A/N: Hi All. Not too much love for Senji/Ganta, and that makes me sad. Thus, I decided to write a little oneshot for them. Here goes. . .
Warnings: blood, gore, fluff
The beaming spotlights washed out any semblance of vision Senji had left. He felt his restrained body being carted off to a stage he knew very well, even though he himself had only been there a small handful of times. Even he had to admit, despite his displeasure with his situation, that the sick bastard behind this little game was a homicidal genius. At this point, he was almost amused by the carnival music and bird costumes, it was all so mundane to him now.
When he finally stopped moving, he had a better vantage point in which to make out his surroundings. Although, it should be said that he didn't need to make them out. He had seen this place so many times, both in person and on video, that he knew exactly what would be waiting for him beyond the bright lights. Sure enough, he was right. Standing there, in front of her deranged slot machine, was the always lovely Dr. Takashima, wearing a sadistic grin, as per usual. Senji truly hated that woman. It was unlikely that any deadman did like her.
The Crow thought back to the carnival corpse round that landed him where he currently found himself. It was that shit-for-brains, Mockingbird that did this to him. He briefly wondered why that guy always insisted on using his crow claws, but quickly dismissed the thought, deciding that the reason was obvious; it is the most awesome branch of sin in DW. Senji hated to admit it, but honestly, he was just lucky he was still alive. Mockingbird sure was a tough opponent to be pitted against. Senji had mad respect for anyone who could cross blades with him and live to tell the tale. Even so, this penalty round was sure to suck, at least if the spinning slots in front of him got their way.
They spun and spun, at an incessantly slow pace, sending Senji into a state of anxiety that he rarely ever found himself in. The painfully sluggish wait was not just weighing on him, however. Only a short distance away, Ganta Igarashi sat at the edge of his bed, his hands clutching his bedsheets, watching Senji's fate unfold. The footage presented from the penalty rounds was not the greatest quality, they never bothered to zoom in on the machine, leaving the viewer unaware of the body part it chooses until Dr. Takashima announces it.
So Ganta allowed himself to watch, or rather, he couldn't look away. He wanted to, oh how he wanted to just turn his television off and bury his head in his pillow. . . just pretend he wasn't in this awful place. It couldn't be done though, no matter how hard he focused, he could never just imagine he was somewhere else, anywhere else but here. He was a deadman. As such, this was his destiny. . . no, it was his demise. The only thing he could be sure of anymore was that he would die here, the only question was, when?
The forlorn Woodpecker heard the slots coming to a stop and had a sudden urge to cover his ears to protect them from knowing what his friend would have to sacrifice. But he didn't. He watched on, as the doctor shrieked with that twisted chuckle she often gave when she got the opportunity to tear something significant from her victims. That alone was a terrible sign. Ganta could hardly keep his eyes from stinging with moisture. It was bad enough that he had watched this happen to a man he considered his friend, not once but twice. In addition, he couldn't shake the thought of himself being put on the chopping block. It would happen one day, and he had to wonder how he might cope with being tortured. He wasn't sure how much more of this place he could handle.
"Well, well. You're going to have a hard time winning carnival corpse now, looks like it's gonna be your right arm," Ganta heard the woman giggle through the speakers. His heart stopped beating for a moment. "You're right side is very unlucky, it seems." Her henchmen brought her tools to her, while a few others busied themselves with restraining the man further.
Ganta was astounded by how calm Senji was. He wondered if the man was panicking on the inside. If not, what was going on inside his enigmatic mind? He just sat there, not struggling, not screaming. In fact, if anything, he seemed to be wearing a smirk, albeit a small one. The doctor picked up her scalpel and began tearing into the man's taut biceps. The pain he was in was made evident by the way he contorted his face in agony. Ganta watched in horror as the man's arm was severed and dark crimson spewed from the gaping wound. Senji's breathing had slowed, his chest clearly rising and falling steadily as the pain began to numb.
Tears rolled profusely down the Woodpecker's cheeks as he watched the lackeys wheel his friend away. How many times, he thought to himself, would he have to watch his friends suffer at the hands of these demons?
The boy spent the remainder of the day sulking in his bed, pondering what the future held for him and those he cared about. He decided it would be best not to watch the television anymore today, even though there wouldn't be another round of carnival corpse until tomorrow. In lieu of the television, Ganta thought he would take a walk.
The halls of G block were relatively quiet, squabbling deadmen aside. Not many of them really had any desire to pick a fight with him, at least not after he had won against both Crow and Hummingbird. Not to mention, most everyone in DW thought he slaughtered 29 people. Even though he hated people thinking he had anything to do with the deaths of his classmates, he did count himself lucky that so many hardened criminals were afraid of him. Things would surely be much harder for him if they weren't.
It had only been a few hours since the penalty round when Ganta sauntered past the door to Senji's room. He thought there was no way he would be back yet, not after losing an arm. Despite that, he turned the knob and poked his head in the dark cell. A beam of light from the hallway illuminated a sliver of the bed, which (to Ganta's surprise) held the injured Crow, his nub wrapped up in several layers of blood soaked bandages.
For a moment, Ganta feared he had interrupted the man's sleep, but he knew he had been mistaken when Senji turned his head to glance at his intruder. A smile spread across the Crow's face immediately after he realized who was standing there.
"Woodpecker! Come on in," he insisted, sitting up and turning his body to face the door. He winced in pain briefly before returning back to his initial enthusiasm. Ganta stepped in his friend's room, flipping the light on before letting the door swing shut behind him. He took a seat on the bed, directly to the Crow's right, giving him a much closer view than he wanted of Senji's punishment.
"I'm sorry about wha. . ." Ganta began, only to be interrupted by a deep chuckle.
"Look kid, I don't need your pity, you hold onto that. I lost, fair and square. That's just what happens around here, remember?" the older man said, pointing at what used to be his right eye. Ganta was at a loss for words, opting instead, to stare hopelessly at the floor. "Hey, buck up. I doubt you'll ever have to face the doc. You're unstoppable. Unless you have to fight me again, that is," Senji concluded. Somehow, it comforted Ganta.
"It's not me I'm worried about. It's my friends. You. . . Minatsuki, Nagi, Karako, and all of the other deadmen. It's just barbaric. I don't understand why we have to do this to one another," the boy explained, digging his fingers into his hair.
"You still ain't used to this place yet? You keep questioning things like that, you'll go insane," the Crow advised.
"I already feel like I've gone insane," Ganta grumbled into his palms.
"Then you're gonna fit in well around here. Face it, kid, you're in Hell, and the only way you're gettin' out is in a body bag. So, I suggest you get used to the idea of losing everything you have left." Senji's words struck Ganta like a dagger to the heart. He always figured himself to be an optimist, even in bleak situations like this. But even he couldn't deny that optimism won't save him from the truth. A truth that Senji had so blatantly summed up in a few sobering sentences.
"How do you deal with knowing all that?" Ganta asked, an avid curiosity burning in his chest. Perhaps if he knew Senji's coping mechanisms, he'd be able to sleep at night. The Crow released yet another low chuckle, sometimes Woodpecker's innocence was just too endearing.
"I live," he finally said through his mild laughter. Ganta cocked his head to the side in vague confusion.
"I could do without the laughter, thanks," the boy pouted briefly before returning to his original inquiry, "What exactly do you mean by that? You live?"
"What does it sound like, Woodpecker? I live. Live for whatever I damn well feel like living for. For the moment, for myself, for breakfast, whatever the hell. Whether you're here in Deadman Wonderland or on the outside, life's a bitch." It was the most poignant thing Ganta had ever heard Senji utter. Thinking back on his life on the outside, Ganta realized that it really wasn't too much better. Even if he did make it out of Deadman Wonderland, where would he go? This place was all he had left. . . and soon, it would see to it that he lost everything else as well. Maybe living for the moment was the best course of action.
The Woodpecker had that thought for only a moment before lunging forward and clinging to the Crow as though his very life depended on it. Senji jolted at the sudden contact but settled once he realized he wasn't being attacked.
"C'mon, kid. . . Quit with the theatrics, ya don't gotta be so dramatic all the time," the taller man grumbled, with a modest blush colouring his cheeks. He wasn't all that used to being touched by anyone, save for when he was fighting them.
"I'm not being dramatic!" Ganta yelled into his friend's chest, "I'm living!" Senji's exposed eye shot open in surprise. He figured the kid was gullible, but he had no idea that he was that easily persuaded.
"Really? Hm," the Crow chuckled, a mildly amused grin stretching across his face, "So what exactly are you living for?"
He was taken aback when Ganta lifted his head from his chest and whispered; "Right now. . . I wanna live for you." In an instant, Senji was reminded of the reason he admired Ganta so much; his pure, unrequited honesty. There were times when he could be nieve and childish. Then there were moments when he could be aggressive and wilful. No matter what mood he chose to be in though, Ganta was always himself. He never went out of his way to please anyone for his own sake. He valued his friends and justice above all else, even if it was detrimental to his own well being. That was a trait that was difficult to find anywhere, especially here in DW.
Deciding it would be hypocritical of him to disregard his own advice, Senji wrapped his left arm around Ganta and pulled him closer. He didn't want the kid to get the wrong idea or anything, but what was so wrong about rolling with this strange turn of events?
"That's pretty gay, Woodpecker," Senji growled, his smirk growing once again.
"Shut up," Ganta hummed contentedly, burying his face back into the man's muscular chest.
A/N: M'kay, that's it. This brain dump has been sitting on my computer for a while. It was my original intention to finish it but I haven't had the time. If I get the time, I might get around to it. Otherwise, feel free to imagine what happens next. XD Or, better yet, write it. I'd love to see where you guys might take it. I feel like it captures their (somewhat bromantic) friendship pretty well, if nothing else. Anyway, thanks for reading! Please review!