Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon
A/N: This is a warning to you all. This chapter contains suicide (mostly thoughts on and attempts) and some questionable language.
A/N2: I'm sorry this took so long to get out. I'm really really sorry. I was originally going to do this chapter about TK but I couldn't figure out what to do so I gave up and decided to do this. And just to let you all know, every disease and disorder in this fic has been heavily researched by me so any facts on them will be true.
She ran a pale finger over her wrist. It had completely healed since the last time she had done this. There were scars; pale white lines that overlapped the ones from last time, and the time before, and the other hundred times she'd done it. A smile crossed her face as she lifted the silver razor so it glinted in the light.
It was sadistic and dazed. With a sigh of determination, she pressed the razor against her wrist and watched the thin cut appear. Crimson blood spilled over her pallid skin. All she could do was stare at it and grimace.
The drugs had already sunk in .
Tera sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes. It was way too early to be up, but her stomach was going insane. She couldn't sleep. The new medication they had her on was making her stomach do flips while it warded off sleep. Pushing herself out of bed, she climbed from her bunk and checked on Taylor. The younger girl was oddly peaceful as she slept in her bed. It was the first time in the three years they had shared the same room that she was this peaceful.
Slipping her feet into the blue slippers her brother had given her, she padded out of the room. The hall was dark, and it took a moment for her eyes to adjust to it; she had a nightlight in her room. Then she noticed that the light in the bathroom was on. Shrugging it off, she went downstairs to find something to sooth her stomach.
Twenty minutes later found Tera climbing up the stairs, feeling slightly better, but just as tired. As she shuffled down the hall she noticed the light in the bathroom still on. Curious she stopped at the door and knocked. No answer. With a shrug, she opened the door and stopped.
"Kari?!" In the farthest corner of the bathroom, Kari sat on the white tiled floor pressed against the bathtub. The younger girl didn't bother to look up at Tera. Tera stepped into the bathroom, blinking as the lights blinded her. "Kari, what are you doing?" Kari still didn't look at her, but pushed herself farther into the corner. Tera crouched by Kari.
Her eyes found the red stained razor in Kari's hand, saw the cut across her wrist. Her stomach lurched as she stared at the cut, feeling a wave of nostalgia hit her. She threw herself at the toilet bowl. Her entire breakfast, lunch and dinner from the previous day came up into the porcelain bowl. Kari watched as Tera heaved into the toilet, too out of it to be disgusted. Tera's reaction surprised her; she'd always figured Tera would have a pretty strong stomach. She glanced down at her bleeding wrist, was it really that gruesome?
Tera fell away from the toilet, coughing as she did, and flushed the toilet. Her stomach churned inside of her, threatening to release its contents once again. She sat there for a minute, recovering from dry heaves and holding back a sob. Her stomach hurt worse than before.
Tera sucked in a breath before going to Kari's side again. She looked down at the blood then at the razor in the girl's hand. "Kari, gimme the razor." Kari grunted no in response. "Gimme the damn razor, Kari!" She lunged for it, stupid as that seemed, in an attempt to grab it. Kari jerked. A line of red appeared across Tera's palm. "Fuck!" She jumped back holding her hand to her chest. Kari stared at her with wavering vision. Tera pushed herself off the floor and held her hand under the faucet. She hissed as the cold water hit the cut. Quickly she dried and wrapped her hand in a bandage.
Kari watched with curiosity. Not that she really cared whether or not she died, but why would someone be taking care of a small cut on their palm when someone else's wrist was bleeding? (Keep that detail in mind.)
Finally, Tera knelt by Kari once again, with her hand wrapped and blood on her nightshirt. "I don't want to fucking fight with you, gimme the razor!"
Kari held it to her wrist again. "Are you going to tell Gennai?"
"What?! No!" She grabbed the razor, successfully this time. "What the hell were you thinking?" She chucked the blade into the open toilet, then retrieved a wet red cloth and pressed it against Kari's wrist. Kari grunted at how hard Tera held it against her wrist. "Don't you dare complain! You did this to yourself and I'm just stopping the bleeding." She pulled the cloth away and wiped away the excess blood. "Where else?"
"Where else?" Tera snapped, insistently. Kari opened the palm of her bleeding arm to reveal three bleeding notches on the side of her hand. "Wonderful." Tera rang the cloth out into the sink and wiped away the blood off Kari's palm. She was surprisingly gentle this time.
Tera got up and got some cotton gauze and bandages. She expertly wrapped Kari's wrist and hand, but refused to look up at the younger girl. "Kari, go to bed," she ordered, her voice hushed and throaty, like she was going to cry. "I'm not even going to ask you what all this is about, because you're out of it. Just go to bed." Tera stood up, pushing her hair out of her face. "Come on." She held out her hand and Kari took it with the non-shredded hand. Tera tenderly helped her up and into the room they shared. She laid Kari down on her bed. Kari felt a wave of exhaustion come crashing down on her. Within minutes she was asleep.
Tera sat down on Taylor's bed, staring at the bandages on Kari's arm. Subconsciously she traced the lines on her own arms. Seeing what Kari had done just reminded her how gruesome that entire experience had been. It was so painful...so familiar. She forced herself up onto her own bunk above Taylor, wincing as she put weight on her hand. It was bleeding through the bandage. Had Kari's blood come in contact with her own?
Sitting in the living room, Kari played with the lose fitting bracelet that sat strategically placed on her left wrist. It had been two days since the incident in the bathroom with Tera. Those two days had left her wrist and hand raw and pained. They'd also left her tormented and anxious. Tera had caught her. Would Tera tell? Would Tera get her kicked out, would she get Gatomon deleted? Sure, she had agreed not to tell Gennai, but only because Kari had held a bloodstained razor to her arm, a hair's breadth from the vital vein. And in the past two days, Tera had avoided her.
The front door opened and Kari jumped to her feet. Matt and Taylor walked through the foyer, past the entrance of the living room without even a glance her way. They walked in silence, but she could see Matt's hand wrapped around Taylor's. Tai and Aaron came in after them, chatting. Sora followed, looking paler then usual. Tera walked behind all of them, looking down at the floor.
"Tera!" Kari called. Tera's head snapped up and her eyes fell upon Kari. She paused in the foyer in front of the living room. "Can I talk to you for a sec?"
"Um " she glanced to the others, who she had entered with uncomfortably, but they had already dispersed. "Yeah, I guess." She entered the living room and set her messenger bag on the couch. "What about?" she asked, looking away.
"Tera, come on," Kari snapped desperately.
"What do you want me to say, Kari?" Tera snapped back. "I've been in that position, I know what it's like to have twenty different people breathing down your back, watching your every move. It's a bitch! So, what do you want me to say that won't end with you telling me to go to hell?!"
"Are you going to tell Gennai?" Kari asked.
Tera's fists, clenched and shaking, loosened. "Do I need to? Wait, wrong response. Of course I need to, you're killing yourself."
Tera just stared at her. "It's not something that me or anyone else here hasn't heard. How long?"
"How long? How long have you been doing this?"
"Tera, I don't want to talk about it. I just wanna know-"
"Too fucking bad! You brought me into this conversation and you will finish it with me! I wanna know. How long have you been cutting?"
Kari's lips formed a thin line across her face as she looked away. What did Tera want from her? All she wanted to know was if she was going to be told on.
"Kari, do you want to see something?"
Kari met Tera's eyes. "What?"
Tera pushed up one sleeve of her long sleeved blue shirt to reveal the lower half of her arm, which she always kept hidden. Soft looking white scars raced across her arm, overlapping each other. Even more gathered at the crook of her arm, but these were more grisly looking and didn't seem to be knife-cuts. Kari bit back a gasp. "I've done it too. And I'm not saying that because I've been in the same situation as you because I haven't. We probably did this for totally different reasons, whatever they may be. If you want to talk to someone I'm here. I know what its like." Tera pushed down her sleeve. "Now, how long have you been cutting for?"
Kari sighed. "A year and a half."
"Damn " Tera shook her head. "How deep?"
"Not enough to scar too much."
Tera held out an open hand. "Lemme see." Kari held out her arm and Tera pulled off the shimmering bracelet. Kari was right. Aside from the new slashes there weren't any scars, except light ones that really couldn't be seen. "You're not in too much over your head I guess." She put Kari's bracelet back in her hand. "You were on something too, weren't you? You were completely out of it, and I don't think it was blood loss that did it to you."
"I wasn't on anything."
Tera shrugged. "Whatever. Don't do it again, okay?" She glanced to the doorway to make sure no one was coming. "If I catch you or see anymore cuts, I'm going to Gennai."
"Not yet. But I'm serious." Tera ran a hand through her hair, making her bangs stand straight up. "Don't do this again, got me?" Kari nodded. "I got homework." She turned and walked out of the room, leaving Kari less sure of herself than before.
"Where are we going?" Kari asked from the backseat of the car. Gennai was driving, Tera was sitting beside him. Kari sat beside her brother.
Tai sighed as he stared out the window. "Therapy," he said.
"What?!" Kari snapped. "I don't want to go to therapy! I don't need some idiot doctor to tell me I'm nuts, while he gets paid three hundred dollars an hour!."
Tera glanced behind her seat. "Actually it's more like fifty bucks. For every four people he gets a discount or something," she joked, brushing her long brown bangs out of her eyes.
"Tera, that's enough," Gennai scolded lightly, his eyes fixated on the road.
"Sorry Gennai." She turned back around in her seat.
"Why are you coming?" Kari snapped, trying to keep an angry edge in her voice, but it came out softer than normal. Tera held Kari's entire future in her hands, might as well suck up. "Do you have to talk to the shrink?"
"No, my appointment is next week. I have a doctor's appointment."
Again?, Kari thought to herself as she stared at the window. The sights of Tucson preparing for Christmas whizzed by her eyes. Fake snow caked windows framed in tinsel. Santas dressed in stuffy red suits standing in front of stores, ringing bells for charity. Kari couldn't help but feel sorry for them. It was December 2nd and it was still 76 degrees out. So hot.
The car pulled to a stop in the parking lot of a creme colored building. Gennai got out of the car and Tera followed. With nervous glances at each other, Tai and Kari got out and followed the pair.
The place looked nice enough. It was a big white building, roses were planted in front. On one wide window, in black letters, read: Dr. Steven Terisom. Then, under that: Dr. Brandon Richards. The walked in through the automatic doors, and immediately felt a blast of cold air hit them. The AC was cranked up.
Gennai walked up to a desk that sat by the entrance. A woman with gray hair sat behind it, typing away at the keyboard of a computer, with long white fingernails. Kari stared at the nails in disgust until Gennai cleared his throat. The woman looked up at him.
"Well, hello Mr. Harrison, how are you today?"(Remember Gennai's real world identity?) She said, her voice soft and sugary. It made Kari sick to listen to her.
"Just fine, Joanne, and yourself?" Gennai asked politely.
"I'm good, Mr. Harrison." She glanced over at Tera who had rested her head on her arms on the desk. "Hey Tera, how're things?"
"Just fine, Mrs. Jeramin."
"You don't have an appointment today, do you?" The woman looked down at the appointment book that sat open under her hands with the long fingernails.
"No," Gennai replied quickly. "It's for another two. I made the appointment for a-"
"High-Karri and a Taichee Yag-uh-my?" The woman interrupted reading the names. Kari cringed as she attempted at saying her name.
"That's Hikari and Taichi Yagami," Gennai replied calmly, as Tai looked like he was about to scream. He gestured to the Yagami siblings standing behind him.
Damn Americans, Kari thought to herself.
"Right. Sorry," she apologized with a tender smile on her powdered face.
"It's fine," Tai replied, his voice curt.
"Dr. Terisom will see TaichI," emphasis on the I, "in fifteen minutes. Dr. Richards can see Hi-Kari," emphasis on HI, "in about twenty."
"Thank you," Gennai nodded. "Why don't the three of you take a seat?" he suggested to Tai, Kari and Tera. "When the two of you are called in, I have to take Tera to her appointment, okay?" Tai nodded and followed Tera to the seats that formed the waiting area. Gennai looked back at the woman.
"So how many kids is that, Gennai?" She asked with a laugh. "Seven?"
"Yep. I brought five down from Japan last June."
He glanced over at the three in the waiting area chairs. Tera was staring at something on her hand, Tai had picked up a magazine and Kari was looking around, looking bored as hell. Every so often, her eyes would fall upon Tera, and a look of worry would fall upon her soft features.
"How do you find these kids, Gennai?" The elderly woman asked, looking at the three.
"Luck?" Gennai suggested with a sigh.
"Finding kids who are hurt this bad isn't luck. It's tragedy," she replied with a shake of her head. Gennai had come to this office, these doctors, for every kid he had, except Taylor, who had refused. Joanne Jeramin had seen enough hurt kids for one lifetime. "So what's the story on these two?"
"Their parents died in a robbery. They didn't see it, but they heard everything. For about a year they were shuffled around among family, but no one really wanted to deal with them." Gennai looked regretfully at the pair, who seemed to be sitting as far apart as pssible. They never got along anymore, although they both seemed to want to.
"That's really terrible."
"Yeah, it really is. They're good kids, at least they used to be. I just don't know anymore." There was exhaustion in his voice.
"Oh, by the way, the doctor wanted you to give these to them." She reached into a file cabinet and pulled out two papers. Gennai took them from her and looked them over. The top of the page read: 'Who are you?', in big bold letters.
"Can I have three more of these?"
"Huh? Oh yeah, Dr. Richards had me make like a hundred copies. They're mostly for child patients."
"That's perfect. I'll have these brought to you later." He shoved the papers into his pocket.
"Thanks, Gennai." A buzzer on the desk rang. " Dr. Terisom will see TaichI now."
Tera sat on the examination table, looking around the white walled doctor's office as she swung her legs over the side. Her hands rested neatly, bottoms pointed downward to hide them. Her doctor made it an order to show her arms anytime she was there as a precaution. Gennai thought it was a good idea, since he couldn't seem to get her to do it at home.
The doctor entered and quietly shut the door behind himself. "Hello Tera," he greeted warmly.
"Hi Dr. Guvin," she replied with a smile. (HAHAHA! Guvin made an appearance! Okay, so I'm not creative and decided to use the doctor from Savior. So sue me, Guvin kicks ass!)
Dr. Guvin walked over to Gennai and shook his hand. "How are you today, Mr. Harrison?"
"Just fine Joseph, and yourself?" Gennai replied.
The green-eyed doctor set Tera's charts on the examination table beside her. "I'm just fine. Over worked, but fine." He smiled at Tera, and his eyes twinkled behind his thin glasses. "How you doin' kid?"
"Fine, I've been feeling better than usual."
Guvin looked at Gennai, who leaned against the wall in the corner with his arms crossed. "Yeah, that's what seems to be the truth."
"Okay." Guvin took out his stethoscope and listened to her chest. "Are you still taking the Zaferan?"
"No," she replied. He looked up at her. "Tera!"
"What?" She snapped. "I volunteered to take it and it made me sick to my stomach. I didn't sleep for an entire week. I couldn't focus in school either."
"Did you tell Gennai?" She shook her head as he looked into her mouth. "Say ah."
"Did you go back to your old prescription?" She nodded. "Good. Arms." She held out her arms for inspection. Her hands were clenched into fists. "Hands." She opened them with a sigh of hesitation. A jagged cut appeared across one of her palms. He tapped it lightly and she withdrew in pain. "What's that?"
"I got into a fight," she replied. Gennai perked up at the word 'fight'. He really hadn't been listening.
"With what, a broken bottle?" Guvin snapped. She didn't say anything, just bit her lip and stared down at the floor. He sighed. "I gotta take some blood. Then I'll get you a refill for your prescription, alright?" She nodded. "I'll let the nurse know." He turned, taking her charts in hand. "Gennai, can I speak to you?" Tera looked regretfully at the pair as they left.
Guvin shut the door and retreated into his office with Gennai following.. Once inside, Gennai closed the door. "What's wrong?"
Guvin looked at Gennai, trying to decide the best way to approach this. "Has Tera shown any tendencies towards depression again?"
"No, why?" Gennai asked surprised. Tera had actually been doing surprisingly well.
"Did you see the cut across her palm?" Gennai shook his head. "It has the same makings of a cut made by a razor."
Gennai rubbed his eyes. "Damn."
"I think you should have Eli talk to her. They seem to be getting along well. He could probably get whatever's going on out of her," Guvin suggested, cleaning his glasses as he spoke.
"I'll have him do that," Gennai replied.
"Okay, that's all. Watch her, Gennai."
"I will," Gennai replied before exiting the office.
"I'm sorry, Kari." He paused. "I love you." He sighed and kissed her cheek. He stood up and walked toward the door.
"I love you too, Tai," was all she could muster as tears flooded her vision. "And I'm sorry more "
She snapped awake as the last of the dream receded from her mind. She looked around, trying to figure out where she was. At home, Gennai's home. She rubbed her forehead as she tried to clear her head. Why did that dream keep haunting her? Why couldn't she just hate her brother?
With a defeated sigh, she reached under her pillow. Her hand clasped around a small tin container. She was about to pull it out, her mind already anticipating the drugs, when a sound from the other bunk caught her attention. She let go of the tin and looked up.
Tera was sitting up in her bed, knees pulled to her chest, her eyes fixated on the wall. In the dim light of Taylor's nightlight, Kari could see sweat glistening on Tera's face. "Tera?" Kari heard herself say. "Are you okay?"
Tera looked down at her. "Yeah." she breathed out slowly, clearly in pain. Kari bit her lip; this wasn't the first time she had found Tera like this. "I just don't feel well. Don't worry about it. I'll be fine by morning."
"You always say that. Why don't you ever get better?" Kari questioned, swinging her legs over the side of the bed.
"Drop it Kari!" Tera wiped her face with her sleeve. "I don't want to talk about it!"
"Are you sick?"
"Yes, now leave me alone!" Tera snapped. Kari sighed, tempted to reach for the tin again.
"Gennai thinks I'm cutting again. Or at least that's what my doctor told him. Just because of the cut on my hand I got from you."
"I can't do that all over again," she began to sob. She began choking, and before Kari could think of what was happening, Tera was running out of the room. From her seat still on her bed, Kari could heard Tera throwing up in the bathroom.
Quietly, Kari got up and went to the boys room, not knowing what else to do, and woke Aaron. "Aaron," she whispered as she shook him.
He opened his eyes and squinted at her. "Kari, what's wrong?" He asked, his voice thick with sleep as he rolled over onto his back, trying to untangle himself from the sheet he slept under.
"Tera's getting sick in the bathroom," she whispered. He jerked upright. "I didn't know who else to get." He jumped out of bed, stumbling over the ladder of the bunk bed and letting out a few curses as he dragged his sheet down with him. He took off down the hall and slipped into the bathroom. Kari followed and stood in the doorway, squinting at the light.
Aaron knelt down beside Tera, dressed in only blue striped boxers, as his best friend vomited and sobbed over the toilet. He held back her hair and felt her forehead, frowning as he did. She finished, and he reached into the medicine cabinet and withdrew a cup and a prescription bottle. He filled the cup with water and again knelt by Tera, handing her the water and a small white pill. She gulped them both down before he enveloped her in a hug.
"See, it's okay," he whispered as she broke down in his arms. He wiped her face with a washcloth and she just sobbed.
Kari just watched them from the doorway, sick to her stomach.
Okay, I'm really sorry this took so long to get out. I hope this was up to standards. Okay, I just want to say thank you to my beta reader, Cherry Seraphym, she truly is the greatest, go see some of her stuff.
I have to be completely honest, most of the scenes set between Tera and Kari where they were talking about "cutting" was modeled after conversations I had with my best friend and conversations she in turn had with me. I know all about cutting or self-mutilation because I've tried it. This is a very serious matter because you can get in over your head and it's addicting. If you do do it, find someone you trust and confide in them. Or go to an adult because doing this doesn't help!
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