Lost in Here: A Fairy Tale About Slavery
by Rana Eros
Written for the Yaoi Challenge, for silver_mist1982's request: "Aya has two members of Schwartz wanting him for different reasons, both want his body, but one only wants only that, while the other wants his heart as well, who is it and who does Aya choose? [Note: Bonuses for long fic and reasonable charaterization, plus lovin :) extra if all three end up in bed.]" This isn't quite where I expected it to go. Or rather, this isn't the route I expected it to take. Betaed by Eliza, Rune, and Aluragayle, who went above and beyond the call. Subtitle from the Miranda Sex Garden song of the same title.
They've planned it like this from the beginning. The tower falls, and they all hit the water. Nagi cushions them, even Weiss, all but one. Aya gets the full impact of the descent; Schuldig hopes it's enough, and dives in.
There's a deep and thick connection between brother and sister. There has been since they reached out and refused each other death two years ago. It's not a healthy thing, but it's strong. Schuldig's hacked away at it since that night without result.
Now, though, both Ayas are distracted, and he strikes hard, throwing all of his own power into it.
The connection wavers, steadies. Wavers again, as one Aya begins to drown.
Save my brother!
I'm trying, you little--LET GO.
She's reaching out, panicking, and her brother's litany of staystaystaystay is faint but steady. Fine, no reason not to go for the throat anymore. They've made their use of Fujimiya Aya.
You're keeping your sister from waking up, Ran. Let go.
You're dying, and you're going to take her down with you.
And Ran can feel the truth in that, Schuldig knows, can feel his own body shutting down in the cold, violent sea. But, She'll wake up when I'm dead.
If she does, then I'll kill her. And you won't be here to avenge her.
And as Brad predicted, that works, because Ran no longer has the strength to both hold onto his sister and attack. So he lets go, and his rage burns like a wildfire straight toward Schuldig's own mind.
He's weak, though, and Schuldig strikes first.
He doesn't wait for confirmation, simply drops them into a dreamscape of night on the shore, the spot to which Nagi is moving them now. Ran lies beneath him on wet sand, and at last he has all of Ran's attention.
That won't last long, with Brad on his way, but it's long enough for his present purposes. He bends down until his lips are nearly touching Ran's and says, "The day you die, she does. That I promise."
Ran starts to snarl something, but Schuldig cuts him off with a kiss. And at the bottom of his mind plants the order.
Now he has no choice.
The last time they fuck Ran before the end is the night after they take Aya from Schreient. Ran is furious, incandescent with it, and Schuldig remembers that first night, before Ran had taken on his new name, but after he'd died the first time. After he'd become the phoenix.
Such raw power is wasted on sustaining his sister, but they're working to fix that.
They hunt him down as he drives the dark streets, and he parks, emerges from the Porsche with katana in hand, ready to fight. Schuldig grins, and moves, and Ran knows now how much they hold back when fighting Weiss, but still he's defiant. Even he doesn't know if it's just for form's sake; even Schuldig doesn't.
The uncertainty keeps things interesting.
Brad rushes forward at the same time he does, splitting Ran's focus. Only in dreams has Schuldig ever had him alone, and it says something that Ran surrenders more easily in his own head than out of it. Possibly all it says is that Schuldig has more influence there, but he's not going to complain. He'll take whatever Ran will give him, and convince Ran to give him more; it just might take some time.
Ran's getting better. His katana comes down almost too fast for Brad to dodge, and Schuldig ducks to avoid the backsweep, presses up against Ran's back and turns with him, hand sliding along Ran's arm to rest atop Ran's hand on the blade. And for a moment he stands in the maelstrom of rage that is the phoenix, and wants nothing more than to be consumed by it.
Brad is all shadows and cold purpose, colder and darker in comparison to Ran, and Schuldig loves that contrast. Resents that it has to fade when he cages the fire and forces the katana from Ran's hand. Ran fights him, but he is the one of them with training, and all of Ran's power only does him so much good against the tricks Schuldig knows. The katana falls, and soon they've followed it.
They hold Ran down --they always have to restrain him, not that either of them mind-- and take turns kissing him, stripping him, touching him everywhere. He pulls away from their hands, and presses into them, and hates himself and them and Takatori, who brought him to this, whom they gave him like a present, and he knows and hates that too. Can't ever stop remembering, when they're like this, because that was the first time, the night he pierced Takatori and they pierced him.
Soon, though, even that memory is buried under new sensation. It's just as well; Schuldig already has to share with Brad. He doesn't want to share with anyone else, even if it's just the memory of himself.
Schuldig doesn't believe in love, but he believes in possession. People hate to be alone, hate to be empty-handed, so they grab onto each other and call it love, pretty it up with extravagant gifts, extravagant words, extravagant gestures.
It's just fear. Schuldig knows; he's seen its dark, festering roots in nearly every mind he's touched, and it feeds his contempt for humanity. They're so good at lying to themselves, it's rarely a challenge to lie to them.
Ran, though, Ran knows what sits at the base of his love, and he hates himself for it, but he holds on anyway. He kept his sister alive through sheer will, and now she's healed enough to function on her own, but he doesn't know how to let go.
Schuldig could show him. He will, one day, when the sister is no longer a key to their plans. When she's a better weapon separate than commingled.
In the meantime, he'll let Ran have his fear, his love. Schuldig just wants possession.
That's Ran's fault, too.
"Aya," he murmurs. "Aya," he croons, draping himself over shaking shoulders and licking away tears. It's only a dream, but there's an echo of salt and wetness, the memory of tears never shed. Ran doesn't think he has the right to cry, not when he's just an appendage.
What he's done to himself in the name of his love.
"How is this helping her?" he whispers against the metal of her earring. "Those men you killed today, had any of them even touched her?"
It's not an answer, but he'll take it as one. "Then why? Why kill them?"
"I had to--"
"Did you?" He moves in closer still, kneels on the tattered bed --such a melodramatic imagination, his phoenix has-- presses his lips to the side of Ran's neck and reaches around to start unbuttoning the trenchcoat. "What will you do when she wakes up? When she sees what you've done, using her name?"
Ran jerks under his touch, but he doesn't believe he can get away, and Schuldig doesn't disabuse him of the notion.
"Answer me, Aya." He pulls Ran back, pushes him down and straddles him, bending down to meet those bleak eyes. "Will your sister still want you, once you've taken revenge?"
Those eyes close, and Ran murmurs, "It doesn't matter. This is all I can give her."
Schuldig closes the distance between their mouths for a hard kiss, feels the ghost of lips against his.
Then give me the rest.
Once Upon a Dream
The first time Schuldig truly sees his phoenix is through Brad's eyes. Ran attacks Takatori, and Brad takes him down, throws him to the ground and smirks into a glare the color of winter rivers, deep bruises. But while the color is cold, what lies beneath is not, and Schuldig is enchanted by the difference. Ran looks like an ice sculpture, red and white and black (there's a fairy tale, he remembers, a pretty sleeping child), yet the fire in his mind could consume everything in its path.
Schuldig wants to see that, someday, but Schuldig wants everything from this one.
He's not sure he likes that Brad wants too. It's the agreement they made, based on what Brad saw, and he still wants Brad, as well. He just doesn't want to share, not Ran, not Brad, not with anyone.
And he certainly doesn't want Ran thinking about Brad after Brad and Takatori have left. He was there when Aya was born, was there when Ran died, has been there all along, and he has to put up with dreams of the sister, thoughts of the sister, memories of her. The rest is his.
So he sinks into Ran's dreams, puts himself in Brad's place, sees his own eyes reflected in Ran's, sees himself, red and white and blacker than black, black-hearted, red-handed. He has never revealed himself in dreams like this, never worn his own face, but now he can't bear to wear another.
He wrenches the katana out of Ran's hands, kneels to look into those eyes up close, purrs, "For shame. Where's Takatori? Why don't you dream of killing him?"
"Who are you?"
"You know me." Schuldig bends down until his face hovers just above Ran's, until his lips brush Ran's temple. "You know me."
Ran lies perfectly still, but his breath comes quick and panicked against Schuldig's forehead, and he whispers, "Let go."
"I can't." Schuldig moves until Ran's mouth is beneath his. "And you don't really want me to."
"I can hear you, Ran. I can hear you telling me to stay. And so," Schuldig twists around, drags Ran up until they're kneeling face-to-face, "I've stayed. Through everything."
"I didn't mean you," Ran says through gritted teeth and tries to pull away. But Schuldig is stronger here, and he makes full use of it, holding on.
"I'm the one who heard you. You meant me."
And if he didn't, too late now.
Schuldig's purpose in Japan alters in a single night, on a rainy and deserted road, after the most inept murder to which he's ever been witness. He's been "following" Takatori Reiji and his associates to see if they will prove useful to Eszett, and Takatori sets up an employee to take the fall for his own sloppy embezzling. The men he hires are not professionals, and panic when the employee's two kids aren't home. Schuldig snorts at their solution --it's a good thing Takatori can buy his way out of this mess-- and decides to track down the kids from what he picked up in their parents' minds. Maybe he can convince them to be good little sheep and--
And that's when he first tastes their power, so much richer and more intoxicating than honey. Aya's is sweet, but Ran's is sharp, promising a burn hotter than any spice Schuldig's ever tasted. And it's a shame he won't be able to savor it for longer than it takes them to race each other to the house.
They reach it together, and Ran calls out for their parents as Aya speeds toward the kitchen. Schuldig knows he should pull back, the shock could trigger a dangerous flux of power, but it's not in him to disengage just when things are getting interesting. He's stronger than either of them, and faster. He'll take the chance.
Aya cries out, Ran comes running, and both talents are shifting, Aya's struggling to rouse her parents, wrapping around her brother's consciousness in a protective layer. That could be...inconvenient, if he needs to break out fast, but he's never seen anything like it, so he lingers.
Then Takatori drives into range, and a number of things happen at once.
Ran spots the timer and shouts at his sister to get out of the house, but she moves slowly, distracted by the connection Schuldig's consciousness makes between her, her brother, and Takatori.
Who are you?
Schuldig barely has time to feel shock before the timer goes off. Aya's talent surges as she's thrown clear of the house, cushioning her against a hard landing. It also keeps the worst of the rubble off of Ran when the roof collapses; some kind of telekinesis, perhaps. Ran's own power sparks and flares, but Schuldig can't see its effects. Ran holds to consciousness with both hands, looking up with blurry eyes to see that his sister is safe. She stands up shakily, stunned despite her power's protection. Or perhaps because of it. She is untrained, after all, and has expended a great deal of energy.
She looks toward Ran, calls out to him, and that's when Takatori says to his driver, "Do it."
Help my brother!
Aya's will is fierce, fierce enough that Schuldig would help, were he able. As it is, her plea distracts her long enough that she hears the car too late. She starts to turn, and it catches her hard enough to toss her into the air. Schuldig knows she'll be dead when she hits the ground.
That's when Ran's power boils up and over, a flood of fire sweeping from brother to sister and carrying Schuldig with it. A single word echoes in his mind, a word with a will behind it to overpower Aya's.
Later, Schuldig will know Aya did, unconscious but alive, because her brother will not allow otherwise. Later, Schuldig will bring that power to Brad's attention, and they will use it to topple Eszett. Later, he will give that word back to Ran, completing the circuit started now.
Now he has no choice.
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