn't the only one who could use that sort of outlet. Schuldig hadn't had the urge in some time, but his libido always seemed to get a jump-start whenever they tangled with Weiß.

It had too long since Schuldig had last tangled with another man for reasons that had nothing to do with Takatori or Kritiker's little puppets or Esset. There were times, like now, when he had the opportunity to think about sex.

He glanced at Nagi again. The kid was doomed to miss out on what real sex was like.

He'd tried it with women; how would he know he didn't like it otherwise? It wasn't the same - in the end, there was really no challenge. There was some potential for variety, but it was still far too predictable for Schuldig.

With a man, on the other hand...half the fun was the anticipation and struggle for dominance. Would he be the one slamming his hips against the backside of his bent over partner? Or would he be pressed down on the mattress, arching his back to accept the invasion deeper, harder, and at a better angle?

He wondered how it would be to fight for the dominant position with any one of Weiß. He blanched briefly, striking Takatori's son from the list right away. He wasn't a pedophile, after all.

They were all full of adrenaline and anger and their own personal demons. He'd perhaps enjoy it if he were more like Farfarello, but he had enough noise in his head as it was without trying to tap any deeper into the minds of someone like Fujimiya.

He licked his lips unconsciously, imagining what Fujimiya Ran might look like in the throes of passion. He already knew what the man's fighting expression was like.

He'd given a fleeting thought on several occasions to sending a little imagery to the swordsman, but it seemed rather unsporting. Besides, while sexual tension was a good distraction technique, there was always the unlikely possibility that it could backfire.

That, and Schuldig would much rather pin Fujimiya the old fashioned way.

He reached for another helping of norimaki, only to feel the smooth surface of the plate beneath his fingertips. He sat up, looking at the empty dish, then over at Farfarello, who was licking the skewer with obvious delight.

"You ate my fish, you bastard," Schuldig muttered.

That complaint got a slightly amused look from Crawford, who was likely more than pleased that Schuldig's preoccupation with the pretty Weiß boys had resulted in the loss of his share of the food.

His stomach growled, and Farfarello's eye watched him hungrily. "Down, boy," Schuldig said, pushing his chair away from the table and standing.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"Out," Schuldig said flippantly, enjoying the way Crawford's shoulders tensed, as if he wanted to stand up and order Schuldig to stay put. Nagi remained silent, seemingly oblivious to what was going on around him.

"Don't worry, Brad," Schuldig said, flashing white teeth at Crawford. "I'll be back in time to tuck our friend in. Try not to miss me too much."

The fresh air felt good - different than the stifled air in the rooms they currently occupied, even with the bit of breeze that sometimes favored them. The smells, the difference in humidity, and the blissful escape from the rest of Schwarz were all a salve to his jumbled nerves.

He hated to admit it, even to himself, but he wasn't as confident about their future as he had been. He was reasonably sure that things weren't completely thrown off course, but Crawford had been restless, in a way that had nothing to do with Schuldig or Farfarello.

Perhaps he had seen a new vision of the future after Nagi's spectacular display. Precognition seemed a bitch of a talent to possess. Every unforeseen action reset the order of events and the resulting outcome.

Not that Schuldig particularly felt any sympathy for Crawford or anything.

His feet carried him to a little hole in the wall several blocks away. The odor of cigarettes and cheap whiskey welcomed him as he strode through the doorway.

The bartender just needed a slight suggestion that he'd already received payment for the drink he poured Schuldig. The red-haired man picked up his glass and turned in his barstool to survey the other patrons.

It was just busy enough, he decided. If it got too crowded, he wasn't sure he was up to putting up a strong enough shield to block all the thoughts that would swirl around the place. He came here to find a form of release from his tension, not to seek additional sources of it.

For a moment he saw the swirl of a black trench coat, and his mind briefly touched upon Fujimiya once again. He downed his drink quickly and mentally beckoned the girl who was easily weaving around a few drunks without spilling her tray.

Whoever had ordered the drink she gave Schuldig would just have to ask for it again.

He felt a bit more relaxed after the second glass was empty. It wasn't his first choice of escape, but then the entire idea of "escape" was likely a pipe dream. Wasn't that why there were still all living together?

Someone jostled his elbow in passing, and apologized gruffly. Schuldig nodded in acknowledgement and let him pass.

More people were arriving. It was time to go.

He had almost reached the door when two young men near the entrance started shouting insults at each other, and one of them shoved the other, causing him to stumble over Schuldig.

He turned around, embarrassed, and put his hands on Schuldig's jacket and pushed as hard as he could, scowling for all he was worth.

Pathetic.

"Watch where you're going!" he yelled. "Fucking idiot."

A slow smile crept over Schuldig's lips, and he reached over and smoothed the wrinkles in the boy's shirt.

"It's too bad about that stain," he commented, brushing the fabric under the collar.

The youth looked down and then back at Schuldig and sneered. "What stain?"

Schuldig's fist, which had drawn back as soon as his fingers had left the shirt, shot forward, and the boy's head snapped back as Schuldig's knuckles connected with his nose.

As the young man's cussing was muffled by his broken and bleeding nose and his hands over his face, Schuldig strolled out of the bar and onto the street. Once outside, he tugged on the sleeves of his jacket and straightened his lapel.

It wasn't sex, but there was something to be said for physical contact nonetheless. When he got back, maybe he'd take a shower and then masturbate, and hell, maybe Crawford might see that coming, too.

He was downright near cheerful as he headed back toward the apartment.