Guilty

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me! The song "Guilty" belongs to Gravity Kills, Schu and Yoji et al belong to Takehito Koyasu and Project Weiss and probably some production companies. Please don't sue!

Note: Um…my first shot at posting a fic. Be gentle? J Please R&R, if you have time… Sorry if Schu's a bit OOC!

Guilty

"This is what you do, right?"

Asshole.

I know he regrets saying it, I can hear the echo of his faint remorse every time we speak, but he did say it. And it hangs there, between us now, constantly.

In a way, I guess it's nice to know the great oracle isn't infallible. He didn't foresee the damage one casual remark would do to a relationship that's withstood far worse over the years.

And anyway, it's hardly the point. To be completely honest, this is what I do. I screw with people. Mentally, physically, it's all the same, really.

But still. We all like to have our little illusions, and I have few enough as it is. He was trained against my power, and I have to really concentrate to read through his shields, so it was always easy not to bother. It was nice, being able to avoid the truth.

He still tells me he loves me, when we're fucking. But what I always hear now is, "This is what you do, right?"

Behind closed doors, your words ring hollow

Okay, so it's not like I thought it was a deathless romance or anything. People like us don't do that kind of thing. And he never tried to make it out to be more than it was. From the very beginning, he told me it was just for relief, release, relaxation… Maybe between friends, maybe just coworkers. I've never been sure what I am to him. Another of those things I let myself not try to find out.

But the point is, I shouldn't have been surprised. Or hurt. He never promised me more than…well, casual sex.

What you said they'd be

Okay, enough about Brad. I really should be concentrating on my work.

"This is what you do, right?"

That's right, Brad, this is what I do: Yohji Kudo.

I'll admit he surprised me.

First of all, I didn't think anybody would fall for the ridiculous story I fed him about a lover's spat with Brad and being lonely or some shit like that… I mean, I was half drunk at the time, anyway. That may have contributed to my credibility, I guess.

How else could I react to being ordered by my lover to go out and seduce one of the enemy, like he was sending me to the store for groceries?

"Schuldig, go get one of the Weiss boys to fuck you, and don't forget to pick up a head of lettuce on your way home."

Okay, so he wasn't quite that crude. Far be it from Herr Crawford to be crude.

But anyway, Yohji…

I did not expect him to be so easily convinced to take what I was so blatantly offering. I mean, the guy's supposed to be straight, to begin with, and all the flower boys hate us like poison, but…

I think it took a little under an hour for me to get him up to this cheap room, naked and sweaty and way more into the experience than I had expected…

What behavior, who are you?

Not that I'm complaining. The guy is kind of obnoxious, but I guess he's pretty justified in his pride over his sexual skills.

He's maybe…just maybe…better than Brad.

But I like it…

Still, no matter how good it is, it always ends in sweat and stickiness, muttered arguments over the wet spot, and mutual regret.

At least, that's always been my experience. And no matter how good Yohji was while we were going at it, as soon as he's done it's the same as always.

So we lay there in the dark, staring silently at the ceiling and contemplating our sins.

Now I'm done with nothing new

A few days later, we're doing the same thing again.

"This is what you do, right?"

You got it, Brad, and I'm damn good at it.

I don't think Herr Crawford can decide if he's pleased with how well I'm carrying out my orders, or jealous of the time I'm spending with Yohji, or hurt that I don't seem to mind fucking somebody else.

I could tell him that it's just another assignment, no more pleasant or less irritating than any other, but I don't feel inclined to soothe him. If he hadn't ordered me, I wouldn't be doing this, and I'd be back at the house warming his bed tonight instead of teaching Yohji here the joys of penetration.

And maybe sometimes I'm a little jealous of the fact that he's working off his frustrations with some nameless whore tonight. Maybe I'm a little hurt, too. But that never matters, does it?

This is what I do, Brad. I don't care how you feel about it.

Sometimes green and sometimes blue

This is what I do.

It's just a job, it's just sex, it's never meant anything and it never will. And that's fine by me.

Isn't it?

When we're done, we don't look at each other. He messes with his cigarettes, and I stare at the ceiling.

But tonight, he lights one for me, too, passes it from his lips to mine. Still without looking at me, but… For the first time, he's acknowledged that we're both here.

I hadn't expected that.

And I'm guilty, and I'm guilty, and I'm guilty, and I'm guilty…

And you're guilty, too

Things have changed.

Yohji and I aren't ignoring each other after sex anymore.

Brad and I… Well, that's more complicated. The other day, he told me he loved me when we weren't fucking.

He never did that before.

I had to leave a few minutes later to go meet Yohji. But Brad already knew that. I mean, he's the one making me do this.

Part of me wants to take what he said at face value.

Part of me wonders if he's just making sure my loyalty stays in the right place.

Part of me likes it better when Yohji smiles at me.

Part of me doesn't care about any of it.

Hey, Brad, this is what I do.

Hey hey hey, I'm guilty

And you're guilty, too

Hey hey hey hey…

Yohji and I haven't talked much.

Tonight, he wants to.

Fine by me, I'm supposed to pump him for information, too. And Kritiker trained the flower boys pretty well, his shields are a lot tougher to crack than the average person. I'll get through eventually, though. But for now…

He asks me questions, I give evasive answers. Then we switch off and go through the routine again. It starts to get boring, though, so we decide to drop the issue of Schwarz and Weiss and just talk about ourselves.

I'll tell you something, something new

He tells me his Asuka story. It's so polished and perfect that I know he's told it before. I comment that it probably makes a great sympathy story for picking up chicks. He frowns at me, angry, but doesn't deny it. The man is a born opportunist, not to mention a horny bastard, and we both know it by now.

I counter with stories about my childhood, and he is appropriately and irritatingly horrified and pitying. Makes me glad I was lying. If I'd told him some of the shit I've really been through and he pulled that act, I'd have had to hit him or something.

We exchange lies for awhile, him giving the expected responses, me refusing to play the role of the compassionate confidant.

You're hearing nothing, nothing true

When we get tired of talking, we have sex.

It's…different. I'm not sure how else to describe it.

It's not like we've been opening up to each other or anything. I mean, for the most part, we've just been telling made up stories. I guess it's just something about talking, being more…familiar with each other…

I don't know. But it unnerves me, and I can tell he's troubled, too, in the aftermath. This is supposed to be just sex. It's what I do. It's what he does. There's not supposed to be any connection between us once we leave this dingy little hotel room.

Maybe it's just gone on too long. Maybe we're getting too comfortable, too familiar…

That's dangerous. For both of us.

Deadly dangerous.

You're killing me, I'm killing you

I'm staring at the ceiling. He's messing with his cigarettes.

"Brad told me he loved me tonight."

He grunts in acknowledgment, and I watch smoke rings rise toward the ceiling.

"I didn't care."

Silence for a moment, then he passes me the half-smoked cigarette without looking at me. "I'm sorry," he says blandly, as though not sure what response he is supposed to make.

I take a deep drag on the cigarette and blow smoke in the air, watching it swirl and dance and dissipate into nothing.

"Yeah, me too."

And I'm guilty, too

It's been a few weeks now. Brad's getting impatient for results.

Pleasant or not, I've got a job to do, and I can't keep stalling indefinitely.

The thing is, I've never liked looking into my lovers' minds. It can be…disturbing.

But duty calls. So I wait for the moment when his shields are weakest, when I know he's most open to me, and I slip inside.

"You're the only one for the job, Yohji."

"What? Are you nuts? You want me to sleep with one of those Schwarz freaks? Fuck that! You do it!"

"I could never convince them I was serious. Omi's too young. Ken can't lie well enough. You're the only one who can do it."

"Great, so you're saying I'm the only one of the group that's a convincing slut?"

"…"

"Well?"

"Well, if you want to put it that way, yes."

"Fuck you, Aya. I'm not doing it."

"Yes, you are. We need some kind of edge over them. Even if it's just a moment's confusion in battle, it would be worth it."

"To you, maybe."

"Don't be such an asshole. It's just sex. You're good at it. It's what you do, right?"

Well. I guess that was hardly surprising.

One, two, three, I found you out so easily

I want to pull out now. I don't want to know any more. But there's something…

His fingers are digging into my shoulders, his hips grinding powerfully against me as he seeks release, physically and mentally.

There's something he doesn't want me to see.

Morbidly curious, I probe deeper, more and more delicately. By the time I reach the thought he's hiding away, I know he can't tell I've penetrated this far. He thinks it's safe, this precious bit of knowledge. What can it be, that he's protecting so desperately? It's got to be something Brad would find useful…

Oh.

Well, I guess Brad wouldn't really care to know that.

Yohji…you're an idiot.

I guess it's contagious.

One, two, three, I found in you what I found in me

When it's over, we just stare at each other for a moment.

I could say things, now. I could change how this will turn out. How this will end. I don't have Brad's power, but I know enough about life, about people, to predict what lies ahead if I say nothing.

But what can I say?

Even if I knew the right words, even if I chose to use them, what good would it do anyway?

Truth is truth, and the truth between us is that we're enemies, killers on opposite sides of a war. No words can change that, and certainly no feelings can.

It doesn't matter. Maybe once it could have. Maybe one day it could. But not now.

And now is all we have.

God, I don't want to let go of right now. I don't want this one second to end. If we could just stay in right now forever, everything would be okay.

The time is wrong, the time is right

But time continues to pass.

"So…I guess you know, now," he says finally.

I just nod.

"Are you going to kill me?" he asks calmly. He's either confident I won't, or he doesn't care if I do. I don't want to know which it is. So I don't look.

I shrug.

"Nothing to say?" he prods, half-coaxing, half-bitter.

I get up and dress. I can't talk to him now. I don't know what to say. Nothing is the same anymore, and suddenly I just want to leave this dark, dirty room that smells of sex and his cologne far behind. I want to shut it away and never think about it again.

This is what I do, damn it. Why does it hurt?

In the end, I can't leave in silence. I pause at the door, and turn back for one last look at him, barely covered by a dirty sheet, blond locks in disarray, cigarette smoke half-concealing his weary green eyes as he stares back at me.

"The next time we meet…" I begin, and find I can't go on. I don't know how to finish. I don't know what to say, what I want to say, what he wants to hear.

He takes the cigarette out of his mouth and smiles grimly at me. "I'll be careful," he says quietly.

I nod, and go.

Be careful who you kill tonight

I'm barely into the house when Brad's all over me, and I don't complain. Sometimes his power is convenient. I let him all but drag me upstairs, our hands working off one another's clothing as we go. Nagi's still in school, Farferello's locked in his room.

Not that we care. Discretion has never been my strong suit, and Brad always knows well in advance when someone is going to walk in. But we both want it in a bed right now.

We've been together that long, that we just know that about each other.

Yohji wouldn't just know this, not like Brad does. Brad has been my partner for years, for so long… Sometimes it seems like we've always been together. He relies on me. He trusts me. What more do I need?

He's rougher than Yohji, but I'm not going to compare them anymore. That part of my life is over now. I'm back where I belong.

Brad is stronger than I am, and he likes to be in control. For once, I don't even put up a token resistance. I want to be overpowered, want to be claimed. I don't want to make any choices, any decisions. I let him control me, command me, consume me…

I think of smoke rings, rising lazily toward a shadowed ceiling, dancing and swirling and drifting away into nothing at all…

And I'm melting, and I'm melting, and I'm melting, and I'm melting…

And I'm melting in you

When we're done, I don't want to be there anymore.

I can hardly just get up and leave after we just had sex, but I want a bath. I feel dirty. I smell like cigarette smoke and another man's cologne.

He always wore cologne for me. Like I was a woman, or a date he wanted to impress. Maybe he didn't know any other way to act.

Maybe.

Brad brushes my hair off my face and frowns down at me, slightly reproving. "I've missed you," he mutters, as though that's my fault.

Maybe it is. If I had a choice right now…

But I don't.

"You didn't have to be so delicate with him," Brad scolds mildly, eyes narrowed as he tries to focus on my face without his glasses.

It's true. I didn't have to. Maybe I only did it to annoy Brad. Because I was angry or hurt over the way he just ordered me to do it, like it wouldn't matter to me to go out and fuck a stranger, an enemy.

But then, it didn't really matter.

I did it. I liked it. I'd do it again.

It's what I do, after all.

Hey hey hey, I'm guilty

"It was your bright idea," I counter calmly.

He has nothing to say to that, which makes me smile slightly in satisfaction.

And you're guilty, too

Hey hey hey hey

Two nights later and I'm in a bar with Yohji telling him all about it.

Part of me is screaming inside my head, demanding to know what the hell kind of stupid thing this is to be doing.

Another part is agreeing wholeheartedly, because how dumb is it to be complaining to one lover about another?

Now the first part is screaming back that that is not what it meant, and yet another part is suggesting I just drop the whole issue and ask Yohji for a quickie, since he's here and all.

Sometimes I'm amazed I can hear other people's thoughts over my own.

"I don't even know what I'm doing here," I complain, gulping down the rest of my drink. Yohji's been buying them for me, and barely touching his. He's trying to get me drunk, and I'm letting him. It's a great excuse for what I know I'm going to do anyway.

"I think you do," Yohji replies with a smug little smirk.

"Confident, aren't we?" I snap at him. "You're not that good, Kudo. And Brad is…Brad is Brad. We've been together a long time…"

He frowns at me. "Why do you always have to bring him up?" he demands irritably.

"Because I'm fucking him?" I shoot back snidely.

His frown deepens, and then he's kissing me, suddenly and forcefully, as if he can scour Brad from my soul with the force of his passion.

It's not that easy, Yohji.

One and one and one makes three

He finally ends the kiss, but stays close, staring determinedly into my eyes. I can almost see the confused thoughts swirling within that dark green gaze. It's a little comforting that he has no better idea what he's doing than I do.

"Brad's not here now," he states flatly.

"Brad's always here," I answer calmly. "Brad's part of me. When are you going to understand that, Kudo?" I smirk, reaching out and gripping his left biceps, where the tattoo marks his skin beneath his shirt and jacket. "When you gonna learn?" I ask him with a bitter smile.

I get up to leave.

One and one, why don't you see

He grabs my arm as I turn away, and I smile to myself. I knew he was going to do that.

See, there's a little Brad in me now.

He turns me around and I let him. He asks me a question and I say yes. He takes me to a room and touches me and I let him and he takes my clothes off and I take his clothes off and he lets me and his mouth is so hot and soft and his skin is smooth under my tongue, my hands, he moans my name and it's an unwanted reminder of the sorry state of my soul so I silence him with a kiss and…

Well, we've been down this road before.

This is what I do, I remind myself as he moves within me, this is what I do, so it's okay, just one more time. But never again. This has to be the end.

And I already know it won't be.

Brad again.

Brad… I feel stretched, pulled in too many different directions. It hurts, and sooner or later, I will snap. I will break. I meet Yohji's eyes, and I can see the same tension in him. We will destroy each other if this goes on.

I'm killing you, you're killing me

When we're done, he falls asleep so fast I know he hasn't slept much since we last saw one another.

His hand is locked around my wrist, so I can't escape.

I can't escape.

I ease his fingers open gently and slip my hand free of his grip, but I know it's not that simple, even as I get up and dress and leave him there. I can't really leave him behind. I went too deep, I saw too much…I can't escape him now.

Can't you set me free?

Weeks pass, and I do my best. I stay away from him as much as I can. It helps that Brad is usually a willing distraction for me. It makes my stomach twist to think about what Yohji does for distraction. It makes my stomach twist more to think that he might not need distraction, so I seek him out to make sure my hooks are still as deeply in him as his are in me.

He is always more than willing to meet me.

We can't go on like this. Something has to give.

But whenever I'm with him, I don't care.

Inside out, I can't describe it, what you do to me

Brad knows.

He hasn't confronted me about it yet, so he hasn't gotten any clear visions of what I'm doing when I sneak off, but…he knows.

We've been together a long time. We can just tell these kinds of things. The way he's been looking at me lately…

He's gotten colder. I'd rather he screamed and yelled and hit me. Brad's dangerous when he gets cold.

Inside out, I cannot hide it, looking right through me

But today, he smiled.

He looked up at me at breakfast, blinked in surprise at something, then smiled. It was a cruel sort of smile, but that's Brad.

When I announced I was going out this afternoon, he just smiled again and told me to have a nice time.

Something is going to happen today.

I know the signs by now. Brad had some kind of vision. If I had a lick of sense, I would avoid Yohji like the plague for the rest of the day. Disaster looms on the horizon, judging by Brad's nasty smile.

But of course, I obviously don't have a lick of sense, or I wouldn't be in this ridiculous predicament in the first place.

We meet at the usual place, and don't spare much time for pleasantries. I don't know if Yohji's picked up my premonition of doom, or if he's just having his own attack of nerves, but we're both jumpy. The sex is frantic, the two of us clinging to one another in something almost like fear rather than passion.

It's almost a relief when the rest of Weiss finally breaks the door down and storms in on us.

Now I've reached the living end

Fortunately for me, even though they apparently knew what they would find, the flower boys are so startled at the sight of Yohji and I naked and sweaty that they don't attack immediately. Not even Aya, who is generally a pretty cold fish.

"Yohji…how could you betray us like this?" Ken finally chokes out, and I see my opening.

The question now becomes, do I take it?

I know now what Crawford was so amused about earlier. I can get myself out of this…I can get us both out of this…but it will mean…

"Why so surprised, Ran-kun?" I croon with a smirk. "Isn't this what you ordered Yohji to do?"

"Don't call me that," Aya snaps, ignoring Ken and Omi's shocked stares as he glowers at me.

"Aya-kun…did you?" Omi asks softly, eyes shining with unshed tears.

Damn, that kid is weepy.

Aya glares at Yohji accusingly. "You told him?" he snaps, hand clenching around the hilt of his katana.

I laugh loudly, psychotically even, to distract him before me or my lover end up covered in blood. "Weiss idiot," I sneer at him. "What were you thinking, sending one of your little friends out to seduce me? What did you think you would accomplish? You couldn't possibly have thought I would tell him anything about Schwarz?" I demand incredulously.

"Schu," Yohji says quietly behind me, laying a hand on my shoulder. The other three all look at him with renewed anger, and I know my cue when I see it.

This shouldn't be hard. It's what I do.

I glance over my shoulder at him and shrug his hand off. "And you," I continue disdainfully, "I don't know who's the bigger idiot, Kudo, Ran-kun or you. Did you really think I could fall for your so-called charms so easily? You moron, I'm here on orders, too. Only I've got a lot more to show for my efforts."

"Schu?" he murmurs uncertainly, looking hurt, and I almost lose it. But I've been doing this sort of thing for a long time.

I just roll my eyes at him in disgust and turn back to the others.

"What were you thinking, Ran, sending a normal, feeble human up against me? I'm a telepath, you idiot! The minute you sent this hormone-crazed slut after me, you as good as handed me access to all your plans. It's been a very convenient arrangement for me, I guess I should thank you. But I can't help pointing out how fucking stupid you are," I conclude, smirking nastily.

Pointing fingers to defend

The gun under the pillow, fortunately, is a habit. I pull it out too fast for any of them to react and wrap an arm around Yohji's neck, pressing the barrel to his temple.

I smile convincingly at my audience as Omi gasps, Ken swears, and Aya studies the cold determination in my eyes.

"Now, get out, or I shoot him," I threaten calmly.

I see acknowledgment of the sincerity of my threat in Aya's eyes, and his hand eases on the hilt of the sword.

I did it. I convinced him.

I feel ill.

They all leave, and I lower the gun, releasing Yohji from my hold. He doesn't pull away from me.

"I think I was stupider than Aya," he says flatly, not looking at me.

"I guess so," I agree easily, slipping out of bed. I dress quickly, while he smokes.

As I'm leaving, he calls after me, "Schuldig…"

I pause, waiting.

"Was there ever…anything…?"

I wait, but he doesn't clarify. As if I need him to. Maybe he knows that.

"No," I lie easily, and walk out of the room.

Hey hey hey, I'm guilty

The rest of Weiss are gathered at the bottom of the stairs. I smirk at them as I pass, but the temporary truce holds. Ken and Omi, at least, are more concerned about Yohji than about me.

That's nice.

Aya scowls at me as I pass him, and I pause to smirk at him.

"I guess I ought to thank you," I say brightly. "He was a sweet piece of ass." Then I frown thoughtfully and add slowly, "But, then…you already know that, don't you, Ran-kun?"

He growls at me as I walk away laughing.

And you're guilty, too

Brad laughed his ass off at my story, and never made an issue of why I was screwing Yohji that day in the first place.

Life went on, as it has a habit of doing.

We killed some people, Weiss killed some people. We fought Weiss, Weiss fought us.

Stuff happened.

I didn't care much.

"Was there ever…anything…?"

"No."

I'm a very good liar. It's one of the many things I don't like about myself.

Hey hey hey I'm guilty

Not that Yohji isn't a liar, too. I mean, after all, I read his mind. I know all his secrets. And there's plenty he didn't tell me.

For instance, he never said…

And you're guilty, too

Hey hey hey hey…

So here I am again, drinking at our old place.

And he sits down next to me.

For a while, we don't speak. Then I finish my drink and ask him how he's been.

"Is that what we do, here?" he asks me curiously. "We chat and make small talk, like a couple of friends who haven't seen each other in a while?"

I shrug, and ask with a smirk, "Would you rather go get a room?"

He scowls at me, puffing away at his cigarette. "Been there, done that," he mutters bitterly.

I shrug and order another drink. We sit in silence again for a while.

Finally, he asks, almost wistfully, "Were we…at least friends?"

I pick his cigarette up from the ashtray and take a drag off of it, stalling for time. "Does it matter?" I ask quietly.

He takes the cigarette from my hand, our fingers brushing. I turn to look at him, as he contemplates the burning end. "It matters to me," he says after a while, raising the white cylinder to his own mouth.

My tongue flickers nervously across my lips and I look away again, down at the bar. "Maybe," I tell him softly. "Maybe we were friends."

I'll tell you something, something new

"A bit of friendly advice," I add after a moment. "This thing with Aya…it won't last."

He makes a small noise of surprise and annoyance at this remark, proof of the fact that I did penetrate his thoughts.

"And what makes you so sure of that?" he asks after a moment.

I finish my drink before replying, "Because you don't have the feelings for him that you do for me."

He takes a moment to absorb that, getting out a new cigarette and lighting it.

"I hate you," he finally says calmly, thoughtfully.

I nod, smiling down at my empty glass. "I know," I say as I get up from my stool. My smile twists as I add softly, "I hate you, too."

You're hearing nothing, nothing true

"I shouldn't let this hurt me," he mutters before I can leave, before I can run away and spare us both the rest of this. It's over, Kudo, it ended the way it always had to. Why drag it out like this?

"I mean, I should know better," he continues, sounding almost angry.

So should I, lover, so should I. Leave it alone. You go home to Aya, and I'll go home to Brad, and we'll both pretend it's enough, okay?

"It was just sex. It shouldn't be tearing me up like this."

Shut up, Kudo.

"Does it bother you at all, Schu?"

Damn you.

"No," I lie flatly, coldly, and it hurts…

You're killing me, I'm killing you…

He laughs softly, a bitter sound.

"Yeah, I guess it wouldn't," he says regretfully. "I mean… This is what you do, right?"

"This is what you do, right?"

This is what I do, right?

Right?

"Yeah, Kudo," I reply wearily as I walk away. "This is what I do."

And I'm guilty, too…