Crawford takes care of Schuldig
"Schuldig? Schuldig! Wake up, damn it!"
It was that voice again. He immediately associated it with a very bright blue sky and a sea. In fact he could still hear the soft rhythmic murmur of the waves and an occasional cry of gulls.
"Schuldig!" the voice urged on.
What language is he speaking?
"Schuldig!" the voice sounded more concerned now.
Carefully he opened his eyes. It hurt immensely as if he had been kept in a dark room for hours and then some torturous bastard decided to turn on the light. He wanted to hide, crawl back into that dark pleasant place he just had been. He closed his eyes again and rolled with a painful groan on his side.
"Don't! You broke an arm!"
Too late, he thought, catching his breath as two hands rolled him gently on his back.
"Schuldig, can you hear me?"
The injured moaned in reply. Guilty? Why was he calling him that? He had no recollection of doing anything wrong.
"Name..." he whispered. "Your...name..."
When he did not receive an answer he moved past his fear of pain and opened his eyes again meeting a blurry figure. A man with short dark hair, he assumed judging by the dark spots and his was just too low to be female.
"You know my name, don't you?" the faceless man asked concerned.
"Can't... remem.../erinnern (i)/." He had difficulty to remember words in other languages. It did not hurt to think in German and he decided to stick to his mother tongue. "Schuldig, is...is that my...my n-name?"
Schuldig felt a hand touch the backside of his head. "It was a far fall down, you hit your head pretty bad. Do you have a headache?" the other man asked in English.
The hand stilled uncertain for a moment. "Should I speak in German?"
"Yes, it hurts...to think in others. It's cold here." He shuddered, realising he was wet and wearing no shirt. "Where are we? What's your name?"
"Crawford...my name is Crawford and we are on the beach of the Japanese coast. It's around eight or nine in the morning judging that the sun came up an awhile ago."
Japan? What was he doing in Japan?
His ears picked up a soft rumbling of engines of an aircraft, probably a helicopter quickly approaching in their direction. Two hands suddenly wrapped under Schuldig's armpits and pulled him swiftly to softer and much warmer surface. "I'm sorry." Crawford apologized quickly hearing Schuldig's cry of pain. "We musn't be seen."
The redhead leaned weakly forward against the protective embrace of Crawford's arms as they hid under the shadow of a rock face.
"Wha...?" Schuldig opened his eyes again looking around seeing nothing but a smudged scene of an empty beach.
The sound of the helicopter came closer. "Eszet," Crawford's voice was hard and grave, yet surprisingly gentle too. "They are looking for us."
"W-why?" Schuldig whispered his breathing laboriously.
"Later." The man was moving again lowering him on a warm rock. "Schuldig, look at me." Schuldig's eyes unwillingly wandered to Crawford's face. "Tell me, can you see my face clearly or is it blurry?"
"Blurry...head hurts." It annoyed him that he could not see him. He wanted to see the person properly he was talking to and who obviously knew what was going on.
"Do you feel sick?"
The redhead nodded painfully. "A little..." He did not really care why this Crawford was asking all of this. He was exhausted and everything hurt, even breathing which must have been natural required all energy.
Crawford took a good look on his telepath. Schuldig's eyes were glazed with pain and his pupils were far too wide for the brightness of the morning sun. Sweat and some blood clung to his ashen face and his chest heaved unevenly. Crawford knew Schuldig was in trouble. Besides a broken arm, bruises and cuts he was worried about the head wound. For Schuldig not remembering his own name, having trouble speaking, a headache and feeling sick meant he could have a concussion if not worse.
Crawford had been in a much better shape too. The heavy impact with water had broken a few ribs, despite that he made it somehow to the shore where he found Schuldig almost drowned and at death's door. He had urged the telepath on to spit seawater out and collapsed next to him moments after, not knowing if Schuldig would survive. Sliding his fingers behind Schuldig's head, Crawford's fingers came away with fresh blood. The wound was still bleeding and the redhead looked like he was about to fall asleep.
"Schuldig, you can't sleep, you hear me. Don't fall asleep." Crawford was no expert but if Schuldig had a concussion he could not fall asleep risking to lapse into a coma. They needed to find a doctor and quick.
"I'm...tired. Leave me alone." Schuldig whispered with effort eyes closing. He did not care what that man was saying anymore, he simply did not have the strength. The world turned first yellow and then black before his eyes and it seemed that he heard Crawford's voice coming to him from a great distance away, through another far off world calling him by his unusual name urging on not to fall asleep.
Schuldig's head rolled to the side as consciousness fled. Crawford tried to bring him around, but nothing could raise the German.
The American looked about counting his options. He could move Schuldig on his own even with his broken ribs, but he was worried what the movement would do to the telepath. He clenched his teeth and shrugged out of his ruined jacket and shirt. The shirt he ripped in long stripes to bind Schuldig's head wound and the jacket he put around Schuldig's form to offer some warmth.
Crawford wondered if Nagi and Farfarello had made it to the shore. If they did he would meet them in a save house in the outskirts of Tokyo just as they had agreed before attending the ceremony. He could not leave Schuldig unattended to look for the others or he would most likely loose him to Eszet's retrieving team that undoubtedly was looking for survivors by now.
Scooping the younger man in his arms Crawford moved as quickly as his injuries allowed him up to the beach where long rays of expensive looking cars where parked. They had belonged to the now burned Eszet members. His own car was parked far at the back and that was where he was heading to, hoping it still stood there.
(i) erinnern: remember