I know you need a friend
Someone you can talk to
Who will understand what you're going through
I do, barely needing to glance up as the can of beer whizzes with frightening accuracy towards my head, no doubt with every intention of braining me until I stop it in mid flight. I pop it open and down almost a quarter of the golden liquid in one swig, letting it burn its way down my throat before I finally look up across from me.
"Sorry." He murmurs quietly around a cigarette, his words slurred, maybe because of the cigarette dangling between his lips or maybe because he's had far too many beers. I don't know. I watch him intently from where I sit.
Slumped shoulders, clothes carelessly rumpled, dark shadows under those sea green eyes, a pale drawn handsome face and an air of nonchalance surrounding him like an impenetrable barrier. That's what someone who doesn't know him well enough might see if they are here now. Not me. We've been friends for too long. Far too long. The cocky, untouchable facade of his is just that, a facade. When I look at him, especially right now, I see the confusion and loss swirling about in those twin green orbs. I see the sadness and tiredness in the way he runs his hand raggedly through the unruly golden brown locks of his hair. In him, I see an old soul that has had too much blood on its hands trapped inside a youthful body. In him, I see a lost young man befuddled by problems he has no power to solve, forced into a world of crime, death and guilt by the alternate lifestyle he leads.
In him, I see the one that I love.
I sigh inwardly.
"No harm done. I caught it didn't I?"
A silence while he stares at his own beer, seemingly oblivious to all around him. A silence while I continue watching him. A silence that he breaks unexpectedly.
"No, I meant sorry for... all of this." He gestures ambiguously at my apartment, usually the picture of perfect neatness, currently littered with beer cans. "For making you put up with all of my shit time after time again. For making you listen to me bitch and whine about... you know... about him..."
His words trail off. Another awkward silence. He
doesn't need to mention any names. He's not really apologising for bothering
me. What he's really apologising for is for making me of all people
deal with him and his love problems when he knows exactly how I
feel about him. Words are not necessary between us. I've never told him about
how I feel because he already knows.
How can he not know?
He knows how I feel by the way I look at him. He
knows how I feel by the way I speak to him. He knows how I feel by the way
I move around him. He knows how I feel by the way I embrace him when I just
can't stand it any more. He knows how I feel by the chaste kisses we share
when we both need a little comforting. He knows how I feel and he
understands too intimately what it's like to desire the one thing in the
world that you want with all your heart but you can't have. He understands
because he has been through it himself.
And that's exactly why it's so cruel of him to come to me, seeking my comfort when he's just had an argument with his on-off boyfriend. He knows I understand what it's like to be able to touch something but to never be able to own it. And that's why he turns to me whenever he has love problems. Ken and Omi would be sympathetic but they wouldn't understand. I would because I feel that burning desire coupled with the hollow emptiness of knowing you can't have that something constantly when I look at him.
It's cruel of him but he does it all the same. It's stupid of me but I let him do it to me all the same. Never mind that I feel a chisel chipping away at my heart each time he talks to me about his lover with that look in his eyes. Perhaps it's the price I have to pay for being privileged enough to share that special physical intimacy with him, that intimacy he does not have with Ken and Omi. We're not lovers, but he lets me touch him, hold him and kiss him. He does have a certain attraction for me, I won't deny that, but it doesn't come close to what he feels for that bastard.
When it comes to love
There's no easy answer
Only you can say what you're gonna do
"What should I do, Ran?"
I don't really know as to who he's referring to, Schuldig or me, so I simply tell him that.
"I don't know."
I don't really have to provide solutions to his love dilemma. The questions he asks me are mostly rhetorical. Maybe I should count my blessings for that. It would kill me if I was expected to formulate ideas to get those two back together whenever they screwed up their already dysfunctional relationship for if he asked me for advice, I would give it to him. I could never refuse him anything. Fortunately, it is enough for him to have a listening ear, someone who understands and can empathise or just a drinking buddy who understands while he sits there silently and broods. Perhaps in that way, he is kind to me.
He is currently treating me as the latter, a role I much preferred to perform.
He looks at me searchingly and I know then that he was referring to me when he'd asked that question.
His gaze falls away from my face and idly wanders the room before it is arrested by a single article hanging over the back of the couch I am currently lounging on. My orange sweater. It's the colour that catches his eye, I know that, when I see that wistful look enters his eyes as his emerald eyes caresses the orange fabric. Orange. It's the colour of that man's hair.
A sudden cold fury comes over me and a hateful spitefulness
induces me to wrench that orange sweater off the back of my couch and fling
it as hard and far as I can, not caring where it lands. Out of sight, out
of mind. But that's not the case where Yohji is concerned. He's so close
to me now, but no matter, he is still thinking of that man. And he always
will be. Damn that sweater. I don't know why I wear that thing anyway when
it clashes so badly with the colour of my own hair and when it reminds him
of that man. Maybe it's spite on my part, to cause him the same pain I feel
when I look at him. True, Weiss and Schwarz may have a truce for now, but
when the circumstances call for it, we would be enemies again in a heartbeat
and he knows where his own loyalty inevitably lies. He knows well too, to
whom that man's loyalty lies.
Forbidden love. That's the one thing all three of us have in common. Them for loving an enemy. Me for loving a man whose heart has already been taken.
"Ran..." He sighs my name softly, shaking his head gently as if at an errant child and with fluid grace, despite the massive amount of alcohol he has already consumed, rises and comes over to me. Leaning against the arm rest of my chair, he slips his arms around my neck from behind, moving them slowly to massage my tense muscles.
He is rudely cut off, no doubt from a futile speech he is well practiced at on me finding someone else to be hung up upon, by an excessively loud obnoxious trilling sound. Irritably I locate the source to his handphone, blinking furiously, as it lays there on the coffee table, demanding to be noticed. His skilled hands which had slowly been relieving me of the tension in my shoulders are abruptly removed and I feel a pang of regret as the warmth of his hands upon me is lost.
"Shut that thing up." I command.
He looks at me sheepishly and excuses himself as he goes off to some corner to answer that annoying contraption.
I heard you on the phone
You took his number
Said you weren't alone, but you'd call him soon
"Schu?!" He exclaims loudly before glancing furtively over at me with a guilty look. I take no notice, pretending that I haven't heard him, being engrossed in some stupid magazine or another. He moves into the kitchen for more privacy. I cross the distance swiftly and flatten myself against the wall. Stealth. The advantages of being an assassin. I peer cautiously into the kitchen.
His back is to me. Good.
"-damn right, you were being a jerk last night!"
Schuldig's probably floundering through some poor excuse of an apology right now. For a moment, I feel a smug sense of satisfaction. Yohji's not going to make it easy for him. Schuldig's not good at stuff like this. Neither am I, actually. Both of us seldom find the need to apologise. We just do things our own way and to hell with anyone who disagrees with us.
Yohji's silent for a while, and I can just imagine the nasal drawl of the other man on the phone as he tries again to set things right between the two of them. I clench my fist, feeling the hatred within me swell again.
"You're leaving?" The anger is gone from Yohji's voice and he sounds just plain worried now. My heart skips a happy little beat until the conversation continues and I realise that Schuldig is just leaving for some routine mission and not leaving Yohji for good. I draw out of sight as Yohji begins rummaging around for a pen and a scrap of paper to scribble down Schuldig's contact number while he's gone.
Leaving his contact number with his lover on a mission. A dangerous thing for an assassin to do for sure. Since when had their relationship progressed to such a level of... mutual trust? What does Crawford think about this I wonder? Does he even know?
I lean back in for more snippets of the conversation to catch the tail end of it.
"I love you too, Schu."
My heart clenches agonisingly at these words whispered softly, lovingly, to the other man on the phone. And not for the first time of my life, I think about how lucky a man Schuldig is and wonders if he knows it. As I hear Yohji coming out of the kitchen, I scramble wildly back to the couch and fling myself upon it just in time as Yohji steps out of the kitchen.
Isn't he the guy
The guy who left you cryin'
Isn't he the one who made you blue
I hate Schuldig. I really do. With all my heart and soul. I hate him for taking Yohji away from me. I hate him for making Yohji so miserable he cries alone in bed at night. I hate him for being the man Yohji loves.
But what I hate him for the most of all is this.
I hate him most for being the only one in the world who can put that special smile on Yohji's face.
I hate. I hate and I hate.
I hate that a sensitive man like Yohji loves a cold unfeeling bastard like Schuldig. Damned telepath. He has the one thing in the world I desire and lust for so badly it almost fills my every waking thought ever since my sister awoke and he doesn't even treasure it. I would never put Yohji through the heartache Schuldig does if he were mine.
Curse the man. And another thousand times over.
When you remember those nights in his arms
You know you've gotta make up your mind
Yohji walks over to me, hesitates a little and then speaks, apparently oblivious to the fact that I had just been eavesdropping on his conversation with Schuldig just a few moments ago.
"It's... getting late. I should go now."
Suddenly an irrational fear grips me. That if he walks out of this apartment, I will never see him again. That if he leaves me now, he will never come back here again. That I will never again be allowed to run my fingers through his soft hair, hold him in my arms, hear his voice, see those sparkling jewels that are his eyes. That I will never be allowed to love him again.
I lash out wildly, with lightning quick reflexes, getting a death grip on his wrist, tumbling from the couch to the floor as I do so but not letting go of his wrist that I held almost painfully in my own hand.
Are you gonna stay with the one who loves you
Or are you going back to the one you love
Someone's gonna cry when they learn they've lost you
Someone's gonna thank the stars above
He starts, looking down at me and I feel his entire body go rigid as the full implication of the request makes its impact. Stay. Not just for tonight. Not just for tomorrow. Stay. I scramble up to my feet and pull him roughly into my arms, pressing him tightly against me. He remains still in my arms, a cold untouchable, unmovable statue in the face of the wild abandon of my passion. Then gradually, he relaxes and his arms come around me as I cling to him with all the desperation of a lovesick fool.
He fingers the fiery strands of my hair almost tenderly before he draws back a little to look into my eyes. What he sees in them pains him and he looks away quickly but not before I see the flash of guilt in his eyes.
"Ran, I'm sorry. I ca-"
I don't want to hear the rest of what he has to say. And so I silence him.
I kiss him.
Not the chaste kisses he's used to receiving from me. No, I want more from him tonight. My tongue plunders past his soft pliant lips, tasting touching exploring the crevice of his mouth. I take his sweetness within me. I give him the pure unadulterated passion of my love and lust for him.
And he kisses me back.
He kisses me back. And I could have died and gone to hell then and been happy. His arms tighten around me as well and I clutch his lithe body against mine, trying to draw him into myself with the force of my passion. He moans into my mouth and I feel myself growing hard against him. I want him. I want all of him. I let my hand journey to the front of his shirt and slide up the smooth taut skin of his stomach and then down again to the front of his pants.
He breaks the kiss first, and pulls back slightly, shaking his head as
if to collect his thoughts. I can see the hesitation on his face, as he searches
for a way out.
Don't say it. I don't want to hear it.
I leave him with no time to think, as my fingers ghost past that sensitive
spot and he gasps sharply. I press bruising kisses on his throat, marking
him, claiming him for my own. He lets out a soft cry of pain, one that thrills
the beast in me to no end, and I make short work of his shirt, practically
tearing it off him in my desperation to get him undressed.
There's apprehension in his voice tinged with just the slightest bit of fear. I don't allow myself to think on it. Instead, I focus on the feelings stirring within me and my want, my need to have him as Schuldig has had him. To own him as surely as Schuldig does.
I push him down roughly on the couch, forcing his hands down to either side of his head.
His eyes are wide, and he's breathing heavily as he stares up at me. The soft locks of his blonde hair are in disarray. He's all laid out for my taking.
I pause briefly, then reach out with tentative fingers to stroke his cheek.
He is so beautiful.
I want him so badly it hurts.
I crush my lips to his, stifling his sound of protest. I won't allow myself to think, can't allow myself to doubt that this is anything but good for both of us, even as some small part of my subconscious screams at me that this is wrong.
That this is not what Yohji wants.
What Yohji wants is Schuldig.
I am not that man.
I can never be that man.
I dismiss the thought, fumbling at Yohji's pants with one hand even as I hold him down with the other. He's thrashing beneath me like a wild thing now, his hands scrabbling at my chest, trying valiantly to shove me away.
Just a few more moments. Just a few more moments and he'll give. He'll see just how much I need him. Please... just let him realise how much more than Schuldig I love him.
He bites down suddenly on my lip. Hard.
The sudden pain mixed with the coppery taste of blood cuts through the mad haze of need and want obscuring my thoughts and I loosen my grip on him. It is enough for him to break free, and he shoves me away hard, before pushing himself off the couch, to land in an ungainly sprawl of limbs on the floor.
I reach out to him, desperate to have him back in my arms again, but he pulls back and what I see in his eyes stills my movement.
"Ran." His voice is ragged, almost a whisper.
"It's not you."
The words are crystal clear.
And I stare numbly at him as it sinks in.
He doesn't look at me, doesn't say anything more. He doesn't have to. His regret is almost palpable.
I turned away from him, letting the dull ache wash over me. I couldn't cry. The tears wouldn't come.
I wasn't sure when he left my apartment that night. I knew that when I woke up in the morning, he was gone. I didn't remember when I'd fallen asleep and when I'd gotten onto the couch. All I remembered was his harsh rejection of me. When I met him later in the shop, he treated me no differently than before and since he wanted it that way, so did I. Things between us stayed the same.
What you gonna say when he comes over
There's no easy way to see this through
All the broken dreams
All the disappointments
Walking to my car in the parking lot in the dead of the night, I see him. I move forward, to call his name when I notice a slight movement in the shadows around him and I see him. Partially obscured by the shadows, leaning against Yohji's car, an ever present careless grin on his face. I fall back.
"Yo. I'm back."
Your heart keeps sayin' it's just not fair
But still you've gotta make up your mind
I see Yohji smile at the man before him in a way he never has when he's with me. I look as Schuldig pulls Yohji slowly into a tight embrace. I watch their bodies meld together as if they were made for one another.
Schuldig looks over suddenly at me, frowning as he does so. His arms tighten around Yohji possessively, almost subconsciously and I hear the whisper of a mental voice in my head as I stare back calmly into Schuldig's hard gaze, betraying none of the inner turmoil, rage, hatred and anguish I feel right now outwardly.
Of course, Schuldig isn't fooled. He never is.
Yohji's mine, Fujimiya. Remember that.
I snarl silently in frustration as I storm off. He's right of course. Yohji will never be mine. I never stood a chance.
I enter my apartment and slam the door angrily behind me. All of a sudden, the anger drains out of me, leaving me nothing more than tired, physically, mentally and emotionally. I turn and lean my forehead against the door.
I couldn't cry. The tears wouldn't come.