Watching him feels like being a voyeur - or one of those idiots who rubberneck driving past a car crash.

Not that I have any objections to being the former, or causing the latter. And heh, a car crash is a good way to describe his life, which I helped with after all. Though if you ask me, the angst he subjects himself to over his fucked-up existence is a bit much. Leben ist Scheiße. Deal with it and move on.

Then again, I suppose I'd be disappointed if he did - his inability to cope has such great potential.

Which is why 'Kitten Stalking' is this afternoon's game-to-alleviate-boredom. That's right, just follow along behind until Mr. 'My Life is Hell' actually notices he's being tailed.

One time I got up to sixty-eight minutes before he spotted me. Admittedly, it was a shitty evening - dark, wet, all slick asphalt, driving rain and blurred fluorescent lights. And he was distracted too, returning home from pouring his woes out into the insensible ears of his comatose sister - probably his most sympathetic listener. But still...careless little Kätzchen. He's lucky Crawford has Weiß on the Unendangered Species List, or I could have easily taken him out. Or rather, taken him out more easily than normal.

I like to listen to him on these walks of ours, tune into the remorse going round and round on the treadmill of self-blame and culpability. I never realised he'd take the sin of survival so hard - or that the patterning of his guilt would be so sweetly addictive. The pretty-boy looks don't hurt either. Yes, Aya is hours of fun and entertainment for the whole Schuldig - mental, visual, and maybe someday, physical too.

I dawdle a block behind him as he heads for the park. Well, it's a nice day, and after spending a morning dealing with Balinese hung-over and about as useful as spoon in a knife fight, I'd want to get the hell away from the flower shop too.

I wink at some power-suited cutey walking by. She flicks her gaze aside, thinks,

*baka gaijin*

Cow. I do a quick scan, push a little, and the next time that blabbermouth office lothario hits on her, he's going to get the surprise lay of his year. Bet her husband won't be too pleased though.

Aya's almost a couple of blocks ahead now, though not out of sight - the blood-red hair's a little hard to miss. Such a delightful color and so appropriate for our line of work. I'm almost jealous.

He turns the corner, and his consciousness registers a distinctive shade of orange-red. Oh yes, there it is - that lovely lemon-sherbet burst of fear. I duck behind a delivery van. He's scanning the street, anxious, but no, no nasty German assassins currently visible. He isn't sure if what he saw was real and he's coming back to check. Hmm. Could be amusing.

I'm so focused on him I barely notice the car and its occupant until it starts to brake. The black BMW stops beside me and the passenger door swings open.

"Get in," says Crawford, no discernible emotion on his face or mind.

"But Braaad," I whine, as much from disappointment as to irritate him, "It's just about to get interesting."

"We have a job, Schuldig." there's a hint of threat and exasperation there now. "Playtime's over."

The man is just no fun - outside of bed, that is. I get in. Crawford puts his foot down and we drive off as Aya walks past the other side of the van, oblivious.

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