“Nagi’s at the door,” Schuldig said, feeling the approach of Nagi’s fatigue and the heavy vibration of his angry power.
“I told you he’d be back,” Crawford answered, as smug and superior as he’d been the whole time since Schwarz had left Nagi buried in the shattered remnants of stately Takatori manor, with its little lab of horrors. Schuldig couldn’t help being proud of how he’d somehow managed not to punch Crawford in his smug, superior face.
Schuldig could see running for your life out of the building as the kid destroyed it around you and getting the important comatose girl to medical care, and said getaway had involved Schuldig piloting the helicopter, Crawford carrying the girl and protecting her from Farfarello in case Farf decided he wanted to get stabby with her too, and Farfarello was the last person Nagi would want to see. Schuldig had offered to go back for Nagi once they had everything settled with the Fujimiya girl but Crawford had forbid it. Thus, Schwarz had left Nagi alone and out cold in the wreckage to eventually regain consciousness, sort himself out, and travel back to them on his own while Schwarz sat around elsewhere doing nothing. The kid was a member of their team and valuable, damn it.
When Nagi entered their apartment he looked tired, filthy, and somewhat bruised and abraded, but since Nagi should have been dead it could have been worse. Slamming the door shut, he said, “The only reason I’m back is that Eszett would hunt me down.” He sounded hoarse, not surprising after all the screaming he’d done.
“You also have nowhere else to go,” Crawford replied.
A few objects in the room vibrated and rattled a bit. If Nagi decided to use his telekinesis to rip Crawford into pieces, Schuldig didn’t see how he’d be able to stop it, even if he’d wanted to. Crawford, you stupid ass, Nagi wasn’t a Sith apprentice who’d only become stronger and more powerful if he “honed” his anger and hatred.
“You left me,” Nagi said.
“You know that we had to get the Fujimiya girl away to safety and medical care because she’s essential to our plan. I knew you were still alive and would make your way back to us.”
“I brought Tot back to life.”
Farfarello looked even more disturbed than Schuldig felt, although Crawford managed to hide it a bit. “Is that true?” Crawford asked Schuldig.
Schuldig didn’t want to take a prolonged immersion in the dark stew of emotions Nagi currently gave off but didn’t have to since the answer came right up. “I’ll be damned. He actually did.”
In response, Farfarello breathed a bit harder and looked somewhat crazier than usual. Usually the people he stabbed through the heart stayed dead and only his hated divine Trinity had the power to revive the dead. As Farfarello’s wrangler, Schuldig hoped the news would subdue him instead of make him act out more.
Crawford asked, “Then where is she?”
“I wouldn’t tell you if I knew, which I don’t.” But Nagi’s mind couldn’t help remembering her dazed confusion and the way she’d run from him, and how he’d decided it’d be safer for her to be away from him and out of the reach of Schwarz. Although Schuldig didn’t make a habit of feeling sympathy for people, he couldn’t help feeling some for Nagi here.
Especially since Schuldig had noticed Crawford letting that doomed love affair go on and then violently punishing Nagi for it later. Fucking seers and their plans. This plan made Schuldig doubt the other plans and wonder harder what Crawford might have planned for him after they took the Elders down and Crawford didn’t need him anymore. They needed Nagi and Crawford treated him like this....
Had Crawford intended this situation to be a lesson and warning to all of Schwarz or had that just been a side effect?
“It was necessary,” Crawford said. “I knew you wouldn’t start to have access to anything like the full extent of your power until you reached for it in desperation.”
“...I need to take a shower and have a long sleep if I’m going to be any use to anyone,” Nagi said. “But I want you to know that you better not hit me again and that Farfarello better step really carefully around me. From now on I’m hitting back.”
Over the telepathic link, Nagi said, ~ You’ll need my telekinesis when we go after the Elders, and you better hope you’ve begun to make it up to me enough for me to use any of my power to protect you from them. ~
At least Crawford didn’t have anything “smart” to say to that. It wasn’t wise to antagonize the kid who could explode buildings and bring the dead back to life, the powerhouse you needed to go against the Elders’ powers, especially after you’d recently pimp-slapped and abandoned him. Schuldig wanted to survive all of this in one piece.
After the kid finished his shower, dressed for bed, and went to his room, Schuldig showed up there and said telepathically to him alone, ~ Balinese came upon you and Tot having a moment and thought it was really sweet, so if you approached him or his team the right way after all this shit with Eszett is over you might be able to find a haven there. ~
Surprised, Nagi asked, ~ Why are you doing this? ~
~ I don’t like how this went down, and Crawford should have some of the smugness knocked out of him. I would have gone back for you if he’d let me. ~
For a moment his big blue eyes glistened, but he quickly regained outward control of his emotions. ~ Thanks. I’ll remember this. ~