Author: NagiLite

Rating: R

Disclaimer: Sadly enough, I don't own Weiß Kreuz (or anything worth more than 200 dollars, really). I also do not own the Alanis Morissette song, "You Oughta Know", the lyrics of which are at the end of the fic.

Author's Notes: Please forgive any misspellings. My stupid aniki deleted some file or another and Microsoft Works is screwed...meaning I have no spell check. I haven't written in so long because...I'VE BEEN IN DISNEY WORLD!!! Anyone heard of Musicfest 2002? Well, I'm in one of the concert choirs that competed. ^-^ Go me! We came in 2nd place, though...ah well. We've had 1st for so long, it's time for a change. Oh, and the title, 'haji', means 'disgrace'.



~Haji~



The afterglow had warn off, and Nagi Naoe lay in an exhausted heap next to his lover. The night before had been as wonderful as...well, ever. Bradley Crawford was very talented when it came to under-the-cover (literally) past-times. The American was sound asleep now, his lips drawn in a tight line, body glistening in the morning sunlight. Nagi drew the blankets up to conceal the other man's broad shoulders, smiling in spite of himself.

He'd be eighteen in two days, and he couldn't wait. What would Bradley think up this year? On his last birthday, it had been flowers and a cruise on the Atlantic. The year before that, an amusement park, complete with all of the rollercoasters Nagi had ever desired. Really, when he wanted to, Bradley could be sweet. And after his sweetness always came a passion powerful enough to knock Nagi off of his feet.

Leaning over, Nagi brushed dry lips against a tanned cheek, breathing in the scent of Bradley's cologne; spicy, strong, like the man who wore it.

Then he stood to prepare breakfast.

***

/Had a nice night, Naoe?/ Schuldich smirked, his upper body buried in their refridgerator. Nagi didn't see the smirk, but he sensed it. Schuldich knew this, and proceeded to mercilessly tease the brunette. He was feeling good, after a hot shower (his red hair was still dripping) and a clean pair of clothes. He had told himself earlier that morning that he would never, ever go clubbing on a Monday again, but the promise would be broken by that night.

"Look at this," Farfarello said suddenly from his perch on the edge of the sofa. His single eye was intently focused on the television screen. Falsely optimistic television voices reached Schuldich's ears.

The report caught his interest for all of three minutes before he turned back to the fridge, thinking of the Mayo he'd been looking for.

/Boooooring, Farf. Who cares whether some teenaged punk molested three kids or not? I certainly don't./

"But God is in pain. He's bawling right now. My day has brightened."

/Easily entertained, isn't he?/ Schuldich directed at Nagi, who shrugged and proceeded to pour himself a bowl of a cereal that Bradley called 'Lucky Charms'. Farfarello looked up expectantly.

"Pour your own bowl, Farfarello," the teen said irritably.

"Give him his risperidone," Bradley said crisply as he entered the kitchen, already immaculately dressed. Nagi raised an eyebrow. The risperidone would knock out the psychopath for at least an hour. But he got the pills anyway, mixed one in with milk and cereal, and said to a suspicious but hungry Farfarello, "I changed my mind, here, have some."

Moments later, the Irishman asleep on the couch, Schuldich brought up Nagi's earlier concern. "So, dear Braddy, why d'you want him out of it so badly?"

"Because I have something important to tell you both, and he'd be in the way. It's much quieter now, don't you agree?" He didn't wait for them to answer, instead grabbing a supplement pill and swallowing it dry. "I've had a phone call."

"Did you now? Hmm. I wonder why? People are always calling you, Crawford, that's not anything new," Schuldich said.

"This, I'm sure, is new. I've been ordered away."

Nagi, a spoonful of marshmellows and cereal halfway to his mouth, froze. Silence pervaded the atmosphere for a moment.

Then, /Away?/

"B-Bradley...!"

"Quiet, please. EstE requires my presence in my home country. A protection job. Normally I wouldn't even notify you, but..." He paused, pushing up his glasses thoughtfully. "This is a unique protection assignment. I'm afraid I'll be gone for quite a while."

"How long?" Not more than a few months, surely, Nagi thought. He smiled brilliantly at Bradley, wishing he were a telepath so he could tell the oracle that he'd be there waiting when he returned.

"Years. Suffice it to say, a long time."

Stunned. Nagi was stunned. He sat there, mouth hanging open as Schuldich began to argue. "What? Brad, you can't accept it! You're our LEADER, we are Schwarz...and how the fuck are we supposed to function without a leader? I can't believe you'd even consider it..."

It went on.

"Shut up. I've already agreed. A mission is a mission. I'll be leaving on a plane tonight for South Carolina."

Nagi stood determinedly. "I'm going with you."

The German snorted. /Forget it, Bishounen, he's set in his own ways. He's going alone./

"B-but Bradley. Bradley, you can't just...leave me for YEARS."

"It's possible."

"I. I'm in love with you." Nagi dropped his eyes at the angry gaze that was directed at him. "I am. And you said you loved me. So take me with you."

"No."

"Bradley Crawford, if you love me, don't abandon me!" He felt his eyes tear up, but he fought them valiantly. Bradley would stay now. Because they were in love. He watched as the taller man approached him, not smiling. His brown eyes were cold. He took Nagi's hand, shook it twice. He glanced at Schuldich.

Then he walked to the door and said, "Goodbye," before disappearing into the world.

***

They searched for him. The plane he'd left on, all of South Carolina, everywhere in his home country, the United States, they could. But there was no luck. It seemed larger-than-life Brad Crawford had vanished off the face of the Earth.

Nagi cried like he hadn't in years. He cried so hard he puked, then he cried some more. He went into withdrawal, and at all hours, the topmost thought in his mind was of Bradley.

/He just doesn't care about you, kid,/ Schuldich said, with the best intentions. Unfortunately this only succeeded to drive Nagi deeper into his depression.

Nagi's eighteenth birthday came and went. His nineteenth, twentieth passed, and on his twenty-first, the sun began peeking out from behind the clouds of his heart.

***

"Farfie, give 'em back!"

Schuldich smiled indulgently as a twenty-one year old Nagi Naoe ran through the house, a towel clutched half-hazardly where it counted. Farfarello, though now in his mid-twenties, was as nutty as ever, though he wasn't nearly so pessimistic since Crawford had left and he'd been taken off off his risperidone. He held Nagi's clean clothes between pale arms, dodging behind furniture and doorways as the incensed telekinetic chased him.

Finally, fed up, Nagi mentally lifted a vase and sent it crashing at Farfarello's feet.

/Alright, alright, Naggikins, he'll hand over the goods./

And Farfarello did, but not without dropping the clothes into the pile of flower fertilizer now scattered on the floor.

"Augh! You're all impossible!" Nagi stomped off. Schuldich gave the psychopath a thumbs up and took a long drag on his cigarette. He was now the (supposedly temporary) leader of Schwarz, and, surprisingly, a rather good one. Not nearly equal with Crawford, but good. He gloated over this fact often.

Suddenly, there was a beep. It was his laptop, well, Crawford's old one. His now, though. E-mail.

He clicked on the cute mail icon, reminding himself absently that he needed to change the wallpaper. It was getting boring.

He scanned through the mail, expecting an assignment, an ad, anything but what he found.

They'd given up in their search agencies the year before, but they hadn't bothered to cancel their payments, or the efforts of the groups. Schwarz had plenty of money. And who cared, anyway?

"Dear Mr. Shuuichi Kitori" it began. His alias. "We have located a Mr. Bradley Crawford..."

***

Nagi stood outside the small suburban house. He glanced at the piece of paper in his pocket that had the address on it. Looked at the house number. Yes, this was the place. A light drizzle had begun to fall, and he shivered. New Hamshire was cold this time of year, he'd discovered.

It felt weird, standing outside the house of the person he'd once loved, STILL loved, so dearly.

It was white, one floor, with a brown door and flowery curtains, something he'd never expect to see in any dwelling of his Bradley. The driveway was empty.

He telekinetically unlocked the door, entered into the dark interior. Searching with chilled fingertips, he finally found a lightswitch.

It was okay. Perfectly normal. The painfully familiar newspaper on the floor and suede shoes, the half-empty or half-full coffee cup on a low table...and the not so familiar sight of high heels propped against the television, toy blocks scattered on blue carpet.

He shrugged out of his coat, though he was cold, kicked off his shoes because that's what he would have done in Japan. He peered into the kitchen (so many different types of exotic foods he barely knew the names of), the dining room (funny, there was a perfectly matching set of china in the corner cabinet), the foyer, and a small bathroom.

Past that, a bedroom decorated with teddy-bear wallpaper and a crib by a window. Another bedroom with a double bed and a dresser and a closet filled with dresses and suits and casual wear.

Pictures on the dresser. He didn't want to look at them. He wanted to tell himself that they'd gotten the wrong address, the wrong man, that this was the wrong life, that Bradley, his Bradley, was not living in a house filled with toys and women's perfume.

But he ended up looking.

Bradley, handsome as ever, a soft smile on his chiseled face. Nagi ran a finger over that face, wishing to really touch it. And the oracle's arm was wrapped around the slender figure of a girl (a woman, he realized) with bright red hair and a brilliant grin. Next to that, a picture of the same two people in wedding white. And then a small photo of a boy-child with red hair and coffee brown eyes. Bradley's eyes.

Nagi sat on the edge of the double bed and put his head in his hands. There was no mistake. He didn't know who she was, but some woman had taken...had taken Nagi's very soul. What about the assignment? Maybe he'd been guarding her? No, she wasn't important enough to bother with. Schwarz killed people like her before breakfast.

Why had EstE allowed this to happen? Wasn't this endangering Schwarz or...?

Oh. It hit him like a freight train, knocking his breath away. Of course. What if Bradley Crawford simply wasn't a part of Schwarz anymore? It was possible, very possible. What if all of his records had been erased, and he'd been given a whole new life, a new past, a new name? What if he wasn't even Bradley Crawford anymore?

But WHY? Why would EstE give up a perfectly useful pre-cog?

Crawford was thirty-three now. Maybe he was old enough...to request to be taken out of the life of an assassin. Maybe he'd wanted an escape.

Maybe.

He'd abandoned them for a worse reason than Nagi had known before. He'd abandoned them in favor of the world. Not the Underworld, the real world, where he could be happy. That was all well and good, but...but not fair.

There had been no mission, Nagi thought. All of it had been a lie. And where did that place him? Just another body to leave behind, a burden, even?

He felt the old depression sneaking back, and he stood and headed for the bathroom. He splashed his face with cold water, twisted the knob in the bathtub, felt hot water running through his tainted fingers. Turned on the shower, took off his clothes, climbed in, let it surround him. He could hardly breath in the dense steam.

Head and Shoulders for his hair. Irish Spring (made him think of Farfie) soup for his skin. He clibmed out, not the slightest bit refreshed. A dark cloud covered his sun-filled heart once more, and he pulled on his clothes, wondering what he'd done to chase Bradley away. He went back to the bedroom where Bradley's smell was the strongest.

He stared at the photos, the key ring on the bedstand, the dresses in the closet.

Then he went downstairs to wait.

***

The sound of a laughing little boy's voice warned Nagi of the happy little family's return. He straightened, eyes empty as they stared into the dark. He'd switched out the light earlier, but he was sure whoever was home would turn it back on.

He was in the dining room at the head of the table, and it wasn't until the woman and her man walked by that they noticed him.

The woman was instantly frightened, and she screamed. The little boy holding onto her hand began crying. Nagi watched this blankly. The man, Bradley Crawford, gasped, something he never would have done years ago.

"N-Nagi?"

"Sorry to bother you. I didn't really mean to interupt your life, BABE."

He didn't wear glasses anymore, and it made him look more vulnerable. Contacts, Nagi decided. The woman was peering curiously between the two men, and the boy was shrieking now. Crawford asked the woman, his wife, to fix dinner; they had company.

"No, no, don't bother ma'am." Nagi made sure his English was perfect, barely accented. "I won't be here long."

"...Honey, you know this man?" the woman asked.

Honey. Honey! Nagi chuckled darkly and stated, "We were once on VERY good terms."

"Please, Debby, go...go do something. I. I need to speak with an old friend of mine."

"What's his name?"

"Ned."

Nagi laughed again, a laugh with no humor init. The woman and boy scurried away, and Bradley turned to stare at him.

"Ned. How unoriginal, Bradley," Nagi said in his native Japanese. "What's Schu's name now? Sammy? And Farfarello's? Hmm. Frank."

"Nagi--"

"Had a nice time? I can see you've settled well. How long ago did the mission end? There never was one, was there."

"Let me--"

"I know you've fucked her. Tell me, did you ever see my face instead of hers? Or was I...a willing orifice?"

"Let me explain, dammit!"

"No!" Nagi stood, a dangerous halo of energy surrounding his body. The china dishes clinked in the corner. "No. I waited for three years, Bradley. I waited, and I believed, and I loved you, and you never even contacted us! I finally began to get on with my life, and then there it was, your name. WE FOUND YOU! Yet. When I came here, I found..." he gestured. "I found this."

"...I..."

"Ah. The Great Oracle speechless. Did you just plain forget about me? Hmm? Replaced me easily enough. You left a huge mess behind when you betrayed us. Yes, I said betrayed. Because you abandoned us when we needed you the most."

Bradley's chin was held high, but he didn't try to speak. Proud, too proud. Nagi felt a bolt of pure hurt zip through his heart. God. He loved him even now.

"How would you like it," Nagi asked quietly, "if I accidentally sent out a telekinetic blast that killed everyone for a mile around? I can do it."

"You'd kill yourself."

"And you'd care why...? No. I'm not as low as you. I won't destroy people because of my own pathetic emotions. Fine. Have your perfect world." Nagi sighed, moved forward until he was close enough to touch Bradley. But he didn't. He just looked at him.

"I'm going to walk out that front door now. And you can tell your wife that you lied to a child and gave him something to believe in before you ripped it away. Or you can lie to her like you lied to me. I frankly don't care."

He reached out, shook Bradley's hand, feeling his heart break as he did it but also sensing his resolve build up like a great tower that kept his back straight and his expression non-existant.

"Goodbye."

***

Schuldich found the truth in Nagi's brain, but he never spoke of it, and Farfarello didn't ask.

They went on as they had before.

Eventually, Nagi opened up. And he told them everything. Then he smiled. He loosened his grip on the past.

But sometimes at night, he still dreamed of a pair of strong arms and cool fingers sweeping through his hair, sweet nothings that faded long ago.

***

~::*I want you to know that I'm happy for you

I wish nothing but the best for you both

An older version of me

Is she perverted like me

Would she go down on you in the theatre

Does she speak eloquently

And would she have your baby

I'm sure she'd make a really excellent mother

'Cause the love that you gave that we made

wasn't able to make it enough for you to be open wide, no

And every time you speak her name

Does she know how you told me you'd hold me

Until you died, 'til you died,

But you're still alive!

And I'm here to remind you

Of the mess you left when you went away

It's not fair to deny me

Of the cross I bear that you gave to me

You, you, you oughta know!

You seem very well, things look peaceful

I'm not quite as well, I thought you should know

Did you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity

I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner

It was a slap in the face how quickly I was replaced

And are thinking of me when you fuck her

'Cause the love that you gave that we made

wasn't able to make it enough for you to be open wide, no

And every time you speak her name

Does she know how you told me you'd hold me

Until you died, 'til you died,

But you're still alive!

And I'm here to remind you

Of the mess you left when you went away

It's not fair to deny me

Of the cross I bear that you gave to me

You, you, you oughta know!

'Cause the joke that you laid in the bed that was me

And I'm not fade

As soon as you close your eyes, and you know it!

And everytime I scratch my nails down someone else's back

I hope you feel it...well can you feel it?!

And I'm here to remind you

Of the mess you left when you went away

It's not fair to deny me

Of the cross I bear that you gave to me

You, you, you oughta know!*::~