I: Second Voice


You're conquered and the blood is pounding in your ears
But you're doing fine
Find the broken pieces and then start anew

You make yourself believe
that you did something right

You're denying your only wish
By forgetting your promises
Once and for all, and forevermore

If you finally reach your aim
You will never be able to
Gain back the time you lost in between...

"Nothing." Nagi pushed away from the desk with uncharacteristic frustration in his voice. He winced at the squeak of the chair's wheels, rubbing eyes too young to be so tired.

"You've been thorough, I'm sure." Crawford's voice was clipped, evincing an equal exhaustion. It had been well past one when the seer had finally stepped through the front door.

Nagi flashed a reflexive look of irritation at the second-guessing, but didn't dignify it with an answer. "Just that one transaction with one of Takatori's minor subsidiaries, from a month ago, and - "

"We've already been briefed about that." Crawford finished grimly. He gave the boy an absentminded pat on the shoulder as he stepped away. "Takatori's certain it's him, and there's no voicing dissent on the matter until we have an airtight case for it. Keep checking his associates. The money he's skimming has to be going somewhere." The door closed on Nagi's defeated sigh as the beleaguered telekinetic turned back to his immense console.

"Go a little easier on the boy." The voice was not unexpected, though it's proximity was. Crawford stepped away from Schuldich in a fluid motion, leveling a warning glare at that lazy grin. A fine brow arched over the thin silver frame of his glasses. "Sympathy from you?".

Schuldich shrugged as he moved forward, locks of flame whispering over his shoulders. "Sometimes you act like you forget he has class in the morning."

Vermillion and viridian with flashes of white every now and then when he smiled. Best not to dwell on it, as strong as his guards were. Nature granted this particular predator exceptional colouring to disarm and mesmerize his victims.

"That," replied Crawford crisply, already turning to leave, "is secondary. He has a job that precludes him from the luxury of dwelling on lesser matters."

"You know - " And the teasing lilt in Schuldich's voice was gone, like a filmy veil tossed aside - "not everyone's given themselves completely to the 'job'." Even with his back turned, Crawford could feel the other assassin closing the space between them. "No sense in forsaking all personal indulgences, Brad." Warm fingers ghosted along his shoulder blades, followed by equally careful brushes at the edges of his mind. Crawford's barriers came up like a wall of ice in less than the space of a thought.

"Some of us have no sense of priority." The words were delivered in a level tone. Schuldich would settle for his anger if denied all else. "If you insist on indulging in excess, you are welcome to do so in the manner of Farfarello: on your own time, and out of sight of the rest of us."

With that he was gone. Schuldich considered striking something, but settled on slamming the door in Nagi's face, as the youth turned to deliver a canny smirk. After Schuldich had tried to help him too. He was too aware of his own motives to be truly angry, however, and knew Nagi was as well.

At the base of the stairs Crawford paused, tossing his shoulders in the universal motion of tension, attempting to shake off the uneasy sensation that lingered on his back.

II   |   Fanfiction