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The door opened and closed again in the darkness, and the redheaded German let himself in, leaning back against the door and waiting. The room was dark; not even the moonlight made it past the blackout shades that kept guard against the windows. It took a few moments for his eyes to adjust, but when they did, he could see the barest hints of the body curled up under the comforter in the bed.

He reached out without moving and brushed against the boy's mind. :I know you're not asleep.:

Nagi didn't move in the darkness, but one of the shades quivered for half a second and then snapped halfway up, letting in the dull glow of the street outside. Schuldich smiled a little as he saw the figure, naked save for a pair of boxer shorts and a comforter tucked around him, in the sudden light. :You would know that, wouldn't you, Schuldich. What do you want?: The boy thought loudly, knowing full well that Schuldich hadn't dropped the link between them. They conversed like this most of the time, when Schuldich was feeling benevolent. It was easier than dealing with the mixture of native languages in the group, easier than dealing with Schuldich and Nagi's heavily accented English, Farfarello's semi-sane rantings. Thoughts had no language.

Schuldich could feel the smile beginning to round his lips. :What do I always want when I come tiptoeing into your room in the middle of the night? I want a blowjob. And I don't feel like going out.:

Though the boy's mind was wide awake, he didn't shift position at all; he could have been asleep, and indeed, if Schuldich couldn't touch his mind, he would have thought Nagi was. He poked a little at the boy's mind, caught the thought born more of irritation than of distress that if it had been Crawford at his door, the American would have given up and tiptoed away. :Go ask Farfarello; I'm sleeping.:

:You don't put anything near Farfarello's mouth that you want to keep, and you damn well know that.: Schuldich smirked in the darkness and began walking towards the bed. :And Brad -- dear, darling Brad -- absolutely refuses to play along. So I'm left with you.: Another few steps, and the bed shifted beneath this weight as he tossed himself on it, not caring if Nagi wanted him there or not. :You don't seem to hate the thought all that much.:

:Oh, I despise it. I'm quaking. Please, please, Schuldich, don't touch me like that, don't make me touch you like that.: From anyone else, the thought would be honest and heartfelt, and the struggle would have already begun. From Nagi, it was a bored dull-grey monotone -- not that thoughts had tone, but that was the feel to it. The boy didn't move, not even when Schuldich ran light fingertips up his arm. :I have school in the morning. I need to sleep.:

:You weren't planning on going to school in the morning and you damn well know that too.: In the silence and darkness between them, Schuldich laughed; the first sound since he'd entered the room. :You know, you could at least pretend that you don't want this. Shocked innocence? Tearful protest? Nothing?: He paused, waited for a response; Nagi's only reaction was a wash of mental boredom. Schuldich sighed. :You're so dull, Nagi. Out of all of us, you're the most boring.:

:Because I don't want to waste my time fighting you when it's a foregone conclusion?: His eyes glinting in the darkness, Nagi rolled over to face the older man, as quick as a snake. The thin, wiry body pressed up against Schuldich's, lips meeting lips with an unerring aim. :Because I want you to touch me? Because I'm not a control freak like Crawford or a psychopath like Farfarello? Because I don't bother lying to myself?:

:Oh, you lie.: The beauty of mental conversation, Schuldich thought, was that you could keep it up while you were kissing someone, tongues tangled and pulses beginning to elevate. He took control of the kiss even as his hands ran up Nagi's sides, fingers light and cool against bare skin. :You lie like all of them, except your lies are more boring. And you don't care that you're lying. That makes you boring. I like it when people have to think about their lies. When they have to realize what liars they are.:

:Then go and find your amusement somewhere else. I'd hate to make you spend time with someone you think is so boring.: Abruptly, Nagi broke off the kiss and rolled back over; Schuldich, startled, probed for jealousy or hurt, found nothing but indifference. :Or should I lie for you? That turns you on, doesn't it, Schuldich?:

:Always.: One hand traced lines down Nagi's back, and Schuldich was perversely both irritated and amused that there was no reaction. :Everyone's a liar, didn't you know that, Nagi? All of you. I'm the only honest man in the world.:

:Do you want me to lie to you?: Nagi didn't move, but Schuldich could feel the hint of a whisper along the back of his neck, like invisible fingernails. :I can, you know. I've got no problems with that. If that's what you came here for me to do --:

:I came here to have you.:

:Then have me.: Nagi rolled over again, sprawling out on his back, taking up far more of the large double bed than he should have been able to with his slender frame. His arms open, his legs spread wide, he made a very attractive picture against the dark sheets, one lock of hair falling into his eyes. :You want it, I want it. You're always saying that you're the only honest man in the world, Schuldich; well, here's a little bit of honesty for you.:

:You little whore.: Schuldich laughed silently, knowing how much Nagi hated the feel of mental laughter. His words weren't accusing, nor insulting; it was simply a statement of fact, a half-affectionate nickname. He sprawled out next to Nagi, one hand brushing along the younger man's hip and curve of stomach, with his usual detached appreciation of the other's physical beauty. A little bit of him smiled in victory as Nagi arched, just a little, against the touch.

:Yes, and your point is? It's not as if I make any secret of the fact.: Nagi smiled, slightly, his mental tone horribly, lazily amused. He still didn't move, but Schuldich could feel the barest whisper of ghostly hands running along his side. :If I'm not mistaken, it's a word that could apply to you, too. Are you going to do something, or are you just going to lie there?:

:You take all the challenge out of things.: Petulantly, like a child deprived of a favorite toy, Schuldich dropped his arm over Nagi's chest and gave up on trying to tempt the other. :And yes, maybe I was a whore once, too, but at least I don't still try to be normal. You do, you little freak. Always trying to be normal.:

:Normal? Normal?: The boy's mental tone suddenly turned vicious, and Schuldich blinked at the sudden change, an intensity that he'd never felt from Nagi before -- Nagi, who was usually so cool and distant, so self-controlled, with a mind that accepted and acknowledged everything he was and did. He rolled over once more, covering Schuldich's body with his own, hot and intense pressed up skin against skin. Schuldich only laughed as Nagi's lips found his ear and the boy spoke out loud, in his native language, the breath soft and gentle.

"Normal, Schuldich? You want to know what normal is? Normal isn't being kicked out of your house when you're eleven years old because you're some kind of freak, because you're some kind of demon monster that your parents don't want to touch. Normal isn't getting turned out into the streets with nothing to do but steal and lie and cheat and turn tricks."

Schuldich closed his eyes against the dizzying waves of thoughts that came from the boy, as if a dam had burst; hatred, self-loathing, disgust. The thoughts were beautiful, blood-salty and so, so intense; almost better than sex, almost better than drugs, almost better than anything else he could think of. He had never felt anything like it from Nagi before; not Nagi, not the one who was always so cool and calculating, so distant and reserved.

Nagi didn't seem to notice the other man's expression as he kissed his way down the side of Schuldich's neck, his cheek soft against the other's skin. His voice was intense, intent, though not vicious or angry. "I was eleven years old when my parents decided I was some kind of demon-spirit and tossed me out on the streets. I was perfectly normal up until then, up until all of a sudden things started moving around me and I couldn't control it when I got upset or angry or hurt. And then I wasn't normal anymore. I was an eleven year old thief and hooker. Except they can't call you a hooker when you're not doing it of your own free will, now can they? Only it wasn't too long before I was doing it of my own will. It wasn't too long before I realized that I liked it. And it wasn't too long before I could control the TK, too." He nipped at Schuldich's ear, violently. Schuldich only laughed, soft mocking sound, and arched his back, rubbing his hips against Nagi's.

:And then Crawford found me. And now I'm a different kind of whore, except there aren't really many different kinds of whores. We all do the same thing; we all sell ourselves for pay. And I hate myself for it.: Abruptly, chillingly, the self-loathing ebbed, to be replaced by nothing more than the same cool indifference and acceptance. "Except when I don't." His soft smile flashed against the darkness. "And now I want you to leave."

He pushed off Schuldich, rolled over to his side again, his back to the German once more, leaving the other man panting and aroused by the sudden wash of thought and emotion. Schuldich laughed, softly, purringly, and rolled with him, biting at the back of Nagi's neck. :You were doing so well,: he whispered into Nagi's mind. :You were feeling so good. And then you had to ruin it with that last lie. You don't want me to leave at all.: His hand rubbed along the curve of Nagi's hip. :You were feeling so good.:

:I thought you wanted me to lie.: The calm self-acceptance was back, in Nagi's mental tone; but more than that, it was the kind of acceptance that saw and acknowledged the self-loathing of but a moment before, and understood it and embraced it. In that moment, Schuldich realized just how badly he'd underestimated Nagi; not boring at all, not when he could lie to himself so thoroughly and completely and have it not turn out to be a lie at all.

:Sometimes a little truth is better. Like spice in your food. You're telling the truth when you say you don't care, and you're telling the truth when you say that you do. Except you're lying both times.: Schuldich laughed out loud again, delighted. :I was wrong. You're not all boring.:

:So good of you to notice.: Nagi's amusement and irritation crackled in the air between them.

:Maybe I will start playing with you more often after all.: Schuldich slipped a hand over Nagi's hip, sliding cool fingers beneath the loose waistband of Nagi's boxers. :Maybe you are worth my time.:

And, abruptly, felt a haze of blue and white fury; found himself flipped backwards, pressed flat on his back against the bed, held down with hands that he could not see. Nagi leaned over him, straddling Schuldich's hips, his eyes catching the reflection of the weak streetlight, flashing a warning and a signal all at once. "Maybe what you want has nothing to do with it," Nagi hissed, all the calm gone from his voice once more. Schuldich could only blink and frantically -- and unsuccessfully -- try to pull his touch back from the other's mind. He wasn't sure if Nagi was forcing those memories on him, or if he was just caught up in Nagi's thoughts: thoughts of dirty streets and ragged walls...

Small fingers closed over Schuldich's temples, not squeezing, just resting there as a warning. "You all think I'm a child," Nagi whispered. "I hear you sometimes. 'He's so young.' You think that because I'm small, I'm weak; you think that because I let you all fuck me that you have some kind of power over me. You think I'm the weakest one out of all of us, that nothing I can do can affect you, that you can overpower me at any time and treat me like you do Farfarello, lock me up and forget about me. Go ahead, 'Schu-chan', and try. Go ahead and try."

Schuldich tried to move, found that he couldn't; tried again to break his mind free of Nagi's barely-leashed fury, found that his touch had tangled in the other's mind. He bared his teeth in a snarl; the boy's words hit too close to home. He was the weakest of them all, the youngest, the least powerful, and none of his little temper tantrums would change that fact. "Do you know what I can do to you, Schuldich?" Nagi continued. "You can read my mind, you can tell what I'm thinking, but I can do something so much worse. All I have to do is reach. All I have to do is let my hands reach inside your mind and find the place in there that lets you do what you can do and pull, just twist a little bit. The brain is a funny place; did you know that? One little twist, one little blood vessel broken, and you can't do that anymore."

Schuldich hissed. "Kleines Gör," he spat, starting to see red and taste iron and ash at the thought. Nagi's lips curved, just a hint.

The thin fingers on Schuldich's temples pressed inward, just a little, and Nagi leaned closer; the fury Schulich could feel was ebbing, replaced only with a cold anger that ran deep, and a perverse pleasure. "You're so special now, but what would you be then? What would you be if I just reached out and turned you off? What would you do?"

Schuldich imagined that he felt the first feather-touch skittering across his mind, the first flash of Nagi's power beginning to reach. Something snapped inside him. "Ich würde beenden Sie," he snarled, not thinking at all. He tested the invisible force holding him down, found that Nagi had let him go; before he realized it, he'd thrown the boy over onto his back, was leaning over him with his own hands around Nagi's neck, squeezing. "I'd kill you," he hissed. "I'd kill you, I'd kill you, I'd kill you..." Nagi's throat beneath his hands was cool and smooth and soft as he squeezed, lost in the wave of rage. "I'd kill you, I'd kill you..." By the fourth or fifth time he spoke, he was laughing, rubbing up against Nagi's body, biting at the boy's lips, fingers reaching out to crush, to rend, and he wouldn't stop laughing, high thin sound ready to crack open and spill its blood between them...

And Nagi only laughed, silently, himself. No struggle, no fight; just that calm mental laughter.

:So are you going to fuck me, or not?: came the thought, after a long minute.

Schuldich pulled back and took a deep, shuddering breath, then another, running a hand through hair that was sweat-soaked and ragged as he pulled himself to a sitting position next to Nagi on the bed. His laughter had turned brittle, and he could feel his teeth bared in a feral smile. "You little shit," he said, speaking out loud. "You little shit..." :You let me do that.:

"Guilty as charged." Nagi sat up too, the dark marks of Schuldich's fingerprints already forming on his throat. "You wanted honesty? Be careful what you ask for." Cool hands ran over Schuldich's back, and Nagi pressed his cheek up against the other man's skin in a gesture that was almost affectionate. "What else do you expect when you come visiting in the middle of the night?"

:What would you do if I told you I wanted to fuck you?:

Nagi answered without words, rising up on his knees behind Schuldich and sliding around to come to rest in Schuldich's lap; Schuldich could feel the boy's cock, hard and straining against the thin fabric of the boxers, pressed up against his belly, could feel the answering twitches in his own groin. "I'd lie back and let you," Nagi purred, nipping at Schuldich's ear. "You know that."

A moment, and then: :And what would you do if I told you to fuck me?:

There was no pause, no break in Nagi's touch, but Schuldich once more felt the whisper of Nagi's power as the other pushed him backwards; he came to rest with the pillow wedged beneath his shoulders, Nagi grinding his hips against Schuldich's demandingly. Fingernails scored across Schuldich's nipples, roughly. For a second, he considered struggling, then let go, arching his back against the touch. :Yes.:

Nagi brought his lips to Schuldich's, claiming his mouth; the kiss was hard, demanding. He rose on his knees, and Schuldich could feel his sweatpants being tugged over his hips, tossed to the floor, even as Nagi's hands pulled at his nipples; dimly, he was aware that Nagi's boxers joined them. Nagi settled back down against Schuldich's hips, rubbing their cocks together. :Is this what you want, Schuldich?:

:Yes, damn you, fuck me.:

Again, that soft laughter, and Nagi let one of Schuldich's nipples go to catch a small bottle that obliged him by flying half-across the room to his waiting hand. He spread the lotion on his cock, on his fingers, then pushed inside of Schuldich, practiced fingers stretching to finding the exact center of sensation.

Schuldich bit back the moan as the pleasure knifed into him, bringing with it memories of younger nights, dark streets, the press of bodies against bodies, the pressure of hands closing around throat and rope slick and rough around wrists -- or were those his memories at all? The boundaries were slipping again, and he was caught in Nagi's memories, his own memories, his boundaries blurring, losing the borders of his own mind in an intimacy greater than the physical. His eyes slipped closed as his hips pushed back against Nagi's fingers, his body repeating the plea.

Then Nagi wrapped his fingers around Schuldich's hips, lowering his head to nip at Schuldich's chest, and with a single smooth motion, slipped inside. The last of the boundaries cracked and spilled on the floor of Schuldich's mind, and --

pleasure pride white sensation and :God he's so beautiful when he's like this lying in front of me: and smoke dim grey dark yes and Nagi was leaning forward and taking a nipple between his teeth and sharp soft red rhythm satisfaction and :he feels so tight I wonder if Brad fucks him like this: and there was something stroking his cock even though both of Nagi's hands were holding his hips steady even as he strained against them and :he should know not to push me even if I never pushed back before dammit he should know that I'm just as deadly as any of them: and skin dark heavy demand body and he was moaning, he could hear it in his own ears and warm wet heat building and he was fucking himself and he was fucking Schuldich and oh God, the kid was fucking him, just the way he liked, fast and rough and demanding and yes hand light push tension pleasure sensation touch thought emotion skin mind and he was coming, ankles hooked around the back of Nagi's ankles, :God just let me take him and fuck him and show him just what I can control come for me Schu-chan come for me I want to hear you scream: back arched, eyes closed, white clean silent nothing alone silence blessed silence

He came back to himself after that blessed eternity of nothing and quiet, opening his eyes to see Nagi sprawled over him, hair falling in his eyes, the barest hint of a smile on his face. As he shifted, Nagi picked up his head to look over Schuldich, and the smile grew wider. He slipped out of Schuldich slowly, squirming up the other's chest to press a light kiss against lips that Schuldich was amused to find toothmarks in. No words, no thoughts; just a slow, sleepy satisfaction and an almost-tenderness to the touch.

Schuldich didn't move as Nagi rolled over onto his side, slender body pressing up against Schuldich's almost territorially, and let his lips skim a bare shoulder before drifting off into a satiated sleep.

:Mein kleines Gör,: Schuldich thought, tasting the exhausted no-mind of Nagi's rest. He was glad for the quiet, the peace; he laughed softly at the first flutters of exhaustion- and satiation-drenched dreams that skittered across Nagi's mind. :You're a freak, yes, but you're still the most normal one out of all of us, no matter how much you like to think you're something more.: He wished, briefly, for just a hint of Nagi's talent; the cigarettes were on the other side of the room, and he didn't think he had the strength to move. :But you're good at what you do: He stared at the ceiling with half-open eyes and wished, too, that Nagi had pulled the blinds back down.

The weight of Nagi's body was warm and nearly comforting beside him as he drifted off to sleep; the brush of Nagi's mind was more so. Yes, he would sleep well tonight. He always did, when there was someone with him.

Beside him, Nagi was dreaming of a field full of sakura blossoms, dancing in an unnatural wind.

Notes and Translations:

"Beleuchten Sie Eine Einzelne Kerze" = "Light a Single Candle", an old saying attributed to everyone from the Sufi to Confucius to Eleanor Roosevelt. "Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."

"Kleines Gör", "Mein kleines Gör" = "little brat", "my little brat"

"Ich würde beenden Sie" = "I would kill you"

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