Work Ethic

BY : JeiSvenka
Category: Weiß Kreuz > Yaoi - Male/Male
Dragon prints: 972
Disclaimer: I do not own Weiss Kreuz, and I do not make any money from these writings.

Work, work, stress, and more work. Crawford fully understood the phrase, “You can sleep when you die,” although he was skeptical about getting to slack off in the afterlife. There was always something to do. He took the workload in stride, plodding through paperwork with the mindset of a long-distance runner. He couldn’t stop, but there was no point in rushing, either. Schuldig fondly dubbed it his “trail horse” syndrome.

At this particular moment, he was poring over the bank accounts of some potential clients, disinterestedly doing the necessary background checks before their business began. The two clients in question weren’t yet aware of their future dealings with Schwarz, which meant that this was the opportune time for delving into their hidden lives. That didn’t make the work any more interesting, just more reasonable.

Aside from the rustle of papers and the gentle tapping of Nagi’s computer keys that drifted through the walls, the room was silent.

No television. No music. No white noise.

So when a vision suddenly flickered across his conscience, filling the room with a nonexistent clamor, he jerked in surprise, his pen twitching a dark line across his paper. He scowled down at the offensive mark, but the vision was still playing, filling the area with music. Clinking glasses. Laughing. He wrinkled his nose as the thick smell of smoke and cheap cologne seeped in through his psyche. Bright lights danced along a wall that wasn’t there.

He’d been sifting through impressions like this his entire life. Mostly, his subconscious had learned to pick out only the relevant visions, presenting information that was meaningful to his goals. Sometimes, however, he received a vision like this. Sights and smells and sounds. No real faces. No real situation. Broken. Pointless. Crawford sighed, pushing the vision back into the recesses of his mind, where it hummed annoyingly for attention. He couldn’t get the scent of cigarettes out of his nose, and the flashing lights still popped across his sight, blotting out chunks of the bank statements laid out across his desk.

Removing his glasses, he let his head slide back, body resting lax against the chair frame as he waited for it to pass. The persistent vision took this opportunity to ghost another peel of laughter through his eardrums, and it became clear why this vision tugged so obnoxiously at his senses. Schuldig’s laughter. Visions of his teammates were always more demanding than the usual precognitive flickers. Farfarello’s were sudden and overwhelming, reflecting his knee-jerk decision-making process. Nagi’s future always revealed itself early, but weighed heavily on his mind until the future came to pass. Visions of Schuldig were as demanding as the man himself. Pointlessly demanding. It was as if every menial thing Schuldig did required the same mental attention as a life-altering situation.

Schuldig talking to a girl at the supermarket. Schuldig cutting his fingernails. Schuldig drinking a beer and watching tv. Or at the moment, Schuldig shamelessly flirting with some floozy at a club. Crawford still couldn’t comprehend why Schuldig bothered to flirt. All it took was a screw me suggestion and he was guaranteed company for the night. More work, that’s what it felt like to Crawford, and he had enough work to deal with, thank you.

Maybe that was the difference. Schuldig didn’t have enough work. Perhaps he would pile the bank statements on the telepath and give himself a break instead.

-I keep hearing my name, but the words “gorgeous” and “talented” aren’t coming up anywhere. Should I be worried?-

Crawford snorted, although there was no way for the telepath to hear it. -Perhaps.-

-Anything I can do?-

-Agree to never enter a club again.-

That would chase away this pesky vision and allow him to return to work. Perfect plan.

-Woo, harsh. Having a bad night, are we?-

No, it wasn’t too bad. Just the usual. Work. The vision flitted across his psyche again, whispering for attention. Laughter. Lights. Music. If it was trying to convince him to go to a dance club, that wasn’t going to happen. Aside from having pressing work to finish, clubbing definitely wasn’t his idea of fun. A much more enticing future would involve a comfortable chair, a beer, and a warm fireplace.

-You’re such an old man. Besides, that isn’t a dance club.-

Crawford’s brow furrowed. It wasn’t often that Schuldig bothered to reach into his visions. The telepath had enough to deal with in regards to the hundreds of voices pushing at his shields. Again, needlessly adding to his workload.

-It isn’t work. It’s fun. And stop suppressing it. I wanna know if I get lucky.- Schuldig’s mental voice was unusually chipper. Springy, almost, as if he’d had one too many caffeinated beverages.

Crawford forced down his curiosity, although he still couldn’t manage to completely force down the vision. He had rising suspicions that Schuldig had something to do with that.

Sighing, he dropped his resistance, allowing the vision to rise to the surface and spill across him. Bright lights. Cigarette smoke. Cheap cologne. Dancing.

-See?- Crawford interjected. -Dance club.-

-No, it isn’t. I recognize the place.-

Colorful lights. Music. Muffled music. Upon closer inspection, the walls were much closer than he’d originally anticipated. A karaoke room?

-I thought only teenage girls…-

-Jeeze, keep watching!-

-Watching? It’s not a movie, you know...-

But he let it continue anyway, interested in spite of himself, simply because Schuldig was interested. The small room was dark, except for a tunnel of light and the flickering dots of bright color. Clinking glasses. Laughter. Schuldig’s laughter. Noise in the background. Someone arguing. More laughing. After a while of this, Crawford’s patience began to wear thin.

-What, you still don’t recognize it? Come on, I know you’ve been there before.-

His eyes narrowed. Why on earth would he go to a place like that? With a client, perhaps? They’d been to several unappetizing places during their stay in Japan, so the notion wasn’t too absurd.

-God, for someone so intelligent, you’re fucking dense. Come find me.-

There was no audible click like a telephone receiver being replaced, but Crawford knew the connection had been severed. Come find me. He bristled at the order, feeling trapped. If he went to find Schuldig, he would be following the redhead’s command. If he stayed and finished his paperwork, he would be deliberately ignoring the stern request, but the request would still be the reasoning behind his decision. All in all, there was no good solution.

So then, what did he want to do?

His eyes moved across the stack of papers. He had plenty of work to finish. It would be far more difficult to work when the clients were breathing down his neck.

Then again, there was always work to do. Deadlines to meet. Dangerous decisions to avoid.

For once, Crawford made his decision in a rush. He replaced his glasses and pushed himself back from the desk, walking briskly through the door before he could change his mind. Again, the fleeting feeling that Schuldig might be behind this crept to the surface, but he stifled it, disliking the feeling of vulnerability that accompanied it.

It took him a few moments to realize that Schuldig wasn’t in the kitchen or the living room. He sent out his confusion, making his way back toward Schuldig’s room, and knocked. The door creaked open, bringing with it the muffled sounds of people talking. He squinted into the dark room, wincing as a beam of bright light caught him full in the face.

“What the hell, Schuldig,” he said crossly, pushing the door fully open. The walls glittered with light from a tabletop disco ball.

“I can’t believe you don’t know what my room looks like,” Schuldig said, feigning irritation. Or was that real irritation? The telepath made his way over, holding out a beer. “Your brain felt like it was about to explode earlier. I was just about to drag you over when you got that vision.”

“You could’ve just explained everything,” Brad snorted, snatching the beer from his grasp and prying the top open with too much force.

“Hell no, this was way more fun,” he grinned, and Crawford knew he was telling the truth. He actually got a kick out of pulling shit like this.

“What about the people dancing?” Crawford asked skeptically, raising an eyebrow. Schuldig pointed at the tv, which was showing scenes from some obscure German movie. As soon as he pointed, the tv’s speakers began to burble techno music and the couple shifted across the screen in tandem. The telepath flopped onto his bed, patting the empty space at his side. After thinking about it a few moments, Crawford made his way over, dropping easily into the spot. “Fine, but change it. I’m not watching this crap.”

“Eh?! This is a classic!” Schuldig said, shocked.

Without another word, Crawford grabbed the remote and flipped it to a station where a Japanese couple was arguing. Canned laughter bubbled up after a pointedly funny statement. They watched this for a moment, neither of them enjoying it, before continuing onward.

“Ugh. If this is the extent of my study break, I think I’ll get back to work,” Crawford mumbled in annoyance, surfing through a myriad of boring stations. The rapidly disappearing beer sloshed in the bottom of his bottle as he sipped it. The alcohol-induced calm allowed his mind to work its way back to the vision, piecing together the different parts. Music, check. Weird lights, check. Dancing couple, check. Arguing couple, check.

His mind ground to a halt, hand stiffening around the remote. He felt Schuldig stiffen beside him as the stray thought drifted over.

In his vision, Schuldig had been shamelessly flirting with… someone.

In some ways, having a telepath as a teammate was incredibly useful. The man was a talented assassin and natural manipulator. In some ways, the German knew Schwarz better than they knew themselves, which came in handy when dealing with inner-group social problems.

On the other hand, it was extremely difficult to deny even the smallest of slip-ups.

So when Crawford’s initial reaction to that particular part of the vision was plucked up by his teammate’s expert ability, the precognitive knew he was screwed. He could feel the grin working its way across the redhead’s wide mouth.

“What was that you said earlier? How flirting is pointless? That I should just insert a screw me suggestion?” he purred lowly, in the way that some cats purr after slaughtering and gutting mice.

“I’m nowhere near drunk enough for that, Schuldig,” Crawford said threateningly, although it lacked conviction. Something about the fact that he didn’t mind Schuldig’s flirtations knocked the wind clear out of his sails.

The telepath’s body grew relaxed with confidence, and he leaned over, running his fingers down the neck of Crawford’s empty beer bottle as he plucked it from his leader’s grasp.

“So you want another one?” The glass clinked cheerfully as he knocked it against his own empty bottle.

“Yeah,” Crawford said, wondering just how much alcohol it would take to chase away the strange feeling crawling in his gut. Cigarette smoke. Cheap cologne. “But if you put on cologne between here and the refrigerator, I’m leaving.”

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