Summary: A mission goes awry and black and white converge in a narrow elevator just as the power is cut...
…five… six…seven… too many…
The searching thought spiraled back to the orange haired telepath telling just how many guards he still had to pass before he could move in to the staircase and… roll down the stairs for his freedom? Schuldig didn't really feel like running down several floors with injured thigh and only one clip left in his gun.
He leaned heavily on the wall, the wall-to-wall carpet under his feet darkening from his own blood that was streaming down his leather pants. He had lost his yellow bandana somewhere along the way. He'd been forced to hand to hand combat, somewhat a rarity nowadays.
His breathless pants were distracted by the immaculate voice calmly uttering out his name, knowing perfectly well Schuldig would catch the thought. The man was probably safe somewhere at the other side of the building sitting contently in some all night café, enjoying his latte and worrying over the little stain he managed to do into his cream colored suit.
Get out of the building, Mastermind.
Yes, your highness, only if I knew how… Jump down from the window, Bradley? He thought to himself but careful not to broadcast his thoughts, he didn't really need Crawford's bitching to distract him right now.
I don't care how you do it, just do it now. Jump down from the window if you must, Mastermind.
And it seemed he didn't really have to answer his uptight, too-rigid-for-his-own-good leader who always was one step ahead of everybody.
Tsk… Like he really cared.
He let his gaze travel down the hall towards the elevator, just behind two guards. Nagi would soon cut the power, it was shear stupidity to trap himself there. But then again, he would get surely killed with seven, no, more than seven fully armed, ready to kill, high class security guards who had been pumped full of the same stuff the lab, he had been here to blow up, produced. Messed up guys with big guns never were his best audience.
You have two minutes. Hurry.
Omi's voice had hissed silently into his earpiece moments ago, but time was running out quickly for Aya. And no place to left to go but down. Down twenty one flights of stairs. His head was already spinning with the pain shooting up from his arm where one of the guards clipped him with a nicely aimed shot. Not to mention several bruises on his body where someone caught him with a few lucky punches (and kicks) before he did them in with his katana.
Footsteps of more auxiliary guards could be heard rushing down the hall like a small military unit coming in for the kill. Their tactics were far more advanced than Weiss had anticipated, and they had to pull out of the mission early to plan for a reentry of the premises when they were better prepared. Would've been good to know this before penetrating so far into their defenses. But such thoughts weren't helping any right now, when he had his back to the wall, trying to fly down the hallway undetected toward the stairs.
When was the last time a mission had gone to hell like this one had? He was sure they'd prepared enough for today, but it was clear that they had been misinformed. Else, they hadn't time to prepare enough. Whatever the case, he was going to need every living instinct he had to get out of this mess.
The pain cut sharply, distracting him for a moment.
"There he is! Down there!" Voices of those who had spotted him shouted from across the dimly lit hallway, and they were closing in fast.
No time to dash for the stairs. Elevator. Not the best choice when the power was about to be cut, but no other place to go. Aya turned and ran, slicing through several men before reaching the elevator, which thankfully was just arriving on this level...
So intent on keeping the level count of the elevator in his mind, Schuldig had missed the alarmed thoughts of slashing blade and different shade of red hair from the minds of the few guards he shot down on his way to the elevator, which was placed on a roomy lobby. He had no desire to be waiting there as a standing target when the cart slowly descended to his floor.
Therefore he had no idea that there was someone else heading for the elevator, he dashed as fast as he could towards the opening doors with his injured leg, blocking even Crawford's mind momentarily to concentrate in getting to his target, leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake only a quick and silent shot, aimed directly to the victim's head and he was on his way before the body collapsed on the ground.
He slid just between the doors sliding shut, leaning heavily on the wall and reached out for the control panel without thinking.
The telepath was not alone.
Having slipped inside the elevator the instant the doors opened, a bleeding and disheveled Aya was leaning against the back wall trying to catch his breath when his solitude was suddenly met with a most unwelcome intrusion.
He froze, the only movement being his tightening grip on his bloody katana.
...what the FUCK is he doing here?
Before Aya found his voice, his body moved first, his gloved hand reaching out to grab the other's shoulder and throwing him against the wall. It was a reflexive action, his movements only enabled by the adrenalin rush that coursed through him, letting him ignore for that moment his wounded body's screaming protest.
"You!" he snarled through his teeth as he pinned Schuldig to the wall with his sword at his neck.
Letting himself to be pushed, Schuldig molded into Aya's movements, his back coming into contact with the wall rather painfully, the warm bloody blade pressing against his neck.
Fuck you, fuhrer if you saw this!
"Hi there kitten," the german purred sweetly, gripping the edges of his consciousness and pressing the sharp edge of it against Aya's mind and as the Weiss assassin was distracted he kicked the swordsman with his injured leg, letting the pain stream directly to the other redhead's mind as the smaller man went swirling at the other side of the elevator.
He gasped silently, biting back an anxious moan as the bullet wound send stabs of nauseating pain through him, throbbing in time with his blood. [How does it feel, kätchen? Hmm? Does it feel good?] he laughed shakily into the other redhead's mind.
That was the moment when the cart decided to stop. Schuldig had not noticed it taking off or passing few levels by now but he certainly noticed when the machine moaned and came into shaky halt, his injured leg giving up under him and he found himself sitting on his ass at the floor of the cart.
"What the hell?"
The lights blinked off as the elevator jarred to a halt, and the dim emergency lamp flickered on, bathing the interior in its eerie glow. To Aya, the flurry of motion was accompanied by stabbing pain, not only from his own wounds, but from the telepath's broadcast sensations that nearly choked the breath from him with agony.
"Aaah...fuck!!" he spat as he crumpled to the floor, gripping desperately at his leg, where Schuldig's projected pain flared.
His sword had clattered to the floor when he fell, and it was just beyond his reach. Sweat beaded on his forehead, his brows knitting tightly to hold back the pain as his other hand reached out desperately for his weapon.
The sudden silence that closed in around them when the power snapped off was almost as deafening as a hail of bullets. Never before had the sound of his own labored breathing echoed as loudly as it did just then, as Aya curled his trembling fingers around the bloody hilt.
Numbed by the screaming and gunshots, Schuldig froze onto his half sitting position at the other side of the elevator. He tried to desperately remember how many bullets he had left in his gun.
More than one. Less than five. Enough to kill a kitten?
Slipping fingers… Leather under your fingers… The smell of blood, the taste of blood on your tongue… Grimace, like a mask of death, your own death…
Mastermind, thirty minutes, maybe less.
Schuldig snapped out of his shared mindscape with the younger redhead as he heard Nagi’s clear voice in his mind. He sometimes wished Crawford had not insisted for the brat to learn how to broadcast so fucking well.
The power’s up after thirty, idiot.
Oh he wanted to laugh aloud, curse the day the boy had grown lips to talk with, or brains in this case. But he did no such things, only stared into the darkness of the elevator. Waiting for Aya to move.
What’s the matter, Kätchen? His mental voice spiraled towards Aya from all around him at once. Afraid of the dark?
In thirty minutes the elevator would be full of blood, dripping from the blush walls, spreading all over the floor…
Mastermind, what are you doing?
Playing hide and seek in an elevator, Kaiser. What else? Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll have some more pressing matters to attend.
The German closed his mind, cocooned into the elevator, into the reality only two persons were allowed to enter.
And in that cramped space, the metallic smell of blood and sweat hung like a thick and blinding mist. The two trapped enemies nursing their wounds and pondering their next move as fate's twisted humor toyed with them like helpless puppets in a gruesome drama.
Aya's fingers pulled his weapon closer, the glinting blade dragging along the ground with a pathetic scratching sound.
Rust...rust on his sword. All the people he'd slain had left their mark upon his blade. Would this German telepath be his next?
Aya-kun! Where are you? The power--
Omi's voice buzzed into Aya's earpiece before cutting off inexplicably into static.
He bit his lip to distract himself from the spinning in his head, the pounding in his veins from the pain and disbelief. Was he looking death in the face? And how much longer did he have?
"...." Aya kept his fierce gaze fixed steadily at Schuldig from across the narrow confines of their cage, his crimson hair veiling his eyes but not diminishing their fiery glimmer.
They are here!
Schuldig climbed slowly to his feet, never releasing the stare of cold violet eyes. How many bullets could he lose? One? If he shot now, he would surely miss, the fiery swordsman was known from dodging his bullets.
Grip…Soaked leather against your palm, it’s blood…
He’d lose the shot, Abyssinian would kill him. Leaning against the cushioned wall, Schuldig laughed, his smile all teeth and sharp as razor.
They are here, in the elevator
Too fucking close!
[Are you ready to die, Ran?] the German suddenly asked, his mind spinning wildly from pain, from loosely tied down images, whirlwind of emotions, hazy hurry, anxious.. suffocating…
If it all ended here, then what was it all for?
The bitter scent of carnage lingered on Aya's tongue, a piercing taste that never left him.
He staggered up, standing on shaky legs as he winced in pain. But the adrenalin rushing through his slender body and sheer will power kept him from collapsing again as he raised his sword, gripping it tightly in both hands.
"To die?" He hissed darkly. "I've been dying everyday. And if I die today, I'm going to take you with me."
[Ever the valiant one,] the German’s voice taunted into the redhead’s mind. [I’m sure the world will appreciate your efforts.]
The elevator! Pull the doors open!
When the first muffled clang came through the door, Schuldig leaped without caring his injured leg, the distance between himself and Aya wasn’t much and the younger redhead was thrown against the wall as the German collided with him.
Heat. Steal skin. You smell like sun, dusty, like old books.
The world was only a hazed vision, painted in adrenaline visions, in slow motion. The steel was against his throat again, the barrel of Schuldig’s gun pressed against the younger man’s temple. Unmovable.
I can feel you unraveling… Schuldig wasn’t sure if that was his or Aya’s thought. He had dived too deep, locked within.
[Fuck!!] His scream echoed into both of their minds.