The Stolen Child

Nagi looked at Omi asleep and smiled to himself. He had never imagined that it would happen, though he had always hoped for it, and on some level even prayed for it.

Omi, no Mamoru now, although as soon as the doors were closed he reverted to calling himself Omi, and behind these doors he called Nagi Naoe. Once he had only called him Naoe to make the time between them more precious, but now it was a way of keeping it away from Persia, from keeping himself from it. The secretaries that bustled about them were never happy about the dark shadow that followed their Mamoru, and at least Rex suspected that he was closer to his body guard than common knowledge suggested. Nagi had no interest in that at all, he just knew that when they closed the bedroom doors for the night that Persia was left behind and in his place was Omi who loved him.

It didn't make sleep any easier most nights though.

He contemplated getting up and getting himself something to drink, possibly going into the bathroom, but Omi looked so sweet when he slept, when all the troubles of the world slid from his face and he knew he was with Nagi.

On one hand Nagi loved it, loved Omi more than he could understand, other times he felt smothered, crushed by Kritiker and their stupid demands that they both had to obey. Sometimes watching the organisation weigh down on Omi he just wanted to run, to go somewhere where it didn't matter that he was Mamoru Takatori, to go somewhere where he could be Omi Tsukiyono again.

He went to move from where he lay on Omi's arm and though he hadn't meant to disturbed him, he thought to himself it was probably the circulation being restored that had done it.

"Naoe." Omi mumbled, still half asleep. "Where'you goin?"

"Bathroom." Nagi answered, and leant down and gave a kiss to the cheek that wasn't quite as full as when he had fallen in love with it, Nagi often felt like this in the middle of the night. "I'll be back in a moment, love." That word caught in his throat, not because he didn't mean it, but because he did. Sometimes he didn't understand himself.

"mmkay," Omi murmured and closed his perfect blue eyes.

Nagi sat on the edge of the bath and looked at the cool white skin of his forearms and sighed. It would be so easy. Not death, he didn't crave that, but a little blood, just a touch. He knew it wouldn't ease the apathy within him, but sometimes he convinced himself it helped. Omi would worry; he didn't understand.

Sometimes Nagi didn't understand either.

He had everything he ever wanted, he was safe and he had Omi, who he loved and who loved him. What more could he want? Then why wasn't he happy? Why were nights so hard? Why did he get up in the middle of the night and consider taking the blade from the razor and running it over his arms in perfect little slashes, away from the veins and arteries. His arms were already scarred, a mesh of them near his elbow, low enough on his arm to hide with sleeves, but not from Omi who didn't know whether to be worried or disappointed. Omi who couldn't keep the concern from his voice.

"Naoe," Omi said from the doorway. He was still half asleep, his eyes squinting in the harsh fluorescent light and gummed together with sleep. "Come back to bed." He held out his hand and it was an invitation.

"I'm scared." Nagi said, and it shocked him that he said it, it was more honesty than he was prepared for. "Omi, I'm so scared."

Omi knew better than to ask him what of, he just took the three steps across their shared bathroom and sat down on the edge of the bath next to him and put his arms about him, still half asleep but knowing exactly what to do. Omi always knew what to do.

It didn't make it any easier.

He didn't know why he started crying or why. It was as if he was watching everything happen to someone else, watching Omi comfort someone else. Omi said nothing, he just cradled Nagi's head under the tuck of his chin and rubbed slow circles over the tee shirt on his back.

When the weeping had subsided, when Nagi expected Omi to ask what had brought this on, because if Rex was making comments again he could have her fired, Omi only reached down and kissed him on the lips, "Come back to bed, love." He murmured and Nagi, weak from the crying agreed.

The bed was still warm from where they had lain on it, Omi had tugged the quilt back to keep the warmth in. He watched Nagi slide into the bed, weak and fragile from the crying and then climbed in beside him, wrapping his arms about him and tucking his head under his chin.

"I don't think I can sleep." Nagi said softly.

"Then tell me a story." Omi answered, "and I'll hold you till dawn."

It was a wonderful gesture, Omi had learned somewhere not to ask questions to just give comfort, to know that Nagi would tell him when he was ready and not before.

"I asked Aya-san once what he saw in Crawford." Nagi said softly, "he said that he liked their conversations."

"When they weren't denying that they were having a relationship." Omi added.

"They had a lot in common and that he could be himself with Crawford, that he knew that Crawford would listen." Nagi continued.

"I never saw Crawford like that." Omi told him, his fingers playing with the short dark hair at the back of Nagi's head.

"I did." Nagi said softly. "I saw sides of Crawford I doubt anyone else ever did, he was my family." He took a deep breath, "did I ever tell you how I met him?"

"No," Omi said, "but I would love to hear it."

"I was about four or five, I don't remember," Nagi rolled unto his back to look at the ceiling, with Omi draped over him, "I walked up to where he was walking on the street and took his hand and asked him if he was my father." There was a moment's silence, "he asked where my mother was so I told him. He took me home, took one look at the place and offered the woman one million yen if he could take me with him." Omi said nothing. "I don't remember her." Nagi continued, "and Crawford wouldn't talk about her. Schuldig said once that she didn't deserve children, and she certainly didn't deserve me. I loved him very much for saying that."

Omi tightened his hold on Nagi's chest, not because he was jealous but because he knew how hard it was to make statements like that. Somewhere Nagi had lost his self esteem, it was before he had met him, when the boy had been silent and dour. He had once blamed growing up in Schwartz for that, but now he knew better.

"Crawford took me home and then bathed me and put me to bed. He read me a bedtime story about two naughty little bears1." Omi smiled, Nagi had once read the poem to him. He understood now why it meant to much to him. "He tucked me into his own bed and went shopping to get me clothes and things, I was wearing one of his tee shirts." He laughed a little to himself.

"When he came back, I was under the bed. It was when he gave me George, he said he couldn't always be with me but George could." In the dark Omi couldn't see if Nagi was crying, he knew Crawford's death was an open wound in Nagi, one that Nagi refused to accept. "He told me sleeping under the bed wasn't very comfortable and if I wanted I could sleep in his bed and he would sleep on the chair and make sure I was safe." Nagi's tone was fond, "he told me that monsters were real but that he would keep me safe from them. I don't know why, but I believed him."

"He was about seventeen then, I don't know why he took me in, and he stood up against Esset to keep me, they were going to put me in an orphanage to see if I manifested any powers but Crawford just kept protesting that he would not work for them if I was sent away. I remember his instructor calling me Crawford's strange little pet." He was silent for a moment, "they thought I was a strange taste. Crawford never touched me, he never did." He was surprisingly emphatic and it shocked him. "Sometimes I even wanted him to, but he never did."

If Omi was surprised by that admission he said nothing.

"I grew up with that, accepted only at Crawford's sufferance, devoted to him and terrified that he'd leave me." Nagi never spoke about his past, "but he was always so kind to me, I know he loved me, which I think is why him being dead is so hard for me."

"He loved you very much." Omi said softly, "no one ever questioned that."

"Esset did." Nagi replied, "until I manifested I was no use to them, I was just a way to keep a powerful precog happy." There was a tone of self loathing in him that nothing Omi could do would assuage. "When I was in Rosenkreuz more than once they neglected to feed me, if I was sat with him they talked over me, never to me, and I would sit there with George and remember that George would keep me safe from the monsters."

He paused for a moment, his blue eyes fixed on the ceiling. "Schuldig was the same at first, I was an inconvenience on his team, I was the brat." He stopped for a moment, "then somewhere he changed towards me, I remember being in a supermarket in France and the two of us singing the jingle for some cereal and laughing." His tone was more fond, "and playing in the snow, and how he always pretended to forget my birthday or my Christmas present so it didn't look like he cared and then there would be the absolute best present from him." He stopped, "he took me to Parc Asterix when we were in France even though all those children must have hurt him with his telepathy, because it would be fun." He was silent again, "Schuldig sometimes got grouchy and took it out on me, but it was just him, you know, and then when I manifested he was so happy for me, said I was really part of the team now, and we'd be together forever. It made me so happy. I think it was then I stopped sleeping under the bed."

He stopped again and flicked his eyes to Omi, "it made me feel safe," he said, "I think I must have been doing it even before Crawford found me, and then he would find me and pick me up and put me in the bed," he stopped, "and I'd wake up and climb back under it." He laughed to himself, "eventually he used to just get under the bed with me."

He paused for a moment, "I remember waking up once and both Schuldig and Crawford were with me, they had brought down blankets and pillows and made a little nest for me. I always felt safe with them." He rolled over and stared into Omi's eyes, eyes that knew as much pain as he did. "Even when it was terrible, when Rosenkreuz threatened me, and pinched me and groped me, I knew I was safe with them, I knew they loved me." He stopped again. "When Crawford found out he took me away from Rosenkreuz, he took me to America. It was then he decided to destroy them, he told me that no one would ever hurt me like that again, and they never did."

"You loved him," Omi said softly, "no one expected anything else of you."

"I was happy with him." Nagi corrected, "he kept me safe, and then he was gone, and Schuldig was gone and I didn't have anyone who understood any more." Omi said nothing to that, "I mean, I love you, Omi, I always have, I think I loved you before I met you sometimes, but…"

"They were your family," Omi said softly, fondly, without a hint of jealously, Nagi was sure that he would be jealous.

"I tried to seduce him once," Nagi said, "before we came back to Japan," he quickly qualified, "I used some of Schuldig's favourite oils to make my skin soft, and made myself as pretty as I could be. Then I waited in his bed." He paused, choosing the words, "he told me that just because everyone said something didn't make it true." There was a faint smile in his voice, "he made me put my pyjamas on, and get George and then we sat up all night reading to each other. I remember that I was hurt that he didn't want me that way, but I didn't know what it was, only the whispers and the murmurings and the hateful things everyone else said. In America it wasn't so bad, everyone just assumed I was his little brother, but in Europe the things they said. Some of them treated me like I was meat, they'd grab me and touch me, so I took to following Crawford, just behind and saying nothing at all."

"Sometimes I hated him as much as I loved him." That came as a little bit of a shock to Omi, "he could have had me put in a foster home, but he didn't, and he never really stopped the comments, he said they had no power unless I gave them it, but I was a child and…" he started crying again, "I couldn't stop them, I couldn't stop them, they'd come into my room at night and I couldn't stop them."

"They.." Omi said wrapping his arms about him, "did they?"

"They never found me," Nagi said, "I would hide, and they'd laugh and say I was with Crawford, that even giving me a room was a formality, it got a little better when Schuldig joined us, but not by much, and then when Farfarello joined he became my bodyguard." The fond tone was back in his voice, "no body messed with Far."

"It was why he used to follow you around." Omi said referring to the fact that they had always had a bodyguard when they had started dating.

"Crawford didn't like me to be on my own." He answered calmly, "he used to sit outside my door when I slept and sharpen his knives, glaring at anyone who passed him, except Crawford or Schuldig, Schuldig said once that they had only got Farfarello to keep me safe, because he scared him." He gave a small dark chuckle to himself, "Far scared everyone, but never me. With me he was always like a big kitten. He used to play silly games with me, I remember Crawford pulled a gun on him once, he had me over his head" strangely the tone was fond rather than regretful, "and was doing curls with me, and he would have shot him if I hadn't been laughing so hard. I never feared Farfarello, he used to tickle me and chase me and play games with me the others wouldn't. I remember the first time he touched me and said, tag, you're it. I stared at him like he was speaking in tongues and then Schuldig leant in and said, you're meant to chase him. Crawford made me feel safe, Schuldig made me feel loved and Far, well Far made me laugh."

It was obvious that surprised Omi, "he used to read me poetry that he had learned, he said all the Irish were poets or drunks, and were poets when they were drunk. He taught me about poetry and For he comes, the human child; To the waters and the wild ; With a faery, hand in hand; From a world more full of weeping than he can understand." His tone was still and sad again. "Aya-san asked me once if I was unhappy with them, he is a lot like Crawford, he doesn't like to have emotions but when he acts on them he will move mountains in his way, it was in Kyoto, I think if I had have been unhappy he would have rescued me, but then he saw how protective they were of me and how much I loved them and he never asked again."

Omi said nothing to that revelation. "They weren't bad people, Omi, they were just in bad company, they had it rough and…"

"You don't have to explain to me," Omi said quietly. "You never did."

"I want to." Nagi said, "every member of Weiss except you asked me if I was happy with them, I was, every one of them would have rescued me, even Crashers used to say if they hurt you…" he did a mock glare that was eerily like Bishop's. "They seemed to think that because we were the bad guys that they were mean to me. They weren't, they were my family." He leant into Omi and gave him a small fleeting kiss, "you never pressed me about them, you never asked, you just wanted me to be happy."

"I wasn't one to judge." Omi said quietly. "Weiss was my family, and the first time I saw Crawford with you I knew better than to try and separate you." He reached out and touched the porcelain skin of his lover, "if you had have wanted my help you would have asked for it."

"Thank you." Nagi said, "for listening, for understand. For loving me regardless."

"Regardless of what? You're beautiful, sexy, gorgeous, witty, smart, you make me laugh, and you're so patient."

"I'm." Nagi began but Omi put a finger to his lips to silence him.

"You're Nagi Naoe," Omi told him firmly, "that's all you ever have been, do you think telling me this makes me think of less of you, I don't think I can think any less of you, if I ever tried." He reached down and captured his thin lips in a lingering, if chaste kiss. "and I haven't, I've seen things about you I don't understand, but it just makes you you." It looked for a second like Nagi might cry again. "You are the best bodyguard in Japan, you are the only one in the upper echelons I would trust to watch my back and you are the man that Crawford raised, strong and brilliant and beautiful, and if sometimes you're weak it's because you are human, not because you're what they said you were."

"Omi," Nagi managed to stammer out.

"For he comes, the human child; To the waters and the wild; With a faery, hand in hand; From a world more full of weeping than he can understand." Omi repeated the verse that reminded him of Farfarello. "My human child." He repeated, "My Naoe."

For a moment Nagi thought he might cry but he smiled instead. "Thank you." He said again, "for being you, and putting up with me when I'm all depressed and mopey."

Omi smiled, "I have years of practise with Aya being all depressed and mopey." He said magnanimously. "The only difference is you believe me when I tell you that you're great."

Nagi gave another of those dark little chuckles that brought Omi to his knees. "Love you." Nagi said quietly into the dark.

"I know." Omi said knowing just how hard it was for Nagi to say that, or even it's weaker form Daisuki da yo. "You don't have to tell me that, you know that."

Nagi said nothing but reached forward across the small span between them in Omi's bed and kissed him, kissed him as if he could crawl inside his mouth and none of it would matter. He kissed him over and over again, chasing the elusive taste of him down his throat and pressing his cheeks against the hands that held them. He pressed himself against Omi as if by touching him enough, by being close enough he would become part of Omi and cease to exist. Sometimes in the dark it was the thing that appealed most - complete and utter nihilism.

Omi seemed to understand his urgency, sometimes they're lovemaking was gentle and slow but other times it was frenetic and urgent. It looked like this was one of those times. With a wrench he had Nagi on his back and was straddling his hips. "do you want this?" He asked.

"Please," Nagi said, "please."

It was all the invitation that Omi needed. It was more invitation than he needed. Omi lowered his mouth to Nagi's appreciating the thin lips and the lingering taste of mint from when he had brushed his teeth. He wanted this to take some time, he wanted this to last forever, but it wouldn't, it never did. Nagi had other plans. With a muffled gasp the tee shirt he was wearing tore itself into shreds.

"I never get tired of seeing that." Omi muttered into his mouth, letting his fingers trail down the porcelain perfection of Nagi's chest. There were a tracery of scars here, old ones, one that obviously predated Crawford's guardianship of him. "Someday you will understand just how sexy it is." He began to kiss along Nagi's neck as Nagi's hands clutched at his back, making teasing circles on the golden skin. "It reminds me how much you want me, how much you want this." His mouth was making arcane designs on Nagi's skin, against his throat, suckling on the cords and tendons. Nagi had no patience for such foreplay, not tonight.

His hand snaked down between them as Omi found himself held aloft by ghostly fingers he couldn't see, fingers that twisted through his hand as a cool white hand ghosted over his erection. It always surprised him that Nagi's fingers were so chill. "Just this, bishonen." Nagi murmured into Omi's ear, "I only want this."

Omi gave himself over to the talented hands, the ethereal fingers that stroked along his ribs, under his arms, down the cleft of his buttocks and through his hair, he knew Nagi must be feeling fragile if he didn't want to be touched in return, and the force holding his hands made that clear, but this was about what Nagi wanted. How could he resist someone who knew him so well. He came quickly and gasping, there hadn't been enough to bring him screaming, but this wasn't about that, this was about Nagi reaffirming himself, reassuring Nagi that nothing he could do would ever upset or hurt Omi, when the silvery fingers vanished Omi curled up beside Nagi, "you spoil me." He murmured into a delicate shell ear.

"Only because you let me." Nagi said sadly but Omi wouldn't let him turn away.

"I want you to, I want to wake up beside you, even if it's under the bed, or in the wardrobe or any of the other places I've found you over the year we've been living together." Omi's voice was determined but soft, "hell, I remember climbing into the wardrobe until things got saner, you can't make me think any less of you, Naoe, ever, you are mine, and I am yours, and anyone who ever challenges that will face the wrath of all of Kritiker, because I will use any power I have to make you happy."

"I'll probably never be happy." Nagi said sadly.

Omi's smile was sweet, sad and sated. "Well then, you'll just have to make do with being mine."

"Love you." Nagi whispered, almost too quiet to be heard.

"Love you too." Omi answered. "Love you too."

Author's Note:

The poem is Twice Times by AA Milne. I just like the idea of Crawford all stiff and formal with a really tiny Nagi, and you know he was tiny when he was 5, reading him AA Milne. Not Pooh bear though.

Nagi comments that Crawford's dead in this fic, he's not, he just doesn't know better, Crawford shows up at the end of the vebrechen strafe ova and there is the schwartz cd drama, he is alive, just in this time line Nagi doesn't know that. Poor lamb.

For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand.
is the final refrain from WB Yeats The Stolen Child. It's easier to find on the internet than twice times, but nonetheless I included it in the author's notes.

Twice Times by AA Milne

There were Two little Bears, who lived in a Wood,
And one of them was Bad and the other was Good.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times One –
But Bad left all his buttons undone.

They lived in a Tree when the weather was hot,
And one of them was Good, and the other was Not.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Two –
But Bad Bear's thingummies were worn right through.

They lived in a Cave when the weather was cold,
And they Did, and they Didn't Do what them were told.
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Three –
But bad Bear never had his hand-ker-chee.

They lived in a Wood with a Kind Old Aunt,
And one said "Yes'm" and the other said "Shan't!"
Good Bear learnt his Twice Times Four –
But Bad Bear's knicketies were terrible tore.

And then quite suddenly (just like Us)
One got Better and the other got Wuss.
Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Three
But Bad Bear coughed in his hand-ker-chee!

Good Bear muddled his Twice Times Two-
But Bad Bear's thingummies looked like new.
Good Bear muddled his Twice Times One –
But Bad Bear never left his buttons undone!

There may be a Moral, though some say not;
I think there's a moral though I don't know what.
But if one gets better, as the other gets wuss,
These Two little Bears are just like Us.
For Christopher remembers up to Twice Times Ten…
But I keep forgetting where I've put my pen.
(So I have had to write this one in pencil.)

The Stolen Child

by WB Yeats

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we've hid our faery vats,
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and Round the oatmeal cheast.
For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand.