Crawford was a precognitive. In many ways it meant he was mature well beyond his years. It meant that he was the youngest member of Esset to have his own team, although that consisted of a wry telepath that everyone else had given up on and a maniac whose only talent appeared to be escapism. He had beaten so many times he no longer had a sense of pain.
They had been sent into the field, to Japan, to serve Reiji Takatori as he promoted Esset's interests in Tokyo. Crawford already despised him. The man was an arrogant ass who thought himself more important than he really was. He did not know of his team's talent.
He was walking through Takatori towers on his way to another interminable business meeting where they spoke more of the assets of certain idols than whatever businesses they were considering taking over.
The boy stood at the secretary's desk and Crawford was hit by a wave of visions. He was almost knocked from his feet. The boy was just that, a boy, no older than fifteen or sixteen, with scarlet red hair and a rather sweet disposition but the visions showed something other. He Saw a body thrown apart in an explosion. He Saw the head turned away with its eyes eternally open. He Saw the beauty shattered.
He Saw a temple. He Saw the elders. He Saw his own death. He Saw his body washed up, nameless, on a Tokyo shore.
He Saw a sweet smile. He Saw.
He blinked back the visions, trying to grasp a handle on the here, on the now to understand what he had been shown.
In a split instant he made a decision as the boy, having gained the information from the secretary, began to walk away.
"Who is that?" he asked the woman.
"Crawford-san," the woman told him, "that's Fujimiya-kun, Fujimiya-shachou's son."
Crawford realised then what death that he had seen for the boy, caught in the explosion Takatori had planned for his unwitting parents, but how then, did the boy's death relate to his own.
He made the decision, just to see what would happen, of setting the timer fifteen minutes earlier so that the boy would not be home.
If the visions before were a wave knocking him off his feet, then these were a tsunami destroying all in its path.
Crawford stumbled backwards into a waiting chair, almost missing it in his haste.
He Saw the boy, beautiful and broken, pulling back shards of concrete that crushed his sister. He Saw the man that the boy would be, the softness of the boy becoming the brittle beauty of the man. He Saw himself catching a sword blade in his hands.
He Saw the elders fall. He Saw the man save him from a watery death as a noble enemy, or so he told himself.
He Saw a long white coat and tight blue sweater. He Saw rage like he would never know.
He Saw that coat slicked close with rain, the sword hanging uselessly at his side as the two of them kissed. He could taste the warmth of his breath against the rain slicked chill of his skin- The feel of his red hair between his fingers.
He Saw the boy, no the man, wrapped around him and could feel the terrible tightness as he fucked the man, his throat cast back. He Saw the scars on the man's chest.
He Saw the man fucking him.
He Saw that he would love the man the boy would become.
He Saw with a precognitive clarity that they would part and there was nothing that he could do to stop it.
He Saw himself pressing a gun into the man's hand and whispering, "be safe, I need you"- and the man kissing him with such passion as to crawl into his mouth.
He Saw the man walking away and the whispered name, Aya.
The name brought on another onslaught.
He Saw a flower shop mobbed by teenage girls as he watched from across the street. The object of his attention wore an orange sweater that he Saw himself wrapping about the boy's shoulders in the aftermath of an explosion.
He Saw a dark shadow in the employ of a great organisation wrongly led.
He Saw a group in the country, all wearing kimono and the boy lift a sword and start the journey into the man he would become.
He Saw all of it.
And with it came the knowledge that he loved the man, not the boy, because he did not know him, but the man.
He Saw the man lying in bed with him, resting against his chest with reading glasses perched on his nose that was buried in a book.
He Saw roses.
He Saw snow.
He Saw him walk away, and the repeated words, "be safe, I need you"-
He opened his eyes a moment later to find the secretary hovering over him, the boy at her side, "Crawford-san," she said as the boy fetched him water. "Are you okay? You nearly fainted."
"I haven't eaten today." He lied, taking the paper cup from the boy's thin fingers, knowing the man would walk away. "That must be it." He shrugged off their attention but as he pushed past them he let his fingers linger on the boy's shoulder, "be safe," he murmured, almost to himself, "I need you."