I was playing scrabble online again (I do that a LOT lately) and had the urge to write. Being that my current obsession is back in the WK fandom, I decided that the next bingo I got (that being where you use all your letters at once to make a word and gaining 70+points) would be the title and basis for my fic. Sure enough, halfway through my first match, I got a 76-pointer. the word? Scrapes.

I have a new pairing favorite in the WK fandom which I've never divulged before so this should be a surprise to some of you.

Series: Weiss Kreuz

Timeline: Post Esset-goes-KABLOOEY, about a year after.

Warnings: Non-really. Except a few terms that could be termed as offensive towards kids, I guess. Unless you like being called brats, monsters, pests and similar others. Seriously, going for light humour here and just a HINT of angst.

Pairings: Well, that would be telling, wouldn't it? Except for the one other place this thing is x-posted, this should be a surprise pairing. Well, I tried to keep it a surprise. Tell me if I fooled ya?

Summary: Someone observes Ken during practice time. Anything else would be giving it away.

First posted: Jan.30 2006 (www livejournal com / users/ travelingstorm) -- remove spaces

It's utterly unfathomable to him why someone would voluntarily drag themselves out of bed at the ass-crack of dawn and relocate themselves to a muddy soccer field to spend two hours on a Saturday morning with a gang of snot-nosed, grubby-pawed, mini-humans.

"Y'know, most people call them children."

Bah. He certainly was NOT most people. He glared indignantly at the brunette who grinned back.

"And if you really objected to this 'mindless, barbarianistic – if that even IS a word – ritual of drunks, jocks and thugs', you wouldn't be here."

Oh shut up. It sounded good in his head, so he said it out loud too. Ken snickered again and blew his whistle, summoning the little monsters--


--he preferred his phrasing, thanks. Anyway, the spawns of the happy heteros were now gathered around their leader, smiling adoringly at him. He mused thoughtfully, watching the group with his arms crossed, that it really did remind him of a cult. Ken glared at him, as though reading his thoughts, and directed the kids to begin yet another series of maneuvers designed to drill home at least some semblance of balance and accuracy while warming them up at the same time. Frankly, he thought it was a lost cause.

"I can't believe you'd compare a kids soccer game to a cult."

Hmmm...he HAD said that out loud, didn't he? Whoops – that explained the annoyed looks some of the soccer moms were shooting him. Gee, he never would have said such a thing if he'd known they were listening...he shot a look of pure innocence at the glaring soccer player. Besides, they WERE a mini-cult. He ticked off the similarities – all dressed the same, all gathered around their leader, all blindly following him wherever he went, doing whatever he told them to do--

"We are the Pirates! Mighty mighty Pirates! Doesn't matter who we play! We can beat them anyway! Goooo PIRATES!"

--and they even had their own repetitive chant. How cute. He had a quick vision of Ken suddenly wearing a robe leading an army of his followers on a rampage through downtown Tokyo. No pocky shop or toy store would be spared their wrath! He cackled loudly at the image.

Ken shot him an odd look before shaking his head, a reluctant grin tugging at the corners of his mouth and resolutely turning back to the game, determined to ignore the gloomy gus behind him. The players took to the field and he watched his friend cross his arms, the great overseer sending his charges off to work.

It was an odd friendship of sorts, if that's what their relationship could now be defined as. He had simply started showing up after the incident last year, knowing that he would find Ken on the soccer field as always. Running drills, patching scraped knees...providing a sense of calmness and order amongst the chaos that could erupt among the children.

He knew Ken would be there, and he had been expecting the look of shock Ken had sent his way when he'd looked up to see him leaning against the rough bark of the oak tree. After all, he'd never projected the image of being interested in sports in general, let alone soccer. And Ken certainly wouldn't expect HIM of all people to watch the brats practice week after week. When it became clear he wasn't doing anything but watching, Ken had reluctantly turned his back on the unforeseen spectator. The suspicious glances shot his way had been most amusing.

It had taken a few practices before Ken had worked up the nerve to ask him what he was doing there. At first, he'd been about to say something sarcastic as the young man was expecting. Then his mouth had betrayed him by blurting out the truth.


It was true. Ken was like a breath of fresh air, a youthful joy surrounding him when he was with his kids. A smile here, a pat on the back there, ruffling the heads of the kids with hands that were as bloodstained as his-- and yet he still retained an aura of innocence. Even standing there, on the fringes of that aura, he could feel the same kind of inner peace start to invade him. He had a habit of reacting to people around him – Ken's charm and almost unnatural gentleness soothed a part of his soul he hadn't even realized was scraped and bleeding.

One of the sprats scored a goal. The horde cheered. He made a sign of covering his ears and Ken stuck out his tongue at him.

Promises, promises.

Ken winked, and then there was another rush on him, the pests swarming around his knees. The game had ended, the mini-me's having won their game and it was time to go.

Until next week. He remained by the tree, sliding his sunglasses back on.

Ken expertly dealt with the excited mass, slapping high-fives, confirming with the parents that yes, there was another practice next week, and checking to see who would be able to make it and who wouldn't. Finally the crowd was dispersed, and the young man jogged over, grinning. "Great game today! Did you see them?"

He shook his head, rolling his eyes. "Hopeless. Utterly hopeless."

"Me or the kids?" Ken's grin never wavered in the face of his sarcasm, detecting the amused tone beneath his casual words.

"All of you. I don't know why I even bother coming out here – too many brats, and none of these so-called soccer moms are even remotely attractive!"

"Some of them have cute older brothers," Ken pointed out with a sly smirk.

Hey! He'd patented that look! He let fly with another glare and then scowled as Ken chuckled at him.

"Same time next week?"

"If I have nothing better to do and want to be bored out of my mind," he snorted, faking a yawn.

Ken flashed him a blindingly bright smile, turned and headed over to where his motorcycle was parked. He followed with his eyes, silently. Ken pulled his helmet off the handlebars where he'd draped it and put it on. Straddling the bike, he revved the engine, and lifted the plexiglass mask enough so his words would be clear.

"See you Saturday, Schu."

The telepath watched the young man peal out of the lot, sending up a small spray of gravel. The small smirk that had become a permanent facial fixture – on Saturday mornings, at least – grew ever so slightly wider, and he sent one final thought in Ken's direction.

Ja, kitten.

Then he headed towards the other side of the park where his car was. He'd be back next Saturday, of course. His soul still had a few scrapes that needed healing.