So he had a field assignment again. Under one of the Council’s golden-haired boys no less. Brad Crawford, precognitive - and by most accounts, general all-round bastard. Wunderbar.
Schuldig loathed precognitives. Creepy little Arschkriecher.
Still, almost anything was better than where he was now. The isolation cell was a rare reward for a ‘job well done’; a refuge from the relentless press of minds on his. Quiet, tranquil, an oasis of peace and calm.
It was driving him batshit insane.
Schuldig lit yet another cigarette. Inhaled. Exhaled. Watched grey smoke drift upward, melding with grey ceiling.
Ja, bring on the precognitive.
Taylor and Rektor had ‘expressed reservations’ about his choice. Marquez just smiled at him, lewdly. Crawford had understood the former reaction – the telepath’s record was a litany of disciplinary actions – but not the latter.
He did now.
The file photo was a mere two-dimensional echo of the boy they’d delivered to him. It wasn’t just that he was pretty, in that rare way guaranteed to survive into adulthood; it was that he was so intensely alive. He made you - made Crawford – want to reach out and curl fingers around his warmth, capture that vibrancy.
He was temptation. And he belonged to Crawford now.
Schuldig knew that look. Scheiße.
Brad Crawford was more than Schuldig had expected. More smart, more aware, more dangerous. More tall. Schuldig would cheerfully kill for that growth spurt the healers kept promising him. But until then, Crawford had six inches and serious body mass over him. As well as precognition and mental shields it would be hard to pass unnoticed. Still, no time to try like the present. . .
“So, Brad, whe. . .”
“Call me Crawford. You haven’t earned the licence to call me by my name. And get out of my head before I beat you senseless.”
It wasn’t as though the boy would say ‘no’.
Broadcast enough desire and even the most puritanical telepath (if such an anomaly existed) would surrender eagerly. And even if Schuldig was truly unwilling, Rosenkreuz taught the consequences of denying authority.
No, the boy wouldn’t say ‘no’.
But aside from that initial flash of resentful recognition, there’d been another response; more unsettlingly lethal, quickly hidden.
Crawford slowly removed his hand from the bedroom doorhandle, retreated to his study. He hadn’t used his Talent for personal matters since dumping Sylvia. He hadn’t thought he’d need to. The techniques were easily remembered however.
Schuldig could tell Crawford was the type of Arschloch who wouldn’t take ‘nein’ for an answer. Just like Lamar.
A precognitive would be harder of course, but he’d learn – too late, naturally - that Schuldig was nobody’s ‘job perk’.
It had taken time; just a slight nudging, day-by-day, imperceptible in itself, until finally Lamar’s eye-to-hand co-ordination was permanently off by a few critical centimetres. Dismissed casually as a ‘bad run’ at training, it had caused his death in the field. A death witnessed by his team and having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the commander’s telepathic fucktoy.
Schuldig loved being underestimated.
Crawford lowered his newspaper.
“Good morning, Schuldig. You look like you slept badly.”
Sleepy blue eyes combined grogginess and antipathy before the coffee machine distracted them.
Crawford appreciated the view. Sleeping sweats draped over Schuldig’s figure, limning it in grey. Turning, the telepath caught him looking and scowled. Crawford stared calmly back. Sleep-rumpled, hair-mussed, sheet creases on his cheek, Schuldig looked soft, sweet and vulnerable. Knowing what homicidal viciousness lay underneath that countenance just heightened the pleasure of viewing it.
Crawford raised his newspaper.
“Eat quickly. Orientation starts at nine.”
The confusion emanating from the telepath almost made him smile.
Three weeks, and Schuldig was ready to murder the Wichser outright, zum Teufel mit Esset.
“If you want to fuck me, fuck me,” he demanded, “But stop fucking me around.”
Crawford cast an appreciative, but unsurprised eye over the nakedness sprawled across his bed.
“I don’t expect fringe benefits from my subordinates,”
Not entirely the truth, Schuldig thought.
“And I also like to know I’ll wake up alive tomorrow.”
Schuldig composed bland innocence onto his face.
“Come back when you actually want to fuck.”
Schuldig was unsure if he was relieved or insulted when the door closed on his face.
wunderbar - wonderful
Arschkriecher - extremely rude version of 'arsekisser'
Scheiße - shit
Doppel Scheiße - double shit
Arschloch - arsehole
Wichser - wanker
zum Teufel mit - to the Devil with