The smell of disinfectant, the taste of blood and the searing agony of one hundred tearing claws ripping his flesh.

This was all Vincent had known, all he had ever felt for countless months, maybe even years but time no longer mattered. He could not die, he could not save the one he loved, he could do nothing but lie on that damned steel table like the lab rat he had become and scream when he was told to.

His mind woke slowly, leaving the bliss of unconsciousness and reluctantly entered the hellish domain of reality. It was a painful process. First his body would rouse into a semi-woken state, feeling the blunt, cold pain of lying, unable to move on a metal slab, then the initial wounds of yesterday's experiments would throw him into full blown agony and he would lie in wait for his tormentor's arrival. An endless cycle that Vincent had become exceedingly familiar with.

He waited, almost able to predict the moment the writhing would start. When nothing occurred, Vincent tentatively pushed his mind forward into consciousness. It was strange not to be forced from slumber and, although this could possibly mean he had at long last died, he allowed the moment to drag on. His senses reached out nervously, testing his body for the first few aches but he felt nothing. Everything was numb.

Vincent's eyes flickered open but fastened shut straight away as they flooded with a luminescent fluid. His unfeeling body hadn't realized he was submerged and unconsciously, his lungs tried to draw in air.

Instantly, the man's body went into immediate panic. His nose and mouth filled with the congealing liquid, causing him to choke and throw his head back in alarm. As he moved, he felt the swirl of the liquid engulf his body and his eyes were forced open. The green luminescent light that blinded his vision only caused his alarm to increase.

The jerking movements caused his head to spin and his sight blurred. He hadn't done much more than twist and writhe but already he could feel his strength draining and eventually he became still. The sensation of drowning yet unable to die was something Vincent dreaded; ever since Hojo's first survival experiment where he had submerged the ex-turk in a tank of water for over an hour. It occurred often in his nightmares and the fear was always fresh in his mind. But it was within his distraught that the man slowly began to notice his lungs weren't screaming for oxygen. There was no fire burning in his chest yet he was sure he hadn't inhaled. Was this just another one of his realistic nightmares?

Slowly he looked down and an expression of shock crossed his face as for the first time he realized he was standing. No steel table, no metal bindings, just him on his own two feet. The hammering of his heart finally began to slow. What was going on? The numerous bubbles created from his movement began to settle to his feet and he watched them in confusement. He couldn't be dreaming, he was sure this was real, but where in hell was he? No pain, just a blissful numbness yet he was still alive. As he looked, he noted numerous long cables attached to his body at separate points.

Obviously he was still Hojo's lab rat.

Pulling gently, he noted that several of the cables were only taped to his skin, most likely to monitor his pulse. Others however, were hooked into him by viciously long needles that he was thankful he couldn't feel. Vincent's eyes followed a cable from his body to where it entered through a glass wall that seemed to surround him on all sides. He assumed he was in a tank.

Almost hypnotically, his head turned to view behind him. Everything he was doing seemed to have slowed down as if the submerging liquid was heavy yet there was no resistance against his body, only a strange floating sensation.

His eyes surveyed beyond the glass to take in walls lined with multiple hi-powered computers and work benches. He thought he knew where he was now. He remembered from a distant memory, following Lucrecia into a room similar to this, or possibly the same one, and in the centre had sat a large glass tank, empty at the time but obviously used for some scientific purpose.

Back then, he never would have even dreamed he was to become one of those scientific purposes.

So he was still under Hojo's control. He must have been moved while under a very strong anaesthetic. After all that had happened to him, he was by no means a heavy sleeper.

But he was finally able to move and he could turn in all directions freely, so this was definitely an improvement.

Vincent's mind relaxed but it was only a temporary release. Confused with where he now was and what had happened, the young man had completely forgotten about the horrific experimentations his left hand had undergone. He had seen it only once; being bound to a table meant he had only ever viewed anything between his chin and the rise of his chest, but at one point Hojo had un-strapped the limb and allowed it to hang limp in the air before him. He would have wretched if he had anything in his body to do so; the disfigurement more than enough for even the strongest stomach.

But now the nausea was returning and he wondered whether he really did want to see the damage done. After several minutes of debating, he decided it would be better to see it now while alone, rather than wait for Hojo to show up and force it on him.

With deliberate slowness, Vincent raised his left arm into view but what he saw both relieved yet horrified him. The pulsating veins and torn, red flesh were not gone as he had hoped, but hidden beneath a golden band that fitted securely from his elbow down to his wrist. From here, a metal gauntlet was attached, stretching out over all of his fingers only to end as lethal talons that caused shivers to stream down his spine.

It gleamed dangerously, vicious-looking in the faint light of the lab. He turned his hand over and back again, flexing the fingers to test its movement. They glided smoothly, tapping his wrist then slacking as he returned the arm to his side.

Thoughts began to flood his mind, thoughts of the damage he could do with such an accessory, what he could do to the bastard who had given it to him. He could see it in his mind's eye; Hojo grovelling helplessly as his body was torn apart by the golden claws, shredded in agonizingly slow tears and it would finally be the scientist's blood staining the floor red.

A corner of Vincent's mouth turned up into a malicious grin as he pictured the scene, almost able to hear the beautiful screams of pain as they were ripped from Hojo's lungs.

Without warning, an unseen force slammed into Vincent's chest, barrelling him into the tank's glass. His head was bombarded with an unexpected pain, making it feel like it was being cleaved in two by a blunt axe and he writhed in agony. He tried to grasp his long hair with clenched fists, as if he could pull the sensation away. It ripped straight through his body, pausing briefly across his torso, then abruptly ended, leaving an eerie pounding in his ears like that of a heartbeat.

Vincent shook violently as he collected his thoughts. He noticed the strange discolouration of the fluid around him and traced it back to a half-healed laceration that striped across his chest. Blood seeped into the liquid in front of him, causing it to turn a sickly orange colour. He stared, wondering how he couldn't have felt such a wound yet his mind felt as if it were imploding in on itself. It must have been caused by the gauntlet as he twisted and turned. But if he couldn't feel physical pain, then what had just happened? Unless the numbing sensation was only affective externally, but that would mean he should be able to feel the needles that were stuck at least three inches into his flesh.

Vincent watched as the final stretch of the sliced skin stitched together to form a long scar across his chest. Just another to remind him of his time here.

Even as a Turk, there had never been a single mark on his body but now…now it looked like he'd been mutilated with a chainsaw and stitched back together with glue and knitting needles. Although that was probably a far nicer idea than the true reality of it.

Fresh anger seemed to roil up inside Vincent but something was different about the feeling. There wasn't a moment in which he didn't dream of tearing Hojo apart, but for some reason the emotion now seemed much stronger, much more…dangerous.

The thought stuck with him and he stood, deep within his bewildered thoughts for over an hour until the sound of a lock being turned echoed in the silence and three men in white coats entered the room.

He looked up and searched their faces carefully but couldn't put a name to any of them. Strangely this calmed him.

They were talking quietly amongst themselves yet Vincent could hear the sound of their voices as if they were yelling to each other. However, despite this, the conversation only came out as a loud drone, the words undetectable except for a select few.

He watched them; unmoving, as they separated and crossed the lab to different sections. Two began typing furiously into the computer's as large screens of data and what appeared to be a slightly blurred DNA strand flashed along their monitors.

The other approached the tank and began surveying a smaller monitor that Vincent had previously failed to notice. At one point, the scientist's brow furrowed, a strange look of concern crossing his face. He mumbled something to his co-workers that sounded something like the word "malfunction" then finally; he stared up into the tank. Only then did he realise that Vincent was staring back, watching every move he made. The scientist's eyes widened in surprise before he turned and barked to one of the other two. The one who responded was obviously younger and by the attention he was giving to the scientist, most likely a subordinate. He listened intently as the scientist mumbled an order to him, only once stealing a quick glance at the specimen in the tank, then nodded and pulled a small cell phone from his pocket.

Vincent felt his stomach clench tightly, suddenly not so happy about his new residence.

Very few words were exchanged into the cell phone before it was stored back into the young scientist's coat. Vincent watched, knowing that if he could have felt anything, his body would be breaking into a cold sweat.

Thirty minutes had passed since the phone call but to Vincent, time was speeding up and he knew this was never a good sign.

The sound of a male voice approached the lab, a voice that made Vincent squirm and shiver and the one voice he pleaded not to hear.

The door swung inwards, revealing the centre of all Vincent's nightmares and confirmed the dread that had now risen to its peak.

Hojo strode into the room, his superiority obvious against the fumbling scientists as they attempted to show him their new-found data. But he didn't need to listen. He only had to look at a data sheet to deduce the conclusion.

Vincent's stomach knotted and he wondered if he feigned unconsciousness, would he be left alone, although with Hojo now here, that was extremely unlikely.

Faint tapping suddenly occurred and the man was roused from his thoughts to see Hojo wrapping the tank with one bony knuckle. He immediately felt vulnerable, like an animal in a cage and the grin he received from the scientist was anything but comforting.

He watched with a growing apprehension as Hojo crossed the lab to one of the computers and input a series of keys. Straining his eyes, Vincent could faintly make out the words 'subject' and 'test' but before he could see anymore, a strange buzzing seemed to vibrate through the liquid around him. The knots in his stomach tightened painfully as he realised the numbness of his body was quickly disappearing. He barely had a chance to look back up when a brief yet painful volt of electricity shot through his body. Vincent went stiff then slackened as he recovered from the shock. But that wasn't the end. Clenching his teeth, Vincent braced himself for what he knew was coming. The next volt was stronger and lasted far longer, possibly only a few seconds but to him, it seemed endless. This continued several times, countless for Vincent, each time, the voltage increasing, leaving the man exhausted and trembling. Damn that bastard and his pointless 'tests'. The first chance he got, Vincent knew he was going to tear the man's very throat out, even if he had to do it with his teeth.

It was then that the pounding in his ears began. It was the same as earlier, although this time there was no pain, but a strange heat that surged up through Vincent and he felt the anger return. His body seemed to burn from within, confusing his mind, causing his vision to blur. A strange ringing now accompanied the pounding, along with the sound of panicking voices. It was unbearable, driving him insane. Desperately his hands flew up to his ears in an attempt to block out the noise but this time he felt it when the talon sliced his cheek. It made the anger flare and suddenly Vincent's entire body was screaming in agony.

He could hear his own voice excel from a scream to a monstrous roar, something terrifying and inhuman. It sent his mind into overdrive as panic set in.

He felt as if his body was being torn into pieces and his immediate thoughts flew to Hojo. What was he doing to him? Was the bastard really trying to kill him this time?

Vincent's sight abruptly cleared and for a brief moment, he really thought he'd died and was now roasting in hell. But he could still see the lab and the scientists, but the world around him was red; a hazy mist that was engulfing everything. He couldn't understand what was happening. The scientists were moving around him, frantically typing into keyboards and pointing to monitors that were flashing with red lights.

Rage tore through Vincent's body, filling him with an unfamiliar strength. He felt himself sink into the power, almost willing it to take over. It was definitely inhuman, but after everything Hojo had done to him, he probably fit that class perfectly. He could feel the strength surge strongly within him and he allowed it to grow, but he could feel his control disappearing with it. His sight was leaving him as he fell into the depths of his subconscious, submitting to the power that was quickly taking over.

But a moment later, his mind suddenly took an unexpected shift and the man felt his consciousness pull him fully to the surface once more. Immediately, the unknown strength began to fade.

The colour around him began to diminish again to a luminescent green and his body became light as the numbing effect slowly returned.

His eyes became heavy and he finally became aware of a voice, somewhere near, talking, saying his name, but….not to him, they were talking about him, 'she' was talking about him. Was it…her?

Vincent's head unwillingly slumped onto his chest as his exhausted body gave in to sleep. He wanted to wake, to look up and see that it really was Lucrecia, to gaze upon her beautiful face. He mouthed her name in an attempt to call to her but no sound emerged. Regardless, he knew she had noticed, for the next time she said his name, the sound was not aimed at a co-worker, but at him. A whisper of compassion that lulled him fully into slumber.

Silent, devoid of all life. He was floating in a black abyss, engulfed in its emptiness. He couldn't move or speak, only look on into the maddening darkness.

Roaring erupted behind him, so loud that he felt his eardrums shatter, causing the familiar sensation of warm blood to ooze down each side of his neck. A blast of wind whipped his hair painfully into his face, turning him to face the monstrous silhouette.

Vincent's mind roiled with confusement and terror, then a flaring rage that, somehow, he knew was not his own, but the creature's. He felt bewilderment wash through him like a wave. He knew this was a dream, but everything: the emotions, the feeling of the wind around him, it was too real.

Eyes glowing a venomous yellow burnt out of the darkness, piercing into him with a hate so strong it was terrifying to even return the glance. Heavy chains were locked tightly around each wrist; straining against the creature's strength as it fought against them; tearing with vicious claws that caused sparks to fly with every stroke. Its chest heaved from its exertions and slowly, the beast became still.

The glowering eyes rested on Vincent's, as if it thought by simply staring, it could communicate to him. And Vincent was sure it was doing just that. He suddenly felt a connection, something he knew was dangerous yet he welcomed it.

The beast wanted him closer, beckoning with its gaze. Without thought, Vincent stepped forward. If he had been thinking clearly, he would have easily heard the growl that emanated from the beast's throat. He took another step and another growl reverberated in the silence but this time, it erupted from his own throat. This made him pause, yet all the while, his eyes were fastened to the creature's. A blast of wind billowed his hair into his line of sight and he looked away but it was the wrong move to make. With a powerful wrench, the beast twisted one arm up and lunged at Vincent, severing the chain. The vicious claws missed Vincent's throat by an inch but as it turned, the heavy metal swung up and smashed into the man's face, knocking him backwards. The familiar taste of blood flooded Vincent's mouth only adding to the nausea now washing through him. Painfully, the man managed to scrabble backwards just as the second claw made a slash at him. The chain tautened, creaking threateningly as the monstrous being fought against it; roaring in frustration.

Vincent felt alarm well up inside him as he realised his body was now unable to move from where it lay. Every heave brought the beast closer, its fangs bared in a bloodthirsty snarl.

Vincent's fear increased as a metal link cracked, slightly lengthening the chain so that the creature was merely inches from his body. The hot breath blew across him in sheets, stinging his eyes that he dared not close. As the beast tossed its head, a wave of black hair fell across its face, then lightly streamed away to reveal the features beneath. Vincent's mind fell into turmoil as he stared, horror-struck, at what he saw. Regardless of the vicious fangs and glowering eyes, it was undoubtedly his own face staring back at him, like a mirrored image.

If he could have moved, he would have reached out to touch it, just to see if it was really there, although he may have lost his fingers in the process.

The creature, the other Vincent snarled, leaning all of its weight into the metal restraint.

Everything became instantly still as the two beings stared through each other.

The silence seemed to calm them both and it suddenly dawned on Vincent, how hard he was concentrating on the other. A strange understanding instantly came across the man and, not knowing how or why, Vincent realized that he himself, the concentration emanating from him, was controlling the creature. It was the key. The resolution was so sudden, he was almost sure someone else had given it to him, as if it had been shouted but he hadn't physically heard. This baffled him and yet seemed to make some form of sense. So long as he could stay focused like this, he could keep control; that was all he had to know.

As the pair lay in silence, Vincent suddenly became aware of a voice in the distant. It was faint but growing increasingly. The creature had heard it too but was obviously not letting it become a distraction. Instead, it saw the voice as an opportunity.

Vincent was aware of this and re-focused back on holding his concentration.

Slowly but surely the voice was approaching. How fast, he couldn't be sure but after what seemed to be several long hours, Vincent could finally make out what was being said. It was his name; the voice was calling out to him. He tried to ignore it but as it grew in volume, the feeling that he knew this voice also grew.


He had to ignore it.


His control slipped momentarily and the chain groaned in warning.

"Vincent, can you hear me?"

Something was screaming the answer to him but no matter how much he wanted to know, there was no way he could find it without loosing control.

"…I'm so sorry."

Lucrecia's face burst into Vincent's mind and a loud crack simultaneously struck his ears. With a painful blow, the creature fell upon him and he succumbed into darkness.

The lock turned with a loud click and the young woman cringed. Slowly she pushed in through the heavy door, re-locking it behind her as she entered the lab.

Her fingers fumbled for the light switch, failing several times before the single overhanging lamp flickered on, casting its dim glow across the computer-lined walls. Lucrecia glanced once at the tank before moving swiftly across the room to the main power switch and, with a quick last-minute thought, shut off the surrounding monitors and alarms. It was then that she finally turned her full attention to the tank and its sleeping occupant. She approached it slowly; careful in case the noise of her heels would rouse the man from slumber. She didn't want him to wake. This was probably the only time in which he didn't have to fear the reality of where he was; what they were doing to him, what she had done to him.

The thought made tears well up in her eyes as she knew his suffering was all because of her. Now it was too late to stop them. Hojo wouldn't listen when she pleaded for Vincent's freedom. He had said Vincent was now too advanced, that he was a valuable specimen to his research. God knows what the bastard had done to him during the months she had thought he was dead. She circled the tank; a fresh stab of anguish welling up as her eyes traced the multitude of scars distorting his pale skin.

Her breath caught as Vincent's face grimaced in his sleep; nightmares she had undoubtedly caused him.

She stifled a sob and turned to the table of data that had been left lying from earlier.

The young woman flicked casually through several pages before coming to Vincent's blood and pulse monitoring. A large graph spanned the length of numerous sheets with the first few similar with a steady rising and falling within the chart. But as she turned the fourth page, a drastic change had occurred. Vincent's pulse had appeared to become erratic and his body temperature had soared to above ninety degrees.

Shocked, Lucrecia replaced the clipboard and moved back to Vincent.

What could have caused such an alteration? Could it be…the lifestream?

"Vincent?" She quietly called his name as worry set in. It had been such a desperate move; she knew that, but to keep him alive…

The choice of infusing Vincent with stagnant lifestream had been a risk Lucrecia alone had decided to take. In truth she wasn't even sure Hojo was aware of what she had done, but she was sure he wasn't without his suspicions.

"Vincent?" What if he was taking a side effect? What if the lifestream itself killed him again?

"Vincent, can you hear me?" Lucrecia felt hot tears spill down her face. She didn't think she could live with herself if Vincent suffered anymore because of her mistakes.

As her tears splashed across the floor, Lucrecia's hand lifted silently to the round bump her belly had become. Regret was so strong within her but she knew she couldn't go back anymore. She still had at least six months before the child would be born but already her motherly instincts had begun to emerge. Her fingers caressed her stomach, love and fear for the child and its future appearing in her eyes. Lucrecia sucked in a quivering breath then gazed back up to Vincent's face. How she wanted to tell him her true feelings, to confess her love for him. How she wished this child was his.

"Vincent…," She could hear the tremble in her own voice as she turned to leave, "I'm so sorry."

Lucrecia's footsteps echoed in the lab's silence, stopping only as she searched her pockets for the lab's key. She ignored the fact that she had left the computers off; if she couldn't help Vincent out of this place, she could at least give him one night of not being a lab rat.

A brief movement caught her eye and she paused; hand hovering inches from the lock. It could have been imaginary, but Lucrecia turned in its direction regardless.

The key slid from her fingers to the floor, sliding under a nearby table as she watched Vincent's hands rise to the surrounding glass of his tank. He was gazing hypnotically around the room, like a lost child searching for its parents. Smoothly he turned to face behind him, his eyes gliding over her as if she were invisible.

Without a word, Lucrecia stepped lightly up to the tank, a strange longing appearing on her face. She whispered his name, wondering why in hell she wasn't leaving. But something was compelling her to stay. What she was doing was unfair, to him and to herself, but if she could just see his eyes, his beautiful red eyes, perhaps that would be enough to content herself. Then again, what if his eyes had become tainted with the suffering she had brought upon him, how would she feel then?

It didn't matter, she knew any pain she felt now was all she deserved. If only he would turn to face her… But maybe that was why he hadn't. Because she was there.

Her head fell forward to lie against the glass of the tank, more tears rolling to the floor below.

As she wept, a dark shadow loomed across her small body and she watched as Vincent's feet rotated towards her. Suddenly she didn't feel so confident, but deep down she knew, if she turned and left now, she would never be back. Nervously, Lucrecia lifted her head and tipped it back to face the man above her. But what she saw caused a wave of terror to wash through her body, freezing the woman where she stood.

His eyes seemed to look straight through her; cold and brimming with anger. But they weren't the eyes she remembered. The warm red of Vincent's eyes were gone, replaced with a venomous yellow that glowed with hatred.

He surveyed the room with vague interest, then, as if only realising she was there, snapped his gaze onto Lucrecia. The young woman fearfully recoiled from the tank, shocked at what she was seeing. She could feel herself pale as Vincent's mouth turned up into a twisted sneer, baring long, inhuman fangs. Briefly, he looked away, as if his interest in her had suddenly run out, but before Lucrecia could even release the breath she had been holding, the man spun right round and threw his entire weight into the tank. It creaked from the impact and a frustrated roar burst from Vincent's throat. Again, he flung himself at the glass, this time creating a small crack; not much thicker than a needle.

Recovering from the shock, Lucrecia managed to step sideways just as a third blow caused liquid to spray from within the tank. A fourth caused the glass to crack from the bottom up and a fifth would surely shatter whatever remained.

Terrified, Lucrecia called out Vincent's name and he momentarily paused to look at her. His eyes seemed to shimmer but the emotion that appeared was foreign to the woman. She stepped further away from him and he watched in silence, a grin playing on his lips.

This frightened her more and she reached into her pocket for the lab key. Finding nothing, she panicked and spun full circle to see the space where she'd dropped it to be empty.

A quivering breath left her, catching in her throat as a crash resounded, followed by the sound of heavy gasps. She could feel the swirl of water lap round her feet as the tank's contents spilled across the floor, staining it a luminescent green.

Vincent's body collapsed from the tank and collided heavily with the floor below. His breathing excelled into strangled screams, then into an animalistic roar that cracked the monitors of the surrounding computers. The man's body stretched and writhed across the lab, his body contorting at an alarming rate. Lucrecia watched on in horror. She was helpless and vulnerable without any idea what was happening before her. She stared as Vincent's right hand lengthened into piercing claws that matched the gauntlet on his left arm.

The man screamed in pain, the talons digging deeply into the lab's tiled floor. His ears lengthened into points while every muscle within him bulged and strengthened.

Two thin lines appeared across Vincent's back, becoming increasingly more prominent. It looked as if something was moving beneath his flesh, crawling and rising in frustration. Moments later, an agonised howl filled the room as two leathery wings ripped through Vincent's skin, spraying blood across everything near.

Lucrecia's hand flew to her mouth, smothering a cry. Everything had become instantly clear; it was impossible how she hadn't realized sooner. Her fear briefly vanished, replaced by wonder and triumph. She had been right, her thesis; Chaos and Omega, they really did exist.

However, a sickening twist occurred in her mind as she realized what this meant; what it meant for Vincent. Had it been the lifestream? Oh god what had she done?

Her knees buckled, striking the floor painfully as she wept into her hands. It wasn't until several minutes later that she realized how silent the room had become.

Slowly she lifted her face, dreading of what she may see. Terror widened her eyes as she looked up only to come face to face with the creature of her dreams and her nightmares.

She began to shake but surprisingly, she was still able to hold on to her thoughts. From her research, she was certain that Vincent hadn't fully transformed into the beast of legend, but more taken on a vague appearance. The fangs, claws and wings were mostly the only physical features he had attained with the rest of his body remaining barely changed; the true Chaos would be much less human.

A rumbling snapped Lucrecia back to the present and she shivered as Chaos growled threateningly before her. She edged backwards, moving so slow it was barely noticeable. Her eyes were trained to the floor; not daring to look up. She began to quicken her pace and soon felt a strange hope building within her. Perhaps she was going to get out safe; although she didn't know how she was going to get the door open without a key.

Something instantly didn't feel right, this was too easy. Cold fear seeped into her mind and reluctantly, she lifted her head towards Chaos. A gasp burst from her throat as the blood-soaked area where the beast had lay was empty. In shock, Lucrecia twisted round just as a large claw lunged forward and collided into her chest. She was knocked backwards, landing into a heap several metres away from the door. Blood oozed up from a deep gash along her collar bone, staining her lab coat. She was winded and a terrible fear of what was about to happen caused her breathing to excel.

Footsteps, quick and heavy began towards her and she curled up just as the lethal claws took hold of her neck, hurling her body across the room into a computer. The monitor smashed on impact and the young woman felt blood trickle down her face. Nausea rose in her stomach and she threw her arms protectively around it as Chaos approached her again; dripping Vincent's blood as the wings extended.

She lay frozen in fear as Chaos lunged at her, but instead of being thrown, the creature snagged each of her wrists and pulled them above her head, forcing Lucrecia out of her curled up position. His body crushed painfully against hers, the hard muscles bruising her soft flesh. Bloodlust gleamed in his eyes as they trailed her body, finally stopping at the crimson trace along her face. A long tongue slid from between the fangs to Lucrecia's cheek and followed the blood back to her temple, dragging a low rumble from deep within his chest. Chaos' eyes glinted dangerously and without hesitation, the creature pulled one of the young woman's wrists to his mouth and viciously tore into it with his fangs. Blood ran in streams down Lucrecia's arm and she screamed in pain and shock as she felt Chaos' mouth clamp down on her ripped flesh. His body trembled euphorically as her blood flooded his mouth. It stained the fangs crimson as they bit deeper; increasing the flow.

The young woman felt hot tears slide down her face, mixing with the blood on her coat. What had she done to him? She deserved this, every bit of pain and anguish he gave her.

Lucrecia's wrist felt suddenly cold as Chaos' lips were removed. She felt his teeth glide painfully from her skin, saw the exhilaration it caused in him when she screamed.

Right now she thought she was going to be sick, whether from fear or the ache in her heart, she couldn't tell.

Chaos watched her intently, and then something seemed to distract him. His gaze flickered then lowered from her face to the round bump below his stomach. He backed off slightly, enabling Lucrecia to steal a desperately needed breath. The hold on her uninjured wrist relinquished and she allowed the arm to fall limp. Chaos' free hand then drifted down and spanned her stomach with a strange look appearing across his features. Suddenly more fearful for the unborn child, Lucrecia's hand protectively made a grab for Chaos' and attempted to pull it away. His eyes flared and he caught the arm before it even neared her stomach. A sickening crunch made Lucrecia's head spin and she screamed as Chaos' grip crushed her wrist. He squeezed it again, threateningly before releasing it and returning his attention back to her child.

Lucrecia quivered in pain as she fought the rising bile in her throat. She felt the sharp nails rake her skin but found it even more frightening as they were removed. Chaos was silent, as if assessing something, then with lightening speed, his claws shot up and tore away the young woman's lab coat and all beneath it. The thought of a slow death came to mind and Lucrecia recoiled, waiting for Chaos to tear open her stomach and destroy the baby but instead she felt the cold metal of Vincent's gauntlet lie across her lower stomach and slowly drift lower until it rested between her thighs.

Now a new dread arose as the beast easily shredded her skirt, separating her legs and placing himself between them. She twisted her face up to his, expecting to see him snarling back in a demand of her obedience, although it wouldn't matter much if she cooperated or not, either or, he would have his way. But instead, he was entirely fixated on her belly, an expression of deep concentration marking his face. What could he possibly be thinking? Was there a chance that his new intention could also kill her child? It was something she didn't want to risk and in desperation she threw her weight to the side, frantic in her desire to escape.

A painful yank to the back of her head told her she had failed and she fell backwards into Chaos' chest as he released her hair. Viciously he seized her shoulders and threw her back into the computer; so hard she thought he had cracked her spine.

His breath was unbearably hot as he closed in on her, leaving her breathless and faint. She could feel him move higher between her legs.

Terror and pain overwhelmed her, forcing Vincent's name to gasp from her throat. How she wanted to be held by him, just once more before she left this world.

A quiver ran along her spine causing it to wrack with pain. Chaos' talons left her shoulders and took hold of her hips, lifting them to meet the tip of his arousal. Her trembles were so strong now they were agony. She wanted it to end, here and now, to die by Vincent's hand and feel that she had got what she deserved. The air around her thickened followed by a silence that was almost maddening. Lucrecia watched Chaos, saw his flaring nostrils, his bared fangs, the golden eyes. Then she saw Vincent, his gentle smile, his handsome face.

She knew it was all going to end.

Sound exploded around her, pain made her body quake and Chaos surged forward driving an agonized scream from her throat. Her lower body went into flames as he tore through her, extreme pain like nothing she had experienced before making the world fall to pieces around them.

Her sight rapidly blanked into darkness then back, disorientating her senses. For a moment she thought she could hear voices, panicked shouts but she ignored them, more aware that Chaos would be entering her again any minute. Instead, she felt the air whip her hair around her face and the sensation of falling overwhelmed her senses. Her head cracked against the floor causing lights to dance in her vision. She could see red; a pool of crimson in front of her. Then the voices returned. Feet were running in all directions; feet clad in heavy black boots. A pair ran towards her, but…not the same. These feet were clad in small high heels that made Lucrecia's ears ring painfully as they approached.

"Miss Crescent?" That was her name wasn't it. She was Lucrecia…Crescent?

"Miss Crescent, can you hear me? MISS CRESCENT?"

A face kneeled down into view. The face of a young girl. Lucrecia watched in confusement as the girl removed her lab coat and draped it over her naked body then began yelling to someone…one of the others around her. What had just happened? Chaos…Vincent…?

Her eyes shut but she could sense more feet approaching. Strong arms curled around her body and lifted her from the floor. She gasped in pain.

"BE CAREFUL WITH HER!" The voice of the young girl again.

Suddenly there were gunshots…roaring and gunshots. Vincent's face flashed into Lucrecia's mind and she desperately tried to sit up, but she was numb; completely immobile in her state of agony. Her eyes scanned the ceiling above her…unseeing, lost in her own mind. But within her thoughts she was with Vincent. She was with him and promising to him…she would do something. She wouldn't let his suffering continue anymore.

The corridor outside was far quieter. Her back came into contact with some form of bed…perhaps a stretcher and a recognizable face appeared above her. She couldn't focus properly, but she knew who it was, could hear his hated, selfish voice above her.

"Make sure she is well taken care. She is part of a very valuable project taking place at the moment; nothing must happen to the child."

The voice faded into the distance as she was moved further down the corridor. She knew now that she had to live through this. Not for the project, not for Hojo, but for Vincent. She would find a way to save him. Only then could she do damn all with her pitiful life.

But until then…she would find a way to let him live on.