Slash, drug/alcohol usage, and bad language.
If you don't like it, don't read, darling. ^_^
Don't own any characters except Toki's uncle & the idea for the story.
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"And I don't want you and I don't need you
Don't bother to resist or I'll beat you
It's not your fault that you're always wrong
The weak ones are there to justify the strong..."
-Marilyn Manson, The Beautiful People
Chapter 1, Part 1
Kiss The Floor
Once the stupid concert was over, the fan girls began swooning around Skwisgaar, Nathan, and Toki...all Pickles did was stomp off back to the bus, lock the doors, and open himself up a bottle of top-of-the-line vodka. He'd learned long ago that any problem that he had could be solved by that stinging, burning, wonderful sensation of the alcohol as it slipped down his throat. He gagged sometimes at the first few sips, surprised at the potent taste, but in the end he'd always end up devouring all the booze in the room, even the special, expensive kind Ofdensen hid away for the long ride home. Everyone would get mad at him, say they hated him for drinking their share of the alcohol, but he didn't care. Come the first few sips, nothing mattered outside of that taste.
The taste, so warm and soothing. It made his brain slow and his blood cease its flow in his veins; it made his heart skip beats and his thoughts go wild and twisted. Pickles smiled tonight as he opened up his third bottle. He pressed the cold lip of the bottle to his mouth, holding back laughter. Everything was just so damn funny, so light and whimsical now. He closed his eyes, let his mind swim around and be set ablaze by the vodka.
The concert in Germany had been freezing. The fans had been immensely loud, screaming until the drummer's ears were pounding and numb. It had been snowing on him, that he remembered. He'd looked down, seen the shockingly white flecks of snow contrasting to Nathan's black hair and Toki's chocolatey brown; it glittered in Skwisgaar's blond hair, made it shine like the golden, treasured rays of the sun. He hadn't really noticed Murderface. He'd tried to ignore him—the bassist always made sideways comments about the drummer and his drinking.
"Gonna go get drunk?" Murderface had asked him after the show, once the whole band had gathered backstage. Pickles had simply shrugged and looked down, knowing that the eyes of his other band mates were boring into him, praying for him to say, 'No'.
He didn't. "Yeah, so what? What the hell do you care?"
Murderface had shaken his head, almost in disappointment. "How about you try not getting drunk tonight? Lasht time you locked ush outta the fucking bush."
"I'll do what I wanna do, dildo!" he'd retorted, ignoring the glare that Nathan was giving him. "Besides, what else is 'dere to do? Fuck the stupid groupies? Alcohol's better'n that." the truth was that he'd already had a good many drinks before going out on stage tonight, and this fact was made evident by the way that he was slightly slurring his words. Every movement he made was jerky and unsure.
As he'd walked back to the bus, Toki had been the only one with the balls to try to talk him out of it. "Pickle, you don't gots to get drunk after every shows, you know."
"What else am I gonna do, then?" he had snapped, jamming his hands deep into the pockets of his jacket; the wind was chilling and sharp, cutting him to the bone. Toki just kept following him like some kind of pitiful animal, his pale eyes cast down at the snow as they walked.
"You coulds comes with us and the fan girls."
"Why? S'they can fuck me and I can just kick them out?" Pickles glared over at the guitarist. "I can get screwed any time, but the booze is there right now."
"Look, just leave me alone, okay? You're just drivin' me fuckin' crazy." and he'd retreated into the sanctuary of the tour bus, slammed the door in Toki's face, and locked every entrance. The Norwegian didn't turn and leave, though. Instead he stood outside and pounded on the door.
"Pickle, lets me in! Please!"
"Go fuck yourself!" he howled as he took a sip of vodka. Damn. It was empty. He let it fall from his grasp onto the floor. Slowly, knowing that he had more than poor balance when he drank, he rose from his seat and went to open himself another bottle of booze. Luckily he found some champagne that had been left over from the last album release party. It would do.
It was sweeter than sweet, almost too much so. It coated his throat with a honey sugariness, mingled with the strong, stinging taste of the vodka. He smacked his lips and a look of disgust came across his face, but still he drank more until Toki's screaming became nothing more than an echoing, distant annoyance.
"Please lets me in! It's colds out here!"
He laughed brokenly and leaned against the wall of the bus. "S'nat my prablem, dude. Go an' get fucked by one of 'dem stupid fan-sluts y'like s'much."
"I cares abouts you more then thems! Please opens the door..."
His face fell and his laughter melted away into nothingness. Suddenly he felt very small and insignificant in the confines of that large bus; somebody cared about him? What a load of shit. He chuckled awkwardly and slurred, "T-Toki, whadda mean y'care 'bout me? Ain't nobody ever cared about me."
"Well I dos, now open up the fuckings door before you drinks yourself to death."
"Too late fer that, dude. I'm practically in my damn grave already." and he took another large, bitterly sweet swallow of the champagne and fell back against the wall, sighing heavily. There was nothing now, he was beyond the reach of the world. There was just him and his alcohol.
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Chapter 1, Part 2
The Only One Who Ever Cared
Cold. Biting, gnawing, freezing hatred clawed at his thin jacket, blew his hair into his face. It was the wind that was killing him. It was hard, each gust of it hitting him and crushing him against the door of the tour bus, coming at him like a hundred pounds of icy death. Toki struggled for breath as he pounded weakly on the door. His hands were shaking, grasping at warmth that wouldn't come. He wouldn't die, the Klokateers would get to him and aid him first, but he'd certainly not be alive as much after this. His chest hitched, took in short, gasping breaths of stabbing cold German air. Again he called, his voice shaking almost as much as his whole body.
"P-Pickle, opens up the d-d-door please. This ams g-getting reallys ah-ah-ahnnoying!" And finally there came some kind of salvation. The door to the tour bus clicked, signifying that the lock was undone. Toki let out a relieved, grateful cry and struggled to grip the handle and pull it open. Pickles was sitting on one of the couches that occupied the center of the huge tour bus. His eyes were half closed and watering as he finished off the bottle of champagne.
"Heya, Toki. Y'cold? I unlocked the fuckin' door 'cause you sounded hurt or somethin'..." Toki just nodded and closed the door. Taking off his jacket, he hurried over to where the drummer was sitting and pressed a hand to his forehead. Pickles didn't hesitate to push him away unsteadily and slur, "Whadda think you're doin'?"
Truthfully, he had no clue; all Toki knew was that when he was feeling sick, sometimes the doctor would place a hand on his forehead and say if he had a fever. Did drinking give you a fever? Probably not, but either way it didn't seem that important as the drummer suddenly paled and grasped his stomach. Toki leaned closer to him, but was again pushed away.
"Pickle, what ams wrong?"
"G-Get away...I gatta—gonna pu-" he used a burst of unusual strength to completely shove Toki to the side and fall to his knees on the floor. The Norwegian hurried to help him up, but Pickles stuck out an arm and tried to keep him away. "I'm gonna be sick...just go get a trashcan or somethin'."
"Hurry up!" he said, biting his lip and breathing hard in an effort to calm his raging, turning stomach. "An' get me s'more booze, too!"
Toki obeyed his first request without hesitation, and in an instant he was standing in front of Pickles holding out a plastic trash can. "Am you goings to be oka-"
And the drummer retched and vomited into the can, hugging his sides and shutting his eyes tightly against the disgusting taste that was rising in his throat. The honey-sweet taste of the champagne was gone, replaced by that acidic, stinging sickness. He fell against the couch, let his head fall back. Toki watched him with a look of concern on his face. Once he was sure the drummer was done, he put the vomit-filled trashcan to the side and placed a hand on Pickles' shoulder.
"Ams you okay?"
"D'I look ok-" he gagged, pressed a hand to his mouth. "-okay?"
"You looks drunk." he commented, grimacing at the disgusting smell of the drummer's breath. "You wants to gos to the bathroom now and get cleans up?"
"I...I gatta...ugh..." he shuttered and let his eyes fall closed. Toki sighed, put some of his long hair behind his ears, and tried not to act too annoyed as he rose to his feet.
"Stupids Pickle," he muttered to himself, scooping the unconscious drummer up into his arms. "you gets drunk, pukes, and then blames me for the hangsover...I hates you like this, you knows. I reallys do." he took this opportunity to get out his frustration against Pickles, knowing that there was no way he'd be heard. That was why, as he gently laid the sleeping drummer in the white porcelain bathroom of the tour bus, he hissed in his ear, "This ams the last time, Pickle. This ams the last time I ams going to watch you pukes and smells your gross breath...I'm tellings Charles and he wills makes you better...someone has to makes you better, or you're goings to drowns yourself in all that alcohols." He gently pressed a chilly hand to Pickles' cheek and repeated in a whisper, "Someones has to makes you better."
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Chapter 1, Part 3
"Stupids Toki, he ammnest deads, just unconscious!"
"But he ams so..."
"Gets that thing over there and pours some colds water on him."
"Ja, idiots. That ammnest the only thing that wakes up a drunk persons."
"Ams you sure?"
"Of course I am, now go aheads and dos it!"
"Okays, hold on."
Pickles let out an agonized groan and shifted; what the fuck was going on? Everything was cold—freezing...was he in the bathroom? Toki always took him into the bathroom after he'd gotten drunk...there was a disgustingly sick taste at the back of his mouth, one that made him want to gag and eat a whole tube of toothpaste.
Cold! It hit him sharply, stabbing at his every pore and making his nerves scream. His green eyes popped open, stared up at Toki as he placed a cup back in the bathroom sink. Next to him a tall, slender man stood, his blond hair gracefully falling over his shoulders in natural waves of gold. Pickles covered his stinging, aching eyes with his hands and moaned.
"What the fuck's goin' an?"
"See, Tokis?" Skwisgaar said, chuckling wickedly. "He ammnest not dead, just hungs-over."
The drummer felt something hit him like a thousand pounds. When he could manage to open his eyes he was hugging Toki to him, and the Norwegian was nearly sobbing. "T-Toki?" he asked tiredly. "What's wrang, Toki? You're okay?"
"Ams you okay? I thoughts you were-"
"Tokis, that's enough!" Skwisgaar snapped, pulling the Norwegian up off of Pickles. "Don'ts um-barass yourskelf anymores, just go and tell Ofdensen that Pickle ams up."
Pickles watched as Toki lowered his head and quietly slunk out of the room, calling, "Ofdensens, he ams up now!"
The drummer held his head in his hands, shut his eyes tightly against the yelling. "Fuck, why's he gatta be so damn loud? I gat a hell of a headache..."
"Shuts up." Skwisgaar spat, glaring down at him.
"What's your prablem?" he asked coldly, returning the Swede's venomous look. "You ain't the one with the hangover."
Skwisgaar just sneered down at him and shook his head. "You're a complete idiots! Don't you know how scared you made Tokis last night? Don't you even remember what happened last night, what you dids to him?"
Pickles shook his head. "Nah, all I know is 'dat I gat sick and he was right there, like he always is."
"Ja, likes he always ams." and the Swede left the room as Ofdensen entered. As usual, his suit was finely pressed, without a wrinkle or crease, and his face held a look of grave seriousness. Upon seeing the drummer sitting against the white tile of the wall like that, he frowned and took a seat on the edge of the bathtub. He was oddly calm, uncharacteristically leisurely as he began to speak.
"So, you're alright now?"
"Wasn't I last night?" he asked, watching as Ofdensen reached over and shut the bathroom door softly. A frown came across the drummer's face. Something wasn't right; something very, very bad was about to happen. Something disastrous. "Dude, what's up? Why's everyone so pissy today?"
"Toki told me," he said, sounding quite displeased. "he told me that you locked him out in the cold and when you finally chose to open the door, you'd drank all the alcohol in the whole bus. The whole bus,Pickles."
"Yeah, so?" he inquired, chuckling lightly. "Still wasn't enough to-"
"To what? Kill you?"
The laughter and sarcasm melted from his face and tone. "What's up, dude? What do you mean?"
Ofdensen sighed heavily and let his head rest on his palm. He gave Pickles a dismal look, one full of both concern and pity. "Pickles, the drinking's got to stop. It's ruining the band, breaking everyone apart. If Toki isn't busy trying to make sure that you don't drink yourself to death all at once, he's arguing with Nathan to keep you in the band; Skwisgaar hates you for what you're doing to everyone, and between him and Murderface's constant complaining, it's going to be impossible to even think about putting together another album. We're all very worried about you."
Pickles scoffed and shook his head. "No you're nat! Nobody's worried about me!"
"Yes we are! We're all very concerned about-"
"The music, the money, and the stupid fame, right?" he screamed, ignoring the pounding in his head that resulted from this. His headache was worsened, but he didn't care. He wouldn't let Ofdensen bullshit him like this. He wouldn't allow himself to be sent back into rehab because he thought that people cared. Nobody cared. People were useless, heartless, and selfish. Nobody cared about him and he didn't care about anybody in return.
"What about Toki?" Ofdensen wondered.
His face reddened. "Toki..."
The only person who ever cared enough to take his alcohol away, to tell him that his breath stank from the smell of his own sickness...the only person who had ever tried to stop him and had gotten punished again and again for it. He was like a brother to Pickles, a best friend, and a protector. His guardian. The drummer knew this, but still he said coolly to Ofdensen, "I don't care about nobody. You can all piss aff, 'cause it's my life. If Toki wants to make me stap drinking, then he can just go screw himself, 'cause I don't care. I'm never gonna stop, not until I fuckin' kill myself."
"Fine then!" he exclaimed, utterly defeated. "Drink yourself to death and let us replace you! It's nothing for me to worry about!" and he went out of the bathroom, slamming the door. Pickles was taken aback by this uncharacteristic display of anger from Ofdenesn. Usually he was incredibly, inhumanly calm and precise, but now he was turned upside down, and all because Pickles had had a few drinks.
"Just a few." he mumbled to himself, hugging his knees to his chest, trying to hide the weakness in his voice. "Nothin' wrang with just a few..."
A knock came at the door and before Pickles could react to it, Toki was standing in the doorway of the bathroom, his pale eyes shining with sadness and worry. There was also something else there as well, something that greatly resembled exhaustion. Pickles felt a stab of guilt pierce his heart and he swallowed, tried to keep this feeling from growing.
"Hey, Toki. You okay?"
"Ja." he said, forcing a little smile to his face, trying to show the drummer that he was fine, more whole and sane than Ofdensen. It was as if he were trying to prove to Pickles that he wouldn't snap like the others, wouldn't completely turn on him.
"You wanna sit?" he asked, motioning to the cold floor beside him. Toki nodded and looked away. As soon as he did, that little smile disappeared and melted away.
"Sures," he muttered meekly. "if you'll lets me." He sat down next to the drummer and they were both silent for the longest time before, "I ams really worried abouts you, Pickle. We alls are, but especially me. You drinks so much and you never stops, never think abouts it. It makes me so scared that one day I'll just wakes up and ones of my brothers will bes...well, you'll be gone."
Abrupt, crushing honesty. Pickles wasn't used to it. It caught him off guard, sparked up his temper. "What the fuck's it your business if I drink? My life's hard, okay? Sometimes I just wanna get drunk and forget about everything, so why can't you let me? I've lived thru shit, and what've you done? Huh?" Toki looked away, his pale eyes still shimmering painfully in the light of the bathroom. He said nothing, kept silent. This only succeeded to make the drummer angrier and demand, "Answer the Gad damned question, what have you lived thru that's been so fuckin' hard?"
"A lots." he said sheepishly, trying to hold back the hurt that was in his voice. "I've lived thru a lots, okay?"
"You don't know what I do, though." Pickles insisted, feeling his face burning with anger. "You don't know how fuckin' hard life can be, not like I do. I had to live outta a fuckin' garbage can for most of my life, and what have you had to do? You just came over here from Norway, just like that! You never had to work—your parents were rich!"
Toki smiled at this, at the lie he'd told so many people before. 'Oh ja,' he'd say cunningly, 'my parents-es were sos fuckings rich. We hads a big house and everythings. They bought me anythings I wanted, too, and tolds me they loved me and...' he'd go on and on about the life he'd never had. Somehow Pickles had believed it. "I've lived thru a lots." was all he could think to say.
"No you haven't!" Pickles yelled, narrowing his eyes at the Norwegian hatefully. "You don't know anything about the real world! I bet everyone in your damn life's just been all happy and smiling; 'dat's why you're always so fuckin' good all the time, always laughing..." was his envy showing in his voice? He didn't know, so he abruptly changed the subject. "You don't know anything about how hard the real world is. Nothing."
Nothing. That word echoed in his brain, made Toki remember a time back in Norway when he had just been a small child. Yes, he knew damn well how hard life could be. He'd lived thru hell as a child, and now he was nothing. It had chipped him away, eroded his sanity and happiness; it was only by some miracle that he found it in his heart to have compassion for anyone else. He remembered so many things about his childhood, so many things that had proved that he was nothing.
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Chapter 1, Part 4
The Grace Of God
"Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy Name..." the words left his lips again and again, but he didn't know what they meant. He said them every day so many times, but they were lifeless and meaningless. His father always loomed over him, walked behind him and silently read his Bible; Toki just knelt there for hours on the cold wooden floor—sometimes in the snow—feeling a sharp aching in his knees travel up his legs and spine, but still he prayed.
Toki's eyes were shut tight against the creeping pain in his knees and his hands clasping one another in a sort of quiet desperation. Still he repeated emotionlessly, "...thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread..."
"With more passion." his father demanded, slapping his son's shoulders sharply. Toki let out a little hiss of pain.
"Sir, not father. Never father."
"Sorry. What, sir?"
"Say your prayers with more passion and please sit up straighter." his voice was firm, signifying that his words were meant to be more than a request; they were a command that demanded immediate obedience.
The little boy straightened his shoulders obediently and said thru teeth gritted in pain, "And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temp-"
"You sound as if you are in pain, Toki." his father interrupted, slowly closing his bible. "Are you?"
He nodded and answered in a whisper, "Y-Yes, sir."
"Then do not show it. God has no mercy for the weak and mindless." and he went to sit down on the couch to resume his reading. Meanwhile Toki knelt, his legs shaking; he shifted, tried to distribute his weight from one knee to the other, but found this action useless. Distractedly, his father glanced up from his bible and smiled coldly. "Toki, do you want to go to Hell?"
He glared down at the floor, his pale eyes full of agony. At that moment he knew nothing else, not the chill of air or the smell of his father's old, aged Bible, only the horrible ache in his knees. "No, sir."
"Then say your prayers and say them right."
He took a deep breath and began again, feeling his whole body scream in anguish, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen."
"That was good," his father mused. "but you can do better, can't you?"
Toki hesitated before pleading, "Please, sir, I can't kneel anymore."
"And why not? Doesn't God deserve your prayers?" the boy stifled a sob and fell backwards, feeling the pain in his knees magnify and pound thru his skinny, small frame. His father got up, rolled his eyes, and said sternly, "You can do better, can't you, Toki? You can try not to be so weak?"
"Yes, sir." he whispered.
"Good, then get back on your knees and say it again." and he gave Toki a small, wicked smile and added hatefully, "Again, until you can't stand it anymore."
"But I can't stand it now."
He shrugged, clearly unconcerned about his son's words, and forced Toki to his knees. "Begin."
"Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy Name, thy king-"
"Thy kingdom come, thy will be-"
"Not good enough." he interrupted, standing next to the boy and scowling down at him. "Start over."
"Please, sir, my knees..."
"Don't whine to me about such trivial problems."
Toki let out a pained groan and tried to get up, but his father roughly pushed him back down again. "You will go nowhere until I am satisfied! Say your prayers again—Hail Mary and Our Father!"
Toki glared up at him and said shyly, "I will not."
His father's eyes filled with rage; he took a handful of his son's hair and asked venomously, "What did you just say to me?" The boy swallowed and his eyes flickered down to the floor. "Look at me when you talk, Toki."
"Sorry, sir. I'll pray if you want me to." and he slowly got down back on his knees and felt that same searing, ripping pain return to him. All at once he forgot his prayers and could only kneel there at his father's feet, weeping and trembling. His father just smirked.
"You are crying? That is weak, Toki. That is a sign of cowardice. Are you weak?"
"Yes you are, and you are a liar."
"I'm not a liar!" he looked up, met his father's amused gaze. "And I'm not weak! I'm no coward!"
"Again you lie." he responded harshly, turning his back to his son. "I will not have any child of mine be as weak as you; are you weak?"
Toki sighed, realizing that he'd never win. He gently wiped the tears from his eyes and nodded. "Yes, I'm weak."
"Are you a liar?"
"Yes, I'm a liar, too."
"Just as I thought. You're also a coward, are you not?"
He hated himself for being so submissive to his father. "Yes." he whispered shamefully. "I'm a coward."
"Does God love cowards and liars and those who are weak?"
"No," Toki answered pitifully. "I don't suppose that he does."
His father shook his head almost gravely and placed a hand on his son's shoulder. "No, he does not. God does not love or even look upon people like that. He rejects them from his holy lands. He throws them out into the world without any help or hope. He-"
"No he doesn't." Toki said. "God loves everyone, doesn't he?" his father's hand tightened, squeezed his son's shoulder painfully.
"Why should he? Do those people really deserve his love? Do you deserve his mercy and grace?"
"No, you do not." his father corrected him, staring down at his son with something of pity in his eyes. "God's love is not for you, now say your prayers again."
He swallowed and sat back up on his knees, grimacing at the agony that this brought. "Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee..."
That night, everything else became useless, fake. Nothing was real, only his father's fists beating into him. Nothing else was important. Toki screamed many times, but he was ignored by everyone, even his mother. He was sure that his cries echoed outside in the cold night; his throat burned and begged for mercy, for him to quit his howling, but he couldn't. He hurt too much, there was too much blood and sickness. Never before had he felt such searing, overwhelming pain, not even when praying; it filled his every part, made him somehow whole. It was maddening. When it was over, there was such ringing silence that it added to his agony. He almost wished he had strength enough to scream again, to rid himself of this crushing silence.
Why would God let this happen to him? Maybe he really didn't deserve his love. Maybe he was a coward, a liar, and weak...
The last thing that his father said as he wiped his bloody knuckles off on his black cloak was, "Pray to God for forgiveness. Until you do, I suppose that I'll just have to beg for another son, one to mend the hurt you bring to this household."
And now, years later, the pain was still blazing inside of him and that old shame and agony was still there. Toki sat there silently, his eyes glazed over with the memory. Pickles saw this and his anger gradually melted away. "Dude, are you okay?"
"Fines." he said, shaking himself. "Just fines." and the memory was forgotten, along with every other feelings of despair and hurt. He was dead to everything now.
Yes, he had known how cruel the world could be, and he lived with this knowledge every day of his life. He guessed the only difference between he and Pickles was that he didn't have the guts to wash his hurt away with alcohol.
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Obviously this story won't be all sunshine and roses or anything. It seems as though my fanfics are getting to be disturbingly dark and kind of just not funny, but oh well. I sit down at the computer and this is what I come up with—much of my childhood mixed in with Toki's.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this first chapter. There are more to come. Reviews are welcome. Peace & Love, as always.