Slash, drug/alcohol usage, references to religion/God, and bad language.
If you don't like, don't read.
Nope, don't own any of the important characters.
Reviews are love.
**THIS STORY IS SET AFTER DETHHEALTH**
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"I'm the man in the box
Buried in my shit
Won't you come and save me?
~~Alice In Chains, Man In The Box
Chapter 1, Part 1
Three Weeks After The Cat's Death
Toki sat at the breakfast table staring at nothing. Everyone slowly ate their own food, chewing quietly. Nobody dared to talk until the Klokateers came in and cleaned up their plates. Murderface cast a glance over to Toki's plate and frowned. He grabbed the plate from the Klokateer and began shoveling down the cold and untouched eggs.
"Toki, what the hell'sh wrong with you?" he asked between bites. "You didn't eat anything!"
"I'ms not hungry."
"Whatever." was his simple response. Over in his seat, Pickles rolled his eyes.
"Dude, don't be a dick. Give Toki his food back."
Murderface glared over at him. "What'sh your problem? If he doshen't want to eat he doshen't have to."
Skwisgaar just sighed and rested his head on his hand. "Toki ammnest just beings a stupids little crybabys again."
"I ams not!" he snapped.
"Oh reallys? Then what is this that you're doings? You never eats no more unless we makes you and you never laughs no more or smiles—you ammnest totallys ruining my mornings!" the Swede said before taking a sip of coffee. "You ams being a selfish littles dildo."
Toki looked down at his hands and said quietly, "You don'ts understand."
"Whats? It was just your cats that died, not like it was your-"
"It ams not about the cat, Skwisgaar."
He slammed his cup down on the table in anger. "Then what is it abouts? You ammnest acting like little, stupids kid!"
Toki got up from his seat and stormed out of the dining room, cursing in Norwegian under his breath. Once he had left Nathan let out a long, exasperated sigh. "That stupid little prick. He always has to make a big deal about everything. I don't get it. It was just a fucking cat."
Pickles shrugged and watched as Murderface ate the rest of the eggs. "He really did like 'dat dumb cat, I guess."
Nathan said irritably, "It only lived for a few days! He needs to learn that not everything's that serious!"
"Maybe..." the drummer sighed and ran a hand thru his hair in frustration. Why didn't anyone get it? Toki's problem obviously wasn't just about the cat, but what else could it be? He had no clue, but he could still try to guess at it. "...maybe it ain't about the stupid cat. Maybe it's about somethin' else."
"What elshe could be hish problem?" Murderface asked, throwing Toki's now empty plate to the side. "He'sh being a shtupid little kid. He needsh to grow up or shomething."
"Ja, and maybes if you wasn't so busys giving him your stupids attention he wouldn't be acting like he ams." Skwisgaar added. Pickles scoffed.
"So you're tellin' me 'dat you can really just sit there and watch him nat eat or smile?"
He nodded. "Ja, I don't sees nothings wrong with it. Let hims cry if he wants. It doesn't hurts me none."
Pickles got up from his chair. "Yeah, well maybe that's just the prablem—nobody's doing anything to help him."
"So what?" Nathan challenged. "He's an adult; he can work out his own problems."
"Whatever." was the drummer's response as he walked out of the room.
It was true, the past few weeks Toki's attitude towards everything had been rather dull and bleak. He got up and practiced with the rest of the band like usual, but his eyes were always glazed over, staring off into nothingness. When he spoke his voice no long held any of it's characteristic carefree, unfiltered happiness; he rarely spoke at all, actually. When he did his responses were short and tired-sounding, as if he'd had to repeat himself over and over. He looked exhausted, with dark circles under his pale blue eyes and a his face never held a smile. He had changed since his stupid cat had died, and although nobody knew why, Pickles was determined to find out. He had to find out for Toki's sake and his own, because he didn't really know why, but when the Norwegian hurt he also felt guilt and sorrow fill his heart.
He didn't know why the hurt was there or what it meant, only that it was real.
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Chapter 1, Part 2
Pickles found Toki laying outside a ways away from the house staring up blankly at the clouds of dismal gray that rolled above their heads. He sat down next to him and peered up at the sky as well, whistling softly. When the time came to speak his voice faltered and Toki was left to begin the awkward conversation.
He cleared his throat and managed to say, "Y-Yeah, what's up? I decided to, y'know, find you."
"Yeah. Thanks." he looked down and began picking little blades of dead grass out of the dirt. " 'Cause I thoughts that nobody in this stupids place cares abouts me."
"Yeah, well like I said, I'm here. What's wrong? Why didn't you eat?" he laid back in the grass and closed his eyes lazily. "Didn't you like what the chef dude cooked?"
"Course I dids."
" 'Den why'd you-"
"Pickle, you thinks this ams all about the cat, huh?"
He looked over to Toki and shrugged. "No, but I don't know what else it could be about, so-"
"It's not abouts the stupids cat." the guitarist said.
"Then what?" when Toki didn't answer, Pickles sighed and sat up. "Look, dude, you've gatta trust me if you're gonna talk to me. I'm nat gonna tell anyone or nothing. I'd never do 'dat."
He just turned his blue eyes back up at the sky and said quietly, "Do you thinks it hurts do die?"
Pickles was utterly taken aback by this question, so he was left to just sit there and sputter aimlessly, "Do I...wait—I do what? What the fuck are you askin' me?"
Toki repeated his question calmly and unwaveringly. "Do you thinks that it hurts to die?"
"Well, your cat was really sick, so-"
"No!" he sat up suddenly and glared at the drummer. "It ams not about the cat that I ams asking!"
Pickles was lost. " 'Den what is it? Just spit it out! You're scaring the crap out of me, Toki!" he'd never seen the Norwegian like this, so serious and absolute—so damn solemn. It was almost disturbing to hear him speak, because he sounded so sad and hopeless, almost like he was being sentenced to death or something. Pickles felt his heart ache and tried hard to control his shaking voice as he repeated, "You're scaring the crap out of me, Toki."
"Then why yous comes here to talks to me? You obviously don'ts understand!" then he looked down and said sadly, "Nobody does."
The drummer bit his lip and admitted, "I wanna help you, but you've gotta tell me what's wrong. You've gotta-"
"Pickle, where do we go after we dies?"
"I...what?" In the matter of a second Toki was spitting out a dozen questions, making Pickles turn red and grow cold and numb. What was this, all of these questions of death and the afterlife, of Heaven and Hell? It took all of his concentration to just say above Toki's lost, sorrowful voice, "I don't know."
"Well thens do we just die and that ams it?"
"I don't kn-"
"Or dos we all go to the sames place?"
"Whats abouts bad people? What happens to bads people?"
"Ams I a bad person?"
Pickles shook his head and said firmly, "No, of course you're nat."
"Thens what will happen to me once I dies?" Toki asked, letting his head fall into his hands. "I'ms so damns confused! Ever since that stupids cats died I can't stops thinking about it, 'cause it mades me realize that we coulds die anytime, like rights now. What would you dos if I died?" he met Pickles' gaze and repeated the question wretchedly. "What woulds you do?"
"I..." he shrugged and said sadly, "I don't know, Toki."
"So if I dieds right now and you have five seconds to decides, what woulds you-"
"I don't know! 'Dat's a dumb question!"
He shook his head and put some of his hair behind his ears. "No, Pickle, it ams not! I know what I woulds do if you woulds die, but you can't thinks of one thing to do if I died?"
Pickles' mind was racing about a million miles an minute now. What did happen to you after you died? Did dying hurt? Where did you go? Did you just rot in the ground for eternity? He didn't know any of it, and suddenly he had the urge to cry under Toki's crushing gaze. "I...Toki, I don't know. I guess I'd...I'd..."
"You woulds what?"
" 'Dat's what I'm trying to say! I don't know!"
Toki shook his head and sniffled. He said, all previous traces of his depression returning to him, "Exactly; you wouldn'ts care. Nobodys would care. I'd be just likes my cat—deads, and yous all would be replacing me and the world just wouldn'ts care. That woulds be it." and he let his head fall into his hands. "That woulds be it."
"I...I..." Pickles took a deep breath and tried to get himself under control. He had to be strong right now. He had to give the Norwegian answers and advice and let him know that it was okay, because the truth was that he knew what he was going thru. He'd never told anyone about how he himself had once lost his best friend in a stupid, avoidable accident...
"Toki, look." he sat up and gently patted the guitarist's shoulder. "Everybody would care if you died. We'd all be crying and stuff...it'd just be really bad."
"Whats would happen if Is were to die? Where woulds I go to?"
He thought and finally admitted, "I don't know. Nobody does."
"Well why nots? You knows everything else, but why nots that?"
Pickles was beginning to feel both frustrated and embarrassed. Not knowing what else to do, he got up and snapped, "Look, I dunno. I've tried to be nice, tried to get you to talk—I just don't know, okay? Why do you even care what happens anyways? We die and we go to Hell, I guess. Why the fuck does it matter?" Suddenly the guitarist began crying. He held his head in his hands and began openly weeping. Pickles' eyes grew wide and in a moment he was kneeling beside Toki and squeezing his shoulder."Look, dude, I'm sorry. I didn't mean—I care, I really do, but-"
"Fucks you! Fucks all of you! Nobody cares!"
"Yeah, I swear to Gad 'dat I-"
He shook his head. "Pickle, I ams just sos...so..."
In the back of the drummer's mind he remembered when he was a thirteen-year-old kid and his best friend had died. He'd been so damn confused, felt so alone. Nobody had ever bothered to ask him if he was okay or needed help or any of that stuff. They had just looked down on him and told him that it was his fault and put is best friend in the ground. Nobody—not even his best friend's parents—had bothered to visit the grave. Nobody except Pickles. He had spent many lonely, cold hours of his childhood sitting in the cool grass being eclipsed by the shadow of that marble tombstone.
"Confused, I know." Pickles finally said. He closed his eyes, remembered the funeral...so many people wearing black. Useless prayers said...falling apart. He had fallen apart and nobody had cared enough to help him pull himself back together. "Lonely, like nobody else in the whole fuckin' world cares or understands..."
"Ja, exactlys." and Toki's blue eyes met the drummer's green ones. "Pickle, how you knows-"
"I don't want you to feel like 'dat." he said quietly and thought, Like I do. "Toki, listen. I don't have all the answers, but if you ever need anything or whatever, I'm...well, right here, I guess."
He looked down. "Okays. I guess you dos care, and that ams enough for me. Thanks, Pickle."
"Yeah." he said, pulling Toki into a brief hug. "It's cool, I guess."
The hug was immediately ended as Pickles heard approaching footsteps. He looked up and was surprised to see Ofdensen walking over to them them. In his right hand he held a little black book. "Hello, boys." he said as he approached them. Before he spoke again he turned his attention to Toki. "I've been informed that there was another confrontation this morning at breakfast."
Toki shook his head. "There wasn't nos confrontation, only Skwisgaar and Murderface annoyings me."
He nodded and responded dryly, "Well, whatever the situation may be I've got something you may find useful." he presented the guitarist with the little book. Across the cover there were simple, golden letters that read, The Bible. As soon as the Norwegian took the bible, Pickles let out an annoyed hiss and jumped to his feet. He took the book from Toki and threw it to the ground. The guitarist arched a brow questioningly and opened his mouth to say something, but Pickles wouldn't let him speak.
"Dude, trust me; 'dat book is a load of bullshi-"
"It may be helpful for him, Pickles." Ofdensen cut in, his voice harsh and unyielding. "I've noticed some signs that Toki may be in need of a little more spiritual guidance than we can provide him with, so that's why I'm-"
"Waits a second, isn't this abouts God and Jesus ands stuff?" Toki asked innocently, taking the book and opening it. " 'Cause I don't believes in that stuffs anyway; I don'ts believe in anything. You knows that."
"Well maybe 'dats the problem..." Pickles muttered.
Ofdensen glanced over at him and asked, "I'm sorry?"
"Huh?" he looked up and shrugged. "Nothin'. Yeah, I guess it's a good idea if it'll give him somethin' to believe in. Everybody needs something, I guess."
Toki gave the bible a look of pure indifference and said, "Thanks, Ofdensens. I guess I mights as wells try to reads it."
"Good. Perhaps it might make you see things more clearly. Grief isn't an easy thing to get over." he paused and added thoughtfully, "And we really should start back to work on the album soon, but before we do you need to be in a good mood." As he turned and walked right back to Mordhaus, Toki opened the bible to the first page and began reading aloud in his broken English.
"Ins the beginning Gods created the heaven ands the earth..." he arched a brow cluelessly. "That don'ts makes much sense. Hey, Pickle?"
He cursed. "Crap...yeah, Toki?"
"How did Gods create-"
"Just read it and I'm sure it'll tell you."
"I don't wanna ruin the plot of the whole damn book!" he said before quickly going back inside the house. The truth was that he hated to admit when he didn't know something, and he could tell that Toki's little religions experiment would be a time when he'd have to do just that many, many times.
He shuttered to think of all the questions that would pop into Toki's mind now. What was Hell exactly? What was Heaven? As the drummer walked to his room he felt himself turning red. Stupid, damn bible. They never did any good. It was all fake, all of it. After his best friend had died he'd read the whole damn book cover to cover and still hadn't found the answer he'd been looking for—why?
And the Christians at the church said that he wasn't looking at it right, that he was reading it wrong. The answers to everything were in there, they said. Pickles hadn't found a damn thing, though. But then again, he'd never been good at focusing on what it all meant, so maybe he had missed something after all.
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Chapter 1, Part 3
So Many Whys & Don't Knows
Everything seemed normal until later that night. The little digital alarm clock in Pickles' room had just blinked 3:00 when a knock came at his door. He cursed and called out groggily, "Yeah, wh-what's wrong?"
"Pickle?" Toki's voice was a soft, nearly inaudible whisper. "Pickle, ams you awake?"
He let out a tired little sigh and rolled over. "Y-Yeah," he called, still trying to drift back off to sleep. "Come in."
The door opened with a creak and in a moment Toki was speaking in his ear asking a dozen questions, one after the other. Pickles groaned and blindly groped for the bottle of booze he always kept beside his bed. He found it and took a deep sip from it as Toki continued to ramble off questions. After another minute of this the drummer switched on the lamp that was on his night table.
He shielded his eyes against the blinding light and drank a little more before asking, " 'Kay, now 'dat I'm awake at fuckin' three in the morning, what d'you want?"
Toki was sitting beside his bed reading from his bible madly as he began."Pickle, I was readings and-"
"You gat to the part where they crucified the Jew, right?"
The guitarist shook his head and asked obliviously, "What ams crucified?"
"It means—never mind. What d'you want?"
"Well," he pointed to a line in the bible and said, "That rights there talks about this place, some place calleds Heaven, and it says that if you ams good enough you cans gos into it, but-"
"But you can'ts dos no sins. Pickle, what ams a sin?"
Thank God. That was a simple question to answer. The drummer said, " 'Dat's when you do something that you know is bad."
Toki nodded like he understood. "Ohs, so likes when you gets so drunk that you vomits everywhere."
"Yeah, kinda like 'dat." Pickles answered in a slight tone of annoyance. He waited a moment before saying, "Okay, well if that's all, then I guess you can go. Goodnight."
"Wait! I wants to know something else!"
"What?" Toki shied away a little until the drummer let out an irritated breath and said, "I'm sorry. I'm tryin' really, really hard to have patience with you for waking me up, but it's hard. What's your question?"
The Norwegian looked down at his feet and said meekly, "You saids I could comes to you if I ever hads a problem."
Pickles closed his eyes. There was no way that this was happening at three o'clock in the damn morning, no way! "Toki," he said tiredly. "I'm sorry. Of course I said 'dat and I meant it, so just c'mon and tell me what you have to say so I can get back to bed."
"Okays, well I was just wonderings—it talks a lot abouts a holy ams that?"
" 'Dats kinda like Gad."
"Oh." he lowered the bible and blinked. It was apparent that he was exhausted, but still he didn't close the book. Instead he yawned and asked, "Pickle?"
"Do yous believe in this?" he showed him the bible. "In Gods?"
He considered the Norwegian's question for a moment then shook his head. "No, I don't guess I do. Sorry, but it's just nat my thing."
"Sos it ams not real?"
"Sure it is, I guess."
"Then why don't yous believe in it?"
"Because." he peered down at Toki and frowned; the guitarist was staring at him, his pale eyes full of boyish affection and, above all, uncertainty. Pickles gave him a little smile and added, "Because I just don't get it, 'dat's all. If you get it I guess it's just as real as anything else."
"Oh, okays. Hey, Pickle?"
"I'ms still reallys confused."
He grinned and patted his shoulder. " 'Dat's fine. It'll get better."
"Hows do you know?"
"I just do, now go to bed."
He watched as Toki slowly rose to his feet, closed his bible, and made his way out of the room, past all the empty bottles of booze. Once he was gone Pickles switched off his lamp, but found that he couldn't go to sleep. There was too much going on in his mind now, so he just drank until his eyes could no longer stay open.
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I started typing this on iPod during my Thanksgiving vacation in Mississippi while I was 'spending time' with my family—yes, it was that boring. I'm definitely glad to be home-I actually just got home yesterday and I'm already back publishing fanfic...maybe I have a problem lol. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the first chapter because there's more to come. Thank you all who have previously reviewed my other stories. I appreciate it and yes, I will be writing more Toki/Pickles stories. ^_^
Also, concerning the whole 'religion' and 'God' subjects of this story...I'm 16 years old and no, I have not decided on what I believe in as far as that goes, so I am totally unbiased when it comes to that sort of thing. I don't look down on ANY religious beliefs, so please don't take offense—none of the character's religious beliefs or thoughts on God in this story mirror my own. And in case you're a little lost, Toki's cat the one from the episode of Dethhealth. One last thing; when Pickles says stuff like 'nat' instead of 'not', I'm not misspelling it. That's just how I type him.
Reviews are welcome.
Peace & Love.