|The Reaper's Choice
Author: the Last Flowerchild PM
After Pickles wakes up and discovers that Toki has died, he begins to unwravel the mystery of what happend to the guitarist. His search for the truth leads him searching beyond the grave and into the hands of death itself for answers. SLASH.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Tragedy - Toki W. & Pickles - Chapters: 4 - Words: 13,447 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 5 - Updated: 09-04-11 - Published: 07-28-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7228390
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Months passed and still Pickles was left to sit there miserable and alone by his gravestone. Eventually he lost all hope of ever finding a way out of his situation, so he fell back into his dead sleep. Voids of horrifying nothingness filled his senses, choked him, made him unable to move, but still he laid there in the cold dirt, feeling himself decompose. Eventually Toki did come back, but when he saw that Pickles was no long there, he nearly began crying. Had he left the drummer too long? Had he simply gone on to a restless afterlife? Why had he left him like this?
Pickles just rose up from the inside of the Earth and greeted the Norwegian with a hug. Immediately the tears left the guitarist's eyes, but he still was trembling all the same. "You ams really cold."
"I didn't even know you could feel me." he said, pulling away, slightly embarrassed at his display of emotion. They both sat down in the cool grass and leaned close to one another. They began talking, telling the other of the events of the past few months. Of course, Pickles didn't have much to tell, but what little he did have he shared with a wide-eyed, excited Toki. Finally the conversation grew scarce and there was but one thing to talk about.
"Pickle, why ams you still here if it ams so miserable?"
"I told you," he said, leaning back against his gravestone, "I'm nat ready to go yet; I still have somethin' important to do."
"I knows that you wants to tell somebody something, so why don't you just dos it if you don't likes being here so much?"
He felt a stab of pain enter his heart. His emerald eyes wandered over to Toki as he inquired, "You want me to go?"
The Norwegian quickly shook his head and gave Pickles a gentle, prodding smile. "No, no way, it ams just—damns it, I want to knows who you ams still hanging around for!" he nudged the drummer a little and added, "I wants to know who you likes so much."
"I...uh..." he swallowed and felt his hands begin to tremble—his face reddened, and Toki began snickering.
"Wows, you must likes them a lot if you ams blushing likes that."
He playfully pushed the guitarist away and laughed nervously. "Hey, shut up." he watched as Toki sat back up and grinned. This was too good to be true—how would the other man react to what the drummer was about to say? Of course Pickles knew what he had to do. He knew that he couldn't spend forever shadowing the person that he loved so much, he had no intention to. Obviously his death had stressed Toki out enough, so why shouldn't he end his suffering? If saying this was the only way that he could cross over and save the other man from going thru any more pain, then so be it. Pickles took a deep breath and then reached for the Norwegian's hand. Slowly he took it and held it, let his fingers run against the callused palm of the other man. "Can you really feel me?" he wondered, leaning in a little closer to the guitarist.
Toki, not knowing what to make of this odd behavior, just nodded and smiled a little more. God, that smile was so amazingly bright. "Ja, I reallys can. Why? Can't you feel me?"
"You feel so damn warm." he said, his voice breaking. "Can I...I wanna..." he was too scared to ask the question, too scared of rejection, so he simply pulled the Norwegian closer, so that they were less than an inch away. Before he could stop himself, he was kissing Toki with such hunger, lust, and desperation that he had to be roughly pushed away and slapped.
"Gets off of me! Whats the fuck do you think you ams doing?" he demanded, wiping his mouth off on his hand. "That ams disgusting, Pickle!" he rose up and went to walk away; the drummer attempted to do the same thing, but ended up just being pulled back over to his tombstone. He fell against it nearly sobbing.
"You fuckin' idiot! Don't you get it? I'm still here because of you! I love you!"
More time passed. Pickles was left to sit there, under the cool shade of the trees, in the blazing heat of the sun, as summer turned to fall. He was utterly alone now, totally cut off from the rest of the world. Obviously nobody came to visit him, and he didn't disappear, either. He didn't know why, but for some reason he just couldn't cross over. It seemed as though his soul was still restlessly unsatisfied with its current condition, and when he thought about it, he supposed it made sense. All he could do was sit there, brush dead, fallen leaves off of himself, and watch the sun dissolve and the moon rise. A time came when he wished that he could just evaporate, and he tried laying down and sleeping like he'd done before, but the vast voids of that nothingness that had once been waiting so persistently for him in the ground earlier would not accept him.
He longed for the stinging taste of alcohol, the high of a line of cocaine—anything. One day he let out a frustrated sigh and closed his tired eyes; he could clearly see Toki laying in his bed sleeping. It was late now, probably about eleven or twelve at night. The Norwegian's room was as it had always been, strewn with a random assortment of junk, dirty clothes, and kiddish stuff. Pickles arched a brow and leaned against the desk that was carefully tucked in a corner of the guitarist's room. Not knowing how he'd gotten there or what to do, he just relaxed and watched Toki sleep.
Fitfully, the Norwegian let out a tired moan and rolled over onto his back, hugged his deddy bear close to his shirtless chest. Pickles swallowed nervously and carefully wandered over to the side of Toki's bed. He knelt down and reached a hand out to him, lightly touched his cheek, then pulled away. Once his confidence returned to him, he repeated this action, only this time he allowed his fingers to wind their way into the guitarist's hair. Was this a dream? Surely not, this was too real. Everything stood out to the drummer in such detail that it was almost startling, and the other man's skin nearly burned his hand with its fiery-hot warmth.
"I love you." he said, hoping that this would help the situation.
Perhaps this was it—perhaps he was finally crossing over and this was his last few precious moments he'd dwell on Earth. Was he about to pass on to the next phase of his afterlife? No, he thought rebelliously, leaning closer to Toki, not now, not when I just got to see him again...not when I just got to touch him...
Surely this must be his end, because never before had the drummer ever laid his eyes on such a beautiful, impossibly astounding sight as Toki sleeping. He ran his hand over the guitarist's hard muscles, felt the warm blood flowing under the other man's skin. Finally Toki sat up and, still hugging his deddy bear, he scooted away from Pickles. "Whats do you want? How ams you-"
"Sorry," he said, quickly backing off, "I don't really know what I'm doin' here. I just closed my eyes and-"
"I can't! I don't know how I even got here, dude!"
The Norwegian's eyes filled with tears as he began trembling. "This ams not real, this ams not-"
"It's a dream?"
"It ams not real!"
"Then what is it?" Pickles demanded, " 'cause I sure as hell don't know." when Toki just closed his eyes and shook his head, the drummer dared to get up, sit on the bed next to him, and pull him into an awkward hug. "I'm sorry." but that didn't begin to cover what he was really feeling. A sickening mixture of regret, sorrow, and confusion was bubbling in his chest, and it made him want to vomit. "I'm so fuckin' sorry I did what I did—everything. I'm sorry I drank so much, did so many damn drugs, and screwed you over so many times..."
"Pickle," Toki began, "I-"
"...and I'm sorry for all the times I told you to shut up, and that time I accidentally broke your guitar, and when we were fighting onstage that one time and I pulled your hair and gave you a black eye..."
"-it ams okay!" He hugged the Norwegian so tightly that he could barley breathe, but still he didn't pull away. Instead he just wrapped his arms around Pickles' waist and accepted his apologies.
"...I shouldn't have been such an asshole-"
"Yeah, you shouldn't haves been."
"-and tried to kiss you like 'dat, because it was wrong and stupid and I know you don't really understand, but I just had to try it, because I've always wanted to." he was talking quickly, nearly hyperventilating as he said, "You just don't get it 'cause you're nat like like that, I know, but I least I think I am, 'cause I love you a lot." he pulled away and gave Toki a weak smile. Breathlessly he repeated, "That's it, I love you."
He seemed at a loss for words; in the end all he could do was nod and turn a bright shade of red. "Okays, I guess. You knows, I've actually been thinking to that times that you kissed me, ands-"
"You're the only reason that I was ever alive, you were the only thing that made life worth livin', and I can't go on to..." he paused and settled with, "...wherever yet because I just can't leave you."
"You don't haves to leave me."
"I—what?" Pickles gave Toki an odd look and asked, "What do you mean?"
"I don't want you to leaves me, nots ever." he encouraged the drummer to sit up and open his arms. Slowly Toki curled up in his lap and rested his head against Pickles' chest. "You ams so fuckings cold," he whispered, pressing a hand to the other man's chest. After a moment of thought he said, "I don't wants you to go away, never. Promise me that you ams not going to go away without me."
"Dos it." Toki fixed his gaze onto the drummer's face and begged quietly, "Please."
That was it, this had to be a dream. Reality wasn't this kind to him, not anymore. Toki couldn't possibly be accepting another man's touch, be willingly running his hands along the drummer's pale, colorless skin... "I...I promise, dude." he wanted to say something else, to say so much more, but his voice failed him and he was left to just sit there under the inviting touch of his love. Finally, though, reality hit him and he took Toki's wrists and guided his hands away. "Don't do 'dat—you shouldn't touch me."
His face fell and lost all traces of the intense, quiet curiosity that it had once held. "Whys not? I wants to touch you." he kissed Pickles' neck, made him blush, then whispered, "When you were freakings out I tried to tell you that I've really began thinking backs to that kiss, and-"
"Is this real?" he wondered aloud, looking around the room, a mesmerized look in his emerald green eyes. Toki ignored this question and continued to kiss the drummer's throat.
"Nobody's ever kissed me likes that before." he whispered, pulling Pickles into a warm embrace. When the drummer just stiffened in his arms, he added, "I wants you to dos it again."
"What? I—n-no, I can't, we can't...this shouldn't be happening, it's nat okay!" he exclaimed as realization hit him. No, this wasn't good. Toki should be living in the present, not the past. Pickles was nothing but a distant memory now, a long dead dream that now could never be. They couldn't be together like this, it was almost like cheating death itself, and if Pickles knew one thing it was that no matter how much you tried, death would always win in the long run. He might even end up seriously hurting—or killing—Toki. He couldn't bear that thought, so roughly he pushed the other man away and rose up. Swallowing back his lust and desire, he began to make his way back over towards the door that he'd come in. The Norwegian just stared at him, his blue eyes wide with confusion.
"So you don't likes me anymore?"
"No, it's just that-"
"I knew you always hateds me." he pulled the covers of his bed up to cover his shirtless chest.
Pickles quickly shook his head, feeling an overwhelming guilt enter his heart. "Nah, that ain't it at all. I love you, but we just can't do this—it isn't right, don't you get it? I'm dead, Toki. You're not, so maybe we should just move on and pretend like there isn't anything, alright?"
"There's always beens something betweens us, Pickle." he said resiliently, glaring at the drummer in a display of childish anger. "And I can'ts ignores it. I've been unhappy forevers, but you can change it—you can change me. I wants you to do that. I wants to be happy again." Slowly he rose up out of his bed, let his sheets fall from his body. Pickles just stood there, his hand still gripping the knob of the door, ready to leave. He couldn't though, not now. Not after he'd made everything perfect then destroyed it again. He was powerless to stop himself as his long-buried lust rose up inside of him; he reached a hand out. Toki took it and let himself be pulled into the drummer's arms. Pickles felt numb as his fingers worked their way across bare skin, felt that blistering heat. His mouth watered and he pressed his lips to the Norwegian's forehead.
"Ams this an okay thing to do?"
Like he cared. Nothing could stop him now, because whether he liked it or not, the guitarist had been right. There had always been something between them. At night Pickles had always wanted to be lying next to Toki, to have the ability to run his hands thru his soft, lavish curtain of brown hair, to feel the warmth of their bodies touching...
"This is the only thing to do." he said finally, his cold hands wandering down and gripping Toki's ass. Yes, that was what he wanted more than anything else in the whole damn world. The Norwegian became tense, but relaxed as Pickles kissed his cheek. Did the guitarist always sleep in his underwear? Pickles smiled to himself and leaned in close to the other man, his lips parted and poised. Their lips molded together, and immediately Toki gave in and opened himself up for Pickles. He felt the drummer's tongue running along the inside of his mouth, moaned, broke away, then went in again. Nothing was enough; each of them craved more, so they continued to take from one another until air became scarce and neither one could breathe. They were left to stand there in the center of the room panting and moaning with pleasure.
"Mores," Toki pleaded, taking Pickles' hand and kissing the palm. He pressed the hand to his own chest and blushed.
"No." he said, shaking his head and attempting to pull away. "No more, that was enough." the greater, more dominant part of his brain wouldn't let him move; he couldn't leave this place, even if it was a dream. He wanted so much more, to take things to an other unimaginable level. Some fire deep down inside of him had been sparked by that kiss, and he needed more. It was as though he was gradually becoming warmer, alive again. The thing that would wake him up permanently was that unimaginable deed, the thing that he'd pictured himself doing so many times—in business meetings, during concerts, band rehearsals, and even press conferences—he wanted more than anything to make love to the guitarist.
"But I—we can't do it." he said to himself, nearly sobbing at this realization. "We can't, 'cause I could hurt you..."
"Hurts me? How could you do that?"
"Can you even feel me when I touch you?" he asked, turning away. "Do I hurt you?"
"Answer the Gad damn question!"
Toki looked away, knowing where this was leading. He removed himself from the drummer's arms and stepped back a little. "What does that have to dos with anything? You knows that I love you."
"That doesn't have anything to do with it! I-" his voice broke as he confessed, "I just can't hurt you, 'dat's all. You feel so good, so fuckin' nice, but I can't feel like that, can I? I must hurt you...you must hate touchin' me."
"Nos!" he protested, "I don'ts!"
"Lemme see your hand." Toki hesitated before holding out his hand, palm up. Pickles took hold of his wrist, watching the other man's face carefully. He was expressionless, even as the drummer held up his own hand and pressed it his. A flash of agony shined in the pale eyes of the guitarist, but Pickles didn't stop, despite the fact that it hurt his heart to put his love thru this pain. A perfectly warm, inviting feeling entered him and he let out a content sigh. The Norwegian just shifted where he stood, bit his lower lip, and blinked.
"See? It ams not hurting m-"
"Don't move." he instructed. Toki had tried to pull away, but Pickles wouldn't let him. The guitarist began shaking slightly, and he uttered a little hiss of discomfort.
"Y-You ams so cold..." Pickles said nothing, but he cast his sad eyes directly to Toki's pale ones. He saw the pain reflected there, a kind of stabbing agony. I'm sorry, he thought, but I just have to know, I have to hear it from your own mouth, so that way I know you finally get it.
"I-It..." he shut his eyes tightly, allowed tears to begin trailing down his face. Pickles made a move to wipe them away, but hesitated when the other man flinched back. "It hurts."
He opened his eyes, unaware of where he was or even that he was a ghost at all. After taking a moment to blink and look around, observe the pleasant sunlight from above, feel the fresh morning dew, he understood. It had been nothing but a dream, a mere whisper of a wish. Knowing this sent him spiraling into a deep depression, and he had no choice but to hug his knees to him and sob. If only it had been real, something more than just a cruel illusion. Why was this happening to him? Had he really been such a horrible person that he deserved this afterlife? He remembered many incidents that told him that he had indeed earned this torture.
"Toki, you fuckin' prick, can't you learn to play your fuckin' guitar right?" he demanded of a teary-eyed, distressed Norwegian during rehearsal. Skwisgaar nodded and began ganging up on the other guitarist as well.
"Ja, you stupids, useless...God, you ammnest such a big waste of space!" Pickles said nothing to dispute this, just laughed and drank some more from the bottle that he'd placed next to his drum kit...
The snow bit into them as they watched Toki stare aimlessly at his parent's house; he'd received a call days earlier telling him the grim news of his father's impending death, so they'd all come to Norway to support him. Now Pickles regretted it as he stood there freezing, without a prayer or even a sip of booze. The stupid kid, he thought, bein' so gay and sad...GET OVER IT! Nobody cares that his fuckin' dad's dyin', we all just came so 'dat we didn't have to record...
"Are you kiddin' me?" Pickles yelled at a disgruntled Toki, roughly pushing him away. "You broke my drums? How the fuck did you manage to do 'dat, you fuckin' bitch?"
"It ams-was an accident." he answered meekly, looking down, trying to hide his obvious same. "I'm sorrys."
"Fuck you! I don't care how sorry you are!" he turned away from Toki, balled his hands into fists, and resisted the overpowering urge to punch him. "You're so Gad damn stupid. Don't you ever think before doin' stuff?"
"I saids that I was-"
"Shut up!" he cried, turning around and smacking him in the mouth. Toki fell back, astonished, a hand pressed to his bloody mouth. "This is why nobody likes you, 'cause you fuck everything up, 'cause you're a mistake! Gad," he walked away and sighed tiredly, "I really fuckin' hate you..."
"Pickle, ams you okay?"
"Huh?" he looked up and saw thru his teary eyes Toki. He stood before him with a sad sort of smile on his face. Quickly Pickles wiped his tears away on his shirt, then got up to greet him. "Hey," he said, opening his arms for a hug; he froze, remembering the guitarist's words from before. It hurts.
Toki seemed to know just what he was thinking, because in a moment he was saying matter-of-factly, "Ja, I knows. I dreams it too."
"Dream?" he asked, scratching his head. "Whadda mean?"
"I dreams that you were in my room, and-"
"Oh yeah, that dream." he became depressed again and sat back down by his gravestone. "I wish it had been real."
"Who says it wasn't?" Toki inquired gently, taking a seat beside him. He gave Pickles a sideways smile and added, "I thinks it was real, in a way. I meant everything I said ins it, at least. Did you?"
"Well yeah, but-"
"Thens it was as good as real."
A slow, understanding smile spread across the drummer's face; he nodded and agreed, "Yeah, as good as."
"Ands now I'm here, and you're here, sos what ams we going to do?"
"I...uh..." he shrugged. "I dunno, what can we do?"
"Sits here together and just be pals?"
"Yeah," he said, nodding, "sure."
The sat very close, but not so close that they were touching. Pickles would never touch Toki again now that he knew it hurt him so much. Although he had to try hard and resist the urge to do so, he didn't reach for the other man's hand or try to slip an arm around his waist. He was content just to sit there in his love's presence, close yet miles away, separated by the line between life and death, which now, as time went on, was beginning to seem murkier and murkier. Despite the fact that a million thoughts were churning in his brain, a single statement popped out of Pickles' mouth.
"You still didn't tell me yet, dude."
"Tells you what?"
"How I died."
Toki's smile disappeared from his fair face and he looked down at his dusty boots. "I don'ts really know...there ams not much to tell, reallys. You went to bed earlys one day and said goodnights, told us that you'd see us tomorrow in the mornings, then you went up to your room, and got so fuckings stoned and drunks that you just fell asleep and didn't wake up." he shrugged casually and continued, "It was bound to happened eventuallys, that ams what Skwisgaar saids."
"Oh." he felt very foolish. So he really hadn't gone out in a blaze of glory? He'd just been like millions of other druggies and alcoholics and overdosed on God knew what? "That was stupid," he finally admitted, plucking up a few blades of grass distractedly, "wastin' my life like that. I bet that I still had a few more good years in me before that night."
"Ja, and you knows what?"
"I still can't stop thinkings about it—abouts you. Pickle," he turned even more serious all of the sudden and took the drummer's hand in his own, despite the shock waves of agony that this action sent thru his body. He made Pickles turn to face him and said quietly, with a disturbing amount of determination in his voice, "I wants to be with you, I really, really dos." He began to panic, sensing where the conversation was going. He raced to pull his hand out of the guitarist's grasp, but Toki wouldn't have it. He fell into the drummer's lap and begged, "Please, I wants to die, please just lets me die and be with you."
"No, you can't do 'dat!" he insisted, throwing the Norwegian away from him. "Don't ever say that again! I don't wanna hear that kinda shit from you!"
"But I wants to be with you!"
"You already are with me, right here, right now!" he argued, swallowing back his fear of what was about to come. "Just don't die, please. It's not half of what you think it is, it's horrible..." he looked down at his filthy, dirt-crusted hands, his blackened fingernails, and pale, bloodless skin. "...it really sucks."
"I don't cares, all that ams important is that I can really be with you." he still tried to touch Pickles, but the drummer roughly shoved him back.
"No, don't touch me!" he howled, "Just go back to the Mordhaus where you belong and stap comin' to see me every fuckin' day! Why can't you just leave me alone? It's already bad enough knowin' that you're alive fuckin' girls and having fun with everyone else, but you have to come and rub it in my face every damn day." he cursed himself for having to say this, but if it was the only way to ensure Toki's safety, then it had to be done. He felt his stomach tying itself into knots, felt his heart ripping as he whispered painfully, "I hate you."
Something's wrong, Pickles thought as he gazed up at the illuminated windows of the Mordhaus. It was night now, and everything should be still and tranquil, but he sensed something very wrong. He sensed death, that inescapable vice, drawing nearer to him. At first he'd figured it had just been because he was finally ready to cross over, but something else inside of him said that no, it didn't have to do with him. It seemed as though, as he peered up and watched the moon shine in the black velvet sky, a dark, toxic cloud of devastation had settled down over the whole house.
The answer to the impossible riddle seemed to come all at once—he let out a gasp and cried, "Toki!" He got up, tried to move, but couldn't. Some invisible chain held him fast to his gravestone, and he was left to stand there, willing himself to take a step. This proved impossible, and so after about two minutes of trying to break away he quit and collapsed, exhausted, onto the grass. He reached a hand out towards the Mordhaus, shut his eyes tightly, and prayed to some God that he didn't believe in, that he'd lost all faith in, to help him.
His strength failed him and he was left to lie motionless in the grass, cloaked by the darkness of night, invisible from the world. Without a hope he closed his crying emerald eyes. There he was, standing once again in the threshold of Toki's room, watching as some kind of red liquid pooled at his feet, stained his already filthy sneakers. He frowned and let his gaze follow the crimson trail all the way over to where a crumpled figure lay. His heart sank into the pits of his stomach as he walked over to the person lying on the floor.
"T-Toki," he whispered, leaning closer to the figure. A curtain of caramel-colored hair obscured the pale and lifeless face, so he delicately moved some of it aside and exposed the Norwegian's eyes. They were still shining, still holding mere traces of the man's old self. He was still alive, though his heart was scarcely beating. He'd lost so much blood...how had Pickles allowed things to become this dire?
"Heys, Pickle," Toki whispered, his voice a nearly inaudible whisper of pain.
He closed his eyes and tried to wake up, tried so very hard to prove that this was nothing but some kind of horrible dream. "I told you not to do this, you fuckin'...why did you do it?"
"I wants to be with you." he explained simply, his eyes closing for a long, suspenseful moment. Suddenly he let out a gasp and tried to sit up, but fell back into his blood, began crying.
"What?" Pickles asked, cradling the Norwegian to him. "What's wrong?"
"You ams going away now..." he breathed weakly. "I can barley see you...please don'ts go away..."
That's because you're dying, he thought, sniffling a little. This was it, he supposed. Nothing could be done now. He looked down, saw his ghostly skin was soaked with the warmth of Toki's blood. He couldn't imagine the fact that soon his love would be just as cold and invisible as himself, and it was all his fault. "I'm sorry," he whispered, hugging Toki close to him, "I'm so fuckin' sorry..."
"Pickle, it ams not your fault." he said, smiling a little, sweet smile. He reached a hand out, pressed it to Pickles' cheek, and said softly, his voice faltering, "Y-You ams not cold anymore."
Then, from the black, forgotten recesses of the drummer's mind there spoke a voice. It was a voice that was not understanding, but very sympathetic. It was deep and harsh, yet soft and yielding. It held an impossible air of superiority, an immense amount of wisdom. It was Death, the Reaper of Souls himself, and he spoke calmly to Pickles, as if they were simply discussing the whether over a Sunday cup of coffee.
You, It said, have made many mistakes.
I know, Pickles thought, but I don't know what to do now...I can't let him die, but he can't survive this...there's so much blood...
This is the worst thing you've ever done. It's all your fault.
Yeah, I know.
So that's why I'm leaving the decision up to you. It paused for a long moment as if deciding how to continue, then finally settled with the carefully chosen words of, It's quite simple, really—cross over and never see him again, or dwell on Earth for eternity, walking in the boy's shadow, following him, but always be ignored...
Pickles felt himself begin to cry. He looked down at the bleeding, nearly dead body of his love and began to tremble. I-I can't choose...can't I just nat choose either?
He will die, then.
Will he be with me?
Perhaps, It said thoughtfully, or perhaps not.
He began to completely sob now; not knowing what else to do, he leaned down and buried his face in Toki's mass of warm, long hair. It was matted with blood now, and it clung to his face. Will he cross over without me?
It repeated, Perhaps so, perhaps not.
I don't know what to do! I can't take his life away, I can't force him to be dead...
It seemed to understand quite perfectly, because in a moment It was saying comfortingly, But consider whether or not life is really worth living without a reason to be alive.
It was then that he understood what he had to do. Pickles shut his eyes tightly and said strongly, "I know what to do..." just as the words left his lips, Toki gave him a comforting little grin and, as the life left his body, he sighed.
"I loves you."
Outside of the Mordhaus today there stands two marble gravestones, each adjacent to the other, one surrounded by overgrown ground and the other by freshly unearthed dirt. Withered flower petals will occasionally drift from one grave to the other, serving as a grim reminder of just how forgotten the dead are after the grieving is done. One is engraved in Norwegian, and it reads exactly this:
The other is so overgrown that no words can be read from the stone face of it. Together the two stones sit and wait for the day that they will crumble into dust and be lost to eternity. They are dead, but their occupants are not. A fair distance away from his gravestone Toki lays next to Pickles and they both watch the Mordhaus carefully. They can touch each other and pain does not come. The loneliness is something that they left in their old life. Now they are truly together, separated by no boundaries of the living and the breathing and the dead and gone.
"When do you thinks people will stop cryings over me?"
"It takes a while," Pickles explained, draping an arm over the Norwegian's shoulders and pulling him closer. "maybe forever."
He glanced over at Toki, kissed him, then asked lightheartedly, "Huh?"
"I'ms glad I died for you."
"I'm glad you died for me, too."
"That ams good, because I think that we ams stuck with each other."
He grinned and ran a hand thru Toki's perfectly straight, smooth hair. " 'Dat's fine with me."