A/N: I think this is my sick imagination at work. But seriously... Writing this was so much fun, I feared for my mental health. Mostly, it's just a Lavi!ccentric thing I decided to do, to try and look into the past life of Deak.
If it's not too much to ask, reviews are encouraged. Thank you so much!
Credits: Hoshino owns the creeper that we all know to be Deak, and his adorable future, Lavi. :D
This is Absoluteness
Ever since he'd been caught in Road's Dream world, Lavi had been getting nightmares. Not about his companions at the order attacking him—he trusted them—more than he should have. But his visions revolved around his forty-eighth self.
Most often, he would be walking in the corridors of the Order, and then feel a presence. He would look up, and see Deak hanging by the neck from the ceilings, staring at him with a wide emerald iris, demanding 'why'. Lavi didn't know what his past Name was asking about, but he wasn't sure he wanted to know.
Lately though, his nightmares were getting clearer and clearer.
Just the night previous, in his dream, he had been in Edo, fighting the masses of Akuma, and then, Deak appeared in front of the fire snake, watching his future self through a hooded eye. "Don't try to destroy who you've already been. You can hate history all you like, but you can never take it away."
Then, he'd been in the tower in Noah's Ark, a column of fire engulfing the world. Deak and Allen were in the center of the floor, fighting rather one-sidedly. As the younger version of himself beat ruthlessly on the British boy, Allen still could not return the hits. "What are you doing?" Lavi screamed to both of them, raising his fists. He pounded uselessly on a glass wall, as if he'd subconsciously known the walls were already there.
"Stop," he cried again, eye dilated in horror as blood spurted freely from Allen's body. Then, the white-haired boy vanished from his dream, and there was only Deak, alone in the middle of the floor. The forty-eighth looked miserably at Lavi, as fire jumped from the edges of the room onto his yellow shawl, consuming the fabric and the boy swathed within.
"Stop hurting me," the previous alias pleaded as he disintegrated into pale gray ashes.
It was never any of the other past lives but Deak that appeared in his dreams. Something about that Name held a milestone, or perhaps a tomb—the burial grounds of his duty as Bookman… because Lavi was growing emotions in the Order, and losing himself quickly.
He didn't understand though, why Deak kept dying and accusing his future of why he perished, why he was demolished. Lavi wasn't doing anything to victimize the forty-eighth, was he?
Tonight though, his dream turned around from the usual course, and as sleep consumed him, the redhead could feel that he was falling into one of the worst nightmares he would ever have, yet he couldn't stop the drowsiness from swallowing him gradually.
Against his better sense, the exorcist turned around, and saw Deak, roped to a crucifix that he recognized to be the very emblem of the Black Order. A faceless interrogator clawed a blunt knife over the forty-eighth's arms, rivulets of blood staining the yellow shawl sickeningly from the shoulders down.
"Make him stop," Deak coughed, a dribble of red trailing off his bottom lip.
Obeying, Lavi ran toward the torturer, trying to grab the arm that carried the knife. "Let him go," the redhead demanded, terror building in his stomach as his efforts proved futile, and the wounds drawn into Deak grew deeper and more jagged. "Stop! Please!"
"Lavi… Why won't you stop?"
The exorcist blinked, stepping backward in confusion. On cue, the interrogator turned around to face him now, carrying the visage of his grinning self.
The original Lavi swore in fear as the torturer with his face melted away, leaving only himself, Deak, and the bloody knife abandoned on the floor.
The forty-eighth alias looked up, red life liquid now pooling freely from every orifice on his head. "Why do you try to kill me?" he asked, flecks of blood falling on Lavi with each word he pronounced.
"No!" the exorcist denied, his orb wide in horror. "You're lying! I've never victimized you—it's you victimizing me!"
A slow, wicked grin filled Deak's face, and then the world started spinning, slowly at first, but then proceeded to a mind-numbing speed. Abruptly, the motion stopped, and Lavi reached to cradle his aching skull, but found that this was impossible. Terrified, the boy glanced at his hands, and found that he and his past self had switched positions, and now it was he who hung on the cross.
Deak walked toward him, blood still falling profusely from his face. "Too easy," the other one smirked, stooping to pick up the knife that had been discarded by the melted torturer. "By admitting the mentality that you are the quarry and I the hunter; that thought became the truth, Lavi." The sadistic character tisked under his breath, standing back up and taking a few more steps closer. "I'd expected better from an apprentice Bookman… But you're not a Bookman anymore, are you?" Without waiting for a reply, the forty-eighth took one final step forward, knife held high. A dark chuckle passed his lips as his victim blanched a white pallor, and still grinning, he carved the weapon deep into Lavi's chest, just under his sternum.
The stabbed boy felt the pain—it was excruciating, shaking his bones with the suffering—but when he opened his mouth to scream, no sound came out; only a cough of red.
With a sick nausea that didn't derive from the knife in his chest, Lavi noticed that as the crimson filled his mouth and soaked his shirt, the very substance that was on Deak's body disappeared.
"Don't be so shocked," the forty-eighth whispered, leaning forward so his still-bloody lips painted his future's ear a bright hue, "we have the same blood, don't we?" The hand clutching the blade dug forward a little, making Lavi choke on their shared life liquid.
The knife seemed like a torturous bolt of lightning, sending excruciating jolts of electricity all over his frame from the blade. "Stop," the boy begged, chin sinking weakly into his collarbone as a fresh flow of scarlet washed from his lips, "I never tried to destroy you…"
"Liar," Deak hissed, teeth gnashing dangerously close to the exorcist's earlobe. "When you ignored me and tried to burn yourself to save your friends, you were planning on destroying me too. Why, Lavi?" The past alias's voice broke in despair. "You tried all your life to get this far, and now… you're throwing all the Bookmen away, for a handful of people who will never even survive the rest of time? Why?"
The exorcist closed his eye, attempting to block out the pain that wracked his body. "I told you in Road's Dream—you couldn't' understand. These people are my friends—"
"That will never last," the forty-eighth finished, wriggling the blade around in Lavi's chest, making more of the blood disappear from his own shawl and onto his prey's shirtfront.
"I'm sorry—" he gasped, the quickly-spreading scarlet tainting the rest of his body as it dripped over his trembling legs. "Please stop—"
Deak ducked his head into the crook of Lavi's neck, the drip of tears from his eye falling onto his future's shoulder. "It's not me hurting you… You're killing yourself. We're the same person. You said so yourself. You're simply paying for the failure you caused the Bookman clan." Emphasizing his words, the last Name roughly yanked the knife out of his victim's body. He shook with malicious laughter at hearing the exorcist cry out in shocked anguish. "Watch out, this one's going to hurt the most."
He wasn't lying. As Deak buried the knife in his own chest up to the hilt, Lavi stared at his past in a silent disbelief, the brunt of the pain hitting him tenfold stronger than before. Even though the blade was in the other boy's torso, the fire consumed him all over, and redness bathed both of them, spilling freely out of their figures and dying their clothes the same, bright crimson.
The exorcist pulled at his wrists painfully, struggling to free his arms to stem the bleeding, but the crucifix held fast. Deak was no better off; his hands were locked in a death grip around the knife handle. The forty-eighth let out a strangled groan, then drove the blade again into his own body.
Feeling the torture repeating itself, both Lavi and his past threw their heads back, and screamed in unison, until their voices melded into one, muting out the rest of the world.
"Matron, Head Matron, he's screaming again!"
"Oh gods, I've never seen such a troubled sleep. Nurse Emilia! Get the morphine, quickly! I think we may have to drug him!"
"Lavi, can you hear me?"
"Here, Head Matron, the morphine. How much?"
"No more than a regular dosage—it's just a dream."
"Wake up! Shit, Lavi!"
"We have to knock him out!"
"He can't stop screaming!"
It was quiet when Lavi woke up. The moon was glaring silver into his eye, and he squinted against it, hand moving to block it out. To his relief, his wrists were free, but the aching all over his body was still there.
"Lavi! You're awake!"
"Allen…?" The redhead looked to his right, seeing the white-haired boy staring down at him in anxiety.
"Do you know what happened?" He asked urgently, holding out a damp cloth in offering.
The Bookman apprentice shook his head in refusal, only concerned with checking for wounds in his chest. "That was just a messed up dream," he muttered, staring down at his unmarked body.
The British blinked in worry, sensing that it had been a vision Lavi didn't want to talk about. "It wasn't much clearer from what we could see. Bookman heard you saying things from your room, and he says you were writhing around. At first, he tried smelling salts, but nothing worked. He had to call the medical staff… You really had us freaked out, Lavi. Even Kanda and Lenalee came to see you—you were screaming so loudly."
"Oh—I'm sorry," he mumbled in apology, not knowing how much of a disturbance he'd caused. Suddenly, he bent over, coughing violently into his hand. His torso felt as if it was being clawed in a vice again, and he wrapped his arms around himself, as if attempting to stop a blood flow. Simultaneously, a metallic reeking choked him, and erupting into another series of coughing, Lavi felt something drip stickily out of his opened jaw. "Shit—" Fingers flew to his chin, and trembling, he touched his mouth. When he looked at the dampened digits though, they came away with no visible blood on them. "What…?"
"What's wrong, Lavi?" Allen demanded, his tone taking on an unnaturally high-pitched edge to it as fear for his friend rose.
The redhead shook his head, unsure of that answer himself. "Allen," he inquired in a trembling speech, "can you bring me a mirror?"
The British nodded quickly, his own legs quivering as he stood to retrieve a hand-mirror from one of the nurse's first-aid kits across the room. Returning with short, childish steps, Allen carefully held the glass out to his comrade, his expression full of apprehension.
Taking the utensil, Lavi nervously held it up to his face, emerald eye searching the reflection. Nothing seemed wrong at first, other than his drained pallor, but then, the minute details began leaping out at him. The extra strap on his eyepatch. The plain, black bandanna he'd used once before. And then—the cold, clouded eye, glassed over with death.
The redhead felt his orb dilate with shock, but the eye in the glass remained as still as before. Throwing the repulsive reflection away, Lavi's muscles seized as the shattering of the mirror against the wall filled the hospital ward. "No," he whispered raggedly, ignoring Allen's half-sob of terrified worry, "No, no, no…"
A strangled cry of anguish ripped suddenly from his throat, as he gripped his pounding skull. The remainder of the world stepped back, silencing itself to give way to only himself and Deak.
The forty-eighth's voice echoed out, hollow laughter lining his words. "Welcome to reality, Bookman."