I've been wanting to write this for a while, so here it is. I hope you like it.
Disclaimer: I don't own it. I do own all hate for disclaimers. Well, no I don't. But I hope that depicts how much I despise them.
There were several reasons, actually.
--He breathed deeply the crisp taste of salt on the sea air. It was nice out here.--
It could have been the pressure— (Being the youngest and most distinguished shrink in the country was very stressful.)
--The wind tousled his hair, rippled his jacket. It made him feel bolder. Good. He'd need strength to do this.--
It could have been his ignorance— (Being so young, he had refused a therapist of his own, even though all psychoanalysts were supposed to have one.)
--He looked up. He saw the midnight blue sky, riddled with stars and constellations he knew the names of without effort or thought.--
It could have been the death of his grandfather— (Even if the old man was cranky and violent, he'd been his only family, and losing him had been harder than he'd ever imagined, ever could bear.)
--He looked down. He saw the sea, churning gently, cold and rough, yet so inviting.--
It could have been the human hearts he saw into— (In his line of work, he'd dissected and peeked into the subconscious of countless patients, and discovered the filthy and dark souls of humans.)
--And the rain. He loved the rain. So cool and calming. He was happy it was raining now.--
It could have been a lot of things.
All the reasons fit together, creating a complex web-like pattern. The anxiety and demands he was experiencing was unbearable. No matter what he did, everyone always wanted more, expected more. It was the pressure that forced him to appear in control. To make it look like he was good enough to not need his own therapist, no matter how much of a lie that was. It was this lack of help that made it so he couldn't see his own signs of depression once his grandfather died. The signs he so often saw and diagnosed in his patients, but couldn't see in himself. His twisted, sick patients that made humanity become a foreign thing to him, disgusting and wrong. That made the world he lived in perverse and insufferable. He realized that mankind was a tainted, foolish species, and he watched, detached from this warped society as they got worse and worse. And at these realizations of civilization, he began to lose hope not only in them, but also life.
If he was being completely honest, it was a long time in coming.
And so Lavi Bookman now stood on the railing of a bridge, in the dead of night, hundreds of feet in the air over a dark, churning ocean, a bittersweet smile on his face.
There had seemed no escape.
It had been a long time until Lavi'd thought of this solution, and longer still till he'd actually considered it. But everything had pushed him to this action. He'd just avoided it for so long. He was getting tired of fighting it. Tired of trying to keep going.
Of course, there were the few people that made the leap to make him have shreds of belief now and again, every so often. The ones that had kept him going for so long. This solution was inevitable the whole time, but it was thanks to those few that he hung on as long as he did. The scarce, wonderful people that he somehow had the grace to know.
It was because of them he'd kept fighting for so long. And it was also because of one of them that he was finally giving up.
There was Yu Kanda and Allen Walker. His two best friends, who also happened to be his favorite weekly patients. They were both great people, but they couldn't stand each other. They clashed worse than Republicans and Democrats. Upon less than twelve minutes of introduction, one would immediately think it was because they were polar opposites, and the animosity therefore made sense. He, however, had a different, more complex theory. Being a therapist, and someone who personally knew both of them, he thought that it wasn't because they were so different, but that perhaps it was because they were so eerily similar. Of course, neither of them would ever admit that. A while ago, their arguments had gotten so bad that Komui had forced them to go to couple's therapy. So, seeing as they were being forced into it, they naturally went to one of their best friends. It wasn't like they were actually a couple; it was just that because there were two of them, they had to be logged in under that title. They still hadn't been told that, for fear that their reaction would result in a few broken valuables and a trip to the hospital. But, even so, both of them were the best friends he could ever ask for, even if they were the worst patients. When everything had finally become hopeless, they had been a huge thread in the snapping rope that kept him together. He would always be grateful for that.
There was old Bookman, his recently deceased grandfather. A scary old panda, one who had also been a therapist and historian in his day. He too had thought of the human race as a diseased thing; something not to be trifled with or to get yourself involved in. And although he always claimed to be void of emotion, Lavi smiled because he knew that at least some part, no matter how small, of that crusty old man had cared for him. When he'd gotten wounded as a child and lost his right eye, Bookman had worried, no matter how hard he tried to hide it. And despite how annoying the old coot was, the young man really did care for him as well. So when he'd died, so had another reason to keep living.
There was Fidget. The young, annoying, hyper-active, adorable orphan boy with cancer. He was seven now, and had been diagnosed when he was about four. The doctors said it was a miracle he'd lived this long, and Fidget would always grin and say it was because his friends came to visit him in the hospital. Of course, Lavi never felt like he could ever be part of such a miracle because he wasn't worth it, but he'd never say that. And, in a way at least, part of Fidget's conclusion was true. Every day the Lavi and his friends would visit the small boy, play with him, sometimes take him out to the park or the beach when he was at his best times and the doctors would let him. He was getting better now, and that thought had strengthened his resolve to stay just a little longer, for him. But such a thing could only last so long. Lavi hoped he got better, and that his friends would apologize for him for not being there to watch him heal. He hoped the small boy would understand he just couldn't take it anymore.
There was Komui Lee. The goofy, over-protective scientist and brother figure to all of them. He had an odd-and-probably-unhealthy obsession with giant robots, and more specifically giant robots that wore berets like him and often went out of control and ended in the injury of all those unfortunate enough to be near it. Komui was the Supervisor in the lab he worked in, and his colleagues were also a handful of good people. Reever, Johnny, Tapp, Bak. All of them together made up another reason that Lavi went on so long for. It was thanks to Komui that he'd gotten to meet these people, and struggle just a little longer. So sure, Komui may be a little dangerously obsessed with giant robots, coffee, and procrastinating, but that didn't stop him from always being there for all of them. As a mentor, brother and friend. And probably one of his best, worst, and funniest qualities was his obsession with his sister.
That girl… she also happened to be Lavi's last and dearest reason to keep living. A girl who had been his close friend for a very long time, with a laugh that bubbled and sung, and a smile that could shake the knees of anyone near her. It was her that had met Fidget first, and introduced him to the group. And when Fidget finances ran out, it was her who'd come up with the idea of coming together and paying his medical bills. She'd talked Allen and Kanda into going, and it was her idea to send them to Lavi. This girl was his main reason for hanging on. So many times had he wanted it all to end, and this girl had coaxed him back. She was just so impossibly bright and hopeful and loving and protective of all those she cared for, despite being diagnosed with cancer at fourteen; two years before. That day had been one of the worst of his life, when she'd told him. But what amazed him most was that she smiled when she said it, and laughed at it as though it were all just some unfortunate joke. She'd told him not to worry for her; that she'd pull through just fine like she always did. Because she always did. And he'd found comfort in that fact, and the fact that not even God would dare to take away such a wonderful, sweet girl to something as horrible and unjust like cancer. She was his life, in every sense, his everything.
So, it stood to reason, that when she, Lenalee Lee, was pronounced terminal two weeks earlier, any hope he'd had of going on any longer had been pronounced 'terminal' too.
A particularly strong gust of wind blew, and he swayed slightly. Lavi's smile spread as he took in his last moments; the rain, the wind, the smell of the ocean beneath him. The ocean he was about to join. The sky above his head, dotted with points of light, seeable despite the light veil of cloud covering them. All of it. If he was about to die, than he at least wanted to enjoy his last moments of living.
It wasn't like he was worried, or dreading death; no, it was actually quite the opposite. He had long ago come to peace with his decision of suicide; he'd only kept fighting for life because of his friends. He no longer feared death, or God because he had come to terms with the fact that he simply did not exist; Once Lenalee told him that she was terminal, he'd made that decision.
He'd considered suicide before, and had contemplated how he'd do it, even before he'd fully determined that he'd do it. But once he knew that Lenalee, his Lenalee, was dying, his choice had been made for him. Without her, his life couldn't go on. So thanks to all those sleepless hours of contemplation, how he'd do it, he had finally resolved that if he ever were to end himself, he would like to jump.
The rain poured harder. The road was fairly empty of cars, but that didn't stop them from passing him, about to jump off a bridge, and doing nothing about it. This only helped his conclusion that he didn't want to live in a world with such a species. He sighed, and turned his face to the rain, his grip tightening on the cable that he held to keep his balance. In his mind, he said his goodbyes. They'd probably hate him for doing this, but it wasn't like it mattered whether he was there or not. They'd get over it soon, and forget him. Even so, the thought of his good friends hating him… it hurt. That was what the letters were for; once he was gone, and they searched his room, they'd find them. They'd read them, and understand at least a little better why he was forced to do this, cornered. He hoped they didn't fully hate him, then.
He turned his face to the sky as the wind drifted through his coat, tousling his red hair. It was time now. The faces he'd grown to love flashed through his mind, one last time. Allen, Yu, Bookman, Komui, Lenalee…
--His grip slackened.--
He remembered her laughter…
--His knees bent went weak, ready to let him go.--
--He began to fall.--
Yes, just like that.
"Lavi, is that you?"
Huh? Wait—aw, hell no. This had to be his imagination. It couldn't be her. Anyone else, but it couldn't—
"What are you doing up there?"
Very, very slowly, he turned around, careful not to slip. There, soaking wet and shivering in the downpour, was Lenalee Lee, head cocked worriedly.
Huh. It figured that it was her, the main reason for his life and death, found him about to throw himself off a bridge. The irony was uncanny. But before he could come up with an excuse as to why he was standing on the edge of a bridge railing in the pouring rain in the dead of night, a thought struck him, and he glared at the girl.
"L-Lenalee?! What are you doing out of the hospital?!" He asked horrified, still not getting down from the edge. She seemed taken aback by his sudden outburst, but her surprise melted into a gentle smile.
"The doctors gave me the choice. I could have stayed there with all those tubes and needles, or I could've spent my time at home, comfortable with my family."
Lavi felt his heart drop into his stomach, and he had to resist the sudden horrible urge to throw himself off the bridge right then. But he couldn't, not while Lenalee was watching. He couldn't put her through that. The young girl continued.
"We were on our way back now, me and Komui, but then I saw you here and told him to pull over. What are you doing up there anyway?"
"Uh… just, you know, um… checking out the view? Yeah, the water's beautiful at night."
Lavi sweatdropped as he mentally cursed himself for the lame excuse. There was no way she'd believe that—
"Oh, really? That's a relief. I was worried for a second,"
…oh. Or maybe she would.
As wonderful as Lenalee was, she could be a bit too innocent for her own good. Of course, this could be a good thing right now, seeing as anyone else would have seen that Lavi was about to commit suicide. He was lucky for the rain; Komui's eyesight wasn't as good as his sister's, so he might not see this. Lenalee smiled brightly, worry disappearing.
"Can I come up? I'd like to see too—"
"No!" Lavi waved his free hand frantically, before yet again cursing himself out in his head for shouting so suddenly as Lenalee looked up at him in confusion. "I-I mean… It's really slippery, and you might fall,"
"Aw, but you'll be there to catch me, won't you?" Lenalee giggled, but backed away from the railing, much to Lavi's relief. Until she said the next thing.
"Did you walk here, Lavi? We didn't see any other cars… how are you going to get home? I'd worry if you had to walk back in this weather. I know!"
Oh crap. If you're going to say what I think you're going to say, please don't.
"Why don't you stay with us? It must get lonely in that apartment. Allen and Kanda are already at the house, we invited them to stay. We were going to ask you tomorrow, but you're here now, so why not?"
Dammit. The world hates me.
"Great! Then um… can you please come down from there?"
"Huh? Oh…" Lavi looked down, to see he was still on the railing. Frowning, he very hesitantly climbed down, staring longingly at the ocean behind him while he did it. Lenalee clapped her hands happily, and circled her arm through his. "Come on, this way!"
Lavi was led unwillingly to the small buggie that was parked on the side of the road. The window rolled down, and he saw the worried head of Komui pop out, several papers fluttering out with him. "Lenalee, please hurry up, you'll make yourself sicker." His face took on a hint of surprise as he saw Lavi walking next to his sister. "Oh, so it was Lavi? What were you doing out there?"
"He was just checking out the view, Komui. He walked here, so I invited him to come and stay with us," Lenalee chirped. Lavi nodded and grinned to try to make it more believable. It was more likely for Komui to accept the lie since he hadn't witnessed the scene himself. The older man looked skeptical for a moment, but then shrugged it off with a smile. "Alright. Just hurry and hop in then, the weather's getting worse by the minute."
Lavi opened the back door and Lenalee crawled in, he following after her. Just like he remembered, the car was cramped and packed to the roof with papers and food and other things he couldn't identify. It was familiar, and despite his obscene bad luck, it made him smile.
"Are you alright, Lenalee? Would you like the heat higher? The radio?" Komui asked with concern as he started up the engine. His eyes were trained on her through the mirror, and in them Lavi could see the ever present pain and sorrow and worry that was a constant now in the man's life. His eyes said that he was too old for his years.
Lenalee nodded, and the heater blasted hot air, while . Instantly, the vehicle warmed. But despite that, as the car started up, Lenalee still scooted closer to him, shivering violently. Now that Lavi was closer, he could see how awful she looked, pale, thin, dark shadows under her eyes. He breath came in shallow gasps, and her violet eyes were sick and unhealthy. Lavi immediately wanted out of that car. He wanted to run back to the bridge, which was growing distant in the night, and fling himself off. He wanted to end it, this horrible pain, and never see the poor girl next to him so frail again. He hated seeing her like this, so weak and fragile. He tried to ignore it, and repress the repulsed feeling his stomach, the urge to puke. He considered suddenly just opening the car door and falling out; if that didn't kill him, surely an oncoming car could. But before his itching fingers could unlock the door, Lenalee coughed, and pressed closer still for warmth. His throat closed up, and his hand fell limply back to the seat. He couldn't do that to her, just die, while she was right here. She didn't deserve to actually see it. Reflexively, he took off his sodden coat and then hers, wrapping his drier arm around her in an effort to warm her chilled body. An odd sensation suddenly shuddered through his body, and he got the feeling he was being watched. Right on cue, Komui's voice reached him from the front.
"Lavi… you're not flirting with my dear Lenalee, are you?"
Lavi laughed nervously, shaking his head. "I wouldn't dream of it, Komui! Not while you probably have a mini robot in the trunk,"
"Why, yes, in fact I do have one… just for this occasion—!" He was suddenly cut off as Lenalee kicked the back of his seat.
"Oh, don't get your panties in a bunch, Komui. Lavi's just keeping me warm."
Komui's hands visibly tightened on the wheel. When he spoke, his voice was much softer. "Are you still cold, Lenalee?"
The girl braved a smile and gave a small shrug. "Only a little, brother, don't worry." But she shivered as she said it, and her cough said otherwise. The engine growled a little louder as the driver pressed the pedal harder.
"Don't worry, we'll be home soon."
Lenalee yawned and managed a giggle. "Then we can all have a midnight snack?"
Komui's jaw tightened, and Lavi knew he wanted to refuse. But the way the girl beside him smiled so sincerely at her brother, he also knew he couldn't refuse.
"Okay, Lenalee. If Allen hasn't cleared already us out, that is."
Lenalee laughed, but the sound turned into a cough, and she shuddered as she rested her head on Lavi's shoulder. His arm tightened protectively around her, and before long her breathing evened out, and her face became calm as she drifted into sleep. Lavi would have followed suit not long after, if it hadn't been for the man in front of him.
Lavi rubbed his eye and grinned groggily at the sleeping girl. "Yeah."
"Good. Now then…" Komui turned carefully onto their block, and began to drive considerably slower. Lavi frowned as he watched the speedometer go down, and frowned harder as the driver made another turn down a route that would take a fair longer time to get to the house. He looked questioningly at Komui through the mirror, waiting for him to make eye contact and explain his odd driving. But when he did, Lavi froze.
"Why don't you tell me how the view was on that bridge?"
…At first no one said anything. They were both silent as the redhead processed the question, or rather the meaning behind it.
"I…" Lavi started, head bowed so the older man couldn't see his eyes. Suddenly, his shoulders began to shake slightly, and a dark, quiet laughter filled the car. "Ha ha… Ah, shit… I hoped you'd missed that," Lavi finally chuckled with a shake of his head. "But I guess it can't be helped, so I might as well tell you. The view…" He picked his head up, and met the violet gaze with a smile that didn't reach his eye.
"It was spectacular."
Komui winced, and his knuckles bleached as his grip on the wheel once again tightened. The boy in the back sighed and gave a shrug. "It was too bad you guys came and disturbed it. I was just about to get to the best part," Komui's teeth gritted in pain at the young man's words. He couldn't believe he was hearing this from the bright, happy-go-lucky redhead he'd come to love as a younger brother. Ever since Lenalee had been pronounced terminal, he'd seemed… off, maybe even a little depressed, but they all had been that way and it was understandable. But as time went on, and the others, even Komui, tried to be brave and cheer up for Lenalee, Lavi seemed to get worse. They had all noticed it, with the exception of the sick girl herself, but… had it really come to this? Was his life so horrid that he couldn't bear to struggle with it any longer? The thought was terrible. Of this light, gone and snuffed out forever, was terrible. Komui didn't want to know the answer. But he forced himself to meet the lightless emerald eye and speak.
"What about Allen and Kanda? And Fidget? They wouldn't want you to do it. They'd miss you."
Lavi gave a hollow laugh and his humorless grin grew. "They don't have to know. Not until it's over and done with."
"You can't do this to them, to us. What about Lenalee? What do you think she'd do? You're willing to put her through that? It would break her if she found out."
At this, Lavi's eye twitched ever so slightly, before going blank again. But Komui caught it. He'd just thought he might have found a hole in the young man's perfect façade when he spoke, mocking and quiet.
"And you'll tell her, I suppose?"
Komui glared through the mirror, eyes wide. There Lavi sat, smiling quietly down at Lenalee's sleeping form, stroking her hair. And when his eye met Komui's, they both knew the answer to his question.
He wouldn't tell her. They knew he couldn't confess to his sister that one of her dearest friends was suicidal. For one thing, it wasn't his place. And for another… he wouldn't be able to stand the look on her face.
After another moment of silence, Lavi gave a small chuckle, and adjusted himself in his seat, knowing full well he'd won. "Well then boss, I don't see a point continuing this conversation any longer. So if you don't mind, I'd like you to stop the car, seeing as we're at your house."
Komui started and looked forward again, to find himself staring at the front of a warm little house with multicolored shutters and a bright yellow door. Blinking in surprise, he parked the car and unlocked the doors. He closed his eyes as he listened to the back door open, and the passenger get slide carefully out as to not wake the young girl. "After all," He added in an idle tone as he gingerly picked Lenalee up, "You stopped me, didn't you? You guys are still stuck with me for now."
At that moment, Komui stole a glance at the strong, laughing young man walking slowly away from the car, and saw the figure of an insecure boy, slipping away forever. And he couldn't help but call after him, because the feeling of helplessness was not easing.
"But for how long will you be with us, Lavi?"
"Who knows…?" He turned his head, just barely enough to see his eye, and for the first time, Komui saw there the pure, hopeless peace of his situation. There was no desire to keep going, only the agonized longing to end it. For him, there was no other option. Pure. Simple.
The boy gave a bitter smile. "The line between life and death is remarkably fine."
Well, there. I hope it's not too long; I shortened it down quite a bit from my normal size. I know Lavi is OOC, and he would never be suicidal, but I read one where he was and the idea always stuck with me. I discussed it with my friends, and after getting beaten up and yelled at for trying to kill off Lavi again, I finally decided on a suicidal therapist story. I like it, and I think I will make a Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle version too. It probably fits better there. But anyway, I hope you liked the first chapter, and I'll continue it, but only if you guys want. Thank you for bothering to read this, and please, please review.
~There was a silence