Go away. D'you hear me? Get away from me.
"Oi, Ken-ken, grab the salt and pepper."
He does, and his hand brushes by mine. I want to shy away, but I'm not allowed to. I know what they'd think if I did that. Why wouldn't I want people to touch me? Why wouldn't I want to feel someone else's body heat through my paper-thin shirt and the prints their fingers burn on my arm?
"Yo-tan, be careful with that! It's hot!"
As if. As if he's a total idiot and doesn't know that a bowl's going to be hot when you take it directly from the microwave. As if being a blonde automatically means he's signed off all rights to a brain, and the will to use it. Brain space! We've got brain space here! Isolated as it can get, not a thought around for miles. Why's the price so good? He's a blonde. Hmm. It's still prime space, though.
I take it back. Do you have anything in brunette?
"Hn. Just set the table, Kudo."
Ah, let's not forget you, fearless leader. You always play games. You've favorite is to dangle a carrot on a stick in front of us. Tempt us. Tease us. And take it all away because you can. I can't vouch for the carrot, but at least I know where the stick is.
And he walks past and his shoulder brushes mine, and I want to run. Don't touch me.
Just another day in my life. And they all think I'm too slow to understand it. Just like Youji, I've got the blonde thing going. Brain space! But I'm smarter then that. I'm good enough to play up my CVS-bought dye job and my guileless contact lenses, and they can think whatever they want. They can underestimate me. I'm here on orders, but then, they don't know that.
"Omi-kun! Y'gonna' stand there all day?"
Yes, Ken-ken, I was planning on it. Maybe Youji's rubbing off on me.
"Oops! Sorry, Ken-kun, I - "
" - anyway, do me a favor and get the silverware, would you?"
Knives and forks, and sharp pointy things. I wonder how they'd look on you, Weiss. I wonder how many it would take to make you into my very own porcupines. I wonder if you'd scream. Maybe Farfie's rubbing off on me.
"Put 'em over here, Omi-tachi."
Is the pot calling the kettle black, Youji? Or in this case, I suppose, blonde. Again with that issue of brain space. Where else would I put silverware but beside the plates? Just because you seem to enjoy burning away your brain cells with those stupid cigarettes doesn't mean the rest of the word does. Besides, cigarettes died in your era. It's pot now. Crack and Speed and E and Special K. I really hate to see you dying slow. Catch up with the rest of the world. Embrace the modern age, you flaming fem.
A quick glance to his crop top and tight pleather pants makes me want to drag him to the closest Hot Topic and show him there's more to life than the over-used, stereotypical '90s homo gig he's got going. But that would mean I'd have to touch him.
"Here, let me."
Get your bloody hands off.
He places two fingers on my wrist, stilling my hands with his unwelcome touch, and I look up at him, grin, and relinquish my hold on the forks and the spoons.
Our eyes lock for the briefest moment before I let him have the knives, too.
We take our seats at this parody like a little girl's dolls lined up for tea. Ken laughs about a soccer game he'd coached earlier on in the day. I'm sure all of those children's parents would love to know that their darling Ken-kun, who loves kids actually loves kids. I'm living proof.
Well, the living part's debatable.
Youji spouts off the names, phone numbers, and addresses of the women who he's managed to pick up today. He even passes around a couple of nude photos. I wonder how those women would like to know that they're only for show. It's the boys he boffs, not the women. Not even the men.
And Aya... speaking of games, he's up to his. He murmurs something about quitting Weiss. Ken and Youji jerk their heads up, and I take it in stride. He plays with us like this. I think it's the only real sense of control he has.
Or maybe I've just totally misread him and he's a sick, perverted, twisted bastard who gets a kick out of seeing us squirm.
No, you dummy. He just got tired of the flower motif.
Is there an echo in the house? Brain space, Yo-tan. You really ought to invest in some.
Aya looks at me expectantly, and I smile.
"Would somebody pass me the sugar?"
I think even Schuldrich would have been proud of that one. Aya's face turns as red as his hair and he stands abruptly, then grabs me by my wrist - GET OFF - and yanks me out of the room. I can hear Ken and Youji raise their voices at one another. What a happy family we've got!
Aya hauls me up the stairs and throws me into his room, and then he's on me, mouth hot and greedy, and I want to run.
Get away from me. Get off me. Just leave me alone.
He doesn't talk to me. He talks at me. He curses me. He calls me names. He marks me and mauls me, and he won't let go. I stopped struggling against him a long time ago.
Once the searing, burning pain lessens a little, I grab my clothes and toss them on and run down the steps and dart out into the night. Ken and Youji have stopped yelling and started moaning. They'll be at it for another hour at least. They cry each others names just as I slam the door shut.
The night it silent and welcoming, and there's a light drizzle which quickly progresses into a full fledged storm. How appropriate.
I make my way quickly along the streets, sticking to the shadows, and I run a hand through my hair. It comes away wet, but laced with gold. A few more minutes in the storm and my blonde hair is running little golden trickles down my face and clothing. Absently I reach up with my clean hair and remove my contacts, discarding them on the street.
Twist, turn, duck, and turn again. Ahead of me another building looms. I don't even bother to knock.
Once inside I remove my coat and drop it by the door. There's a towel slung over the half wall, and I thank Crawford silently for his foresight. Quickly, I rubdown, and I toss the yellow-stained towel to one side, right by my jacket. I quickly run both hands through my natural colored hair, oddly thankful.
Supressing a yawn, I walking into the kitchen and nod to Schuldrich and Farfie. Grabbing a cup of coffee for myself, I take a seat at the table, just as Crawford enters.
"It's nice to see you, sir."
"Welcome home, Nagi."
And laughing, Schuldrich passed me the sugar.