"I wish a storm would
come & blow this shit
away. Or a bomb to
burn the Town & scour
the sea. I wish clean
death would come to me."
-Jim Morrison—book: the American Night—poem: Hurricane & Eclipse
Chapter 6, Part 1
Weeks passed. Toki did nothing—had the energy to do nothing—other than sleep. He'd go to the doctor, get his radiation therapy, and take his pills every day, but that was about it. He slept in Pickles' bed all day, and when the drummer approached him about his declining condition Toki just shrugged off his concerns. "I ams fine."
"Then get up and do something!"
"I'ms too tired, maybes later."
Pickles narrowed his eyes at the guitarist. "Don't give me that shit. At least tell me if you're nat gonna get up, don't lie to me."
"Fines." Toki stretched and then relaxed into the mattress, a look of exhaustion on his face. "Then I won'ts gets up. Face it, Pickle, I'm dones. I don't haves anything left to give you or anyones—I'm dying."
"Fuck that crap! Get up!" he pleaded, seizing the Norwegian's hand. "This is so stupid! I'm not gonna sit back and watch you screw away your life!"
"It ams already being screwed away anyways!"
"Do you know what you're doin' to me, to everyone? Everyday Skwisgaar comes in, checks an you, and yesterday he asked me what the hell was wrong with you. He said you just laid there and didn't say anything, just laid there like you were already dead."
"Fucks you." Toki snapped, closing his eyes. "Just lets me sleep."
Pickles sighed and released his hold on the guitarist's hand. He watched as Toki's chest rose and fell beneath the warm covers of the bed. Rise, and fall, rise and fall. "Maybe we rushed into things." he said finally. "Maybe we said 'I love you' too fast, y'know?"
Toki opened his eyes and focused his blue gaze on the drummer, looking quite hurt at his words. "What ams you mean?"
"We barley know each other, we-"
"I tolds you everythings about me!"
"I know, but maybe we rushed it." he said. "Two days after we really started talkin' we were saying we loved each other..."
"Because we dos!"
Toki shrugged his skinny, wasted shoulders. "I know I loves you, and we've spent more than just those few days talkings, Pickle. You knows that. We've been friends for years."
"Maybe we should've just stayed friends?" it hurt him to say this, but it was true. This was too much, he couldn't handle it.
"So you regret ever takings me out to eat?"
"Then what is this? Why the fuck don't you wants to be with me anymores?"
Pickles looked away and swallowed. "I...of course I wanna be with you."
"Then why ams you-"
"Because you're dying and you don't even care!" he blurted, letting tears run down his face. He'd held it in for so long, but he couldn't stand it anymore. Toki gave him a concerned, half fearful look, and shook his head. He didn't say anything until Pickles continued. "You just don't get it, do you? How can I still hope when not even you do anymore?"
There was a moment of silence before the guitarist said, a cruel smile on his face, "Well then why don't you just kills yourself if you can't stand it? You tried to dos that once, didn't you?"
"Twice." he answered, his face going pale.
"And hows did it happen—who stopped you?"
"Then why ams you still alive?"
Pickles swallowed and said brokenly, "Y'know, I hate to admit it, but my dad did teach me something while I was living with him."
"Whats was that?"
He hesitated before saying quietly, "He thought me that giving up don't make you worth a shit, Toki. It means that you might as well go rot, because you take yourself and the time you've got for granted anyways."
The Norwegian scoffed. "Sos what? You thinks I'd be better off dead?"
"No, don't you ever say 'dat!"
"Then what the fucks ams you saying? I don't even know how to talks to you anymore, Pickle! It ams like you're not tellings me something..."
"I'm tellin' you everything!"
Toki shook his head. "No you ams not. What the hell ams wrong with you?" he let the drummer take his hand and kiss it softly. In some abandoned, deep recess of his mind, the guitarist remembered every exchange he'd had with his father and uncle and shuttered. The world and everyone in it, it seemed, had hurt him in every way imaginable. It had never crossed his mind that someone else could live with the kind of hurt that he suffered with every day, but here was the only person he loved, standing before him and silently pleading for some excuse to share a little bit of the pain he'd lived thru. How could Toki refuse? "How did you gets hurt?"
"My dad-" an agonized look came across his face as he spoke. "-he kept a gun in the house, in case someone ever broke in. Tomahawk wasn't the best place to raise a family, but what did he care? He never gave a fuck about me..." those old feelings of abandonment and utter solitude returned to him. "Nobody ever cared." Toki said nothing, and the drummer dared to continue. "So I got the stupid gun, but he caught me, looked me dead in the eye, and said, 'Go ahead, be a man. I dare you. Kill yourself before I do it for you'..."
"So whats did you do?" the guitarist asked fearfully. "You shoots yourself?"
He grinned and said bitterly, "Course I did, 'cause I was smart and I was gonna teach him a big lesson about fuckin' with me. You know where I ended up?"
"In the damn hospital talkin' to a therapist for a month. When they let me go, my dad just acted like nothing had happened." he shook his head. "Bullshit. I should've tried it again. I only live for alcohol now anyway..."
"Only alcohol? Whats about me?"
His green eyes shined with regret as he inquired, "I don't know. What about you?" Toki shrugged, a clear indicator of just how confused and helpless he was feeling. Pickles sighed and crawled into the bed; he laid down next to him and stared up at the ceiling. They were both quiet for a long while. Toki glanced over, watched as the drummer blinked.
It almost seemed as if Pickles was trying not to look at him. Suddenly it hit Toki. Everything that he'd been fearing over the past few weeks came flooding back to him, filling him and corrupting his thoughts like a deadly poison. The drummer wasn't looking at him—couldn't look at him—because he no longer saw Toki as himself. He now longer thought the Norwegian was beautiful, just painful to look at, a pitiful, withering thing, slowly wasting away and dying before his eyes. Toki swallowed. No, Pickles no longer loved him. How could you love someone you couldn't even look at? He was like a withering rose; how could someone walk by a shriveling, once beautifully bloomed flower and still think it pretty? The guitarist was like walking reminder of the inevitable, of death.
"Pickle, when you looks at me, do you see me?"
He didn't meet his gaze, instead just shrugged. "Of course I do."
"No you don't. You sees Death, don'ts you?" he asked, biting his lower lip shamefully. Death floating around me, following me everywhere I go, like a mist, he thought painfully. Because everyone I've ever loved has died, even my uncle... "You...you just looks at me and sees me going away from you, don't you? Ams that why you hates me now?"
"I don't hate you."
"But you don't loves me anymore?"
Pickles turned and stared at him, a deep frown on his face. "I love you more than anything."
"But you can'ts looks at me."
"I'm lookin' at you now, dude."
Toki let out a ragged breath. "Pickle, do you thinks I'll die?"
The drummer immediately shook his head. "No, I can't imagine that."
" 'Cause I thinks I will, and you know the weird part? I'm nots scared, I'm terrified. It's like something I've never felt before in my whole life, a different kinds of fear altogether. I-" his voice cracked; he cleared his throat and whispered, "Pickle, what happens to us after we die? We don'ts gets a second chance, do we?"
Another shake of his head and, "Nah, I don't think we do."
"Then wills you fucks me?" he asked eagerly. "Wills you say with me all nights?"
He thought about it—wanted so desperately to say yes—but ultimately pulled away. "No, I can't. Look at yourself, you can't even get up outta bed; imagine if I made love to you. You'd be so weak..."
"I woulds just sleeps for a few days and everything would be back to normals." he smiled at Pickles and asked innocently, that old, boyish innocence returning to him, "Please? Befores I die-"
"You're nat gonna die."
"-I wants to be alone with you for a night."
Pickles once again resisted. "I can't, I'm sorry! I want to so bad, but-"
"Then marrys me."
He laughed. "Wh-what?"
"Marrys me! I loves you and you loves me—you wants to be with me untils I die, right?"
Pickles nodded. "Of course I do, dude."
"Then marrys me! Right now, let's just leaves and-"
"Toki, don't be stupid. Don't you think I've already thought of 'dat?" he grinned and kissed the guitarist's lips. "We're gonna get married as soon as you get better and have had time to get your life back together. We're gonna do it, there's no need to rush."
Toki let out a dry sob. "Yes there ams! Don't you gets it? I'm dyings!"
Pickles leaned closer to him and whispered, "Then I'll die with you."
Was this it? Toki returned the drummer's smile, tried to reassure him that he was alright, but in the end just felt worse than he had before. What was the point in living if there was nothing to live for? Empty promises of marriage, pledges to be there for one another forever...it meant nothing to him, because he was dying right now. No, sooner than that. He was so sick of looking in the mirror, watching his eyes loose their luster, watching his hair thin out. He watched every day as his body wasted away, became nothing but useless bone and skin. Why should he live his life like this? Why should he die a hollow shell of what he used to be, a cruel, distorted model of his old self?
Yes, he would die, but not due to anything other than his own will.
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Chapter 6, Part 2
Toki sat alone in Pickles' room, chewing on his pen like always, staring down at the blank sheet of loose leaf paper that was in his lap. What should he say? What could be said other than how he hated himself for losing? He'd lost at everything he'd ever done in his life before, but this was the ultimate loss. He refused to lose his life to any kind of sickness, so he'd lose it by a different avenue. This was his only escape, his only option if he didn't want to spend what few days he had left alone and miserable in some hospital bed. He wasn't getting better, after all.
A gun. He had needed a gun. Ofdensen kept a gun in his office, in case of a sudden fan attack. Sneaking up there had been easy—none of the Klokateers would dare question one of their Lords—and so now he sat in his room, caressing the cold metal of the revolver. He hoped Pickles would find his body. He'd caught the drummer drunk a few nights ago, totally out of his right mind. They'd almost fucked, but in the end the drummer had regained his sense and pushed Toki away. Maybe now he'd regret that.
Now he sat, smiling down at the paper. He didn't even hear the door open and Pickles walk in. "Hey, dude, Skwisgaar wants to know if..." he stopped as his eyes took in the scene before him. "Toki, what's with the gun? What're you-"
"Gets out, please." he tried to act normal. "I'ms busy."
"No, nat until you tell me what the livin' fuck you think you're doing." he said, closing and locking the door. He strode over to the bed, reached for the gun, but the guitarist snatched it away and pointed it at himself. Pickles chuckled nervously. " 'Dat Ofdensen's?"
He nodded. "Ja."
"I told him he should get rid of it...I warned him that you might just go aff and snap...everybody's been snapping lately." Pickles said, sitting down on the bed. He took Toki's notebook of lists and flipped thru it, a fascinated, oddly calm look on his face. "Huh. Lots of words in here, dude. What do they all mean?" His mind was screaming and begging him to try and take the gun away from the guitarist, but he knew if he did then that would be it, the trigger would be pulled.
Toki just stood there, trembling. "Nothings that you would-"
"Hey, my name's an this one!" he exclaimed, indicating the list numbered 1-12. He read it silently and frowned.
4] Uncle Agnar
"Why didn't you finish it?"
Toki shrugged and clicked the hammer back on the gun, trying to show Pickles just how serious he was. "It doesn't matter. Nothing matters anymores."
"Huh." he threw the book to the side and gave the guitarist a friendly, warm smile. "Okay, so what now? You pull that trigger, kill yourself, and what? We replace you and the world goes an, right? The only difference is that you're not in it."
"Whats a-about you?"
Pickles thought for a moment then shrugged. "Guess I'll have to just pick up the pieces and wonder why, but that's what you want, right? You just want someone to think of you once in a while, to care. You want to make the pain go away, to kill that sickness before it kills you, huh?"
Toki paled. "How you knows so much?"
"I can read your face and I've been right where you are." The drummer answered, getting to his feet with a heavy, labored sigh. "And I've pulled that trigger and seen a little of what's an the other side. You wanna know what it is?"
"W-Whats?" he asked, his eyes filling with tears and his voice quaking with emotion. He let Pickles take a step nearer him and reach for his hand that was holding the gun.
"Nothing. It's empty unless you have someone who you're dying with, or a damn reason to die."
"So you wills die with me?"
"Hell no, but I'll sure as fuck live with you." he paused and indicated the notebook. "That list, what's it for? It's gat my name on it and Skwisgaar's and-"
"It was supposed to be twelve peoples whats I hate." Toki cried, his hands shaking. "Twelve people whose faces I wanted to sees when they finds out that I ams dead; I wanted to see how many people would regrets it, be sads that I'm gone. Twelve people..."
"And one of them's me?" he asked, sounding quite hurt. "You hate me?" Toki didn't answer, just continued to hold the gun, aiming it straight at his head. Pickles leaned forward, kissed his cheek lightly, and whispered, "You could do it right now, pull the trigger. End yourself. What am I gonna do? What are you giving me the power to do? Nothing. You wanna die, to rip me and all those other people on that list apart? Go ahead, pull the trigger. Be a man. Are you a man?" he asked, recalling his father's cold words.
"Then what are you? Are you weak, a coward?"
Toki nodded. "Maybes I ams all of those things, after all. Maybe my dads was rights..."
Pickles shook his head and said firmly, "No, you're not. Whoever told you that lied to you, they fuckin' lied. You're so much more than you think you are! I can't believe that you're even considering doing this." and he pointed to the notebook again and said, "There was only seven names on that list, not twelve. What happened to the other five? Couldn't think of any? Well what about this, what about reasons that you should live. Ever thought of 'dat?"
Toki shook his head. "No, 'cause I don't haves any."
Pickles scoffed, as if personally insulted by his words. "Well, let's see." he flipped open the notebook, turned to the list of names, and picked up the nearby chewed-on pen. "Okay, number eight—you're a Gad damned musical genius, but I guess you're right; that don't count for much, you should just kill yourself and waste that talent. Good choice so far." he scrawled onto the paper:
"And nine...what about the millions of dildos that fuckin' worship the ground you walk an? I'm sure you forgot about all your fans, right?"
"And then there's the billions of dollars you worked your whole life to get, but that don't count for much neither, does it?"
"So if money don't count, then neither does Dethklok, right? Neither does Skwisgaar, Nathan, Murderface, or Ofdensen, the people who've been your damn family for most of your life. Yeah, they don't count for much either, huh?"
"And the last one. Let's think about this one really, really hard." Pickles said, staring into Toki's wide, terrified eyes. "What should the last one be? What's the biggest reason to live that you can think of?"
"Y-Yous." he whispered. The drummer arched a brow.
"Sorry? Didn't hear you very good. Speak up?"
"Uh-huh. Me." and he scrawled onto the list:
12] Pickles the Drummer
Once he was done, he threw the list back at Toki and said, "There's your fuckin' list, right there! So go ahead and blow your Gad damned brains out now that you know all you have to live for and lose! Fuck you if you're really that mindless, that weak." he got up and turned his back to the Norwegian. "If you really are, then I guess you're not the person I fell in love with."
Toki let out a frustrated cry and threw the gun onto the ground. "What? Who dids you falls in love with? Me, a stupids, sick, dying person who ams so weak that-"
"No! You're braver and a hell of a lot stronger than I ever wish I could be!" the drummer howled, pounding his fist against the wall in a display of rage. "And I'm not just gonna sit back and let you give up! I've worked to hard for that—we've worked too hard for that, don't you get it?"
The guitarist fell to his knees, stared down at the notebook that was in front of him. "Then what ams I going to do, just wait and let the cancer kills me?"
"No," Pickles said, turning to face him. "I don't know what the hell you're gonna do, but I'm gonna tell you what you're not gonna do. You're not gonna ever put a gun to your head again and you're not gonna ever think for one second that the world wouldn't miss you. I'd tear myself apart if you died, I'd be lost, better aff dead, 'cause you're the only person who cares enough to keep the booze away from me and...and..." he went over, scooped Toki up into his arms, and brought him over to the bed. He laid him down, kissed him, and whispered, "It's gonna be okay, you just have to remember that, alright? You're gonna get better and I'm gonna be there for you no matter what."
"Don't ever try that again, okay?"
He nodded. "Sures. I'm sorrys."
"Don't be. Just look-" he slipped something cool onto Toki's finger and whispered, "-we're gonna get married after all of this, I swear."
The guitarist peered down at his finger and saw a shining, gold band around it—a wedding ring. He smiled and nodded. "Okays, I guess I can stick around."
He'd always heard that sucide was actually the most selfish thing a person could do, and now that he had been saved from it he supposed it was. Still, something in the back of his mind told him that it wasn't, that Pickles was the selfish one for asking him to live and rot away...what could he do? Didn't taking yourself away from the Earth make you braver than most? Toki doubted the fact that he was brave, but he accpeted the fact that he might be selfish. In any case, it dindn't matter anymore; nothing mattered.
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Chapter 6, Part 3
The Last Goodbye
He was in a hospital bed, hooked up to an annoying I.V. And a heart monitor, listening to the steady beeping of the machinery. He could barley keep his eyes open, but somehow he managed to smile over at Pickles, who was clearly tortured. "It ams okay, Pickle."
"Y-Yeah," he said wretchedly, giving the Norwegian a weak smile. "I know."
"I loves you." he muttered, reaching for the drummer's hand. Pickles just looked down and ran a shaking hand thru his hair.
"It's goings to be okay, right? You tolds me so." Like always he was exhausted and weak. This was it, Toki thought, the last bit of life he had left in him would be spent here. He felt so stretched, so dragged out. He knew that it was only by some miracle that he'd lived this long at all, but he still did want desperately to live. The wedding ring that Pickles had given him a few months ago hung on a gold chain around his neck; he'd lost more weight and the ring no longer fit.
"You knows something?" he asked, his voice a nearly inaudible whisper.
"What?" the drummer asked, kissing the guitarist's hand. Toki smiled at him and blushed. Pickles laughed at this. "I love you like that; you look so fuckin' adorable."
"Ams you going to be okay?"
"Okay for what?"
"Whens I...you knows..."
"Oh." he nodded and the laughter in his face abruptly melted away. Both of them knew that death was unavoidable.
"Wills you be okay?"
"Y-Yeah," he said, trying not to sound so broken. "I'll be fine, I guess."
"And Skwisgaar and the others?"
"We'll all take care of each other."
Toki nodded. "Goods. I—the ring." he closed his eyes. "Can you puts it on my finger for me?"
"Yeah, sure." Pickles got up and undid the chain; he slid off the ring and got down on one knee. "Toki Wartooth, will you marry me?"
"You already asks me that, idiot."
"Well maybe your answer changed."
He smiled and shook his head. "Nos it hasn't. I'll marry you." he held out his hand and chuckled as the drummer slipped the ring onto his skinny finger. "You ams toos good to me, staying with me thru all of this. You stills wants to marry me?"
He nodded and grinned. "And fuck you...do you remember 'dat time I was drunk and I first told you that I loved you? Remember what I said? I wanna fuck you...you wanna suck my dick?"
Toki laughed. "I remembers that! I remembers that I really, really wanted to..." And his voice trailed off. His face attained a look of sort of solemnity as he mumbled quietly, "I'lls miss you. Do you thinks we'll see each other agains after I gos away?"
"Yeah, we have to." he answered.
"Wills I be allowed to wait for you?"
Pickles tried to make him smile again by joking, "Sure, but only if I'm allowed to hurry up and die."
They both grew silent and just sat there, enjoying one other's presence. In the past few days they'd talked about these things quite often, but it still didn't help put to rest any of their mounting discomfort. The professionals at the hospital said he had a week left, maybe two if he was lucky. Was Toki ready to die? Yes, but not to say goodbye to Pickles. He guessed that the actual death wouldn't be so bad, only the goodbyes. He contemplated this in silence until the door opened. A doctor stepped inside, dressed in white scrubs like all the other doctors. Surprisingly, a look of unexpected joy was on his face as he nodded to the guitarist. "Well, there's good news—the tests from yesterday actually show improvement."
His eyes grew wide. "Whats does that mean?" he felt Pickles squeezing his hand so tightly that it was almost painful. "I'ms getting better?"
The doctor nodded. "It would appear so, slowly but surely. In a few months you should be quite healthy." he glanced down at the papers he was holding and frowned. "Quite a miracle, actually, a complete turn-around. Yes, you should recover quite nicely."
"Dude..." Pickles whispered, his green eyes growing wide. He squeezed Toki's hand. "You're nat gonna die...you're nat gonna-"
The doctor just nodded and then made a hasty exit as the two men celebrated. Pickles wrapped his arms around the guitarist's neck and began sobbing, repeating mindlessly, "You're not gonna die, can you believe that? You're not gonna die, you're not gonna..."
"You thoughts I would?"
"N-No." he lied, crying.
Toki could only bring himself to laugh and embrace the drummer tightly. "I'm still reallys, reallys tired, though."
"And I feels like crap."
"Screw you!" he sobbed. "Screw everything, 'cause you're getting better and it's almost-" he gasped in realization, pulled away from the guitarist, and stared into those wondrous blue eyes. "-it's almost over. Can you believe that? You're almost out of it, it'll only be a little while now...Gad, you've been sick for so damn long..."
"I'ms really lucky, I guess." he said, a bright, cheerful smile on his face. "For once." he felt the gold band that was still on his slender finger and his eyes filled with tears. As he and the other man cried, all he could think was about the twelfth—and best—reason for him to live:
Pickles the Drummer.
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And that's the end. This story feels like it took forever to finish, and that's why I just decided to not skip a day and upload it right now. I want to post my next story, the first chapter of which I've already got typed up. Oh, the excitement never ends! :P
The end wasn't so bad, was it? It will take Toki some time to return to his old self, but at least he's alive. Aren't you happy? No, I couldn't kill him, because I love him and I already did that in, Never Again, so I've had my fill of writing about Toki dying. It's just plain depressing and I cry and bad shit happens because my mom thinks I'm suicidal and cry for no reason...ANWYAYS, Reviews are appreciated.
ALSO, forgot to mention this before, but the poem that was said by Toki's uncle before he committed suicide-And the man, he lives and every day he does eternity withers and cries; so is the way of the man who never dies.-was thought up in a second by me. Just mentioning this for...I don't know...copyright reasons or whatever. Does 'copyright' even exist on this website? Either way, please respect my work. I know you will, because you're awesome and amazing. ^_^ Thanks for reading.
Until next time, Peace & Love