Chapter 3, Part 1

Rooftop Nightmares

Toki stepped back in Pickles' room at the late hour of eight o'clock, that night. Seth had kept him out late, hitting club after club, getting drunker and drunker until Toki, out of fear of his own life, had to drive them home. As if this hadn't terrified him enough, he still hadn't acquired his driver's license yet. It had been suspended a while ago, after he and Skwisgaar had crashed trying to outrun what the Swede called, 'Thems stupids pigs'.

Now, though, Toki drug himself back over to the bed and fell onto its forgiving mattress. Pickles was staring at him, scratching his arm and not knowing what to say. Toki let out a tired groan and, not even bothering to take off his boots, crawled underneath the covers.

"How'd it—"

"I don't wants to..." his voice broke and he had to work hard to make himself say, "...talks about it."

Pickles dared to say quietly, "Oh. Okay."

A long, heavy moment of silence passed before Toki asked bluntly, "Pickle, you love me?"

He stared at him and nodded firmly. "Course I do."

"Uh-huh." and he stared up at the ceiling. Pickles frowned and reached for his hand, but Toki pulled away and itched at his tired eyes.

"Hey, Toki, what exactly did you and my brother-"

"I just saids I don't wants to talk about it, please."

"Oh...cause your parents didn't really talk at all about you, if that's why your worried about. They didn't say nothing."

"Didn't figure they woulds."

He nodded. "Okay. Well, are you tired?"

"Ja," Toki said, turning to face him. "I ams."

"Me too."

"Um-hm. So you don'ts wans to...you know..."

Pickles arched brow. "Don't wanna what?"

"Haves sex?"

He laughed and shook his head. "Nah, not really...I mean, yeah, sure, but you've been really tired today, so maybe we should just-"

"What ifs I said I would never fucks you again? Would you still love me?"

"Uh...yeah, duh. Come on, don't be a dick, be a dude. Of course I would still love you. And by the way, I said this before—it ain't fucking, it's making love." and his smile began to fade. "Why? Who said I wouldn't?"

"Nobodys, it's just...I don't know whats to do no more..." his voice trailed off.

He was totally frustrated with himself, with the world. What kind of place was he living in where he couldn't tell real love from fake love? Where fucking was just a substitute for any kind of real affection? Seth's words had sunk in, and cut him deeply. Everything that he once thought was now horribly muddled and confused...he was just little Toki Wartooth, the guy who was sometimes made a bitch by Skwisgaar Skwigelf and taken advantage of by Nathan Explosion.

And Pickles? He really didn't know what he felt about him. He knew that he loved him, he loved him so much that it seemed impossible, but did Pickles love him? He didn't know anymore.

"...I thinks that...I thinks that I needs to go to bed." and without another word, he leaned over and gave Pickles one last kiss on the lips. "Night, Pickle. Loves you."

And then he rolled over, hugged his teddy to him, and held his breath until Pickles' response filled the silence. "I love you too, Toki. A lot. Good night."

No, I don'ts thinks that you do, he thought to himself before closing his teary eyes and going to sleep. I don'ts thinks you do...

Eventually, they both drifted off into a deep sleep. Pickles only awoke once, after he had had a disturbingly lifelike dream...

He was standing high up. So high up that it was hard to breathe...there was nobody, nobody but him. He was alone. He was scared. Above all, he felt empty...empty...empty. Empty?

Yes, it was the same kind of empty feeling that he had always imagined he had been filled with before Toki...it was a vast, unreal emptiness in some part of him that he couldn't identify. It hurt. It hurt so badly that he barley felt the chilling, biting wind as it froze his skin. It hurt him so much that he didn't notice that where he was standing on was a ledge, a crumbling, aged ledge that was on top a high roof...

It hurt so much that he didn't notice the tears that had begun to make their way slowly down his face, and he didn't notice a soft voice as it whispered to him in the middle of this horrible wretchedness.

Goodbyes, Pickle. Loves you.

He thought he felt something, a brush of something warm, but in an instant he was sure he imagined it as he heard something creak...

"Hmm..."

Something creaking...

"...ugh..."

...the door?

"Toki?"

Had someone come in?

"T-Toki?"

Or gone out?

Blindly, Pickles reached over, expecting to feel the warmth of Toki's shoulder or a strand of his long, brown hair. Instead, though he felt nothing but the covers of the bed. They were still warm, still showing a faint sign that Toki had even been there. As soon as Pickles felt the vacant spot, his eyes snapped open and he sat up.

"T-Toki?"

He was gone.

In the time span of one mere second, Pickles felt his heart stop then begin to race, skipping every other beat as his brain processed what was happening. All he could do was repeat mindlessly, "Toki? He's gone...he's really gone..."

Then he looked over. The door was still open ajar. Pickles swallowed and pulled on his shirt. What had he done? What had he said? What had Seth said? Where could he be? In Skwisgaar's room? Had the Swede managed to finally win him over?

As Pickles went and peered out the door, he couldn't help but think back to his dream. Back to, Goodbyes, Pickle. Loves you...

: :: :: :: :: :: :

Chapter 3, Part 2

Lost

"Skwisgaar? Skwisgaar, open up, please!"

The Swede let out a tired groan and shifted stiffly in his bed. He had fallen asleep sitting upright, against his headboard, playing his Gibson. Pages of scratched-out songs and note sheets were in front of him and crumpled up. He sighed.

Had he managed to write down that solo that Nathan wanted? The constant scratch-outs and rips in the paper said no. He had used to practice with Toki, telling him what he needed to work on and playing the stop copies me game...

Now usually Toki was preoccupied with Pickles, doing all of his practicing with him...

Skwisgaar rubbed his eyes and gently stood his Gibson up against he wall. Pickles was calling thru the door, knocking frantically. "Please open up! Please!"

Skwisgaar scoffed as he itched at one of his bare feet. What coulds that dildo want now? Shouldn't he bes in bed, fucking Toki?

"He's gone, he ran away!"

The Swede felt his heart drop. Surely it couldn't be what he thought...

"Whose run away?" he asked as he stumbled to open the door. Pickles stood outside, his face red and his eyes shining far too brightly, sparkling in the dim light that came out of Skwisgaar's room.

"He—Toki! Is he with you?"

Skwisgaar shook his head and stretched, leaning heavily against the door frame, quite pleased with Pickles' sudden panic. It was all quite amusing. "Why he isn't with yous?"

"I don't...I can't..." suddenly all the amusement drained from Skwisgaar. Pickles was really worried—the most worried that he had ever seen him. He swallowed and his heart filled with cold, heavy fear.

"Pickle, where ammnest little Toki?"

He shook his head and sobbed, "I don't know! I can't find him! I just woke up and he had run aff!"

"Oh Gods, no..." his eyes darted down the hall. "...what happens to him?"

"I don't know!"

"Ammnest Nathans or Murderface know yets?"

Pickles shook his head. "No, but I gotta go look...I gotta go look on the roof!"

Skwisgaar's face gained a look of skepticism. He asked, puzzled, "The roofs? But why-"

"No time to explain!" he called as he backed away and started to run down the hall. "Go and look for him outside!" and his footsteps faded away as his figure faded into the darkness of the night.

Skwisgaar was left standing in his doorway, without shoes, his feet numb with cold, a brow raised. "So whats? So he went out on a walk? What ammnest the big deal? What ammnest..." his voice trailed off as he remembered the look Toki had had on his face after he had gotten home with Seth...

They had talked, really talked, for the first time in weeks...since they had had sex, probably...

"Hey, Tokis. How ammnest the-"

"Skwisgaar, what ams it mean if you love someone?"

"Huh?"

"Don't fucks with me and don't try to act like I'm not talkings; you've been ignoring me since that time we—"

"Please do not be reminding me of 'dat."

"Sorrys."

There had been an emptiness about him that Skwisgaar had never seen before...he had almost seemed sick. But with what?

: :: :: :: :: :: :

Chapter 2, Part 1

Divided

It was complete insanity. Pickles felt as though he were going crazy; he climbed so many stairs, never slowing down, never pausing to think just how much his lungs burned or how much his sides ached...no, just about Toki. Something bad had happened to him, or was about to happen, he knew it.

Never in his life had he thought that being away from Toki would be like this. It was as if he were scrambling in every direction, with no way to distinguish a clear path. He was completely lost in his own mistakes and memories...

Toki had been the one to first admit his love...

["Pickle, what would you say if I tolds you big secret?"

"Depends on what kind of secret we're talkin' about."

"The kinds were I tells you that I love you."

"Oh. Well that's easy, I'd say that I love you right back, cause I do."

"Honest?"

"Yep."

"You not lying?"

"Nope. Never."

"Then I thinks...I thinks that ams pretty good, huh?"

"Yeah, pretty damn good."]

...he didn't know why, but he just knew he had to go to the roof of Mordhaus. There was only one way to get there. On the last floor of the house, there was a staircase tucked between a couple of old, tattered couches. It was rare that anyone ventured to the top floor. There just wasn't anything there of interest. Of course, on occasion he and Toki had been able to sneak up there by themselves just to look up and see the stars...sometimes they had even fucked around...yes, the two of them had made many good memories under that endless blanket of night sky.

"Toki?" he called as he finally managed to jump over the last stair. He felt the cool night breeze as he came into the outdoors, and with it carried the familiar scent of candy and cheap soda...Toki's scent.

He turned to his left and there he was, with his back facing Pickles and his hands twisting his hair as it blew wildly in the wind. Pickles sighed and went to meet him, saying softly, "Toki, what the fuck? Everyone is lookin' for you! You can't just run away like...Toki?"

The Norwegian didn't turn around. He didn't run up and hug Pickles like he usually did. His pale, blue eyes—which now seemed to be missing something vital, something that Pickles couldn't' identify—stared down at the ground that lay far below them. It was now that the drummer realized just how high up they were. It couldn't get any higher, and, he noted, Toki was standing precariously close to the edge of the roof...

"Toki, what're you-"

"I ams very confuseded."

"That's fine, but just here—let me help you—" he reached forward in an effort to try and guide Toki away from the edge. The guitarist recoiled from his touch and remained where he was, staring down.

"Wowee, we really high up..."

Suddenly Pickles' worry grew into full fledged fear. He made to take step nearer Toki, but he stepped farther out on the ledge, where it crumbled, sending a shower of dust below. Pickles swallowed. "Toki, get down from there. You could fall."

"Pickle, you know what Seth told me?"

What little light had been left in his heart sank. Seth. That idiot. What had he done to Toki? His Toki? "Seth is an idiot."

Toki ignored this and said, "He saids something that actually make sense—my parents hates me, so how could you love me?" he turned and stared into Pickles' eyes, which were now leaking tears, though the drummer didn't know it. "Everyones in the world hates me, so how coulds you ever loves me?"

"I...I...but I do love you!"

"How coulds anyone..." and he looked down, began rapping his fingers on his leg distractedly. "I only makes your life miserable, just fucks it up. I always fucks it all up. Maybe Dethklok woulds just be-"

"You do not fuck my life up! You're the fucking reason I get up every day and deal with the stupid, motherfucking world!" Pickles said.

"-better off without mes?"

A long silence followed his words. One in which Pickles nodded like he understood it all, and stepped up on the ledge as well. "You wanna see how much I love you? Well here-" he began walking, less than an inch away from the edge of the roof. Toki's eyes grew wide; he reached out, nearly losing his balance and falling himself. Pickles caught him, though, and steadied him. "-save me. Be my savior. I'm always the one savin' you, so this time you save me."

"I..."

"I'll fall." Pickles warned, teetering close to the edge. "I'll do it." Toki just stared at him, as if mesmerized, not knowing what to do. The drummer closed his eyes and took a step, fumbled and lost his balance. He was sure that was it. He was sure that Toki wouldn't be able to snap out of it, but he had thought that maybe, just maybe, he could make Toki come back to the real world and realize that Pickles loved him more than anything.

"Pickle! Don'ts fall!" Toki yelled in fear as he jumped forward and latched on to his wrist. He was sobbing now, his hair blowing and obscuring his face. "Don'ts go nowhere."

"Toki, do you know what you just done?"

He said with some difficulty, "I know you woulds have done the same for me."

"Then how could you ever think for one second that I don't love you? That the world doesn't need you?" Pickles asked, reaching for his hand. Toki let him take it this time, and he let Pickles wrap his arms around his waist and hug him tightly.

Toki stood stiffly in his arms, his chest rising and falling quickly. Pickles kissed his cheek and whispered, "Look, if anything were to happen to you...I don't know what would happen. I really just don't know what I'd do. It's a scary thing, really, the power you have over me. If anyone says anything or does anything to you, I go crazy; you jump, I jump..."

"Pickle, why ams you loves me?"

"Because you're you."

That was all Toki needed to hear. He relaxed in Pickles' arms and let his head fall back against his shoulder. "Pickle, I hurt."

"Where? Tell me so I can-" he let out a sharp gasp as he felt one of Toki's warm hands reach up and touch his cheek. "-fix it."

"Heart."

"Your heart hurts?"

Toki nodded, tears beginning to pour freely from the corners of his eyes. "Hurts a lot."

"I can fix it if you let me..."

"Fix me, Pickle, please."

He nodded. "Okay, Toki."

"Cause secretlys, I thinks that only you can."

And as Pickles looked down and looked into Toki's sad eyes, he realized something. This problem couldn't be fixed by sex, or Yopo, or kissing, or even another night alone with Skwisgaar. It was something above all of these things, these petty urges. Pickles swallowed and looked down. The ledge began crumbling again, but he didn't move. He couldn't move. He knew he wouldn't fall, not now. Instead he looked out at the sight before him.

He looked up at the endlessly starry sky and the moon, that was so full and unrightfully cheery. Toki looked out as well, his eyes half closed. Another gust of cool wind blew, making his hair fly wildly, ticking Pickles a little before he whispered in Toki's ear, "Come on, let's go."

He stepped off the ledge first, never letting go of Toki, then gently guided him down. Toki stumbled into his arms, his legs trembling. He was pale, still terrified at what he had almost done. "I'ms so tired..."

"It's fine," Pickles said as he picked him up. "Just go to sleep."

Toki put his arms around him and held him close. As they walked he let out a long sigh and whispered, "I hates this..."

"Huh?"

"What's I done...myself, for waking you up likes this..."

"I don't mind," he said.

Toki looked up. "You don'ts mind?"

Pickles shook his head. "Of course not."

"Oh. Well can I tells you secret, then?"

"Yeah."

"You ams like my guardian angel, I guess. I just wish I coulds be the same to you."

Pickles smiled a little at this innocent little statement. Toki was so beautiful and his own childish world of love that he just didn't understand—and would never understand—that he secretly made Pickles' heart melt. He made it melt like snow, once something so cold, made new. He really was his savior.

He was the one who fixed Pickles.

He was the only reason that Pickles didn't jump.

: :: :: :: :: :: :

E P I L O U G E

::Equilibrium::

Three days later the families were kicked out, with the exception of Seth. Pickles had kept him around after his mother and father had left to give him his own personal goodbye.

"Hey, douche," Pickles had called to Seth as he picked up his bags. "Just chill out and come see for a minute. I wanna say bye."

Seth gave him a twisted smile. "What's wrong? Shouldn't you be upstairs fuckin' that stupid little-"

Before he could even get out the words, Pickles had walked right up to him and hit him as hard as he could. Seth went flying backwards, tripping and stumbling over his luggage, and crying, "Ma, Maaa! Pickles hit me! He-"

Pickles let out a yell and kicked him again in again, saying as he did so, "You stupid, motherfucking dildo!" and he stopped and took a few steps back, trying to catch his breath.

Seth was doubled over, hugging his sides, uttering wheezing little, "Fuck, fuck, fuck..."

The rest of Dethklok gathered around, watching with amused expressions. "Yeah, kill that motherfu-" Murderface began.

"Shut up!" Pickles said, glaring at him. Then he said to Seth, "If you ever, ever, ever come back here again..."

"Ma will be back at Christmas..." Seth said with a pained groan. He rolled over on the floor and stared up at his brother. "I'll be with her..."

"Get the fuck outta here, you piece of shit." Pickles spat. Then he did something he never thought he'd do—he actually turned and walked away from a fight. He walked away for only one reason; Toki was waiting for him upstairs.

He had been sleeping for two days straight now, and Pickles wanted to be there for him when he woke up. For some reason, the visit from his parents had totally drained him. So Pickles left Seth there, spitting up blood and cursing, and walked up the stairs that lead to his room. He didn't notice Skwisgaar following him.

Just before he reached his door, he heard a soft, "Hey, Pickle?"

Pickles jumped a little, surprised at the suddenness of the voice. He turned and gave Skwisgaar a little half-smile. They hadn't really talked since Toki had dumped him. "Yeah, hey, Skwisgaar."

He went to open the door, but the Swede cleared his throat and asked, "So...he's, you knows, in there?"

He nodded and chuckled awkwardly. "Uh...yeah, he is."

Skwisgaar nodded and looked down. "Uh. Ja, 'dat's good."

Pickles nodded yet again. All he could think to say was, "Yep. It's great, I guess."

"Ja...so he ammnest sleepings, or what?"

"Yeah, he has been for the past few days. Since, you know-"

"Since he tries to kill himself," Skwisgaar finished. "I knows. We all knows, and I guess...well, I needs to talks to you."

Pickles sighed. He really didn't feel like having his conversation, but obviously it was inevitable. It was obvious that Skwisgaar was about to tell him that he was the better match for Toki, that Pickles didn't deserve him...

"Okay, go ahead." he leaned against the door and crossed his arms. Skwisgaar ran a hand thru his blond hair, and for a second Pickles felt self conscious. He imagined what Toki and the Swede must've looked like that night they had fucked—perfect for each other. Both their hair the same length, both perfectly skinny. It was an odd, thought, how much they matched each other.

Maybe he does deserve him more than me...

"I wants to tells you how much I appreciates what you done. You know, saving hims life." Skwisgaar said, blinking. "I wouldn't have know whats to do."

"Well, it was just instinct, I guess."

"I guess that's why yous two belong together."

Pickles arched a brow. "I...uh..."

"I admits it," he said finally, "I can sees why he with you now. You two...it's like yous ammnest in sync with each other or somethings. It is somethings that we will never have, me and Toki, even though I loves him."

Pickles managed to smile. "Thanks," he said gratefully.

"Ja, well, I just wanted you to know 'dat. And alsos, once Toki gets better—you knows, in the next few days or so—I was wondering if me and hims could have guitar lesson?" Skwisgaar inquired. His eyes shined brightly as he asked, "If we coulds just, you know, talks again?"

"That's between you and him," Pickles answered. "But yeah, I think that'd be great. Then maybe we could, you know, get the band back together again. I mean really get together again, talkin' and stuff."

"Ja," he answered with a nod. "Buts really 'dat not such big deal. I means, when you thinks about it, we was never really 'together'. I ammnest always been about the money."

"Yeah," Pickles agreed, "I guess that used to be what it was about for me, too."

Skwisgaar smiled a little and stared down at him. His blue eyes met Pickles' and he said, "Ja, used to be what it was abouts for me too. 'Den something happened..."

"What?" Pickles asked, although he was certain he already knew the answer.

"Tokis happened."

And he grinned. "Yeah, Toki happened. Listen, Skwisgaar, I-"

"He ams not like other peoples, you know," the Swede broke in. "He changest peoples. Like me, I really don'ts cares about any of this no more; the guitar, the moneys, the girls...just takes care of him."

"I...will..."

"Good," Skwisgaar said as he turned and began walking away. "Cause he ams too special to haves to put up with any more crap. Sees you later, Pickle."

"Yeah," he said, opening the door to his room. "See ya."

: :: :: :: :: :: :

**A/N**

That's it...

...hope you enjoyed it...

If you want me to love you forever, review it.

If you want more, sorry. I think this end should suffice.