Title: Animal I Have Become

Media: Code: Lyoko

Genre: Angst/General

Disclaimer: Code: Lyoko belongs to MoonScoop and AnteFilms; Animal I Have Become belongs to Three Days Grace

A/N: Here we are…part two of my little mini-series. If you haven't read part one I suggest you do so. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

Animal I Have Become

Fire blazed through the whole house, the roof and ceiling caving in and smoke billowing out of the building.

Trapped in one of the bedrooms was a little girl, tears streaming down her face as frightened sobs escaped her lips. She was curled up in a corner, her white nightgown now gray from burnt dust falling from what was left of the ceiling.

Through the flames walked a being clothed all in white, though the fire gave it a golden hue. Bluish cat-like ears atop his head twitched and ruby-red eyes slowly turned toward the now whimpering child. Striped tail started swaying decisively as he trudged toward the frightened girl.

Bright green eyes shut tightly as she screamed "It's a monster!" and curled even tighter.

The male paused, his entire body frozen in mid-stride for a split-second. He then, even slower than before, continued walking toward her. The blazing fire didn't seem to affect him as he calmly walked through fiery pillars.

Once again, she was staring in horror at the cat-like boy approaching her. Whining, more tears sliding down her cheeks, she whimpered, "Please don't eat me…!"

Again he paused, this time standing upright and tilting his head to the side slightly. "What use do I have of consuming your flesh? You won't taste good."

Her eyes widened when she realized he had fangs and that his claws were longer than she had thought they were. "Y-You're lying," she stuttered, drawing her knees even closer to her chest. "You're going to hurt me."

Glowing ruby faded out to azure for a brief second, then the red reappeared as a smirk materialized onto his lips. "For once, you're correct," he purred darkly as he raised his right arm, flames snaking around his wrist and hand. "Agni Kai," he commanded, flames instantly shooting from his hand and cremating the little girl.

Again, azure replaced ruby but this time the colors didn't change back. The cynical sneer was replaced by shock and he shook his hand rapidly, instantly stopping the flames. He stared in horror as the child's body slowly turned into ashes. "No…"

Standing behind him was a black-clad duplicate of the cat-like boy, crimson eyes focused on the back of the other's head. "That," he whispered, the smirk growing wider, "Is how you do the job right."

Blue-and-white-striped tail dropped instantly to the floor and curled around his ankles, his whole frame beginning to tremble. How did this all happen to me?

I can't escape this Hell

So many times I've tried

But I'm still caged inside

The white-clad boy was now sitting in a corner of a concrete cell, the only source of light coming in through barred windows. Azure eyes moved toward the small opening, sadness glinting from their depths. If there wasn't a spell on those bars, I would've escaped easily. He sighed heavily, then wrapped his arms around his stomach as sharp pain erupted in his abdomen. Hissing through gritted teeth, he growled, "Damn that fight…!" I won't be able to eat anything for five months solid!

He cautiously lifted his head as a smell entered the cell. Cat-like ears flattened against snow-white hair as he recognized the scent. He glared up at the small hole in the ceiling that served as an "air vent" and muttered, "What do you what this time?"

The fog fell noiselessly to the floor and rose slightly, a glowing-red symbol materializing at its center. "I've got another chore for you, Odd…"

Somebody get me through

This nightmare

I can't control myself

The white-clad boy, earlier addressed as Odd, was running through a cornfield, a storm of fire close behind him. Again, his eyes were glowing ruby and he had that cynical smirk plastered on his face.

The smirk grew wider until ivory fangs shown. "Come on, Odd," he said, cruel humor dripping off his words. "Stop throwing a fit in there!" He turned his eyes upward and slightly to the side as he tapped his head with a dark-blue claw. "And don't go dead in there, either. I need you paying attention to my lesson."

The demon-possessed Odd leapt up into the air, a stream of fire following him partway. He landed on a bare tree, tail twirling to keep him balanced. "Now listen carefully…I'll let you do this on your own this time, but only if I see you enter the building."

The body digitized and split in two, azure eyes tightly closed and ears flat against his head as he doubled over in agony.

The demonic specter at his side grabbed onto his shoulder to keep him from falling. "You're not bleeding again, are you?"

Panting, the white-clad boy opened his eyes and turned them in the other boy's general direction. "No…I don't think so…"

"Good." The smirk rematerialized as he leaned forward and whispered, "Do you remember what the instructions are?"

Odd had to swallow to hold back the urge to puke. "Kill everyone who…gets in my way…"

"And…?"

He didn't answer, afraid that if he tried he'd start heaving. His face paled a bit, though he was already paler than snow.

The demon sighed. "Nevermind, then," he muttered in agitation, ears flattened slightly. "Just remember this: I want to see blood on your hands when you come back out."

Azure clouded slightly as he nodded, which made his master smirk again.

"Go knock 'em dead!"

So what if you can see

The darkest side of me

No one will ever change

This animal I have become

Help me believe

It's not the real me

Somebody help me tame

This animal

Glowing ruby eyes shifted from soldier to soldier, dark blue claws drawn and faded-blue ears flat against white hair.

Odd wasn't sure how, but he was completely surrounded. Somehow he had tripped the alarm (which hurt is delicate ears) and within seconds soldiers swarmed the halls of the base.

He closed his eyes and lowered his head, swallowing hard. I was hoping I could avoid this… Tongues of flame snaked and danced around both wrists as ruby eyes revealed themselves, breaths coming in ragged pants. Raising both hands in opposite directions, he commanded, "Agni Kai!"

Fire flooded the hallway and completely incinerated the soldiers within, screams of alarm and pain and the smell of burnt flesh filling the air.

Flicking his wrists, the fire instantly vanished except what attacked the soldiers, which were now tiny flames.

He almost gagged, the reek of death was so bad. I hope I don't throw up…!

Staggering through the hallway, he dashed into the nearest room and slammed the door, leaning against the cool metal and gasping. "Fresh air…!"

Feeling something wet and sticky when he wrapped his arms around his abdomen, he looked down and discovered that he was bleeding again. "Great…"

He let himself slide to the floor, struggling to control his breathing. His white-and-blue-striped tail curled around him loosely, his entire upper body slumped over slightly.

Cat-like ears twitched when a click sounded off and azure eyes raised to find the barrel of a gun. Peering at the owner, his breath stopped when he realized who held the weapon. Jim Morales?

The man holding the gun had short, messy brown hair, whiskers all over his face, and a rather round body. He wore the same uniform as the other soldiers, except he had medals all over the jacket. Green-brown eyes narrowed, his lips pressed firmly. "What are you doing here, Odysseus Otto Della Robbia?"

Azure eyes widened slightly and faded-blue ears perked up like mini-satellite disks. No one's called me by my full name in years… He tired to stand but quickly gave up. "Jim…?"

"Huh," scoffed Jim, squaring his shoulders. "So you remember your old instructor." He pointed his riffle from the boy's head to his heart. "But you didn't answer my question, and I'm not repeating it for you."

"It's not…what it looks…like," he panted, trying to right himself as best he could in his condition.

"Now, why should I believe that?"

This animal

This animal

The demon, who looked like an almost perfect copy of Odd, leaned leisurely against the trunk of a tree. He smirked when black cat-like ears caught sound of screaming men, crimson eyes flashing excitedly as the smell of burnt corpses wafted by. "Sounds like he's finally gotten the hang of it," he chuckled, looking toward the military base. "It's only a matter of time before…"

He stopped himself when he noticed how quiet it had gotten. The glowing-red symbol on his chest pulsated quicker, crimson eyes narrowing. "What are you doing in there…?"

His question was answered by a 'bang' from a riffle that echoed through the woods.

The pulsation rate "skipped a beat" and red eyes widened, the smirk wiped off his face. A low growl escaping his throat, the demon rushed toward the building. "Dammit, Odd, you'd better be alive…!"

He ran into the building and couldn't help but look at the carnage that his slave had caused. "Nice work," he thought aloud, smirking in approval. The demonic specter didn't stop, however, because he didn't come in the base to check out the destruction.

Phasing through a wall, crimson eyes widened at the sight before him.

Sprawled on the floor was a man in a Lieutenant's uniform, his stomach torn wide open and all of the intestines spilt all over the floor. A large pool of blood surrounded the gutted corpse, a streak of the crimson liquid leading to a shadowed corner.

The pulsation rate increased, the beating now easily heard from the specter's chest. Odd wouldn't go that far…not yet, anyway. Taking a few steps forward, he called, "Who's in here?"

The character in the corner straightened up a bit, though he was still crouched down. Although he looked identical to Odd, the aura radiating from him was completely different.

Crimson eyes narrowed angrily, black ears flat against blood-red hair and ivory fangs exposed. "What are you doing in there, youkai?"

The other being turned his head around, revealing bloodied fangs. His eyes weren't azure, nor were they ruby. They were even beyond onyx…solid black, the only other color in those demonic eyes being a sliver of lime-green that glowed dimly against the black. Grinning, he answered, "Just helping out this halfling…and by the way, call me Tanori."

Black ears perked up. "The Bringer of Death, eh?" He smirked, but only slightly. "What brings a demon like you to these parts?"

A low chuckle echoed in the small room. "Do you have any idea how much potential this hanyou offspring has?"

The specter nodded. "He's the only one who survived The Duel." He cocked his head to the side. "Why now, particularly?"

"He's in trouble," Tanori answered, standing up and turning to fully face the specter. Odd's abdomen was ripped open again, but this time there was also a gunshot wound on his head. "I can't stay much longer, so I ask the Land of Carnage to take care of this child."

The specter bowed his head and placed a fist on his chest at the center of the pulsating symbol. "It would be an honor, Tanori."

The demon smiled, raising Odd's hands. "Also…you did want blood on his hands, didn't you XANA?" He chuckled darkly as he exited the cat-like boy's body, the echo still vibrating off the walls even after he was gone.

Azure eyes widened in shock, one hand covering the wound in his abdomen and the other reaching his bloodstained lips. Falling to his knees, he swayed heavily as ragged gasps shrank to shallow huffs.

XANA knelt down, placing both hands on the badly injured boy's shoulders. "Come on, Odd," he said solemnly, merging with the younger boy's body. "Time to get going."

I can't escape myself

I can't escape myself

So many times I've lied

So many times I've lied

But there's still rage inside

Eyelids fluttered open, dark gray heavily clouding azure. Eyes stayed focused on the ceiling, though everything was extremely blurry.

"You're finally awake," whispered a low voice, though there was a hint of on echo.

Slate-gray eyes turned to the side, vision still too blurry to make out any shapes. All he could make out were black, red and a lot of gray.

"Can you see anything?"

The only response Odd made was a ragged sigh. A tired, wounded sound that easily flowed out of his lungs.

There was silence for a second before the voice began, "You need rest." Faint footsteps could be heard, though they grew quieter with each step. "I'll be back in a while to check on you."

For a few seconds afterward there was silence. Slate-gray eyes closed, the blurry vision giving him a headache. He could feel himself fading –the pain was subsiding –when a chill slid icily down his spine.

Icy-blue eyes opened suddenly, a short gasp rushing into his lungs. He felt his heart constrict as if something was lightly squeezing it.

'Hello, Odysseus Otto Della Robbia,' echoed a voice in Odd's head, the tone dark and sinister. 'I'm glad you're still alive…' A cruel chuckle followed, which grew until it became wicked laughter of delight.

Fear ignited a spark that slowly grew into a flame as a thought rose from the depths of his mind. …Tanori.

Somebody get me through

This nightmare

I can't control myself

Numb.

Dark-blue claws dug deep into flesh, crimson liquid pouring onto white, paw-like hands.

Numb.

Ruby eyes watched dully as the body crumple to the floor with a sickening 'crack'.

Numb.

Ivory fangs sank into writhing flesh, blood collecting inside his mouth.

Numb.

The cat-like boy stood up, blood trickling out of his mouth and arms soaked in the crimson liquid.

A 'click' sounded and a shotgun was raised, barrel pointing toward the beast. Hands shaking badly, the man holding the weapon took a step back. "W-Who are you?"

Clawed hands tensed, flames sprouting and consuming him arms. Bloodied fangs glistened as a low chuckle flowed through his lips, ruby eyes glowing as he slowly turned his head toward his prey. "I am Kirra," he answered coldly, a flash of movement the only sign of his attack.

The man's eyes widened in shock as his arms fell off in a spray of blood, four deep gashes in his chest also spewing out the crimson liquid. Ruby eyes were the last things he saw before he crumpled to the floor dead.

So what if you can see

The darkest side of me

No one will ever change

This animal I have become

Help me believe

It's not the real me

Somebody help me tame

This animal I have become

Help me believe

It's not the real me

Somebody help me tame

This animal

Back in the cell, the cat-like boy-turned-demon was busy cleaning himself. He had just come back from a slaughter-rest and was licking the blood off his body and uniform.

Stopping abruptly, ruby eyes shut tightly and clawed hands clutched at snow-white hair. A high-pitched inhuman scream escaped before eyes revealed themselves. One was azure, the other a glowing ruby.

Shakily, the boy held up his hands in front of his face. Both were covered in blood.

"W-What's…?" Odd's voice asked, fearful and quivering. "What happened to me?"

"I happened," answered Kirra, the ruby eye flashing excitedly. "I woke up, Odysseus."

The azure eye widened in alarm, the pupil shrinking until it was nothing more than a sliver. "What…?"

The demon chuckled, extending dark-blue claws and tapping one on his head. "I woke up. You knew I was inside, Odysseus, and so you tried to cage me." He licked one of his fingers, smirking when Odd tried to regain control of his body. "But I'm free now, and much stronger than you ever thought I could be."

"No…" Both eyes shut tightly, claws going back to clutch his head. "Get out…! Get out of my head!" I don't want to be this animal…

Somebody help me through

This nightmare

I can't control myself

Somebody wake me from

This nightmare

I can't escape this Hell

Odd walked cautiously, careful not to be caught. There weren't any back-alleyways on this side of town, so he had to travel on the normally crowded streets (which were eerily deserted).

To avoid suspicion, he wore a brown jacket and dark baggy pants over his bloodstained uniform. He also had a hood of the jacket pulled over his head to hide his ears and most of his hair, kept his head bowed so if anyone did come by they wouldn't notice the stripes on his face. His tail was curled around his waist under his jacket.

Azure eyes focused on the sidewalk, only looking up every once in a while to keep track of where he was heading.

After a few minutes, he finally found his destination: a red-bricked house with dark-brown shingles and a wooden porch.

Swallowing nervously, he walked up the lawn and stopped in front of the wooden door. Wiping his hand on his pants, he cautiously wrapped his fingers around the brass knob. Hesitating, he let it go and decided to ring the bell instead. He didn't have to wait long before the door was answered.

The French-African woman opened the door, looking the boy over with suspicion. "Who are you?"

"It's me, Sam."

Chocolate-brown eyes widened in surprise. "Odd?" Looking around, she stepped to the side and motioned for him to come in. "Where've you been all this time?" she asked, closing the door behind her and leading her guest to the living room.

"Around," he answered, hesitation dominating every action he made. She had to motion toward the sofa before he decided to sit down.

"Everyone said Kirra killed you," she said in a low voice that quivered slightly. "And that he…"

Odd swallowed again. "Well…they weren't too far off…" He lifted his shirt a little, revealing the blood that covered the front of his battle uniform and his hands. He was glad that his white battle uniform was cut up so that it looked like he had tried to bandage a wound.

A startled gasp escaped the young woman's lips, slender fingers reaching up toward her mouth. "Oh my God, Odd, are you okay?"

He nodded feebly, not daring to make eye contact.

This animal

Sam sat next to him, gently placing a hand on his knee. "Is there any way I can help?"

Odd could feel his heart drop. That's exactly the question I didn't want you to ask…

This animal

"Hey…" He took a breath, trying to keep himself calm. "I-Is there a place where we can talk more privately?"

She nodded, wiping her hands on her jeans. "The basement's the most private place I can think of. Does that work?"

He nodded subtly. "Yeah…"

Sam got to her feet and helped Odd up, looking worried. "Are you sure you're okay? You don't seem like yourself."

This animal

The cat-like boy shuddered, really not wanting to answer yet wanting to tell her everything at the same time.

The French-African felt his trembling and brought him closer. "It's okay," she whispered, massaging his shoulders. She proceeded to lead him toward the basement.

This animal

He was shaking the entire way down the stairs, collapsing a couple of times and almost falling all the way down except she caught him. Assuring her he was okay each time, they continued their descent.

This animal

By the time they made it to the basement, Odd was panting slightly, his trembling much worse.

Sam was so worried that he was going to fall again she was practically carrying him; setting him in a nearby chair the instant they approached it. Placing a hand on his forehead, she turned around and said hurriedly, "I'm calling an ambulance."

"No!" He practically jumped up and swiftly grabbed her hand, nearly stumbling. "Please don't, Sam…!"

This animal

Giving him a startled look, she set her hands on his shoulders and gently pushed him back into the chair. "Okay, Odd," she whispered soothingly, chocolate-brown eyes locked onto azure ones. Gently rubbing his upper arms, she asked, "What do you need to tell me?"

This animal

As hard as he tried to control his breathing, he still found himself panting in near-panic. Closing his eyes to help calm himself down and move his thoughts away from the pain that pulsated throughout his body, he lightly grasped her hands in his. "I-It's about Kirra…"

This animal

"What happened? Did he hurt you, Odd?" Her voice quivered slightly, losing its usual authority.

This animal

He stopped panting and bowed his head slightly, a smirk gracing his lips. "Why don't you ask me yourself, Samantha?"

Chocolate-brown eyes widened in surprise, startled by the deep, dry voice that replaced the somewhat childish voice of her friend. Yanking one of her hands free and throwing back the hood that covered the boy's head, she gasped.

Instead of the blonde hair and purple cat-like ears she was expecting, she saw snow-white hair and faded-blue ears atop his head.

Glowing ruby eyes snapped open and locked onto chocolate-brown, cruel delight gleaming off those demonic orbs. "What's the matter?" he asked, tightly gripping the hand he was still holding. "Afraid to die, Samantha?"

Shutting her eyes tightly, she yanked forcefully, practically throwing her weight backward. All she really did was pull the beast attached to her arm to his feet. The last thing she heard and felt was a dark chuckle as searing pain coursed through her body.

So what if you can see

The darkest side of me

No one will ever change

This animal I have become

Help me believe

It's not the real me

Somebody help me tame

This animal I have become

Help me believe

It's not the real me

Somebody help me tame

This animal

Odd was lying down at the bottom of his cell, breaths quick and shallow. He was on his side facing the far wall, knees partially drawn and tail curled around him like that of a sleeping cat.

Although he still wore the white uniform, his paw-like hands, hair, ears and eyes returned to their proper colors. His tail was purple, also, but covered in blue-violet stripes.

Slowly, he rolled himself onto his back, clouded eyes migrating up toward the only window. Though pain wracked his body, there was no voice echoing in his mind. No urge to kill. I don't care if XANA gets angry with me. I'm glad I escaped…

This animal I have become

A/N2 This took me a lot longer to write than I thought it would, to be completely honest (sorry for the wait, guys!). And unlike Part One and Part Three, this was the only segment that wasn't based on my comic series at all (which is different for me in more ways than I care to admit).

And if any of you were curious, "Kirra" is just the Japanese pronunciation of the English word "killer" (you learn this from watching Death Note enough times). If any of you have questions, you know how to contact me.

All flames will be consumed and spat out as dust, so don't waste your time.

Burakku's Shadow/Manjoume-Enchantress