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25 May 2009 @ 11:04 pm
 





The truth is, Nagi was few delusions about himself. He can rearrange a city block on a whim, but he gets hangnails. His hair is too oily. His body is marked with ripples and bumps and craters; all the wonderful consequences of being alive.

 

He understands certain things that seem to allude his peers. For one, that most people his age are unprepared for the massive failure that their lives will turn out to be. They live in a universe largely determined by an ambiguous phenomenon called 'luck', after all. For every bundle of good, there's incalculable amounts of bad, and generally everyone gets the same shoddy ratio of both. Nagi is not superstitious, but he does figure himself to be the punch-line of some long-running statistical joke, every now and then. For one thing, he always happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Either that, or wherever and whenever he is, is wrong. The simplest explanations usually turn out to be the right ones.

 

For these reasons, he is not entirely surprised to find them, waking in the early morning after falling asleep over his laptop. The creatures are, initially, unimpressive. Dragonflies the size of his palm with suspiciously human faces. A parrot with an extra set of wings growing vertically from its back. It bobs into Nagi's vision, then disappears into the receding hallway of the Space Room. He squints, but the room is infinite, after all, and reaches far enough to lack both depth and dimension. "What," Nagi says, "the fuck?"

 

Not that he is unaccustomed to a life full of unsettlingly illogical episodes. He sighs as one of the sprites pirouettes around his hair, then settles on his shoulder, tickling his cheek with her antenna. I think I can handle this, he tells himself, watching his computer hum to life. The reflection against the screen looks calm enough, although he does have three squares etched into his temple, suspiciously resembling J, K, and L. As long as they don't bite, he should be able to finish the half-typed report on his desktop. This is a comforting kind of normal. He has always been uninterested in biology, even his own unique example, but wires and rechargeable batteries enthrall him. The secret to all life may be something or other about proteins, but what really gets his blood going is GPS systems that monitor traffic conditions.

 

So, it is not until something decidedly bigger wanders into the room, that he decided to seek an outside opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schuldig is the only one home, which is unfortunate. He has a talent for injecting even the most mundane situations with surrealism. He is sleeping on the couch with a pair of sunglasses on and his mouth open. His fingers are twitching in his sleep. "Schuldig," Nagi says, nudging him in the arm with his knee. "Schuldig. Wake up."

 

Schuldig turns his chin up, but his lenses are so dark that Nagi can't tell if his eyes are open. "There's — there's something I need you to see."

 

Schuldig opens his mouth once, like he is unaccustomed to human speech, then closes it again. Schuldig alternates between spontaneous brilliance and bumbling incompetence. Nagi is waiting to see which of these is the one waking. Schuldig's index finger disappears behinds one lens, and then reappears. On the second try, he gets it. Mostly. "Wha?"

 

Fuck.

 

"There's," Nagi can't bring himself to say it, hyper-aware that this is self-hypnosis, denial. Oh well, he thinks. At any rate, many useful philosophies have been based on comforting lies. Just looks at the world's religions. "There's something in the Space Room."

 

"What is it?"

 

"It's a —. Christ, I can't explain. Just come look."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Schuldig is infuriatingly unexcited, as they watch it trot in the far reaches of the hallway. He hasn't bothered to take his sunglasses off. He is folded into the computer chair, with his legs against his chest, and the weight of his chin on his knee. Nagi hopes that he is overestimating Schuldig's apathy, but he doesn't believe he is. By default, Nagi thinks the worst of people. By probability, he's usually right. "This is not surprising."

 

A supernova reflects off the animal's golden horn. "How is this not surprising?

 

Which is a stupid question. Schuldig only ever seems faintly surprised about anything, delighted even, like a tourist observing the habits of a people whom he finds charmingly inferior. "Who knows what kind of magic the Elders used to create this thing? There's probably a portal to another dimension down there, how am I supposed to know? Ask Farfarello about it. He's much better at metaphysical discourse than I am."

 

The animal brays. Nagi notes, with some apprehension, that is is significantly closer than it was several minutes ago. Schuldig continues, " Really, Nagi? You're scared of a unicorn? He's only lost."

 

"He?"

 

"Ellyllon. And, actually, he's quite sensible for a member of his species."

 

Which confirms to Nagi that Schuldig was obviously not the right person to handle this issue. He winces when the chair's hinges creak as he gets up. He's not afraid, he tells himself. But there's no use in drawing its attention. "I'm going to call Crawford."

 

 

 

 

 

 

"It's just simply not plausible," Crawford says, pushing his feet into the ground to maintain balance when the unicorn nudges him on the shoulder. "No, no. Forget plausibility. This is clearly not an issue of plausibility."

 

Crawford, Nagi notes, has been unable to look at the animal directly. He is shifting through the papers in the manilla folder on his lap, as if some instruction manual for dealing with wayward mythological creatures will suddenly appear. Meanwhile, Schuldig has been happily feeding it baby carrots out of the palm of his hand. "Stop feeding it," Nagi says. "Or it'll never leave."

 

Which is immediately followed by the thought: Well, if that isn't obvious foreshadowing, I don't know what is, but Crawford's face is as impervious as ever. Or, at least, as impervious as one can be when there is a meter-long metallic horn swinging perilously close to one's major veins and arteries.

 

Don't be jealous, Schuldig thinks at him. It's unattractive.

 

Nagi doesn't recognize the expression on his face, which is usually default on the restless boredom that Schuldig and Crawford are not aware they share. (That, and unmanageable hair.) Crawford's is less obvious, but infinitely more dangerous, because his boredom is white, American, and upper-middle class. This a combination that produces both artists and mass murderers in equal proportions, although the two categories are not always mutually exclusive. "Perhaps, there is something," Crawford says, the same way to he speaks to their employers when he wants them to think he actually gives a shit about their investments, "On the internet?"

 

Nagi stares at his computer screen, feeling a bit more optimistic, now that there is the prospect of research.

 

 

 

 

 

Even from the living room, they can hear hooves pacing over the non-floor of the Space Room. Nagi imagines one powerful back kick to the boxes of equipment and cringes. On the bright side, they are bulky and outdated, he has been mildly electrocuted on more than one occasion, and he wouldn't mind an excuse to request an upgrade. After all, what kind of glitch could have caused this in the first place?

 

Crawford looks perplexed. To his credit, it only seems like an inadequate simulation of perplexity — like is eyebrows have never properly learned how to knit together. "Perhaps we should allow Farfarello to take care of this."

 

While Nagi is struggling to adapt to this change, Schuldig is smiling. Schuldig does not have a pleasant smile; it is lop-sided and full of hidden intent, like a kindergartner luring stray cats with sardines, so he can snip off the tip of their tails. One eye says: Didn't you see this coming, you bastard? — the other, Touch my unicorn and I'll fucking kill you, or maybe Touch my unicorn and you're never getting laid again, Nagi isn't sure. Whatever it is, Crawford recognizes it, accustomed enough to the shifting, constantly uneven ground on which they regard each other. He frowns. "Well, do you have a better idea?"

 

 

 

 

 

"C'mere," Schuldig mutters. "C'mere, pretty boy. Fuck, Nagi, can't you just float these things or something?"

 

He has slices of apple in his palm. He'd had six, but three had been tossed down the chute-like end of the Space Room, and the creature had refused to follow. It appears to prefer burying its nostrils in Schuldig's hair. "I told you not the feed it," Nagi yells, from his safe point at the computer desk. Now, that the initial shock has past, he can appreciate the unicorn's long mane and tail — white, white, with a slight cast of blue — and is that glitter on the skin over the long muscles of its legs and chest?

 

Fuck. Off. I have its snot in my hair, Schuldig sends back, looking desperately over at Crawford, who still refuses to make eye contact. Because of this, he misses the creature's enthusiastic exploration of Schuldig's upper body. Nagi doesn't do biology, but at least he can appreciate the animals lack of self-consciousness. It might be nice to view with the world without a certain sense of revulsion, every now and again. I don't think it wants the apples anymore.

 

"Schul —," Crawford begins, but that is as far as he gets. Nagi reaches out with his telekinesis, but it is too late. Both Schuldig and the unicorn have disappeared beyond the event horizon. Crawford looks at Nagi as if he's only just realized something has gone slightly amiss. "Did Schuldig just get kidnapped by a unicorn?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farfarello just laughs when they tell him, then wipes his eye with the hand that is not strapped to the bed-frame. "Don't you worry," he says, and Nagi is wary of the confidence in his voice. "You'll get your boy back. Although, the condition you get him in — now, that's questionable."

 

Crawford nods, taking this into deep consideration. Nagi figures he must have also had a vision, because the subject (and the Space Room) abruptly become taboo. Crawford changes the channel at the glimpse of anything remotely horse-like.

 

On the other hand, Nagi cannot stop thinking about it. He wakes at intervals during the night, sweating. He hopes Esset is not monitoring his internet searches; he has two folders, one for folklore, and another for images, although none of the images quite capture the malicious undertow of the experience. Until then, he'd figured these were just the sorts of stories people told each other as a distraction from the fact that they evolved via the route of a primate that had more than one use for its own feces. At any rate, a lot of very useful philosophies have been founded on comforting lies.

 

When he can no longer support this obsession alone, he breaks and asks Crawford, "Do you think Farfarello knows because he's Irish?"

 

Crawford looks confused for a moment, then understands, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose with his forefinger. "That's fairies, Nagi. Not —. Not, you know."

 

And Nagi, tired, confused, Japanese, does not quite see the difference.

 

 

 

 

 

True to Farfarello's predictions, Schuldig appears at the front door five days later, decidedly more freckled, with shoots of grass trapped in his hair, and smelling of dandelion. Nagi watches Crawford usher him in, and place a mug of tea between his hands. Nagi can feel the questions bunching up in his mouth, but refrains, seeing Schuldig's bloodshot eyes, and the tremor of the mug against his palms.

 

It takes a week for Schuldig's sunburn to disappear, and another week for Nagi to feel like he has won him over with enough calculated friendliness to begin a serious dialouge. Schuldig seems surprised when the bread pops out of the toaster, as if he hasn't seen something go his way for quite some time. Hell, it's not even that burnt. He begins buttering the slice mechanically, and does not stop. "Where did you go?"

 

"Do not want to talk about it."

 

"If you went to another dimension, this is a fact that cannot be ignored. This is important. This is scientifically important."

 

"Nagi," Crawford warns, appearing in the doorway. Schuldig goes on buttering his toast, until Crawford patiently extracts the knife from his hands.

 

"Do not want to talk about it," Schuldig says again, and for a moment, Nagi thinks he sees — but no, it can't be — is that glitter on Schuldig's cheeks?.
 
 
 
 
voksen: nerd - BATMAN! :Dvoksen on May 26th, 2009 03:25 am (UTC)
YOU ARE AMAZING AND GODLIKE

brb going to read it RIGHT THIS SECOND
baby with the baboon heartahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
OMG YOUR ICON *dies*

Now, if only I had photoshop skilllz!
(no subject) - voksen on May 26th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voksen on May 26th, 2009 03:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voksen on May 26th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voksen on May 26th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 03:53 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 04:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voksen on May 26th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 03:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 03:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 04:02 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voksen on May 26th, 2009 04:05 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 04:06 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - voksen on May 26th, 2009 04:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 10:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
President of the United States of Love: unicorn? moar like uniPORN amirite?numinicious on May 26th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC)
HOLY SHIT THIS WAS AMAZING OH MY GOD.


I NEED MORE UNICORN ICONS.
baby with the baboon heartahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
YOUR PHOTOSHOP SKILLZ OWN MINE.

DDD:
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - numinicious on May 26th, 2009 03:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
two_point: horse dresstwo_point on May 26th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
We are crowning you Princess of the Internets (a joint rule with Princess Schuldig).

You have written the best Nagi in the history of Nagis. And you did all this with a horn and glitter.

I love you. Now you will give me your address so I can steal all the unicorns from the barn children and send them to you so that you might place around your keyboard and stare at them as you're writing the next installment.

baby with the baboon heartahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
DON'T EVEN TELL ME YOUR JOKING, BECAUSE I WANT THOSE FUCKING UNICORNS.
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - two_point on May 26th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - two_point on May 26th, 2009 03:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - dormouse_in_tea on May 26th, 2009 07:23 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 10:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - two_point on May 27th, 2009 01:41 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 27th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
Daegaer: Nagi - bluedaegaer on May 26th, 2009 07:39 am (UTC)
This is truly awesome!

Crawford looks at Nagi as if he's only just realized something has gone slightly amiss. "Did Schuldig just get kidnapped by a unicorn?"

Ahahahahahaha! Oh, Crawford, Crawford.

I love the idea of Crawford and Schuldig sharing restless boredom and unmanageable hair, it's a perfect description.

Schuldig seems surprised when the bread pops out of the toaster, as if he hasn't seen something go his way for quite some time.

Poor boy. Hee!
baby with the baboon heartahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
Actually, who isn't surprised when bread pops out of a toaster? Marvelous inventions. Marvelous.
That's Not My Cat.: Still The Prettiestpuddingcat on May 26th, 2009 08:25 am (UTC)
This? Is Genius. Sparkly blue genius.

I love Crawford changes the channel at the glimpse of anything remotely horse-like. (And also have visions of the unicorn bringing Schuldig back, Ringu-like, by cantering out of the screen. Except less soggy.)
baby with the baboon heart: not drinkingahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 10:49 am (UTC)
Hee hee, thank you.

(And also have visions of the unicorn bringing Schuldig back, Ringu-like, by cantering out of the screen. Except less soggy.)

AUGH THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING


y i no think of that? DDD:
indelicate ink: wk - schuldig & crawfordindelicateink on May 26th, 2009 12:41 pm (UTC)
OMG. This is the most magnificent crack, flawlessly executed. Much love. XD
baby with the baboon heartahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 01:18 pm (UTC)
Gracias. If crack is not a serious literary movement by now, it should be.
h_w: pinkupantsuhungry_worm on May 26th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
HEEEEEE! XD :D :D :D
baby with the baboon heart: schuahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
Thankees, ^^
cephalopodwaltz: cicadacephalopodwaltz on May 26th, 2009 07:21 pm (UTC)
Ohmybloodybluehell, you have quite possibly made my entire life. xD
baby with the baboon heart: brad/schuldigahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
HOW MUCH WOULD I HAVE TO BRIBE YOU TO DRAW A SCHWARZ/UNICORN PICTURE?!?
(no subject) - cephalopodwaltz on May 27th, 2009 04:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 27th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cephalopodwaltz on June 2nd, 2009 12:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on June 2nd, 2009 03:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - cephalopodwaltz on June 2nd, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC) (Expand)
And now a word from our sponsor...: Smile like helltoscas_kiss on May 26th, 2009 09:02 pm (UTC)
OMG! LMFAO!!!
baby with the baboon heart: not drinkingahpookishere on May 26th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Hee hee hee. Glad you liked it.
woe: weiss reportbunnysquee on May 27th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
this fic is full of win! i love your brain.

thank you for writing and sharing.

baby with the baboon heartahpookishere on May 27th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. :D
Good grief, it's a running gag: you know i'm awesome (WK)lady_ganesh on May 27th, 2009 02:01 am (UTC)
Oh, my lord this is insane. Could not stop laughing. Nice work!
baby with the baboon heart: schuahpookishere on May 27th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
Insane is pretty much what I was aiming for. Thanks. :)
Rhiannon and the Chorus of Chaoschorus_of_chaos on May 27th, 2009 08:24 am (UTC)
not even sure how I got here, but so very glad I did :)
baby with the baboon heartahpookishere on May 27th, 2009 12:14 pm (UTC)
Ah, well, welcome!
mainekosama: Schuldig Crawford celebrationmainekosama on May 27th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Well, you must be tired of adoration by now but i simply cannot pass this one! To say that you win at everything would be like to say that water is perhaps slightly damp. I can't even quote the favourite part; well, yes I can - it starts with the picture and ends with the "is that glitter on Schuldig's cheeks?.". Amazing. Funny, but far from just that.

Btw, welcome back!
baby with the baboon heartahpookishere on May 27th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you, as always, Maycat! I'm always excited when you comment. ^^ I hope my pushy unicorn brightened your day.
lauand: Schwarz - Redhandedlauand on May 29th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
"Did Schuldig just get kidnapped by a unicorn?"

XDDD!!! I would never have expected to read a WK fic with that kind of sentence and to like it! I think you should write crack more often.
baby with the baboon heart: not drinkingahpookishere on May 30th, 2009 01:54 am (UTC)
Oh, it's been tempting. I am currently at work on an epic trashy film noir Silvia Lin story that no one will read, because everyone hates Silvia Lin. I'm having fun, though. I made a movie poster for it and everything, hee hee. ^^
(no subject) - daegaer on May 30th, 2009 01:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ahpookishere on May 30th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
opheliacsuicide_angel01 on July 11th, 2009 12:04 pm (UTC)
Found your story through a link in one of twopoints posts.

Well,it seems I can't write something meaningful (or at least something comprehensible ) right now - images of glittering Schuldig and Crawford with his phobia keep popping up and with that my ability to multitask seems to decrease.

So to keep it simple: I like your story! ;)
baby with the baboon heart: brad/schuldig 2ahpookishere on July 11th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

Poor Schuldig, glitter would have been such a good look for him too.