I was looking for joy, your treasure
you cried for me and I forgot you after all,
I did find nothing, but love
I got through, come and find me.

~~Every Morning, by Jim Morrison


He remembered everything that had happened as he drug himself out of the parking lot and down the street back in the direction of the hotel. Where else could he go or what else could he do? He hated the thought of having to be in the same room as Toki, but truly he had no other option. Something inside of him nagged, Yep, definitely should start thinkin' these things out better, as he unlocked the hotel door with his key. He realized that his fears were in vain, because the room was totally empty, although Toki's deddy bear was still in its spot. Good, Pickles thought, falling onto the bed. That means that he's still here...he'd never leave his bear.

He fell asleep despite his better judgment, and, like like so many times before, sank into a world of his own nightmares. There were the old bone-piercing sounds and the same dizzying smells, but this time there was something else. Like before, he was standing in the middle of that same road, only now it wasn't deserted at all; it was cluttered with pieces of metal, headlights from cars, and bits of burnt tires. In curiosity he raised his gaze up and saw a scene of disaster before him. There were cars that were crushed and completely demolished, being eaten away by hungry fires, but what really made his heart stop was what was lying on the road. There, amidst pools of spilled gasoline and oil, were the dead and dying, all crying out for some kind of salvation from their last painful moments. There was also something else—Toki, lying in the middle of that littered road, his perfect body horribly contorted and broken. Pickles slowly went over to him, afraid of what he was about to see.

The Norwegian's eyes were open, their pale irises gazing emptily up at the dismal sky above. Pickles reached a hand out to him, pressed it to his cheek, but immediately flinched back. Toki was so cold, so painfully cold. How could he be alive? Then it hit him—he wasn't. All at once Pickles felt a crushing weight hit him, and he could do nothing but kneel there in the guitarist's blood and try to make sense of it all. Without thinking, he took Toki's limp and lifeless body and held it close to him, tried to feel any sign of life. When none came, he was left to sob and whisper, "What'd I do, what'd I do? Toki, I love you, I love you..." I love you, I love you, I love you...

"Pickle, wakes up now."

The drummer sighed tiredly and rubbed at his closed eyes. "What's up?"

"I ams leaving. You can comes with me or not, I don't really care."

"Then why're you tellin' me?" he asked, opening his eyes and staring blankly at the guitarist. Toki looked over at him and shook his head almost sympathetically.

"If you're going to rides with me, then you might wants to clean yourself up first."

"But..." he watched as the Norwegian threw his deddy bear into his suitcase and began to carelessly pile his shirts on top of it. "Why'd you wake me up if you don't even want me to go?"

"You were havings a dream again," he explained calmly, never taking his gaze away from his suitcase. "so I thoughts that you might want to be woken up; your dreams don't seems that fun, Pickle."

"They're nat. I—wait, did you say ride?"

The Norwegian gave him an odd look and nodded. "Ja, I dids. I'm driving us back home, unless you wants to."

"No, you can't drive!" Pickles blurted, remembering the scene of the crash from his dream. Toki arched a brow and continued packing.

"Whys not?"

"Because I—you...you just can't."

"Fines, I'll get Dalla to takes me home. She's goings to stop by in a few days at the Mordhaus anyways. You can takes yourself homes if you don't wants to even be in the same car with me." Toki finished his packing and closed his suitcase. Once that was done he turned to the drummer and said coldly, "Sees you at home."

"She's comin'?"

"Of course she ams." and he walked over to the door and opened it. "How else ams I going to introduce her to everyones? After alls, in a few months we'll be married." he exited the room, slamming the door behind him. Pickles sighed, rubbed his eyes, then looked out the window distractedly. Toki had opened it before leaving so that the full view of the L.A. Skyline was visible. Without another second's hesitation, the drummer hurried to get dressed and packed.

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The ride home was an impossibly long, agonizing one. Every few minutes Pickles was either trying to call or text Toki, ask him everything was okay and if the ride was going well. Eventually the Norwegian got fed up with his questions and turned off his phone. This only made the drummer even antsier as he drove home. Later that night he arrived back at the Mordhaus and was surprised to see that Toki and Dalla were already there. The girl's expensive Norwegian sports car was parked in the driveway. Large, red letters stood out on both sides of it, reading something in a language that Pickles couldn't pronounce: Troløs.

The drummer had some Klokateers bring his bags up to his room before going into the house. He knew he wouldn't like what he saw, but what could he do? Nobody else could ever know how he felt about Toki. Taking a deep breath, he entered the living room and wasn't at all surprised to see Toki and Dalla sitting on the same couch together talking and explaining the situation to the other members of the band. News of the proposal had already been made public by the media. The fact that it had occurred in a public restaurant hadn't helped either, and now Toki was having to explain why he hadn't told them what he had been planning.

"I just wasn't ready to lets anyone know yet," he said.

"Sos yous just excluded us and invites Pickle?" Skwisgaar asked angrily. "How ammnest thats fair?"

"He didn't include me in nothin'," Pickles broke in, making his way to his room. "trust me."

Once the drummer reached his room he laid down on the bed and slowly began to think about things. He didn't know what to do from here. It seemed as though his life up until now had just been a pointless waste; now that he was never going to be with Toki, what else was left for him? Would he spend the rest of his years in utter misery alone and bored, just sitting here laying on the bed and getting high and drunk? What kind of pitiful existence was that? Pickles' mind flashed back to how Toki had looked lying dead on the road. Outside everyone was talking loudly. He could hear their annoyingly excited voices thru the wall of his room.

"Thanks everyones, I'm reallys glad you're taking this well. Pickle didn't takes it well at all." Toki was saying. "And I won'ts be gone long, only a few weeks..." A few weeks? Where would he be going? "Dalla wants me to gos with her to Norway for a littles while to really gets to know the rest of her band."

Nathan said doubtfully, "So you can quit Dethklok?"

"Nos! I'd never dos that! It ams nothing permanent!" but Pickles could sense the hesitation in the guitarist's voice. Something deep inside of him disagreed with Toki's words. Was nobody else as smart as him? Couldn't they see that their rhythm guitarist was about to quit and go play for his girlfriend's band? Pickles let out a dry sob and closed his eyes.

If Toki left, then what would he have left? Nothing. There had to be some way to stop this, to make everything go back to normal—had there ever even been a 'normal'? Pickles wasn't sure, but the more he thought about it, the more he hated Dalla for what she was doing. That's when he got an idea. It was a horrible, disgusting idea, one that made him cringe, but it had to be done. The key to Toki staying in the band was with that girl; she had him groveling at her feet, but Pickles could change that very quickly. Every time he closed his eyes his mind also flashed back to the dream he'd had where the Norwegian was lying dead in the street. There had been an accident of some kind, of that he was sure, and somewhere deep down inside of him the drummer knew that if Toki went with Dalla back to Norway, his dream would come true. He'd never see the guitarist alive again.

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He watched Dalla for days, tried to see any kind of weakness in her, but could notice nothing overly obvious. She indeed did seem perfect, except for one small, microscopic little thing—she and Toki hadn't even had sex yet. Why? Because he 'respected' her, because he wanted it to be 'special'. That was all fine, but clearly she wanted to sleep with him. Pickles left them alone for the next three days then made his way down Toki's room. The Norwegian was out with Skwisgaar buying something for his guitar, so Dalla was laying alone on her fiancée's bed watching T.V., fingering her engagement ring thoughtfully. Pickles entered quietly and almost timidly, feeling his stomach twist and tie itself in knots.

He felt himself about to vomit with nervousness as he talked to her. It wasn't a simple thing to do—he chose his words very carefully, thought about each of his movements before making them. Finally she was all over him, kissing him and pulling him down onto the bed. He hated it, wanted so badly to push her away and hit her for even considering cheating on Toki for begin with, but instead he went thru with his plan. The Norwegian did have good taste in women; Dalla was everything he said she was. Beautiful, long, slender legs, a delicate body, so fair that it was almost like porcelain. Her hair hung in bold, lavish, dark brown curls around her long neck—she'd dyed it so that it wasn't that warm caramel brown like Toki's—and her red lips were perfect and seductive. She was beautiful, but still all Pickles could think about was his Norwegian love, his Toki.

Once it was over Dalla fell asleep in his arms and Pickles just laid there, totally unable to move or even breathe. Surely somebody had heard them, had called Toki and told him to come home right away, something was wrong. Dalla was so perfect that Pickles almost felt guilty about what he was doing, but in the end he knew it was best. He didn't know why he knew it, he just knew it was so, and that was why even though he hated himself fully, he laid there with Toki's fiancée and waited. Eventually—after what seemed like hours—the guitarist came striding into the room, but when he saw the two laying there his eyes filled with shock.

"I...um...this ams a bad time?"

Pickles felt his face grow hot as he threw Dalla off of him. "Dude, I..." he suddenly regretted his actions, wished more than anything that he was dead instead of here right now. The way that Toki was looking at him, the way those pale, once so affectionate eyes stared at him with anguish, shame, and bitter hatred tore him apart. "...I didn't mean it."

"It's a bit too lates for that, don't you thinks?" then turned to Dalla, opened his mouth to say something, but just ended up looking away and letting his head fall into his hands. "W-Whats did I do wrong?"

"Toki, I-"

"WHAT THE FUCK DIDS I DO WRONG?" he was sobbing. As he cried he fell heavily against the door frame. From down the hall there came the echoing sound of approaching footsteps. Pickles rose out of the bed, pulled on his pants, and tried to urge Toki into the room—he didn't want anyone else to see the Norwegian like this—but before he could Dalla was trying to get him back in the bed.

"You said you wouldn't leave, darling." she whispered, kissing the drummer's cheek.

He recoiled from her touch, tried to say so quietly that Toki couldn't hear, "You fucking whore, you really wanna pull this shit right in front of him?"

"It doesn't matter," she said, smiling sweetly. "he'll take me back. He loves m-"

"Why did you dos this?" Toki asked, grabbing Dalla by her arm and pulling her away from Pickles. He ignored the fact that she was half naked and sobbed, "Don't you loves me? I loves you! I'd never...why did you dos this to me?"

"I...Toki," she chuckled, glanced over his shoulder at the crowd of Klokateers that had gathered outside of the room. They were watching eagerly, all silent and trying to hear what they were saying as she murmured, "Dear, I just...Pickles is...he's wonderful, and I love him. I love you too, but-"

"But you don't wants to marry me, ams that what this is about?"

"No," Dalla answered, shaking her head. "darling, that's not it at all, but please just calm down. I think that maybe we may have rushed things...maybe I'm not ready to get married after all."

"Nows you tells me?" Toki tried to hide his tears, but was unsuccessful. Pickles put a hand on his shoulder, tried in vain to comfort him.

"Listen, dude, I'm sorry. I wish I hadn't...please, you gatta understand..."

"I loved her, Pickle!" he hissed, glaring at the drummer with a cold sort of rage. "Why did you haves to fuck her, my girl? Outs of all the fucking girls in the world, why'd you haves to choose her?"

"Darling, please don't-"

"Dalla, sweetie, shut up." the drummer said, pushing her back. "Just go and put some clothes an, alright?" then he turned his attention back to Toki, pulled the Norwegian into a hug, and whispered to him, "Look, I know you don't get it yet, but this is good for you. Dude, I'm protectin' you."

"F-From whats?"

"I..." he faltered and admitted. "I don't know, but just trust me."

Toki shook his head and pulled away from the drummer. He was trembling, blushing horribly with both anger and sorrow. It was as if the drummer could see the other man's heart breaking right in front of him, reflecting that horrible, unimaginable pain in those pale eyes. "Pickle, don'ts you gets it? How can I trust you when you said that you didn't even cares abouts me? All you dos ams hurts me all the fuckings time! I don't gets it, I really don't. I try so hard to be nice to you after you leaves me and you hurt me, but..." he swallowed and shook his head. "I thoughts that you wouldn't hates me enough to dos something like this...I...just leaves, please. Go and takes her-" he pointed at Dalla, was unable to say her name. "-and gets out. You've ruined my life, sos just takes everything else that I haves—everything else that ams important to me—and leaves."

"I'm saving your life!"

"Just leaves me alone. I hates you, are you happy?" he asked Pickles, tears slowly snaking their way down his once so fair cheeks, "Does Dalla makes you as happy as she mades me?"

"Dude, I..." the drummer felt his voice falter. He couldn't meet the guitarist's gaze, couldn't bear to see those eyes that were so bright and shining with tears of betrayal. "I just wanted to save you."

"Gets out!" he roared with a new found rage, punching Pickles roughly in the shoulder and then pushing him towards the door. "Gets out, gets out, gets-"

"Honey, don't freak out!" Dalla exclaimed, grabbing Toki's wrist and holding him back. "It wasn't anything, it was-"

"Hvorfor i helvete ville du gjøre dette? Jeg elsket deg, jeg ønsket å tilbringe resten av livet mitt jævla med deg, men dette...Dalla, dette er for mye... du har å komme vekk fra meg nå, før jeg skade deg... før jeg skade meg selv."

Pickles had no clue what those words meant, but he knew that they were far too cutting to be said in English. It seemed as though Toki was trying to protect him, but it didn't work. Now the drummer felt worse than ever as he stood there sniffling and crying. He'd never felt this bad in his entire life—he felt like a little kid who'd been beaten and punished one too many times. He wasn't sure if he'd ever be able to get over this, but then he saw Toki. Had the guitarist ever felt anything worse than this pain? It didn't appear so, not as he went and sat on the edge of his bed, let his head fall into his hands.

"Whats did I do wrong? God, why ams you doing this? I haven't been bad, so...please...hvorfor hun hater meg så mye? Du kan ikke gjøre henne elsker meg igjen? Hvorfor ikke hun elsker meg lenger? Kanskje er jeg litt for dumt..."

"Toki, darling, listen to me." Dalla said, sitting down next to him and putting a hand on his thigh. "Kjære, er det i orden. Jeg trenger ikke bety å gjøre det, ærlig. Jeg var bare-du kan forstå at jeg trengte det? Faen, jeg har vært tigge deg for uker til å sove med meg, jeg ville det! Hva slags mann nekter å sove med kvinnen han elsker bare fordi han 'respekterer' henne? Det er ikke din skyld, men..." when Toki said nothing, just stared blankly down at the floor, she shook her head and got up. Pickles barley noticed her making her way over to him; she took the ring she'd been planning to give to Toki on their wedding day, placed it in the drummer's hand, and kissed him on the lips. "We're going now, darling."


"You're going to marry me."

"No I'm na-"

"But first we're going to go back to Norway together," Dalla murmured in an annoyingly innocent way. "because I told my band that I'd bring them my fiancée, let them talk to him. I can't go back there with no one, don't you see? I'd be humiliated, so now you have to go with me."

Pickles felt more tears flowing down his cheeks as he glanced over at Toki, who still appeared an emotionless statue. Numbly he shook his head. "No, I can't do 'dat to hi-" and then he remembered the whole reason that he'd done this his to begin with. All at once he realized that at this point he had to decide between his own life or Toki's. Someone had to die, he was sure, but now the only thing question remaining was whether it be him or the other man. He hadn't broken the guitarist's heart for no reason, he'd done it to save him from that painful death in the street. "Fine," Pickles said finally, guiding Dalla out of the room. "let's go."

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Within minutes they were climbing in the front seat of Dalla's expensive sports car. It's jet black paint shined in the afternoon sunlight as the Norwegian girl jammed the keys into the ignition. Pickles wasn't sure what she was saying, only that it must be mad, because she was letting out little, quiet hisses of frustration as she threw her bags into the trunk. At the main entrance to the Mordhaus everyone was watching him with looks of utter hatred on their faces. Pickles went over and approached Ofdensen as Dalla loaded the last few of her bags into the car.

"It ain't nothin' permanent or anything, we're just-"

"I wish you wouldn't comes back, you fuckings dick." Skwisgaar interrupted, glaring at him in with deadly sort of ferocity.

Pickles swallowed down his pride and tried to address his manager again. "Dude, look, I dunno what I was doing, it was an accident."

Ofdensen looked away and responded coolly. "Sex isn't an accident, Pickles, it takes two people who know what they're doing." a pause then, "I'm disappointed in you. I never would've thought that you would've done this to Toki."

"This is what's best for him," the drummer explained, turning away and beginning to walk back over to the car. "Trust me."

He could feel their eyes boring into him as he climbed into the driver's seat next to Dalla. She smiled over at him, her lips a sparkling red, making her look like a perfect little porcelain doll. The drummer felt himself growing ill as he backed the car out of the driveway. As he accelerated, he was dimly aware of the dream. He glanced back over his shoulder at the Mordhaus, to where Toki's room was. The Norwegian was probably crying so much that he was making himself sick. Pickles almost began crying again as he turned on the radio. This was it, he was taking the guitarist's place. Maybe before the end Toki would forgive him again; perhaps when he went to Pickles' funeral he would say good things about him, maybe say that he had somewhat loved him. Pickles gripped the steering wheel more forcefully as he began to tremble. Love, that's what this was about? Love was the reason he'd been refusing to sleep for the past few days for fear of the nightmares returning to him? Love was the reason he was knowingly taking Toki's place in death's cycle? If so, then he must be a desperate, pitiful idiot.

They drove until the sun began to sink below the horizon. Pickles hadn't stopped to take a brake in hours, he just kept powering thru the long minutes and hours, trying to ignore Dalla's advances. Finally she got the hint and became sulky. She crossed her arms across her chest and said moodily, "Toki was funner when we drove together."

"I just left my best friend for you, so why don't we just leave each other alone for a while?" Pickles demanded, turning up the radio. A Van Halen song pounded in his ears as he pressed his foot down a little harder on the gas. They were on a busy interstate now, speeding past every other one of the cars. The drummer failed to notice his speed; he just kept biting his lip and driving. Dalla laid back in her seat and stretched out, tried to get his attention.

"Toki never-"

"You ever heard this sang?" he inquired, glaring at the road ahead. Dalla just laughed at him and rolled her eyes.

"You say the world 'song' cute. I likei-"

"Don't touch me, sweetie." he blurted, shrinking away from her hand, which was slowly making its way towards his lap. Ironically enough the song was called, Humans Being, and as he drove the lyrics were hopelessly seared into his brain:

There is just enough Christ in me
To make me feel almost guilty
Is that why God made us bleed
To make us see we're Humans Being?

He chuckled. Almost guilty? "Nah, totally." he murmured to himself as his cell phone rang. Dalla glanced over at him and arched a brow.

"Is that your phone?"

"Yeah." he dug it out of his pocket and, without thinking, tore his gaze away form the road and read at the text that was on the screen. What he saw made his face grow read and his heart skip several beats.

February 13th, 2011 6:35 P.M.
Toki Wartooth: I was thinking about what you said and decided that you were right. As much as I hate you right now, I kind of still love you. I hate to admit it, but I really do miss you. I know I should totally hate you right now for what you did, but I just can't. Maybe you were right, maybe Dalla isn't right for me...then again, maybe you're full of crap, just like you've always been. When you decide to come back, don't be afraid. I'll be waiting for you, no matter how much I wish I wasn't.

Just as he read the last word, Dalla grabbed his hands, slapped his phone away from him, and screamed, "Eyes on the road, idiot! Prøver du å drepe oss?"

"Huh?" Pickles looked up to see that he was drifting off the edge of the road, into the median. Before he had a real chance to correct his mistake, his phone buzzed with yet another text.

February 13th, 2011 6:36 P.M.
Toki Wartooth: By the way, tell Dalla that she can sell the ring for all I care. I'm done with her and love...it's overrated and stupid kid's stuff. Thanks.
P.S. I still hate you.

I hate you. That was the last thing Pickles read right before the car ran off the road and crashed.

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If you asked Pickles what it was like to die, he would've said that it wasn't anything special, just sort of like drifting off into a deep sleep that you know you won't wake up from. There is some peace in it, but there's also a dull, penetrating fear of what you would see when you were in that sleep. He didn't know much after he was ejected from the car. There was pain, unimaginably horrible pain, but there was also something else. He smiled, tasting the sickening flavor of warm blood as it coated his throat. He felt himself bleeding—he felt it running down his face, flowing from his mouth, and draining onto the cold, gasoline-soaked road from his stomach. He knew he was about to die right there, but didn't much care. The way he figured it, Toki would've been here right now if it hadn't been for him and his actions, and that thought was more than enough comfort to keep him holding on for a little while longer.

Weakly he looked around, called out, "Dalla? Dalla?" She wasn't there. He swallowed, tasted more blood, and let his eyes close. White-hot pain radiated thru him as he thought back to Toki, imagined his smiling face, and all of those times he himself had gladly woken up, read the Norwegian a story, found the monsters, and fixed him soup. Pickles felt himself laughing.

There wasn't much more than that. Sure, within minutes—or agonizing years—there were flashing sirens and news reporters. Pickles barley felt himself being loaded onto a stretcher and into an ambulance. Thru his closed eyes he could see the sudden flashes from the cameras of the news reporters; they were being held back by the police, who were desperately trying to ensure that the scene remained without commotion. Around the reporters other ambulances carried away the dead and dying to the hospital. There was shouting and cries of, "It's Pickles the Drummer from Dethklok! It's really him!" there were also the voices of reporters dismally describing the scene to cameras. The drummer let out a groan and coughed a little, felt blood staining his chin.

"I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die..."

Needles were thrust into his arm without care and in an instant he felt medication begin flowing thru him, a warm and absolute comfort. Drip...drop...drip...drop...the morphine coursed thru his veins like lightning, numbing some of his pain, but not nearly all of it. All the drummer could think to do was to spend his remaining energy whispering in a near-silent sort of desperation, "Toki, I love you, d' you love me? Toki, I wish you were here...please come and be with me when I die...Toki, I'm sorry, so sorry, but don't make me die alone..." Then he sort of let himself drift off into a medication-induced state of unconsciousness.

"Gonna die," Pickles whispered drowsily, swallowing. His mouth was totally dry and the taste of blood was gone. Confused, the drummer opened his eyes a crack and looked around at the white room that he was in. There was still a needle sticking out of his arm that was flowing a steady line of medication thru him. He was also hooked up to a heart monitor that was emitting a regular beeping noise. He felt a warm hand touching his cheek, and when he summoned up the strength to open his eyes again he saw Toki standing over him, his brown hair a mess and partially hiding in his face, his cheeks tear-stained.

His pale eyes shined as he smiled and said lovingly, "H-Hey there, Pickle."

"Yeah," he breathed, struggling to remain conscious. "heya, dude. How're you doin'?" weakly he touched the guitarist's arm and grinned a little. "You're not hurt, right? You're fine?"

"Pickle, you idiots, you ams the one whats gots hurt."

"Nah, I'm fine." the drummer peered down at the needle that was protruding from his arm. "Maybe I did get hurt a little..."

The guitarist began crying and he fell to his knees beside the bed that Pickles was laying on. "I'm sorrys, I'm sorrys! I didn't means it, I don't hates you, I really don't!"

"Course you do, dude," the drummer said, placing a hand on top of Toki's head; he gently ran his fingers thru the other man's hair and whispered, "I would hate me if I was you. I'd never talk to me again."

"Nos!" Toki said, shaking his head. When Pickles dared to touch his cheek, he accepted the attention gratefully. "It ams my fault because alls of this didn't even haves to happen! Me and Dalla, she was sos much like you. Every time I would talks to her I would thinks of you, that was the only reasons I was even with her to begins with. And Camille, you remembers her?"

"How could I forget 'dat bitch?"

"Didn't you even notice hows much like you she looked likes?" The Norwegian was trembling as he confessed, "Her hair was a littles lighter than yours, but her eyes...they weren't as prettys as yours. When I fucked her it was almost likes I..." he buried his head in his hands and said pitifully, "I'm so confused; why do I wants to be with you likes that? Ams it bad, 'cause I think that it ams."

"No, dude," Pickles said gently, placing a hand on Toki's shoulder. "s'nat bad at all." When the guitarist looked up at him and sniffled, the drummer delicately wiped the tears from his cheeks and smiled down at him warmly. "It's not bad."

"And now you're hurt and it ams my fault."

"No, don't you get it yet? If it wasn't me, it would've been you, and you would've gotten something a lot worse." he put some of Toki's hair out of his face, tried to make him see that this was nothing to be sorry about, it was a miracle. "You're a mess." he observed. "How long've you been here waitin' for me to wake up?"

"Three days."

He frowned. "I ain't been gone that long, have I?"

Toki nodded. "Ja, three days, two hours, ands eleven minutes." he hesitated, thought, and then added, "It ams three in the morning—everyone else ams out in the other room outsides sleepings."

"Why're you here?"

" 'Cause I..." the Norwegian blushed and admitted, "I didn't want you to haves to spend the whole night alones. What if something happened? Since you weren't awakes to makes the monsters gos away, I had to protect you."

Pickles felt a slow, steady smile creeping across his cut face as he asked, "You protected me from the monsters?"

"I hads to." Toki answered gravely. "Because you woulds have dones the same for me." he stood up to his full height then leaned down and pressed his cheek to the drummer's face. Clearly he was just happy to be able to touch the redhead again, to be able to see his eyes open for the first time in so long. Pickles accepted this, closed his eyes, and let out a content sigh.

"Hey, dude, get my phone for me." he said suddenly.

The Norwegian went over to a table in the corner of the room, picked up the cell phone—miraculously it hadn't been broke up too badly in the crash; the screen had been cracked and some of the buttons refused to work, but other than that it was okay—and then passed it over to Pickles. The drummer smiled as he turned it on and loaded his old text messages. He read aloud, "As much as I hate you right now, I kind of still love you. I hate it, but I really DO miss you. I know I should totally hate you right now for what you did, but I just can't...maybe you're full of crap, just like you've always been. When you decide to come back, don't be afraid. I'll be waiting for you, no matter how much I wish I wasn't...I'm done with her and love...it's overrated and stupid kid's stuff. Thanks...I still hate you." without restraint, he laughed and inquired, "Jeez, you sure did like 'dat word 'hate' a lot, didn't you?" Toki said nothing, only looked quite ashamed of himself as Pickles lowered the phone and asked, "What day is it today, babe?"

Toki, surprised by both his own words in the text message and the fact that Pickles had addressed him as 'babe', said, "I—ums...the sixteenth."

Pickles took his hand and said gently, "So that means that three days ago on February the 13th, 2011 at 6:35 p.m. You told me that you loved me for the first time."

He turned red and nodded. "Ja, I guess I dids."

"And you fuckin' told me in a text." the drummer now sounded a little agitated. "nat even to my face. That pisses me aff a little, dude."


"I mean, when I think about it—really think about it—I've spent mosta my fuckin' useless life tryin' to get you to say that, just maybe even a hint of 'dat, and you didn't even have the balls to say it to my face." Pickles released Toki's hand and said with a fake sort of anger in his voice, "I thought you had more guts than that, babe."

"I dos!" he said indignantly. "I so do too haves the balls to say it!"

"Then go ahead, lemme hear you." he slowly and painfully reached into his pants pocket, praying that it was still there, and then felt the cold metal band that Dalla had given him. He pulled it out of the pocket and held it in his hand, awaited those beautiful words that the other man was about to say.

Toki murmured shyly, "I...I l-loves you." as soon as he said this he began blushing madly.

Pickles let out a weak little laugh and felt the cold ring in his hand. "Really? I can't tell by the way you just said it. Do it again and make it good an' loud this time."

"I loves you."


I loves you!" Toki said it now without a trace of shame.

Pickles just shook his head in fake disappointment. "I just imagined that you'd say it better, y'know?"

"I loves you, I reallys do!"

"You think so?"

"Pickle, God damns it, I loves you!"

Now he was laughing. "How much?"

"More than anythings," Toki said, staring down at him with eyes that were full of childlike affection. "mores than anything—everything in the whole world."

"There y'go, now you gat it alright." the drummer opened his arms, urged the guitarist to give him a hug. Gently he ran his shaking, bandaged hands along the small of Toki's back, wishing so badly that he wasn't confined to this stupid hospital bed. Perhaps this was a blessing, though, because if he moved in too fast, then surely the guitarist would back off, afraid that something that happened so long ago would occur again. So, unable to do much of anything else, Pickles held Toki to him, kissed the top of his head, and muttered in his ear, "I'll never leave you again, I swear. I was an idiot."

"Yeah, you were."

"But you still love me?"

"Ja, I dos. I don't know why, but I just dos, you idiot."

Pickles chuckled and pulled Toki away from him. He held the Norwegian's fair face in his hands, longing more than anything to just rip the white bandages off of his fingers and feel the warm skin of the other man. "Guess what?" he felt the ring, which was still sitting in the palm of his wrapped hand. Toki arched a brow.


He slipped the band on the Norwegian's slender finger and asked quietly, "You gonna marry me or what?" The Norwegian wrapped his arms around the drummer's neck and pulled him into a painfully tight hug. "T-Toki, dude, lemme go! You're hurtin' me!"

"Sorrys!" he gasped, ending the hug. He he was crying. Pickles shook his head at this.

"No, don't do 'dat! Don't cry, please. You've done enough of that, just sit here and talk to me, alright?"

Toki laughed and asked cluelessly, "What ams you mean 'talk'?"

"I mean just tell me what's up. We haven't talked in so long..." he took the guitarist's hand and held it firmly. "And maybe since I kinda managed to fuck death over just so I could be with you, you could do me a hell of a favor and say you love me again."

"Jeg elsker deg," he responded, hugging Pickles tightly again. "Jeg elsker deg mer enn noe annet i hele jævla verden."

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It had seemed like a lifetime ago that he'd felt like this, like how a normal human being should feel. He was happy, carefree, and finally just content with himself. Especially now, as he laid a hand on Toki's flat stomach and ran his fingertips along that warm flesh. His hands were slightly scarred by nearly invisible, pearly thin lines, but they were slowly fading with each new day, along with all of his other injuries. The doctors said that he should've died there on the scene, but thankfully Dalla had managed to pull herself together and call the ambulance almost immediately after the accident. In an ironic twist of fate, she had saved his life, and Pickles was grateful for that, but more grateful for the fact that she'd left him in the middle of the road to bleed to death in order to save herself. Her act of selfishness had caused Toki to see just how different he was than Dalla, so he hadn't hesitated to break things off with her.

Now the two laid in the warmth of Pickles' bed together, both feeling safe and secure tangled in the covers. Toki turned red as the drummer kissed his chest and his muscular stomach. "Pickle, do you stills likes me?"

"What?" he glanced up, met the Norwegian's shy gaze. Suddenly he felt as though we were being taken back to that night years ago in the hotel room when he'd first seen Toki naked. "Of course I do."

"I'm older now."

"So am I." Pickles said back, running his hands along the inside of the guitarist's slender thighs. "Gad, you've grown up...you're so beautiful, so perfect..." Indeed Toki had grown out of that delicate, awkward teenage state; he was almost just as slender, but also so much more defined and toned. It seemed as though everything Pickles had imagined the guitarist would be, he was; he was perfect, and their bodies now fit together as if they were made for each other. Though Toki wasn't that little, ignorant boy anymore, he certainly still appeared to the redhead to be easily broken, so when he resumed kissing the other man, he didn't do it forcefully or demandingly, he just went with whatever happened.


"Yeah?" he inquired, kissing Toki's cheek tenderly.

"Maybes tomorrow we coulds gos out together?"

"Um-hmm." he didn't stop kissing the Norwegian, but instead brushed his lips along his neck and his jaw.

"And...well...ams yous still goings to be here when I wake up?"

Pickles stopped and met Toki's half worried gaze; a soft, kind smile was on his face as he spoke. "I'll be here if you are, and tomorrow we can do whatever the fuck you wanna do."



"I'ms not so sorry that I loves you anymore." Toki said, his voice full of boyish charm.

The drummer grinned. "Yeah, and I'm nat sorry that I love you neither, even though love is 'kid's stuff'." he said, quoting the line from the Norwegian's old text. The guitarist just laughed and pulled Pickles into a passionate kiss.

It all began in a luxurious hotel room in the heart of some grand, sprawling Mexican city some time ago, and on February the 13th, 2011 at 6:35 p.m., it was nearly ended. Now, despite everything else—perhaps even the will of death itself—it seemed as though it would last forever, but then again no one could be sure. Pickles had never been good with the concept of time.

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That's it. I sure hope that it was good and you liked it, because I spent a lot of time thinking of how to end it. My next fanfic will take on a whole different approach to what we believe 'love' and 'perfection' is. Since I don't want to bore you with too much Pickles/Toki stuff, the next fic I put up will be one I just thought of a few nights ago. It will involve mainly Skwisgaar/Toki and, of course, a little, minor dash of Pickles/Toki and Toki/Ofdensen. That's right, I'm shaking things up. I hope you plan to read it, because it will be unlike anything I've written before. Okay, now that I've built up the suspense, I hope you liked this story. Reviews are appreciated.

Before I finally shut up and let you go, let me just say this—it is almost frightening how much I know about Norway. Before I started writing Dethklok fanfics, I had no clue where Norway even was on a map, but now I can speak a little Norwegian, name all the different ways to cook herring, and describe to you the different kinds of wildflowers they have and how endangered the wolfs are...in Norway. I even learned the exact location of the town of Lillehammer and how far away it is from Oslo, Norway. Isn't that great? Now I sometimes just go off and start spouting random information about Norway and my friends look at me like I have a mental problem or something. I've also memorized how to say 'I love you' [Jeg elsker deg] in Norwegian. *sigh* Maybe I need to actually start learning Spanish, considering the sad fact that I'm failing the class at my high school. -_-

Also, the word that was on the side of Dalla's car was Troløs, which is the name of her band. In Norwegian it means 'Faithless'. Apparently I'm not good at thinking of band names either. :P

Peace & Love