A/N: This one's dedicated to all my beloved readers. And I need all of you to virtually stone me to death if I begin a new story before finishing this one. Love you guys!

Rated: T (might eventually go up. I haven't decided yet if I want my sandwich made with light fluff or hot smut...)

Chapter 1
"Incredibly Sucky Prologue"
(aka don't judge a fanfiction by it's prologue)

"You're depressed."

I laugh without hesitation, but there's no feeling behind it.

"Izaya, I'm serious," Shinra snaps. "You look awful lately. I didn't need you to ask for sleeping pills to know you're not sleeping. And you've lost weight." He wears a scowl on his childish face, and the attempt to look worried is pathetic.

"You can't possibly think," I pause to chuckle, "that someone like me would catch something so human!"

"You don't catch depression-"

"Shinra," I say, smiling coldly. "Drop it."

For the record, I know I'm depressed. I can't eat or sleep, and my lack of motivation has caused business to be painfully slow. I've tried everything from exercise to anti-depressants, but nothing works.

So why did I hide all this from Shinra, the one man who can help me?

Because I can't risk opening up to anyone. My image is what I base my life off of. I care more about what I think of me than what others think, and by opening up, I'd lose all respect for myself.

And I don't want anyone to know how terrified I am.

What? Surprised that the great Orihara Izaya is afraid of a mental illness? Well, let me do my job and inform you of something. Depression isn't just a disease. It's a symptom. Depression occurs in the early stages of many diseases and disorders. It's like marijuana- only instead of being a gateway drug, it's a gateway symptom. It's a warning sign, if you will, that things might be going downhill from here on out.

For example, depression could indicate a number of things. Bipolar disorder, Hypothyroidism, Lupus, Porphyria, PTSD, Schizophrenia, Hypopituitarism, and mad cow disease are just a few instances where depression is among the multitude of symptoms.

But moving on… I have to get out of here before my smiling façade slips.

"I should really be getting back to my work," I say abruptly, gliding over to the door. "Thanks for the sleeping pills, Shinra!"

The underground doctor frowns, looking like he wants to say something before I leave.

I shut the door before he can.

A/N: You should all know that this will be an extremely angst-ish story, but in an extremely fun-sarcastic-ish way! I have found a new love for writing Izaya's inner turmoil from his own POV. And no, this fic is most definitely NOT about depression. Because that would be depressing...

Do you guys like where this is headed? Let me know :D

Love, CircusRunaway