Disclaimer: Weiss isn't mine. Shocker, I know.
This story was inspired by the beautiful pictures of Yohji and Schuldig created by the very talented vitamine at DeviantArt. You should check out her stuff!
Schuldig sat there, drink in hand at his old bar, trying to forget the danger his life was in. The latter kept him from over indulging in the former because he would need to be aware enough to keep up his mental barrier and project his false image into peoples' minds. What better way to hide than in plain sight not looking like yourself? He had changed his long hair from the eye-catching red to sleek black that barely hung past his ears and changed his German characteristics to that of the honey-skinned Japanese. But vanity wouldn't let him change his body's build or his green eyes.
He'd toned down his dress however, opting for simple black pants and a navy button down shirt which he left untucked. The air had turned chilly recently so a scarf and gloves lay piled on the bar next to him. He loved winter time. Everything became so clean and crisp. Suddenly he found himself wondering if he would live to see another winter. Not if those bloodsucking vampires have anything to say about it, I'm sure. He let out a bitter laugh and took another drink. His old life as a hired bodyguard/assassin was behind him, but no doubt closing in fast.
His team was no more. Farfarello was killed over a year ago, his obsession with god and all that's holy finally driving him insane. He'd become sloppy and was shot by a security guard on a mission. Pathetic way to go for such a skilled killer. Schuldig raised his glass in a silent salute and drank. Nagi had become so powerful that when he told Esset he'd had enough and wanted to leave, they didn't argue. And Crawford had been promoted within the organization and was now one of the people pulling the strings on the marionettes like Schuldig.
They'd tried sticking him with other teams, but he wanted no part of it. He was tired of the lifestyle. He was tired of doing what other people wanted. He wanted to call the shots for a change. So he left. He'd sent a resignation letter and within two days he had Esset tracking him down. The four men they sent to bring him back were pathetic. He just entered their weak minds and planted a scenario where Schuldig refused to go with them and blew his brains out.
But he knew Esset wouldn't be fooled so easily. Crawford would see right through it. But that was over six months ago and Schuldig had since then traveled to America, then on to New Zealand, and finally to Japan. He knew better than to return to Germany, but he couldn't resist stopping in Japan. He'd lived many happy years here and he thought he would visit it one more time before he disappeared for good.
Yohji slipped the key in the lock and entered the darkened apartment. He laid his keys on a side table and slipped his shoes off onto a mat on the opposite side then he proceeded into the space, silently navigating it perfectly, even in the darkness. He shrugged his jacket off, hanging it on a chair and moving on towards the kitchen. He reached into a cabinet and pulled out a small glass, placing it on the table. He proceeded to open the freezer and pull out a bottle, the light tinkling of sloshing liquid floating in the air as he poured a sloppy glass and set the bottle on the table. With a tired sigh he let his long, lean frame come to rest in a chair, slowly sinking into a comfortable slouched position. He stared at the glass for a few minutes before picking it up and quickly downing its contents.
"Promise me….promise me you will never drink alone again. Please, Yohji?"
The pleading words of his young friend echoed in his mind as he stared at the now empty glass.
Yohji filled the glass two more times before returning the bottle to the freezer and moving on to other rooms of the apartment. He was enjoying the slow numb that was taking over his mind. That was the great thing about vodka. It snuck up on you and before you knew it, you were feeling no pain. And he definitely had pain he wanted to get rid of.
Mostly, he wanted to forget how lonely he was. For so many years he had not wanted for companionship of any type. There was Atsuka and Weiss and his whirlwind social life that offered him an endless supply of agreeable companions. But that's not what he wanted anymore. Atsuka…he had buried that ghost many years ago. And Weiss, well there was a whole new group of angst ridden young men for Omi to send on missions. Ran had disappeared. Ken moved to America to coach a women's soccer team. Omi of course was now Persia. And Yohji….he had turned back to what he did best. Gathering information. He had set up his own private investigation business thanks to Omi and it was thriving nicely.
He had plenty of positive things he could see in his life: he had a good steady income doing something that he was good at, enjoyed doing, and he didn't have to kill anyone to do it. He was healthy. Or as healthy as he was going to get anyway. He still smoked and he would probably have to say he drank more than what was considered normal. But he could still chase down a fleeing target while barely breaking a sweat. And he had a handful of select friends in which he could rely on and socialize with as a normal person.
That small list included Omi. Yohji and Omi had remained close friends even after he left Weiss. Not just because Yohji could use him for contacts for his business. He always had a soft spot for the youngest assassin and no matter how big and powerful he may get, Yohji would always feel protective of him.
Which was why he now felt the guilt starting to creep in and overtake the foggy effect of the vodka. He had promised Omi and tonight, for the first time in over two years, he had broken that promise. He remembered what prompted the promise. Yohji had been depressed and had started drinking heavily. It had gotten so bad he wouldn't even bother to drag himself to a bar. He would just sit at home and drink himself into a stupor. By shear dumb luck, Omi had stopped by one day to check on him, knowing he'd been on a downward spiral. When Omi arrived he found the door ajar and he walked in to find Yohji passed out on the floor. Further investigation had Omi calling an ambulance. Yohji had alcohol poisoning.
When Yohji woke up in the hospital, Omi was hovering over him as only the young mother hen could and Yohji had smiled. His first real smile in weeks. But Omi was having no part of it. Once he saw Yohji was awake and ok, he began a rant like nothing Yohji had ever heard from the generally genial and soft spoken man. He lay there, stunned, as Omi yelled, gestured and cursed his frustrations out at Yohji's behavior.
When Omi was finally done, his anger spent, he turned those big blue eyes to Yohji, and pleaded with him. He clasped Yohji's hand in his own and begged.
"Please, Yohji. I care about you and it's killing me to see you do this to yourself. Promise me….promise me you will never drink alone again. Please, Yohji?"
"O-ok, Omi. I promise. For you….anything."
"Good. Now let's talk about getting you back on your feet again. I was thinking about using you for some small intelligence gathering assignments."
"No, Omi. I'm not working for Weiss. I told you that when I left."
"Not for me. Kritiker gets requests from our clients all the time for small jobs. I'll refer them to you."
Yohji thought it was going to be a decision he would regret but he agreed to it anyway. And much to his surprise, he hadn't regretted it a day since. That had been almost two years ago. And now he found himself heading down the same path again. Only this time, he didn't have the hope of a new career. He already had a burgeoning business. He had nothing that could turn him from the dark path he was slowly heading down.
Yohji walked down the shadowy hallway and into his bedroom. His clothes seemed to just melt away from his body and by the time he reached the bed, he was clad in nothing but his boxers. He slipped between the cool sheets and shivered. Tomorrow he would confess to Omi. Maybe the younger man yelling at him would help. Or maybe it would serve to move him down the path faster. Either way was fine with him.
The next day, Yohji managed to drag himself out of bed by 2 o'clock. He accomplished the simple tasks of showering, dressing and eating by 4 o'clock. And by 6 o'clock he was sitting in his favorite bar, shoring up his resolve to go see Omi. He's going to be pissed. Yohji took another swig from the beer bottle. Maybe I shouldn't worry him. He's got enough on his plate without having to worry about me.
Yohji let his eyes wander around the bar at the numerous patrons. He saw a few regulars who just nodded to him and he nodded in return. As his eyes followed the curve of the bar, he was unprepared for what he found. At the end of the bar, almost in the shadows, was a man. He had short jet black hair and golden skin. He had on a button down shirt that was open just enough to tempt. And Yohji found himself tempted into action.
He made his way to the end of the bar, his eyes never leaving the ebony-haired man and he stopped a respectful distance from the alluring stranger. He smiled and his voice dripped with honey as he spoke.
"May I buy you a drink?"
At first glance Schuldig didn't recognize the man offering him a drink. He just thought it was another bar patron hitting on him. There was no denying the guy was good-looking. He was tall, well built but not overly so. Broad shoulders and a solid chest, but lean. His clothes advertised his body well. They may not have been revealing, but they fit him perfectly, accentuating the positive.
The stranger had short blonde hair, a killer smile and the most captivating and dangerous green eyes he'd ever seen. Then it dawned on him. Those eyes….
Schuldig smiled and inclined his head in acceptance and the stranger motioned to the bartender who instantly produced a drink. He took a drink then turned his attention back to the man standing close by.
"Have a seat."
There was that smile again as the tall blonde claimed the barstool next to him. They sat there in silence for a few moments before Schuldig struck up a conversation.
"You're a local, yes?"
"Of the bar, yes." A self deprecating chuckle filled the air. "You?"
"Former local. How long have you been coming here?"
"About a year, I guess. How long have you been away?"
Schuldig turned to face the man sitting next to him. "Too long."
Knowing smiles and glittering eyes met in recognition. They'd both played these games for far too long and they were beyond the frivolous song and dance of the pick-up scene. They each knew what the other wanted and they each had their reasons for accepting the offer.
Schuldig held up his glass in a toast and the blonde reached out, clinking his bottle to the glass. The pair settled into a comfortable give-and-take, with the conversations being about nothing in particular until Schuldig picked up their original conversation topic again.
"So you're a local to the bar, but not the neighborhood?"
"Everyone needs a place where no one else can find them."
"I see. Who are you hiding from?"
"From anyone who wants a piece of me."
Schuldig was so tempted to reach into the man's mind and pull out the specific answer he wanted, but something held him back and he smiled to himself. Maybe I'll try things the old fashioned way for once.
"Popular guy, huh? Lucky you."
"Yeah, I'm real lucky."
Schuldig heard the bitterness in the voice and he knew the feeling. And then the thought of who wanted a piece of him spurred him into action and forced him to give up his evening's plans of playing with a kitten. He finished off his drink and reached into his wallet, laying out several bills on the counter and standing to face the blonde.
"Unfortunately, my luck has run out and I must say goodnight. Thanks for the drink and the conversation."
Schuldig found his bicep in the firm grasp of the blonde and when he turned to protest, he unexpectedly came lip to lip with his drinking companion. The kiss was chaste, sweet, tinted with liquor and cigarettes and it made his whole body tingle.
"What's your name?"
Schuldig hesitated. He didn't want to ruin the evening and he certainly didn't want to leave any traces of his presence in town. No, he would have to stay hidden. A soft smile curved his lips as he whispered his response.
"Stay with me, Sai."
"That's a bit forward. Especially since I don't even know your name."
"Yohji. Now stay with me."
Schuldig brought up a hand and let his fingers run through the short blonde locks.
"The crazy thing is I wish I could, Yohji. God help me, I wish I could. But I must go."
Schuldig leaned in and kissed Yohji. Soft lips met for a brief kiss before Schuldig backed away and headed out the door with a smile that was full of regret.
To be continued….