Elfen Lied and its characters are property of outside companies; I claim no ownership of them.

Authors Note: A "what-if" question that popped into my mind a couple weeks back and this is the end result. There's not much to say without spoiling the plot, except that the characters are loosely based off the manga. Anime-only viewers should have no problem recognizing the events in the first chapter however. Enjoy.

Elfen Lied: Neue Pfade:

XXX0 – Experiment Lucy Age 10

The choices we make in life, the decisions we decide to follow affect the very world around us. With each choice we make, hundreds more open up for us until ultimately we walk down the road that leads to our destruction. What if, then, we had the power to change our decisions? Right our wrongs? Take the path less walked on? Explore the seemingly unexplorable? This story is about a young boy and girl, and in a moment that can decide their entire future no matter how seemingly mundane it may be, the boy, young at age but not at heart, decides for himself to tell the truth…

"This…is the best day…of my entire life."

A young Kouta, no older than ten years old, became immediately embarrassed and flustered when the wet, naked young girl who would come to be known as Lucy, turned around and exposed her entire body to him, uncaring of what he may see, only worried about what he would hear.

"…You're exaggerating," he replied in a soft voice as he tried not to make eye contact with her.

"It's true," she said so quick she cut him off from speaking further, "I will never…forget this day."

The entire day was, for the girl to be known as Lucy, the best day in her life thus far. Treated like an animal by her classmates and even her caregivers, she had found solace and comfort in of a young boy who appeared out of nowhere, and became the first person ever to comment generously on how 'cool' her horns were. Lucy had gone to the zoo today, seen animals that she never even realized existed until today, uncaring of the world outside of her vision. Even the last few minutes before this glorious day would end was spent splashing in a nearby creek, one trying to dunk the other in an onslaught of giggles and high-pitched squeals. And as their clothes dried and they walked hand-in-hand to the bus that would take Kouta home and Lucy to the nearest house she could find, a burning sensation began to consume her heart.

How dare this day must end…

Lucy peered at the jade that Kouta had dished out of the river, its soft green hue illuminating her hand. She had seen gems before, but she didn't realize that they came out so beautifully from the mountains. But gems and everything else were the last thing on her mind.

"Kouta?" She whispered. Although startled, he made a noise that signified he heard her. "Say…tomorrow's festival…" her face was becoming so hot, and it was quite bothersome. Was one more day really so hard to ask of him before he went away? "Can we go there together?"

"Ehh…" Kouta muttered. He had almost completely forgotten about the festival, he was having such a great time today. His dad could probably lend him some more pocket change for it, except….

Yuka's angry face flashed into his mind, her irritated voice accompanying it, "Don't forget about tomorrow's festival, okay?"

"I'm sorry…" finally replying to her question, "I've already promised that I'll go with my cousin tomorrow…really…"

"It's okay," she said knowing full well that it wasn't. This was the first person that had ever wanted to be close to her, the first person she could ever really trust. She just wanted to spend one more day in this disgusting town with the only beautiful thing she had come to find in it, Kouta.

Gripping her skirt, anger and jealously began to overcome her. Who was this cousin of his? A boy? Or a girl? Not that it mattered; it wasn't like he was spending the day with her. But if it was a girl, then maybe Lucy, this entire day, meant nothing to him. Or worse, could he be having fun with her emotions? Like she was some kind of puppet or, or…

An animal.

Exactly.

"No…" she thought to herself. Once again she could feel the heat begin to rise in her cheeks, because she was furious at herself, letting her emotions get carried away like this, "Getting all jealous right now…acting stupid…"

Her heart had yet to slow down, why was this feeling so damn intense? If this was going to continue she was going to do something awful to him, the only person she ever really loved. There was no reason to get jealous or angry with him, he had done nothing wrong. If this rage was going to continue, she might end up hurting him or worse! Finally, she calmed down a little, loosening the bare-white knuckles from her skirt.

If you're going to kill him…might as well do it now…

Shit it's you again! Shut up…

It's all right to kill a human, 'specially if he pisses you off.

It's not okay! I love Kouta; he hasn't pissed me off!

Oh I'm sure he's going to the festival with some girl. Don't have horns like you I bet, probably don't look like a devil or an ox or whatever the hell they're calling us.

…………………

Look, kill him now and you'll only be sad for a day or two. Three tops. You don't and it'll just drag on.

Stop it! I can't take it! Who are you?!

……………

With uncaring eyes she forced herself on top of Kouta, running his hands down his chest…

You know full well who I am.

And closed her fingers tight around his throat.

At first Kouta thought she was playing, that any minute now she would let go, stick out her tongue and say "Gotcha". But she didn't let go, she didn't let go for a long time.

"C…Can't breathe…" he gasped out with the last remaining bit of air left in his lungs. All it took was those whispery gasps to bring Lucy back to consciousness, the pupil of her eyes slowly returning.

"I…I'm so sorry!" Lucy screamed as she jumped off of him. Before her feet even touched the ground, the air that Kouta was dying for rushed into his lungs and he became a mass of coughing spasms. "Are you ok?!"

"W…Why'd you do that all of a sudden?" His voice would have been louder if not for the burning sensation in his throat and lungs. Lucy stepped back, horrified. She had actually tried to kill him; she had almost succumbed to this…dark desire for death.

"Why…" she muttered to herself, "…why…?" She asked herself this over and over again in her mind. What was wrong with her? Sure most humans' lives didn't matter, but if someone like Kouta exists, that's all the reason she needed not to hurt anyone anymore. But she couldn't resist her instincts; she couldn't resist the tiny voice in her head that told her she's better than these horn-less monsters…that they all needed to die.

"No…I'm the monster…"

"What's the matter?" He asked her, "Are you ok?" Kouta had forgiven her for the attack, figuring it was just a moment of weakness and anger. After all, it had been the best day of her life; he understood why she didn't want it to end. Although he was expecting an answer, he wasn't prepared for what she said next.

"Kouta…"she said weakly, "I have a request of you." He remained silent, listening closely to her words, "If I were to…kill lots of people at once…" she brought her hands away from her tear-stained eyes, looking the weakest she ever had, "Kill me, Kouta…"

It took a while for those words to register into Kouta's head. Was she joking? It had to be a joke, she was just acting and any minute now she would laugh and say "Gotcha".

But she didn't.

"Wh-What weird things are you saying?" he asked.

"I beg you…" she responded immediately, "I want you to kill me…because by myself…by myself I might become reluctant to die so…." Lucy didn't finish, fearing her own mortality, that Kouta might hate her, that he might not do it when the time came she didn't want to finish. Again she began to weep softly into her hands; even more terrified that Kouta might think her weak or a crybaby.

He scooted so close to her that their knees were touching and placed his hand on the small of her back. Maybe the bus ride would have gone smoother if he had hugged and consoled her then. Maybe it would have made it worse. They wouldn't know.

"Thank you for today…" an embarrassed Lucy said, now blushing profusely for being so close to him. Night had settled in Kamakura and for a summer day it had become very late. They still wanted to spend more time with one another, Lucy more so than Kouta, but Kouta impressed that his dad would be upset if he dallied any longer, and with a smile turned away from Lucy.

"Um…Kouta…" Lucy squeaked out again. He stopped, completely paying attention to her, "That cousin you're going with to the festival tomorrow…is it a guy? Or a girl?"

"Ehh?"

Where had that come from, he wondered. She looked so worried and scared, she had been through so much the last hour.

"If I tell her the truth…" Kouta thought, "She will probably suffer…"

His mouth began to move around, contorting itself like a snake. The back of his tongue clicked against the roof of his mouth as he struggled to say the word he wanted to, "A g…g…"

"But…but I have nothing to hide from her…she's my friend too…"

"A girl."

Lucy felt her body lock up. It was exactly as she had feared. The coiling, burning desire in the pit of her heart sprung to life again, it was that desire, that born instinct to render flesh from bone. Without thinking she could feel her vectors, ethereal arms with unnatural strength, slowly slither out of her body.

"But…!" Kouta's voice snapped Lucy out of her deadly mind-set, blankly staring into his eyes, "She's my friend too, and if it wasn't for her I wouldn't be here."

Lucy thought on this for a moment. It wasn't his fault that he couldn't spend his last day with her, it was this…cousin on his. Whoever this girl, this slut was, she was keeping him away from her. She shouldn't take her anger out on Kouta. No no no, she loves Kouta, why would anyone want to hurt someone they love?

Who she hated, was this whore of a cousin.

"So…" Lucy said, her voice trembling with unspeakable excitement, "If…If you weren't going out with her to the festival…you could go with me?"

"Absolutely!" He exclaimed loudly, glad to see that she was taking this so well, "And I guess…well there's nothing that says I can't see you at the festival too is there?"

Lucy heart began to fill with an unspeakable joy. What a way to kill two birds with one stone, "Yup. I don't think anyone will mind me going."

Kouta nodded and turned to walk away from her, "I hope to see you tomorrow then. If not, then I'll see you at the Enoshima station in two days." He hardly took a step before stopping, nervously looking back at her, "I…will see you at the station, won't I?"

All feelings of anger and ferocity resided for a moment. Staring into his eyes she almost forgot why she was so angry. Why she wanted to kill so much.

"O-Of course I'll come…do you…promise to come back next summer?"

The both of them illuminated the night sky with their glowing faces; they could have landed planes on that tiny little sidewalk of theirs. After several moments of silence, Kouta spoke up, "Yeah…I'll come back."

There was little Lucy hated more than seeing the back of his head disappear into the darkness of the street.

This cousin was one of them.

------------------

The festival could not have come faster enough for Lucy. Tonight she would be rid of the competition and be with Kouta all to herself. Carefully she watched all the men, women, and children pile into temple grounds, but none of them she recognized. They were all piles of meat to her, the only thing keeping her from killing them was she wanted to spend as much time with Kouta as she possible could.

"He hasn't come in yet…" she said to herself after twenty minutes of watching people come in and out. "Maybe he's already in there."

And maybe he's not…

"Hush…" she told herself again. Cautiously she walked into the throng of people, eager to find Kouta.

"I'd like to try a C-Rank piece please!" An excited Yuka asked. The owner of the game stand reluctantly reached for one of the several piles of wooden games that lined his shelf. This particular game had the outline of a baby chick on it and handing it and a small pointed stick to Yuka, she immediately set to poking the outline of the

Snap.

"Ah! It cracked!"

"Better luck next time kiddo," the vendor said, clearly wanting a cigarette.

"Geez you suck…" Kouta said contemptuously to let Yuka know that he was completely unimpressed. Angrily she looked back at him, expecting to see his smug face smiling at her failure. Instead she was greeted with an irritated and anxious twisting of his mouth.

"Well why don't you do it then Kouta-kun?!" She yelled in frustration.

"Huh?" He muttered. It was then that Yuka realized he wasn't paying much attention to her which only made her more angry. "Sure, I'll try it."

Taking a C-Rank game from the vendor, he proceeded to slowly tap his stick along the borderline of the picture of a cat. Slowly he chipped away the excess pieces of the balsa wood away doing much better at it than

Snap.

"Darnit." The vendor once again gave another reluctant "Nice try" and continued to focus on his magazine.

"See?!" Yuka said with superiority, "You can't do it either!"

"I can so do it! It's just that I'm a little distracted…" he looked away into the shuffling crowds for a familiar face. Two feet away from him another familiar face was pouting.

"Is…is it that girl you saw last night?"

Kouta scratched his head, realizing the folly of his words, "Yeah…she said she might meet me here."

As the words escaped his lips Yuka's eyes began to water, her quivering lip beginning to shake more violently. Kouta jerked when he saw her face, now feeling immensely embarrassed for bringing her up.

"Well sh-sh-she's my friend too!" He yelled as she put her face into her hands, "And she said that she might be coming and I couldn't say ok please stop crying!"

Indeed she was crying softly into her hands now, just enough so that passers-by would get the impression that Kouta had done something really wrong. "But-But Kouta-kun said he would go to the festival with me…" she sniffled loudly.

"And I am!" The last part came out rather loudly drawing more attention to the two of them, "It's just that she's coming too and we said we'd meet here and…." It was no use; there was nothing that could stop her from crying. Now completely covered in tears Kouta felt worst than ever. Placing his hand on her head he tried again to console her, "I'm sorry…I didn't realize how much the festival means to…"

"It's not just that!" she yelled, finally plowing herself into Kouta's chest. "Kouta-kun is going to leave soon…and I don't know if he's coming back…"

This took Kouta completely by surprise, her near uncontrollable sobbing dampening his shirt and probably her yukata. Feeling a bit relieved his insensitivity wasn't the exact cause of her sadness, he sighed and pushed her away gently, "Hey stop crying now. You're supposed to be grown up aren't you?" Although her head was bowed low she nodded, "And I told you I'd be back next summer didn't I? I always keep my promises don't you…"

"Kouta-kun!" A recognizable voice called to him from a group of people. Immediately his face brightened up, and turned to face the oddly smiling face of Lucy.

Yuka, knowing full well that she was competition for Kouta, slowly shuffled behind him, peeking from behind his back. To Yuka, this unknown girl's smile was…she searched for the word to best describe the feeling she got from her…that was it.

Frightening.

"Is this your cousin?" Lucy asked very smoothly, her piercing eyes boring into Yuka's skull. She cowered behind Kouta's back more.

Kouta, as it turned out, could hardly contain his excitement from seeing her. He wanted nothing more than to run out and grasp her hands. And upon seeing the growing smile on his face, Lucy too wanted nothing more than to do the same.

She looked at Yuka once more, her eyes narrowing upon seeing her.

"She'll have to wait…"

At once Kouta began pressing her with the rudimentary questions, alibi he was very excited to ask them and she was very excited to answer them. For Yuka, hours passed before Kouta finally remembered that she was there.

"Ah! Gomen Yuka," he turned to Lucy, "This is my cousin Yuka-chan. Yuka-chan, this is…"

"Nice to meet you," Lucy said sinisterly, extending a hand out to her.

Not used to such a Western greeting, Yuka nervously stared at her hand. Although Yuka wasn't unfamiliar with the greeting, the very way this girl held out an open hand was…insulting. With a half-bow, Yuka grabbed her hand and they squeezed each other's.

And Lucy made sure she felt it.

"I-Itai…" Yuka moaned softly, caressing her throbbing hand. Considering that Kouta was standing right next to her and unable to see her wincing face, Lucy considered it a personal victory against this rival.

"We were just playing a game! Want to try it?" Kouta asked Lucy. She looked at him, then at the game vendor who was too busy with his magazine to pay the slightest amount of attention to them.

It didn't look like much fun; but then again she didn't think the zoo would be such a blast either. And when Kouta was more than happy to give several hundred yen for a tiny board with the depiction of a crude alligator on it, Lucy obliged. But she had other things on her mind, making Yuka gone by the end of the festival, getting as close to Kouta as was

Snap.

"Wah! It cracked!" Lucy exclaimed loudly. Tears began to form in the corner of her eyes, her cheeks puffed out in frustration and the thought of Kouta's gloating smile didn't make her feel any better. "Ok then," she yelled at him, "Why don't you try it?"

Kouta laughed heartily, "If you insist." And after receiving another board, this one with a picture of a dog, bent down and began chipping away at it with speed and precision. All the while Lucy kneeled down next to him and tried her hardest not to look impressed even resorting to cheap taunts to distract them. Nothing worked and the dog was successfully removed from the rest of the wood with no cracks or splinters.

A pair of sorrowful eyes watched the two of them, eyes that were on the verge of tears. Yuka was upset at Kouta for spending time with this girl and at the same time upset at herself for not being more assertive with him. The two of them together made Yuka sick to her stomach, she just wanted to hit Kouta as hard as she could. But there was no time to be upset now; this was a time for action.

"I'd like a B-Rank please!" She yelled, with more anger than excitement in her voice. This time it was of a snake emerging from a coiled position as if it were being charmed. Yuka would take her time with this one and she would show up Kouta and this girl with the odd hair and weird hat that Kouta was

Crrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrack!

"Woah Yuka, did you sneeze or something?" Kouta asked completely stupefied how she managed to not only go through the snake's neck but out the other side of the wood.

"I…I didn't but…something pushed it…" she said. Her hand continued to tremble at what just happened, something had grabbed the end of the stick that stuck out of hand and pushed it across the wood. Look! There was even a long scrape across the polished wood on the stand; she couldn't have managed that.

But Kouta, the girl, and the vendor all disagreed with her, the vendor sending them off with a huff at ruining his stand.

"Your cousin is quite beastly isn't she?" Lucy asked Kouta, her voice piercing Yuka's chest.

This was taken as a joke in Kouta's mind, and he had no problem joining in on the fun, "No kidding. I always thought she was inhumanly strong but never like this."

He patted her head, to which Yuka did NOT enjoy. She was being humiliated by the both of them and she didn't know which one hurt the more.

"No!" she yelled in her mind. "This is not the time to show weakness, this girl is a shark."

With unheard of perkiness she grabbed Kouta's hand (which only flamed Lucy's fire further) and drug him to the kingyo sukui stand. Although they couldn't take the animals home with them, the vendor was kinder than the last one, and allowed them a discount just to fish for them. Both Lucy and Kouta were unsuccessful as they attempted to go for the larger fish near the bottom. Yuka came the closest to catching a smaller goldfish until that is the bottom of her papered net was violently ripped away. Darts proved to be Lucy's "specialty" as she gloated the same way Kouta did about the balsa wood game. Yuka's darts, no matter how close they came to the board, always flew off to the outer edges. She found that with this girl around she couldn't even mold takoyaki correctly (the more she tried the more phallic they came out, which made Lucy howl with laughter and Kouta blush with embarrassment).

"Stop fooling around Yuka-chan," Kouta told her as they walked to the wanage stand, the rectangular blocks with prized tied to them excited even Lucy.

"So…I just throw these rings onto the blocks and I win the prize?" She asked Kouta as the vendor (who appeared to be as, if not more, uncaring than the first vendor they had visited) handed her three smoothly carved wooden rings. Kouta nodded and explained the secrets of obtaining the best prizes that were positioned furthest from the throwing point. Lucy only wanted to hear his voice; his advice was appreciated but not necessary.

She wound up to throw the ring like a Frisbee but stopped, pondering how it would look if someone noticed the ring had suddenly stopped spinning. Placing her foot back and straightening her stance she tossed the ring with a gentle underhand swing. The ring had barely left her hand before a vector wrapped its fingers around it and carried it to the furthest prize, the one Kouta had said she go for.

"This is a piece of cake, even this will impress Kou-"

Her vector stopped and the disk went flying far past the block, which almost surprised the vendor as much as it did her.

"Huh…?" was the only word to escape her lips. It was impossible, how could her vector not reach that? It wasn't more than four, maybe five feet away. Surely they had been able to reach farther than that back in the classroom with those children. One more time, she just hadn't been concentrating enough.

This time it bounced off the block and landed right on top of a box with unsharpened pencils on it.

"'Grats kid, here ya go," the vendor said, clearly unimpressed by her prize. But that wasn't what upset Lucy. Not the asshole of a vendor, the crappy prize or even looking bad in front of Kouta.

The cousin had the gall to actually laugh at her misfortune. It would look bad to sever her arms from her body in front of Kouta she thought, she'd wait till she was alone.

Her deadly mindset was interrupted by a disgruntled groan from Kouta, and looking at his hand she could see why.

"I only have enough money left for one more game…" he moaned out, recounting the change over and over again. There was hardly any there, and all of them doubted this vendor would accept discounts. But Kouta smiled, gently taking Yuka's hand and opening it up, "Here. You go Yuka-chan."

Both Yuka and Lucy blinked, taken aback by this sudden generosity. After all the teasing he had done to her the last hour it was fairly surprising.

"Huh? But…oh no Kouta-kun…it's your money, you take a go at it," Yuka said with a blush.

"And it's my money so I can do whatever I want with it," he pushed her to the throwing line and rubbed the top of her head, "You've had bad luck all day, and I feel bad for teasing you so much. Now take it, please." And with that, dropped the coins into her hand.

Her heart beat so hard she thought she was having a heart attack. Kouta wrapped his arms around hers, grasping her hands and attempted to help her throw it, but she would have none of it. Of course, after Kouta did let go of her she became upset for wanting to show off. After taking the rings from the vendor, she decided to aim for one of the lower prizes that looked fun and practical. Carefully she aimed and tossed it for a block near the middle.

And halfway there it was swatted fiercely to the ground.

Yuka's eyes widened with shock, even Kouta was surprised. Lucy, however, wasn't. That intense feeling of joy quickly ran away from Yuka, and now, more than ever, those piercing eyes this new girl was looking at her with scared her to no ends. Trembling, she grasped the second of three rings and tossed it at the block.

And again an invisible hand slammed it to the ground.

Yuka looked at the ring that lay motionless on the ground. It was all so obvious now, everything that was happening. It was her. It was this pink-haired girl with the strange hat. She was doing this somehow. Yuka nervously looked at her from the corner of her eye, who was staring intensely into the prizes that were attached to the blocks.

"Please stop…" she whispered softly to her. Yuka expected her to be oblivious to what she was doing. Yuka expected her to look innocent and extremely passive. What she got, however, was more than she bargained for.

"No."

The statement was so blunt and harsh Yuka almost dropped her final ring. Only through Kouta's goading was she able to muster the strength to toss it at the lowest block there was. All of them watching her knew that the throw would never make it to the table the prizes sat on.

But Lucy continued to assert her dominance over her.

The ring was hit so hard away from her and at an ninety-degree angle that it knocked the vendor off of his stool completely when it hit him. Both Yuka and Kouta's mouth gaped open in shock as the vendor furiously crawled to his feet and pointed away into the crowds.

"Get the hell out of here you damn kids! Beat it now before I call the police!"

"Hey it was an accident! Yuka-chan didn't aim for you, she was aiming for the-"

"NOW!"

The final 'now' was all that was needed to send the three scattering to the four winds.

Yuka couldn't control herself anymore. Having to share Kouta, having all of her efforts to impress him go horribly wrong, being terrified of this strange girl and not knowing why. But she couldn't cry in front of Kouta, who had taken to try and comfort Yuka. The pink-haired girl just watched with immense dissatisfaction, like her efforts had all went in vain. Finally, when the girl had finally taken to try and distract Kouta from her, Yuka made her escape into the crowds of people.

"Where'd she go? Yuka?!" Kouta yelled when he realized that she had disappeared, "Yuka!"

"I think she ran off while we were talking," Lucy said, trying her damned hardest to sound sympathetic.

"She can be such a child sometimes, she cries too easily," he said frustrated, looking around.

"And Kouta-kun doesn't like girls like that, does he?"

The question took Kouta by surprise, even Lucy was amazed those words came out of her mouth. He looked at her, and thought about it for a moment, "Well it's not very cute…but I do still like Yuka-chan…" there was a pause, before he realized his company, "I mean I like you too! I'm real glad I got to see you today."

Lucy smiled, although truth be told her mind was somewhere else at the time. When Kouta suggested they split up to find her, she was more than happy to look for her alone.

After all. She knew exactly which way she went.

------------------

Yuka wept softly into her knees, no longer caring that this beautiful yukata of hers was getting ruined by the tears and dirt. Stupid Kouta. Stupid Yuka. Why couldn't she be more like this girl that Kouta brought along? It wasn't her fault she was cried so much…she just wanted to spend every minute possible alone with Kouta before he left.

"He. Might not. Come back. Next year…" she wheezed out, pushing her face farther into her knees. Sure he had promised her he would, but he also promised he would come to the festival alone with her.

Wait. Did he? He said he would come with her, but alone?

"Baka!" she yelled, "He knew that I wanted to go with just him!" It should have been obvious, the way she had been able to successfully avoid his daunting little sister for so long. Couldn't he tell this pink-haired girl to go away? He had done it so many times to her.

She cried some more, feeling stupid for getting so mad at him. She didn't matter to him; she probably wasn't as cute as this other girl. But wait…a noise? Someone is calling her name. "Kouta…" she thought, he was the only one who would know she was gone. Desperately trying to wipe the tears away, she stood up and hardened her face. She would give him the talking-to of a lifet-

Her hardened face collapsed upon seeing Lucy, her evil, piercing eyes staring into hers. For a moment they stood at each other, Yuka's face rising in fear, Lucy's face rising with fury.

"Wh-What do you want?" Yuka asked nervously, pretending not to be scared of her. This was all for naught when a pencil flew out of nowhere and buried itself into the wall she leaned on.

"What does Kouta mean to you?" Lucy asked her as another pencil slid out of the box by an invisible force and aimed it straight at Yuka.

"What…are you AH!" This was not the answer Lucy looked for as another pencil flew next to her face, becoming dangerously close to her head.

"I'll ask you one more time, this time in a way you can understand it. Do. You. Love. Kouta." Upon finishing, the box that held the pencils fell to the ground but the remaining half-dozen or so pencils didn't.

"I…I…" A lump caught in Yuka's throat, was this girl going to hurt her if she said yes? Was she going to do it when she said no? Would lying let her go or make it worse? She breathed deeply and shallowly, her high-pitched voice amplified by her tightening larynx. Slowly, she said the word she wanted to say all along.

"Hai…"

Without a moment's thought the pencils launched at her, ripping apart her kimono on the sides and arms as they embedded themselves into the wall. This caused Yuka to scream in fright, hoping that someone might hear her and stop this. But no one came, no one came as Lucy walked up close to her, and invisible hands grasped her shoulders and squeezed them.

"It's good that you didn't lie to me, I hate it when people lie to me," Lucy said, drawing closer to Yuka while putting more pressure on her shoulders, "Because you told the truth, I won't kill you slowly, you'll die nice and quickly."

Yuka had been reduced to a bubbling mass of tears and snot, the pain in her shoulders and fear that gripped her was overwhelming. She began to feel claustrophobic, as if she was being contained in a tiny area by an invisible force. She felt something brush again the skin on her neck, and slowly she closed her eyes, whispering Kouta's name.

But nothing came.

Lucy had received a vision, something that had overpowered that prenatal instinct to decapitate this girl. It was Kouta's worried face as he called Yuka's name. It was his obviously pained expression at the loss of his cousin. This girl meant more to him than Lucy thought, killing her would cause him pain as well.

No! She has to kill her. Kouta couldn't love her if she was still alive.

But what if Kouta found out what she did? He would hate her, and that was much more painful than being alone.

He'll never find out, no one will tell him, she'd kill everyone who saw her.

But that would just make Kouta sadder! He has a strong affinity for regular humans!

She needs to die, her happiness comes first!

Kouta's happiness is more important to her.

He'll be happy just being with you.

But what if he's not.

Then he's disposable! You are better than him, he should be thrilled to be with you.

I don't want to force myself on him.

He is a human! He can be easily replaced!

No he cant…

Human's lives are meaningless! They all need to be eradicated!

"Kouta's life is not meaningless! I don't want to hurt Kouta I just don't!" She yelled, frightening Yuka in more ways than one. Lucy trembled as she leaned against the wall, overshadowing Yuka.

Yuka, who had momentarily stopped crying, looked up at this strange girl, who was now crying heavier than what she had. Tears dripped onto her face and yukata, and although Lucy was on top of her, that claustrophobic sensation was gone. The crying emitted tiny gasps from her as her mind raged an endless war with itself. Suddenly, Yuka spoke up.

"If…If you want to kill me that's fine…but…but…please don't hurt Kouta!"

Those words sent a shock wave of emotions through Lucy. So many feelings she had so many things she did and didn't want to do. What could she do?

She decided. The best thing for her. The best thing that would make Lucy the happiest.

"Get the hell away from me," she hissed through her teeth.

Yuka looked up at her, less frightened and more confused. She opened her mouth to speak, but Lucy wouldn't have it.

"GO NOW BEFORE I CHANGE MY FUCKING MIND!" And with that there was a loud crack and spray of dust and rocks. Yuka wasted no more time bolting away from her, back into the festival grounds and the uncaring masses that passed by.

Lucy watched her go, then looked back into the large indentation her vector had made. But she could hardly see them clearly; the tears had stained her vision to the core.

Yuka was overjoyed when she ran into Kouta immediately, nearly tackling him to the ground when she saw him. Over and over she yelled his name and wanted nothing more than for him to cradle and hug her, and he wanted nothing more than for her to let go.

"Yuka-chan stop! This is embarrassing, let go of me!"

"Kouta! Kouta! Kouta I was so scared! The girl, she came, and then she, and I don't know why but, WAHHH!" An exasperated cry left her mouth that brought about the full attention of the people around them.

"Yuka-chan…" he whispered, finally able to pry her off of him. He brought her to arms length and wiped the flowing tears away from her eyes, "You had me really worried!" He yelled with a huff, thoroughly glad she was all right, "I don't know what I would have done if something happened to you!"

This brought another spasms of cries and a hug that actually brought him to his rear this time. By this time, both him and Yuka were soaked with salty tears, as her mother and his father walked through the gathering crowd.

"There you two are!" His father exclaimed, "We've been looking all over for you."

"I think they've had enough excitement for one day, let's take them home."

"Onii-chan!" Kouta's little sister, Kanae, yelled as she poked her head from around her father's leg, "You had Kanae worried!"

Kouta looked at her face, which was madder that Yuka was getting more attention from him than she was. Although Yuka's crying had made the festival less enjoyable, he still didn't want to leave.

He had to say goodbye to his horned friend at the very least, wherever she was.

--------------------

Patiently, Lucy waited in the dark at the station that Kouta said he'd be at. Why? She didn't know. After what she did, after what she ALMOST did, he would never want to see her again. It was for the better she thought. She was a monster after all, she had finally decided. Kouta's kindness was more than appreciated, it was something that she would have killed for…and almost did. But she didn't deserve Kouta in any sense, and after what she did he would feel the same way. Restraining herself from jumping out of the bushes upon seeing him, she dug her teeth into her knees to stop from crying.

Lucy could hear every word they said, but the only person she focused on was Kouta and his cousin. She was solemnly sad that he was leaving, probably almost as much as Lucy was.

"Whatever…" she thought.

Her instincts to kill her had vanished, even though she harbored a deep hatred for his cousin. In fact, that little voice that had been telling her to kill him and his cousin had been silent since last night. That little person who goaded her to slaughter everyone that passed her was gone, for good she hoped. It wouldn't matter if it weren't though; she was going to die here soon, thankful for the brief moments that she knew Kouta.

"She's not coming…" he muttered. This caused Yuka to straighten up.

"Kouta stay away from her, I told you that she's ev-"

"And I told you not to call her that! You're just being jealous and it doesn't make you cute at all!"

"But Kouta…!"

"Stop it! Envy looks bad at girls, which is why I like her more than you."

Was this for real?! Lucy's heart jumped into her throat. He still liked her…more so than his cousin. She had to be dreaming, she must have fallen asleep.

"BAKA!" Yuka screamed at the top of her lungs, and with that ran away from the crowd. Her mother looked down on Kouta with a very upset look.

"That wasn't very nice Kouta-kun."

"But she's so annoying…being upset just because she's better at Yuka-chan in games."

His father bopped him on the head as punishment, "You don't really like this girl more than Yuka-chan, do you?"

With a red face Kouta looked away from them, "Only when she's like this…but I like them both the same really…"

Lucy watched with more interest than ever. It wasn't a dream; she had pinched herself several times and had yet to wake up. Okay, so maybe he didn't like her more than cousin most of the time, but Lucy had an advantage of being more the personality he liked.

And then the feeling set in. The feeling that we was leaving, for good probably. Her eyes moistened with the thought of never seeing him again, what would she do if that happened? Could she control her desire to kill without him? She stood up slowly, not enough so that they could see her though.

Lucy saw his sister ask if he liked her more than the other two, which to Lucy's relief he said a stern "no" that caused more angered looks from his aunt and father. What should she do? What could she do? There was nothing she could do that would stop him from leaving, every path her mind had thought always led to hurting Kouta and that was the last thing she wanted. She had to do something. She could lose him forever. It had become so hard to breathe anymore.

Kouta gave one last final look around, saddened that his friend was unable to see him off. He hoped for her safety, he hoped that she was all right more than anything else since she had left so suddenly. He hoped Yuka didn't scare her away. When his father's stern voice called for him, he turned away from Kamakura and took a footstep into the train station. He would have to come back next year; he would just have to.

"KOUTA!" A voice yelled out to him. He turned around and a smile came over his face. There she was, her hat off to show her horns that he had complimented her on a week ago. He could tell she was about to cry, which made him want to cry all the more.

Lucy knew what she had to do to see him again.

"My name is Kaede!" She yelled as she tried to hide the tears that poured from her eyes "Please come back next year! Promise me!"

Kouta waved to her, his smile as large as hers, "I promise!"

END

Author's Note: According to the manga, Kaede is Lucy's real name. So if I use Kaede in future chapters, rest assured I am speaking about Lucy.

My time writing will be spent between this and my Shuffle! fanfic, so updates may be longer than what I hope for. I had hoped for this chapter to be shorter than what it was, but I'm not changing it. Expect Chapter 2 in a week or two, ja ne!