Chains

BY : MikoNoHoshi
Category: Weiß Kreuz > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 4283
Disclaimer: I get no money from writing these fics, nor I don't own Weiss. In fact, I'm not even allowed to touch the pretty boys...at least not in any of their special places...

Chapter Thirty-Five: Show Me

He found him self suddenly and unexpectedly without breath, registering the pain in his head seconds later as he stared into steely blue eyes. Brad had done it again, eluding his powers and grabbing him before Schuldig even had a chance to get away. Not that he would try, really, but, damn, he liked to have a little warning.

Brad glared; Schuldig smiled. At least until Crawford hit him, the punch landing hard in his stomach and causing him to double over. The other man released him, letting Schuldig clutch his middle as he stepped away, still glaring and obviously debating whether he was done with the abuse.

//Bad day, Bradley dear?//

“What did you do?”

“Eh?” He looked up, then shifted to lean against the wall.

“With the boy. What idiotic stunt have you pulled?”

“What’re you talking about? I took him to Joji.”

“Who did he go to?”

Schuldig’s smile returned, widened as he straightened up. Pushing off the wall, he moved to lean against the edge of Crawford’s desk, a position that annoyed the other man. Affecting casual ease, he rifled through some papers lying there.

“I thought you didn’t want to know,” he goaded. “Missing him already?”

Crawford took a single breath, returning to a cold calm, “The visions have changed. Ran has returned.”

“He’ll replace Fujimiya?” He didn’t see how it was possible. Surely the kid had lost the will to be the defender of human rights his old man had been, not to mention he would now lack the education and skills to assume Fujimiya’s position and interfere with Takatori’s plans, let alone . . .

“No. That threat is passed.”

“So what’s the problem, Brad?”

“Don’t call me that,” he paused to wipe his glasses and replace them. “There’s something else, vague at this point. Go check on the boy.”

He nodded.

“And Schuldig?”

A raised eyebrow.

“If you’ve done something stupid, fix it before I have to.”

~*~

Crawford watched the redhead leave, a hand thrown up in farewell, too smug for his own good.

He was considerably less confident, especially now.

Three months into his detainment of the Fujimiya brat his visions had begun to shift in the proper direction, always clearing as the boy’s influence in them faded. The more he suffered, the more he broke, the clearer the future became. By seven months he was relegated to the place most beneficial to their cause, and by nine it was starting to cement into an almost-definite occurrence.

It might have been best to keep him, but Crawford had encountered difficulties. The boy heard too much, and he wasn’t to be underestimated even in his current state. Too often Crawford had seen those dark, tired eyes turned up with attention. Besides, Farfarello, skilled but as difficult to predict as the boy, had been too long indulged and was getting too free in his punishments; they couldn’t afford to kill him. And then there was Schuldig who was forming an unhealthy attachment to Ran despite the pathetic mess they had reduced him to, or maybe because of it. While he had little concern over the emotional involvements of his associates beyond where they affected their larger purpose, there was a tingle of warning about this one. The boy had to go.

Hoping to keep his visions pure, without the influence of knowledge of the whereabouts of Fujimiya’s son, Crawford had ordered Schuldig to dispose of the boy in a safe place to wait. Takatori had been kind enough to direct him to Kaimo’s trading post; though Crawford found the man generally insufferable, that tip had been useful. They had made sure that Ran would continue to occupy the submissive post of a slave, ensuring he would not stumble into the role of his dead father, and found a place to store him until the moment arrived when his involvement became necessary. If he was fractured further, all the better.

But something was wrong. Red hair and violet eyes were once more flitting around the edges of Crawford’s visions, and there was the creeping blur of uncertainty.

~*~

Ken was wrestling with a small bouquet of delicate pink pansies. It had to be delivered to the hospital by one, and Yohji really ought to have been down to finish it. Ken was not, by his own admission, not to mention to the physical evidence of the mauled pansies, an expert florist. Delicacy was not his thing, and had Kritiker given him a choice of career, florist would have been way down on the list, if it made the list at all.

“Damnit,” he swore as a stem slipped its ribbon again.

Only the jingle of the bells above the door saved the poor pansy from being tossed to the floor and stomped on; Ken thought it should consider itself lucky that old Hamami-san had arrived and staved off its immediate doom. It was, after all, almost impossible to be angry in the face of the elderly woman’s stooped, little presence. Ken hurried to finish opening the door for her, standing there a long time as she shuffled into the shop.

“Thank you, Hidaka-san,” she smiled as she propped herself on her cane to rest just inside the door. Hamami-san had been a member of high society in her day, and despite her unfortunate loss of status, she bore herself with dignity.

“You’re welcome,” he replied with a genuine smile for the lady and her immaculate, if worn, traditional dress. “Can I help you with something?”

“Hm,” she paused to think, her thin lips pursing slightly, “May I see the carnations you have today?”

He nodded and, offering his arm, led the woman slowly towards the storage cases where she looked intently at the three buckets of carnations. She shook her head, tight bun of gray head moving slowly side to side as she squinted to observe the flowers.

“They’re rather pretty,” she commented, ever polite even when she was clearly displeased with the quality.

“We’ve got some new tulips.” He pointed, and she shuffled to look at them.

“Yes. Quite nice. May I have two of the yellow, please?”

“Sure thing.”

He released her arm to draw out two of the best-looking yellow tulips, taking them carefully to the work table and trying to prepare them without damaging them. He was watched closely at every turn, and made sure not to bend the leaves. It was a trial, but the two blooms ended up, thankfully, wrapped in green paper without much of a struggle on their parts. Ken wondered if it was Hamami-san’s influence or if tulips were just naturally more docile than pansies.

Pausing to let the woman take his arm again, Ken began the slow walk back to the register. They were halfway across the store when a loud voice halted their progress, and Ken found his arm suddenly void of old woman.

“Such a vision of loveliness! Ken, why didn’t you tell me our store was graced by such a gorgeous girl?”

“Oh, Kudou-san, you flatter an old woman,” she scolded, but there was a smile on her wrinkled face as she tilted up a cheek for Yohji to kiss.

“Never. Beauty knows nothing of age,” he responded quickly.

“Say that when you’re old,” was the pleasant reply as he turned her back towards the registers, and then all conversation stopped.

Ken was stunned as his eyes caught the flash of red and blue, wondering, just for a second, if he had missed the sound of the door when a customer came in. He instantly felt slow for not recognizing Aya, but to be fair, the boy standing in front of him didn’t look much like the pathetic thing that had shown up in their kitchen.

Aya was hovering near the entrance of the store, seemingly frozen by their attention, his back stiff and hands clenched around the hem of his blue shirt. He looked . . . different, like he had shed the sloppy, neglected demeanor for something sleek and otherworldly. It was his eyes, Ken decided, that made it seem so; they were wide in his surprise at the sudden attention, bright, and framed by the scarlet hair that no longer obscured them completely but rather hung to frame his face. This was angular, more so in its thinness, but unmistakably attractive, more pretty than handsome with its fine brows and narrow chin.

He looked taller than Ken would have thought, and though slender, it wasn’t nearly as off-putting as when his borrowed clothes did their best to fall off his boney frame. Now he looked lean, maybe on the too-thin side of the spectrum, but not completely swallowed by the fitted blue shirt with sleeves rolled up to reveal pale forearms and light jeans that fell at the proper length over black shoes. He could see the collar; the silver ring on the front made it hard to miss, but it seemed mellowed by white t-shirt, just visible underneath, and blue collar, opened to either side when it wouldn’t, Ken supposed, button all the way over the thing.

Still, Aya looked…

Normal. It shocked Ken, and he looked to Yohji, silently asking how the man had pulled it off in a single night. But Yohji was staring at Aya, too, like he hadn’t just brought the guy with him. His shades had fallen as he leaned to kiss Hamami-san, and Ken saw a mix of pride and something else, he wasn’t sure, in green eyes as the blonde appreciated his own work.

Aya shifted uncomfortably, and Yohji was quick to move.

“Ah, let me introduce you,” he offered, stepping between them. “Aya, this is Hamami Tomo-san, one of our best customers. Hamami-san, this is,” he paused, and Ken could tell he was a little startled, but at what the brunette wasn’t sure. Yohji covered quickly, and he wasn’t sure anyone else noticed. “This is Aya; he’s our new florist.”

“Oh my, another one,” she shook her head and offered Aya a reserved smile. “It’s nice to meet you, Aya-san. Tell me, what do you think of my tulips?”

His eyes snapped to Yohji, and following, Ken saw the older man motion him forward. Realizing that the object in question was still in his own hand and unsure whether Aya would actually come close to him, Ken shuffled them quickly to Yohji who held them out for Aya’s inspection, looking nervous as violet eyes rested on the yellow blooms for a long minute.

Then, not without another look to Yohji, Aya lifted his eyes to meet Hamami-san’s small, brown ones.

“They’re beautiful,” he said, his voice quiet, but smoother and deeper than Ken had anticipated.

The little woman beamed at his sincerity, but her closed-lipped smiled couldn’t rival the bright grin on Yohji’s face.

“Yes,” she nodded, “You’ll do just fine.”

~tbc~


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