Author's Notes: Well, this was fairly well received. I thought I was going to be murdered by someone for the Brad/Yohji scene. I know it gave me goose bumps to write. That pair is just so *wrong*. I'm having fun writing this one because of the complexity of the pairings that will develop. *evil giggle*
When Telepathy Goes Wrong
Chapter 2 - Of Mice and More Mice
Ken crept forward, deliberately trying to ignore the redhead who had grabbed his jacket sleeve for comfort. "I don't like dark places," Shuldich said very pointedly. "I feel like there should be something down here that is going to try to kill me... or make me go to work... or something else horrible." This won a small smile out of Ken. The German continued, "I don't want to go down another stair." With that, he stopped dead in his tracks.
Ken turned to him, looking back to Omi who still stood on the landing in between the first floor and basement with a knowing smile on his cute face. "Ken-kun, I think he may be right about it being dangerous down there," Omi said wickedly.
Ken grinned in return, catching the younger man's drift. "Yeah, we better just leave him here," Ken replied. To this, Shuldich glomped onto Ken's arm, and held to him like a vice. Ken laughed. "Just kidding, Shuld. We wouldn't really do that." Ken stroked the German's fine red hair soothingly. "The only way to beat your fears is to face them, you know."
Shuldich looked up at Ken. For a moment, everything around them stopped dead. Ken felt heat coming to his cheeks, and he couldn't quite explain it. Sure, Shuldich was an attractive man, but Ken had only known him for a little over an hour. Why was he feeling these things? "Thank you, Ken..." Shuldich whispered breathlessly.
"Well, let's go, then!" Omi opted brightly, giving Ken and Shuldich a light push in the right direction. As he did so, he slipped on the rounded edge of a well-worn stair and all three men went tumbling down the stairs to fall into a helpless pile at the bottom.
"Well, we're in the basement," Ken muttered optimistically as possible.
"Whoopie pink fizz," Shuldich grumbled in reply.
"Both of you, quiet. Do you hear something?" Omi waved a hand desperately to try to silence them. The three all listened as hard as they could for Omi's so-called sound. After a moment, they all exclaimed, "Maracas!" Without delay, they glomped onto eachother again.
Nagi and Jei walked across the linoleum floor as quietly as they could, trying to discover a possible exit from the bathroom. Nagi took the lead, walking directly to the shower. He put one trembling hand over the shower curtain, and gave Jei a hushing motion. The air was palpably tense as he slowly closed his small hand around some of the cloth. Then, with one dramatic motion, he pulled the curtain back, just to find nothing behind it. He and Jei let out a heavy sigh of relief.
CRASH! WHIRR! PIP!
The power went out. Nagi and Jei both blinked helplessly at the dark tile wall of the shower. "Well, that was unexpected," Nagi commented sadly. "I think this will make things much more difficult. Do you smoke?"
"I guess not," Jei replied, patting himself down in search of a lighter. "Sorry," he added for good measure. Jei turned around, in search of a match, or something, and suddenly yelled in surprise.
"What's wrong?" Nagi also turned, and nearly died of fright. Looking right back at them were two pairs of eyes. It didn't take Nagi long to realize that those eyes were actually their own being reflected in the mirror. Nagi growled. "Don't DO that," he snapped at the mirror. He then began to search the counter, finding a small matchbook and a candle. "Looks like this person liked candle-light bathes, lucky for us."
"Hm... or maybe they just liked the kinky things one can do in a candle- light bath," Jei suggested quietly. Nagi turned to him in surprise, striking the match as he did so. Shadows of flames danced across Jei's bare skin, sending shivers up Nagi's spine just at the sight. Jei was gorgeous, but it was the first time Nagi was able to recognize that.
"Well... in any case, there isn't anything here. Let's keep looking." Nagi was bright red, and he hoped he turned away before Jei could see that. He was almost out the bathroom door when a hand fell on his wrist. He froze in his tracks, too shocked to do anything. "J-Jei?"
"Let me go first," Jei said quietly, taking the candle. "Just in case," he added with a wink. Then, he was walking out the door. Nagi stood with his jaw completely ajar for a moment. When it occured to him that he was going to fall behind, he raced forward to catch up. "Ch-chotto matte yo!"
Omi walked continuously toward the sound, trying to dodge objects in the basement to the best of his ability in the dark. He found that he was oddly well accustomed to this sort of thing. As if to keep from getting lost, Ken had a gentle hand on his shoulder. He was humming quietly, a song that sounded disturbingly familiar. Omi felt a small blush rising to his cheeks. Ken was... Ken was like the shadow of a memory, holding to Omi like he was. It felt like some re-enactment of a dream. Omi felt his heart beating wildly. Had he loved Ken? Had they been lovers?
"Hey, Kleines, where are you taking us? Doesn't it seem stupid to go TOWARD the music? What if some psycho murderer is waiting for us there? What if they are just waiting to kill us all? We know nothing about our pasts, after all," Shuldich ranted. "What if WE are murderers?"
"Don't be ridiculous, Shuld," Ken muttered. "Omi is right about us going to the music, anyway. If there is music, there might be a person playing it. Therefore, we might get out of this dump if we seek that person out," Ken explained logically. Omi could almost hear the triumphant smile on his face. Omi had a very distinct feeling that Ken was someone accustomed to being shot down.
"Both of you, quiet. I'm having trouble hearing the music over your fighting," Omi snapped in exasperation. All the same, he was smiling.
"Gomen na sai," Ken whispered with a chuckle.
"Ich auch," Shuldich agreed quietly.
"Will you PLEASE stop speaking German, Shuld?" Ken hissed.
"Does it bother you, mein Nettes?" Shuldich purred.
"What does that even mean?" Ken demanded, now stopped, keeping Omi from making any progress.
"Wouldn't you like to know," Shuldich teased.
"SHUT UP! For the love of everything right!" Omi bellowed, not realizing he had it in him. He could feel the weird looks the fell upon him, even without seeing the faces of his comrades. Omi sighed, walking again, even if it meant dragging Ken and Shuldich along behind him. They were rapidly approaching the sound, and it was definitely music of some sort. Omi could see that there was a laundry room with the light on around a corner and sighed in relief. "It must be from there," Omi commented optimistically, turning to the now visible faces of his two friends.
Ken was giving him a knee-melting smile. "Something told me I could count on you, Omi," Ken whispered, with no intention of Shuldich hearing. Omi's insides melted. Did Ken have any idea just how much he was affecting Omi?
Shuldich yawned lazily. "Well, if this is it, what are you waiting for? Go scout it out," the German suggested. Omi felt a sinking feeling in his stomach. This was also familiar. He seemed to remember having friends that always relied on him to do the jobs they simply didn't want. Omi was about to argue with Shuldich, but the German stole words from his mouth by turning to Ken and putting a lazy arm around the brunette's back. "Ken and I will stay here and watch for anyone trying to enter behind you," the German suggested.
Omi felt like his memories had to be on the verge of returning. He felt that horrible feeling that he couldn't have Ken settle into his heart, and knew it was something he felt often. And something about someone with red hair... wasn't there someone in the way with long hair? Omi looked to Ken's face, and wasn't really sure what to make of it. He looked angry, almost, but Omi knew the expression, somehow. He knew Ken wasn't angry, it was just "one of those moods". "I'll watch his back," Ken corrected Shuldich, "While you stay here and cover MY ass."
The German, a little put-off, pulled away the arm with a pout. "Well," he huffed, "you don't have to be so MEAN about it, Nettes." Shuldich leaned against a wall, running thin fingers through his red locks. "Go ahead, I'll keep watch."
"Thanks," Omi muttered, entering the room with Ken on his heels. There was no one inside, and the source of the music wasn't hard to identify. There was a small TV inside on the dryer that was showing the movie "Pink Panther". Omi raised an eyebrow. "Well, this wasn't very helpful, now was it?"
"Guess not," Ken replied, sounding almost relieved. "Oh well, I guess we'll just have to keep looking." Ken shrugged, and began to turn from the room to retrieve Shuldich.
Outside, thunder rumbled, scaring the poor blonde. He jumped, falling into Ken's arms for protection. The brunette held him there, without question. Omi looked up at the man's face. The look Ken was giving him was enough to break him apart inside. He looked like a mournful would-be lover. Omi, taking this as maybe his only real chance, leaned up slightly. It was only moments before their lips met. As soon as they made contact the power crashed, submerging them in pitch black.
Ken pulled away from the kiss instantly, with a sharp breath of surprise. "Power's out?" Omi felt the brunette's arms tighten around his smaller frame. He also felt a heat come to his cheeks that just wouldn't wash away. Ken kissed him. Ken was protecting him. "Natsukashii?" Ken suddenly asked in a low voice. Omi was so surprised, he wasn't sure how to react.
"W-What do you mean?"
"You've been waiting for a long time to do that, haven't you? I'm glad you did." Ken put his lips gently to Omi's hair, and the blonde froze entirely. Ken smelled like pavement after a spring rain. His arms held promise of love and protection. Omi was in heaven. That is, until Ken had a mood swing. "Hm, we should go get Shuldich off his lazy ass and try to still get some searching done, even if it is a little darker than before." Ken drew away from Omi enough to take his hand, pulling him through the dark out of the room. Omi mentally sighed. He wasn't sure whether or not he should be happy about this new development. Time would tell.
"I am SO not going up to the attic with you guys," Yohji decisively stated. "There is NO WAY IN HELL. Anyway, what's wrong with this floor? We haven't finished searching it yet, after all! Let's look around a little more before we just run off up to the attic!" Yohji glomped onto Brad's arm. "PLEASE?"
"Ack, okay! I'm sorry! We'll stay," Brad agreed with an edge of almost panic. "Just-let go of my arm!" Yohji sheepishly did as asked while Brad straitened his blazer. "Anyway, Ran, do you think we should split up to look?"
"Probably not wise. What if the power went out? We'd have trouble reuniting," Ran commented dryly. "Yohji is most likely afraid of the lighting, too. I don't think we should leave him alone in a dark hallway in this condition." Ran turned to Yohji and the blonde could see just an edge of real concern in those eyes. Could it be that Ran...?
"True," Brad agreed.
Yohji frowned. "Traitor," he muttered. Brad just smiled evilly back at him. Ran didn't really look like he was feeling anything, but his mind looked distant. "Ran, what's up? Something on your mind?"
"The others... I hope they're okay," Ran replied quietly. Yohji's eyes went wide. The statement just didn't feel right from Ran. Something in Yohji snapped. The serious man he was attracted to, that he had thought to be Brad, could very well have been Ran. Just as the little light bulb was coming on above Yohji's head, the power went out, wrapping the four men in total darkness.
"Somehow, I think I should have foreseen this," Brad commented dryly.
Ran sighed. "Well, this will make things difficult."
Yohji pondered the situation for a moment. After a span of silence, he decided, "We are SO not going to the attic."
Link: Yea! No more part two! Part three is all about our boys facing their fear of the dark! Not to mention, their fear of jealous potential lovers! The boys reunite, and spend the night together, but who sleeps in what bed... and with who?
Ken: *Happy little sigh* I was worried about this story for a while. I like it now.
Omi: *Giggle* Me too!
Yohji and Shuldich: Check, please!
Link: *Sweat drop* Yare, yare... See you next time?
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