Waking up had become nothing less than agony.Before he had arrived here, mornings had been sweet, if at times annoying. The annoyance had usually stemmed from how much sleep he had gotten, if any at all, but that wasn’t what his mind always chose to focus on. No, the parts that his mind chose to focus on were the ones that made him ache in ways that weren’t at all physical. Physical pain hadn’t had any meaning since he was around seven years old, but mental, emotional, psychological pain? That was the kind of pain that still gutted him, the kind of pain that still rendered him running to Aki or Hanbee. Except that here, in this place, there were no Aki or Hanbee to run to. He had found a psychiatrist in Terminus, of course, as that was the most technologically and medically advanced sector, but it wasn’t the same. It could and would never be the same; Aki had been his first real best friend, and no-one could ever replace her. Finding a psychiatrist to write him the prescriptions he needed to remain sane was simply a means to an end.All of that aside, waking up would always remind him immediately and painfully of the fact that he wasn’t in his own world, anymore. Waking up with Hanbee beside him had been more of a rarity than a normal occurrence, but waking up without Hanbee had been even rarer. After all, without his partner, he was liable to oversleep on the best of days, and not sleep at all on the worst. Without Hanbee, on the best of days he would subsist on a doughnut or three, while on the worst he wouldn’t eat at all. Without his other half, he was likely to forget to take his medications, and thus scare the living daylights out of everyone that cared about him with his mania. Without his boyfriend, as sad as it sounded, he couldn’t really function. Here in Elysion, waking up to a tiny, one room apartment wasn’t very different – except that it was different in all the ways that mattered. It was different because here, he was alone. Here in Halcyon, he was without everyone that he cared for and that cared for him in return.Not even refusing to open his eyes could keep the tears at bay. Because everything sounded different, smelled different, felt different. The apartment as the same size, and just as sparsely furnished, as his apartment back in Tokyo had been, but everything was still different. Jason didn’t rest in its case by the front door. His prosthetic leg was empty of Scorpion. One of Hanbee’s shirts wasn’t squirreled away in the shoe-box that passed for a closet. There wasn’t a chessboard set out on the folding table from that one time that Arima had come over. (He wasn’t very good, but Arima never seemed to mind.) The roughly two feet of counter space was empty of photos – not one of his “mother” and “siblings,” not one of his squad, not one of he and Hanbee on either of their anniversaries. This apartment contained a folding table with two chairs, a futon that served as both a bed and a couch, and nothing else.Deciding that wallowing wasn’t going to do him any good – a decision that he had had to consciously and forcefully make every day in the past few months – the ravenette dragged himself out of bed and into the ridiculously tiny bathroom that was connected to the “main” room by a hallway that hardly even passed for a hallway. The light flicked on, but he didn’t even react as the white tiles threw the light back at him. Haunted red eyes stared out from the mirror’s reflective surface. Bags hung beneath them, a testament to his lack of sleep. His eyes stood out against skin pale as snow, features effeminate and sharp, while black hair tumbled haphazardly past boney shoulders. The gaping neckline of the simple white nightshirt revealed stark collarbones, shadows cast behind them. A line of red thread stood out like blood on snow, a trail of crosses sewn into the skin of his throat and sternum, disappearing beneath the wide neck of the nightshirt.His left hand came up to touch the mirror, palm flat and fingers splayed, loose sleeve pooling at his elbow. Short nails were painted the exact same bloody hue as the thread that marked his body, while stitches wound up his arm. They began at the hollow of his wrist, meandered across the skin under sharp collar bones, and then continued down his right arm. The stitches didn’t stop at his right wrist, but continued to spiral down his hand, finally ending at the tip of his middle finger. Wrenching his gaze away from the mirror, the ex-Ghoul Investigator stripped himself of the nightshirt, allowing more protruding bones, scarred pale flesh, and red stitches to come to light. (The trail of crosses ended level with his hipbones.) The cotton material pooled at his feet, toenails painted bloody red to match his fingernails and stitching, while shadows pooled in the line around his right mid-thigh where his prosthetic met skin. A shower was in order.Turning the knobs, he stepped under the running water, uncaring that it was probably cold enough to burn. Pain meant nothing to him, after all, so he got down to business even as the water heated. Washing his hair took the longest at around ten minutes, while cleaning the rest of himself took around five at most. Inside of twenty minutes, the ravenette was getting out of the shower and drying himself off. He had to be careful of his stitches, as they tended to bulge a bit when exposed to water, but even with that, drying off his hair was once again what took the longest. Leaving the towel on the floor with the nightshirt – he had no-one to clean up for, after all – the petit male crossed the narrow expanse of the “hallway” to the door of the sorry excuse for a closet. Opening the door, he quickly grabbed a pair of underwear from the shelves set into the back of the closet. As he felt like hiding today, a pair of opaque black tights came next.A short-sleeved wine red blouse (with black lace at the collar, hem, and sleeves) was paired with a layered knee-length black skirt (with red ribbon accents). Stepping back into the bathroom, red eyes found the mirror once more, while boney and delicate hands ran a brush quickly and efficiently through his shoulder blade-length black hair. Deciding that he couldn’t be bothered with make-up, he exited the bathroom once more after securing a black velvet choker about his throat. As he moved back to the closet, the small bell attached to it chimed gently. Black kitten heels tied the entire outfit together nicely, as did his usual red hairpins forming the Roman numeral thirteen (XIII) to hold his stubborn bangs out of his eyes. Crossing the main room of his apartment, a glass was quickly filled with milk (chocolate, of course), and used to take his medications. Knowing that he had to eat at least something, an orange was quickly grabbed from the fridge, peeled, and eaten. (As always, the fruit tasted like ashes.)Morning routine finished, his sketchbook and bag of pencils and crayons was retrieved from beside his futon. Situating them in his shoulder bag, along with his wallet and house keys, the ravenette left his apartment. Quickly locking the front door behind himself, he made his way down the few flights of steps that separated his floor of the apartment building from the ground level. Halcyon was busy and loud as always, but his destination wasn’t in the sector he was supposed to call “home” today. A train ticket was easy to purchase, and as always, the trip into the Capitol was uneventful. The Capitol itself was just was lively as Halcyon, but he didn’t stop to take it in; certain things reminded him too much – too painfully – of everyone and everything he had left behind in Tokyo. The Elysion Zoo was a quiet refuge on days like this, on his bad days, where he knew that no-one was likely to pry if he couldn’t fight teas any longer. Gods, who could have known that being torn away from his old life would turn him into such a crybaby…Selecting an empty bench, he pulled out his sketchbook.Tagged: Open.Words: 1425.Notes: First IC post with Juuzou~ Pardon the angst.