Remix: Otherside (The Not All Roses Remix) [Crawford/Schuldig, 500 words, rated PG], by gwonam
This particular sliver of impossibility has been a long time coming, creeping up inexorably into the splintered webs in the back of your mind until first no desirable path, then no acceptable path, then no path at all is empty of the sense of it, shifting through the future shadows, evading your efforts to pin it down to a date.
So you're not surprised, not precisely, to be suddenly looking at yourself through Schuldig's eyes, nor to see him staring back at you from your own, blank, shocked: it's an expression rare enough on him, rarer still on you.
"It could be worse," you say, bringing him out of whatever confusion he'd been lost in. This is, of course, inviting the Fates; cat-curious, Schuldig prowls into your talent before you can warn him off, with predictable results.
You catch him as he stumbles and falls, forewarned by the futures rushing through his mind and into yours like a river overflowing, but it's his body that moves, supernaturally quick and deft, pure muscle memory, to support yours. (And, academically, you've always known what he's capable of-- it's your business to know-- but it's different to feel it, to do it yourself. There's something else interesting in how quick you'd been to move that makes you wonder how complete the mental transfer was; was that instinct for his own benefit or for yours?)
With Schuldig down from psychic backlash for what will probably be the next few hours (uncertainty looks much better on him than on you, but you have little choice) you need to get to work. There's a lot to do, to convince the others of what's happened, to direct them wearing this body, but it's a lesson you learned a long time ago: the world doesn't stop just because you'd like it to. Not yet.
But after you set your team to searching for ghosts, answers, and cures, you can no longer deny the ache in your head, the whispers seeping through cracks in your shields you'd never even known were there, slowly building to a flood of other, seductive, nauseating, irresistible.
Eszet had given you the pills along with your telepath years ago; you'd known immediately that to use them on him was to lose the possibility of his trust (such as it was) forever, but you had kept them anyway, out of some half-formed hunch, not even close to a true vision.
And now, now-- Farfarello is out hunting; Nagi is absorbed in work; Schuldig is still unconscious. Blind as you are, you can't be sure that nothing will come up, but you take one anyway, a bitter swallow of numbness that spreads and thickens until you're alone in yourself again, until Nagi no longer glances over when you call for him in your mind.
When Schuldig wakes up, eyes searching you out like a touchstone, you smile, crooked, a mockery of his grin-- and when you lie to him, he can't hear the truth behind it.