Always There: Chapter 11

An Eternity of Memories

"This is ridiculous!" Yuka exclaimed suddenly, obviously impatient, "how long does it take to buy breakfast? Certainly not 4 hours!" She had curled herself up just outside the entrance, waiting with controlled anxiety for Kouta's return. That apprehension was now slowly becoming anger and suspicion. Something was going on—that much was obvious, and she was positive that Nana knew what it was. The naïve diclonius was indeed a horrible liar. Just the fact that she had been skillfully avoiding Yuka this entire time had not escaped her notice—she couldn't have been more conspicuous.

"I'm sure he's just caught up somewhere," Maiyu assured her, placing another cup of green tea and a few biscuits in front of her adoptive mother. Yuka only hung her head, depressed. She knew him better then that. He never got caught up if he could help it.

'He's probably off daydreaming about his precious Nyuu…he couldn't care less about me…'

That thought alone was enough to draw tears to the brunette's eyes. She quickly looked away, hoping that Maiyu didn't see. "Hey…uh, Maiyu? Is Nyuu up yet?" She asked in the steadiest voice she was capable of conjuring upwith all things considered. Which, to say the very least wasn't very stable…just like she was with all affairs concerning Kouta.

Maiyu, whilst worried about Yuka, yet noticing that she had no intention of saying anything about what was upsetting her, decided it was best to simply humor the girl in her quest for a distraction. "Uh…I'll go and check." She said cautiously, rising from her place at the table to head for the stairs. But Nana appeared suddenly in front of her, surprising her for an instant.

"Uh…I was just up there Maiyu," the horned girl started uneasily, all too aware of Yuka's eyes boring into her from out of the corner of her eye. "She's still asleep. She must have been up all last night if she's sleeping in late like this." Nana laughed nervously, watching the puzzled expression on her 'sister's' face with concealed trepidation. Hopefully, she'd drop it and wouldn't ask questions…and she did drop it…

But Yuka didn't.

"Well, I'm going up stairs to wake her up. Sleeping in like this isn't good for a person's health." With tamed ferocity, she made her way over to the stair case, ignoring Nana's attempts to stop her. If she didn't do something soon, Yuka was going to find out that Nyuu wasn't in her bedroom at all and probably go after him when she realized that she'd be with Kouta. But if she did that…he'd never forgive her if something happened to his cousin…

She had promised him. It was for her own good. She had been trying to ignore the fact that she could barely feel Lucy's heartbeat echo in-between her ears. It had grown faint; weaker then a whisper. If she was dying, what about Kouta? Was he okay? Was he even with her?

'No. My job is to protect Yuka not Kouta. I can only hope that Lucy is doing his job…this family is the last remaining happiness I have. If he were to die…this entire family would crumble and I'd be left with no one, just like before…'

"Kouta…" she mumbled with strain, struggling to keep her thoughts positive. She summoned her vectors, convinced that there was no other way to prevent Yuka from harm. She grabbed her, pulling her back down onto the landing.

"Wh…What's-ha-happening…!" She screamed in panic, but Nana ignored her.

"I'm sorry Yuka. Kouta asked me to protect you, and that's what I'll do."

"B-but how…what…where is he? Nana! Tell me what the hell is going on! Where's Nyuu?"

'Come home safe…please…for all our sakes.'

If he didn't know any better, he'd swear this was hell.

His entire body was burning, burning with an unknown, yet unrelenting pain. He couldn't move, couldn't think…the only thing that seemed to serve as an indicator that he was still alive was the hint of blue that he managed to capture now and then through his pinched eyelids. He was obviously shot, that much was certain. But by whom was a concept that eluded him completely. Not that he had the mental capacity or the concentration required to even ponder such things at the moment. The agonizing fire that was ripping through his entire body had him wishing for death as it was.

Maybe…if that person who had shot him had any compassion or conscience whatsoever would see that he was still alive and finish the job quickly enough so he would no longer feel anything…at least Nyuu was safe.

Or so he hoped.


That's when he remembered. He remembered her.

"You don't know how to eat rice balls?" He asked, astonished at first, but at seeing the all too honest expression of innocence on her face, he decided that she probably didn't know how to do anything. "You hold them like this." He held out his hand so that she could see, but instead she leaned over, ready to take a mouthful instead. He gave up then.

"You're hopeless," he muttered, watching while she seemed to enjoy the taste immensely. It was hard to be annoyed with her when she was so cute. "Here, you've got it all over your face." He whipped away the few small grains off her then, unusually pale cheeks. She laughed. He smiled.

"Water…do you think you can bring me a glass of water?" She looked determined enough, but Kouta still remained skeptical. For a start, she didn't even have any pants on. She nodded, and disappeared out the door and down the hallway. He let his head fall back onto his pillow as he listened to her soft footsteps drown out and then come back into earshot seconds later. He opened his eyes when he heard her come in.

She had a slipper.

Perhaps he should've been annoyed… or even angry…but he only grinned, stifling a giggle. "Thank-you for trying."

"Don't cry Kouta…please don't cry…"

"I forgive you, Kanae forgives you! Don't be sad, don't cry!"


"I've fought armies just to have this chance, but now…there's nothing that I can say that will ever be good enough."

"You really don't remember? I have no right…I have no right to be with you."

"I just thought it was a pretty song, that's all…"



Hopefully, by allowing her to live, he would be keeping his promise he made that day on the beach, drenched in the orange light of the setting sun—she'd finally be happy. As much as he wanted to be with her in her joy, he was content with knowing that she would be okay, and eventually lead a life that would be considered as close to 'normal' as humanely possible.

"N-Nyuu…" speaking was impossible, so he tried moving instead. It was a vain attempt. The second he did, a fresh wave of pain shot through his limbs. He couldn't help but scream. His hand was now resting in something damp; something pudding around his body. If he wasn't so disoriented, he would've realized straight away that he was lying in his own blood. He smiled when he saw his blood-stained hand; it was the perfect likeliness of her. It was kind of ironic he noted— that the girl that he was obsessed with was coursing through his very veins. No wonder he couldn't stop thinking about her. He would have laughed had he been in a better condition.

He remembered Maiyu; her sweet temperament that brought instant happiness into the house no matter how dark it was. Nana and her impossible naivety that made her both incredibly sweet and willing despite the horrendous life she had before. Her love for food and her bravery at protecting those she cared for. They both had to face experiences in their life that no child should ever have had to face, yet; somehow, they came out virtually unscathed.

He's conscience was slowly fading away…the pain would be over soon, and then he would get right onto his self-appointed task of watching over her and his misfit family. Yuka wasn't going to be happy, he thought. There was something important today, that he just couldn't remember. Boy, she'd never forgive him for forgetting. He could no longer open his eyes, although he had no intention of trying to fight it. Death was a welcome relief from this. Bleeding to death in the sand wasn't exactly how he imagined himself to be leaving this world.

It was with her; his Nyuu…the troubled girl he had known for a lifetime and more.

He'd miss their laughter, their innocence…everything that symboled home for him…he had no choice but to say goodbye to it all.

With one last, strangled breath, he gave in…the last image that floated before his eyes, that of the day he found her, here, on the beach. The exact place where he was to die. It was comforting for some reason…the place where he found peace all those months ago, was to be the place were he'd rest in peace as well.

'I love that little girl I met in the forest all those years ago…and I love Nyuu too. She's unlike any girl I've ever met.'

'I love you…'

"You bastard!" Lucy's pain had been lost to her rage…she was lost in the haze and the fact that she couldn't see only made her angrier. Until she saw him, she'd never be able calm down. She ran, fast; almost as if the bullet embedded in her right shoulder was no burden at all…as if she'd never been shot. Her now burning crimson eyes were set on the man above the ledge. The man who had tried to take Kouta's life. He wasn't dead; she wouldn't allow him to be.

Once she reached the barrier of concrete, she threw her arms down onto the ground with such force that she flew into the air. Not wasting any time, she immediately let her vectors fly at Bando's head, ready to slice it right of his neck. But he fired first, missing her narrowly, but piercing through one of her vectors, sending her off balance. Her invisible hands missed their mark and instead she landed on the sidewalk behind him, almost falling over in the process. He readied another load but she was quicker this time; Using one of her transparent limbs to crush his gun like a piece of worthless paper whilst another grabbed him mercilessly by the throat and hoisted him into the air…suffocating…choking the life from his very body.

She grinned. "So how does it feel, hmmm? To have done to you exactly what you did to him!" Her vectors held him over the retaining wall, forcing him to look down at Kouta's corpse. She saw it too and realized that she could play around like she usually liked to with her prey…she didn't have the time.

"Now you'll know just how he feels! In fact, I think you'll be a lot worse off." She declared, before raising the arm with him in its grasp above her head, sending him throttling down towards the sand as he screamed, utterly terrified. She'd be lying if she said she wasn't enjoying the sound.

Soon enough she heard the almost deafening crack and explosion of sand that ensured the impact. Once the sand cleared, his body was left maimed and lifeless in a giant crater, almost the size of the helicopter on the other side of the beach.

Without even a glance of pity at her now harmless predator, she again threw herself into the air, flying towards the aircraft and the man in charge of it. The blades were already spinning. In the heat of her previous fight with Bando, she hadn't noticed the coward trying to escape. By the time she reached it, it was already airborne, turning towards the east, sand whipping around her in a furious tornado. But she had no intention of letting him escape this time. She managed to grab one of the landing bars with her ghostly limbs, pulling it back down to the ground, expending all her energy to keep it in place whilst her other hands got to work on disassembling it.

They got to work in no time at all, pushing the sides of it together with little effort, crushing everything inside. She heard the brief sounds of someone yelling and running, trying to escape. That made her pleased…she quickly closed it in, enough so that he couldn't get out, but was still alive.

And then she stopped.

He listened.

"I'm not going to kill you," she started, speaking loudly enough for him to hear. "But I can assure you that you will die; a slow, painful and lonely death. That will be your penance for killing so many of my own kind in the same way."

She was surprised when he heard him laugh, but wasn't agitated enough to ask why.

"And you're an angel are you?" He asked in a mocking tone. "Have you forgotten what you are? Have you forgotten how many lives you've taken? How much blood has spilt on this god forsaken planet because of your kind?And you're calling me a killer. I was simply eradicating a problem…a pest…a threat to the livelihood of humankind." His voice was muffled, but proud as it made its way through the thick steel encasing his body. If he was afraid of dying, he was showing no signs of it.

"We're human, despite what you may think," she spoke softly, convincing herself more then Kakazawa. "I have proof enough of that in my existence…and you had no right to take that from me! You had no right to take it from any of us. We wouldn't be killers had you not tortured us…if you just left us alone. We just wanted someone to care!"

"How could anyone care about monsters like you when all you do is destroy? All humans will die if you live. If you do care, you'll do the world a favor and do away with yourself!" He countered, confident in his conviction.

She smiled. "You're right," she said simply. "I don't care…about you" And with that last comment, she tossed the tangled wreck right out into the ocean and watched it sink—satisfied with the knowledge that he would do no harm to anyone anymore; diclonius and human alike. And when the realization came that there was no longer a threat, the pain returned as the adrenaline in her veins slowed, releasing her body from its glorious affects.

She fell to her knees in sudden agony, watching the world around her blur. She looked down at the clothes she'd been wearing; soaked in her own blood. That must have been why Kakazawa laughed—he knew she was going to die…and there was nothing she could do to stop it. She fell onto the soft, golden grains beneath her, rolling onto her back and looking up at the sky. She tried to get up, but once again found that it was impossible.

She couldn't remember feeling this regretful. First Kouta's family, and now Kouta himself. She should have known…this was the price she paid for staying alive when she should have died that night she tried to say goodbye. It really should have been her corpse rotting in the sand, not his. He was human, he had a life—a family that needed him. And all she was doing was holding onto an unattainable dream that could never exist…never happen as long as she lived.

This was her penalty for being the selfish creature that she was…and it was worse then being killed herself. She tried to seek his form through the blurred, dull vision of her eyes, but nothing came. She jerked her head north, hoping to find him anywhere…she was anxious, panicking. Maybe if she could find him, he'd forgive her…tell her that everything would be okay, and that he wasn't angry. She couldn't find him, her eyes abruptly fluttering closed despite all the effort she used to keep them open.

Something caught her eye as they dashed around in her skull; and then she saw him—a faint, motionless figure…far away…it was dark, and he seemed to be drifting. Drifting away into the shadows, away from her, leaving her to die alone on the suddenly frozen sad underneath her body.


'I'm sorry…so sorry. Please…forgive me. I was too selfish to leave you…to save you. Now you have to pay the price for my sins. I'm sorry.'

'Don't cry.'

Just like that the tears stopped, her chest ceased to move with the rhythm of her breathing and her eyes dulled; still open.

And somewhere far off in the distance, a thousand miles away, she could hear a little boy crying…

When the girl came to, she was faintly aware of the smell of grass…of trees and flowers—a thick scent full of moisture. The sent of a rainforest that brought on a strong sense of nostalgia, but her brain was too weak to make the connection just yet. A cold, icy prick on her forehead made her eyes cringe at the sudden shiver that ran through her body. That was followed seconds later by thousands more and she suddenly sprang upright, her eyes open and alert.

She was in a clearing; the thick, dark green vegetation forming a barrier around the small patch of dirt and leaves she was currently in. It began to rain heavily then, the drenching praline-land rain soaking the forest floor and its current occupant along with it. Her bright, exuberant crimson eyes assessed the gray sky with an unknown source of happiness. Why this weather made her happy she had no idea, but she smiled anyway, enjoying the feeling of the cool liquid running down her cheeks.

'Why do I feel like I know this place?'

It was a surprise to her that she didn't seem to feel the cold; her simple white blouse and red pleated skirt were saturated, gluing the thin fabric to her pale, alabaster skin underneath. In theory she should have been freezing, but not even her breath indicated any indication of the current temperature. She decided to move; knowing that sitting here all day wouldn't make any progress—even if she didn't know exactly was she was looking for.

Pushing the trees aside, she made her way through the walls of trunks and branches, falling and slipping every now and then because the rain had made the jagged rocks slippery. She didn't know how long she followed her own self-directed track, but she felt compelled to keep going, to keep searching. Time was lost to her as she hiked; the rain never stopping, her legs never tiring.

It was sometime later when she first heard the sound. At first, she had thought that it was just an animal of some sort, growling or calling for another of its kind. But as she kept on walking, the noise became clearer, and she soon realized that it was…someone…or something…and they sounded very sad. For some reason, the sound made her upset too whist tugging once again at the dusty strings of an old memory that refused to re-surface. She kept moving, the sound becoming sharper, the crying louder, making her almost want to cry herself. She made a sprint for the end of the trees then, when they came into plain sight, knowing all too well by now that that's where the noise was originating from.

The anguished cries were calling her, and she felt compelled to answer them.

With a sudden and careless brush of the scrubs, she jumped out of the forest and out onto a narrow path, leading past a huge, graceful camphor tree and up a steep slope. Under the old protective branches, her eyes fell upon a young boy; his raven hair glistening with the shine of the rain. He was sitting alone, in a fetal position. His face was hidden from view as it laid carefully concealed in-between his legs. He was crying, and beside him sat an old, battered looking wooden box with an engraved gold plaque.

'He looks so familiar…'

This time, her mind was pushing almost painfully against the retrains of her memory. Fighting to remember why she knew everything, yet knew nothing. It was irritating her, almost as if whenever she forced herself against the impenetrable barrier she was rebounded back, denied the information she craved so badly.

She gave up after a few tries and decided to try talking to the boy instead. Maybe he knew where she was.

"Uh…h-hello," she said. "My name is Lucy and I…I'm a little lost. Can you help me?"

"No," The boy sobbed, "I'm busy…I…I've lost someone and I…I can't find them anywhere!"

"Oh," she considered that for a moment whist removing a waterlogged lock of her flaming red hair from her eyes. "Well, uh…what's there name? Maybe I can help?"

"I can't remember," he whispered, sniffling slightly. "I don't even remember what they look like."

"That's too bad," She waited a moment before continuing, listening to the sound of the rain, suddenly engrossed by the mud she was squishing in-between her toes. "Hey, what's your name?"

"Kouta." He replied, eyeing her cautiously.

And at the mention of his name, something broke through the hazy barrier in her mind…a memory…

She wouldn't for the life of her allow her arms to budge for an instant. They were locked tightly around a young mans neck, refusing to let go. She was crying with an unfathomable sadness that she couldn't understand, an inner voice speaking in her mind, "How can you give so much to me so selflessly, when I've taken away from you the only thing you've ever loved?" But instead of voicing that inner thought, she'd opted for the simplest way to explain how she truly felt.

"Kouta…you're so nice…you're so nice…Kouta!"


Her eyes snapped shut then; the warm content feeling she held onto a moment ago slipping back into her mind, chained away for further deliberation later. Right now, she had a boy staring at her as if she was on drugs. She blushed when he didn't look away, feeling the heat rise in her cheeks. He smiled ruefully when he saw her response, doing his best to feign ignorance when he realized that perhaps he had been looking too long. But, she just seemed so…familiar…

'Her eyes…her hair…they're not…normal. It's so cool!'

"Do you think…that it's possible…" now he was blushing, and Lucy couldn't fathom why. "Do you think that it's possible that maybe…" he was struggling, that much was obvious, so she decided to help.

"Possible that what?"

He sighed shakily. "That perhaps it's you I'm looking for?"

She was honestly shocked. "What makes you say that? I don't even know you."

He grew solemn then, as if recalling a very difficult time in his life. "There was a voice…a man's voice. It was odd; I knew that I'd heard it before, almost as if I'd spoken those words myself."

For some inexplicable reason, she was instantly curious. "What did he say?" She took a step closer, waiting patiently for his reply.

"He said: 'Find her…take her home…make her happy. Just like you promised.'" He waited to gauge in her reaction, and was surprised when she began to consider it. "But why me?" She asked incredulously, again lost to the reason as to why she even bothering with asking. Then she remembered the man from her flashback and wondered if that's why she was doing this.

"I don't know, but I think it's you. I like you already and so far I've only known you for a couple of minutes. I've been on my own here a short while, and was wondering why nobody else was around. So ummm…do you wanna see the house?"

This caught her completely off guard. "W-what?"

He had misinterpreted her uneasiness for genuine interest. "Well, I've been staying there for awhile, alone…seeing as nobody else seems to be in this forest. It's very nice. It's old and traditional, but it's big with at least 10 rooms. It has a really beautiful garden. And this really cool old grandfather clock…"

He eyes widened at his words, diverting themselves from his face and incongruously re-focusing on the small wooden cube at his feet.

"What is that?" She asked, pointing at it to make it blatantly obvious to him what she was interested in. He looked away, confused for a brief moment, taking a minute to acknowledge the object of her inquisitiveness.

"A music box." He replied simply. "It's my favorite song."

"Really?" That didn't surprise her as much as it should've. Again, just with everything else in this stupid world, it was playing havoc with her sense of déjà vu. She hated it. It was so distracting and irritating! Why couldn't she just remember!

"Do you want to listen?" He offered picking it of the ground. It had been pouring, yet the wood seemed pervious to the water's affects…it was almost dry.

"It looks beautiful," she noted, running a palm along its smooth exterior. "Where did you get it?"

He laughed. "I honestly don't know," he admitted quietly, looking longingly at the plaque's engraved letters on the top. "I woke up with it next to me. For some reason, I just knew that I loved it."


He opened it without another moment of delay, twisting the delicate handle on the side to wind up the old tune…

…and then the melody began to play.

At first, she just noticed at what a melancholy, lonely and heart-wrenching tone was echoing within the narrow confides of the wood, but with the beginning of the second round, images began to dance impossibly fast in front of her eyes—almost as if, the moment he'd lifted that lid, the fogginess clouding her memories was dissolved. They battered at her mind relentlessly, pounding everything into her head so quickly that she thought she was going to explode.

She now knew him…his face, his voice…his actions…

And what she'd done to him all those years ago as a payment for being such a wonderful friend.

'What are you talking about? We're friends…that's why I didn't kill you. Now, for that stupid girl…'

That was probably one of the few things she could've easily forgotten.

She remembered Yuka, Nana and Maiyu…even Wanta. She remembered home.

She recalled fighting on the beach, to save Kouta's life…and her own. Obviously fighting for both in vain it seemed…and as illogical and impossible as it seemed, that was when the truth finally hit her—bet before she could even voice her words, the frames of her life disappeared as the box closed, all traces of the young boy Kouta had vanished and she was left alone once again in the rain…

A whispered note…somewhere…played then, the same notes from the momentous box rang softly on each raindrop that fell at her feet, slowly drifting up the pathway, past the ancient camphor tree and up the steep ledge. Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a boy with black hair, a nostalgic green shirt and red trousers, his identity instantly dawning on her.

"Kouta, wait!" She cried, but he only disappeared around the corner. She ran after him through the slippery mud and rain, tearing around the sharp bend, expecting to see his face. She could faintly hear him hum the tune to his music box as he ran, using the noise as a tool to guide her on this wild goose chase. He always managed to stay just out of sight, and she soon realized that that was exactly what he must have intended. He kept her just out of reach, teasing her with the song that symbolized their brief moments of happiness together when they were children.

It was enough, soon she happened upon a set of stone stairs leading all the way up a hill…she'd been up these so many times she would have to have been crazy not to see what they belonged to.

And sure enough, there it was…the front entrance to the Kaida House. Her home watching over the small ocean community of Kamakura…

"I love coming up here and looking at the view," he said distracted, watching the oranges, pinks, purples and blues of the sunset afternoon slowly vanishing behind the mountains.

"Thanks. I had a great time today." She spoke in a hushed, strained tone. He was leaving soon—in exactly two days…gone for a whole year before she could see him again. She'd promised herself that she wouldn't cry because he wasn't leaving just yet, but the salty liquid sprang to the corners of her ruby eyes regardless.

"It was my pleasure," he admitted honestly. "I enjoyed it too."

'This is the part where he walks away,' she thought, every cell in her body crying out in anticipation. He must have sensed her helplessness at his side, because albeit softly, he began to hum their song. Each note drifting happily off his lips despite the melancholic nature of its origin. She cheered up then, truly believing that she would see him again…she just had to wait.

"Goodbye." He said, turning on his heal to wave before disappearing down the steps. She still stared after him when he was gone…

The front gate opened easily enough…

She followed the path through to the front of the house, taking note of all the familiar gardens that surrounded the old Japanese restaurant. She slowed upon coming to the door inside, realizing that it was wide open like it always was— 5 bowls splayed neatly on the small table where they always ate, garnished with chopsticks resting on the rim. The cushions had been placed on the faded green tatami rather fashionably, almost as if Yuka were here with her ever anal 'spotlessly clean' habits.

But she couldn't be here could she?…not unless…

"You're finally home," someone whispered, genuinely pleased.

She looked up to the doorway, a small, sad smile gracing her lips as she watched him.

"I'm sorry."

He looked unnaturally surprised. "What for?"

Tears once again sprang to her eyes, trailing down her cheeks at the memory of it all. "For not saving you."


"I tried…but then afterwards I was so tired and I just…" She threw her head into her hands, still standing at the bottom of the stairs; a sobbing 10 year old girl, scared with the evil in her life.

"It's okay," he soothed, pacing across the large sunlit room to the edge of straw mats beneath his feet. "There was nothing you could've done. Besides, what's passed is past."

"But," she started to protest before curtly being interrupted.

"Just come up here," he encouraged softly, stretching an arm out to her. "As cute as you were when you were little, I still prefer your old self." She took the gesture willingly, never taking her eyes of his face as he helped her up the small incline. As soon as she passed the threshold, she was no longer the depressed, lonely little girl she had once been, but was instead her usual older self.

He embraced her then, placing a loose hand on the back of her head whilst the other draped carefully around her shoulders. "You did everything you could," he said this time in a much more serious tone. "And I'm grateful for that."

"Does that mean… that we really did…" she left the sentence hanging, but she didn't need to finish it for him to know what she meant.

"What does it matter?" He contradicted, pulling away slightly to look at her face. "We now have eternity. Isn't that enough?"

"I suppose," was all she could say, before resting lightly against his chest once more. He laughed softly, stroking her hair in a comfortable silence. "What do we do now?"

"We wait," he said. "For the rest of our family."

"When do you think they'll come?"

"In their own time," he replied simply, giving her a quick peck on the cheek.

And once again, he was off, humming the same tune he always did, inches from her ear. Lucy closed her eyes, finally and wholly content with her existence. It was a wonderful release that she thought she'd never get to experience because of what she was. Only now, in his arms did she truly believe what he'd been trying to tell her all along…

It wasn't her fault. Now, with that in mind, she wanted nothing more then to say thank-you…he'd been with her through the whole thing; he'd stuck by her side until he was finally able to make her understand what he meant. In the end, this was all that mattered: For now and all of eternity…

He was always there.

A/N: DONE! Wow…that's what I call a long chapter. Phew. So what did you guys think? I worked my ass of on this one for three night's straight, staying up until 1am in the morning. You'd better like it! I know that I promised not to kill Lucy, but you'll see that although I did, I really didn't if that makes any sense. It's a bit of a philosophical ending, I know, but I just thought that, after everything she's been through, Lucy deserves some peace…and as long as she was alive, she wasn't going to get it.

I killed Kouta too, but they're both happy now so who cares?

I would now just like to thank every one of my reviewers. This story would not have been a success without you and hopefully for you guys, you enjoyed this ending. I read every single one you guys sent me, and their combined strength of encouragement kept me updating this story. I know that there are a number of you who never reviewed, but obviously enjoyed my story anyway, seeing as you had me on your favorites list:P I want to thank you guys too, for simply enjoying it. The fact that I was able to accomplish that feat alone was enough to make me happy.

I truly enjoyed writing this story, and I promise my next one will be out in a week! It's based on an idea presented on the forums, and it'll take on a completely different perspective of the Elfen Lied universe. It explores the possibility that if given different circumstances and outcomes, (i.e. Lucy killing a character other then Kanae and Kouta's father) how much would that alter the characters development throughout the story?

Here's a sneak preview:

Title: The Butterfly Effect

Rating: T

Pairing: Lucy and Kouta (eventually of course)

Category: Drama/Fantasy

Summary: A human being cannot completely erase their mistakes; merely alter the circumstances and hope for a better outcome. But does 'better' even exist? If it does, it surely won't come without its price…

I hope you all enjoyed this story and stay tuned for the next!

Warui -Usagi