Just in case anybody was wondering, I'm alive. Not especially active, but alive. More or less like this fandom.
Title: Pieces of Black (71-75)
Rating: Depending on the piece. From G to R.
Pairing: When it applies, Crawford/Schuldig
Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: Thank you very much to Avierra for her big and disinterested help. I touched this last, any mistake is my own.
Heaven and Hell
This was a perfectly fine example of why Schuldig hated taking action without having really thought things through.
“Oh, shit, fuck, mother of... fuck!”
He didn't hear what happened next, and even if he was vaguely aware that he hadn't closed his eyes, he couldn't remember seeing anything, either. But when he saw Crawford crouching by his side, he sort of understood that he had killed the shooter and they were more or less alone.
The temptation was strong, but Schuldig refrained from asking if he was going to die. He was sure Crawford knew, but Schuldig would hate to sound needy.
“You'll live,” Crawford answered anyway, voice deceptively calm.
“Oh,” Schuldig breathed, “Thank fuck! I could... I could never face the Devil... had I literally... died for you.”
“Well,” Crawford pressed a handkerchief hard agains the wound with a hand and flipped open his cell phone with the other, “maybe as a reward for your last redeeming action you'd be relocated to Heaven.”
Schuldig tried to laugh, but he was really not in the mood. He was grateful that the pressure on the wound would prevent him from bleeding to death, but it hurt like a motherfucker and he was making a real effort not to whine like a kid and wail like a firemen truck.
“Aah... but then,” he started, tunnel vision erasing everything except Crawford from his sight, “what fun would it be to take over the place? You wouldn't be there.”
Phone already pressed against his ear, Crawford's expression changed in a indefinable manner.
“I would take over Hell and we could play chess against one another,” he suggested. “Or Warhammer.”
“Mmm...” Schuldig agreed while Crawford's call connected and he started giving instructions about meeting points and medical assistance, “...sounds good...”
Less worried now by what having taken a bullet for Crawford would do to his reputation and the future of his immortal soul, Schuldig let go.
“See? It's a sign. It's telling you to pull your head out of your ass and be a tad more yielding. You're a 'seer', you should heed that kind of crap.”
“Schuldig,” Crawford didn't even know why he dignified Schuldig's nonsense with a response, but for some reason he did, “it is a traffic sign, and it is only telling me that cars coming from that lane have priority.”
When Schuldig started laughing Crawford unwillingly admitted to himself that maybe that had been the reason.
Of the four of them, Schuldig was the one who could imitate normal social interaction the best, but the truth was that he had never really learned to express affection.
“Puagh!!” Nagi exclaimed, shoving Schuldig away –thankfully only with his arms and not the brunt of his power-- after being thoroughly French-kissed by him. “What the fuck are you doing? Can't you just give me a hug or something?”
“A hug? Really?” Schuldig sounded nearly offended by the idea.
“A snog? Really?” Nagi was actually offended by the act.
“It's just...!” Schuldig started, then paused. Nagi could see that he was trying to find the words. And Schuldig was quite the smooth talker, he was and Nagi knew it. But the fact was that Schuldig couldn't find them so he just kept silent.
Nagi understood, anyway. Crawford took everything in stride and never gave even the slightest hint when he didn't understand. Schuldig wasn't like that. He was thinking about Kritiker being double-crossers, no better than Eszett had been. About them being morons that couldn't tell their asses from their faces on a good day --Schuldig's words --about Bombay, no, Persia now, holding a contest with Nagi to win the prize for the Most Angsty Teenager In Japan, about how none of them would dare to hide Nagi's favourite mug or use his computer to download porn because they feared him. About all of this being a dreadful, aweful, horrible idea.
“Listen, kiddo, I've had a bad day. I get nervous when some punk tries to fry me. You know how I hate pyrokinetics--”
“Schuldig,” he tried again, totally calm, seeing through the telepath as only Crawford ever did, “I'll be okay.”
They just stood there for a while. Awkwardly, but reluctant to part. Finally, Schuldig spoke.
“Take care, kiddo. Of Persia, too.”
The ghost of a smile fought to reach Nagi's melancholic face.
“Take care, Schuldig. Of Crawford, too.”
If he still had his cap on, Schuldig would have made a goodbye gesture with it. As it was, he just winked, smirking. Then he turned away, leaving the burning building, the rest of Eszett, the corpses of their enemies, the white hunters, the past, and Nagi behind.
“Schuldig, leave me the fuck alone.”
Even when he cursed, Nagi's voice sounded disappasionate. Schuldig didn't really understand why he bothered swearing in the first place if he wasn't going to put some soul behind it.
“You're too serious, Nagi. It's difficult to resist teasing serious people. They're always the most fun when ticked.”
“You don't tease Crawford,” Nagi accused.
Schuldig laughed at that. Heartily.
“Ah, but I do!”
“And how come I haven't seen you doing it?”
Schuldig smirked mischievously.
“Because you're underage.”
True Love II
It had been such a horrible day that neither Crawford nor Schuldig made the effort to switch the channel when the stupid chick-flick started.
“Why are people so desperate to marry, anyway?” Schuldig asked when they were past the second third of the movie.
“They are terrified of dying alone,” came the cynical reply.
Schuldig mulled it over for a while.
“Is that what true love is?”
Crawford shrugged. It was an unaccustomed gesture. He tended to consider that everything in the world was his business, even things he didn't particularly care for. Showing any kind of careless disinterest was extremely rare for him.
“It is for some.”
Schuldig gave it some more thought.
“I don't particularly care if I'm alone or not when it happens, I just don't fucking want to die. They're missing the point.”
Crawford glanced at him, but only answered when his eyes were fixed again on the screen.
“You will care, then.”
Schuldig frowned. At first he had thought it was just an 'everyone does' comment, but then he started to suspect it might have been a more specific reply.
“Have you 'seen' my death?”
Crawford's attention was fully on the screen, his voice toneless.
“Oh.” Schuldig paused a short while. “And?”
The couple in the movie were arguing about something or another.
“You won't be alone.”
Schuldig refrained from overthinking what that meant and tried to focus again on the TV.
Also posted at http://lauand.dreamwidth.org/120183.html, if you'd rather read it there or want to enter a discussion with comments.