Thanksgiving Omake

*******

Schuldig stared in obvious distaste at the apron that Crawford held in his outstretched hand. "Brad, you have *seriously* lost your mind," he sneered. "There is no way in hell I’m going to wear that thing *while* making you some stupid holiday dinner." He folded his arms over his chest and glared at his friend.

Even though he was giving the man his best ‘pissed-off Aya’ impersonation, Crawford didn’t seem too intimidated by the dirty look. In fact, the longer Schu glared the more Grau’s leader merely smiled, the expression slowly growing more and more amused. "What the hell is wrong with you?" Schuldig finally asked, more than a little perturbed by a smiling Crawford.

"I’m perfectly fine," Crawford commented in a calm, even voice. "You, however, won’t be for very long if Aya ever finds out what really happened on the Zhang assignment." His smile grew just the tiniest bit smug.

Schuldig had done such a thorough job of burying all memories associated with the mission in question that it took him a moment to figure out what Crawford alluded to and why. As soon as he recalled what he’d almost failed to do that day, he quickly stuffed the memory behind the strongest shield he had and instinctively looked around for Aya. Thankfully, his serious-minded lover was working on reconnaissance with Yohji and Nagi and was too occupied to have picked up on his fleeting thoughts. Which was a very good thing because the Zhang mission had almost ended in utter disaster- With a loud curse he quickly stifled that thought as well and glared even more at a certain smug bastard.

"That’s blackmail," he spat in anger, furious that Crawford had somehow found out about his mistake and now used it against him.

His smile now *entirely* too smug, Crawford nodded once. "Yes, it is. I expect dinner to be ready by four pm on Thursday." Images flashed through Schuldig’s mind, various dishes that he was supposed to make even though he had no clue what half of them were. Damn Crawford for doing this to him.

"You’re a fucking bastard," he snarled, unwilling to properly concede defeat but knowing that he had no real choice. If Aya or Yohji found out… best not to even think along those lines or he’d find out just how long he’d have to sleep on the couch.

"Turkey, mashed potatoes, a sweet potato casserole, cranberry relish, fresh asparagus, baked rolls and pumpkin pie for dessert." Crawford paused for a moment and seemed to be deep in thought. "Ah yes, and whipped cream for the dessert. I think that’s all. It’s been years since I’ve had a home cooked Thanksgiving meal." His smile took on a nasty edge. "And you’ll have to eat at least a few bites out of everything so make sure it’s cooked properly. Good day, Schuldig." The smile still on his face, Crawford draped the apron over Schuldig’s shoulder and then left the kitchen.

Schuldig spent a good twenty minutes cursing the native people of America for not having the common sense to let a bunch of puritanical bastards starve to death when they had the chance. He also grabbed a sharp knife and turned into confetti the yellow, frilly monstrosity that Crawford expected him to wear while being blackmailed into cooking. His temper the slightest bit assuaged, he stormed out of the kitchen and into his bedroom.

Where, in a neat pile on the bed, was a stack of American cookbooks and an even frillier, bright pink apron.

*******

Busy playing a video game with Farfarello, Ken quickly hit the pause button when a very loud, enraged scream echoed through the apartment. "Do I even want to know what that was about?" The question was rhetorical since he knew the only other people at home were Crawford and Schuldig, and if something had happened to make Crawford scream like that, things were about to become so bad that he’d be dead in a few more seconds and wouldn’t have to worry about an answer.

Starting the game again, Farfarello chuckled and immediately blew up four zombies, his score now twice as high as Ken’s. "I saw Crawford smiling this morning."

"Guess I get to live a little longer," Ken sighed and then set about catching up to his teammate. Crawford smiling meant that Schuldig was about to pay for something and there was nothing too unusual about that. Ken had learned long ago that it was best to know as little as possible about Crawford’s torments for the German idiot. "I’ll bet you dinner that Schuldig will end up sleeping on the couch."

Farfarello chuckled and shook his head. "I’m insane, not stupid. Of course the moron will end up on the couch. I think it’s time to ask our sadistic leader for a nice, long mission."

Nodding in agreement, Ken wondered if there was a chance that he and Nagi could be assigned somewhere outside of Hong Kong for a week or two. Crawford smiling and Schuldig screaming like that meant that home wasn’t going to be the safest place to stay in the upcoming days.

Sparing a thought on how his two friends were about to be dragged into something because of their lousy choice in boyfriends, he grimaced and wondered if he couldn’t just talk Crawford into allowing him and Nagi a long vacation instead of a mission. Things would be much safer that way.

*******

Yohji took one look at Schu and couldn’t help but laugh. In fact, the sight of his lover dressed in the most obnoxiously frilly pink apron he’d ever seen was so hilarious that he was quickly bent over from laughing so hard. Even Schu’s long hair was pulled back into a high ponytail by a huge pink bow. As tears formed in his eyes, he fumbled around in the right front pocket of his jeans in search for his cell phone. He *had* to take a picture of this.

"Schu… what the hell did you do now?" Aya asked, his tone clearly exasperated and suspicious. As Yohji continued to laugh, Aya elbowed him in the ribs to make him stop.

Sulking over by the sink, Schu looked over his shoulder and glared. "I’m making a traditional American meal. Now do me a favor and drag Blondie’s laughing ass out of here."

Wiping away his tears, Yohji managed to control himself just in time to avoid another painful jab from Aya’s elbows. Wrapping his arms around his lover’s waist – and pinning Aya’s arms – he rested his chin on Aya’s shoulder and spoke out loud what they were both thinking. "And why is it that you’re making a traditional American meal, hmmm? We wake up to find you gone from bed, and then track you down to here. What’s going on, Schu?" He tried a light scan of his lover’s mind but Schu was partially blocking their link. That sent off warning bells in both his and Aya’s minds.

Busy cutting plastic away from what looked to be one humongous chicken, Schu muttered a curse under his breath. /Look, all you need to know is that… well, I lost a bet with Crawford, okay? And the bastard is making me cook him some stupid dinner./

Gently nudging Yohji’s arms aside, Aya stepped forward. /A bet?/ He waited for an answer but when all Schu did was curse some more and pretend to be entirely focused on the dead bird, he shared a significant look with Yohji. /Do you have any clue what he’s done now?/ Aya asked privately.

/Nope, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough. He can’t keep himself shielded for long and if it’s something that has him actually cooking while wearing that getup, it must be bad,/ Yohji sent back. "So, how many traditional American meals have you made, Schu?" he asked as he went to the sink.

Finally managing to free the bird from the plastic, Schu let out a victorious laugh and then fell silent. He seemed to be thinking about something as he poked a finger into the chicken’s flesh. "None, and Crawford is well aware of that. He told me that not only do I have to cook everything, but I have to eat some of it as well."

Going over to the counter, Aya flipped through one of the cookbooks stacked there and stopped when he reached a book-marked page. "Herb infused roasted turkey," he read aloud, his English pronunciation a little off.

"That’s a turkey? I’ve never seen one before," Yohji commented as he joined Schu at the sink. "Those things really are huge, aren’t they? Where did you find it?" he asked, curious despite himself. His mother had told him a few times about the Thanksgiving dinners she’d been invited to by a few American servicemen before he was born, but she’d never tried to recreate the meals.

"I didn’t, Crawford did. He bought everything I need to make dinner today." Grunting in frustration, Schu poked the turkey again. "What the hell am I supposed to do now? I’ve made pot roasts a few times but this is the first I’ve tackled anything that’s still identifiable as what it used to be before it got killed."

Bringing the book over to them, Aya read aloud. "’Rinse off the turkey before you begin to prepare it. Make sure to thoroughly clean the inner cavity’." He glanced from the book to the dead bird with clear revulsion. /I’m not touching that thing./

"What, so I have to?" Schu asked in indignation. "It’s a dead, rotting bird carcass. Yuck." He poked it one more time and turned to Yohji with a brilliant smile on his lips. "Yotan-"

"No way in hell," Yohji replied as succinctly as possible. "I’m with Aya, I don’t touch food unless it’s with a chopstick in order to bring it to my mouth. You lost the bet, you get to deal with all the germs and dead things." There was no way he was going to get stuck with the messy stuff, not when he could still be in bed with at least one lover. But since Schu being up had woken both him and Aya, there was little chance of that happening now.

/I agree. Let’s get out of here, Yohji,/ Aya sent as he placed the book on the counter next to the sink. /I think Schu’s going to be very busy for the next few hours./ There was a tiny bit of sympathy to his thoughts but mostly, he wanted out of there before something bad happened.

"What, you’re going to leave me to deal with this all alone?" Dropping the turkey, Schu turned to Aya and pouted. "Aren’t you going to help me at all?"

/Your bet, your problem,/ Aya replied as he deliberately kept out of Schu’s reach. /You should know better than to gamble with a precog./ There was the implication that he didn’t completely buy Schu’s story, which made Schu turn a bit pale and begin go curse under his breath. He almost ran his hands through his hair before he remembered that they’d just been all over a dead bird.

Wondering why Crawford had chosen this particular punishment for the idiot, Yohji pressed against Schu’s back and gave him a quick hug. "I’ll help." At Aya’s puzzled expression, he sent a private thought to his confused lover. /Ayan, think about it for a moment. If Crawford’s making him do this, *something* is going to happen. Don’t you want to be here when it does?/ Both to be able to laugh at Schu and to make sure that it wasn’t something too bad, something that might make all three of them suffer. /Besides, sooner or later he’ll slip up and stop hiding what he did to piss off Crawford./ Then they could find out what that was. He carefully kept hidden the thought that once the secret was out, he’d be able to have Aya all to himself for a while, and then Schu would have to grovel to get back in their good graces. He wouldn’t mind having Schu be his slave for a couple of days in penitence.

Oblivious to his thoughts, Schu smiled and leaned back against him. "See, Yohji is willing to help," he crowed.

Considering Yohji’s plan for a few more seconds, Aya sighed and nodded. /Okay, I’ll help you out too, if only to ensure that you don’t burn the kitchen down. But I’m still not touching the turkey,/ he said, revulsion plain in his thoughts. Yohji quickly seconded that, which left Schu to deal with the bird.

"For two supposedly hardened assassins, you sure are a bunch of wimps," Schu sniffed as he gingerly picked the bird up by a leg and turned on the water. "You deal with dead bodies on a weekly basis yet a little bird makes you all scared."

/No, the bacteria on the bird is what has me worried, and I don’t recall having anything to do with targets once they’re dead,/ Aya pointed out as he flipped through the cookbook. /Yotan, could you please put on some water for tea?/

"Sure thing, Sweetie." And he’d make some coffee for himself. Leaving the dead bird to Schu, he went to fetch some bottled water.

"Ew… there’s something inside," Schu groaned in disgust. "What the hell is that?" Holding the bird by both legs, he began to shake it up and down until a package fell out.

Always the curious one, Yohji couldn’t help but look into the sink at the clear plastic bag. "Ah… aren’t those organs? That looks like a kidney but I’ve no idea what that long bony thing is." He shuddered in disgust and resolved not to eat any of the turkey.

Holding the bag between two fingers, Schu carried it to the garbage can and tossed it in. "I don’t even want to know. I’m gonna track Crawford’s dry cleaner down and make them starch the shit out of the bastard’s pants from now on," he grumbled as he used the sink’s hose to squirt water inside the turkey. "What do we do now, Aya?"

Frowning at the book, Aya flipped back and forth between a page. "After it’s clean, you have to chop up some herbs and slide them beneath the turkey’s skin. There’s also a recipe for stuffing. I can make that while you get the turkey ready." He didn’t sound very confident, so Yohji decided that once the meal was cooked, he was taking Aya out for a nice dinner. There was no reason why they had to eat any of this stuff since they weren’t involved in the bet.

Once the hot water and coffee pots were filled, he went over to the stack of cookbooks. "Let me take a look at those." While Schu muttered and cursed over the turkey and Aya searched through the fridge, he tried to find a recipe that wouldn’t be too difficult to make. While he mostly survived on either takeout or other people’s cooking, he could whip up something in a pinch. The sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes didn’t look too difficult; it would mostly involve peeling the vegetables and adding a few other ingredients. /I’ll do these two. How long will the turkey take?/

/Hmmm, the book said about twelve to fifteen minutes a pound, so about two and a half hours./ His arm full of various vegetables and herbs, Aya closed the fridge and set the produce on the kitchen table. /I don’t think everything else will take that long,/ he said, but Yohji could feel his uncertainty. From sharing memories with his lover, he knew that Aya had never really done any serious cooking in his life. When left on his own, he also tended to either takeout or very simple dishes. Or not eating at all, but that hadn’t happened in a long time.

/In other words, we’ll have some time to kill once Schu’s done getting the turkey ready. Maybe we’ll be able to go back to bed for a bit after all./ Yet what Yohji had in mind in their bedroom wasn’t sleep, which he made expressly clear when he pressed against Aya’s back and slid his hands beneath his lover’s loose sweater.

Moaning softly, Aya wiggled his ass against Yohji’s crotch. /I’m not sure that’s a very good idea. I can see something catching on fire while we’re… occupied./ He shared an image with his lovers on just what would make them so distracted. Aya certainly wasn’t in the mood for a quick fuck this morning, he wanted both Yohji and Schu, wanted to feel them deep inside of him, wanted them to take turns until his throat was sore from crying out in pleasure. His fingers wrapped around Yohji’s right wrist and raised Yohji’s hand to his mouth.

Yohji groaned in anticipation when two of his fingers were sucked into moist heat while Aya imagined that they were his cock. "Oh, yeah, I don’t want to have to worry about anything other than just how much your ass can take." His left hand slid beneath Aya’s pants to cup his lover’s growing erection and to force Aya’s hips back so he could rub his own hardened cock against that delectable ass. "I’m willing to bet that it’ll take a lot." In fact, he was counting on it.

Not about to be left out, Schu stopped playing with bird carcasses and joined in. "We can always see whose ass can take the most," he said, the desire he felt evident in his voice and thoughts as he unblocked their link a little bit. All three of them quickly considered how much lube they had on hand and agreed to the challenge, which made Yohji laugh while Schu sidled up to his side. "Though we’ll have to keep in mind Yohji’s delicate nature and take it easy on him," Schu teased.

Laughing again, Yohji pushed Schu away before he could be kissed. "Right, so says the man who rarely lets his ass get fucked. Real men don’t care who’s on top, you know." At his lover’s displeased frown, he blew Schu a kiss.

"I just stick to what I do best, Blondie, and that’s make you scream like a bitch while I pound into your ass," Schu shot back, his smile quickly restored when he sent over the link memories of last night. Yohji didn’t mind the fact that he had been pretty loud while Schu fucked him, what really mattered was how great it had felt.

/And you say I have control issues,/ Aya grumbled as his tongue licked the tips of Yohji’s fingers. /Maybe you need to remember how good it feels to not be the one in charge./

Smiling, Schu leaned closer to Aya. "But I don’t look as pretty all tied up in black rope and silver nipple clamps." He stroked the fingers of his right hand along Aya’s cheek. "We’ll tie your hands behind your back and your knees bent, then put that sweet mouth of yours to good use." He brushed Yohji’s hand aside and then trailed his fingers along Aya’s lips. "You know you adore doing us both at the same time, our cocks-"

"Dammit!" Aya suddenly pushed Schu away, not in the playful manner that Yohji had just done, and he sent a mental whap as well. /You didn’t wash your hands!/ There was a sense of nausea and anger as he raced to the sink and began to rinse his mouth out with water. Along with thoughts of food poisoning were how much Schu would suffer if he got sick.

"For fuck’s sake, that’s no reason to scramble my brain," Schu whined while he clutched at his aching head. Then he recalled that his hands were still tainted with dead bird so he quickly joined Aya at the sink to wash them.

Knowing that it would be worth at least few thousand brain cells and maybe a broken bone or two if he laughed, Yohji clamped his hand over his mouth and tried to think about unfunny things. The image of Farfarello giving him a shave helped to tamp down on the laughter. In order to keep it at bay, he decided to look through the cookbooks again while Aya yelled at Schu to finish preparing the turkey.

"You need to get the stuffing ready so I can fill the damn thing," Schu sulked while he once more rinsed off the bird.

/Give me about ten minutes./ There was no sign left of Aya’s horny mood, Yohji thought with much regret as his lover sorted through the produce on the table. Guess that meant they’d have to wait until after dinner to have any fun. Though if the turkey was only going to take a couple of hours, it was going to be more like a late lunch.

"We can probably get a bunch of this stuff done now and Crawford can just reheat it whenever he wants to eat," he pointed out, his hopes of a day filled with sex partially restored. The potato dishes wouldn’t take too long, and the pie could bake after the turkey was done. Good thing that the apartment had come equipped with a big oven and not just a stovetop.

Busy chopping herbs, Aya nodded in agreement. /Let’s just get this over with before anyone gets hurt or sick./ He glared at Schu for a moment and then resumed chopping, his thoughts sufficiently dark enough that Yohji decided it would be best to stay out of them for a while.

The kitchen wasn’t meant for three men to use it at the same time, but they managed. The stuffing smelled delicious when Aya set the large bowlful of it next to Schu. "You can do the rest."

"Great, just want I always wanted, my hand up a dead bird’s ass," Schu muttered as his face scrunched up into a grimace. "You ever think that maybe that’s why they went all psycho in that one movie, hmmm? Centuries and centuries of being killed, plucked naked and then having a bunch of breadcrumbs and weeds shoved up their ass as the final insult? No wonder they’re trying to kill us all off now." He glared at the turkey and crammed a handful of stuffing inside its body. "Not even Rosenkreuz would do this to an enemy."

"Well, considering the fact that you’re the guy who always has to be the one shoving something up a person’s ass, I think it’s awfully fitting," Yohji teased while he set a pot filled with water and peeled potatoes on the stove. "Didn’t you say that’s what you do best? Now you found a new occupation," he finished in a too sweet tone of voice and an even sweeter smile.

"Eat shit and die, Blondie," Schu grumbled in German. "Or get over here so I can practice my fisting a little more before I finish with the damn bird." He held up his greasy, crumb-covered right hand.

Going over to his lover, Yohji draped his right arm over Schu’s shoulders and gave his left cheek a lick. /At least I’d finally feel something that you shoved into me for once./ Schu cursed some more over the joke and filled his mind with images of him bent over various pieces of furniture while Schu fucked him hard. It was enough to make his cock twitch in anticipation so he sent back how he’d react to such a forceful fuck, how he’d cry out Schu’s name and beg for more, would clench his ass around Schu’s cock until his lover cried out in return.

Distracted by the thoughts, Schu harshly shoved stuffing into the poor bird and sent the bread mixture flying into the air. Reaching out for Aya’s mind, Yohji dragged his other lover into the mix. The scenario turned to the three of them in bed, Yohji buried inside of Aya and each time Schu snapped his hips forward, Yohji’s cock would sink further into Aya’s ass. He had his hands wrapped around Aya’s cock and squeeze it in time to the thrusts, would slide it up and down as he pulled back so he could plunge in deeply once again.

As Aya joined them, Schu frantically rinsed off his hands and turned around to grab Yohji’s shoulders and pull him in for a searing kiss. Yohji groaned in happiness, especially when Aya began to nibble on his left ear at the same time. They became entangled in each other’s thoughts as their hands scrambled to rid each other of clothes. There were muttered curses over stubborn buttons and zippers, and the damn ties of Schu’s hideous apron *refused* to unknot so Aya merely pushed Schu’s pants down and left it on.

Yohji savored the image of Schu with the pink bow in his hair askew and the apron tented by his erection before he fell to his knees before his lover and pushed the apron aside. Schu’s cock twitched against his palm as he loosely grasped it so he could lick its tip.

/I want to fuck your ass, not your mouth,/ Schu informed him, thoughts hazy with pleasure and desire.

/Picky, picky,/ was Yohji’s reply, and he couldn’t resist sucking on the tip of the cock, not when it made Schu choke out his name and shiver. Letting the cock slide deeper down his throat, he swallowed once and then pulled away. He had to laugh at his lover’s frustrated whine as he rose to his feet. "Hey, you were the one who said you wanted my ass and not my mouth."

"Could have waited a little longer," Schu mumbled as he once more pulled Yohji closer for a kiss. Yohji eagerly replied… and then realized that at some point Aya had disappeared.

/Hmmm, just had to decide on which oil to use./ Aya’s thoughts were amused and wanton, shaded with the lust he felt as his slick fingers brushed along Yohji’s ass. /Hope you’re not allergic to peanuts./

Smiling in amusement, Yohji shifted his legs apart and broke off the kiss. "Nope, I’m accepting of all different types of nuts, I’ll have you know." He reached out to cup Aya’s balls and give them a gentle squeeze. About to continue the joke, he moaned instead when Aya’s fingers pushed inside. "Gods… where’s the oil?" he stuttered in pleasure.

Handing over the bottle, Aya stepped closer and tilted his head up for a kiss. Not one to turn down such an invitation, Yohji met him halfway and thrust his tongue into his lover’s mouth. It was a little difficult to pour some oil onto his fingers with his eyes closed and his hands behind Aya’s back, so some of the oil ended up on Aya and the floor. He stroked his slick fingers along the small of Aya’s back and drank in the small moan of delight provoked from the caress. It was so much fun to take advantage of his lover’s erogenous zones since Aya was so damn responsive if touched just the right way.

/You’re both so fun to tease,/ Schu pointed out as he ran his fingers down Yohji’s spine and made him tremble. /I wanna say I feel left out but I know it won’t be for long./ He squirmed his right hand between Aya and Yohji’s bodies to grasp both their cocks. /I definitely won’t be left ‘out’ for much longer./

Groaning both at the terrible pun and the dual ecstasy created by Aya’s fingers inside him and Schu’s around his cock, Yohji cracked open one of his eyes to glare at his lover. /That was awful./ He couldn’t say much more because Aya’s fingers chose right then to brush across his prostrate. Groaning again, this time in pure pleasure, he decided to return the favor. The way Aya mewled in response made him want to turn the man around right then and there and fuck him.

/What a brilliant idea, Yotan,/ Schu purred and released their cocks, then pushed the two of them apart enough that Aya’s fingers slipped from Yohji’s body. Shivering in anticipation, Yohji smoothly withdrew his fingers so Aya could turn and face the other way.

/Enough foreplay./ Schu shifted behind Yohji, the apron rough against Yohji’s back. "You did say you could take it hard, didn’t you?"

"Certainly, from a wimp like- ah!" Yohji cried out as Schu pushed inside him, slowly but steadily. When Schu pulled out a little, Yohji grabbed Aya’s hips and pulled his other lover against him. His cock nestled between Aya’s ass cheeks and when Schu thrust again, this time much more forcefully, it pushed into Aya’s tight opening.

"Yohji!" Aya gasped and reached back to tangle his hand in Yohji’s hair the same time he leaned over a chair for support. Yohji had to tightly grasp Aya’s hips to keep his hands from sliding too much along his lover’s oil-slick skin, to pull him back enough so he could bury his cock as deeply as possible into his lover’s body.

Once the motion began there was no way to stop it, not as the ecstasy slowly built with each passing second. Minds and bodies entwined, they continued to push deep into each other, to take each other in as much as possible. Already swamped with the pleasure of having both his lovers at the same time, the emotion kept increasing inside of Yohji as Aya and Schu added theirs to his, as what all three of them felt strengthened and grew. They raced toward the point of pure bliss, bodies driving forward and minds deeper into each other’s. They reached the point of no shields, no divisions and plunged past it, desperate for more ecstasy.

Their bodies burned with that emotion as it spurred their thrusts on to faster and deeper, their hands to stroke and scratch and squeeze, their tongues to lick and taste. Each caress, each thrust, each motion seared them with pleasure, the feeling shared again and again until it grew out of control, grew into an inferno of bliss. As one they gave into it, let it blaze through them until it was all they could feel.

/…fuck,/ was the first thing Yohji could think after the intense orgasm finally receded a little. He found the three of them huddled on the floor, one of Aya’s hands still clutching the back of the chair as his lover rested against it and panted for air. Leaning forward, he pressed a kiss against the back of Aya’s neck and smiled at the content rumble the caress provoked.

/Give me about thirty minutes and maybe we can try that again./ Aya’s thoughts were warm with pleasure and love, his lips curled into a sated smile as he let go of the chair and leaned against Yohji instead.

/Hey, you stole my line,/ Schu pouted. /Though I’ll be ready in fifteen minutes./

/Right. You can’t even move and you think you’ll soon be up for some more?/ Yohji rolled his eyes and managed a weak chuckle.

"I know I’ll be." Groaning softly, Schu pulled away from Yohji. "Germans are renowned for bouncing back quickly."

Yohji and Aya got the hint that they weren’t from a similarly blessed nationality. "Go to hell, asshole. Doesn’t matter how fast you can get it up if you can’t keep it up for very long," Yohji taunted as he hugged Aya closer.

Schu chuckled and shakily rose up on his knees. "I’ll gladly put your theory to test in a short while, Blondie." Then he groaned again. "Fuck, I need to get that damn turkey in the oven."

"Only if you’re done giving it the final insult," Yohji laughed. "How long does that thing have to cook again?" Maybe they’d be able to see just how long Schu could last before the meal was ready.

/About three hours, but we still have to make the pies and the rolls,/ Aya mentioned with much regret, always the dependable one when it came to work. Yohji and Schu shared a thought that they clearly hadn’t corrupted their lover enough and promised to increase their efforts.

"Surely it won’t take that long to make some stupid pies and rolls," Schu complained and tried to stand up. He was actually doing a pretty good job, too – until his foot hit the patch of oil on the floor. Luckily he wasn’t too far from the counter and managed to catch himself on it, his back and elbows hitting against it rather painfully but he didn’t fall on his ass or hit his head.

"Careful, Schu." Yohji and Aya carefully rose to their feet to go check out their lover. They could feel his growing pain, which only made them more worried. "Are you alright?" Yohji asked with concern.

Supported by his elbows, Schu remained half crouched against the kitchen counter. "… yeah. Give me a minute to catch my breath." He tilted his head backward, his hair lying on top of the counter. "Good thing it wasn’t the stove," he joked in a weak voice.

/You probably would have broken your ribs if it was,/ Aya said as he knelt beside Schu.

"Great. Figures I’d almost be done in by kitchen appliances," Schu wheezed. "I think Crawford is trying to kill me. That’s why he wants me to make him dinner today."

"Now why would he do something like that?" Yohji asked as he wrinkled his nose. From the smell of it, the potatoes must have boiled off all the water but he’d worry about that in a few minutes. "If he wanted you dead, he’d shoot you." That way Crawford could better enjoy Schu’s death. After all, it wasn’t as if Schu had done nothing to deserve being shot.

Schu glared at the thought. "Ha, ha, Blondie."

Glaring as well, Aya sat back on his heels. /No, Yohji has a point. We never really thought all of this was over a bet. What did you do to make Crawford so angry?/ Taking advantage of the fact that Schu was once fully linked with them, he pressed into Schu’s mind. /You were thinking about something earlier…./

"Yeah." Yohji realized that there had been something that Schu had tried to hide from them even during sex. They usually had a few shields up around private thoughts but Schu had been very determined to retain that shield today, something that didn’t happen very often. It was very suspicious.

/I didn’t do anything!/ Schu strengthened the shield and forced himself upright. /Can’t a guy have a bit of privacy, damm-/ "Shit!"

It was then that they realized that the awful smell was from the fact that Schu’s hair was burning.

*******

"Happy Thanksgiving." Crawford raised his glass to toast his lovely dinner companion.

Lisa blushed slightly and echoed the sentiment as her glass clanked against his. "Thank you for inviting me to dinner. I must admit, I wasn’t very happy about the thought of celebrating the holiday while so far from home but now I’m not alone."

"At least you were able to get away from work for a few hours," he replied before he sipped his wine. "I’m thankful as well to be able to enjoy the holiday with such pleasant company." A slight smile teased at his lips as he set the glass down.

While he normally didn’t care much for holidays, he had to admit that this one had turned out rather well. He was seated in a very fine restaurant, about to enjoy a delicious meal with a lovely woman. They’d spend the next couple of hours eating, drinking and talking, and then return to Lisa’s hotel room. The glimpses he’d had of this evening promised it would be very pleasant for the both of them, and the best part was that Lisa would leave in a few more days. He’d just be a chance encounter during her short stay, someone she wouldn’t expect to ever meet again. Which was fine, as the only reason she was here with him tonight was because he was *certain* they’d never meet again. It wasn’t often that he was able to foresee an opportunity for pleasure and entertainment that wouldn’t endanger him or Grau in some way, and he always tried to take advantage of such forewarnings.

But what made it even sweeter, he thought as Lisa prattled on about her work, was that he’d be able to enjoy even more entertainment when he got home. Schuldig’s secret would be found out and his lovers would make sure that he *never* again slacked off in such a manner during a mission. Oh yes, Schuldig would learn his lesson and be desperate to prove that fact in an upcoming assignment. With him properly focused on work, Grau could take out the Rosenkreuz branch currently trying to secretly set up shop on Xichong. The odds were now in Grau’s favor and Crawford would be swift to take advantage of that to ensure that his team survived and continued their battle against their former masters.

And the fact that Schuldig would be continuing that battle with remarkably shorter hair, something that would annoy the man and give his teammates something to laugh about for months to come was merely icing on the cake, as they said.

One of these days, the fool would realize that he could neither hide things from Crawford nor manage to gain any permanent type of revenge. However, that day would be long in coming, and Crawford intended to delight in tormenting Schuldig until it did. Everyone should have such an amusing hobby.

*******

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