Garden of Love

by nekojita

*******

Okay, here is a little gift of sorts to Kato-chan and all those people who sent me emails or reviews wanting Schu to get Aya. This is a sequel of sorts to ‘O Rose’, and if you bothered to go to www.geocities.com/kabuki2love/, (a great website if I must say) and read it there, you should have some clue as to what is going on here. It’s all part of my WK story arc, starting with ‘violet eyes’, ‘The Bet’, ‘Balance’, ‘O Rose’, ‘Cathedrals’, and ‘Of Cups and Wands’. This takes place sometime after the last one, but shouldn’t really contain any spoilers for it

Disclaimer #1: Don’t own the boys, just like tormenting them from time to time (okay, all the time). Cassandra is mine, gotta love the crazy ones.

Disclaimer #2: If you read all the other fics, you should be familiar w/ the Kabuki/nekojita disclaimer by now. We never intentionally copy off of each other, but as evil Snugglebunnies we think alike, and we won’t stop until all the world is under our thrall. Hee. Uhm, was I supposed to mention that last bit yet?

*******

Aya dragged the comb through his hair once more as he eyed himself in the mirror. A pale, crimson haired young man stared back at him, violet eyes made all the more intense due to the shadows surrounding them. Sighing at the image, the redhead turned around to set the comb down on his dresser. He was due to meet Schuldig in a little bit, and a feeling of apprehension rippled through him at the thought. Of going off to spend the night with the telepath, knowing that once again his body and emotions would betray him and leave him vulnerable to the man. How was it possible for him to feel such a confusing mixture of longing and hatred for an enemy? Each time he was alone with the German he came away with a little more desire and a bit less hate. And what made the situation even worse was the fact that he willingly submitted to it. All for Aya-chan.

Nervously tugging on his black sweater, the pale man debated how he wanted to spend the last couple of minutes before he would have to leave. His mind was too upset to try reading a book; maybe a little music would help. About to select a cd, he heard a knock on his door. Grateful for a distraction, Aya opened the door, only to stare dumbfounded at the person standing there.

Yohji gazed down on the stunned man. His former lover’s eyes were wide, and he couldn’t help but notice the dark circles around them. Especially considering to the paleness of Aya’s skin. The redhead looked as if he hadn’t gotten any sleep in ages, and that white flesh was pulled taut over delicate bones. It also appeared as if the man hadn’t been eating much. Considering the events of the past few weeks, it was safe to assume both. "Can I come in?"

"No." Aya hadn’t spoken to Yohji in weeks, ever since the man had brought what he’d believed to be his old flame back to the house and had tried to awaken her memories. Since the blond had so clearly chosen his past over his current lover. Yohji had been too wrapped up in Neu/Asuka to care much what was going on around him, and then had been destroyed when he’d had to kill her. The swordsman had not been able to spare much concern for his ex-boyfriend at the time though, considering how he had to deal with his imouto’s abduction by Schwarz and the ‘arrangement’ he’d come to with Mastermind for the girl’s safety. He tried to close the door, but a hastily extended foot prevented that from happening.

"Aya, please. I just want to talk to you for a minute or two. You’ve been hiding in your room or disappearing into nowhere for almost a month, this is the first chance I’ve had to do so. Won’t you let me in?" Yohji pleaded quietly with the smaller man, resisting the urge to brush back the man’s long bangs. It was also apparent that the man hadn’t taken the time to get his hair cut recently.

"No. I have an appointment in a little bit, and I have to leave now." It took all of his strength to prevent himself from shaking. Damn Kudoh for doing this to him, showing up at his door begging when he had to go meet Schuldig. He knew why the blond was here. Yohji only ever wore that expression when he was all set to plead with his lover to be forgiven. There was no absolution available this time, though. Yohji’d left him without a second’s thought, and now he wasn’t free to take the man back. He was Schuldig’s now. "Kudoh, get out of my way."

Yohji ran his hands through his dark blond hair, trying to think back on how he’d thought this would go. He hadn’t taken into consideration that the redhead would be this unwilling to talk to him. He knew Aya missed him terribly, the man was clearly miserable. "All I’m asking for is a minute or two. Can’t you be a little late? What’s so important that you have to rush off anyways?" He desperately needed to get the two of them into the smaller man’s room. Once he had Aya alone he knew he could make the man forgive him and take him back. The kitten had always done it before, Yohji refused to believe that things had gone so badly between them that his lover wouldn’t do it once again. Yes he’d broken the man’s heart by choosing Neu, but hadn’t he made up for that by killing her in the end? "Just a minute, I promise," the blond said huskily, finally giving in to the urge and tucking a particularly long red strand behind a pale ear.

The redhead jerked back as if shocked by the touch, then scowled darkly at the playboy. "No. I have to go. /Now/." He threw open the door and shoved at the startled man blocking his way, making Kudoh back off enough to slip past him. Aya ran down the steps, his ex-boyfriend hot on his trail.

"Damnit Aya, I just want to talk. It’s not good to leave things as they are right now. Won’t you give me a chance?" The quiet man didn’t slow down in the slightest bit as he rushed past a stunned Omi. The boy paused in walking out of the kitchen to stare back at him, just long enough to have Yohji collide into him with enough force to send both of them crashing down to the floor. That was all the redhead needed to safely get to his Porsche and make good his escape.

He had to pay extra attention to driving the car. His hands shook at what had almost happened back there. Aya’d been so close to letting the blond in his room, to hearing what he had to say. He’d loved Yohji so much, and part of him still did. It left his will so weak where the blond was involved. But the man had tossed him aside, and he’d given himself to Schuldig in return, all for Aya-chan. There was no turning back to the way things had been. That was the past, and Aya had to think about his imouto’s future. His didn’t matter anymore.

Parking the car in a public garage, the pale man walked the last few blocks to the hotel where his lover was waiting. He tried to practice some caution when rendezvousing with the telepath, it wouldn’t do for Kritiker or Weiß to find out he was seeing the man. That would be very bad indeed. Coming up to the building, he found a familiar doorman holding the door open for him. Schuldig assured him that he wiped the swordsman’s memory from all the employees’ minds upon his departure, and seeing the way the man’s eyes drifted past him, Aya believed it. It only took a few minutes to walk into the lobby and ride up in the elevator to the proper floor.

The door was slightly open. It always was. Of course Mastermind knew when he was coming. As if he could ever turn the summons down. Entering the room, he found the telepath waiting for him, standing by a table covered with dishes. "There you are, Kätzchen, hope your hungry." Aya didn’t respond, just stopped dead in his tracks. Another night of paying the price of this bargain. Of leaving himself open to be hurt by yet another lover. Frowning slightly at the whiter than normal complexion of his obsession, the telepath extended a mental probe and delicately searched the younger man’s mind.

Aya just stood there as the German approached him and pulled him close. <So the Wichser finally came crawling back, eh?> Schuldig tilted the man’s face up for a kiss, talent busy soothing the smaller redhead and trying to make him relax. It was a bit difficult, considering the man’s distress and his anger and jealousy. Balinese had dared to try and reclaim his lover. That Schwanzlutscher had carelessly tossed the swordsman aside, he didn’t deserve to have him back. He was Schuldig’s now, for all time. <Never forget that you’re mine, Abyssinian. He lost you for good when he chose that bitch over you.> He deepened the kiss, desperate for some sort of reaction. Damn Balinese for shaking the younger man up so. There was no way he could truly make the Katalisator his if the man still longed for his old lover.

The swordsman continued to stand there, passively reacting to the embrace. <What’s the difference between you and him? Neither of you really care about me, you just see something that you want. Yohji desires me back now that the one thing he loved is truly gone, and you’re using my imouto to have me here. One day someone or thing will come along that is more interesting and you’ll forget all about me.> Aya tried not to wince in pain at the hands suddenly gripping his hair and forcing him to meet a pair of enraged pale green eyes. "/Never/ compare me to that Schwanzlutscher again." The smaller man’s body tensed in anticipation of a fight, but he made himself remain still. He couldn’t do anything to endanger Aya-chan’s survival. He’d already said too much, but a part of him refused to just meekly accept this arrangement.

The hands let go of their hold. Bracing for a punch, Aya was startled when instead Schuldig combed a hand through his hair, brushing the locks away from his face. That gesture had always made him relax just the slightest bit, and it worked again now. The German still stared at him intently as the hand settled on the nape of his neck. "I told you before I’d never let you go, I’ve wanted you too much for too long to do that. You’re the only thing that’s made me feel this way, and I have taken considerable risks in your regard. It doesn’t matter how I got you here, there’s a hell of a lot more I’d be willing to do to keep you."

"Why don’t you just make me love you then? Don’t tell me you couldn’t do that, not with your talent." That was a question the pale man had wanted to ask the telepath for so long. Why all the torment and threats, the dream visits and finally this bargain, when he could be so easily be made to desire the man with a mental twist here and there. If Schuldig had truly needed him so badly, he could have rearranged his psyche and made it happen years ago.

Following the younger man’s train of thought with ease, the telepath’s lips twisted into a bitter smile. "Because it wouldn’t be /you/ I was getting. Just a poor copy of Ran Fujimiya. It’s not your body so much as your mind and spirit that I desire." He felt the man’s shock at that statement. In Aya’s mind Balinese had clearly been interested in him mainly for the sex, there was no way the blond could have loved a monster like him. Especially after the way he broke the swordsman’s heart. The quiet man had clearly thought that Schuldig was after the same thing, that this was merely a matter of lust and claiming an enemy. He’d never believed much beyond that.

There was a lot of truth in what Schuldig had said. While the form was beautiful and not to be easily dismissed, it was the man’s psyche and it’s unique nature that drew the telepath to him. Altering it in any way would tarnish that appeal. Not to mention have some potentionally catastrophic results. One did not do things like that to a Katalisator, not if they hoped to live afterwards. So he had to use other means of making the smaller redhead his, placing more time and effort into the man than he ever had on anything else. And eventually found himself in love with his tuberose. Fate /loved/ to play nasty tricks like that. <I wanted all of you, not just some doll. And now that I have you, I’m never letting go.> He played on the younger assassin’s fear of being left all alone, of there being no one around to care about him. The man’s emotions were so twisted and stilted from his upbringing that their only outlet was the one or two people he let close. The people he would sacrifice anything for, just to keep them happy and well. His sister was one, and the telepath hoped to take Balinese’s place. To have the Kätzchen’s nature focused on him.

He resumed kissing the smaller redhead, hoping to have thrown the man off balance enough that his powers would now have some effect. Aya’s mental shields were adequately lowered that his body started to relax against his will, and he felt the familiar flare of desire. The pale man let himself be drawn over to the couch, where he settled on the telepath’s lap. "Enough talking for now," the German stated as he stripped off their shirts. Aya lifted his arms to assist the man, then wound them around the foreigner’s neck, one hand toying with the long reddish orange locks.

"Tell me about my imouto first," he asked, head bowed to prevent the telepath from kissing him silent. Growling slightly at the interruption, Schuldig complied. Quickly informing the younger man of his sister’s condition, which hadn’t changed in the slightest, he mentally sent a picture of how he’d last seen the girl. Esset had wanted to conduct some experiments on Aya-chan, to test out a few of the drugs they had created, but it was easy for a telepath of his scope to fool the nurses tending to the Japanese girl into thinking they were administering the shots when actually they weren’t. Anything to keep his little tuberose happy.

Once the matter was attended to the German grasped the smaller man’s chin and tilted it up so he could claim Aya’s mouth. As he did this he brought into play as much as his telepathy as he could. Reaching deep into the quiet redhead’s mind, he dragged to the fore all of the man’s desire, all of his need to have someone to center his existence around. As much as the Penner had pissed him off with his attempt to win back the Kätzchen, it had left a perfect opening for him to exploit. Aya had clearly chosen Schuldig, and his sister’s safety, over his ex-lover. A conscious decision, no matter the why’s of it, that would have left an indelible mark on the man. Now all that was left was for him to use that to his advantage. He might not be able or willing to force the man to love him, but he could coax the man’s mind into doing so.

His lover responded accordingly, pale hands tightening their grip in his hair, long slim legs settling along side his thighs as the smaller man straddled his lap. Schuldig grabbed the man’s waist so as to grind their pelvises together as he tore away from Aya’s mouth to concentrate on his neck instead. The Knuddelhäschen had such a delightfully sensitive neck; he could feel the waves of pleasure washing through the Japanese man as teeth grazed his Adam’s apple. There was a low moan at the action, and the last of the man’s mental shields collapsed. The telepath found himself completely immersed in Aya’s mind, for a confusing minute totally unable to differentiate between their two psyches. It was such a rush to feel that much passion, and the barely cloaked power that was hidden away.

The German came back to himself as he felt sharp nails claw down his back and heard his name gasped out. Aya was writhing on his lap, violet eyes wide and unseeing. Only his years of training as a telepath kept Schuldig from being overwhelmed by the emotions assaulting him. It was so tempting to just give in to the desire and need, but he held back enough so as to regain a slight bit of control of the situation. He couldn’t let this opportunity pass him by. Not with Balinese hot to reclaim what he thought of as his.

There was a bit of a struggle in stripping the pale assassin’s jeans off. Aya wasn’t fighting the action so much as protesting having to shift away from his lover. As soon as the offending garments were removed and tossed across the room he settled back on to the German’s lap, one hand busy tugging on the zipper of the man’s pants. Schuldig couldn’t get enough of trailing his hands all over the exposed white skin, drinking in the moans and hitched breaths that touching certain spots generated. Leaving off tweaking a hardened nipple, he ran his fingers up the pale column and brushed them against a panting mouth. Aya flicked his tongue against the digits and parted his lips further to take them in, sucking on the fingers. At the same time he finally managed to work the zipper down far enough that the telepath’s erection sprang free.

It was Schuldig’s turn to moan as long fingers wrapped around his shaft, pumping a time or two as Aya’s thumb toyed with the dripping slit on top, flicking back and forth. He tugged his fingers free and lightly skimmed them down his tuberose’s back, enjoying the shivers that caress garnered. Hand busy stretching and preparing his lover, the foreigner fastened his mouth on the smaller man’s collarbone. Mewls of pleasure spilled forth from the Kätzchen’s mouth as he thrust his hips back. Schuldig’s chest constricted at the feelings aroused by brushing against Aya’s prostrate, finding it hard to breath at the echoed bliss. The pale man moaned out his name as his body arched back.

Removing the slender hand still pumping his cock, the telepath once more grabbed the swordsman’s hips and pulled him closer, slowly pushing his way inside. He bit into Aya’s neck as he worked his dripping shaft into the tight heat, both men tortured by the measured pace. Once he was buried in as deep as he could go the smaller man lifted his hips and thrust back down, drawing a cry from both assassins. Schuldig lost the tenuous grip on his control and was drawn into the emotional maelstrom, oblivious to everything but the need to drive as hard and as deep into the pale man as he could, mind assailed by the turbulent passions. Time seemed to still, drawing out forever as the two men lost themselves in each other. Schuldig honestly didn’t know who it was that reached their limit first, just that there was an explosive orgasm doubled in intensity that blackened his vision and rendered him senseless.

Coming to a few minutes later, he found his arms wrapped around Aya’s limp form. It seemed that the sensations had been too much for his little tuberose as well. Tiredly brushing back the sweat dampened bangs, he placed a kiss on a pale forehead. It was another moment or two before lids fluttered open to reveal purple eyes darkened to an indigo hue. The swordsman’s awareness now returned, Schuldig was startled to find just how intertwined their two consciousnesses still were. There was a definite presence in his head that stemmed from the other’s mind, and judging from the confused expression Aya was wearing and the resulting echo, the German knew that his lover felt it too. Dampening his Sußer’s awareness of the connection as much as he could, Schuldig bent his head down to kiss the bewildered man. <It’s all right, meine weiße Kamelie.> Aya struggled against the kiss for a minute, clearly about to say something, but soon gave in. Tapered fingers threaded their way deep into the long reddish locks, not letting the German pull back until both men were thoroughly breathless. Resting against the older man with his head tucked under Schuldig’s chin, Aya closed his eyes.

<I can still feel you inside. Why?>

Startled to hear the smaller redhead projecting his thoughts like that, the telepath lifted a hand to comb through crimson strands. The feel of cool silk running through his fingers helped to ground him and clear his mind. <Told you I was never going to leave you. Now I’ll always be with you.> Playing on the man’s fear of abandonment, Schuldig cautiously worked the man’s consciousness into accepting the situation. For once the Kätzchen’s nature was assisting his efforts, as the man’s mind adjusted to the deepened connection, pushing the awareness of it aside. There would be some killer headaches in the swordsman’s future, but the German could help him with that.

Mentally and emotionally exhausted, Aya soon lost himself to sleep, body once more a limb bundle in Schuldig’s arms. Still combing through the man’s tangled locks, Schuldig let his cheek rest on top of his lover’s head. He let his mind get lost in the feel of the smaller man’s psyche, in the startling clarity and bottomless fathoms contained within. Deep inside he felt the faintest echo of the sensation of myriad threads connecting him to everything, but the feeling was muffled. Recognizing it as Cassandra’s cloak holding the assassin’s power in check, the telepath moved on before he could damage the weaving. No sense in setting the tempest free just yet. Pulling his consciousness back, the green-eyed man grinned evilly.

Aya was now his. He could feel it in the sleeping man’s mind. It might take some time before the Kätzchen realized this, mostly likely not before his sister was returned to him, but years of painstaking effort had just paid off. Schuldig was now so deep into swordsman’s mind there would be no severing of the bond, short of death. Maybe not even then. And Aya’s acceptance of the link meant that gradually he would accept the telepath as well. Once that happened he would be able to free the Katalisator’s power and then the fun would begin. Who needed some resurrected god when he had Abyssinian to twist fate about however he wished?

Chuckling wickedly, the German tightened his hold on the pale man and carefully stood up. Carrying the sleeping assassin to the bedroom, he laid the man down on the bed and stood back to swiftly remove his pants. Lying next to his lover, Schuldig was pleasantly surprised when Aya turned over and snuggled next to him. Usually the Japanese man would withdraw and sleep as far away from him as possible, desperate to put some distance between the two of them after the sex was over. He chuckled again, this time with a tone of amusement as he was being treated as a living pillow. Hee. If the rest of Schwarz could see him now. With Weiß’s short-tempered leader laying half on top of him and a content smile spreading across his face. What a strange taste of happiness. Schuldig now had his heart and soon he would have enough power to ensure that he’d never have the things he wanted and loved taken from him ever again.

*******

Still feeling a bit tired, Aya quietly slipped inside the Koneko. He’d parked out on the street so as to not alert his roommates with the sound of the garage door motor. He’d move the car later, right now all he wanted to do was get to his room and collapse on his bed. Schuldig had let him sleep for a little bit, but hadn’t had his fill of sex for the night. Once the telepath had finally been sated he’d ordered a huge breakfast and made the swordsman eat until he was stuffed. He’d consumed more food in one sitting than he had in days. The telepath had teased and chided him until satisfied that Aya wasn’t in danger of passing out from malnutrition anymore.

Pausing at the top of the steps, Aya examined the warm glow enveloping him. He felt more relaxed than he had in weeks. Schuldig had kissed him goodbye and once more promised to keep a close watch on his imouto, and mentioned that it wouldn’t be much longer until Weiß had an opportunity to rescue her. There was a sense of peace about the thought of being reunited with his sister that even though it meant leaving his friends and home behind it didn’t bother him as much as it had. Lips curved into a slight smile, he pushed open his bedroom door. And abruptly felt the warmth fade.

"Morning, Kitten."

"Don’t call me that," Aya snapped. Yohji was sitting on his bed, and the stench of cigarettes filled the room. Clearly the blond had spent the night waiting for him to come home. "Get out."

"Not until we talk." Examining the redhead closely, the former detective took in the rumpled clothes and tired expression. Wherever Aya had been he clearly hadn’t been doing much sleeping. "There are a few things we need to discuss."

Leaving the door open and leaning on the wall beside it, the pale man informed his teammate there was nothing to talk about. "You left me, remember? That was your last chance. Now go, I want to get some rest."

"Aya, I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking straight. I had to take the chance and find out if there was any Asuka left at all in Neu. Why can’t you understand that? If it had been Aya-chan, wouldn’t you have risked everything?" Yohji pleaded with the quiet man, ruthlessly using his sister against him.

Closing his eyes to the sight of his ex-boyfriend’s pleading face, Aya felt as if two arms were wrapping around him, holding him close. There was a ghost touch of a tender kiss against his jaw. "I wouldn’t have endangered the team. My life is one thing, yours and the others’ is not. And I never would have tossed you aside without a second thought. All those talks about how I had to open up and let you in, to trust you and let you help, they were just lies. You proved that in a heartbeat." Violet eyes opened to stare coldly back at the playboy. "But now you don’t have Asuka and you don’t have me. I can’t take you back, Yohji. Things have gone too far. So please leave me alone."

The blond was speechless. He hadn’t expected a calm Aya telling him there was no chance of them ever being together again. The man was supposed to glare at him, maybe yell and curse and take a swing, anything to show that he still felt something. Yohji knew how do deal with that type of Aya. But not this one. It was as if he was dealing with Abyssinian. "Aya…"

"No." That was said in such a glacial toned voice that the older man actually shivered. "No more, Yohji, you burned your bridges for good this time. It was one thing to try and help Neu, but you left me without a thought, believing that you would have your Asuka back. I would have done anything for you, and you knew that. That’s probably why you tossed me aside so easily, just assumed that I would forgive you as usual and all would be well. It won’t, not ever again. We’re through as lovers, and if you want to remain friends you’ll go without another word." There was a whisper of a voice in his head, telling him to remain strong, encouraging him on.

Yohji felt a sting of tears in his eyes as it started to sink in that Aya might actually be serious. That he’d finally pushed the redhead too far. But he loved the man, and knew the kitten loved him in return. Aya wasn’t the type of person to just stop feeling something that strong. He decided to try one last thing. Dejectedly getting off the bed, he slowly made his way to the door. Pulling it open, he started to walk through it. At the last minute he reached out and grabbed the smaller man’s sweater, yanking him into a kiss. The swordsman was still for a second, clearly stunned, before he bit down on the blond’s lip and slammed a booted foot onto a bare one.

Cursing from the pain, the lanky man stared at his former lover, watching as an expression of sorrow and loss was quickly replaced by blank expression. Not willing to see the man shut him out, Yohji’s eyes drifted downward, catching a glimpse of a dark bruise on the man’s white throat. He quickly drew a breath at the realization of what such a mark meant. "Who is he, Aya? Who’s the bastard you’ve been letting fuck you? Is that why you don’t want me back?" His tone was harsh, due to the physical and emotional pain he felt. Aya was /his/, no one else had the right to touch the man. Nobody else ever had, until now. Filled with a possessive rage, Yohji straightened up and stepped closer to the redhead.

An icy glare warned him not to get too close. "It’s none of your business, Kudoh. It stopped being that when you walked out on me. Shouldn’t matter who I take to bed now, just know it will never be you again. And that was your choice." The blond wanted nothing more than to grab the cold man and shake some sense into him, to get his lover back, but something prevented him from taking the last step and doing just that. Maybe it was the total lack of love in those violet orbs, treating him to such a look that he hadn’t seen in over a year.

It slowly was dawning on him that maybe this time there would be no forgiveness, that he’d thrown away one of the best things in his life without a thought of the consequences. Yohji had always believed that Aya would forgive him for anything. Body starting to shake at the realization, the taller man left the room, needing to escape that cold look. This wasn’t over, he wouldn’t just give up on the chance that the redhead might take him back. But something told him that it wouldn’t happen just right now. He needed to let the man cool down, to go off and come up with some other plan. To have a drink or three to ease the pain, jealousy and guilt that was overwhelming him.

Closing his door and locking it, Aya rested his head against the wood. That had been more painful than he could ever have imagined, to deny Yohji so ruthlessly. Part of him had wanted to give in so badly, but he’d been able to ignore it. In large part because of Schuldig’s presence whispering in his head. Just like right now. The German was murmuring support and endearments, soothing him and once more wrapping him in a sense of warmth. Giving in to the mental urgings, the redhead pushed away from the door and crossed over to the bed, pulling his clothes off and for once not caring as they dropped to the floor. As soon as his boots and pants were removed he curled up under the covers and promptly fell asleep. And dreamed of his foreign lover.

*******

Schuldig opened his eyes, mind completely exhausted yet strangely exhilarated at the same time. It had taken some effort to once again enter Abyssinian’s sleeping mind and engage the man’s subconscious into another one of his ‘what if’ scenarios. But the task had been doable, no thanks to the medication and the man’s rebellious mind, and both of their subconsciouses had been caught up in the illusion. He felt a stickiness on his stomach that informed him that his body had been affected by the reverie as well. And quite an exquisite dream it had been. His precious tuberose’s mind had been so incredibly receptive. It seemed that backing off and giving it some time to heal had been the best route to take after all. As frustrating as it had been, to ignore the connection and to try and stay away from Abyssinian, the reward was without price. The telepath could feel the strengthened bond already, the ever-present awareness of where and how the Kätzchen was in the back of his thoughts. To think that he had been happy when the earlier bond had been established a couple of months ago. It was nothing compared to the one this last visit had resulted in. He’d have to try and block the Weiß kitty’s side of the link while the assassin was still sleeping, it wouldn’t do for the man to wake up and be able to tell where Schuldig was at any given moment. Might be real inconvenient. As it was things were going to be truly interesting the next time Weiß and Schwarz clashed. Hee.

He’d have to wake the doctor up and let him know to call Fujimiya in for some stronger medicine. And Bombay as well, to let him know of the situation so he could help his teammate. The German could feel the pain slowly building in his Knuddelhäschen’s head. Someone would be in a nasty mood in the morning. Another thing added to the to-do list, go out in a couple of hours and drop the new pills off. But pain or not, right now he was going to revel in the feel of the Katalisator’s mind, at how the man’s hate for him was that much less than it had been. At the carefully planted seeds that would flower into love and need. Feeling sleep threaten to overtake him, Schuldig sat up with a groan. Whoever said no rest for the wicked had been distressingly correct, at least tonight. Oh, but how it was worth it. Heading for a shower, the telepath took a second to wonder what Cassandra was up too, and if she would be paying him a little visit. Surely the Alte Hexe had to know of what had just happened, and want to share her own opinion of the situation. Most likely she was going to be very upset at his meddling. Once more delving into the other redhead’s mind, Schuldig decided he really didn’t give a damn at how far he’d pushed things back this time. Right now he finally had irrevocable proof that Aya was going to be his. That he already was.

*******

Images of the sleepy redhead snuggling under the covers filling his head, Yohji came to in the middle of a garden. It looked like a flower shop gone wild, with tightly packed helter-skelter patches of plants and shrubs. There was a riot of smells, overlying a tang of sea air. It was like nothing he’d ever seen before.

"Don’t worry so much about the scenery, fair knight. You might want to be worried about the star child instead. Your love is close to being snatched away by evil." The blond man whirled around to stare at a dark haired young woman, dressed in a tattered, layered grey dress. It took him a moment or two to regain his senses.

Offering the woman a formal bow, he stood back up with a gleam in his eye. "Forgive me, but such a beautiful lady as you had rendered me speechless. What was that you were saying?"

Cassandra frowned slightly at the man, before realising it was just his nature to flirt with anything female. Although there was a tingle along her nerves from such treatment, it had been quite a while since she had been seen as desirable. "Ever the knight, even though your steed and armor is not now evident. I said, sir dreamer, to focus your mind on the vision, not the garden. Such an evil thing, no?"

Trying to puzzle out the woman’s words, Yohji’s mind flashed back to the strange dream he’d had. Nightmare might be a more appropriate title. Aya leaving him for Mastermind, unable to forgive him for betraying his love. "You mean the dream, right? How do you know about it? Why would I hurt Aya like that?"

"Know many things that I shouldn’t, much to my sorrow. Much much sorrow. Poor me. Poor you, and your love, if you don’t heed what you’ve just seen. Much effort on my part to let you catch a glimpse of the future the evil child strives for. The star child would need no explanation, but my hands are tied. The evil one would never let me get so close to him and warn him. I can’t go to him, but he can wander here. Little good it does, the promise has been made, my tongue stilled. A star caged in filaments of darkness for a quick death. But the pain gnaws at me. So much will be lost, so much suffering. Know very well that sensation, yes I do. Pain more than mine, so called you I did. To give you this warning. Things will not all be made well, but the evil child’s task will be that much harder." Cassandra was ravishing a primrose bush as she spoke, plucking at the petals with each word.

Okay, he was officially lost, Yohji thought. "Uhm, care to try saying that in Japanese? I swear I didn’t understand most of what you just said."

"Foolish knight!" The half mad woman advanced upon the assassin, making him take a hasty step back. "I talk of what you desire. Of your heart. Your true heart. You think it is the fair lady lost, returned as the hissing Erinyes. The lady is gone, only the revenant remains. Don’t sunder your heart for her. That way will lead to loss and madness. The star child gone from your grasp, as the lady fair, and death will be all that remains. Again and again the madness will spur you on, to hold on so tight you lose all you hold. /Listen/ to me. When the crossroads comes do not chose your past. Think of the future. Think. Of. The. Future. United you can fight him, you’ve done it in the past. But apart the star child has no chance. Already the evil one has sunk his hooks in deep. Maybe too deep, never to be sundered. But your hooks are in as well. Mind versus heart. As long as the heart is unbroken there is a chance." Cassandra looked on the golden man in despair. She was trying to speak as clearly as possible, yet knew she was failing miserably. Too much time spent in the madness and a world where everything was an image, not a word. It was so hard to make her point known, that was in part why the old bastards had shuffled her aside. But they would regret that decision soon. Regret. She was trying to stem the regret she felt at breaking apart the star child and the knight of cups. She’d seen what they were meant to have with each other, and now she was cruelly taking it away from them. All for the twisted desires of the evil child and her. How did that make her any different from the ones that abused her? Maybe this would be a chance to set things right. Or at least give the knight a slim possibility to keep his love, something to assuage her guilt with.

She was losing the golden knight. "Remember. If you value your love, don’t chose the past. The star child’s heartbreak will doom you all." It was no good, she could still see the puzzled look to his face as he faded away. Desperately she reached out for an echo of the catalyst’s mind, what she had used to show the dream to his lover. As it was images for her, often it was poetry for him.

Watching the landscape melt around him, Yohji started at his lover’s voice. Aya was speaking in English, the cadence of the words suggesting he was reciting something. Trying to understand what was being said, the blond was swallowed by a sense of vertigo.

And found himself lying in bed. His kitten was wrapped around him, clinging with a fraught intensity. There was a furrow between the crimson brows that suggested the man was suffering from a headache, affecting him even in his sleep. Yohji shifted about, mind filled with anxiety. Something about a dream, of losing the pale man for good. A garden filled with flowers and ominous words. Choose the future or suffer great loss. It made no sense at all, what the hell had he eaten before going to bed to cause such nonsense? No more sake milkshakes for him.

Aya let out a low moan and clutched at him tighter. Frowning with worry, Yohji realized that the man was going through one of his episodes again. But why, he hadn’t skipped the doses since that one time weeks ago. About to wake the man and have him take more of the pain pills, the blond man stopped once he got a good look at his lover’s face in the moonlight. The redhead’s lips were moving silently, as if he was chanting something. The words rushed back to him from the dream as a chill ran down his spine.

‘I went to the Garden of Love,

And saw what I had never seen:

A Chapel was built in the midst,

Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut;

And "Thou shalt not" writ over the door;

So I turn’d to the Garden of Love,

That so many sweet flowers bore,

And I saw it was filled with graves,

And tomb-stones where flowers should be:

And Priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,

And binding with briars my joys & desires.’

Yohji held the man all the tighter to him, combing his fingers through the sweat soaked hair. Murmuring soothing nonsense to the pain wracked swordsman, the blond kept repeating four words to himself. Think of the future.

*******

Poem by William Blake. Seems I have a thing for his works.

This is what happens when am exhausted nekojita sits down at her computer and types away. So let me know if you loved or hated it. Just can’t get enough of all those wonderful threats I’ve been getting lately. The muse seems to thrive on them. Who wants some more of this alternate side-line?

Much much thanks to Lady Gackt for the assist on this one. Kabuki, where are you? See what happens when I’m let about unsupervised? It’s all your fault.

ja,

nekojita

 

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