Disclaimer: Project Weiß, not me. This story is based off the following songs: "Running"(No Doubt), "In My Head" (No Doubt), "Last in My Winds" (Weiß), "Baby Bird" (Wallflowers), "Let Her Cry" (Hootie and the Blowfish), "Time" (Hootie and the Blowfish), "Running form an Angel" (Hootie and the Blowfish), "Mellow Candle" (Weiß), and "Good Riddance" (Greenday). So, if you need a soundtrack, that's it.

Author's Notes: //Most people think like this//. . Um... the idea of Ken being called "kitten" is obviously nothing new, but kinda fitting for this story.... Schuldig only refers to him as "kitten" or his code name "Siberian" (a type of cat). If you are wondering why Ken refers to Schuldig as "Schuld", it is because I wrote it once in another story (also posted) and it just has a really nice ring to it coming from Ken, so I decided to use it again. Plus, I think "guilt" is a great word for this story in general. ^^;


By Link621


~ Liquid was liquid, as far as most people were concerned. Most people weren't familiar with the feeling of blood sliding through their fingers like a fine sand, drifting away to the beach below. Some might know this feeling, but there was still the plain and simple issue that a very select few could say they'd felt the blood of a lover on their hands not once, but twice.

Fingers are a funny thing. One would think they would go slack in despair or shock. Instead, fingers have a tendency to remain stiff, as if gripping to some dying sanity. Like a wounded and limping cat, Hidaka Ken stumbled back, blood dripping from his bugnucks, and the thin claws held out taught by his tight grip. Ken was aware of his legs giving way below him, but there wasn't really anything he could do.

"A death..." he whispered helplessly from his new position, sprawled on the ground by his dead lover. "But a beautiful death...." ~


~~~~~~~ Nastukashii ~~~~~~~

Ken pushed Schuldig back against a wall with his palms firmly against the German's chest, never breaking their kiss. Ken was choking back tears, desperately wanting to touch every inch of the German, and being allowed only a moment with him before everything went to Hell. Schuldig wasn't making things any better, either. One of his hands was gently massaging Ken's lower back, while his other hand was tangled in Ken's locks of chocolate hair. Ken could feel his love's heart beating wildly under his hand, beating with his own heart.

"Ken-kun!" A high voice called. Ken instantly pulled out of the kiss, much to the redhead's dismay. The other man gave him a hurt look. Ken didn't know what much else to do but look back apologetically.

"I'm okay, Omi! I'll be right over," Ken yelled. Ken lowered his voice to a near whisper. "I'm sorry, Schuld. I don't know if we'll be able to see eachother again soon..."

< Run away, kitten....>


"Hurry, Ken-kun! I think the roof's gonna cave!" Omi's voice was nearer now, and sounded desperate. "Shwartz retreated! You don't have to chase them anymore!" Ken could hear light footstep coming down the adjacent hall, and he felt panic welling inside him.

"I can't," Ken replied to Schuldig.

"Damnit, Ken, come on!" Omi yelled, thinking Ken was talking to him.

<I understand, kitten. I don't know how long I can last without you, though.> Schuldig took off down the hall at a run, just as Omi turned the corner. Omi's bright blue eyes widened seeing the still retreating Schwartz member. He then looked apologetically at Ken.

"Don't go there, Omi," Ken said before Omi could even open his mouth. Ken heard a loud crack above his head. "I think you're right about this place. Let's get outta here!" Ken dragged Omi, speechless, down the hall and as far from his last good memory of Shuldig as possible.


"You fucking moron! What were we supposed to do if you died?! Damnit, Ken!" Yohji stormed out of the mission room, groping for a cigarette in the process. Ken smiled slightly watching the retreating blonde. Truth of the matter was, Weiß had become like a family, and Yohji had been worried sick about Ken. Ken's head tilted slightly to the side and he smile became fonder. Yohji didn't like to show his feelings, but they always splurted out at all the right moments.

Omi and Ken sat next to eachother facing the pacing Aya when Yohji left. Ken could feel the small boy's warmth against his side, and glanced down at the angel under his arm. The blonde was half asleep, peacefully resting his head against Ken's chest. Ken and Omi were supposed to be a couple, and God himself only knew how Ken loved Omi, but there was something about Schuldig that just randomly took all of Ken's affections....

Ken shook his head. He really couldn't take this much longer. He loved the feel of the German against him, his voice in his ear or purring in his head. He liked that he was the fallen angel, a perfect balance for Omi who was a perfect angel. Ken glanced up, to look at Aya, and was shocked to find him desperately close. "Omi, go. Ken and I have something to discuss," Aya ordered blandly.

Omi yawned. "Hai, hai." He kissed Ken's cheek affectionately. "Get some sleep tonight, Ken-kun, I think you need a break." He smiled fondly, drawing a real grin from Ken. "Love you."

"You too," Ken responded, kissing Omi quickly before the boy left the room in a rush. Ken looked back over to Aya, who had finally backed off a little and asked, "What's on your mind, Aya?"

"You and Schuldig," Aya replied blandly. "I can tell there is something there," he added after a moment. Ken turned purple. Had Aya realized the truth about their relationship? "Ken, I know I am one to talk... Look, Shwartz is our enemy, but some personal feelings are no good reason to get yourself killed when a mission is already over. You were the one who showed me that." Aya looked right at Ken, his violet eyes red, as if he was on the verge of tears. "We need you for this team, Ken."

"Aya... I didn't think...."

"No, you didn't."


"Damnit, Ken!" Aya shouted, slamming his fist into the top of a comfy chair.

"That's what everyone says," Ken noted quietly.

"I love you," Aya said suddenly, drawing Ken's attention in an instant. "If you had died, I would have wanted to die with you, then and there. Schuldig is a dangerous man. I know we all are, but I don't know if you could really survive if he really wanted to hurt you. I don't want you going after that psycho." Aya turned to fully face Ken, his eyes focused on Ken in a stare that paralyzed the poor athlete. Aya put his hands on either side of Ken, leaning down close. His voice dropped low as he added, "I'm sure he'll try to hurt you in the most vicious and cruel way possible...."

Ken had to try several times before his voice would come to him. "Aya, I don't have a grudge against..."

"Ken, don't play dumb," Aya snapped. "You know damn well what I mean by 'going after'." Ken's eyes widened. Aya knew? But... that couldn't be right!

"How?" Ken's hands became fists. "How could you accuse me of that, Aya!" Ken shoved Aya back violently, standing in the process. Aya crumpled against the chair behind him in surprise while Ken stormed forward after him. "I can't believe you'd think that just because you're jealous, or something!" Ken brought back his hand to punch Aya, and waited to get the glare-o-death so he could punch the redhead, but it never came. Aya lay against the back of the chair, almost as if helpless, with his head turned away from Ken. "Aya-kun...."

"I saw you, Ken..." Aya shuddered a little. "I didn't say anything before because I didn't want Omi to hear. But... I saw how he regretfully looked at you during the battle. I could see how you half-assed the whole mission. I saw you...." Aya slumped down to the floor, sliding down the back of the chair.

Ken went to his knees, gently taking Aya into his arms. Aya was shivering, and whimpering quietly. Fujimiya Ran whimpering? Ken gently soothed some of Aya's crimson hair and whispered, "I'm so sorry, Aya. So sorry...." Ken kissed the top of Aya's head, and felt Aya begin to quiet. "Hm? Feeling any better?"

"No, just tired," Aya replied blandly. "Don't move; you make a great pillow."

Ken smiled. "Hai, hai."


Schuldig threw his coat down on the table as he made his way through the kitchen to the stairs. He saw Nagi was coming out of the room where Farfarello was kept. The young psychic looked very unhappy with Schuldich. "Nagi, what's up?"

"What's up?" Nagi fumed. "I'll tell you what's up!" At that point, Nagi began to curse in every language he could think of, losing Schuldig for the most part. The German backed away slowly. "WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING?!" Nagi used his PK to hold Schuldig in place. "You deliberately went against the mission. Do you realize how close we were to finally being free of Wei? forever? Crawford already bitched me out for YOUR behavior! ME! Of all people! Gah! I'm going to bed!" With that, the moody teenager ran up the stairs to his room. Schuldig sweat dropped. Nagi usually wasn't so... verbose.

<Braddy-kins is angry?>

// Get in my office now, Schuldig. //

<Braddy-kins SOUNDS angry...>

// NOW, Schuldig. And don't call me 'Braddy-kins'.//

<Sorry, Love-butt.>


"Ack, damn, he's pissed." Schuldig ran a hand through his thick hair, removing his headband and sighed heavily. There would be hell to pay when it came to calming Brad Crawford down. That man had a temper to rival Atilla the Hun. Schuldig kicked off his shoes, so Nagi wouldn't yell at him again the next day for walking on the carpet with shoes on, and then proceeded up the stairs. First door to the right at the top of the stairs, Schuldig nervously raised a hand.

<Knock, knock.>

"Just come in Schuldig," Crawford called through the door, sounding very annoyed. Schuldig did as he was asked, closing the door behind him before looking up to meet Crawford's eyes.

"Not in the mood for a good 'knock, knock' joke, I take it?" Schuldig crept into the room, trying not to let his leader's glare alone paralyze him in his spot. He sat down stiffly in the chair Crawford had set up opposite his own across the desk. Crawford was still in his suit, sans coat and tie, and was sporting a pair of glasses that caught enough glare to keep Schuldig from reading his eyes. Of course, this didn't stop him from knowing his leader's thoughts.

"Schuldig... your actions tonight nearly cost us the mission. Do you realize how vital this night could have been? This might have been the pivotal moment when we finally destroyed our only remaining rivals. Do you understand how great that would be?" Crawford leaned forward. "Mastermind, I believe your little plan of breaking off from the group to chase your kitten was a mistake."

"Bradley, I meant no harm." Schuldig relaxed a little, realizing he could talk himself out of the situation. "It won't happen again. I just wanted to get him back, you know?" Schuldig laughed. "Next time, I'll go after his little boyfriend instead!" Schuldig laughed more, barely realizing what was happening before the fact. Crawford took Schuldig's shirt collar in his hand violently and drew him up out of the chair. <Brad....>

Crawford removed his glasses with the other hand, looking at Schuldig from only a few inches away very intensely. "Just don't do it again, okay?" Crawford's voice was surprisingly soft. He bent forward to claim his lover's lips. Schuldig was a little surprised, but let his leader kiss him. Then, it came to him.

<You're jealous.>

Crawford pulled back from the chaste kiss with a cold expression. // So what if I am? //

"That's cute," Schuldig replied, kissing Crawford briefly again. "You're thinking I want Siberian more than I want you, right?" Crawford, bless his soul, blushed a little. "All that WITHOUT telepathy. Damn, I'm good."

"That's why I don't want to lose you to him," Crawford commented suggestively. Schuldig's eyebrows shot up.

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you were trying to instigate something, Braddy-kins," the German mentioned, almost as if it were a side note.

"And if I was?" Crawford challenged. That was all the more Schuldig needed to pounce.


"Party?" Ken looked at Omi apprehensively. "A costume party?" Omi nodded cutely at that. "And we are all going, I assume?" Omi nodded again. "Remind me again why I do this stuff for you...."

"Hey!" Omi punched Ken lightly in the shoulder. It was the next morning, and the two of them were stuck with opening duty in the flower shop. That was a generally bad idea for many reasons, but the worst one was the sheer volume of fangirls in the shop commenting on how cute Omi and Ken were together and how jealous they were. "Do I need to remind you again that you're supposedly in love with me?"

"Never," Ken replied in a low voice, suddenly taking Omi in his arms, much to the delight of the fangirls. That's when they both halted in their positions, realizing that they were being watched by hundreds of eyes. They both slowly moved apart, laughing nervously. "I'll go water the plants outside," Ken opted.

"I'll go make an arrangement," Omi said, running off toward the back room.

Aya came up the stairs just in time to see Ken run off, blushing furiously, and got a saddened expression on his face. "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWE!!!" yelled the fangirls (just like that, too).

Aya turned cold eyes on them and yelled, "If you're not going to buy something, get out!"

"How cute, he's jealous!" One of the girls yelled, then suddenly all of them were dancing around Aya happily shouting out questions about whether it was Ken or Omi he loved best. Aya sighed in defeat.

Ken wiped his brow in relief. He was finally free of those girls. Looking up toward the blue sky, a smile formed on his face. It was a really beautiful day. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the air was lightly scented of honeysuckle, lilies, and roses. <Nice weather, ne, Kitten?> Ken's mind suddenly snapped back to reality. He looked a little to his left to see a man inspecting the roses. He was dressed in a tight, short-sleeve, dress shirt with loose khaki pants. There was a watch on his right wrist, and he wore what looked like a khaki fedora on his head. It wasn't difficult to identify the long, blinding red hair, though.

"Shuld! What are you doing here?" Ken threw a nervous glance at the shop, making sure his coworkers were both preoccupied. "What if Aya and Omi see you here?" Ken hissed.

The German stood his full height, slowly turning to face Ken, and fixed emerald eyes on his fellow assassin. "Beautiful flowers, kitten. Considering your other job, you really do keep a wonderful shop." Schuldig closed the distance between he and Ken with a couple steps. "I missed you, so I thought I'd come see you at work. Is that so wrong?"

"Abyssian knows, Schuldig." Ken sounded very serious, for once in a blue moon.

"Hm?" Schuldig looked at the other florist and smiled. "I wonder if he pronounced my name right when he accused you..."

"Shut up," Ken said with a pout. After a moment to recover, he inquired, "Is there some other reason why you came?"

"The party Omi told you about... Crawford wants Shwartz to be there too. He must be planning one of his traps, again. He's a bit of a mental case." Ken just looked at Schuldig after the last line. "Okay, so we all are, but he seriously has a grudge against you now. He's jealous of you in particular, and it is creating quite a grudge. I tried to calm him down a little by sleeping with him last night, but it didn't really help... I mean, with that stick up his ass, he probably couldn't tell the difference whether or not I was there." Schuldig laughed evilly. It would almost be a cackle, if it weren't coming from Mr. Seduce-o-matic.

"You slept with him?" Ken's voice caught in his throat.

"You held Aya in your arms all night. Omi is still suspicious of that, you know." Schuldig mentioned with a pensive face. "Damn, Siberian, you're just playing everyone like cards..." Schuldig looked triumphant. That is, until he saw Ken's face.

"I'm sorry, Shuld. He needed me last night. And I love Omi... I don't want him to have to face any pain... but...." Ken's face dropped to look at the ground by his feet. "He's my angel, and you are my devil. I feel at balance with the two of you, so I can't just break away from him... yet."

"I know, kitten." Shuldich put his hand under Ken's chin and gently raised his face so he could meet the athlete's lips. <I love you, kitten. Nothing will change that.>

// I know....//

Schuldig pulled back. "Promise me you'll be at the party," he insisted. "Even if it is a trap, it might be our last chance to be together before everything crashes down on us." Schuldig sighed heavily, pulling Ken against him, surprising the florist. "I won't let anything happen to you, kitten." Schuldig hid his face in Ken's shoulder. <Just don't leave me alone anymore...>


"Ken-kun!" Omi's voice called from in the shop. "Aya-kun, where did Ken-kun go?"

"He's still outside," Aya replied solemnly.

"I'll be there," Ken said with a brilliant smile. "Now go, before you get caught!" Ken gave Schuldig a light push, chuckling as he did so. "Go on!"

Schuldig smiled back. He stole one last kiss before leaving as asked. Ken watched him retreat fondly. Before rounding the corner, Schuldig turned and blew Ken a kiss. <I'll be waiting!> Then, the German was gone. Ken's eyes narrowed sadly. What made him ever doubt his feelings for the redhead? Well, his feelings for Omi, of course. And then there was always just what Aya had said. Shuldich was ruthless... and most likely wouldn't hesitate in destroying Ken if he had to.

Ken sighed heavily. "Why me?" he wondered hopelessly aloud. He chuckled ruthlessly to himself. "Oh well," he decided with a helpless sigh. "Not much I can do about this one, huh?" Ken looked over his shoulder just to see that Yohji had joined the world of the living, and was taking Omi's attention after having spilled coffee on himself, much to the distress of the fangirls. Then, like an ice sickle to the heart, Ken felt his very soul pierced by Aya's glare. Those violet eyes were fixed perfectly on Ken with a look that could kill.

Aya, needless to say, had probably seen Schuldig. Ken gave Aya a nervous wave, to which he only got the cold shoulder as Aya purposefully turned away from him to care for the roses. Ken watched as Aya pricked his finger on one of the thorns of a fully bloomed red rose, cursing madly, as Aya rarely did. The redhead stormed out of the shop muttering while the other three florists looked on in shock and the fangirls cooed in worry. "Aya..." Ken whispered.

"Love hurts, ne?" Yohji joked, only to get soundly whapped by Omi. Ken looked at the offending rose again, unable to tear his eyes away. If a rose was beautiful and dangerous like Aya, what flower was fitting for Schuldig?


The night of the party, Schwartz was working hard to have everything ready in time. Nagi was left finishing printing some layouts of the hotel where the party would be held when Schuldig entered the room. Nagi turned off the computer and turned to the older German psychic. "Why a cat?" Nagi asked almost as if in passing. He was dressed as Brad Crawford. After all, one MUST dress as a monster for Halloween.

"Chibi-Brad is finally realizing my sexiness?" Schuldig replied with a purr. "Hm, you do look good in a suit..." Shuldich ran one long, temporarily clawed finger up the front of Nagi's suit.

"Cut it out, Schuldig," Nagi growled, coldly shooing Schuldig's hand away. "Remember, we're on a mission."

"Even talking like Braddy-kins, I see. Hm... I like..." Schuldig proceeded to throw himself on Nagi's lap, purring low in his throat. He licked Nagi's cheek quietly purring, "Meow...." Schuldig's hair fell over his shoulder, tickling Nagi's face. Maybe appropriately, Schuldig had chosen to dress as the Cheshire cat, adorning himself with strips that accented his thin frame.

"Off," Nagi commanded, telekinetically removing the offending German. He tossed his head arrogantly, getting a little TOO into the part. "We need to find Farfarello and make sure that everything is going as planned."

No sooner had he said this, Farfarello walked up... a very GREEN Farfarello. "What the hell is this?" Schuldig asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I'm a leprechaun," Farfarello explained with a twinkle in his eye. "Lucky Charms hurt God," he added. To this, Nagi and Schuldig exchanged a glance.

"Well... there's Farfarello...." Nagi began.

"...So, where's Big-Bag-Brad?" Schuldig asked; more-or-less continuing Nagi's thought.

"Here," Brad replied from behind them. Nagi and Schuldig jumped and Farfarello laughed madly. The two former slowly turned to face Crawford, both bursting into laughter at the sight of him. "You've finally admitted to being my minion," Crawford commented, looking right at Nagi.

"And YOU'VE finally admitted to being Brad Majors!" Nagi shot back, unable to breath he was laughing so hard.

"Brad Majors *never* dressed like this!" Crawford snapped, referring to the outfit that was strait out of "Rocky Horror Picture Show".

Schuldig meowed again, this time attaching himself to Crawford's less-than- decent chest. "Hm... I rather like it," he commented. Schuldig ran one clawed finger up Crawford's bare inner thigh. "Now Brad," he whispered suggestively, "Dance the Time Warp for me...."

"Oh, whatever," Crawford growled, pushing Shuldich away. "The mission is already in motion. I distributed your invitations, so please get in the limo sitting outside." Crawford turned from his team , and walked away swinging his hips.

"Now I've seen everything," Nagi commented with wide eyes.

"They're always after me Lucky Charms!" Farfarello cried, scampering after Crawford.

"No," Schuldig challenged with a sweat drop, "NOW you've seen everything." Schuldig sighed, finally falling out of the cat character. With an arrogant flip of his hair, he decided, "Well, there really isn't much we can do about those two." He began to walk with the intention of following the aforementioned crazies.

"Wait," Nagi pleaded, gently putting his mind's hand on Shuldich's arm. "I'm worried about this mission, Schuldig. Crawford wants to target Siberian before any of the others, you know. I worry that it might hinder you," Nagi explained truthfully.

"Nagi..." Schuldig began, quick to lose his voice with choked emotion. < Is it that obvious? >

"Schuldig, even Crawford is starting to think he's lost you forever, you know. Well, of course YOU know," Nagi commented with a short, cold laugh.

<Nagi...> Schuldig sighed heavily, collecting his thoughts. "Hidaka Ken is none of my concern. He is Weiß. We must destroy Weiß, and therefore we must kill Siberian." Schuldig now continued to walk briskly after Crawford and Farfarello.

"Schuldig!" Nagi raced after the German, his disbelief crashing over Schuldig in waves. The redhead gritted his teeth. Hell, he didn't really expect to convince Nagi when he couldn't even convince himself.


"Well, damn," Ken commented, scratching his head. "i never knew there were going to be so many people here tonight. A bit surprising, ne, Omi?" Ken turned to Omi and sighed. The smaller boy was dressed as a wizard, complete with a hat that never sat correctly on his head. Ken, himself, went as a fox.

It had been no trouble getting Yohji to dress up. He went as Zorro, and was already trying to seduce everything in sight. Aya, on the other hand, had been somewhat of a problem. He originally simply refused to dress up, finally agreeing to wear a sheet with holes in it. It was quite the enigma how Ken had managed to get him to dress as a Jack-O-Lantern, complete with green tights.

"I'm more worried that all these people will be hurt when Shwartz show themselves," Omi admitted quietly. "Shwartz, especially Schuldig, are very dangerous and unpredictable. I wouldn't be surprised if they just killed anyone in their way."

Surprising Ken, Yohji spoke from just behind him. "Gimme a break, Omi. You're just being melodramatic," the playboy commented, adjusting the rapier on his belt. "I just hope they show up soon so we can get this over with." The blonde flicked his cigarette, and disappeared again into the crowd.

"Where's Aya?" Ken wondered.

Omi just looked at his lover. He then frowned deeply, and went on his toes to plant a light kiss on Ken's cheek. The brunette turned to him, looking surprised. "Wh-What was that for, Omi?" Ken plastered a very fake smile on his face.

"Ken-kun... I know how Aya feels about you...." Omi looked at his feet, as if they were the last sane thing he had left to cling to. "I sometimes wonder... if he isn't loving you in vain..." Ken's eyes widened. Was Omi saying that Ken was in love with Aya. Ken's lips twitched once-twice... then he burst into laughter. "K-Ken-kun! What's so funny? Ken-kun! Don't laugh at me!" Omi pouted.

"N-No, it isn't that," Ken assured, wiping a tear of mirth out of one eye. "I just... I didn't really expect that. And of all people... Aya?" Ken began to laugh again, this time holding his stomach as if his intestines would fall out from laughing, and it almost felt like that was so. Omi's eye were watery, as if he was going to cry. Ken began to apologize, taking Omi in his arms, and still trying to stifle laughter. Looking Omi's shoulder, he saw something that instantly sobered him. "Schuld?" He whispered.

"Did you say something Ken-kun? You sure are moody," Omi commented, pushing Ken back gently.

Ken put a hand on each of Omi's shoulders, making careful eye contact. Staring into those bright blue eyes, he hoped to find something, ANYTHING, to tell him not to go to Schuldig. There was nothing. He loved Omi, but it wasn't enough to stop him this time. "I love you Omi. I will always love you," Ken promised. He was echoing the words spoken to him by a former lover, words he would remember as long as he lived; the words immortalized when Kase's blood stained his hands.

"Ken-kun, why...?" Omi was cut off as Ken kissed him. The smaller blonde's eyes slowly shut, surprise paralyzing him. Ken held him by the shoulders there for a moment more before breaking away. "Ken-kun!" Omi yelped as the boy left him alone to dive into the crowd. "Ken-kun..." Omi whispered once more sadly.


Ken fell into Schuldig's arms, putting them in a familiar position, pressed against a stone wall in the courtyard outside the hotel. Schuldig felt a mix of relief and worry. On the one hand, Ken had come to be with him. On the other hand, Shwartz was there to kill Ken. Schuldig gently stroked Ken's dark locks of hair. "You seem upset, kitten," he purred, playing with the hair by Ken's ear. "What's the matter?" Schuldig lightly kissed Ken's ear, as if in follow up to where he'd been playing.

"Schuld... I'm just worried... About Omi...." Ken cringed slightly, obviously sensing Schuldig's discomfort with the statement. Schuldig was very jealous of Omi, he wasn't going to deny it, but he had to accept the blonde as Ken's other lover. "Omi... he reminds me of myself. I'm afraid he'll be the death of me," Ken said quietly. "This relationship... it is too much like that of my own with Kase...."

Schuldig's eye twitched. Not trusting his voice, he went for telepathy. <Your old lover from when you played soccer, right?>

"Yeah," was Ken's only reply. The word sounded oddly empty when spoken aloud. Schuldig gently stroked Ken's cheek, seeing that the ex-goalie was on the verge of tears. "I can be with you, right, Schuldig? All we have to do is survive a little while longer, then we can be together, right?" Ken looked right up at Schuldig, his blue-eyed gaze stunning the German. He was looking into the German's emerald eyes as if they would disclose some critical information. Schuldig, unfortunately, was speechless.

<Kitten... I really hope so...> Schuldig hugged Ken tighter to him. <You try too hard, Kitten. I'm so proud of you, but I worry. You need a break....> Schuldig kissed Ken's temple gently. <God only knows, I would do anything for you.> Schuldig moved to kiss Ken's nose. A delicate frown formed on Ken's face. "Kitten, what's wrong?"

"You love me," Ken stated simply. Schuldig was taken aback. He jolted back a little. "I... You love me, even with the feelings Crawford has for you. Aya loves me despite... oh, so many things stand between us. Then Omi, damnit, I love Omi!" Ken suddenly sprung away from Schuldig. "I love Omi, Schuldig. No matter how much I may feel drawn to you, it is Omi I love!"

Schuldig was shocked. He didn't expect such an outburst from Ken. "Kitten..." Schuldig took Ken's hands in his own. Was Ken getting thinner, or was it just his imagination? "Kitten, have I plagued you?"

"Schuldig, I think I was wrong. I think we need to part," Ken whispered with regret heavy in his voice.

"Probably wise," Crawford's voice came. Ken would have laughed at the sight of him, were he not aiming a gun to take Ken's life. The little fox boy inched closer to his lover in the guise of a cat. "Now, Schuldig, we have a chance. I leave him in your hands," the leader of Shwartz said with a twisted smile.

"This was all just a plot?" Ken looked into emerald eyes in shock. He was a little reassured to be faced with equally upset emerald eyes.

<Kitten, I had no idea Crawford would...> A gun shot rang out, silencing Schuldig's thoughts. Ken wasn't in pain, though. He hadn't been shot, it was Shuldich. The German looked betrayed, but there was a new resolve in his face. "Crawford..." he whispered sadly, looking back to his other lover.

"Ken-kun!" Came a sudden shout. Ken turned to see Omi, now in assassin garb, holding off Nagi who was dressed as Crawford. Nagi suddenly held up one of Omi's own darts, maybe taken using his PK, and drove it deep into Omi's shoulder. The boy wailed, suddenly unable to hold off Nagi any longer. Ken, infuriated, charged Nagi, clasping his hand to draw out his bugnuks.

Four blades drove home, mortally wounding the smaller boy. But, much to his despair, Ken watched as the visage of his enemy faded to that of the only one he had ever truly loved. "Omi..." Ken whispered in shock. Omi's hands fell to Ken's wrist, pushing a little so that the blades drove further into his heart. Ken was paralyzed. "Omi! God, no!"

"Ken-kun..." Omi whispered. "Ai... shiteru...." Then, Omi was nothing but dead weight. Gravity removed him from Ken's deadly weapon. Ken watched the boy crumple at his feet, feeling like his heart would simply stop, gazing upon the sight.

Liquid was liquid, as far as most people were concerned. Most people weren't familiar with the feeling of blood sliding through their fingers like a fine sand, drifting away to the beach below. Some might know this feeling, but there was still the plain and simple issue that a very select few could say they'd felt the blood of a lover on their hands not once, but twice.

Fingers are a funny thing. One would think they would go slack in despair or shock. Instead, fingers have a tendency to remain stiff, as if gripping to some dying sanity. Like a wounded and limping cat, Ken stumbled back, blood dripping from his bugnucks, and the thin claws held out taught by his tight grip. He was aware of his legs giving way below him, but there wasn't really anything he could do.

"A death..." he whispered helplessly from his new position, sprawled on the ground by Omi. "But a beautiful death...." Ken's lolled to the side to gaze upon his dead lover's fair and young visage. He was only seventeen when he died. The Japanese Roses, possibly morning this fact, were bowing their heads in the garden behind the boy. "Why, Schuld?" Ken asked after a long, mournful silence.

"It's my mission... I must destroy Weiß. Even if it meant to mislead your thoughts, I had to save my teammate, and I managed to destroy part of Weiß in the process. As well as a potential rival for your love." Ken, as if to affirm Schuldig's words, looked up to see that the boy he'd thought to be Omi was actually Nagi, and that the younger boy was carefully tending the wound in his shoulder.

"Hm, Schuldig, this is an interesting new development..." Crawford stalked forward, gun still in hand, this time with the barrel pointed with every intention of ending Schuldig's life. "Looks like you've gone and betrayed Shwartz."

"I just got one of the Weiß members killed for you, Crawford! I thought... no way... eifersuechtiges weibchen." Schuldig grated his teeth. "This is about Siberian, isn't it?"

"Schuldig, unlike you, I have no attachments. I have no problem disposing of a lover who does not uphold fidelity. It was fun." Ken was vaguely aware of a second gunshot, and could clearly see Schuldig's body drop beside his own. It was unlikely that the limp body held any life in it.

"Schuld..." Ken coughed, choked by his tears.

"Ken!" He heard Yohji yell suddenly. "Shit, Aya, hurry! I think they got Omi! Shit, Ken! KEN!" Ken was barely aware of Crawford ordering retreat as Yohji and Aya came to the rescue, now in assassin gear. Yohji was fast to break down upon seeing Omi, and Ken was barely aware of him cursing Schuldig's dead body.

"No, Yohji," Aya said quietly. "Schuldig didn't kill him; Ken did. Schuldig wouldn't kill the only thing that was keeping the love of his life alive." Aya gently took the now shivering, convulsing, and sobbing Ken into his arms, gently trying to calm his nerves. "Let's go home. We'll get our revenge soon enough." Yohji carefully picked up the dead body of their fallen companion, and they began to walk away. ken, barely able to see through his tears, gazed one last time upon the German who'd torn him apart.

// Rest in peace, Schuld. //


Later that night, Ken awoke in a bed that was not the one he shared with Omi. At first he was confused, but memories began to come back to him, and he suddnely felt very cold. He whimpered quietly, curling up into the blankets. That was when he realized he wasn't alone in the bed. Whoever was with him had a very familiar smell. "Aya?"

"Get some sleep, Ken, we'll deal with the mission and the funeral tomorrow, when you've had some rest," Aya's deep voice responded after a moment. Ken felt strong arms encircle him, pulling him gently into their warmth.

"Aya... I don't love you... I can't. Everyone I love dies...." Ken was confused. Did Aya think that something would come of their night together. Ken's mind was spinning.

"I'm dead already," Aya whispered, closer than he had been before. "Just get some sleep," he added in a lighter tone. Ken, too confused and hurt to really do anything else, curled up into the arms of the boy who loved him, and cried himself to sleep.

~~~ Owari ~~~

:: In Memory of Alisa- a brief but important part of my life. For her love and support, I can never forget her. May she rest in peace. ::

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