AN: So, if you know a videogame called 'American McGee's Alice', you are ought to know what this is all about. This fic is basically a -Man x Alice crossover. The idea of mental asylum just came out from a conversation with Digital_Eon and hikamitz on DGray-Divinity forums. So here is the crazy me, bringing up yet another weird and morbid...uh, whatever. Hope you enjoy this. For some reason, I seem to be writing a lot of insane!Kanda...and I mean, a LOT. Oh well...I kinda invented him. I picked the main roles accordingly to 'Rabbit in Wonderland' doujinshi (I'm sure you know it), but...yeah, if you played THAT Alice game, you basically already know the main concept of this fic. But it would be awesome if you read it anyway.
Happy Friday the 13th, guys! :D
Summary: The Black Order Asylum retrieves a new patient - a young man whose family had become victims of a fire...or was it racistic revolution? Wrecked with guilt of surviving and frustrated with his powerlessness at that time, he appears to have no sense or emotions left; but a young idealistic doctor believes he can cure any patient assigned to him and will not give up until he wins against the madness or until the last hope is crushed. AU (but the same timeframe), eventually mild Lavi x Kanda.
Warnings: Angst, madness, a bit of violence, mentions of various abuse (the author does NOT support any of it, if that's not clear), light shonen-ai at the end.
Disclaimer: -Man and its characters belong to Katsura Hoshino. Alice stories and their concept together with quotes provided, belongs to Lewis Carol. The Alice game concept and level titles belong to American McGee. 'Taking Tea in Dreamland' belong to Chris Vrenna. 'Sea of Sorrow' and the four lines of lyrics belong to Alice In Chains.
Previously only titled „Sea of Sorrow".
SEA OF SORROW
You open fire - and your mark was true
You open fire - I aim my smiling skull at you
I live tomorrow, you I'll not follow
As you wallow, in the sea of sorrow
"Nii-san...can you read me a bedtime tale?"
Little asian girl looked up at her brother, her big dark eyes shining hopefully. She looked only about five years old; her brother seemed to be in his teen years. He smiled a little at her. "English, Yuki. You have to get used to it.."
They all had to get used to it. People around here weren't especially friendly to immigrants as it was, and their best chance of blending in was to use the local language as well and as much as possible. They wanted harmony and peace, after all.
The girl pouted a bit, but then gazed up again. "Please? Big brother?"
He started walking towards the stairs, and turned back a little surprised as his sister stayed in the same place.
"Aren't you coming? I said it was fine."
She raised her hands, sticking out her tongue a little. "Carry me."
He blinked, then another faint smile appeared on his lips as he walked to the child and picked her up, with gentleness that didn't match his words. "Whatever."
"...Then she set to work nibbling at the mushroom - she had kept a piece of it in her pocket - till she was a bout a foot high; and then - she found herself at last in the beautiful garden, among the bright flower-beds and the cool fountains.
That's it, and for real this time, now go to sleep. I have no idea why you keep making me read it to you - you know every line of this book anyway."
He never knew why she loved this foreign tale so much. Ever since they moved, she hadn't asked for a Japanese one. And it was the same every evening.
The girl giggled a bit at how her brother seemed to be displeased but only after he actually read her the story. "Because I like when you read it, Nii-san," she chirped and hugged her plush rabbit doll, pulling the blanket up to her nose.
"Thank you very much!"
He put the book on the night-table, and pecked his sister's forehead before putting out the lamp. "Night."
When he finished the essay he had to do for school, it was already past midnight. He didn't even change and slumped onto his bed - what looked more like a mattress on the ground, because he still tried to follow the traditions of his home country - and fell asleep almost immediately.
While he slept, he thought that he heard voices of some kind, but his mind decided it was a part of his dream and he didn't wake up. Eventually though, he felt some kind of strange smell.
He sat up, opening his eyes, only to see that the room was full of smoke. WHAT?
He mechanically grabbed his grandfather's sword that was laying next to his bed and ran out. In the hallway, his way was blocked by a wall of flames. The hallway and the other side of the house was completely taken up by fire.
He thought he heard something between the flames.
Then he heard faint voices...faint voices that he couldn't do anything to help. He widened his eyes in horror, finally understanding what was happening.
He stared at the fire for a brief moment, then ran forwards, through the flames, ignoring the heat, burns and pain, determined and desperate to reach the room in the second floor before the burning staircase would fall apart.
Chapter I : Dementia
June 17, 1882
Today is a big day. My grandfather finally decided to let me have real practise here in the asylum. I already got to know the personnel, and now I'm getting a patient assigned to me. Not to mention, that patient is told to be a very special case...doubtful honour! But what's the most important, I'm finally getting a chance to prove myself. Gramps trusted me with an unique case, and I'm sure I will find new cures when I become a doctor. I'm not yet fully twenty years old and I'm already a medicine magister. I know there's a future waiting for me, right in front of me, and I'm going to work hard to attain it. I, Lavi Bookman, had sworn to work for the people, and I am going to do it with all I have. Yes, this is a perfect chance to prove that I'm up for it.
The patient should arrive shortly. I have already read the file we have on his case - I don't find it all that unique, but gramps thinks otherwise. The file is a bit small...actually, it's even pathetic. All provided facts are his family name - Kanda - which was gotten from the neighbors - and the physical data, such as bloodtype, height, weight and et cetera. Apparently, his family were immigrants that were killed in a fire...rather, arson, during the Liverpool accident about two years ago - no wonder no one could tell anything about them; there are none of their relatives here in England. I think I have that newspaper somewhere, I'll have to check it again. Anyway, the boy survived through a miracle, and ever since he hadn't woken up from a coma-like trance. He was terribly burned in the fire, but after all of this time, there's practically no sign of the wounds anymore.
Apparently, these two years the patient was kept in the White Cross hospital. To be honest, I am surprised he survived. That hospital's personnel has an absolute zero qualifications when it comes to mental cases. They'd probably just put a plate with food next to a patient in coma and expect him to eat by himself. There are only two or three doctors per whole hospital who know how to deal with cases like this. It's probably thanks to them that the subject survived at all.
Indeed, this is a curious case.
They should be arriving about now. I'd better go out and meet them.
The day was beautiful, but not very hot. The old trees of the asylum's yard were throwing huge shadows over the patients and nurses who were having the afternoon walk. No one even payed any attention when the rusty gate opened for a moment and closed again, being locked right afterwards.
Two sanitars carried the stretcher with a sickly looking young man, almost a boy, in it. He was so pale that it almost didn't look human; his eyes were slightly open but he didn't seem to see anything in front of him. He had long, dark hair that was braided so it wouldn't get in the way when he was being taken care of in hospital; it obviously was really beautiful once but apparently it hadn't been washed for a while.
'What kind of a hole is that hospital?' the young doctor caught himself thinking as he opened the door so the sanitars could bring the stretcher in. Here in Black Order asylum, the nurses always paid attention to the patients' hygiene and well- being while the doctors did their best to try and cure their diseases or at least make it better. The boy on the stretcher looked like he was being fed once a week, and the doctor suddenly thought that it was yet another miracle he reached the asylum alive. He obviously wasn't properly taken care of during those years.
There was a moment of shock just as the sanitars were carrying him though the door; out of nowhere, a scrawny and sickly looking striped cat jumped on the boy in the stretcher, nearly causing the sanitars to drop it, and the doctor had a hard time throwing the cat off as it released its claws into the boy's shirt and held on as if both of their lives depended on it. In a few moments though, the cat was thrown out into the garden, and the stretcher was safely brought in.
The young doctor called for a couple of nurses and told them everything that had to be done, starting with bathing the patient and finishing with taking him to the ward that was prepared and helping him to eat. "I'll start the treatment tomorrow," Lavi mumbled, motioning the nurses to get going. "First we need to know exactly how the patient's state is and then fix it." He looked at the file, appearing somewhat in thought, and went to his office.
June 26, 1882
It's strange. It's very strange.
Over a week had passed, and we managed to fix the patient up a bit - physically, at least. However, I can't seem to get any response from him. His look remains just as empty no matter how close the light is moved, he doesn't even flinch as I slam two wooden cubes together right next to his ear. Like the flames of the fire had burnt out all of his senses. And at the same time, he doesn't seem harmed to me. It must be the decease that's keeping him isolated, and I am going to find a cure for that. Right now unfortunately, all we can think of is small portions of morphine daily, and it doesn't seem to affect him at all.
Last week we received what was left of the family's property - an old Japanese sword that seems to be hand-crafted, and a toy rabbit. The toy is terribly worn off and it has only one eye. I put it in the patient's ward, maybe something from familiar environment can make him feel better. The sword I'm keeping in my office; if he ever leaves - wait, what am I saying? Of course I am going to find a cure! - WHEN he leaves, he'll probably want to take it, but there are strict rules about any sharp things within patient's rules, and I must say they might be not strict enough for some cases. We don't even serve knives with food, and I think I don't need to explain why when I am working at an asylum for mental cases.
I've looked through everything what I could possibly find about the accident, but the information is very poor. The papers only stated that the family was Japanese immigrants, peaceful people and liked by neighbours. Their teenage son was attending the local school. He wasn't a very good student, nor a very bad one - your typical average family. The family also had a daughter, who was supposed to enter school the following year. Who could have meant harm to them? Generally, nothing important. However, there's also a mention of address. I think I can try to write or call to one of the neighbours - hopefully they're still living there - and find out a bit more.
If I'm ever to get into the depth's of this case's soul where he has himself locked in, I need to know as much as possible about him.
Kanda was laying on the bed, staring at the ceiling with a lifeless gaze. His one arm was bandaged, but otherwise he didn't seemed to be harmed. His eyes were open, but he didn't see anything. His ears were uncovered, but he didn't hear anything. His mouth was free, but he didn't talk. He had shut the world out, because the world had done the same to him. He didn't really care if he was alive or dead. To him, all that was around was a huge, swallowing nothingness.
Yu... run ... get out of the house! You have to get out ... Don't care about us... Yu.. please... Nii-san... leave me...
He could hear their voices, ringing over and over again. It was the only thing he could hear during those two years. Why was he the one to survive? He didn't know the answer, nor he wanted to find it. He couldn't bear to keep thinking about it. So he simply shut it out.
There was a storm outside, lightning flashing through the narrow window with bars, the sound of falling rain interrupted by thunder from time to time. But he didn't hear it, didn't see it, didn't even feel the coldness of the weather that would float into the room from the tiny corner of the window the nurse had left open. He kept looking at the dark ceiling, the silent child's voice still ringing on in his head.
August 16, 1882
There's still no progress. Of course, it shouldn't surprise me. It's not the only case of this kind that I have seen. Such a tragedy could affect anyone's mind.
By the way, I'm already twenty. Even though I don't seem to have succeeded much in this particular case, gramps started treating me like I'm somebody. Finally.
I have came into contact with one of the neighbours, Mrs. Jenkins. I'll never be able to understand how mid-aged women can remember so much and so little of value. To cut it short, after two hours of tea drinking and looking at cat pictures, I found out this much:
o The family had just celebrated their son's 16th birthday when the tragedy happened. That would make him around 18 right now.
o Seems the arson was an act of some racistically intolerant people from the very same block - naturally, they were never caught and none of such organizations claimed the responsibility. It wasn't the only house that was burning that night; however, more casualties were prevented except for an old Chinese couple who were living in another end of the town. The curious thing, they might have been related with the Kanda family; unfortunately, no further information was provided.
o The ambulance and firemen say that young Kanda got out of the burning house himself, carrying his little sister. He also had an old family's sword. However, the girl was already burned beyond saving and died in minutes. The young man collapsed moments after handing her to the medics; after hearing the sad news, he reached out to her but lost consciousness and only managed to grab a toy of hers. The medics thought it would be cruel not to let him keep it...and he never fully woken up ever since, though his wounds were treated.
And this is it. She couldn't tell me no first names, no school, no numbers of any other witnesses. Well I guess I should be thankful for this as well, but I still feel like it's taking me nowhere.
We decreased the dose of morphine, and the patient doesn't seem to notice. I'm beginning to think that whatever his decease is, doesn't need this kind of medication. But what is it?
Over a year had passed since he came here. Nothing seemed to change; there was still medication and emptiness, and nothing else. The toy rabbit had travelled from the table onto Kanda's pillow, but it didn't seem to have much effect.
Storms were really often here, and this night was no different.
Kanda was silent as always, gazing up at the dark ceiling. The asylum wasn't quiet; howls and clanging of chains could be heard from time to time, sometimes interrupted by silent cries of those who had their madness intensified by the night.
When yet another lightning flashed and the room became bright, his eyes finally caught the glimpse of a rabbit's shadow on the wall. He mechanically turned his head and met the stare of a single button eye. He kept staring at it until it looked like the rabbit was starting to move.
After yet another lighting flashed and Kanda opened his eyes again, the rabbit was closer, almost if it had fallen from the pillow onto his shoulder. Even in a state like that, Kanda felt a chill go through his body. This was...very strange.
"Remember when we've seen each other last time?"
The voice sounded like the talker's throat was full of dust; it faintly echoed through the room and went silent. Kanda's eyes went wide. Did the rabbit actually...talk to him? The toy kept staring at him with its only eye-button, and now it seemed to have gotten even closer.
"Remember the story? Is it what keeps you here?"
After another white flash, Kanda's consciousness was gone again. He just thought he remembered the rabbit suddenly growing huge, filling all of the room, and then falling down, down, down into a bottomless well until he hit the ground.
September 11, 1883
I'm not sure if I can call it a progress, but... After almost three years in the coma-like numb, the patient suddenly seems strangely alive. I can swear that I saw his eyes following me as I walked across the room to close the window. And when I sat down and filled in the daily journal... when I finished and raised my head, he was staring at me. I'm not sure if he's seeing me, nor what is he seeing, but it definitely is a step forward.
Autumn is here. It's his second autumn here, and I feel a bit sorry for him. This time of year is rather depressing, and here, behind those thick walls, time only seems to pass more slowly. The only positive thing about it is, I doubt the patient has any idea about the time's passing.
Sometimes I wonder if God punishes the ones too gifted; I don't remember seeing anyone this...well, pleasant to look at, despite some females of course. It's a shame.
No, really, now I'm positive he's staring at me. As if I had green skin or bunny ears or something. I have to go check with the nurse what she was giving him. But still...any kind of change is a progress in this case.
Not too long, yes. These chappies will be short. I'm awaiting feedback and hoping to continue this soon.