Not so standard disclaimers:

Weiß’s staff even if created by Koyasu Takehito, for this little time is mine –I’m the Puppet master and I pull their strings so they have to act as I want them to... I wish...

But other characters, at least for now, are mine. J

Fic dedicated to nekojita.

Be careful what you wish for cause you may get it. You wanted a fic done by undersigned, so now you’re stuck with doing beta to it... and I’m really grateful for them.

Thanks to Adam for German fix and Maciek-san for being the first reader.

Enjoy it.

Ann

 

 

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW...

 

 

INTERLUDE I

"Ran-nii, come on, hurry up!" The cheerful voice of his sister as usual brought a smile to his face. He caught up with her, took her hand in his and pulled her along towards their house.

All of sudden time stopped. The evening din was broken by a hollow bang, the sky was cut by a red and orange glow and slivers of rubble shot through the air.

They both stopped on the spot. Watched motionlessly what was happening before their eyes, uncertain how to react. It wasn’t real. It was some weird dream, a nightmare. It had to be. It couldn’t be happening in their reality. No…

Finally he regained control over his own body. He turned back to check on how his sister was doing. Aya stood still, as helpless as he was. Somewhere deep in his subconciousness it was voiced that from now on he was the head of their little family, that from now on he was the one to take care of Aya-chan… Along with that came the sudden impulse to protect her from the whole world and its reality, along with pain and suffering. He moved to come closer, to hug her, to comfort her, to ease her pain and wipe away her tears. But a black limo beat him to her. It vehemently crossed his path and a second later he could only see his sister’s body falling on the street and that face, that face that forever engraved in his memory.

Everything after that happened like a movie watched frame by frame. ‘Til that moment he wasn’t sure if the desperately scream ‘No’ was coming from his throat or not. Later on when his memory replayed those events, step by step, from that moment til the one when the doctors told him that his sister may never wake from that coma, there was an orange-haired man with hypnotic jade eyes present and the words that he could swear he heard even when he knew that the man hadn’t moved his lips. ~/Now you get to taste the sin of surviving once again, mein Kleine.1/~

 

White hospital bed, Aya-chan sitting on it. Beside the two of them everything else is black. She’s smiling and crying in the same time.

"Aya-chan, don’t go..." He whispered when the bright figure of his sister disappeared further and further. "Why are you crying?" ‘I am bad brother, am I not?’ he asked himself. ‘No wonder you don’t want to see me…’

~Wenn hier jemand weint, dann du.~ That well-known nasal voice with the foreign accent made him aware that there were tears falling down his own face. ~Du weist genau das auch wenn deine Schwester gesund wird du ihr nie wieder ins Gesicht sehnen kannst. Du bist ein Mörder! Du bist genau wie wir. Auge um Auge, Zahn um Zahn, nicht wahr? Warum zögerst du? Entscheide dich! Du kannst dich von allem freimachen. Gib es endlich zu.2 ~

He was rescued from the encounter by some low, seductive, certainly male voice.

"Aya, love, wakey-wakey…" He opened his eyes in an instant. There was no sign of any orange-haired German guy and a hospital, not to mention his sister. Instead of that he was laying in large, feather-soft bed and tall, lanky blond was leaning over him with a wide smile on his face.

"Where am I and who are you?" He asked coldly and little bit pissed off, when all he could remember was still that German.

"The name’s Yohji Kudou, but you can call me Yohji." Once again the wide grin, but in those green eyes there was a blink of something else, something he really couldn’t fathom. But he didn’t have any desire to deal with it right now, so once again he concentrated on what the man was telling him. "This here’s my room, and in fact you’re in my bed now, so…" When he slowly sat up in bed, man stopped his little talk and watched him warily.

Reality was coming back to him very slowly. Fortunately once again it had only been his subconscious. He was about to get up when the blond opened his mouth once more.

"Hey, I gave you my name, have you any for yourself?!" He already could feel a headache coming. It was always like that when he dreamed of the German, like his mind was telling him that something important had escaped him once more. He really, really didn’t want to deal with it right now, so he grunted.

"That woman already told you all about me, so why do you even bother?" He’d just decided to be her dog, he didn’t think that in such case his privacy and secrets would be respected.

"You mean Birman?" The man seemed to be surprised.

"Birman?" Is that was what she was called here?" For the first time something different than anger showed on his face, that altogether with his short question had startled the man… no Yohji, he corrected himself, so the next thing he received was a quite well prepared lecture on what Weiß and Kritiker were. He thought he could even like the guy. That was, until he’d asked about Aya. Rage filled him. How dare he?! How dare she?! How dare they involve her into this!! It took some effort from Kudoh to calm his outburst of rage. One point for him –he hadn’t lost his cool, like that other guy did the day before.

He decided that he had enough. He had to go out.

"You’re going already? So what’s your name anyway? Or maybe I should call you Aya?"

"Aya..." He envisioned the laughing profile of his imouto and then her pale face and closed eyes. Maybe he was right… "Yes, you can call me that," he said and disappeared out the door.

≈Do you really want to kill in the name of someone so important to you?≈

Once again he could swear that those words were ringing only in his head, but this time it spoke with fluent Japanese, without any foreign accents.

Then everything went blood red and he’d woken with a scream on his lips. Tightly holding onto his bed sheets he cautiously looked around. He was at home in his own room. Comforted a little he got up and walked out of it. He had to check one more thing. He quietly walked through the corridor, until he reached the door with a kitten’s sticker on it. He opened the door and slipped inside. He came closer to the bed. For a while he watched his sister’s sleeping figure. Everything was all right. She was safe. He sighed with relief. It was only a bad dream.

Calmed, Ran Fujimiya went back to his own room.

~+~

Somewhere in the night, if one strained his hearing well enough, one could hear three different voices:

"Siberian?"

"In position."

"Balinese?"

"In position."

"Coast clear. Bombay over."

If one was watching that place very cautiously, one could see three shadows emerging from the darkness. Weiß, White Hunters of Darkness were on the hunt.

 

 

 

1. It’ll be in German, just have to catch the translation, or rather the first vol of Weiß manga –good point that that thing I have in German.

2. Once again Weiß manga, exact copy, just hope that I did it right with capital letters. Don’t know German, just understand it enough to watch Tv and read, but can’t speak a word. My lousy translation of it is sth like that "When somebody’s crying here, it’s you. You know it that even when your sister will wake, you will never again see her face. You’re a killer. You’re exactly the same as we are. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. What are you waiting for? Make up your mind. You can free yourself from it all. Give up already. "

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERLUDE II

Yohji’s utterly dark room. Tall, lean figure curled up by the wall. A bottle of whiskey1 in his hand. Half empty. He’s standing over him, his face blank, as usual.

"You know, I firmly believed that this time I would make it." His voice was hoarse, squeaking, almost inaudible. He looked at his shaking hands that had still fresh marks from his garrote. The same marks were on his neck and throat. "But no matter how long I wait she’s not coming back, is she?"

He remained silent. What could he tell to a man who just few hours ago was attacked by someone he thought he knew and loved the most in his live. The final knowledge that Neu and Asuka Murase were the same person and then Neu denying it whilst her attempt to kill him were the final blows for Yohji.

≈No one will ever come to me, no matter how long I’ll wait for them.≈

Once again he thought he heard his voice in his head. He wasn’t so loud and obtrusive, like German’s was. Rather soft and delicate, as if it wasn’t supposed to be there.

"I’ll come." It slipped out before he noticed what he’d said. Yohji lifted eyes full of hope to him.

"Honto ni?"

"Aa."

 

Ran blinked and came back to reality. For weeks he’d had these strange dreams, in which he lost his whole family, his sister ended up in coma and he himself became an assassin to avenge them and to pay the hospital bills. He was a cold, distant person, living under Aya’s name. A person full of hatred, whom hadn’t anything in his life beside revenge. And a fifteen year old girl with a stolen kidney that looked exactly like his sister chasing him around.2

He didn’t want to become someone like that. He didn’t. He was oh so glad that it was only a dream. Wasn’t it?

"Ran-nii, come on, hurry up!" The cheerful voice of his sister as usual brought a smile to his face. He caught up with her, took her hand in his and pulled her along towards their house.

Suddenly he stopped dead in his track. It was so familiar. Startled, Aya looked at him when he turned around, pushed her to the other side of the street and covered her with his own body. All of sudden time stopped. The evening din was broken by a hollow bang, the sky was cut by a red and orange glow and slivers of rubble shot through the air. Aya with wide eyes watched what was happening. People, alarmed by the explosion started to come out on the street. Both terrified and fascinated by what had just happened. But what had surprised her the most was her brother’s reaction. His eyes seemed to be so cold and calculating. He quickly scanned the area around them. When he’d seen the black limo coming towards them he jumped to his feet and pulled her into nearest dark corner. He didn’t let her go even when the car was far far away and police cars, ambulances and fire trucks announced the arrival of representatives of the law. Instead he hid them even more.

She wanted to ask him ‘what’s going on here’ but a strange nasal voice beat her to it.

"Tsk, tsk, tsk… Zwei Katzen haben sich weit vom Haus entfernt."3

She felt Ran tense. She could understand that. She too did not like the strange man, and contrary to Ran she even didn’t understand what he had said. That was German, wasn’t it?

But it was her brother’s actions that had worried her the most. She didn’t know what to think about them. First that strange act before explosion and now this.

His whole presence went rigid. He took one step back and made such a movement as if he wanted to take something from his back… His eyes narrowed and from his tightened lips came out an angry hiss.

"Schuldich"

That caused the strange man to stop, confused. It was enough for quick footsteps to come towards them. The man regained his composure and sent him a malicious smirk.

"Du bist wirklich ein /survivor/. Bis zum nächsten Mal, FujimiyaJr."4 Neither of them noticed when he disappeared, but seconds later a woman in police uniform ran into their alley and a gun aimed at them.

It was too much for Aya’s nerves. She fainted.

*******

Ran patiently waited in the corridor, while his sister was with a doctor on some last check-ups. It was then when that woman came to him. Without her police uniform, but in a well-tailored jacket, short skit and high heels boots. Her make-up was a firm contrast to her bright, long red hair.

"Ran Fujimiya." It wasn’t a question but he nodded nonetheless. "My name’s Hanae Kitada. I am investigating your family’s case." He sent her a questioning look. "From my sources it seems that you don’t have any living relatives." He nodded once more. "You know that your father was charged with embezzlement. All of his accounts are closed. In short you don’t have any money or belongings anymore. Do you understand what this means?"

He nodded again.

"The official version is that we don’t know who was behind the attack on your family." He narrowed his eyes.

"What do you mean by ‘official’?" The woman smiled but it was very cold smile.

"It means that I have an offer to make you."

"No!" He protested. The woman watched him in surprise.

"What is it, Fujimiya-san? Does that vision terrify you so much?" He looked at her, surprised.

"What do you mean…?"

"I just asked you if you understand that neither you nor you sister have anything."

"But you..." He began, but when he met Kitada’s attentive look, he went silent. "Nevermind." Probably once again it was his strange ‘vision’. "Yes, Kaneda-san, I understand that."

"We can provide you with some help, if you want to…"

Once again he saw himself clad in a leather coat, with cold, dead eyes and bloody hands holding a sword. ‘Shinigami demo. Akuma demo nai. Tada no Hitogoroshi sa.’ 5 He didn’t want to be like that, and he was sure that by accepting the woman’s offer sooner or later would end up with blood on his hands. He didn’t want that. He also didn’t want to become someone else’s puppet.

"It’s not needed." Aya walked out from surgery and came over to them. He put his arm around her to show the woman that he was capable of taking care of his sister. And to be sure that Aya was near him. "Thank you for your concern, but we don’t need your help, Manx." He left the stunned woman alone. He decided that the wisest thing to do now was leave this building when he still could, and then move away from Tokyo. As soon as possible.

~+~

 

"I think he knew." First voice. A second later another one joins it. Both of them belong to females.

"What do you mean by that?"

"I think he knew that it was going to happen."

"You mean the explosion?"

"My talk with him too. He didn’t act as reports said he would. He was too calm, too calculating, too collected. And they said he’d be too jittery to think logically. Though the whole time I had a feeling he knew all along that I wanted to recruit him. Do you know what that means?"

"That we have to have him no matter what, consequences be damned, and we have to hurry. We’re not the only ones interested in him."

"We have to keep an eye on him."

"Have you got anyone in particular in mind?" She smiled.

"Yes. He will be perfect."

 

 

 

 

1. I think Yotan’s more Jack Daniels/Tequila type of guy, but whiskey is the best for desperate tries of getting drunk.

2. I just couldn’t help myself. ^_^

3. Two kittens had walked too far from home. (German translations provided thanks to Adam. I think that he’d refused if he knew why do I need it for, but ignorance is a bliss, isn’t it? And finally my cell-phone could be used to something useful. ^_^)

4. You really are a survivor. Till the next time, Fujimiya Jr.

5. Nor the Death, nor the Murderer... That is the most famous Aya’s quote beside ‘Takatori shi-ne’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERLUDE III

 

They had left Tokyo as soon as Ran got them false ID’s. It wasn’t hard, when thanks to his ‘dreams’ he knew exactly where to find a person that was able to do that and hadn’t any relations with any of the assassin groups he knew of. Thanks to that newly born Shuichi and Kaori Atsushi for the last half of the year could live calmly in Kyoto. He decided to move there when he remembered that it was the place where Kritiker placed their newborn assassins. He didn’t think that they’d search there in the first place, maybe later, but not so soon. To make sure of that he dyed his hair black and let it grow.

He worked at a dojo and they lived there as well. The old man who ran the dojo was nice and, what was most important, didn’t ask any questions. Ran knew that they’d had great luck that it ended just so. The most important thing for now was that there was no sign of the Fujimiya siblings and that was what he wanted. Now the only thing bothering Ran was that his dreams of him becoming assassin hadn’t stopped, but even gained in their frequency. But as long as Aya and he were happy he didn’t want to worry about it.

*******

"Nii-san, look, it’s beautiful…" He nodded, in fact not paying any attention at all. This day Aya dragged him to Aoba Center to see an ikebana exhibition. He didn’t want to go at first, too many painful memories… glimpses… still he didn’t know what to call them.

He tensed when in the crowd he recognized the silhouette of Kikyou … He still could see quite clearly what had happened… or rather what would have happened that day. He sighed. If the situation would last for few more months, he’ll completely lose distinction between what happened in reality and what was his ‘dreams’. "Ran, ni-chan, you don’t even listen to me." Aya pouted.

"I’m not Ran, remember that." He corrected her a little harsher than he intended to. Aya’s eyes filled with tears. Oh she knew so well that he couldn’t resist her tears. A little natural-born terrorist. He smiled. "I’m sorry, Kaori-chan. I just don’t like this place. What would you tell for an ice-cream?" Aya’s face brightened up immediately. She had a sweet tooth, especially for ice-cream and he knew how to make use of it.

She caught him by hand and started dragging him towards the exit. It was so crowded that in one second he bumped into someone. When he looked up to mutter an apology he saw a familiar face… Shion… He froze, but the man didn’t seem to notice that.

"Are you all right, kid?" He asked with concern. Ran nodded, unsure if his voice would sound normal, and just when both of them decided to walk away he whispered:

"Be careful. A traitor is among you. Kikyou will betray you, and most of you will die." Before Shion could catch him Ran was dragged away by Aya and Shion had to stay inside, caught up by crowd.

‘That was a close one.’ He thought. He should be more careful if he didn’t want to be caught. Maybe it was time to move once again.

~+~

 

Crawford moaned in pain. His head hurt like seven hells. Never before in his life had he such a painful vision. He could swear he’d just blacked out, because when he re-opened his eyes Schuldig already was standing above him.

"What happened, Brad? What have you seen?" Crawford took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes.

"He’s changing the future. He’s changing patterns too fast, if he keeps it up like this the whole future will change and there won’t be a place for our plans."

"Huh?"

"We are Schwarz and we need Weiß to exist. And Weiß to survive needs Abyssinian. Without him, they’ll be dead as soon as we and the Bitches come to the scene."

"I don’t like the way that sounds, Brad. What you’re implying?"

"You well know what."

"No. I don’t agree to that." Brad sighed. Schuldich had the annoying tendency to act like a five-year-old child when something didn’t go as he planned.

"Listen Schu," he began, his voice telling his teammate that he shouldn’t try his patience that day. "Ran has to became Abyssinian and Aya-chan must be put into a coma, for the Elders to chose her for the ritual."

"But I don’t want it to happen."

"Schuldich." He started in a warning tone. "That’s the only way we can free ourselves, and only free we can help them. And besides, as much as I don’t trust Kritiker, they’ll train him well enough to defend himself. If he’s still innocent in two years time, he’ll be only standing in our way, and then you won’t be able to help him, because he’ll be a threat to all of us. There’s no other way." Schuldich just snorted.

"And how do you want to do that, Oh All-mighty Leader of ours." Brad passed him a meaningful look. "No. You can’t expect me to do that. Not me."

"Yes you. You’re the only one suited to do that. You’re also the one they won’t be able to check. After all you’re the master of lies, aren’t you?"

"Hmpf."

"I won’t beg you, you know. It’s your choice."

"I just don’t want him to hate me. Anyone but him." He tried to explain.

"He already hates you." Brad pointed out ‘kindly’. "And thanks to that it’ll be perfect. If he himself believes that’s the truth… The perfect lie."

"I hate you, you know." Crawford’s eyes softened for a short while, but they quickly regained their usual unfeeling state.

"It’s the only way, Schu."

"I know, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it." He started to walk away.

"And Schu..."

"Yes."

"We have to keep him from doing it."

"Changing the future, why?"

"Because he doesn’t understand what he’s doing. And believe me, there are always consequences. And we may not like them."

~+~

L’Ombre was watching the siblings from a safe distance. They were here as Prophet had seen it. It was good that he was the first one Hibou1 thought of. Persia was a stupid, naïve man. Either that or Hibou’s persuasion was something one-of –a-kind. He could understand that. Hibou’s image was the one of a very appealing young woman. He chuckled coldly. Persia would be dead on the spot if he knew what his beloved assistant really looked like. He decided it was time to report to her that they really were the ones.

Wrapped in his thoughts, he never noticed that he was watched by some strange red-haired man, that is until he came closer.

"Excuse me, have you got a light?" His soft, velvet voice came out a little bit muffled by the cigarette he was holding between his lips.

"No, go away and leave me alone." He answered back. And then the redhead smiled. And in that moment L’Ombre only could think that even in his units he rarely had seen such a cold smile, that had even reached the eyes. Very pale-blue eyes, he added to himself. And then the stranger was reaching out to him.

"That’s bad. And here I thought that you’d be of use for something after all."

The last thing L’Ombre could see was the stranger’s hand touching his neck. And then suddenly he felt all his strength leave him. That was also the time when the voice on the other end of phone finally decided to response.

"Ombre, give me your report."

Redhead stooped to take the cell-phone from L’Ombre’s limp hand. In a voice that sounded exactly like L’Ombre’s, he answered. "Report negative. It’s not him." After that he ended the call.

Suddenly he heard some squeals.

"It’s him! It’s really him!"

"Kaine!"

"Kaine-sama"

‘Oh, shit. Not them again.’ That was his only thought before the whole scenery suddenly changed. There was no sign of the dead man’s body, just a plain park alley. He also no longer was wearing a cold, unfeeling smile. Instead of that he was the perfect incarnation of charm and gentleness. He turned towards the horde of teenagers running to him.

"Kaine! Kaine-sama! Can we have your autograph?"

"Mais oui.2"

~+~

 

Another phone-call, done some time later. The same redhead.

"Kyoko Takayoka, what can I help you?"

"Kyoko, cherie3, I took care of your kitten. He’s well. Perfectly well. You owe me one, for that, tu sais4?"

"Don’t worry. I was aware of that before."

"C’est bon. And you know cherie, I suggest to look closer at your maisonette5. You may be surprised what you’d find there."

~+~

"We’ve found L’Ombre."

"Finally. Where is he."

"He’s dead."

"What?! That’s not possible! How it happened?!"

"He was marked."

"By whom?"

"La Belle Morte.6"

 

 

 

 

NOTES:

The third interlude is finished, and now I call ‘The Devil...’ intro officially closed.

 

1.Hibou—an owl, oh and L’Ombre means a shadow.

2.Mais oui –but of course

3.cherie –darling

4.tu sais –you know

5. maisonette –little house

6.La Belle Morte –a beautiful death

And here’s the song, it’s performed by Face To Face.

"The Devil You Know (God Is a Man)"

God is a man What they say

It's all right Does it make you feel ashamed

Everything is fine Isn't everyone the same

You live the perfect life Does it matter that it wasn't your

Never one immoral thought inside idea

your mind God is a man

You know for certain

What they say The knowledge in and of itself

Does it make you feel ashamed Is more than we deserve

Isn't everyone the same God is a man

Does it matter that it wasn't your You know for certain

idea The knowledge in and of itself

God is a man Is more than we deserve

You know for certain

The knowledge in and of itself What they say

Is more than we deserve Does it make you feel ashamed

So you've tried Isn't everyone the same

And you've made up your mind Does it matter that it wasn't your

Something's still not right idea

The devil you don't know is still God is a man

outside You know for certain

The knowledge in and of itself

Is more than we deserve

God is a man

You know for certain

The knowledge in and of itself

Is more than we deserve

It's more than we deserve

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