Waiting for the Day
Waiting for the Day
Summary: Several months before she is released, Mariko and her foster mother, Saito, have yet another chat. But this time, Mariko is curious about her father, Kurama….
Warnings: Possible mentions of violence, but nothing terrible.
Disclaimer: I don't own Elfen Lied or its characters. And it's definitely better off that way.
Notes: After watching the final episode of the Elfen Lied anime, I couldn't help but feel a little sad that Kurama and Mariko had never interacted before all that happened, and I was constantly going "Aww…!" in the scenes where the two of them were talking together. But right after they begin to form a bond…BOOM. And I was left staring at the screen and going, "…Crap." So I decided to write this little one-shot about the two of them (sort of), and Mariko's "mother" Saito. Enjoy!
The soft sound of footsteps echoed loudly off the walls of the empty corridor that belonged to the system of chambers within the research facility in the middle of the sea. With every step that resounded off the metallic interior, the echoing constantly died and was reborn, soon to be lost into a world of oblivion as the owner of the footsteps paused momentarily. She pushed a button on a nearby electronic wall panel, causing a door to separate into two halves, and she silently entered the familiar room of controls, wires, and the silhouette of the enormous chamber within its dark shadows.
Saito pushed back a stray lock of dark brown hair that had somehow become loosened from one of her braids and sighed. Her equally-brown eyes gazed with a feeling of anxiety towards the chamber that her vision took in. Even from where the young woman was standing, she could hear the loud howling of the wind trapped inside its doors, and she knew all too well what caused the unnatural whistling gusts within. As the fact once again entered her mind, she blinked in apprehension.
Mariko must be using her vectors to try and escape again, Saito thought. It was then that she experienced another realization. The little diclonius girl she looked after on a daily basis seemed to have been attempting to free herself more often recently. Whenever Saito entered the room to talk to her, she always heard the wind and the loud clanking from inside the chamber. It didn't take much thought to know that Mariko's numerous vectors were reaching through the walls of her enclosure, trying to find a way out to freedom. If anything…Mariko seemed to have been behaving in a disobedient manner lately.
The thought was new to Saito, but the dark-haired woman pushed it from her mind and smiled. Why should she be upset? Now was her favorite time of the day: talking with the little diclonius in her chamber via speaker. Despite the nervousness she constantly felt whenever she neared Mariko's chamber, it always subsided when she heard the little girl's sweet, timid voice through the other side of the walls. Her voice was so small and weak…and it was this that had convinced Saito to become her foster mother and provide her with a form of human contact. It felt special to her. Tender and motherly. Not only that, but the five-year-old always asked so many questions about the human world, and Saito was more than happy to answer her and tell her about how wonderful the outside universe was.
The brunette beamed once more as she strode towards the chamber. Mariko may be in one of her disorderly moods today…but I'm sure she'll lighten up when I start talking to her, she thought cheerfully.
Minutes later, everything was set up for contact. As she usually did, Saito took a deep breath and spoke into the microphone. "…Mariko? Are you awake?"
Silence. Saito blinked, figuring the diclonius also known as Number Thirty-Five must be in a slumber, but moments later she heard a small, inquisitive voice make itself known to her ears.
"…Mommy? Is that you?"
The dark-haired woman smiled. "Yes. It's me. Are you feeling okay today, sweetie?"
"…Mm-hmm," the small diclonius answered. But in reality, this was a lie. The girl's joints felt stiff due to the lack of moving space that had entrapped her for her five years of life, and she often found it hard to breathe within the helmet-like headwear of bandages concealing her face, long wavy pink hair and scarlet eyes. On top of that, the temperature of the chamber was for some reason kept low at all times, and Mariko found herself shivering constantly from the cold atmosphere within the walls. Her frail physical health and never-ending confinement only served as obvious motifs for her numerous escape attempts nowadays. It was every day now that she reached her twenty-six invisible arms through the metal walls and tried to find a way out, but her efforts always remained fruitless.
Not only was Mariko sick and tired of being confined in such a terrible place, but there was the matter that had been vexing her mind for so many days. As thoughts and wonderings began to enter her mind, the diclonius impulsively reached out another deadly vector towards the wall, creating a loud banging noise that caused Saito outside to jump.
"Mariko?" the young woman called out, suddenly nervous. "What's wrong?"
"…Mommy?" Mariko said, ignoring the question. The diclonius blinked her reddish-pink eyes in passing curiosity. "…What about my daddy?"
Saito instantly tensed at the question. She had known it would have risen someday anyway…but why now?
Mariko didn't hear a response, so she continued, "Who's my daddy, Mommy? Where's my daddy? What's he doing now? Is he here?" The horned girl hadn't even realized some of the questions she had asked, but now they were flowing out of her mouth like water. And she let them. She just had to know.
Saito listened to the questions with thought. …She's only a little girl, and she's already wondering about the father she's never known…. She quickly pulled herself from the thoughts and nervously answered, "Well, dear, your father is—"
"Is he gonna come for me soon?"
The dark-haired woman's brown eyes flickered with sudden anxiety. She was at a loss for words. To her, there didn't seem to be a perfect way to answer Mariko's question. And it was then that Saito remembered the deadly truth. Mariko could kill her. If the diclonius wasn't entrapped inside this chamber, she could easily reach out with a lethal vector and kill her in an instant. As a scientist that had worked so long at the research facility for information on the race of human beings called diclonii, she knew that even a diclonius as young as Mariko would kill and dismember anyone within their sight. It was no wonder they were called monsters by so many others. Diclonii seemed to only live to kill and watch with satisfaction as the blood of their victims pooled at their feet, and it was a horrid thought, even to Saito.
…But does Kurama-san think the same thing about his only daughter?
The dark-haired woman jumped once more when a faint metallic banging sound invaded her hearing. Quickly assuming that Mariko was growing impatient, she felt the words form on the tip of her tongue and finally come to life. "…I honestly don't know, Mariko."
Another thud. Inside the chamber, Mariko once again lashed out with one of her many invisible vectors and created a frustrated sound upon the metal. Her patience was beginning to dwindle, and the horned girl couldn't help but feel curious as to why she was feeling so irritated. Then again, it was also plainly obvious.
Pushing the thoughts aside, she spoke once more. "That's not good enough," she said in a voice that was new to Saito's ears. It was slightly stronger now, less timid. If anything…it sounded demanding. "I want to know the real answer. Will my daddy come for me soon?"
The brunette could feel her heart sink when she heard the desperate linger of hope within Mariko's voice. Through the speaker and the metal walls of the chamber, she could tell that the pink-haired diclonius was clinging on to an answer to keep her going. It may have sounded arrogant to a listening ear, but Saito couldn't help but feel that Mariko's surprising sanity was due to her speaking to her caringly each day. The crimson-eyed girl seemed to her like a daughter, and Saito loved her as if she was. And Mariko seemed to look to her as a mother, whether she was her biological parent or not. Perhaps it was this fact that had kept her from going insane for her short lifetime, knowing that she had a "mother" to talk to her and show her the affection she needed (she was vaguely reminded of another diclonius in the same situation, one whom Kurama called "Nana," and she called him "Papa").
How wrong she was.
"Mommy? Is my daddy going to get me out of here?"
Saito blinked as she heard the diclonius's voice. She knew she had waited too long to answer, so she might as well. Besides…the dark-haired woman thought with depth, if I tell Mariko what she wants to here…maybe she can feel a little bit happier.
"…He'll come for you soon, Mariko. Don't worry," Saito finally said in an assuring manner.
Maybe sooner than you think…
It was tensely quiet for a moment. Finally, the five-year-old said quietly, "…Just asking."
Saito looked at her watch and blinked. It was almost lunch time, and she could practically hear a filling meal calling her name. The chocolate-eyed woman turned towards the speaker device and said, "I have to go now, Mariko. I'll talk to you again shortly, okay?"
The brunette smiled warmly towards the mammoth chamber, shut off the speaker, and left the control room surprisingly quickly.
Inside the chamber, Mariko listened silently as Saito's footsteps became quieter and quieter. Seconds later, they disappeared into oblivion, and all the diclonius heard were the sounds of beeping and clanking of machinery that she had heard every day for the past five years. It wasn't long before the sounds of the lab outside her chamber died away within her mind, for the diclonius quickly ignored them. The only sound she could hear was the faint ringing in her ears and the imaginary howling winds of the raging storm inside her head. Feelings of unknown existence continued to fill her brain accompanied by distant-sounding words, and her musings triggered to life.
…Maybe you're lying to me. I know that you're not my mommy. How do I know you're not lying? Instantly, all twenty-six vectors lashed out of the metal shielding the little horned girl from the world, and the wind rose once again. Are you telling the truth? Is Daddy really going to come for me someday? Will he? …Someday?
She certainly hoped so. …No…she didn't hope. She knew he would. Somehow, she was aware of the midnight-haired figure that stood outside the chamber, his blue eyes staring with an unreadable expression towards the massive prison before turning and walking away silently. Maybe it was her imagination. Maybe it was real. Either way, Mariko didn't mind. All the diclonius knew was that she wanted to meet her father. She wanted to talk to him. She wanted to go places with him and be a part of the family she had never known. Even seeing his face was good enough for her. She just wanted to see her daddy.
…I'll meet you someday, Daddy, Mariko passively thought as the windstorm created by her vectors grew louder with every word passing through her mind. Someday I know I'll be out of here…and then I can meet you. I know it…I know that day will come soon.
A small smile appeared across the pallid features of the pink-haired diclonius. I'll be waiting, Daddy. I'll be waiting for the day…
- - -
As Kurama's footsteps echoed off the walls of the control room, the dark-haired figure paused momentarily within the entrance. His narrow ocean-blue eyes gazed towards the silhouette of the chamber so far away from his viewpoint. Despite the fact he could simply walk over to it in a few minutes, it seemed so distant to him, so far away and out of his reach. It could be his imagination playing tricks on him again, but the horned girl seemed so far from him…
Without a word, he turned from the darkness and chill of the control room. The sound of footsteps was once again reborn within the empty corridors of the facility, and jumbled thoughts quickly plagued his mind as shadows danced gracefully in the dark and the faint humming from the florescent lights over his head became distant.
Just wait a little longer, Mariko. I'll come for you soon. Don't worry. You'll see me soon. And I'll see you…because I'm waiting.
I'll be waiting for the day…
Well…there you have it, I guess. Not the best thing ever written, but I think it turned out okay. Anyways, let me know what you think!