If you're a first time reader, well, hi and good luck reading. I update every single day or once every two days.

If you're one of my readers, hi again and sorry I haven't updated in so long.

For those wondering, I was gone for a while because of personal problems and I just don't have the drive to update my other stories yet. I deleted Shadows of Reflections (don't worry, I will re-upload when the story is finished and is good enough for my own liking, IT IS NOT YET ABANDONED). I needed a new story to concentrate on and believe me, I really needed something new in my life.

So here goes.

I am NOT a native english speaker, so this story may or may not have typos and grammar mistakes. I will fix them eventually.

It is rated M, eventual Shizaya and all that stuff.

IT IS AU. Might contain a lot of OOC'ness, but writing a story like this requires that, so sorry in advance. I hope you still like it though.

Loads of angst, fluff, smut and stuff.

Description: Shizuo Heiwajima is a major fuck-up and in order to heal himself, he agrees with his mother and is forced to be part of a weekly support group. To his surprise, he sees someone he would've never thought he'd see in a group like this. And it's all for a reason...




P.s. This fic is dedicated to RandomRio, who was such a sweetheart. Thank you for your support and encouraging PM's. You're amazing.

"I'm going to pick you up at 8," my mother said, pulling my knuckles to her lips and kissing it swiftly. I didn't smile. I nodded. It made my chest pang in guilt, somewhat worse than before. She was doing whatever she could.

I pulled the sleeves of my hoodie lower, covering half of my fists, gripping the hem of them and praying I wouldn't need to roll them back today. I had enough of my mother's tears whenever I had to wash the dishes or do any chores around the house. She saw my wrists more than I wanted her to. She suffered enough.

"If you don't like it there, we're telling dr. Morris it's not going to work, alright?" she said and I nodded. Again.

I wanted to tell her something, anything. I wanted to tell her I'm going to be okay, she doesn't need to worry anymore, yet I couldn't find the right words to comfort her. Instead, I threw my backpack on my right shoulder, pulled the hood up, covering my bleached blond hair and climbed out of her car.

She lingered in the parking lot, waiting for me to climb the stairs toward the entrance of the building. I looked up, gulping the fresh air, reading the name of the hospital I'm going to visit three times a week. It was nothing much, really, just a depressing looking building. Three stories high. Nothing out of the ordinary.

And thus, I opened the doors to my mother's long awaited sanctuary for her damaged son. I glanced back, watching her hopeful face and in order to destroy myself more, I closed the door behind me, ready to face numerous other depressed people.

I breathed in deeper, silently wishing I could lie in bed and listen to the wind banging on my window. Fishing out a smudged piece of paper from my pants was the hard part. I didn't want to know where I had to go. Still, remembering a promise to my parents, I somehow read the part with numbers. Cabinet 112. At least I didn't have to go upstairs and risk seeing patients or anything.

The receptionist hasn't cut a glance at me when I passed her table, curiously watching the numbers change on every door. 105. 106. 107. 108…

As I approached the cabinet 112, I looked through the windows, watching other groups. Some of them were forced into a circle. I even saw kids hugging each other and crying. Dr. Morris told me there were more groups in this hospital and let me choose the one I wanted to go to.

Naturally, I pointed at the first thing that caught my eye and hoped that'd be enough.

I reached 112, stopping dead in my tracks. Was I brave enough to enter the room and see all this judgment I didn't deserve? I checked my sleeves, nervously pulling them on tighter than before. It was nearly six, and I knew I didn't want to be late. If you were late, everyone would look at you.

I knocked and opened the door after contemplating the idea of accidentally bumping into someone would be far worse than entering a group for suicidal people.

I lay my eyes on a bundle of kids my age. 17 year olds. I gulped some saliva down, trying not to catch anyone's eyes. I found a person I could look at – the group leader. The only adult in the room.

He quickly searched his list, stopping at one name he hadn't yet ticked off.

"Hei-wa-ji-ma?" he spelled it out as if I didn't know how to do it myself.

I did a lot of nodding today, which meant I still hadn't said a word.

"Please join, we have a seat left for you," he smiled at me. I held my head low, looking at my feet when I slumped down on a wooden chair in between two girls. They eyed me and it made me cringe. "And I was sure I told dr. Morris our sessions start at five. Don't worry about the fact that you didn't know, it's not your fault. Anyhow, I want you guys to meet Shizuo Heiwajima."

I heard airy 'hello's and 'nice to meet you's. I didn't talk or say 'hi' back. I didn't see a reason behind it. I wasn't here to make friends or anything. I was here to heal myself.

Having friends got me into this mess in the first place.

"Shizuo," the leader called me out. I looked at him, waiting for him to speak. "My name is Maxwell Norris. I hope we can get along just fine. We're going to leave out your case for this session, for you need to know our ground rules. I guess it'd be best to show not tell."

His voice was so sickeningly sweet, I wanted to hang myself right there and then. Apparently, I entered the room just as they had half of the session to go. I swore in my head, knowing that I accidentally stumbled upon my own fear of running late and having all eyes on me.

Calm yourself. You're here because you need to overcome your fears.

"Now," Maxwell said. "I've heard we have a new problem in our group. I'd like that person to tell us what happened and we will try to help."

There was a loud chuckle. It made my skin shiver and goose-bump in a single second. There was nothing calm or normal about that chuckle. It came from a person just as broken as me. I followed the sound and found the owner instantly.

He was leaning back on his chair, hair raven black and eyes piercing red. There was nothing worse than seeing his milky white skin shine, especially when he was wearing a low cut t-shirt, sleeves shorter than I wanted them to be. His skinny jeans hung low on his hips, covering most of his butt, a few chains attached to his left side. His converse completed his 'rebellious' look, which, as I figured, was his lame mark.

No, that wasn't why I stared at him like he was an abomination. I stared at him because his arms were covered in scars, blue hue matching the red slashes, some of them healing next to white stains of proof of what he has done before.

And there was an eye-gawking truth I didn't want to acknowledge.

I knew him.

"So, Izaya, care to share today?" Maxwell asked.

Izaya Orihara. Our high-school's sweetheart, known by everyone, loved by more, and hated by most. I, for one, was one of those who hated him. Rumor has it he slept with anyone willing. He's mister popular.

Which made me think. I've never seen him in a t-shirt. He was always wearing the same jacket with its hood covered in fur, his hands safely hidden from other eyes. Why was he openly showing scars that our school has probably never heard of? Why was he in a group for suicidal teenagers?

He seemed to not know who I was and I was grateful for it. I wanted to stay low. I had enough problems already and letting my school find out I'm a social fuck-up was the last on my to-do list.

"Two weeks ago, I cut one of my legs and accidentally cut too deep," he announced, sounding utterly happy about it. "Which ended up with me in the hospital and my parents losing their shit."

I looked around, watching everyone's reaction.

No one moved a muscle. No one was disgusted or thought he was weird or a psycho. They were all too understanding.

I was the only one who thought this was not okay. It wasn't normal to be so delighted with what you've done to your body. I had my fair share of pain and razors and every single time I was utterly hopeless. I felt nothing. I was numb.

How in the world was Izaya able to talk about cutting his leg and lying unconscious in the hospital with such enthusiasm was beyond me.

"I've heard you had a bad case of blood-loss," Maxwell said. Izaya nodded, stretching his back. His shirt went up, revealing a flat stomach and a line of black going to his navel. "Would anyone like to comment or help Izaya go through his problem?"

At first, the room was silent. I saw a few girls looking at each other. Then, I noticed than none of us in this group had revealing t-shirts on. We all hid our true identities behind hoodies or long-sleeved sweaters. Izaya was the only one who wore his scars proudly and with no shame.

I wondered if he wanted to be pitied. If he wanted to show everyone what he has done to his body to claim it was his own and no one could tell him what to do with it.

A boy raised his hand and Maxwell pointed at him.

"I just wanted to ask," his voice was slightly deeper than Maxwell's, which made him look manlier than he already was. "Why do you keep doing this? Is that how you cope with your pain?"

Izaya flashed him a smile. He leaned forward, cocking his head sideways and staring the boy straight into his eyes. "I keep doing it because this world is full of idiots and that was the only way to know I was not one of them."

Maxwell sighed at his words. "Anyone else?"

A girl to my right raised her trembling hand. She was holding her sleeve with a tight grip, which reminded me I was doing the same thing. "I think you should stop self-harming and find a hobby or something."

Maxwell clapped his hands and nodded in approval. "That is a great idea –"

"No, it's not," Izaya interrupted him. "Norris, can we please stop it with the 'hobby' thing? I've been here for a year and as much as you want me to stop cutting or tripping, it's not going to work."

Izaya's eyes glistened with power and as he leaned back in his chair, I could see his eyes quickly darting to me. I held his gaze for two whole seconds until I caught myself and looked away.

Maxwell pursed his lips, figuring it was no use getting it out of Izaya. I started questioning everything, from Izaya's behavior to Maxwell's ways of dealing with patients. I was not sure I wanted to sit here with a bunch of lunatics.

"I think we're done here for the day," Maxwell said and some of the kids let out breathy exhales. "Next time we'll surely hang out until 7, but today I'd like to end the session early."

Most of them stood up and grabbed their backpacks, hurrying out of the cabinet. I was about to leave as well, thinking how I should call my mom and tell her the news, when Maxwell approached me. I glanced at Izaya, who threw his jacket on and stormed out of the room with others.

"I'm sorry your doctor told you the wrong time," he apologized. "I know it must be hard being late to a group like this."

"I don't particularly care," I said. "My mom set me up for this anyway."

He cocked his eyebrow up. "I'd still like it if you could give a chance to this group," he said. This guy 'liked' things a lot. It was as if I was a personal problem to him and he needed to solve it. "If you don't like it after three sessions, you can stop going. Promise."

I clutched my backpack and thought about my mom. I'd try for her.

"Okay," I said and turned to leave.

"Remember, 5 o'clock!" Maxwell shouted as I was closing the door. I was happy I was the last one to get out of the session, meaning I didn't have to talk to anyone but Maxwell. I dreamed about my bed once again, letting myself be excited about going home for once. I dialed my mom, telling her the story about how I was 'accidentally' late and how I needed a ride home. She told me I had to wait for a half an hour, since she was doing some shopping. I answered 'okay cool' and told her she needn't hurry, because I was fine and I could wait.

I just needed a smoke. Badly.

I hurried out of the building, a lighter in my hand and a cigarette in between my teeth. I earned a few concerned looks from other psychiatrists and the receptionist, but I couldn't care less. This was my happy place. Just me and my lungs, filled with poisonous therapy of my own.

I lit up the tip and inhaled. I could feel the relaxation almost instantly, my muscles going from tense to utterly calm. I sat on a bench in front of the parking lot, where I decided I should wait for my mom.

It was then that I remembered I didn't have my iPod. I swore out loud.

"Shizuo Heiwajima, right?" I heard a voice next to me. As I looked up, I saw a pair of ruby red eyes staring back at me. "I know you from school."

I exhaled the fumes and threw the cigarette away. Izaya stood beside the bench, his attention to me.

I glared at him, not even close to opening my mouth and answering him. What happened next was a different thing altogether. He lunged at me, one of his arms holding a small razor-sharp knife at my neck. At that particular moment, I saw him stumble a bit on his leg, probably the one he cut two weeks ago.

"If you ever tell anyone about me or this group," he whispered into my ear. I felt strangely numb. "I'm going to slice your throat."

I let out a low chuckle. His eyes widened and then he smirked.

His knife dug deeper into my skin, almost slicing it. "I've done crazier things, you know," he said.

"Go ahead," I said. "Kill me. It'd be better for me and for everyone else."

He paused before sucking in a breath and backing off. My skin tingled in places where he touched me and not in a good way. I lost any sense of caring long ago.

"Alright, brute," he said, a new form of an insult reaching my ears. "Since you don't care if you die, then let's at least say that if you tell anyone, I'm going to make sure everyone knows about you and that hoodie thing you have going on here." He gestured at my arms and I instinctively shuffled the fabric closer to my skin.

I wanted to live and I wanted to forget. If Izaya told anyone about this in school, I'd be screwed once again. Well, fuck my life.

"Deal," I said. "I wouldn't tell shit about you anyway. A flea like you doesn't deserve the rumors."

He was hesitant at first, but let down his guard. Izaya hid the knife in his pocket, turned on his heel and ran off, leaving me and the bench alone.

I was definitely and undoubtedly leaving the group after those damn three sessions.

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