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 least not in any of their special places...

Chapter Four: Brand Me

He was tired, but he was no longer able to determine if the weariness originated from body or mind. Things hurt, and he hurt, and the world hurt. More than once he’d wanted to die. It had been a desperate wish, a deep, lasting longing for a knife to stab too deep, for too much blood to be lost, for his consciousness to slip away and not return. But then there was her face, and his life became worth something through her.

He didn’t know if Schuldig saw this, or if Crawford already knew.

The man came to him again. He stood tall and composed over the kneeling Ran. Schuldig stepped away from his side, fingers dancing over his neck in a strangely comforting gesture. He didn’t want to find it so, and it made him sick with himself.

He was bound, again, with his wrists behind his back and his forearms roped uncomfortably together with something thick and nylon that scrubbed at his skin through his white button-down shirt. He felt odd, dressed like that, with his black slacks and clean socks; he had been unclothed for a good part of the last . . . what, months? Though he was grateful, Ran wondered when his meager shield of cloth would be ripped away, leaving him more naked for its loss.

Perhaps Crawford would do it now. Maybe he would have him again; rape, even when he tried to avoid it, the word stuck in his mind like a splinter, rough and painful and impossible to remove. Ran hoped it would be quick and that he wouldn’t throw up afterwards. He hated that, regurgitating whatever the man had forced him swallow, lying sick and weak on the floor of the bathroom, if he made it that far.

Part of his mind wanted to beg Crawford not to touch him, but he wouldn’t give in to that. It was a weak, stupid thing to do.

The man now crouched in front of him. Ran kept his head lowered, a lesson hard but well learned after multiple concussion and more than one kick to his groin. Still, he felt the other smile.

“Look at me, Ran,” Crawford ordered.

He complied, slowly disclosing amethyst eyes from beneath the long fall of red bangs.

“I have a present for you.” He drew something form his pocket, a small piece of metal. Ran recognized it instantly, and it sent a shock through his system, tensing his muscles and sending his heart into a rapid rhythm.

//She’s fine.// Shuldig spoke in his head, but Ran was far from trusting him.

“He thinks you’ve done something to her,” the German said aloud.

“No, Ran,” Crawford was serious. “I simply brought this to serve as a reminder.”

Lifting the gold earring in front of Ran’s face, he considered it, giving the boy time to look before placing the post against his right ear. It touched, then pricked, then hurt as the post was shoved through unpierced flesh, its unprofessional jab releasing a trickle of blood that began to run slowly down the length of the earring to drip against the pristine white of Ran’s shirt.

“I just cleaned that,” Schuldig complained lightly from behind him.

“That is for you,” Crawford explained as he wiped his hands on a silken handkerchief withdrawn from the pocket of his black suit coat. “Schuldig tells me you have significant attachments to that bauble, so I’ll let you keep it. When you think of doing something stupid, of resisting or escaping or something equally foolish, look at it, feel it, the weight of your responsibilities. Nod if you understand.”

Ran nodded, feeling the light swing of the earring, the odd metallic brush against his chin. Images of his past, a strange before-life that didn’t fit with his here and now, flitted through his mind. There was a laughing face which he longed to see, even in its current silence. He would have prayed, but Ran was certain the gods had long abandoned him.

“Good,” Crawford kept looking at him. “Though there is one more item. You will not longer use your name, Ran. I have chosen a new one for you, to secure your anonymity, of course.”

He thought it might be a number, or some generic term of servitude.

“When someone asks your name—not that anyone will—you will answer ‘Aya.’”

Not that, he silently pleaded, trying to keep the helplessness from his eyes with the hard stare he had crafted over the last weeks. Ran wasn’t sure he could do it, could go by her name every day, a constant reminder of his failure. He would rather have no name, to be blanked from the world’s consciousness.

“Do you understand?”

He nodded.

“Good,” Crawford went to rise, then thought again. Grabbing Ran by the back his hair, he crushed their lips together. It was a rough kiss as he forced his tongue through slack lips, but it ended quickly and Ran was tossed backward. He landed awkwardly on his side and struggled to sit without the aid of his arms. Crawford stood, completely composed, looked for a moment, and walked from the room.

Schuldig bent and pushed him back to a kneeling position. He used a rough cloth to brusquely wipe the blood from Ran’s neck.

//Relax. You’ll be the star of the show, kätzchen.//

//Don’t call me that.// It was his weary mental reply, a thoughtless response. //My name is Ran…no,// he corrected it in his own mind, //Aya.//

He was going to be Aya, but it was not her life he would lead. He would suffer for all her sins, for all his own inabilities; he would experience and purge the evil that kept her still. Then, then maybe she could live.

He would be Aya.

He hated it, but it meant Ran could go. He could sink into those tenuous memories and be free.


Notes: For the sake of clarity, Ran will henceforth be referred to as Aya even in his own thoughts; he’s thorough like that (Aya-chan will be designated as such).

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