Unexpected Revelations

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chapter 1

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Yohji snapped his wire in boredom. "When the hell are the targets going to arrive?" he asked, his voice little more than a whisper.

"When they feel like," Schu snapped, his voice equally as quiet. "Shut up and keep still." Annoyance flowed over the general telepathic link shared by Grau, from Schuldig and Aya and even Nagi. Yohji gritted his teeth together and held back on another comment, unwilling to piss off Aya and Nagi.

So he sat there like a good boy for at least ten more minutes, and pretty soon he wasn’t the only one who began to fidget. Farfarello had taken to unsheathing his knives one by one, holding them up in the moonlight and staring at them for several seconds before moving on to the next one. Ken began to dig his claws into a wooden post and Yohji swore he saw the large truck parked on the side of the warehouse’s clearing move back and forth a few inches in each direction. Schu played with the ends of his hair and kept glancing back and forth between Yohji and Aya.

Aya, however, betrayed no sign of anxiety. He stood perfectly still, sheathed katana in his hands and stared at the warehouse compound’s main entrance. Beside him was Crawford who was just as immobile and impassive… but Yohji began to pick up a troubling emotion from Grau’s leader. A hint of worry and-

But before he could identify that elusive emotion, there was the sound of an approaching truck. As one, Grau snapped to attention and flowed into position – Aya a flurry of darkness as he stepped back into the shadows of the huge building, intent on putting his telepathy to use before his sword, Ken to stand guard by Crawford and Nagi. As for Yohji, Schu, and Farfarello, they edged through the shadows toward the main gate to block off any chance of escape. As they did so, Yohji fretted about Aya. He didn’t like leaving his lover alone like this, didn’t quite trust Ken to look after him while also keeping an eye out on Nagi. Never mind that Aya would smack him for such a thought and tell him he could look after himself just fine, Yohji didn’t like leaving someone he loved unprotected. He felt the same concern from Schu and knew his other lover felt the same, and then there was a wave of anger from Aya that was quickly stifled as he put his power to use. Grateful to have escaped a headache just then, Yohji forced himself to focus on the mission.

Aya’s talent washed through them all, strengthened the mental link they shared until they were all aware of what everyone was doing in the back of their minds. Visions from Ken filled Yohji’s head, foreshadowing where the targets would spread out in their defense. Next came Nagi’s thoughts on how he would put his own power to use, what objects he was preparing to use as weapons. Farfarello was planning a bloodbath and meant to take down as many targets as he could, to revel in their deaths. There was a twinge of pain as Aya took the brunt of the Irishman’s insanity to spare the rest of the team, and Yohji and Schu immediately turned their attention onto their distracted lover.

Nagi picked up on their concern, just as the targets seemed to realize that something was wrong. Deep down, Yohji knew he should be concentrating on the men he was to take up but between Farfarello’s bloodlust and the pain it caused Aya, he let his attention wander from the mission. Schu did the same and they both turned toward Aya to make sure that he was all right.

There was a flash of relief when Nagi moved closer to Aya as he created a telekinetic shield around the both of them. Assured that Aya would be okay, Yohji forced his mind back on business. Schu hesitated a moment, a frown on his face as he took another step toward Aya – and then Ken’s vision hit Grau with startling intensity. Yohji barely had a second to register the sight of Schu falling down, green and grey uniform spattered with blood which hung in the air as droplets of crimson rain. He felt an intense flash of pain from Aya and a slightly lessened echo of it from himself, and then he was moving. Fire flashed through him barely a second or two after his right hand smacked against Schu’s back to shove his lover forward. There was an overwhelming flare of agony that seemed to radiate from several people as he fell to the ground, body unwilling to move. Aya’s voice was screaming inside his head but he couldn’t focus on it, not when things suddenly went dark. There was more pain, and then Yohji lost himself in the darkness.

*******

Pain. Its presence sunk into Yohji’s awareness and shook him from darkness. He groggily opened his eyes – and had to choke back on a startled cry. Barely inches from his own face was Aya's, his lover’s beautiful eyes narrowed in a virulent glare. "It’s time for your medicine." Aya’s voice was little more than a growl, a displeased, deep rumble that made Yohji’s cheeks flush in shame.

Still, even in the face of his lover’s animosity, he offered a shaky smile and tried to sit up in bed. "Ah, okay. Guess that explains why I feel so lousy," he said in as bright a voice as he could manage between the pain and Aya’s anger. He winced as he moved, and then strong hands latched on to his shoulders to help him in his attempt. Aya quickly and efficiently helped him to sit up and then propped the pillows behind his back for support. Usually Yohji would relish the attention from his lover but Aya still blocked him from their link, was an empty ache in the back of his mind. Ever since he woke up after being injured, Aya had refused to share any thoughts or emotions with him. Sometimes, that hurt more than the bullet wounds and broken ribs. Hell, it *definitely* hurt more than the wounds. In the past few months since they’d been together, Aya had never shut him out like this.

"Ayan," he began, desperate to get his lover to open up once again. But he didn’t get past Aya’s pet name before his lover’s glare went up a notch and he found a glass of water shoved into his left hand.

"Take the pills, Yohji," Aya ground out, his voice icy in its fury. "Then go back to sleep." There was a mental impulse that accompanied the words, and as Yohji found himself mindlessly obeying it, anger built inside at how Aya wouldn’t use his power to share thoughts or emotions anymore but would use it to bully him. Unfortunately, he found himself unable to talk once he took the pain pills and drank down all the water, and Aya was gone from the room moments later, the empty glass in his hand.

For a moment, Yohji contemplated getting out of bed and going after the stubborn idiot but his body loudly declared it a bad idea. He could feel every stitch from where the bullet had skidded along his left side and the broken rib that had deflected it. If the thin sheet of Kevlar in his coat hadn’t slowed down the bullet, he’d probably still be in the hospital but he’d gotten away with mostly minor injuries. Not that the wound on his left arm and side felt minor right now, not before the pain pills took effect but they shouldn’t be so bad as to keep in stuck in bed. He thought rather darkly about his one lover and the possibility that Aya had willed him to be stuck in bed. For someone who had just begun to put his telepathic power to use a few months ago, Aya was being much too free with it, especially in regards to a lover and teammate. Someone needed to be taught a lesson.

"Right, and you think you’re up to the task?" Schu asked, his voice thick with derision. "Even at your best you’d end up getting your ass thoroughly kicked," he continued as he leaned back against the door’s frame. He tilted his head to the side as a wicked smile spread across his bruised face. "On second thought, go ahead and give it a try. You’ll end up in traction and then I’ll have Aya all to myself for a few months."

Yohji did his best pissed off Aya impersonation and was happy to see Schu’s mocking smile fade a little from the glare. "If you’re going to be a bastard, then go away, Schuldig," he grumbled as he wiggled his shoulders to try and get more comfortable. He’d spent the past week in bed and was getting very tired of it. Add a mocking Schu to the picture and he was definitely not very happy right now. For the few days, the bastard had been doing little more than rub the fact that he now no longer had any competition for Aya’s affections in his face and hide behind his mental shields. Yohji was as unhappy at the fact that both of his lovers were keeping their thoughts from him as that Schu got to have Aya all to himself. On second thought, maybe the lack of their usual mental link wasn’t so bad as he didn’t have to put up with the bastard’s emotions as he got to enjoy Aya.

There was a quick flash of bitterness to Schu’s smile, the emotion then hidden behind the man’s usual cockiness. "It’s my bedroom, too, Blondie. I can be here if I want." He sauntered over to the bed and slowly stretched out on it, a foot or two away from Yohji. "Now be a good boy and pass out from those pain pills so I don’t get a headache from your loud thoughts."

After several days of being ignored by his lovers except when Aya tended to him and Schu gloated, Yohji wasn’t in the mood to be a good anything. "Go to hell, Schu. Shouldn’t you be off trying to get into Aya’s pants and not here bothering me, hmmm?" He managed to sit up a little straighter and gingerly rested his injured arm on top of the blankets that covered his chest. "Or has he had enough of your pathetic attempts at sex and kicked your ass out of the spare room already?" He gave his erstwhile lover a nasty smile and then closed his eyes. "Why don’t you go find someone else to bother then, okay?" While part of him was grateful to have someone nearby after being practically ignored all week long, he wasn’t in the mood to put up with any shit. It was especially painful that the only time Schu kept him company was to taunt him. The last month or so had seen them moving past the remaining bit of antagonism that had existed at the beginning of their relationship but now he felt like he was back at square one. Neither lover seemed to care for his presence, either physically or mentally, not even Aya. Hell, the man couldn’t stop glaring the entire time he checked on Yohji’s wounds or helped him to bathe or eat.

There was a loud, drawn-out sigh and the mattress shifted as Schu shifted closer. "You know, Yohji, your shields aren’t worth shit when you’re in pain or strung out on medication. And I’m not here to antagonize you, not really." The weary sincerity in Schu’s voice made Yohji open his eyes and turn to face his lover. Schu’s face, still marred by a black eye and bruised jaw, was uncharacteristically open. It showed concern and exhaustion, two emotions that normally Schu tried to hide.

The trouble with mental powers and links were that they were so damn easy to depend upon, Yohji thought as he stared at his lover. He was so used to feeling what Schu and Aya experienced that he no longer trusted something that he couldn’t sense. But both men had been blocking him these last few days and Aya always wore gloves when he touched him.

He found himself reaching out with his right hand and gently pressing it against Schu’s unmarred cheek. When his power kicked in there were a flurry of images and emotions; guilt, concern, confusion, frustration and unhappiness along with visions of Aya striking Schu with his fist, of his back turned to Schu.

His hand was quickly knocked aside before he could go any deeper into Schu’s mind. "What the hell?" he asked, utterly confused by what his power had revealed. "Why did Aya hit you?"

Schu’s face grew angry for a moment and then the emotion was buried beneath exhaustion and rueful smile. "I forgot that you could do that even with our shields up. No wonder Aya’s wearing his gloves again." He let out another long sigh and curled up on his side, facing Yohji. He slowly reached out and tucked back a piece of hair that lay across Yohji’s brow, careful not to touch skin to skin. "You’re suck a pain in the ass, you know."

"I’ve heard you mention that a few times," Yohji commented as he cautiously shifted to his right side. The pain pills had taken enough effect that he could move without too much complaint from his wounds. "What the hell is going on, Schu? I wake up from saving your life and Aya acts like he’s furious that I’m still alive and you’re as much of an asshole as you were back when we met, if not more so." He frowned and smacked his right hand against the bedding. "You two certainly know how to give a guy some incentive to get better. I swear, sometimes I feel like the only reason I’m not getting my ass kicked by you two is because I’m hurt."

Flinching at the comment, Schu let out a German curse word and gingerly touched his black eye. "Yeah, well be thankful for that, *trust* me." There was a distinctive pout on his face and petulant tone to his voice. "Aya’s got one hell of a right hook."

That fact helped to shake Yohji from his growing anger. "So that really did happen. Why?" he asked, unable to believe that Aya would strike out like that. Oh, their lover was more than happy to give them endless amounts of headaches with mental whaps or to bruise their ribs with his bony elbows but he never hit them like that.

Schu made a face, the movement quickly arrested by a grimace of pain. "Ouch, have to remember not to do that." He snorted softly and rested his head against one of the bed’s pillows. "I don’t know if you’ve picked up on this or not, thanks to the great drugs you’ve been on, but Aya’s being a bit… pissy right now."

There was nothing wrong with Yohji’s face so he could wrinkle his nose and stick out his tongue with no problem. "If he were speaking to me right now, I’d tell him what you said and watch him kick your ass." But the joke fell flat at the fact that Aya really wasn’t speaking to him. "What the hell did you do to him, Schu?"

Making a sour face might be beyond Schu at that point in time, but scowling wasn’t, it seemed. "It’s your damn fault, Blondie," he rasped.

"What the fuck?" Yohji forgot about his wounds enough to try and sit up in bed without any support, and let out a low hiss when his body reminded him why sudden movement was *not* a good idea. "Oh, this is great – I get wounded saving your ass and it’s *my* fault? Fuck off, Schuldig. The next time you’re about to get shot I’m not gonna do a damn thing." He felt hurt by the accusation and if he could have just then, he would have kicked the asshole out of bed. "Fuck you. You never once thanked me for keeping your ass alive," he finished with real bitterness. For some stupid reason he’d given in to the impulse to save the asshole, unwilling to see him die and this was the thanks he got.

As if to show off, Schu managed to sit up in one smooth motion. "Oh, shut the hell up, Blondie. That didn’t come out right." He frowned and jerked his hand through his disheveled hair. At first he seemed about to say something but the frown faded from his face and was replaced with uncertainty. Yohji drank in the rare sight of Schu nibbling on his lip like an indecisive smile and then the next thing he knew, Schu’s bare hand touched his left arm, right above the bandages. He had a moment to curse his lover’s enhanced speed and then he was swamped with emotions.

Even though part of him hated how his shields had been brought down by his injuries so he was once again left helpless to a person’s touch, the rest of him drank in the emotions. He missed the telepathic link almost as he missed sharing a bed with his lovers. It was so quiet and unsettling to be the only one in his head after months of Aya and Schu’s thoughts always being there. It took him a moment to move past the pleasure and to be able to make sense out of Schu’s emotions.

/We’ve been blocking you because it’s very difficult to handle your pain when we feel it as well,/ Schu explained, his mental voice oddly subdued. /Unfortunately, what makes sex so damn fantastic for the three of us also makes the pain one of us feels that much worse. It gets amplified between the three of us, not diminished./

Yohji arched an eyebrow at that and settled his hand on top of Schu’s, more grateful than he could put into words to be touched like this after so long. Aya only touched him long enough to tend to him and then fled the room, as if he were a leper or something. /I don’t understand it, we managed to take on some of Aya’s pain a while ago and it got less, not worse./

Schu grunted and stretched back onto the bed, his hand still on contact with Yohji’s skin though it moved from his upper left arm to cup his left cheek. /Yeah, but since then our link has changed. We’ve… we’ve become a proper triumvirate, to use one of Crawford’s terms. That bastard says that we’re to expect stuff like this happening as long as you and Aya are still working on your shields. Things will keep changing until they’re at their full strength and we’ve all gotten a chance to adapt to it./ He couldn’t grimace in reality but he managed to send a very good mental image of how he must have looked when Crawford told him that bit of information.

/So you two have been blocking me to keep all of us from getting swamped with my pain./ Yohji felt better after hearing the truth and smiled. His pain was fading away and at least one of his lover’s was touching him again, was deep within his mind. /You’re not pissed off at me or anything./

/Uhm, more or less./ Schuldig sighed and closed his eyes as his fingers stroked along Yohji’s cheek.

"What the hell does that mean?" Yohji asked, and when Schu didn’t respond, he poked in the ribs. "Hey."

Schu opened his eyes and glared as his hand moved forward. Just in time, he seemed to remember the state of Yohji’s ribs and went still. /Look, I’m not real happy that you decided to take a shot meant for me, all right?/ There was real anger to his thoughts, along with that intriguing mix of concern and confusion. /You aren’t supposed to worry about me like that. Aya’s the one we look out for, not each other./

Maybe it was the pain pills but that didn’t make any sense to Yohji. "What the hell are you babbling about? You’re my teammate, of course I’ll save your ass when you need it. I won’t let you get killed for being a stupid idiot, just like I wouldn’t let Ken or Nagi or Crawford get shot." He tilted his head to the side and frowned. "Though Farfarello’s on his own. I can see him getting pissed off that I ruined his fun and try to gut me if I did that for him."

There was a sense of incredulity quickly followed by reserve, and Schu tried to pull his hand free but Yohji firmly held it in place. "What the hell is your problem?" he asked.

Frowning, Schuldig put as much space between them as he could with his hand held hostage. "Like I said, worry about Aya, not me. I don’t need an asshole like you to watch my back." He was clearly growing anger but, oddly enough, Yohji didn’t think the emotion was completely directed at himself.

Fed up with the bastard’s attitude, Yohji let out a curse and reached out to tangle his hands in Schu’s long hair. Then he used that handful to yank his idiot lover closer. "Oh yeah? You got the same vision from Ken that I did and you *know* that you’d be dead right now if it weren’t for me so shut the fuck up." His voice grew louder and angrier with each word. "What the hell is your problem? I do you a fucking favor and you act like I took a shit in your favorite pair of shoes while Aya won’t say anything other than ‘take your pills’ or ‘roll over’ to me. I’m not the fucking asshole here, you two are!" It hurt to yell like that but he didn’t care. He finished his tirade by shoving Schu’s hand from his face.

"My problem is that you’re not supposed to act that way!" Schu shouted back. "You’re not supposed to get hurt because of me and make me feel like shit! I’m not supposed to be terrified about losing you!" His face suddenly blanched. "Fuck, those damn pills must be messing with my mind as well," he grumbled as he once more put space between the two of them.

For once, Yohji didn’t mind the pain he felt at sudden movement and managed to get his good arm around Schu’s shoulders and pulled the idiot back onto the bed before he could escape. "What the hell? You’re pissed off that you’re worried about me?" That didn’t make any sense at all, and he didn’t think it was the pills’ fault.

Schu struggled to pull away but stopped when he let out a whimper of pain when his ribs were jarred by the man’s elbow. "For fuck’s sake, Yohji, get back in bed before Aya shows up and chops off *both* of our heads," he muttered. Once Yohji was resting back against his nest of pillows, Schu once more gently brushed back his hair but allowed their skin to come in contact. "You god-damn asshole, I love Aya, you know. I just put up with you." Schu actually sulked as he said the words.

His head a little dizzy from the medication, Yohji took a few seconds to make sense of the words. For the last few days he’d been thinking about what had happened on that last mission, how he hadn’t even hesitated to save Schu’s life. He’d told himself that he’d done it because Schu was a teammate and had felt proud that he hadn’t let his jealousy over Aya slow his reaction… but now, lying here with Schu’s emotions sliding through his mind, emotions that felt eerily similar to his own this past week, he allowed himself to begin to wonder.

/Oh please, don’t you dare think like that,/ Schu snapped inside his mind. /We love Aya and barely tolerate each other. If it weren’t for the fact that sex with you is pretty damn good, I’d have shot you months ago. Well, that and the fact that Aya would kill me…./ he admitted rather reluctantly. /I’m just a fuck-buddy and a teammate./ The way he said the words made it clear that he would tolerate no arguments.

Even a bit high on pain pills, Yohji was in no mood to argue. "I saved a teammate, period." He frowned and pushed back into the pillows, away from Schu. "That and Crawford would have my hide if I let anyone else but him kill you." The explanation made perfect sense, yet he didn’t feel entirely comfortable with it. But then again, he didn’t feel very comfortable trying to make sense of his and Schu’s emotions right now, either. Just like he suddenly didn’t want to think about why he’d been so upset this past week over Schu avoiding him. Aya not talking to him was understandable, but Schu-

/See, this is *exactly* why I stayed away the past few days,/ Schu informed him, his bruised face once more petulant. /You think incredibly stupid things while you’re all doped up,/ Schu scoffed as his fingers trailed along Yohji’s face. /Not that you’re particularly smart when you’re not on medication, mind you./

Yohji grabbed a thick strand of his lover’s hair and gave it a threatening tug. "Make a dumb blond comment and you’ll be bald," he warned. "At least I know enough to not get distracted when a bunch of armed targets are nearby."

"Bullshit," Schu snorted as he freed his hair. "You were just as distracted as I was, you know." He frowned and lightly touched his bruised eye. Considering how terrible it looked after a week, it must have been a pretty bad hit, Yohji mused. Then he remembered the vision he’d seen when he’d first touch Schu and frowned as well.

"Is that why Aya hit you?"

Schu flinched at the words and glared at nothing for a moment. His lips twisted into a bitter frown and his emotions took on a dark, jealous turn. "Do me a favor, Yohji, and never take another bullet meant for me. I’ll risk death, thank you very much."

Yohji felt the sensation of startling intense anger, fear, agony and outrage, the emotions so strong that he forgot about his wounds and sucked in a deep breath of air. His own pain helped to pull his thoughts away from Schu’s. "What the…?" He shook his head to try and clear it.

Letting out a deep breath of air, Schu collapsed against the bed’s headboard. After a few seconds, his hand sought out Yohji’s. "Let’s just say… well, Aya’s a *wee* bit pissed at both of us right now. You should have seen him after you were shot, Yohji." He shook his head a few times and then rested it against Yohji’s shoulder. At the contact, there was a shared vision of Aya standing in the center of a warehouse’s yard, a bloody katana in his hand and dead bodies all around. Most of them had horribly disfigured faces, mouths stretched in awful grimaces and dark, bloody holes for eyes.

/Farfarello wouldn’t talk to him for days because of spoiling his fun. Aya pretty much killed all of the targets on his own./ Schu trembled, and Yohji realized it was in fear and horror. /He shouldn’t have been able to do that, shouldn’t have been able to dish out so much pain on so many people. Crawford, the bastard said he was pleased that Aya could function so well with one of his lovers seriously injured but he was just as scared./ He was quiet for a moment, and then his voice resumed in Yohji’s head, so subdued that he barely recognized it. /He shouldn’t have been able to do that. I could barely stand to my feet it hurt so much, and he literally exploded over ten minds in the space of three seconds. If Rosenkreuz ever got their hands on him…./

"They never will, we’ll make sure of it," Yohji promised, then placed a kiss on the top of Schu’s head. The memories left a foul sensation in his mind, remnants of what both of his lovers had felt at the time. Aya’s emotions were so severe, so… they were almost impossible to describe, and he thought that Schu had been right to be so scared. "Is… is he all right?"

Schu made a rude noise and shifted closer. He felt a sense of relief to be sharing the emotions and memories with Yohji, to be linked with him once more despite the pain. Yohji noticed that it didn’t seem so bad if it were just the two of them and felt relief as well. He never handled being alone very well, and with the relationship he’d formed with Aya and Schu, he was even worse at it than before. Then he let out a yelp when his ribs – thankfully his good side – were poked by a sharp finger.

"We’re not in a relationship, Arschlock. How many times do I have to tell you that? We just share a lover and occasionally have great sex."

"Yeah, if ‘occasionally’ means almost every night, you mean," Yohji retorted. "Keep your finger to yourself or I’ll ask Nagi to break it. He’ll do it, too." He smiled at his lover when Schu lifted his head to glare. But the familiar sense of antagonism didn’t last long. "Aya…."

"Aya," Schu sighed. "I don’t know how the hell he’s doing, to be honest. He won’t let me in, either." There were more curses and Schu’s hair became even more disheveled. "He hasn’t touched me other than to give me a black eye back at the hospital. All he did was hit me and yell at me for putting you at risk, for being an idiot and that he wouldn’t put up with idiots any more." Schu’s voice was filled with pain, an echo of his emotions. "The trouble you cause, Blondie," he tried to say with venom, but there was too much hurt in his voice.

Yohji tamped down the impulse to do some rib poking of his own at the revelation that Schu hadn’t been having lots of sex with Aya these past few days. Right now there were more important matters at hand other than jealousy. But he’d get Schu back for that later. "Can’t you read his thoughts?"

Schu narrowed his eyes and held up his poking finger in warning. "I think the pills have made you even stupider than normal, Yohji."

"Go to hell, Schu," he muttered in return. "Can’t you?"

"No." Schu looked about ready to yank his hair out in frustration but thankfully just ran his fingers through it after gripping it for a few seconds. "Maybe if I touched him, but he’s not letting me get anywhere near him. As soon as I’m within five feet of him, I get slapped with a headache." He rubbed his head. "I’m about to take some of your pills and then give it a try."

Yohji sent a possessive glance at the pill bottles on the nightstand. "Don’t you even think about it. I got hurt because of your lazy ass, there’s no way you’re gonna deprive me of my goodies." He closed his eyes for a moment and tried to think. "Besides, there’s no way to tell if you could break through Aya’s shields with physical contact." Maybe if Nagi or Ken tried to touch Aya they could, but then Aya would then be in too much pain for anyone to make sense of his thoughts. Not that Yohji would even suggest such a plan, not when it would hurt Aya so badly.

This time he didn’t yelp when his ribs were poked, he yelled out a curse. "Dammit, Schu, I’m not kidding! The next time I see Nagi I’m gonna make him break *all* of your fucking fingers!"

/Oh hush, you big wuss. That barely hurt,/ Schu sneered. /You know, I might not be able to do anything if I touched Aya, but *you* could. Your power is still working fine, even if you’re even more of an idiot than usual./

About to tell his lover to go to hell, Yohji looked past the insult to what Schu was planning. /That might work – except for the fact that he’s covered with clothes and wears gloves all the time./ For a moment he thought about Aya’s pale skin, how smooth it was beneath his tongue or hands, how it would flush with passion when he buried himself in his lover. This time, he sensed Schu’s intent and prevented a rib poking just in time. "Forget Nagi, I’ll break it myself," he muttered, but Schu pulled his finger free before he could do just that.

"All you need is the least amount of skin," Schu said, a devious look on his face. "Or you can touch his cheek or something. He at least gets near you." Yohji felt a flash of jealousy at that and decided it was best not to say anything.

"Yeah, but half the time he makes it so I can’t move." Once again there were dark thoughts over Aya using his power like that. As soon as Yohji was in good enough shape to deal with a livid Aya, he was going to have a nice little chat with his bossy lover and set him straight. No more compulsion. He’d just make sure to have some spare pain pills on hand for that conversation.

Schu laughed at his thoughts and leaned in for a quick kiss. "You’ll end up back in bed, you know, but I could care less. That time it won’t be my fault so Aya shouldn’t be so pissy to me," he said with a grin.

"Fuck you," Yohji growled and pushed his lover away. "Like you would fair any better against him."

"Maybe," Schu said, and then his smug grin faltered. "But I’ll leave the fighting up to you. He’s learned a lot of dirty tactics, lately."

"I wonder who he picked them up from," Yohji muttered through a yawn. Now that the pills had taken the pain away, he was getting sleepy. As concerned as he was over Aya, there wasn’t much he could do right now other than get better. As soon as his ribs healed, he could give sitting on the stubborn fool a try and see if Aya would ignore him then.

The room was quiet for a moment, and then Schu curled up beside him on the bed. "You definitely have a death wish, Yohji. Just remember this – I won’t return the favor of saving your ass if Aya’s the one trying to kill you. Idiot."

Yohji was tempted to reply back but couldn’t work up the effort. He was free of pain and had one lover in bed with him, was no longer alone in his head. That was something he could live with right now, so he’d let Schu get the last word. The asshole deserved to win every now and then, even if he could only manage to do so when Yohji was doped to the gills and wounded.

/Asshole./

*******

Unfortunately, it took almost another week before Yohji got his chance at Aya’s shields. During that time his wounds got better at a rate that was almost startling. Schu calmly told him that it seemed as if he were picking up a telepath’s enhanced healing rate as well which was a good thing as he was too stupid to not get hurt. Yohji would have given anything just then to pick up Aya’s abilities to send mental whaps but that hadn’t happened yet, unfortunately. Maybe one day, and then Schu was never going to have a headache free moment again.

Regardless of the fact that his body was healing, Aya wouldn’t let him get out of bed for anything other than a shower. He’d icily informed Yohji that if he did anything to impede his healing that Aya would make him regret it for the rest of his very short, pain-filled life. Normally Yohji would ignore such a threat from his lover but there had been something in Aya’s eyes that hinted that he’d be able to carry out the threat better than Yohji would like. So he stayed in bed.

At least Schu was there most of the time to annoy him enough to keep him from being bored. Despite their mutual frustration and the fact that they were keeping company with an utterly sexy man, neither of them tried anything other than some kissing and petting. Yohji really wasn’t up for sex just yet, and neither of them wanted to initiate anything without Aya being there. Maybe he and Schu cared for each other more than they were willing to admit just then, but despite all the times they’d had sex without Aya in the past, it didn’t feel right to do it now. Not when Aya was missing from their bed and their thoughts, shut off from their link.

As Yohji grew better, Aya seemed to fade. He became even paler than normal, his eyes surrounded by dark circles. Yet he seemed to be filled with anger, the emotion sparkled in his eyes and showed in the tight way his lips remained pressed together, the harshness of his voice. For someone who was almost always linked with other minds, Yohji wondered how Aya managed while separated from his lovers and teammates. He no longer had any filters to keep the outside world at bay.

"You need to get some rest, Aya," he told his lover when Aya was there to check his wounds. Not that there was much to look at any more and the risk of infection seemed long past, but Aya still insisted on doing so every day. Yohji chose to think of how it made Aya appear concerned despite his icy distance and was more than happy to show some skin.

"That’s what I’ve been telling him," Schu said from his seat in the corner of the room. After a particularly painful whap the other day, he was making all efforts to remain at least ten feet away from Aya at all times. Yohji felt his lover’s pain and worry and wanted to grab Aya’s shoulders and shake some sense into the idiot.

Aya’s lips pressed together even tighter for a moment before he spoke. "Worry about yourselves and not me," he replied, his usually gorgeous voice rough and uneven.

Biting back on a sigh, Yohji shared a quick glance with Schu and resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He didn’t want to do anything to piss off Aya even more and put an end to these visits. Then he’d have to leave his room and track his lover down, and he wasn’t in good enough shape yet to put up with Aya if he decided to fight back. So he just stared at his lover and mentally willed the man to let go of his anger and open up.

Grunting softly, Aya pushed back the sleeve of the loose black sweater he was wearing and then reached for Yohji’s sleeve to see the bullet graze along his left arm. Yohji didn’t need Schu’s whispered ‘now’ to fill his head, not after spending several days waiting for such an opening. As Aya checked the healing wound, he quickly brought his right hand in contact with the inch of exposed skin on Aya’s arm and shoved his mind as deeply into Aya’s as he could.

There was a sensation of falling into an ice-filled lake, of shocking cold and intense pain. He felt Schu latch onto his thoughts and follow him into that bone-chilling cold, felt his lover’s shock and concern before they were both blasted with Aya’s rage.

The coldness was replaced with heat, with brightness as they ‘stood’ together in Aya’s mind. He and Schu were dressed in the clothes they wore that day while Aya was clothed in his uniform, the black leather coat entirely covering him save for his eyes. /Get the hell out of here,/ he snarled as if a vicious, enraged cat.

While Aya might have the power, Schu had the knowledge and experience to keep them in their enraged lover’s mind as long as Yohji had contact with Aya’s skin. /No. You won’t talk to us back in the real world so we’ll have it out in here. We want some answers, Aya. You can’t shut us out any longer./ He sounded smug but Yohji could feel his concern and worry.

Aya made a spitting sound and the brightness around them wavered. Yohji felt a wall of air push at him, Aya’s attempt to force him out of his mind but he resisted it. Aya’s shields wouldn’t work against him now, not when he was here of his own power. And after several months of sharing thoughts with his lover, Yohji was skilled enough to remain where he wanted to be. /That’s not going to work, Ayan./

The wave of anger that washed through him was very potent, but not enough to hide the hurt, fear and confusion that was entangled in it. He felt Schu’s attention focus on the emotions and stepped closer to him until they stood side by side in front of Aya. /We’re not going anywhere until you talk to us,/ he said as forcefully as he could.

There was more anger but as he and Schu remained unaffected by it, it slowly wavered. Aya’s hood fell back enough to reveal his face and the confusion upon it, his eyes troubled. Yohji felt a pang of hurt to see Aya like that and reached out his hand. Moving just then was a mistake, as Aya quickly turned and fled.

/No, not a mistake, Yohji, not really,/ Schu told him, voice rather smug considering the situation. /Trust me, it’s better to chase after him than fight him./

/If you say so,/ he replied, having little choice but to trust his lover. Schu had dealt with Aya like this before and had survived, so maybe there was a chance for them both. /What’s hurting him, Schu?/ The pain he felt truly bothered him, he didn’t like it when Aya hurt like that.

Schu was quiet for a second and slowed down. /I think that’s the reason he’s been such a bastard lately. Trust him to hide his fear and pain behind anger and make us all suffer./ At Yohji’s glare for the comment, he shook his head and held up his hand. /Don’t try to defend him, Blondie, not after what he’s put us through. I’m sure he has his own, twisted reasons for it but he has to stop this ‘I must do everything on my own’ bullshit. Like it or not, we’re all tied to one another right now and I’m not going to suffer because he has some stupid idea stuck in his head./

Yohji chuckled as there was another wave of anger. /I think he can hear you./

/Of course he can, we’re inside his head./ Schu stepped closer to Yohji and grabbed his hand. /Think of your wire and then of him. Then throw it out and envision him trapped in your wires./ Schu’s voice was so soft that Yohji could barely hear it, but he did as he was told. As soon as he had the familiar feel of his weapon between his fingers, he spun the strands out in the air and concentrated on the image of them wrapped around Aya. Schu did something in his mind, something that almost hurt and then he felt a tension in the wires. He opened his eyes to find Aya standing before him, trapped in his wires and wearing the most furious glare he’d ever seen.

/Welcome back, mein Veilchen,/ Schu cooed as he stepped toward Aya. /Now, before you even think of doing something nasty to us for this, remember that we’re in your mind. Hurt us and you only hurt yourself./ Despite the warning, Yohji felt a painful headache build and saw the hurt echoed on Schu’s face. But before it could grow too much stronger, Aya let out a gasp and the pain stopped.

Despite the risk involved, Yohji hurried to his trapped lover and cupped Aya’s face between his hands. /Ayan, what’s wrong,/ he pleaded. /I know you love me, love Schu as well so what’s wrong. Why won’t you talk to us?/

Aya pressed his lips together and refused to speak, so Schu joined in as well. He pushed back Aya’s hood and leaned forward to press a kiss against the side of Aya’s neck. /We’re not leaving here until we get some answers. You know I can ensure that we stick around that long, and don’t look to the others for help. You’ve got everyone worried with your actions these past two weeks,/ he pointed out, his voice as concerned and pleading as Yohji’s. /Talk, please./

Yohji wrapped his arms around Aya and kissed him on the temple. He could feel how rigid with tension his lover was, could feel the anger and outrage over what they were doing but there was still that pain and fear. /I love you, Aya. Tell me what’s wrong./

Aya went even stiffer in his arms and the next then both Schu and Yohji knew, they were pushed back by a wall of fury and hurt. No longer dressed in his uniform, Aya stood before them wearing his old orange sweater and a pair of faded jeans. He looked so young, even younger than when he’d joined Weiss. Yohji swallowed and thought about how Aya reminded him of when he’d been Ran, only glimpsed in an old photo.

/Get out,/ Aya shouted at them, his voice seething in unleashed fury. /Get out! I won’t let you in any more! You broke your promise so go away!/ His pain grew with each word but he didn’t stop trying to shove them out of his mind. /I don’t need you!/

/What the hell?/ Schu grabbed ahold of Yohji’s arm and pushed him forward, toward Aya. /What are you talking about?/ They both struggled to reach their lover, who now stood hunched over, his face covered with his hands as he continued to yell at them to leave. /What promise did we break?/

Seriously concerned that Aya had lost it, Yohji reached out for his lover’s arm and yanked him close. Aya struggled in his grasp but didn’t strike back mentally, and with Schu’s help they managed to trap him between them. As in reality, Yohji’s power kicked in at contact and they managed to fully bypass Aya’s shields.

Inside their lover was a maelstrom of fear, pain and anger. Images of Aya’s sister on a hospital bed as the equipment keeping her alive let out a loud cacophony of warning beeps. They felt his agony at her death, felt the way he was shattered by his grief. Next they saw Schu holding Aya as he struggled and swore that he’d never leave Aya, that he’d never die. Then the pain spiked at Ken’s vision of Schu’s death, followed by Yohji falling to the ground as he was wounded on the man’s behalf.

/I won’t lose you two, won’t go through that again. If you can’t keep your promises then I’ll end it here and now./ Aya’s voice was filled with so much pain and anguish that it hurt to hear it, but Yohji couldn’t forget about the threats. He felt Aya’s resolve as well and knew that the reason why Aya hadn’t let either of them close these last two weeks, why he’d blocked the link was because he couldn’t handle the concept that one of them might die. So, in true Aya fashion, he’d done his best to push them away even though he still loved them.

/Idiot,/ Yohji chided as he kissed the top of Aya’s head. /We’re not going anywhere, Sweetie, so stop it./ He let his emotions sweep through his lover, his resolve, need and love and Schu quickly did the same. Aya might have stood a chance against one of them but not both. They felt just as strongly as he did and doubled what the other felt, so much love and concern that Aya’s fear and anger didn’t stand a chance. As with so many other things with their link, any emotions they all shared were amplified, looped around and around until everything else faded away.

Yohji opened his eyes back in reality and found out that somehow, they’d all ended up on the bed. Aya was cradled between him and Schu, brow furrowed as if he fought back tears. Leaning forward, Yohji pressed a gentle kiss against his lips and smiled when Aya’s eyes opened. "Hey," he said in a quiet voice.

Aya’s eyes went wide and he quickly began to struggle, but a hiss of pain from Yohji made him go still. Schu mumbled something about stubborn troublemakers and tightened his arms around Aya’s chest as he rested his chin on Aya’s shoulders. "Stop that."

/Let me go,/ Aya said, and there was a sense of distance in his mental voice as if he were trying to block their link once again. /I don’t want this any more./

"Yes, you do, you stubborn idiot," Yohji said in exasperation as he slid his arms beneath Aya’s sweater. "If you didn’t care about me you wouldn’t have fussed over me the last two weeks. If you didn’t care about us both, you could have knocked us out of your head." He willed his lover to see reason, to give up on his fears and began to focus on the emotions they’d felt when joined together in Aya’s mind. Schu did the same and pressed a kiss right below Aya’s left ear.

Aya shuddered at the touch and seemed about to say something but the press of emotions against his weak shields wouldn’t let him think properly. Yohji and Schu pressed their advantage, just as they had in his mind, and Aya let out a little moan. He called them both bastards and stopped struggling.

Unsure if this was a ploy to take them unaware, Yohji frowned at Schu and edged closer. "Aya? Are you all right?"

He almost shifted backwards when Aya looked at him, a furious expression on his face. "If you won’t let me go, then I won’t let you break your promise to me." He slid the fingers of his right hand into Yohji’s hair and did the same with his left hand to Schu. "Don’t you ever let down your guard enough to be hurt again. If you do, *I’ll* be the one to kill you, do you understand?" Aya’s fear poured into them, his inability to go on without either of him. He couldn’t lose another person he loved without shattering. "I made the mistake of letting you both in, in trusting you so don’t-"

Yohji stopped him with a kiss. /We won’t, I promise you that, Aya. We won’t leave you./ He pushed his tongue into Aya’s mouth to taste him, to prove his need. Schu, not about to be left out, once more kissed Aya’s sensitive neck until Aya moaned again, this time more out of desire than fear and pain.

/And we won’t let you get away, either. You made promises of your own, little violet./ Schu’s thoughts were colored by love, possession and need. Yohji sent his agreement over the link, his resolve to never lose either of them. That shocked him for a moment, that Schu was almost as important to him as Aya but then Aya pulled him closer and made him forget about his confused thoughts.

Their link was back in full force, they were in bed together and everyone seemed more than willing to indulge in some pleasure. Yohji wasn’t about to complain about the situation, not after almost two weeks without sex and losing Aya on top of that. All that mattered just then was getting naked and having lots and lots of sex to convince Aya of just how big of a mistake it was to think that he could live without him and Schu. Schu chuckled at the thought and left Aya’s neck alone long enough to suck on his for a few seconds, all the while the three of them fumbled with each other’s clothes.

As desperate as they were, none of them were exactly gentle and it didn’t take long before a rather energetic tug pulled Yohji’s shirt against his still sore ribs. As deeply entwined all three of them were in each other’s emotions, there was no chance to hide the flash of pain he felt. Aya was the first one to stop, to pull away and then with a sigh Schu did the same.

"No, no, no, no, *no*," Yohji said as he reached for his lovers. "Get back here, dammit."

But Aya merely shook his head and sat up, shirt missing, hair tousled and pants unzippered. "No, Yotan." And, thanks to the link, Yohji could feel Aya’s resolve. He glanced hopefully to Schu and received a smug smile in return.

"I think you need a few more days to heal, Blondie. We wouldn’t want to take the chance that you might injure yourself some more, you know." He then shared with Aya several mental images of what could go wrong with Yohji’s ribs, of how he could be injured even worse than originally. "We wouldn’t want to take that chance now, would we?"

Oh, the bastard was much too satisfied for Yohji to stand, just then. "Aya, I promise, I’ll be fine. I can be on top, or whatever." At his lover’s dubious expression, he got up on his knees. "Please!" He wasn’t above begging, not after almost two weeks without sex and almost losing Aya on top of that.

"No. Not until your ribs are better." There was steel in Aya’s voice, a powerful resolve in his emotions that meant he wouldn’t budge on the matter. He wouldn’t risk hurting Yohji, of losing him. And there was the dark thought that Yohji deserved this after being injured in the first place, for making Aya hurt as well.

Yohji moaned at the thought and reached for his lover, but Aya moved too quickly to be caught. Schu flashed him a wicked grin and then left the bed as well to join Aya in the doorway.

/Two more days in bed, Yotan,/ Aya told him, his voice as yielding as solid ice. /Two more days for your ribs to heal and then…./ He titled his head to the side and regarded Yohji with passion-filled eyes that grew cold after a few seconds. /And if you get injured again, it’ll be two *months*,/ he threatened. /For either of you,/ he added as he glared at Schu. With that dark promise, he turned around and left the room.

Schu remained behind for a few seconds. "I don’t think he’s kidding, you know." He frowned for a moment but then shook himself and smiled. "But at least he’s not pissed off at me right now." He waved goodbye. "See you in two days, Blondie!" he taunted and then hurried from the room, his thoughts intent on Aya.

Still kneeling in the bed, Yohji could only stare at the empty doorway for a moment. When he did move, to get off the bed and go chase after his lovers, he felt a mental whap that knocked him down onto the mattress. /Two days or we can start the two months now,/ Aya warned, and Yohji knew there was no way in hell that he was going to get the man to back down. He and Schu had made Aya break his resolve to no longer be involved with them, to risk being hurt but Aya was *not* going to budge on this. He’d make sure that he never suffered like he had the past two weeks, even if he had to make Yohji suffer even more.

Yohji whimpered and curled up on the bed. His head aching as much as his poor ribs, he tried to think if there was a way remain passed out for the next two days. He could smell Aya on the bed sheets, could taste him and Schu was a quiet voice inside his head whispering about what he was going to do to their lover once he got Aya into the spare bedroom. He could kill the bastard.

/It’s only fair, Yohji. You were the one who got injured and brought all of Aya’s fears to the fore, to make him hurt so you can go two more days without him. At least you got the mental link back,/ Schu purred inside of his head. /Now you can feel everything he does for the next two days. I promise to make him feel very, very good, just for you./ There was the sensation of warm lips being pressed to his cheek and then laughter, quickly stifled when Aya realized that Schu was talking to Yohji ‘behind his back’.

Curled up on the bed, Yohji swore to himself then and there that if there was ever a time again when Schu was in danger and he could save the man, the bastard was gonna die. For this, he deserved no other fate. Then he felt a pulse of pleasure from Aya and growing satisfaction and desire from the bastard, and resolved to have a nice chat with Crawford the moment after he was allowed out of bed and had a few rounds of sex with Aya. Between the two of them, there had to be some way to make the bastard pay.

*******

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