Pickles watched numbly as she was led away by the Swede, her words ringing in his ears, stinging his body as they sunk in, thin needles working their way to his core, to his heart. His heart? It must have been, the ache was radiating from his chest like a light, crimson in the middle and black at the edges. He had convinced himself that he had no heart, going so far as showing her that he had no part of himself capable of giving her what she needed, of being there for her, but apparently he had been mistaken... He had a heart, and it was breaking...

This recalled to him the time when the band was forcing him to either get sober or to quit/be replaced. At that time, and considerably longer, it was the hardest thing he had ever had to face in his life, but he had done it. Mostly. But he had faced it, the serpent holding him back, the fucker that made him black it away, and he had become sober. If he could do that, why couldn't he at least try to face Scout and do what needed to be done? Because you're a worthless fucker. It was true - he was a waste of skin and bone, not fit to be with another, and definitely not suitable to be a father. He had gotten passed his demons, but he had not slain them, and he hadn't stayed clean, not even slowed down. She had never asked him to, but that was when it had just been them, so it was only a matter of time if he had stayed. Besides, his leaving her had absolutely nothing to do with drugs and alcohol - it was about the kid. It was petty, but he was afraid of it, that he would fail it, that it would hate him, that it would steal away Scout and turn her against him... It might have taken years to happen, but he felt in his gut that if he had stayed, ultimately, she would grow to hate him one way or another, because of the kid. So, he expedited the situation...

The answer couldn't have been clearer, but the question remained: How? How could this have happened? How could he have let that happen? How could he just let her go like that? Not just with Skwisgaar either. How could he have let her go at all? How could he have thought that it was ever a good idea to stay away, to not turn back and go to her, to tell her why he had ran? How could he have done that to her, seeing the pain he had left her with, the constant reminder of all that they shared? How could she have missed it? The remorse bubbling away at his mind, hidden just under the skin, pockmarking him with angry red boils that oozed the blood of demons that circled over his back. She, who had seen beyond the bullshit he put up to protect himself, how was it remotely possible that she couldn't see the regret he wore at all times like a parasitic second skin? How did they end up here, so far apart? How could she not hate him?

He couldn't blame her though, not completely. It was his own fault that she had distanced herself from him... But Skwisgaar of all people? If sluts and gold-diggers had been alcohol, he would have out-drank Pickles, probably. That was actually a close call to make, but the point is that out of everyone it could have been, why in the world was it him? Toki was a sweet guy, and with him, Pickles knew that she would have been taken care of, and at least if it had been Nathan, she would have been safe (as well as the fact that he was used to Nathan getting what he wanted). What could Skwisgaar have given her, aside from an STD and false hope? Arguably he had given her one of those two things already, but his wasn't intentional like it would be with Skwisgaar. As a musician, there was no better, but as a man...? He wasn't saying he was a prize - far from it - but Skwisgaar? He was not only known for being a man-whore but famous for it! The Scout he had fallen for and pined to hold again should have known better...

Had he really broken her that much, that in her ruined state she neither cared nor knew what she was getting herself into? No, that was probably giving himself too much credit (but what else could it have been?)...

Escaping in the bustle of accusations and lies, Pickles followed after Scout and Skwisgaar, keeping his space so she didn't see him, entering the sanctuary that was his room. Eight months had passed, but somehow, every time he stepped into his room, he saw her there, standing in the middle of the room with uncertainty, watching him pleasure himself, or sitting on his bed, sucking the shattered glass from his hand. Sprawled on the floor, her grey eyes looked up at him expectantly, waiting for him to touch her, and wrapped in his arms, half asleep on the bed, she confided in him her deepest dreams, teasing him with her torrid fantasies. This place wasn't a sanctuary - it was hell, every little thing a reminder of her...

- Metalocalypse -

Scrubbing way at his face as gently as she could, her storm-grey eyes sliding up from her work to meet with his own eyes of ice, the washcloth fell from her hand, falling limply on his thigh, the water seeping through his pants and trickling down his leg. Looking at him, unsure of what to do, to pick it up or just leave it to him (which seemed a safer bet), Scout slowly reached for the dropped cloth, giving him plenty of time to grab it himself. Naturally he, as a member of the ridiculously privileged Dethklok, was too good to do anything for himself, so it was on her to pick it up. If she weren't so full of confusion and hormones, it would have been nothing, but as it was...

That place was exactly where she was. She knew it couldn't have been easy for him, having to put up with her these last few months. She was hormonal, livid one minute and full of repentance the next, laughing when she felt like crying and vice versa. And that was just what she didn't hold back, the war in her mind a much more frightening place. Did she still love Pickles enough to forgive him if he had magically changed his mind about her? Had she the heart to try to move on (even if that meant breaking someone elses)? Was what she felt for her new friend real, or was it just temporary insanity? Even now, she was still as confused as when she started to feel something for Skwisgaar that was neither hate nor gratitude..

Lowering her hand, being extra careful to make sure that she wasn't going to accidentally (or not so accidentally) grab his crotch, she swiped the rag away, brushing his leg for less than a fraction of a second, "Thanks..."

He raised an eyebrow, not understanding her sarcasm, "Fors whats?"

She shook her head, tossing the washcloth back into the sink, "Never mind. Why don't we just call you fixed, hm? It wasn't as bad as it looked, and if we stay here any longer... It doesn't matter." Not trusting herself at the moment, Scout shoved Skwisgaar out of the bathroom and out of her bedroom, lingering at the door only long enough to add, "Thank you, for helping me back there. If it hadn't been for you, I might have said something or done something that I would regret, so thank you, for being such a good friend to me."

"Likes what?" He had his foot in the door so she couldn't be rid of him just yet, feeling obligated to tell her what she must have glossed out of her mind, "Yous ams already tellings Pickle you hates hims."

Between the brotherly brawl and bleeding nose, she had completely blocked out her encounter with Pickles, shoving it in the back of the emotional closet to collect dust. Had she really said that to him? Thinking back, she saw the look clear on his face, the unbelievable anguish and confusion (it was the same look she had on her face eight months ago, give or take). Oh, God, she did tell him that she hated him! She didn't mean it, should could never mean it, not even if she tried (and she had tried to hate him, thinking that it might make the entire thing easier). God, what must be going through his mind right now?

Stumbling back to her bed, Scout fell backwards, slumping in shock, her mouth sagging in a stupor. How could she possibly have told him a thing like that? Pickles was scrappy and had dealt with worse, but she knew how much it had really affected him, how fragile he really was under the surface. This was probably destroying him... At least, if he had loved her it would have, but she didn't know if he even liked her, let alone loved her. And even if he did care for her to some degree, why should she care? He had done this to her first, ripped her heart and shoved it back in her face, stomping on all that she believed in. This was justice, at last!

But why then did she feel so terrible...?

- Metalocalypse -

Charles stood at the window, looking out at the setting sun as its rays died over the horizon, bleeding profusely in shades of red and orange, ablaze with licks of violet. Another day, come and gone, and another minute wasted. He had finished his work an hour ago, but he still couldn't bring himself to go to the living room where Toki was hosting Scout's baby-shower. He had yet to forgive her for not only going behind his back and sleeping with God only knows who, but for winding up in the same predicament he himself was in when she was born. He should have been there for her when Ravenia died, just pushed away his work or given it to an intern or a someone, and helped his daughter through it. But no, he had barely been in the same room with her since her arrival at Mordhaus . It was no wonder she had wound up here...

He sighed, turning away from the window to look at the photo on his desk, "It be long before that's you."

The photo was one of himself, uncertainly holding up his newborn daughter for the camera, Ravenia asleep in the next room after a long labor. He had almost missed Scout's birth completely, not sure about fatherhood, but he knew deep down that he would regret it if he hadn't shown up at all, so he did his best to track down his daughter. To this day, that was the happiest day of his life, even better than the first double platinum or Grammy.

"We wanted so much more for you..."


Disclaimers:

I do not own Metalocalypse.

I do not condone the actions that may or may not take place throughout the course of this story, including but not limited to language, sexual content, drug use, and any illegal activities involving minors.

Swedish provided by Google Translate.

REVIEWS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME!

Author's Note:

Sitting at three rewrites now, THREE! Before I started this story, most of my work only underwent minor changes, not entire sections at a time! Pft, shows how much I actually care about this, huh? Anyways, I'd like to thank you all for the favs, alerts, and reviews! So, that's all of two people... Rad. Maybe if I was more like Dethklok and hated my... 'fans', I would have more of them? Too bad that is not going to happen... Well, enough of that! This is a story, not a whining section!

(And I enjoy ripping apart my favorite Dethklok member why?)