Crawford is lead to take the subway and ends up encountering Ken right before a botched robbery.
Author: Sybil Rowan
Pairing(s)/Characters: Ken x Crawford
Summary: Crawford is lead to take the subway and ends up encountering Ken right before a botched robbery.
Author's Notes: This started as a fictictactoe community on Livejournal. I figured I'd continue it because Crawford is fun to work with.
Disclaimer: Weiss Kreuz, its names and characters belong to Koyasu Takehito, Project Weiss, Marine Entertainment and Animate Film. Named after a New Order song by the same name.
Beta Reader/ Opponent: My wonderful hubby, WingedPanther73.
Word Count = 2,044
August 5, 2010 4:15pm
“Well look what the cat dragged in,” Yohji taunted as Ken attempted sneaking into his room. He started, turned, and glowered at the tall blond.
“Isn't it too early for you?”
“I'm just getting in.”
“It's four-thirty,” Ken said in a whisper, not wishing to concoct a bunch of lies for everyone.
“Yeah, and you're getting in after me. Not like you. She must have been pretty hot.” Yohji got a sly smirk and elbowed Ken. “You know, Omi wanted me to go fetch you, but I had a feeling you didn't want to be found.”
“You're right about that,” Ken mumbled.
“Are you going to see her again?”
“Who?” Ken asked as he tried to escape to his bedroom.
“The girl you hooked up with tonight.”
“No... I don't think I'll run into that person again.”
“You sound like you had a horrible time.”
“It didn't end up like I wanted,” Ken admitted. “Listen, don't tell the others. I don't want anyone to know I'm dating again. Okay?”
“Fine... fine... Hey, I can set you up if the girl you were with didn't work out,” Yohji offered.
“No thanks. I've had enough,” Ken said and shut the door on Yohji's smirking face. Ken pulled off his teeshirt and flopped down on his bed, stomach first. His irritation was running high. Everything had seemed to be going so smooth and then hell broke loose, literally.
Ken tried to shift under Crawford while the man pressed another kiss on him. Crawford raised up a little and looked down at Ken. “Still okay?”
“Yeah,” Ken said, trying to get used to seeing Crawford without his glasses.
“You want to move?” Crawford asked, tilting his head towards the bed across the room. Ken's heart almost stopped pounding. After all, before Yoriko he had been with Kase. It wasn't as if he were a stranger to sex, but the memory of Kase and betrayal gave this time with Crawford a little bitter twist. How much more would Crawford deceive him; Ken had no idea why he would set himself up for this kind of trouble.
“I don't...” Ken paused when Crawford's eyes narrowed. The man suddenly scowled. “What's going on?”
“Schuldig is pestering me,” Crawford answered. The American's cell phone rang, making Ken flinch. Crawford pushed himself upright and looked at the number. “Damn that woman!” Crawford hit receive and snapped, “What do you want?... No, I said two days... I don't give a damn! Tell Masafumi he can take it up with his father, if he doesn't like my time table...” Crawford's brow furrowed. “You don't say... I agree, Nagi stays at home, but so does Tot... Agreed... When?... Where?...”
Crawford hit the disconnect button and stood. He picked up his long-sleeved, dress shirt and put it back on, tucking it in his slacks. “Sorry. Business first.”
“Who was that?” Ken asked.
“Hell. She wants me to drop off something within the hour. It's a touchy situation. By the way, don't follow me. It's still raining.”
Ken nodded. “I won't. I guess... this just isn't going to work out. Probably for the best.”
Crawford's yanked Ken up by the forearm, taking Ken off guards. Before Ken could resist, Crawford laid a firm, deep kiss on him. Ken was stunned speechless when Crawford parted from him.
“It's not necessarily done yet. Cover your tracks this week and lose my number out of your cell phone. Do not call for any reason at all. If you want to continue this arrangement, meet me at Shinjuku Gyoen on Friday afternoon. Three o'clock. I'll be waiting by the Okido Gate.”
“I won't be there. I can't. This just...” Ken's protest stopped when he saw the conceited expression on Crawford's face.
“Don't be late. Nothing irritates me more,” Crawford warned, picked up his jacket, and said, “Also, don't be surprised if we cross paths before then.”
“What do you mean?”
“Enjoy the room for the rest of the night. At least, you can get away for a while.” With that Crawford left Ken alone and very frustrated.
Ken withdrew into himself over the next five days. He had made up his mind to decline Crawford's offer and avoid being alone with the man. He couldn't hack as well as Omi, but good enough to get Crawford's number off his cell phone records. He was irritated that he couldn't seem to erase the phone number from his head.
It was on that fifth day when Manx showed up. Ken felt a flare of panic, but she didn't mention the subway hijacking. Instead she launched into a mission briefing. Omi and Aya volunteered first, and Ken wasn't going to, but he changed his mind at Aya's icy glare. He wanted to redeem his reputation and stop Aya's hostile treatment.
When he volunteered for the mission, Aya made a disgusted snort and marched out. Yohji scampered off, declaring he wasn't going on a mission with Ken and Aya at the same time. Omi sighed, shook his head, and got to work at his computer.
Manx tugged Ken aside to a corner of their mission room; this panicked him again. “I took care of everything about that subway. You indicated The Oracle happened to be the other man with you.”
“Yeah, I escaped after he... I guess... summoned the others. I lucked out when they got sloppy, and I ran for it.”
“Too bad you couldn't get the drop on all of them.”
“Well, they killed those three hijackers, so you are lucky. But, was there any information The Oracle let slip? Anything we could use?”
“I'm sorry. I wish there was something.”
Manx gave him a smile and patted his arm. “Thanks so much, and be careful. Schwarz is a very dangerous group.”
He nodded before she left. He suddenly noticed there was an eerie silence. He looked over to see Omi had stopped typing and was staring at him. Ken gave a quick nod and launched himself back upstairs to the flower shop.
Crawford crept through the dark alleyway between the high brick buildings. A subtle tingle hit behind his eyes, danger was close, but his premonition told him to put away his gun and to stand beside the doorway. Seconds later, the door opened and let some light into the alleyway. Crawford saw a set of steel claws stained red.
Ken swirled around and lofted his claws. He hesitated when his eyes registered it was Crawford standing beside the door. Ken's face clouded over in anger.
“What are you doing here?” Ken snapped, not lowering his weapon.
“Working,” Crawford said, giving him a crafty smirk. “Same as you. I presume you took care of that drug dealer in there.”
“Yeah... and his goons. One of them went this way.”
“I know. I saw him.”
“Out of the way!”
“I'm afraid I can't let you do that. It'd be hazards to your health.”
Ken looked confused, and that was the opening Crawford took. He slammed his left fist into Ken's gut and then swung a right cross, connecting with Ken's jaw. The Japanese teenager hit the ground hard, knocked out.
“Thanks, Crawford,” the man named Sato said, coming out of the shadows. “You sure got the drop on that dumb kid. Are you going to take him back to Takatori?”
Crawford watched the goon slide the gun back into his coat pocket. It was that reason Crawford had shown up and knocked Ken out, even though he wasn't scheduled to oversee this low-level operation. Sato would have shot Ken and then he would have been stuck in a coma for a very long time. That was a future Crawford wanted to alter because he wasn't finished toying with Ken just yet.
Crawford drew his gun again and aimed it at Sato. The goon looked utterly shocked. “But... but...what are you doing... we...” the Japanese man sputtered before Crawford squeezed the trigger. Crawford turned and walked down the alleyway because Abyssinian was due to show any second.
Ken shook his head. His jaw throbbed painfully on the left side. Ken left himself be helped up by Omi.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah. Someone got the drop on me.”
“Looks like the same person got the drop on him,” Aya said from several feet away. Ken walked over with Omi trailing behind. They looked down to see a man had a clean shot through the head. “They killed him and let you go. Why?”
“I don't know. I didn't see anything.” Ken gingerly felt his jaw, trying not to think on the guilt starting to gnaw at his stomach. He couldn't meet Aya's eyes anymore. He turned and marched towards the back of the buildings. He'd have to avoid further scrutiny until he could drive Crawford away.
The next two days were crazy. Aya, if anything, treated Ken worse. Omi seemed to give Ken the cold shoulder, but it was veiled in politeness. Yohji seemed halfway decent, but annoyed at the frosty tension running through the group.
Ken felt so isolated from the others. He didn't think he could keep a straight story about any questions they would launch at him, anyway. Ken kept finding work around the store apart from the others so he could sort out everything over the last week.
Nothing made sense; especially, Crawford showing up. Ken could put together it was Crawford who killed the goon, but the motivation wasn't clear. Finally, Friday afternoon came very slowly. Ken wanted an excuse, any excuse, to keep him at the flower shop, but it was so slow by two. Omi showed up early for the afternoon shift and Aya appeared from downstairs.
Ken didn't bother making excuses or telling anyone some false story about where he was going. He hopped on his motorcycle and took off towards Shinjuku Gyoen against his better judgment. His need for answers was burning too hot, drowning out his rational thoughts.
Ken pulled up, once again, beside Crawford's car. He jumped off his motorcycle and spotted Crawford standing beside the Okido Gate. The American checked his watch and said, “You're late.”
“I owe you for that punch,” Ken snapped.
“Fine. I'll let you pay today.” Crawford lead Ken to the ticket office. Ken was too dumbfounded to do anything, but pay for two tickets and walk next to Crawford down the picturesque garden path. “I'm sorry about punching you, but you wouldn't have listened to me.”
“Listened to what?”
“That the man had a gun and would have killed you.”
“Was it some kind of sick set up?” Ken accused.
“No,” Crawford answered placidly, “but it worked out that I could get rid of someone causing a disturbance. You know, I thought you had more manners. Is this the kind of gratitude you're going to show me?”
“I didn't come to thank you! I came to tell you to leave me alone. This is not something I want to deal with.”
“You still have a free will. You didn't have to come see me. You could have stayed at home and let your actions convey that message. You'll have to stop playing this game with yourself. Stop saying one thing, but doing the opposite.”
Ken felt the skin on his face burn. He wanted to hit Crawford the same way he had been hit. Instead he turned to face Crawford. “Fine. I did want to come see you again.”
“Good, now, about you showing me some gratitude...”
Ken's eyebrow arched as he gave Crawford a wary look. “What did you have in mind.”
“After we take a look around here, I'll take you over to a hotel down the street and finish doing to you what I started last week.”
Ken's mouth went dry. He nodded, not breaking eye contact with Crawford.
To be continued.