Faded Obsidian

Faded Obsidian

By saturn de wicked

Chapter Two

then, it finds more than it bargained for

It rained heavy that night. Crawford could feel the raindrops tapping on the car, easing the silence that was louder than usual. He was a man who knew how to appreciate peace and quiet when it came by, but this was not the same, because the person who was supposed to initiate words was unconscious and bleeding in the backseat. Crawford had never counted on the other two for excessive speech, but he could not remember any recent times when the cessation of voices had been this awkward.

The rain pattered on. It was something new for Schwarz, who was used to and comfortable with silence.

Crawford's lips thinned. Or maybe it was because he was practically radiating anger, he thought. It did not show on his face. It never showed on his face, but his teammates knew, like how they always did.

So they drove on, accompanied by the squeaking of the windscreen wiper and the pattering rain. The roads were not crowded even though it was the commercial area. It was, after all, two hours past midnight.

"Where are we going?" Nagi asked when they stopped at a traffic junction.

"A hotel," Crawford replied flatly. "I'll make arrangements to go back to the headquarters later." He congratulated himself for not snapping, because he felt the unexplainable urge to do so. It was strange, not to be able to hear random thoughts of his teammates constantly whispering softly into his mind; that had almost become something he had taken for granted and he rarely blocked them out.

"Another hotel…" There was a tired note to Nagi's voice even though his face and eyes betrayed no inner emotions. Crawford could tell the boy wanted to go back to their apartment, the small house they professionally addressed as their headquarters. The place was special to them somehow, and each of them knew it. It had been empty since they last left it, which was about three months ago when they joined in Estet's preparations for the almighty ritual.

Crawford glanced at Nagi through the rearview mirror, and his eyes inadvertently caught the unconscious Schuldich. The German was propped in a sitting position between Nagi and Farfarello, so that he had a cushion on both sides if he fell.

Nagi fingered the makeshift bandage he did for Schuldich using the German's sleeves. He frowned. The blood had already seeped through the thick material. "What are we going to do about Schuldich?"

"For the physical injuries, we are going to get the bullet out of him first," came the unwavering reply.

"I don't mean that," Nagi murmured, pushing Schuldich's wild hair away from his face. He looked deathly pale compared to his locks of ridiculously bright hair.

"We'll see what we can do when we get to that point."

Nagi nodded. He had never been very friendly with the German, but perhaps was the closest with him out of the rest of Schwarz. He was the only one Nagi could talk to when there was really nothing else better to do, which was scarce. He rarely talked with Crawford, unless the topic involved the future and development of Schwarz – Nagi seemed to be the only one intelligent enough for this subject. But conversation with Crawford lacked the emotions that always surfaced involuntarily when the partner was Schuldich. Farfarello did not oblige to speak often. He was generally quieter than Nagi, which was saying a lot, unless he had someone to torture. The Irishman conversed more easily with Schuldich. But then, so did everyone, even Crawford.

Nagi grimaced in his head. The German's lack of presence was starting to stand out already, especially with the possibility that he may never come back to them. Nagi wondered if he would miss Schuldich if he died. Probably not, he thought cynically. Peace never went where the redhead chose to go.

He took another look at his unconscious teammate, glad no one could hear his thoughts now. He hesitated a little before ripping off his right sleeve. With as much care as he could muster in a moving car, he removed Schuldich's damp crude bandage and redid it again. Schuldich did not even twitch. Nagi frowned lightly and fingered his pulse. "Crawford…" he said softly. "I think we need to go faster."

Farfarello looked up from his blade. The telepath was leaning slightly against him. The one golden eye focused intensely on Schuldich's face, so serene one would have thought he was only sleeping. "He won't die that easily," he said, even as a slow knowing smile made its way across his face.

But Crawford increased his speed as he drove on.


The sleek black Porsche pulled up in front of the hotel. Nagi stepped out as the bellboy opened the door. He glanced back at Crawford who was undoing his seatbelt. The American calmly tipped the bellboy for his service and motioned for Farfarello to carry Schuldich out, like carting unconscious and bleeding men was natural and generally accepted into everyday life.

If the security guards posted at the grand entrance of the hotel were about to say something, they quickly bit back their words at Crawford's cool gaze. He turned back to Farfarello, who had an arm under the German's knees and another one supporting his back. A commanding nod from Crawford, and Schwarz entered the cool air of the hotel lobby.

Heads turned at their entrance. Curious eyes assessed the four but did not linger to stare. It was, after all, healthy to mind one's own business. People whispered and stole glances at the blood on the unconscious man that seemed to compliment his hair; people felt chills go down their spines at the numerous glaring scars and the white hair that screamed betrayal; but no one, as it was throughout the whole history of Schwarz, did anything to attract unwanted attention. Such was the core of humanity.

Crawford made straight for the elevator with Farfarello while Nagi wordlessly detoured to the receptionist to confirm their room reservation.

The red number decreased slowly from ten, to nine, to eight… Crawford gave Schuldich a quick glance. The German looked practically ashen under the pale light of the lobby. He was not distressed over the physical injuries, even though the newly replaced bandage was already showing signs of redness. The ominous fact was that Schuldich mind was not sending out any signs of life at all.

"If he is to die…" Farfarello rasped out softly, as the elevator doors slid open quietly and they stepped in, "Will he see Him…?" He laughed in response to his own question. "Black, black sheep… will he see the Lord…?"

"He won't die," Crawford replied simply, even as his teeth clenched. It would be another deep gash in his pride and reputation if he allowed his own teammate to die from his mistake. A gash over the recent gash that was the mistake.

The elevator doors slid open and they stepped out, Farfarello carelessly banging Schuldich's legs against the metal doorframe. Their suite was at the end of the corridor, and the door opened just as Crawford reached it. Nagi caught up with them.

They wasted no time admiring their lodgings like how the previous inhabitants had. Farfarello dumped his load on the couch as soon as he got in, then stood at the head, watching Crawford kneel down beside Schuldich and put him in a more comfortable position. The door closed softly as Nagi joined them beside Schuldich. Crawford put Schuldich's injured arm out.

"Nagi, boil some water, get me a clean cloth."


It was a grim trio that sat down at the table to have their breakfast. Crawford had managed to dislodge the bullet from Schuldich's shoulders more or less successfully, since the bullet had not been embedded deep. He had training in the medical field somewhere along his path in becoming the leader of Schwarz, but the knowledge had been rarely put into use -- it was Nagi who usually treated their wounds, not that there were many. This time, the tools he employed were basic – he managed with the hotel first aid kit and a crude set of knives Farfarello always carried about with him. Sterilized beforehand, of course.

Crawford was the only one touching the food, eating as impassively as always. It was nearly dawn, around 4 am. Schuldich's minor operation had taken him two hours to complete. There was a kitchen in the suite but Nagi was not up to cooking, from the looks of it. They had nothing for him to start cooking with anyway. Crawford was not hungry, but breakfast was part of routine, and Crawford rarely broke routine. They called for room service.

Nagi sat beside him at the round table, staring into space. His oyako-don getting cold in front of him. Farfarello sat across from him, playing with his rice, slicing them one by one into halves with a fine blade. The silence was perfectly intact. Broken time to time by the soft clattering of cutlery.

Schuldich was resting, having yet to move a finger from his initial position. Crawford was not expecting him to recover that fast, but he had not thought that Nagi would be so deeply affected by it. Usually the boy left the rest alone and did not worry about them unless they worried him first. Which only applied to Schuldich. Farfarello did not seem any more perturbed than the normal.

"Nagi," Crawford said with a hard edge to his voice, as he finished and set his plate aside.

The boy looked up at him questioningly, breaking away from his thoughts.

"Your breakfast," Crawford stated, pointing vaguely to the untouched rice. It was not exactly breakfast, but it was after all, morning (albeit the 4am kind).

Nagi nodded quietly, then picked up his chopsticks and started eating without another word. Crawford sat watching him, not for the first time asking himself if diligence at following orders was good for the boy. Nagi rarely defied him, never mind if it concerned such a minor thing as his own diet and table manners. His obedience had been one of the reasons why Crawford was incensed when the telekinetic disregarded his orders and went after Tot, the silly Schrient doll.

Nagi finished his meal in a few minutes and pushed his bowl away. He leaned back to resume his original position.

Farfarello stood up suddenly, pushing his chair back so that it scraped loudly against the marble floor. Then he stalked away towards one of the rooms and the door closed. Crawford raised an eyebrow. So… it even got to him…

"Crawford…" Nagi spoke up hesitatingly.

Crawford turned his eyes towards him.

"What can you See?" Nagi asked softly, looking down at the edge of the table.

"Schuldich will wake up," Crawford replied shortly, studying the boy's rare display of uncertainty in mild interest. "Nothing else."

Nagi nodded slowly, then let out a small sigh. "Goodnight, Crawford," he whispered before getting up and retreating to the room he had silently agreed to share with Farfarello. Crawford nodded in acknowledgement.


Nagi paused and turned. "Yes?"

"Don't think about it."

Nagi nodded. The lights flicked on as he closed the door. A light frame leaned against it, feeling drained. Things had gone wrong. Schuldich was not supposed to be beaten… Schuldich was ruled by no one but Crawford… Schuldich was never supposed to go down like one of the crawling masses of expendables that made up the society…

Nagi chuckled softly, mocking his own ridiculous sentimentality.

"…Do you think… after this… we'll still be together?"

Farfarello sat on one of the two beds staring at him. "Think some more and you'll go insane like me." He chuckled softly. "He won't die."

Nagi smiled bitterly. "Crawford already told me that."

Only three people in the gods be damned universe gave a shit about him… There was nothing he owned in the world besides Schwarz and his power. One small part of his mind told him that he did not want to lose them too.

~We are together now because we can go to no one else, and we'll be together tomorrow for the same reason. What the hell are you worrying for?~

Guess my hunch's right after all, Schuldich. You've only got to wake up to prove me wrong… Nagi undressed and fell onto his bed immediately, the softness of it welcomed. He flicked off the lights and curled up on the sheets. The door shut softly by itself, as Nagi did his best to drift off to sleep.


Crawford moved Schuldich into their room just as dawn broke. The redhead laid on the bed on his back, the white sheets drawn up to his chest. His torn jacket and top had been taken off. He looked like he was merely sleeping… he looked so much like he was sleeping…

Crawford sat himself down in an armchair beside the king-sized bed, massaging his temples tiredly, something he would never do in front of others.

Schuldich will laugh at you when he wakes up… he told himself dryly. Imagine the great leader, his powers failing him… Disgraceful.

His eyes locked on the pale face of the telepath. Crawford had slammed his mental barriers up, for reasons unknown to himself. He was wary; the vision he got did not reflect the normalcy he had hoped for. He had Seen himself arguing with Schuldich, him angry, and Schuldich… different. Familiar, yet different.

He had meant to stay up until morning, when he could order one of the others to take over his watch, but slowly, his consciousness began to fade, and soon, he was asleep.


Jade eyes slowly opened. The owner winced at once at the sunlight streaming in and squeezed his eyes shut. His head hurt, dammit. Biting back a low moan, he rolled over and tried to bury his head under his pillow. Weird, it felt softer than usual. It was a welcomed change, though.

He hid in the darkness his pillow provided for a few minutes, swaying between awareness and sleep, before it became too stuffy to breathe. His brain throbbed painfully in the small cavity of his skull that felt all too small at that moment. It was like his head was expanding and contracting in rhythm… Schuldich groaned again. Talk about hangovers…

Slowly, he peeled away the pillow covering his head, and his lungs took in fresh cool air. He remained in that position for a few moments, savoring his very comfortable position. Weird… his bed smelt different – fresher than it should. Schuldich frowned, his left hand going to pat the space beside him. It was empty and cold.

Surprised, his eyes flew opened. The light was piercingly bright, and he regretted his action even as his mouth let loose a string of swearing. His right arm burned, one searing spot on fire… painful… Jaws clenched, and he opened his eyes a small slit, just enough to see the snow white bandage. What the hell!! Schuldich squeezed his eyes shut again and tried to sit, propping his slender frame up with his other arm. He hissed. The movement aggravated his seemingly injured arm. Pain flared again. Fuck, make that seriously injured.

The redhead abandoned his discomfort for the moment, and looked around, the light still stinging to his eyes. He tensed, when he found the surroundings not even vaguely familiar. Where… am I? His eyes took in the clean sheets and the expensive looking furniture, as well as the much larger size of the bedroom.

His eyes closed, frowning in concentration as he tried to remember where he was before this…

The door opened.

Schuldich sat straight up, grinding his teeth as the hammer pounded on his head an extra loud beat. Someone in dress shirt and long pants stepped in, closing the door behind him. He stopped in his tracks when he saw the German.

Schuldich froze, for one moment the fear seizing his heart. Then he saw who it was and relaxed visibly.

"Schuldich," Crawford addressed, holding the redhead in a sharp gaze. He did not show his caution, but the barrier in his mind was up, to block his thoughts from going to the redhead. It was something he had not done for quite a few years. "How bad do you feel?"

Schuldich lifted a hand to his forehead to repress the headache, and bit back a groan. Confusion replaced the previous panic. He steadied his voice and asked softly, "Where am I…?"

It was not cold, but he wanted warmth. He wanted to know where he was and what had happened to him. Schuldich slowly disentangled his legs from the sheets and stood up unsteadily, half stumbling. When he was sure he would not fall, he approached Crawford slowly, his hands rubbing his eyes.

Crawford watched his teammate's progress, feeling a weight go off his shoulders when he saw that Schuldich was not hurt badly enough to be unable to walk. Wordlessly, he held out a hand for Schuldich to take.

But what come next surprised him.

Maybe the clairvoyant was not used to being surprised, because he went rigid.

Schuldich snaked his arms around his neck, and pulled him into a light kiss on the lips, mumbling groggily through his headache, "Where have you been, love? Where are we?"

For a moment, everything froze, as the warm lips touched his own. Then senses snapped, and Crawford shoved roughly at Schuldich. The German gasped, one hand going to clutch at his injured arm, even as he stumbled back a few steps. The American glowered at him, disgust and distaste evident in his eyes as he wiped at his mouth with the back of his hand.

"What do you think you're doing, Schuldich?" he demanded, arms tensing up. He controlled the urge to brandish his gun and blast the German's brains out.

The redhead gaped at him. After a moment, he choked out, "I should be asking you that."

The anger and humiliation in Crawford's thoughts dulled for a moment as he digested Schuldich's words. Schuldich had spoken in English. Schuldich never spoke English willingly.

Schuldich's arms started to tremble involuntarily and he hoped it was interpreted as anger rather than hurt. Everything felt wrong. Everything was wrong. Schuldich masked the inner turmoil with rage. Oh damn right he was angry. His lover for over a year had forgotten him, his lover had shoved him away when he tried to hug him, and his lover had to wipe his mouth after they brushed lips. Schuldich repressed the sick feeling rising in him and searched his own mind, trying to remember what had happened before he woke up in this shit hole.

A flash of something fuzzy… a short flash…

The hand went flying. A slap so painful, the feeling was numbed.

"So go! If I'm such a lousy fuck, go find a new one!"

"You know what? I think I will."

The memory was blurred, foggy, but the words stung. Schuldich's eyes lit up in realization. "You're still mad at me, aren't you?"

"What?" A light frown.

He had never prided his temper for being cool, even when dealing with his lover. Schuldich scowled. Then almost immediately, his features softened, and he cast his eyes down. Crawford tensed again, not knowing what to make of things for once. What he was sure of was that this person in front of him was not Schuldich. Schuldich did not look pensive. Schuldich did not show his emotions so openly. Schuldich did not dare to kiss him. Schuldich did not kiss him.

"I didn't mean to scream at you yesterday, okay?" the redhead muttered, looking at the ground and raking a hand through his messy hair. This proved to be harder than he thought it would be. "But you slapped me."

"I slapped you," Crawford repeated. Uh-huh.

"Fuck you, asshole, I'm trying to apologize here," Schuldich snapped, looking like he was ready to hit the leader of Schwarz. "Don't even give me the clueless crap."

Crawford wondered in one small part of his mind whether he had given his teammate too many painkillers. There was a warning label that said not to consume more than three a day, so Crawford had shoved exactly three into the German's mouth all at once. He adjusted his glasses and reigned in a growl. "Schuldich… what's the last thing you remember?"

"Now you're trying to question me," the telepath spat. "First you tell me what's this fucking place you've brought me to." He was almost starting to get scared. Everything was wrong.

Crawford's nerves twitched, and his eyes narrowed. One just did not talk to him in this way and get away with it. His arm shot out and caught the telepath's hair, yanking the smooth face close to his. Schuldich let out a crude scream.

"Don't speak to me like this, Schuldich, because I won't care whether you're injured or not." He paused, voice dropping deliberately to barely a whisper. "I asked you what's the last thing you remember, and you will answer."

Schuldich stared at him, one hand clutching at his abused scalp. Brad…? Shock slowly turned to panic, and he touched his lover's mind gently. There was a void, and totally no response. Just one vast silence…

His blood ran cold.

"If you're trying my patience, you'll regret it," Crawford said softly, in a dead and deadly tone.

"Brad?" Wait… you're not him," Schuldich murmured as he took a step back, away from Crawford, wrenching his hair from the rough hands. "Who are you?"


Nagi woke to the noise in the next room. He slowly padded out into the lounge then across it to one of the two closed doors – Schuldich's room – where the noise was coming from. His ears caught the loud voice that could belong only to the German, before everything quieted down, leaving behind a welcomed but uneasy silence. ~Schuldich?~ Nagi called out mentally while keeping up as much of a mental barrier as he could. Crawford had told him to. There was no reply. The boy frowned, and tapped on the door as he approached. He would not normally have done Schuldich that courtesy, but it seemed that Crawford was with him too.

There was no response… Nagi slowly pushed open the door with his hand.

Schuldich almost looked frightened.

Nagi's sleepy mind snapped awake. He halted where he was. All he could see was Crawford's back and Schuldich. Schuldich, the confident smirking telepath, pressing against the far wall, almost, almost looking like a trapped animal. His palms were pressed flat against the white wall, eyes fixed on Crawford's face. Trapped and betrayed, his position said, his eyes emphasized.

Nagi paused, then backed out of the room, closing the door again and leaving the two alone. He was disinclined to interrupt.


Crawford let the vision pass fully before attempting to speak again.

But when it did, all he could find was a lack of words. His eyes tore themselves away from Schuldich's position. No, not Schuldich. I shouldn't have made this mistake.

His vision cleared all his questions for him, and his anger slowly dissipated, leaving behind not normalcy but a strange hollowness. Crawford almost could tell himself he felt defeated. But as it was, his lips thinned into a firm line and he sat himself down on the chair beside the single bed, legs crossed.

Schuldich's eyes followed his movements warily. Brad… this person looks so much like you. Where are you? Where am I? Where have you gone? Who is this bastard? Why is his head so empty? Where are you?

"Sit." It was not an invitation. It was a command. It was a command that left no room for questions.

But… Schuldich's eyes narrowed, trying to override confusion with other emotions. "Why should I?"

A gun barrel was leveled at his face. The stranger's familiar dark brown eyes bore into his own jade green ones, cold. His position was relaxed, sitting comfortably in the cushioned chair. It was like he was challenging, only that knew he would be nothing but the winner.

Schuldich clenched his teeth and moved to sit on the bed he had woken up in. He glared at the American, hating him for resembling Brad. Resembling, but not the same; no, it was not the same. Brad was not as tall, nor were his eyes as cold. Brad wouldn't point a gun at him, much less point and gun at him and look like he could shoot at wimp.

The man stared at him for few minutes, running his eyes over his body. Schuldich then realized he was not wearing a top. It would probably have felt less intimidating if there was any hints of sexual interest in the gaze, but the man for all the world looked like he was observing and memorizing parts of machinery. Schuldich held his silent anger, seething at being scrutinized, but could do nothing about it. The gun had gone down the moment he sat, but was still in the stranger's lap. He knows my name… he seems to know me as well… fuck this crap, what's happening?

Schuldich did not give the stranger the satisfaction of feeling him fidgeting, although he was itching to squirm. The guy must be carrying a disease. If only there was something besides impassiveness that he could find in those dead brown eyes… something that he could use to turn the tables. Schuldich did not appreciate his body being looked upon as if it was nothing more than stonework, but that was how this man was staring at him.

A few more minutes passed, and Schuldich was getting restless.

"Nagi," the Brad-lookalike said.

"What?" Schuldich frowned.

The door opened, but it was only after a few seconds that the boy walked in from the couch he was sitting on outside. Schuldich had caught sight of him from the corner of his eye when he first barged into the room a few minutes ago. In a small part of his mind, the German wondered how the door had opened if the boy had been so far away.

He wore something that looked like school uniform, but had one sleeve torn off. The face was closed off and detached. Schuldich flicked the boy a sharp glance, not feeling up to friendliness.

The boy reminded Schuldich of himself before Brad entered his life. The telepath warily probed at the newcomer's mind, but found a similar blank, as he had with the stranger's. He drew back quickly, like he had touched slime.

The boy turned straight to Crawford without so much as a glance at him. "You called, Crawford."

Crawford… Schuldich's eyes narrowed. Such a stick-in-the-ass name.

"Yes," the person called Crawford said flatly. A hand vaguely gestured towards him. "Our plans need to change. He's currently in the fourteen-year-old state of mind."

Author's notes:

Confusing? I know. Most of it will be cleared up in the next chapter. Meanwhile, thanks to Majokai Yukiko who pointed out to me that the ending of the last part was vague and confusing, so I've added a few lines to make it better (it's already updated). I read back, and found that it was totally disgusting, too rushed, and not deep enough, as my Gumi says. If I have the time, I'll rewrite the whole beginning again. I took three days to write this chapter, and around one week to edit *grunts in disgust* Schwarz is hard to write.

Thanks to all who have given me feedback of any kind.

Thanks to Truth for the enlightening talk. I'm striving to characterize Schwarz the way you have.

Dedicated to Ray-chan, always. Welcome back ^^

This fic is inspired by the great work of Mami-sama, Temporary Peace. Thanks a lot to her for writing it, and for letting me use the idea *sighs happily*. I promise I will not follow her plot, I'm just using the idea of amnesia.


Original plot and characters are properties of the creator and distributors of Weiss Kreuz and are copyrighted to their respective owners. Author of this work claims no ownership, part or whole, of the original plot and characters. No copyright infringement is intended. This fan fiction and all other relevant chapters and work, both text and non-text, are created for sole purpose of entertainment. Work is absolutely a non-commercial creation and no profits are made from the production, maintenance or display.

Faded Obsidian is an original piece of fan work copyrighted to saturn de wicked. No part of this work is to be reproduced or adapted in any way without the author's permission.