Persistance of Memory:
Part Two

Pain was all Schuldich could feel as he opened his emerald eyes. He stared up at the barren ceiling of his new home, his hospital room, with disinterest.

God, I’m still in this fucking place….

The German had been there for eight months. The longest eight months of his life. It felt more like a prison than a hospital, for the doctors were very strict and wouldn’t let him leave his room as long as his rehab was going on. Well, that was finally over, and Schuldich couldn’t wait to get out and stretch his long legs. Rehab was terrible, but necessary. The redhead didn’t care so much that he had to work his leg, which had been broken in three places, but he really cared about the fact that he had lost his voice. In the accident, his throat had been crushed, and his larynx was permanently paralyzed.

It could be worse. I still have my power, so I can just tell people what I want. Wait, wait, idiot, what are you saying? You shouldn’t use it so freely….

He sighed, sitting up in bed. He felt lucky that he was wearing an actual pair of pajamas, and nice ones at that, instead of one of those hospital gowns where your ass hung out. The thought of himself walking around bare-assed made Schuldich smirk.

Well, I’m sure there’s a downside that I’m not seeing at the moment, he muttered to himself, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed. For a moment, he worried about walking on his formerly injured leg, but the rehab had gone ‘swimmingly’ as Schuldich’s doctor had put it, and his leg was as strong as ever. He ran his long fingers over the front of his black silk pajamas, standing up on graceful legs. He went over to his little bathroom, brushing his teeth.

You may be in a hospital, but that doesn’t mean you should live like a pig. He brushed his teeth thoughtfully, surprised that the ability to walk around something as boring as a hospital could make him happy. Well, it may be boring, but so was his hospital bed. If he was sharing it with someone, that would be different…..

Schuldich then sighed, looking in the mirror at his reflection. He needed a haircut. His long, luxurious fire orange hair had split ends. He shrugged, putting on his trademark yellow bandana, which already made him feel more like himself.

Mission One: Flirt with nurses. Mission Two: Find the others. Schuldich nodded at his reflection, rinsing his mouth out. He hadn’t heard one word about his teammates, and he hadn’t bothered asking the doctor, because he didn’t want to get asked a bunch of questions he couldn’t answer. He wasn’t about to reveal what they had been, what they currently were. It had been four years since everything had fallen apart. Weiß and Schwarz were no more, and the four Schwarz members and been yanked from boss to boss, all keeping within the SZ. The past time had really taken its toll on them. Crawford had been beyond stressed out, Schuldich himself felt tired all the time, Nagi had become withdrawn, and Farfarello had slipped further into madness.

Schuldich frowned, thinking of Nagi. The telekinetic hadn’t been the same since Tot, that stupid Schreient brat, had died. They had all figured that Farfarello would have been the one to do away with her, but nature had taken its course, sort of, and she had died in her sleep of a brain hemorrhage, which had enraged Farfarello, which in turn, had caused Schuldich to laugh, knowing that he could throw it back in the Irishman’s face. Even now, Schuldich smirked, thinking of a time where Farfarello had come at him with a knife, and Crawford had to hold the raging silver-haired man back, while Nagi sulked in front of the computer. He couldn’t understand why Nagi had been so attached to that simpering wench, anyway. She was just like every other woman around: fun for a while, but like a cookie-cutter of every useless one before her. Schuldich flipped his the veil of orange hair over his shoulder, leaving his hospital room.

It actually felt liberating. He waved at the nurses, giving his trademark sultry smirk. Hey, if he flirted with them, even the nasty looking ones, maybe he could get better treatment. He would have called something to them, and actually began opening his mouth to do so, but remembered that he couldn’t use his voice anymore. He frowned. Who knew that he would actually miss it? He stopped in front of a window, letting the sun wash over his face.

Christ, I don’t even know what hospital I’m in. I could be in fucking…. God knows where…. Hmmm, probably still in Japan. After all, they’re all Japanese. Way to be swift, Schuldich…..

He sighed, looking out the window at the rolling green hills. The air smelled sweet, like some flower that he didn’t know the name of.

Hmmm, where’s Weiß when you need them? Schuldich mentally joked. Actually, he did wonder what had happened to their former foes. Maybe they had been in car accidents, too. At one time, Schuldich would have been amused at this thought, but not really anymore, and any pleasure derived from it was fleeting. That seemed like such a long time ago, and he would much rather wish pain upon the driver of that damn truck that had hit them head on. He wondered if the other driver had died… Actually, he didn’t wonder, he hoped.

Where is everyone when I need them?! It’s not as fun to make crude barbs about the sheer shittiness of life without them…. The German was actually surprised that he missed the companionship of his teammates, well, he missed one of them more than the rest, but he didn’t really want to think about that right now…. He actually would have sighed with relief to hear Crawford say something boring about them all being so lazy, and him being better than they were, just because he wore a suit, and he would have smiled to hear Farfarello curse him out while Schuldich taunted him, all the while hating God, and Schuldich would have even liked to hear Nagi sigh at all of them, because they were acting so foolish.

Jesus, Schu, when did you get so soft? He asked himself, passing the Chapel on his little excursion. He smiled, thinking how fun it would be to unleash Farfie on those unsuspecting people, praying to a false God. It would have been highly amusing. He was about to pass by, when something caught his emerald gaze. On one of the back pews, a figure was sitting, his back straight. He was looking ahead, but not really seeing. Schuldich silently stepped through the door, leaning against the back wall. He felt odd standing there in his pajamas, but who really cared? All his attention was focused on the person sitting before him, so calm, so quiet, which unnerved Schuldich in a delicious way. As he watched, the man hardly moved. The redhead wondered if he was sleeping, but he could see the gentle movements of the lean back as he breathed. Schuldich couldn’t resist, and gently began to sift through the mind of the man before him, treading carefully, for he didn’t want to be discovered yet.

There wasn’t an abundant amount of thoughts passing around. They were just calm, serene, watching more than thinking, carefully processing. Schuldich cocked his head, confused. He had been expecting different, but he continued to listen to the man’s thought process silently, unknown.

They’re all so obsessed with praying. Do they honestly think that God will save the ones they’re praying for? Death is all around them, and they still presume to think that one solitary being can save everything? I wonder if they realize they’re throwing their livelihood away on a lie, or if they just don’t care? But, how could you not care when something occupies every fiber of your being?

Schuldich heard a small laugh escape the object of his study, and he continued to listen, surprised and intrigued.

Hmmm, I guess I’m being somewhat ironic. I’m cursing them for letting God control them, and not being the master of their own vessel, and yet I’m the same way, I was the same way…. God controlled me for so long, and I actually thought I was better than these people…. Damn those doctors!! I was perfectly content beforehand, until they had to put their hands in the water, before they had their way…..Now, I just have too much time to think. Sanity is overrated…..

Schuldich furrowed his brow. Farfarello’s thought process was shocking to Schuldich. He decided not to bother listening in on the internal conversation anymore, and walked over to the back of the pew. Farfarello didn’t seem to notice he was there, lost in his thoughts.

I never thought I’d see the day when you’d be the voice of reason, Farfie….

The silver-haired Irishman slowly turned his head, his eyebrows raised, a simple gesture of surprise. "Schuldich," was his simple response. His pouty lips were slightly parted.

The German sat beside his teammate. What happened to you?

"I was in a car accident," the Irishman replied dryly.

Funny, Farfie, realllll funny…..

"I try," Farfarello muttered. "Have you been here for eight months, trapped in this damn place, as I have?"

Yes, unfortunately.

"Why aren’t you talking?"

My larynx has been permanently paralyzed. Now, tell me why you’re making… Sense…

Farfarello laughed quietly. "When I was brought here after the accident, they thought I was insane…"

You ARE insane.

The silver-haired man scoffed. "Thank you for pointing that out. Anyway, they put me on mood altering drugs, and sent me through rehab… So, even if I stop taking my medication, I’m sort of… Cured, I guess is the closest word for it…."

Aww, and I was just thinking how fun it would be to shoot up the Chapel….

We can still do that, if you wish. I may have a more logical thought pattern, but that hasn’t quenched my bloodlust.

Schuldich smiled, running his fingertips up Farfarello’s bare arm, stopping when his hand hit the fabric of the black tank top he was wearing. What about other kinds of lust?

"I don’t know what you mean…" Farfarello trailed off, looking at the German out of the corner of his good eye, the amber irises glinting.

You bastard, Schuldich chided. So, where are Crawford and Nagi?



Farfarello nodded. "Well, Crawford’s dead. He went straight through the windshield of the car, and smashed up against the windshield of the other car. I’m only assuming Nagi’s dead because he isn’t here. Since you don’t use your real name, they didn’t have any information on you, either, so I assumed that I was the only survivor."

How did you know all this?

I have my ways, Farfarello answered cryptically. Schuldich shivered, the Irishman’s voice reverberating in his mind.

What does that mean?

"Nothing. So, where have you been hiding?"

Rehab. I broke my leg in three places.

Poor baby.

You don’t have to tease me.

Oh, I do….

So, why are you in the Chapel?

Why don’t you tell me? You were in my mind, weren’t you?

Schuldich smirked, crossing his arms. Why, whatever do you mean?

Farfarello just looked at him.

After a few moments of silence, Schuldich sighed. He leaned in so he could whisper in Farfarello’s ear. It was the only way he could verbally communicate. "I missed you."

Schuldich felt the vibration of Farfarello’s gentle laughter through the bare shoulder that was pressed to the German’s chest. "Yeah, I bet you did. Hey, you said you couldn’t talk."

"Whispering isn’t talking, it’s a shunting of breath. Plus, it makes my throat hurt."

"Then why are you doing it?"

Schuldich nuzzled his face against Farfarello’s pale neck. "Because I wanted to tell you that I missed you."

Farfarello laughed again. "You didn’t really miss me. You missed a body in your bed. You would probably say the same thing to Crawford if he were here instead of me…."

Schuldich frowned. ?That hurt. You doubt my sincerity?

When have you ever been sincere, Schuldich?

Touché. But, I’m being sincere now.

Farfarello fixed his golden gaze on the redhead. "Why?"

Because it’s how I feel.

"No, no, no. Why did you miss me? Was I that good of a fuck?"

Partly. Whether you want to believe it or not, I care about you, Farfarello.

The other man remained silent, not answering. "I’m not the same as I was before."

I know. But you’re still you…..

Where is this coming from? I didn’t expect you to be so mushy and dependant, Schuldich.

The German shrugged. Just chalk it up to a near-death experience. If you’re allowed to be sane, I’m allowed to be simpering. At least for now. Don’t think I’ll be so submissive all the time.

Hmmm, is there a double meaning in that?

You pervert, Schuldich murmured into Farfarello’s mind, physically looping his fingers through the pale, stationary hands in the Irishman’s lap. You’re starting to sound like me…..

Part 3