Hi! I’m sick as bloody fuck, so feel free to attribute all of this weekend’s fic postings as the result of a feverish mind. The first sign of I must actually be sick was someone delivering a tray of food to me in bed this evening and after my initial shock wore off (I was raised by sensible people who believed if you were too sick to get up, you were probably too sick to eat, so they just left me alone until I surfaced) and I pushed the suspicious tray aside (Munchausen by proxy can pop up anytime in the least likely people – it never hurts to be too cautious), I decided to use this time to finish things I need to post and post things that I will never finish.

PLEASE NOTE: All the stories I post in the next few days have been hardly edited and quickly typed. I’m trying to learn to let things go and move on. [info]voksen ’s also trying to teach me how to write porn, but that’s not going too well.

Tonight we have . . . my first ever Crawford/Schuldig piece that I ever, ever wrote, ever. It is not finished, nor will it ever be finished. A one shot that has a beginning, middle and no ending. Pre-Schwarz, fresh out of Rosenkreuz, overall, I hate it, but I do like three lines. It is obvious that I was in Istanbul, staring out a window thinking about completely unrelated things when I wrote this.

Title: Notes
Fandom: WK . . .oh, hell – there’s no WK in this. It’s just Schwarz-ish.
Characters: Crawford / Schuldig
Rating: PG for suggestive pen strokes
Notes:  Crawford has a plan! (Really? No way!)

Schuldig watches the faces of passing strangers and tries to guess what they are thinking before dipping in. The game is his waiting room magazine; his mindful diversion. He drinks strong tea in a small glass while sitting at a sidewalk café. Schuldig dislikes waiting, but the message to be at this particular location was precisely vague, like the sender. Schuldig dips a sugar cube into the tepid tea and watches the liquid rise until the sugar crumbles between his fingers.

He’s just licking the sugar off when he looks up to find Crawford crossing the street, and fuck if that isn’t the way it always is between them – Schuldig finally finding something that interests him and Crawford coming along to change the subject. Schuldig fears this partnership will become a permanent assignment.

Crawford does not seem to have rushed to get there. He gestures to the empty seat as if to ask if it’s taken.

Schuldig shrugs, and who else would be sitting with him on a gorgeous spring day, the first truly warm day of the year, the heat creeping up from the paving stones, warming the soles of his shoes. Who else would sit there when it was Crawford who did the summoning? 

Crawford sits.

A tiny, purposeful leak tells Schuldig that Crawford wants to ask where he has been the past week. Instead he asks, “Did I keep you waiting?”

“No, I just arrived.”

Crawford glances at the heap of torn sugar papers on the table. 

They’ve lived out of suitcases in Istanbul for two months, each occupied with their own tasks, so Schuldig is surprised to hear Crawford say, “I have a job for us tonight.”

“A real job – or more watching?” Schuldig’s question answers Crawford’s earlier, silent one.

 “We’ll accompany Altan Bey on an excursion to Macka Park . There’s a narghile there with a clear floored foyer, an aquarium you can walk on top of. It’s quiet there on a weekday. Afterward we’ll take a walk in the very poorly lighted park.”

“So, you found the seal?” They’d been working on the same job after all. Schuldig puzzles over the floor aquarium, he can’t picture it, but his practical and cinematic experience tells him that firearms and water filled glass are never a good combination, and he hates getting wet.

“It will be purchased tonight.” An elderly server arrives and Crawford makes another gesture to order two coffees.

The Byzantine seal was fished from the depths of the city’s cistern and immediately lost. Esset has a habit of sending them out to recover lost things, but Schuldig doesn’t fancy himself an archeologist. Now Crawford on the other hand, Schuldig glances across the table – he would blend just fine reciting the Argonautika in Ionic Greek beside a campfire in the desert. 

Schuldig pushes his sunglasses up his nose and settles back in the chair, “Do you have any idea how much longer we’ll be here?”

“Things seem to be finishing up, I doubt we’ll be here at the end of the month, but no one has said for certain.” Crawford wears a beige shirt, tie and worsted wool coat, as casual as Crawford gets. When the breeze shifts, Schuldig smells his cologne. Schuldig turns his face in the opposite direction, preferring the street exhaust.

“I saw Garrison the other day,” Schuldig says.

Crawford reaches across the table and slips a cigarette from an opened pack near Schuldig’s elbow. The server brings their coffee. He lights the cigarette and says, “Did he have anything for you?”

“He gave me three files in Japanese.”

“I’ll have someone to translate if you’d like.”

Schuldig glances at him, surprised by the offer. Crawford usually makes him do his own work, so he must want to know the contents of the files. He’d like to ask but instead he says, “Thank you. I’ll give them to you tonight after the job.”

They have spoken like this since they met, four years of saying nothing. “I’ve never been in a city this large,” Schuldig says, turning the small coffee cup counter clockwise on the saucer.

“If you’d like to somewhere less noisy, I found an unusually quiet place in Beyoglu.” 

“Walking distance?” Schuldig discovered the first week in this beehive that he could generally out walk the taxies. He glances at Crawford above his sunglasses, but Crawford stares into his coffee.

“About fifteen mintues.”

Schuldig smiles, the first genuine grin in months. “Drink up,” he says and swallows the coffee in one taste.

 

Crawford walks one block ahead, Schuldig follows casually, hands in his pockets, looking up at the buildings. His surface thoughts are a well trained foyer, washed clean like the scrubbed entryways he passes, barred by a heavy door. His doorman walks ahead of him, stopping to purchase a paper. It is all Schuldig can do to not hurry. 

A heavy iron door is blocked by a small rectangle of card stock. Schuldig bends to retrieve it as he enters and the door slams hugely behind him. His footsteps echo in the empty stairwell. The building smells of cooking grease and bleach. The upper floor apartments are in the midst of renovation, tile floors grimy with grout. Schuldig’s shoes, sand caught on the bottom, scratch against the steps as he climbs higher. Another door cracked for him to enter. He pushes against it silently and kicks his shoes off at the entrance.

The afternoon light spills in diffused shadows through the opaque curtains. The furniture is covered in white sheets. Schuldig has been in enough Istanbul apartments by now to know the blueprint: coat room to formal living room to dining room to hallway. There is the kitchen. At the end of the hall he sees the windows are open to a barred balcony on the far wall of a bedroom. He unbuttons his cuffs and follows the warm Bosphorous breeze coming through the windows; the air smells like diesel and ash. 

When Schuldig is almost to the end of the hall, he hears the briefest edge of a thought and heat washes through him like a sudden sickness, and maybe that’s all that this has ever been.

Crawford sits, leafing through the newspaper, on the edge of the bed. Schuldig drops his guard just enough to feel if Crawford’s guess is correct. Surrounded by buildings and crowded streets at the height of daytime noise, the voices are distant, as if in a tunnel. He drops his guard another notch. He wonders, as he always does, how Crawford finds these places.

Crawford has a way of finding places where the others can’t keep of them but he problem is that the quietness can be too complete. Schuldig couldn’t tap into the next door neighbor if he tries, so that means he cannot tap into Crawford either, and though he’s frightened of what he would find at the bottom of Crawford’s thoughts, a part of him wishes he could see beneath the surface, just once. But looking would be a big red beacon flaring up to anyone that watched.  Speaking aloud, that too is off limits. There are too many satellites trained to the timber of their voices.

With the city this quiet, Crawford is also blind to the next moment, though Schuldig’s certain he traced the various pathways of their stolen afternoon before even suggesting the meeting. They can only communicate through gestures, through expressions, through touch – or by writing, but their hands are typically too busy for notes and they’d have to burn the evidence before they left.

Why these places exist is a mystery to them both; they found the first quite by accident the first year they were free from school. A teacher once mentioned that there were uncommon places of reprieve where the very damaged could begin to piece themselves back together without worrying about intrusion. Crawford must have a theory or he would not be able to find so many of them. 

Schuldig kneels down at Crawford’s feet and rests his head on Crawford’s leg. He drops the last of his shields slowly, like inching his way into scalding hot water, slowly just to be safe. Schuldig feels lighter and Crawford puts his paper down, slides off the bed so that they are sitting, facing, on the floor. The placement, bed between them and the open window, seems sensible, something to guard their backs.   The quietness heightens touch, like being blindfolded, so the smallest brush of Crawford’s thumb against Schuldig’s lip is concentrated, or maybe, Schuldig thinks, it’s just the one who is touching him that makes the contact absolute, like he can feel each ridge of Crawford’s thumbprint.

Which doesn’t even come close to describing Crawford’s mouth. Schuldig thinks it funny that for all the things that set them apart in their lives, the talents that define them, they have only ever come together like this broken, useless, limited to five senses, can’t even use their voices. There’s nothing delicate about it after the first touch, their mouths trying to say two things at once until someone gives, Schuldig gives, and their tongues decide on a mutual topic.

Crawford’s back to the bed, Schuldig leans into him, shoves the coat off his shoulder. When Schuldig cracks an eye to see where he can toss the tie, he sees the coat dangling neatly from the edge of the mattress and cannot for the life of him figure out how it got there. He wonders if there’s any trick Crawford can’t do, any hidden throughway he cannot see. The thought makes him pull back. He does not know anything about Crawford, not really, only what his senses tell him, and not the ones that count.

Then again, the rest of the world seems to get along just fine with that mode of operation, but it unnerves Schuldig, traveling blind. He’d like to say as much, so he does as much as he is able, slides a few feet backward to rest against the wall of the narrow room and stares, cool as ice, at Crawford.

Crawford seems less threatening minus the coat and tie, Schuldig tilts his head, or more threatening, depends on the angle. He’s never before taken time to admire the in between state of undress. The first time was all elbows and sharp angles in a Viennese bathroom the size of broom closet. He hardly remembers how they got there, only that it was quiet and his head was numb like it was shot full of lidocaine, and the effort that usually went to keeping his shields in place found the most convenient occupation, namely sinking to his knees and seeing how long Crawford really could keep his mouth shut.

They continued the unspoken contest of touch and strategy at several convenient safe spots in Europe, never visiting the same place twice. Schuldig likes to think of it as research, hideouts are important in their line of work. He raises an eyebrow and waits for Crawford’s next move.

The gulls on the rooftops call out in a sonorous alto. A muezzin begins the three o’clock prayer, a sound that makes Schuldig think about gods and wars, at least for the duration. Crawford leans his head back against the bed and closes his eyes. An echo of a thought, or expression, like the last drawn out note of the prayer, slips over to Schuldig. Crawford likes the sound because he finds it beautiful, and what the fuck did that mean, liking something for no reason at all, no importance. Schuldig draws his knee up and rests his chin on top of it. Utterly confused, he continues to stare at Crawford. 

Schuldig tries to reason it out: Crawford likes the sound of the prayer because he likes the way it sounds. And that’s it. No other reason. No plan, no purpose, nothing to be gained by liking the sound. Schuldig feels as if he’s attending a lecture in Crawford aesthetics and that he could argue the point with a dozen experts and still not know why the realization pleases him.

Crawford opens his eyes as the voice dies out across the buildings, and Schuldig motions for him to take his glasses off. Crawford shakes his head and reaches back instead to take a notepad and pen from the pocket of his jacket. 

Schuldig slides over to him, forms his mouth around a silent, “What?”

Schuldig has never seen Crawford’s handwriting before, the distinctive character of it too much of a liability, like fingerprints. They have developed altered signatures to go along with their aliases. So Schuldig feels intimately intrusive watching Crawford’s script flow across the paper, I have an idea, he writes and Schuldig is so preoccupied by the manner of delivery that it takes him a moment to see that Crawford offers him the pen.

He shakes his head, refuses the offer like it’s poison and gestures for Crawford to continue. Crawford looks at him as if he’s discovered some weakness and continues, We should learn to read lips.

Schuldig has a reply to that, but it’s probably not what Crawford is going for. He takes the pen and writes: Idea?? What is it??

Crawford’s thumb glances across Schuldig’s wrist as he takes the pen back. Schuldig wonders why he didn’t think to bring two pens, considers Crawford’s thumb, and decides that sharing, in this instance, is really no hardship.

Assignment = Japan.  Even Crawford’s notes are cryptic.

Schuldig grabs the pen: Can you not simplify things?

Crawford presses the notepad into Schuldig’s knee as he writes. First one word : Esset. Then he crosses the word out. He looks Schuldig straight in the eye. Then he smiles. And it’s not that Schuldig has never seen Crawford smile, he’s just never seen him happy. The pen scratch across the paper, the line – in emphasis, Crawford crosses out the word again– four millimeters, an elongated symbol for subtraction, a simple line that negates everything.

They stare at each other.

Schuldig tallies every quiet place they’ve visited, the secret, empty hovels. He can live with the voices in his head, and wishes that his aptitude worked in these forgotten places, what he cannot bear is the infrastructure that monitors his own mind like a feed traveling across the bottom of a television screen, flickering symbols of the thoughts that trickle out of the fissures in his guard. It’s always the not so important thoughts that he lets slip: his annoyance with the weather, his favorite line in a book, the desire to take a nap, watching a facial tick that makes his trigger finger twitch. The organization does not steal the grand schemes, the thoughts that would get him locked up, or worse. They steal the simple things, and for some reason, the theft is worse, as if (and Schuldig knows this from experience) they’ve broken into a house and taken the photographs rather than the valuables.

Fleetingly, he worries that defection, destruction, all the delicious D words, are not what Crawford implies at all with the slash. Hesitatingly, he draws the warm pen, tip still poised above the line, from Crawford’s hand. He flips to a clean page so any thoughts that follow will trail the scratched name.

When?

Schuldig hesitates, can’t decide if he should write more, but Crawford impatiently takes the pen and his words are hurried, the only hint of his frustration, I don’t know. No exact time frame.

Their legs are pressed together on the floor and the pad goes back and forth between them.

You’re serious?

Absolutely.

What are we supposed to do?

Our jobs.

So, we wait?

Somewhat.

You know what this . . .

I’m aware.

They will kill us.  Schuldig writes this in large, block letters.

We’ll die if they don’t.

Well, that narrows his choices. Schuldig takes the pen and places it gently on top of the notepad. He hears traffic and the booming voice of a street seller calling out oranges. The cart wheels squeak. From where he sits he sees the skirt and bare legs of a woman walking a ledge to clean a window. The woman sings as she works, and her accent is colored with the Black Sea. A working knowledge of Turkish is essential to anyone wandering the dark corners of Germany, but the recent weeks spent wandering Istanbul minds has given Schuldig a sense of the subtleties. 


From: [identity profile] voksen.livejournal.com


Stop hating things. I hate you.

Ugh. Now I can't write anything. You always do that to me.

p.s. WRITING IS SEXY. THIS IS SEXY. STOP....BEING HATEY. THIS IS NOT HYPOCRISY.

From: [identity profile] voksen.livejournal.com


ALSO I AM AWARE MY COMMENT LEAVING SKILLS SUCK. SORRY. TEACH ME COMMENT-FU AS I TEACH YOU PORN-FU.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com


twopoint commenting = babbling for too long and going on and on and then keeping going when she's embarrased herself fully. I'm effusive. I like things, I can't help it.

I really like your comments.

I'll go leave you a comment now.

From: [identity profile] voksen.livejournal.com


My comments are just loud insulting capslock. Kind of like...my normal comments, oops? haha. :(

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com


I'M GOING THROUGH A THING RIGHT NOW AND YOU NEED TO BE SUPPORTIVE!

Oh . . . wait. Thank you!!

And stop it. Stop it. Stop it. I just showed you something, so that means you have to show me what you've been doing. And then I can go finish the airport thing.

From: [identity profile] voksen.livejournal.com


I showed you the shameful AU. I SHOWED YOU THE SHAMEFUL AU. and you didn't write more airport thing. Also today I have written nothing due to being a lazy butthole and also having no one to talk to about weiss things baw baw baw.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com


I tried to go to sleep four times last night and it didn't happen, so each time I got up I opened the notebook and wrote at least five paragraphs on the airport fic. Things have progressed. There is writing going on. It's just not finished yet.

You said you couldn't talk.

From: [identity profile] voksen.livejournal.com


I said not to leave me aim messages while I had my computer off, but the whiny clanging noises have mysteriously stopped so I'm...hoping that means my computer is not going to explode while I continue to leave it on for ludicrous amounts of time.
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From: [identity profile] questails.livejournal.com


Now, I still don't know enough about WK to leave any kind of really meaningful remark, but this:

He’s just licking the sugar off when he looks up to find Crawford crossing the street, and fuck if that isn’t the way it always is between them – Schuldig finally finding something that interests him and Crawford coming along to change the subject.

..is fantastic. That's the kind of description that grabs one by the throat.. a scant handful of words, and we have this deliciously clear picture of what this relationship is like. I love it.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com


You don't need to know anything about WK. You're better off not knowing. Please -- don't look.

And thank you! Schuldig makes me happy because I can write him in third person limited and use the word fuck as vigorously as I like. It's the sprinkly toppings on a descriptive paragraph that make me like writing the most.

Are you still reading? Or sketching? I did what I told you to do (which you did) and bought a twopointy domain last night and I need Edda for a banner. No rush.

Are you sketching now?

From: [identity profile] questails.livejournal.com


Have you managed to scare me yet? Exactly. It's been ages since Bad Boyfriend and I watched a good anime; I might have to try WK.

The word fuck, for reasons which ought to be obvious, should always be used vigorously; but do you know, not everyone does? Bless you, madam, for your thoroughness!

I was still reading, *sets book aside a bit guiltily*, but now I am sketching! I haven't bought my domain yet; because I am being a stupid artist - just my name, or is a studio name a good idea?? Do you know a way for a woman to break herself of focusing on the wrong damn thing?! Tell me if you know, I will paint both versions of Edda for your banner, one sitting upon the shoulder of the other, and G feeding the smaller a peanut M&M.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com


The operative word there is "good." It's been ages since Bad Boyfriend and I watched a good anime. WK is about as bad as bad gets. Worser. Don't watch it. Enjoy it vicariously through fandom, so then you won't defriend me.

I think you should do both. Since the domain is available, buy it in your name and the studio name and then decide which to host.

From: [identity profile] questails.livejournal.com


Worse than Outlaw Star? Outlaw Star was gawdawful. (Kino's Journey, on the other hand, is extremely good). That being said, WK wouldn't be the first anime that I'd enjoyed vicariously, in elevated form, through good fanfic. ... erm, no, I'd rather preserve my dignity by not telling you which. *cough*

BOTH!! Both... damn. This is a good solution. If I add the domains without jumping into the merchant cart just yet, they're only $10/year each... very cheap, until I make up my mind.

It's a good enough solution for me to go sketch Olin. Do... do I get... that first-person bit tonight?

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com


Or, you could go to yahoo business and get the domains for 1.95 each for the year and then host through the other!

I will spend $180 on a book and then get iffy about an $8 discount on anything.

I am working on Olin first person, but I probably won't post until the morning. Or I'll just send it to you anyway when it's finshed!

From: [identity profile] questails.livejournal.com


*fascinated* I thought artists bought the expensive books - $45 would be comfortable average. What was the $180 book?

$2 domains! I will investigate this! Bluehost did tell me that the $10 a year was pretty much just the domain name registration - they'll add the new domains to my hosting for free, otherwise.

Please send it when it's finished? It will be a thing in my inbox to make me deliriously happy first thing in the morning - absolutely sets the tone for the whole day, and that would be a Good tone.

My brain is being a flock of birds this evening.. here and there and here and there, all at once. Please request something for me to sketch - what do you want to see? No promises that it will happen, of course, but it helps to point the brain in a definite direction.

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From: [identity profile] lauand.livejournal.com


Sorry to butt in (yes, again. Sorry two_point, it's just your journal which asks for it unabashedly), but no, nothing can be worse than Outlaw Star.

WK is just so bad, so bad, so bad, that it's good. A parade of stereotypes (the assassins, the moon, the wind, the past, the incest, the betrayals, the moon, the angst, the mad scientific, the moon...). Endearing. You just have to watch it from that perspective.

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From: [identity profile] ahpookishere.livejournal.com


YAYAYAYAY, I love how Schuldig multiple-question-marks. Usually, I want to punch people who multiple-question-mark, but when Schuldig does it, it's actually kind of endearing. Also, if you ever say you hate this story again, I will sneak into your house and draw questions marks all over you while you sleep. IN SHARPIE, so you have to scrub really hard to get them off. It will not be pleasant.

This is wonderful. You are wonderful.

It makes me want to beg you to unneglect Soviet Russia (coughhypocrisycough).

PS, do not be sick anymore. I can feel your suffering through the telepathic S3K waves.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com


I am obsessed with characters writing notes. Why????

Yes. He would do this and poke fingers in ears and make horrible faces when Nagi's trying to tell him something very important. But he can get away with these things because he knows when someone's about to shoot him. Plus, he's cute.

Thank you! You're not only wonderful, you're more than wonderful. And you have a new tattoo and I want to see a picture of it.

I think that Russia went on a much needed vacation and it's about to return with a vengeance. I've written one entire page! But when I stand up, my head does this pounding thing . . . and I'm not saying that you could have tele-accidentally sent me this dreadfulness, but I think it's really suspicious that we're both writing this story and then we both get the respiratory strangeness from hell. I think somebody did something.

From: [identity profile] guiltyred.livejournal.com


overall, I hate it, but I do like three lines

Gotta disagree with you on both points - definitely not hate-worthy, and I found a few more than three lines that were damn near perfection. :3 I love the feel of this. You capture the scene, the characters, the grittiness so neatly - I could feel the soggy sugar cube and hear the scratching of sand on the stairs. Also, I have to say it stands very neatly alone, without an ending. Not all stories need - or are made better by - a solid ending; while this one could use a little something to tidy up and close the scene, I think it makes a damn fine story in its own right.

Out of curiosity, which three lines do you like?

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com


Hello! And thank you!

I have resolved to clean my folders of all the half-written, abandoned scenes that are keeping me from finishing the stories I’m supposed to be finishing. This is one of my favorites because it was the first time I let myself write these two and I had no expectations when I started it. I just wish they’d told me that they planned on taking up permanent residence in my head.

Ugh . . . lines . . .I really liked the gestures throughout, but if I have to actually identify something I like, it would be “The first time was all elbows and sharp angles in a Viennese bathroom the size of broom closet.” And the paragraph that goes along with it. I get very bouncy when I shock myself by writing something economical. I thought this paragraph told a lot without being wordy.

Again, thank you for taking time with this.

From: [identity profile] lauand.livejournal.com


I don't know if I hate you for posting this unfinished or for not posting it before. I think that I'll choose the latter, since it works well as a vignette.

I liked this. The communication through paper (he, he, like naughty students), the interaction in the café, the interaction in the house, the way you portraited Eszett's control and how they survive under it.. I love how you always make them unsappy, even when they're sexually involved they are so detached from each other, always playing at guessing what the other is thinking.

I should feel offended when talented people dislike their own work because, well, what they will think of mine, then?


I'm curious about the three lines, too.

From: [identity profile] two-point.livejournal.com


The paragraph that goes with: “The first time was all elbows and sharp angles in a Viennese bathroom the size of broom closet.” This was my favorite (it is horrible having to pick out favorites).

And you always leave the best comments. Thank you! Because I always think that I'm making them too sappy. It've got all these scenes sitting here and they're all the same: character studies that keep slamming up against walls before they're able to communicate. And I have some sort of note fixation.

I need to now post all my sap so I can make voksen go on a tinfoil chewing rant.
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