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Schuldig could usually pick up the essence of fear from a man's mind as easily as he could scent the acrid stench of it in his sweat. Its taste was like a fine wine, incredibly addictive to his palate. Sometimes he couldn't get enough of that panic, that dread hysteria of a man or a woman who knew they were about to die. He'd felt it, that esoteric terror of a victim on the verge of death twice this night. Two bodies lay somewhere in the dank maze of the sewers. Two unfortunate transients who had been in the wrong place at the wrong time and fallen victim to him and Farfarello. There was another one that had fled.
It had whet his appetite. Started a craving for more, so he'd ventured off track looking for yet another victim. Farfarello had trailed after, reminding him of what they were about. Of who they were supposed to be protecting. Vermin. Vermin that had a purpose in the greater scheme of things. But vermin all the same. The fact that Schwarz protected their interests was incidental.
They failed this time. There had been an explosion while Schuldig strayed looking for the transient that had gotten away. It saved them from being caught in the blast that took out the scientists they were supposed to be protecting. There was nothing to do, of course but flee the scene and return with their tails tucked between their legs and report to Crawford. Neither of them relished that. Farfarello didn't condemn him for straying. Farfarello had been stimulated by the kill as well.
Disgruntled and disgusted, they had sloshed through the ankle high water of the sewer tunnel. That was when they had encountered the Weiss. Just a gliding shadow of silent movement and then the faint light from one of the grates overhead glinted off the bared steel of a katana.
Aya. Strayed from the target as they were, probably looking for any escaping scientists. And alone. And most certainly not expecting the two of them.
Schuldig smiled even as Aya flowed into motion, not speaking a word, just swooping in to attack, hoping to take them off their guard before they could take him off his. He scored a slice along Farfarello's arm that slowly seeped deep red blood. Farfarello never winced. Farfarello drove the Weiss back with a thrust from his hand held spike, ignoring the deadly end of Aya's sword.
On a good day, Aya might be able to take one of them, but there was no way he could overcome them together. He had to know it. Yet nothing showed in those long, violet eyes of his. No emotion on that perfect face, even though Farfarello's spike gauged a ragged line down his side. The leather of his coat might have saved him.
Schuldig couldn't pick up the fear. Nothing from Aya but cold, sure direction. It annoyed him. It infuriated him, that there was nothing to savor in Aya's death, but the simple cessation of his life.
He struck and Aya dodged him, but slipped on the slick, algae covered floor of the tunnel and staggered against the curved wall. Again, he struck and this time he connected. Hard. Aya went down, brought up the katana to block the next strike and Farfarello slammed his wrist against the wall with a hard placed kick. The blade clattered to the stones, half submerged in slimy water. Farfarello pounced, the spike driving into Aya's shoulder, the audible click of the release that would elongate the spike and it bore through flesh and muscle to scrape against the concrete behind him. Aya didn't scream. His body arched, his right arm slammed out to push Farfarello away, the other one dead at his side. Schuldig lunged forward, slamming the heel of his hand into Aya's forehead, impacting the back of his head against the wall. That took the struggle out of him. That left him glassy eyed and weak.
But still there was no fear. Maybe it was just Aya, who Schuldig had never been able to read. Maybe Aya's mind was just too closed to allow any undue emotional leakage. But it irked him all the same. He pressed down, leaning a knee into Aya's gut, fingers tangled in thick red hair, pinning Aya to the wall on the one side, even as Farfarello had pinned him on the other with a spike through his body.
"Oh, this is good. This is good." Farfarello was grinning, a little blood trickling from a cut on his lip. More of it trailing down his arm to drip off his elbow.
"It could be better." Schuldig said. "He's not afraid to die."
"Doesn't matter. He'll die anyway." Farfarello was more interested in the ripping of flesh. Farfarello wanted to dig that spike into Aya's gut, to ram it into his eye socket repeatedly and make pulp out of his brains. Schuldig could sense that clearly enough. A perverted parody of a rape.
"No. We can make it better." He said, and ran the hand in Aya's hair down the side of his face, thumb pressing the fleshy softness of Aya's bottom lip against his teeth. No protest. Aya's head lolled when he let it go. Well and truly out now. Farfarello could have punctured his body to his heart's content with no resistance.
"We can draw it out." He met Farfarello's pale eyes and understanding slowly registered. A gleaming, demented excitement. Farfarello liked to hurt things. Farfarello did things that Schuldig preferred not to know about. There were limits to Schuldig's perversions.
There was a faint sound down the tunnel. The both of them froze. Schuldig pressed his hand across Aya's mouth, but there was no movement there. The noise faded.
"Then we need to go now." Farfarello hissed. "Before the rest of them come looking for him."
"Yes." Schuldig grinned.
"Crawford won't like this, keeping him alive one second longer than necessary."
"Crawford doesn't have to know. Crawford can see his corpse when we're done with him."
* * * *
He'd had a tracer in his coat. They'd discarded that somewhere in the sewers. They took him to one of Farfarello's dens, in the dirtiest, dankest pit of the city and plunged a needle full of the venom the scum that habituated this area sold into his vein to keep him down while they reported to Crawford.
It had not been a pleasant interview. Crawford had not been happy. The both of them left it chastised and steaming with indignity. To have an outlet for their consternation waiting for them was --- an arousing prospect.
He was awake when they returned. Barely. His eyes were heavy lidded, shielding sluggish, drug-dazed pupils. The dingy sheets on the narrow bed they'd chained him to were soaked through with blood. His shoulder was covered with it, wet and glistening still. He was as weak from blood loss as from the drug.
Schuldig didn't like the room. It stank. The walls crumbled plaster and the ceiling sagged. The windows were barred, preventing access to the fire escape outside. A death trap, he thought. Fitting. The only good thing about it was Aya handcuffed to the rusting iron frame of the bed. He sat down on the side of it, the sound of Farfarello scavenging about in a trunk for the toys he liked to utilize in his entertainment's a vague disturbance in the background. It almost covered the soft, labored breaths that escaped Aya's slightly parted lips.
Quite poignantly beautiful, Aya. Cold and unreachable, like some marble statue from times past. Those eyes fixed on him, waiting. Biding time, even in his half drugged state.
"You think you're going somewhere?" Schuldig leaned down and whispered against Aya's ear, brushing the long strands of his eartails aside. "You think your friends will come after you here?" He took the fleshy part of Aya's earlobe in his teeth, gently pulling, sucking at the tender flesh, then biting hard enough to draw blood. He felt the body under him start. But no sound escaped. No indrawn breath of pain. So very much control.
"They won't. You belong to me."
"To us." Farfarello corrected, standing behind him, with chains dangling from one hand and a collection of leather goodies in the other.
He fought them when they uncuffed him from the bed. But he was weak and a backhanded slap and a knee to the groin subdued him enough for Farfarello to latch the chain into place on a hook in the ceiling and for them to snap metal cuffs about Aya's wrists and hoist him up in the center of the room so that his toes barely touched the warped floorboards. He hung there, spinning slowly, eyes squeezed shut from the pain in his shoulders, from the metal biting into his wrists.
Farfarello cut off his vest and when they went for his pants he came alive, kicking out at them. He caught Farfarello on the side of the face. With a snarl Farfarello grabbed a billy club and smashed it into Aya's back. Again and again, the sound of blunt object striking malleable flesh until Aya made a sound. A muffled sob of pain that he couldn't hold back, that struck Schuldig to the core and ran down his spine like some whisper soft caress.
"Don't kill him." He reached out a hand to stop the next blow. Farfarello's eyes were wild, but he slowly lowered the club. They had no problem stripping the pants off Aya after that.
The rest of him was as nice to look at as his face. Svelte, lithe form. Smooth, pale skin marred by streaks of smeared blood down his left side. It made tracks along the ridges of his ribcage. It trailed around his flat stomach to gather in the indent of his belly button, then down his hip to mingle with the hair above his groin. A natural red head, Schuldig noted, with a limp organ lying between lean, well-shaped thighs.
"Nice skin." Farfarello noted, running his nails down Aya's chest, leaving red welts in his wake. "Let's mar it."
So they did. With a whip first, Farfarello maniacally lacing the pale body swaying before them with welts. He giggled while he did it, he probably wasn't even aware of the laughter that bubbled in his throat. Schuldig certainly paid him no heed, eyes glued to Aya, mind eagerly, greedily eating up the pain that seeped through Aya's defenses.
The blood dripped down Aya's body, staining the floor. The deeper welts bled, the softer skin of underarms and inner thighs tore easily. Farfarello paid particular attention to the sensitive area between Aya's legs. That bled too. That made Aya scream and try to cover himself, but he hadn't the strength.
Almost Schuldig could taste fear. But not quite. Farfarello stood panting, the bloody whip hanging from his hand. Schuldig moved up to Aya, moved around him, trailing his hand through the blood on his back. Reaching around to grasp the frightened, shriveled thing between Aya's legs and squeezing hard. Aya's head came up. His eyes went wide in silent pain.
"Why won't you let yourself give in to the fear, Aya? It would be so easy." He tasted blood on Aya's cheek. Licked it off. Aya turned his head to avoid it. He let his hand slide around to the swell of Aya's ass. He looked past him to Farfarello.
"Is it just me, or do you want to fuck him so bad you can taste it, too?"
Farfarello snickered. "Oh yeah."
"No." It was the first thing Aya had uttered. Schuldig barely heard it. It made his spirits soar, that plea. It made the erection in his pants intolerable. He couldn't even properly wait to cut Aya down. Just shifted around behind him, parted those firm cheeks with his thumbs and jammed himself past protesting muscle without even fully lowering his pants. Aya screamed, his body jarred forward, flesh torn by brutal entry. The weight of his body forced him down onto Schuldig's shaft. His feet left the floor as Schuldig pumped upwards, lifting him with hands on his hips so that he could withdraw enough to ram his way back inside. He wanted it to hurt. He wanted to bruise the organs on the other side of the tight little cannel he navigated. And god that tightness felt good. It compressed him to the point of pain. He felt Aya's pain. He felt Aya's shock at this most intimate of violations. He felt Aya's disbelief that such a thing could be done to him. Something began to shatter, as Schuldig savagely pumped into the bleeding body before him. Schuldig felt it and reveled. They could have tortured him for days and not achieved what he had by the mere act of sexual violation. Aya could deal with the pain, but the rape was beyond his ability to cope.
Farfarello moved around in front of Aya, his hands slipping down and doing something that in no wise engendered pleasure. Schuldig felt Aya's body spasm as Farfarello's fingers did their work. Schuldig came on that last shudder, spilling his seed as deep into Aya's ass as he could fit his body. Then he slid out, trailing blood and cum, fastidiously looking for something to clean himself off with before tucking his placid member back into his pants.
They had to cut Aya down for Farfarello to fuck. He was too short to make use of him suspended from the ceiling. He gave them no fight. His body slid limply to the floor in a puddle of limbs and blood.
"How do you want him?" Schuldig asked.
"With his face in the floor." Farfarello grinned, and flipped Aya onto his stomach, his chained hands flung out over his head. An arm around his waist pulled him to his knees, and Farfarello had to keep it there to keep him from slumping down. There was little resistance entering him. Schuldig had seen to that and Farfarello bent over his back like a dog fucking a bitch in heat, fingers wrapped about the back of Aya's neck, keeping his cheek pressed to the floor. Nothing languid or slow about Farfarello. All his movements were hard and jerky and spastic. He had staying power though. Schuldig took out a cigarette and lit it while he watched.
He was half way though when Farfarello finished, sagging momentarily over Aya's back, then pulling out and shoving Aya forward roughly. Aya tumbled forward and lay there, eyes closed, a faint trail of wetness that wasn't blood trailing down the side of his face.
"That was good." Farfarello wiped a little drool off the side of his mouth. He lunged forward and jerked Aya's head up with a hand in his hair. He brought his spike close to Aya's temple. "You know, puncture the right spot behind the temporal mode, and you'd make a right nice fucktoy. Be real compliant then. Real obedient. What'dya say, Schuldig?"
"Later maybe. Right now, I like to feel his pain. Wouldn't feel much pain if he was a vegetable."
"So what, we keeping him for a while?"
"Yeah, we're keeping him."
"Its dangerous. He's not gonna make a good pet. Weiss'll be looking for him."
"They won't find him."
* * * *
He could not remember such --- agony. It burned its way past all the barriers of indifference he had set up for himself. It burned away impassiveness and made a pathway for fear to burrow in. And shame. And helplessness. He wanted to die. He wanted death so bad that he could imagine the black nothingness creeping over his soul, drawing him down to hell. But something always jarred him back to reality. To the shame and the hurt and the bitter gall of defeat.
He lost track of time. The single window in the little room that had become his living hell was so yellowed and grimy that the light of day and the light of the streetlamp outside were almost indistinguishable. Three days? Four? A week? He should have been dead already, from blood loss, from shock, from willing it on himself. But his body- -damned stubborn machine that it was- -refused to let him go. It just betrayed him in its weakness and let him fall victim to his enemies. Let them use him for their sadistic pleasures, then lay there passively while they violated the insides of him as badly as they had violated the outer. Torn. Ripped open. Bleeding still from the last time Farfarello had decided to get creative and forced something inside him that his body did not want to accept. Square peg in the round hole theory. If it didn't fit, pound it in until it did.
Schuldig had stopped him before Farfarello had driven it right through his bowels and up into his organs and his heart. He didn't know why, but Farfarello had gone away pouting and Schuldig had stayed. Had brushed lank hair out of his eyes and ran a soft, caressing hand down his blood crusted body.
"You're filthy. We're going to have to do something about that. You're starting to become an eyesore, Aya."
"Kill me." It came out a hoarse whisper. Schuldig tilted his head as if he hadn't quite caught that. Then he smiled.
"We will. Sooner or later."
He closed his eyes and sobbed. He couldn't stop it. He hated himself for the weakness. Schuldig sighed, and stroked his hair.
"You're coming along so nicely, Aya. I'll tell you what. You do something for me and I'll end it for you, all right?'
"I won't betray - -"
"No, no, nothing like that. This is something for me."
He blinked. His vision was wavery. Either from blood loss or the drugs they'd pumped into him. He waited, too exhausted to be wary. Too exhausted to be anything but dead.
Schuldig shifted a little and undid the zipper at his pants. He drew Aya's head down, still stroking his hair.
"Give me pleasure and I'll give you what you want. Release."
It wasn't as if he could stop it. It wasn't as if he hadn't had their dicks shoved down his throat before, helpless to do anything but choke and endure. But Schuldig wanted something more. Schuldig wanted his cooperation.
He shook his head negatively, even as the soft purplish tip of Schuldig's erection pressed against his lips.
"Do it. You're a whore anyway. You kill for money. What's the difference between killing for money and doing this for what you want even more right now? A quick death. Come on Aya, put those beautiful, bruised lips of yours to good use."
He was too tired to put up the front of stoicism. Too tired to fight when the almost hallucinatory prize of death was dangled before him. He opened his lips and took the silky thickness of Schuldig's erection into his mouth. He didn't know what to do. He'd never even had it done to him to know what was expected. Never had the chance before the travesty that had changed his life and afterwards&emdash;never gave a thought to sex. Never gave a thought to anything but revenge. Yohji talked about it incessantly. Yohji would go into more detail than it was proper to give outside of the bedroom and Omi would color in embarrassment and Ken would snicker as if he were an old hand at it, even though Aya knew perfectly well he didn't engage in the fleeting, hopeless associations that Yohji liked to torture himself with. And Aya - - Aya would just fastidiously go about whatever it was he was doing and tune Yohji's voice out. Easier to pretend sex didn't exist except as a tool to be utilized than try to rationalize why he was so terrified of it. So here he was, naive and ignorant when it mattered most. When it might bring him the prize he longed for.
Schuldig had to tell him what to do. Schuldig gave him explicit directions. Schuldig's hands made circles on the abused skin of his back. Schuldig came in his mouth and made him lick up what spilled. Sat there with a beatific smile on his face while Aya tried to push himself away, tried to lift sore, handcuffed arms to wipe his face.
"You promised." He said.
"I lied." Schuldig laughed at him. Schuldig kicked out and caught him in the damaged shoulder. He went back hard onto the wood floor. Cracked his skull against it so solidly that he saw bright lights and when his vision cleared, Schuldig was dragging him over to the eye bolt they'd put in the wall and fastening his hands there.
He didn't sob, or accuse or do anything but slump there and stare steadily through Schuldig as if he weren't there.
* * * *
The building shook. It was as if the earth itself moved. It might have. Earthquakes were not uncommon. Plaster fell from the ceiling and walls. Aya curled in the darkness, abandoned for the time being, and shut his eyes to keep plaster dust from invading them. Something cracked along the wall, a jagged seam that split the firewall. The eyebolt loosened as the wood it was driven into cracked.
Not quite loose. It took an effort that almost sent Aya tumbling into unconsciousness to jerk it the rest of the way out. He sprawled in the darkness, amazed, exhausted, the whole of him shivering with shock. But only for a moment. He forced himself up, ignoring the pain. His eyes, already adjusted to the dark, found what he was seeking. The key to the cuffs in a bowl on a rickety table by the door. He found his pants in a corner, mingled with a pile of rubbish God, it hurt to bend over and pull them on. He ended up having to sit on the side of the stained bed to do it.
He found a dagger in with Farfarello's assortment of toys. For a moment he stared at it, contemplating the feel of it sliding into his own body, up through his ribcage and into his heart. He wanted that. Needed that release from dishonor and disgrace, but the notion of them coming back and finding his body and carelessly disposing of it in some back alley, or some dirty river made his lip curl in disgust. He would not be desecrated by them after death as well.
He tightened his fingers around the hilt and made his way out into the darkness of the hall. There were sirens in the distance. Out onto the street and he slid into the shadows. He didn't know where this was. Dilapidated buildings and garbage strew sidewalks. It was not a place he had ever been, strange in its very disheveled nature. It disoriented him. Or perhaps that was merely his weakness.
Someone veered towards him out of the night, staggering drunkenly. Aya showed the knife and the stinking body stumbled away, cursing.
A police car barreled past, lights blaring. He stared after it, dazed, fascinated by the lights. It took some effort to start moving again. He didn't know how long he walked. The city grew more palatable. The faint light of dawn touched the night sky. He thought perhaps he recognized this place. Not so far from home. He hadn't meant to head towards home. Or what they loosely called home nowadays. He didn't want to go there and have them look at him with pity. Didn't want to have to stave off their questions and their sympathies. Didn't want to have to admit to himself that they cared what happened to him even if he didn't half the time.
No, he had to avoid home. Had to go somewhere and heal or end the disgrace and have them none the wiser.
Hands gripped his arm from behind and he went suddenly quite blank with panic&emdash;with the sheer abhorrence of having another living thing touch him. He spun, stabbing with the knife, trying to gut his accoster and free himself of the violating hands. But he wasn't at his best. He was slow and clumsy and strong fingers closed around his wrist, jerking his hand aside, trying to twist the blade out of his fingers while the chaotic static of voices yelling at him buzzed in his head. He fought a loosing battle. His body betrayed him again and it was all he could do to try and press away from the arms that gathered him in.
"Oh, Aya, Aya - please calm down. Its us, Aya." The desperate voice finally got through the wall of panic. It was Omi who crouched next to him, and it was Yohji who had his arms locked around him, the both of them sprawled against the wall of a building in the struggle. It had been Yohji who he'd tried to knife. It occurred to him that if it had been Omi who'd come up upon him, the boy would probably be bleeding his life out on the sidewalk now. He didn't have Yohji's reflexes.
He wanted out of Yohji's arms. He wanted them both not hovering over him.
"Let go." He couldn't keep his voice from shaking.
"Chill out, Aya." Yohji suggested, not quite loosening his hold. "You sane?"
He didn't know how to answer that. So he didn't.
"Aya, where were you? We've been looking everywhere." Omi was large eyed and worried. Omi was taking in the blood and the damage. "Oh, god, what happened to you?"
"Aya, you okay?" Yohji, shifting to get a better look at him. Yohji looking quite as aghast as Omi. "Holy fuck, Aya, you look like shit. Aya? Aya?"
The voices faded. Was he okay? He didn't think so. He didn't know whether he could be again. He wished Yohji and Omi weren't here to see him like this. He wished he wasn't fainting in Yohji's arms. He wished he were dead. But he doubted they'd allow him that grace. They were stubborn like that.
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