A/N: Someone needs to stop me. Seriously deranged/twisted/obsessive Raph/Cass with Dark/Infected!Cassandra and themes of revenge. I'm still trying to get Raph's characterization right, so any and all concrit on that front is warmly welcomed. Enjoy.

"Perhaps he felt a vague concern that he had built better than he knew."

Hannibal, Thomas Harris (p. 536)

"Insolent girl. You would dare raise your blade against me?"

A quirk, a ghost of a smile upon her lips, stark amusement alighting in cursed, red-stained eyes. "I think it's time for you to stand aside, Sorel," she says, and he feels deepest fury rising within him at the cool arrogance of her tone, his tone, and the audacity she possesses to dare speak to him thus.

"Ungrateful wretch," he grinds out between clenched teeth, raising his sword against hers. "I made you what you are."

"You made me what you are," she responds, and there's a disconcerting sweetness, lightness to her words that reminds him of what she used to be before, beautifully pure in the warm light of day, but there's a sharpness to her gaze, a dark, easy smile upon her lips that belies her gentle tone, and he knows she's mocking him. "You saw a determined young woman with her heart in her eyes, and it amused you. You thought it would be such delicious fun to destroy her, mold her in your image, didn't you? Bring her to your side and toy with her until she finally broke apart and stood unflinchingly by your side, supporting your mad schemes, keeping you warm at night until you grew tired of her?"

Her eyes are dark, so beautifully dark-red; so often he'd nearly loved her for the maddened sensuality of her gaze, deliciously wicked and focused before she bared sharp, white teeth and tore into an innocent, desperately pleading village maiden. Beautifully feral, cruel, granting him a slight, impossibly self-satisfied smile before he kissed her, rich-red blood upon her lips, and he felt a surge of pride that he'd built her so well, so successfully guided her complete transformation from innocent light to darkness and shadows.

He had deignedto grant this wretched girl the privilege of standing by his side at the dawn of the new world order, even as he carelessly crushed any number of lesser demons, lesser men beneath his heel, and now she dared to rise up against him?

"You know your place," he warns, voice darkly threatening. "Stand down, or I'll be forced to remind you."

She raises one eyebrow, all haughty disbelief. "You honestly think," she says, "that I'll demur, that I'll apologize and crawl back to your side now that I've tasted this power?" She laughs, a hard, disdainful sound that seems to echo through the great hall, across its rugged stone walls…through his mind, as painfully sharp and familiar as her cruel remarks, her arrogant smirks. His immeasurable pride falters a step as he remembers what she used to be, remembers the sweet yet rebellious woman who dared stand against him, remembers working so hard to destroy her, remembers her finally kneeling before him, hurt, broken, bleeding, her sister lying motionless nearby, her small frame shaking with great, wracking sobs, as she rested, weak and exhausted with grief, within his falsely comforting embrace, and he watched with detached fascination as she began to unravel.

Now she stands before him, sword raised, poised to attack, her stance confident, eyes arrogantly self-assured, and she moves, quickly, so quickly, swinging her sword at him, not the slightest bit of hesitation evident in her precise slashes as he fights to parry her endless barrage of attacks.

"Cassandra." He hears her name on his lips before he realizes he's said it, but he watches her falter for the briefest moment at the sound—he hasn't said her name in years, took that power from her at the onset, when she lay dazed and numb in his arms, newly-transformed, and he brushed aside a few strands of her soft blond hair and whispered the first of a long line of meaningless endearments.

He watches as she pauses, a slight tremor gripping her sword hand, her lips silently forming the syllables of her name, the name she's long since forgotten, and he wonders if she'll stop, if she'll once more return to his side and kneel, kneel like his lovely girl should…

He receives his answer when she shakes her head, swift and hard, before thrusting forward with her sword, tearing through rich cloth over skin and muscle as her sharp blade connects with his chest.

She smiles at the pure, white-hot fury and indignation in his eyes as he presses one gloved hand to the wound, feeling blood seeping thickly against leather. "Odd you should remember her name, Raphael," she observes in that familiar, disconcertingly sweet tone. "You took so much pleasure in destroying her all those years ago." She clears his blood from her beautifully-forged blade with one hard flick of her wrist, then turns back to him, to his anger, to this long-destined battle.

"Now, my dear," she says, his words echoing in her voice, his smirk playing along her lips, "let's finish this."