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|Title: Lost and Found
Author: Eleanor K.
Fandom: Weiss Kreuz
Spoilers: For Kapitel.
Disclaimer: Not mine, not making any money.
Schuldig's head pounds. He's tied down, wrists and ankles burning from the sweat dripping onto skin worn raw by metal cuffs. He is alone. He killed the first man who came in here, ripped his mind into so much useless tissue, lacking enough structure and function to so much as remind his lungs to breathe. They didn't send anyone else. They won't send anyone else. Schuldig knows he's going to die here.
He can't decide whether he's afraid or not. Live fast, die young, make a good-looking corpse--yes. But. He's only fourteen. Life has to get better, doesn't it?
The door opens. He lashes out with his mind at the man standing there, tall, dark-haired, wearing a white suit that gleams in the dim light. He doesn't know what these people want, but he suspects death is better.
The attack has no effect. Schuldig is too weak.
The man steps forward--and retrieves the glass of water sitting so far out of reach all these hours. He holds Schuldig's head and lets him drink through the straw until the glass is empty.
"They didn't tell me you'd arrived," the man says. His voice is deep and cold and calming. "I'm sorry you've been alone so long."
Farferello rocks back and forth in his corner of the white room--white room, white jacket hugging him tight, white hair, white snow, white blood--no, red blood. Red where he's bitten his lip and the blood is dripping down over his cloth-covered arm. The blood is different and reminds him that change is possible. He will not always be here, alone, bleeding white onto white walls, white floor, white--
They threw him in here after he put out his own eye. He tried to explain about desecration of the sacred, rebellion against an evil God, but they didn't listen. They feed him through a slot in the door now. He hasn't seen a human face for weeks. This is part of God's plan to tame him, but he will not be tamed.
The door swings open silently on well oiled hinges. The figure in the doorway shines with the light behind him, and for a moment Farferello thinks God has come to do battle--he stands--he is ready--
But this is only a man.
"Come with me," this man says. "Our goals are the same. We will wage war on Heaven."
Farferello doesn't ask questions.
The straight jacket is removed, and he follows the man out the door. He wonders if Lucifer can perform miracles.
Nagi is six. His father left him in this alley three days ago. He's had four candy bars, a donut, and a bowl of noodles to eat since then--things people have given him, things he's scrounged from the dumpster he's leaning against.
Other things he's had--bruises, scrapes, cuts from thrown stones, tin cans, wooden boards. The kids will be out of school again in a few hours. He wants to leave, but he can't. If he leaves, his father won't know where to find him.
A shadow looms over him. He looks up to find the man who gave him the noodles blocking out the sun.
"Come with us," the man says.
Us? Nagi looks behind him and sees two others.
The one with the fire-orange hair smiles at him. His teeth flash. "Don't worry, kid. We'll leave a note for your dad."
Crawford sits on the beach. His feet are lapped by waves. He lost one shoe in the swim up from the collapsed temple. His suit jacket is gone. His glasses are gone. He has sand in his underwear.
It's over. Everything he worked for is gone. His team is gone. Dead, maybe. Probably. Even if they're not, they have no reason to come back to him. He's failed.
He looks out at the water. The tide is coming in, waves climbing up slowly over his ankles. The high-tide line is near the top of the rock he's leaning against, well above his head. He sees no reason to move.
Voices drift up the beach, on the edge of hearing.
"--dumbass, I told you he wasn't dead."
"Yes, Schuldig, you're omniscient and all-powerful, okay? You can shut up already."
"Well, thank fucking fuck. It took you long enough to admit it. Yo, Farf, got the bandages? He looks a little banged up."
Then they're all there, Schuldig kneeling beside him; Nagi glaring at him and telling him to get his feet out of the water, he looks like an idiot; Farferello unwrapping the bandages around his own arm to stop the flow of blood from the oozing cut on Crawford's shoulder. Hardly sanitary, any of it, but he pulls his feet out of the waves and lets them do as they like.
When they haul him to his feet, he staggers and almost falls. He lets himself lean--just a little--as Schuldig wraps an arm around his waist.
They start walking down the beach, away from the ruined temple. He has no idea where they're going.
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