Discs.: I don't own "Meet Joe Black" nor its characters!
A/N: I wanted to write some stories based on this movie now for quite a while - ever since I watched it again at the beginning of the year. However, somehow I never managed to get any of the stories done...Here's finally the first one, it's a oneshot from "Joe's" POV. Parts written in italics are flashbacks.
Some might say that what he had done had been selfish, that even he should adhere to the rules of the universe - maybe it was in fact even more crucial that he was sticking to them. Others might argue that he couldn't just decide to take a vacation and play human for a while, that by doing so he risked destroying some cosmic order, messing up some bigger plan...
However, he had had a reason for what he had done, but then again wasn't there always some reason for everything - even though you might not be able to see it yourself?
It had all started a rather long time ago, but well what was time when you're not only immortal but also have existed ever since the beginning of time - and were going to exist for eternity?
But of course humans would never understand his situation, after all, for them a time-span of a year could already feel like eternity - even weeks could do that.
He shook his head ever so slightly before his mind went back to what had led to his current predicament...
A heavy sigh of exhaustion escaped his mouth. He had just taken care of yet another human whose time had come. This particular one had seriously gotten on his nerve...
Another sigh. Sure, he had grown accustomed to their reactions when he told them that they were now dying - after all, he did basically nothing else day in and day out.
He frowned and sighed, once again that thing with time...There was no real thing as the passing of time for him. Day and night just changed into one another, eventually fading into a blur and becoming eternity. To make it short - for him time was absolutely insignificant. Or well, at least it had been...
It had been a guy from Tokyo, 47 years old. A businessman, big family. And how he had complained when he had told him that his time was up.
Now well, they always complained. Humans...They were just so weak and pathetic. They always found something to complain about. The weather - it's too hot, too cold, too rainy...Economy, relationships - for them there was always something to complain about. And one thing they complained the most about were his actions.
He sighed for yet another time.
When he didn't come to them they complained, no matter whether they wanted to die due to being terribly sick or because they just were going through a rough time and thought that death was the only way for them.
And well, when he came they wanted to stay - at least the majority did, and then the whining and complaining and begging started. Though of course there were always some variations in their complaints it always came down to the same things.
First of all there were those who were still very young and complained that they hadn't achieved anything so far, that they wanted to stay so they could be successful in their career - maybe find love.
Then there were those who told him that they wanted to stay because of their families, that their children needed them and they wanted to be able to see them grow up.
Oh and then there were those who wanted to stay alive because they were successful and wanted to first become even richer, making themselves a name and have someone to be their heir before they die.
Either way, that Japanese had been begging to stay due to basically all those reasons. He had wanted to stay so he could earn enough money to ensure that his entire family could live a wealthy life with no worries - not that humans would ever be completely happy or satisfied, they always wanted more or something better, because there was always someone who was richer and happier then they were...
He also complained that he won't be able to see his six children grow up if he died now...
He had let him whine for some time, but eventually he had made clear that there was nothing he could do to change the situation.
Well, of course it hadn't just been that guy's complaints that had caused him to wanna spend some time on earth. He had just become tired of having to hear the same complaints over and over again.
And since he couldn't change the fact that meeting him sooner or later was inevitable for each human he wanted to at least understand why they were clinging to life the way they did.
After all, what was so great about living in the first place? He had to admit that he had no idea considering that he wasn't living - he existed, yeah, but that wasn't even the least the same as living. A life ended eventually while something that existed might but not necessarily end or disappear at some point.
Humans were sick all the time, their happiness was never really permanent, they aged and became even more often sick, tragedies followed them all the time...
But then again, they didn't see the world the way he saw it anyways. If one of them had ever lived as long as he was existing they might understand his point of view on the world. He had witnessed countless wars, epidemics, natural disasters, had watched how humans were killing one another and were destroying more and more their planet - not the least understanding the finality of their actions. Unlike him they couldn't see the bigger picture - and also never would.
So, why were they so unwilling to let go of their lives?
Well, there was one thing they kept repeating when they begged him to let them live - they always complained that their life was still missing something, that there was something they still wanted to do or experience before they could accept having to go.
But he had also met people - even though it was a rare sensation for him - who, when being confronted with him, would frown for a moment, reflecting on their lives, and eventually they would nod slightly and smile, saying that they had lived a wonderful, fullfilling life and that they were ready to go now.
Though what he couldn't help asking himself was - when did a life qualify as having been fullfilling? And what significance had emotions regarding to that question?
The latter question was especially interesting since he had no real understanding of their emotions, considering that the spectrum of his emotions ranged between amusement, boredom and annoyance.
Sure, he wasn't lacking the ability to feel other things as well, however, since he was practically always on his own, there were not that many opportunities to feel a lot of different emotions. And even though it amused him at times to watch humans go through their fragile lives and such things, he wasn't feeling remorse for taking it from them - after all, he was just doing what he was supposed to do.
Eventually he had arrived at the conclusion that the only way for him to answer his questions was to change his point of view and spend some time among them, to find someone who could answer his questions, so he had started to search for potential "teachers".
However, it had taken him quite long before he had eventually settled for William Perrish.
There had been moments throughout his time as "human" when he had questioned if he had made the right choice, if it had been wise to pick Bill, but those doubts had been unnecessary he had decided after returning to normal. Spending time with Bill had indeed served its purpose...
He had learned why humans clung to their lives the way they did, he had learned what it meant to live in the first place and he had learned the significance of emotions.
At that point he couldn't help thinking about her. While Bill had shown him what it meant to live it had been his daughter who had shown him what was needed to live a really fullfilling life - emotions.
She had shown him what it meant to love and desire, meeting her had taught him what it meant to miss something, to long for something - and what it meant to regret...
Thinking a little longer about Susan he sighed. He missed her more than he liked to admit, and even though he knew it was wrong he took every chance he got to watch her. When he visited her he sometimes wondered if she could sense his presence, when he reached out for her he wondered if she felt it. He could tell that she was starting to move on from the loss of her father, she seemed happy and that fact made him come to the conclusion that listening to Bill had been the right thing to do.
Yet there were still times when he wished he had taken her with him because the longing for her was getting too overwhelming. Then he would visit her and watching her for a while he would remind himself that one day they would meet again.
But even that knowledge couldn't change the fact that in retrospect his actions had been foolish.
Because the real lesson he had learned in his quest of finding answers was something completely different than finding out the reason for their complaints and reluctance when meeting him.
Once more he thought about his final evaluation of his actions, the time he had spent among the living and came once more to the same conclusion.
His ignorance had been a blessing - his curiosity had turned out to be an eternal curse.
Maybe he would change his opinion one day, maybe he would change his mind when he could be with Susan again - if he could be with her again - and decide that it had been worth it all...
However, as for now he was paying the price for breaking the rules by feeling an emptiness, a void inside of him that couldn't be filled by anything else but Susan.
A sigh escaped him and he shook slightly his head. He had to focus back at his task, there were places to be, things to do - and after all, what were those years he would have to wait for her compared to the eternity he would be able to spend with her when the right time had come?
A/N: Thanks for reading, I hope you liked this story! Please take the time to REVIEW!