AN: I have to be honest. When it comes to 'what if' stories on Elfen Lied, just about everyone has beaten me to it already .-Not that I don't have a few tricks up my sleeve…

There was---at one time---a fanfic (not by me) like this one, only it had a touch more crude language and OOCness than one might have come to expect. And for whatever reason that I can hardly fathom, the author disposed of it… quite moronic considering how refreshing the plotline was. Anyway, this will be a "Re-Take" if you will, and this time, things will be a whole lot more different…

Disclaimer: Elfen Lied, and all characters, locations, and properties herein are strictly licensed by GENCO. Special thanks to Lynn Okamoto, whom created this diabolical and deliciously intoxicating realm where mutant girls are the dominant race!

I Am… What I Am

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Kamakura. The birds were singing, the streets abuzz with restless people, and not a single cloud dotted the sky. A gentle spring wind kissed at the delightfully pale, bare skin of a young girl's legs and arms, and the sun illuminated her with its radiance and warmth.

Today was a splendid day…

Well, for normal people anyway.

Kaede stared glumly at the gravestone marking at the foot of the tree; another life lost at the hands of these... savages. Her first pet, a stray pup she'd found while out lingering in the woods one evening, had been the victim of a cruel prank gone horribly awry. She couldn't believe how that, that bastard had grinned so wickedly while he commenced his evil deed---each smash of the vase punctuated by the pained yelp of her canine friend.

Eventually, she had become so enraged by Tomo's vicious act of murder, and his so-called friends teaming up on Kaede to aid in her misery... that she killed them. Torrents of crimson had decorated the lemon-colored walls, windows, tables; even the ceiling had not been spared. The smell of copper lingered in the air and cloyed with her senses long after she'd fled from that damnable place.

…All that bloodshed, ...and just so that they could see her cry.

How could they have all been so cruel?

She gripped the hem of her skirt with both hands, tears of anguish and loathing creeping down her smooth face as she clenched her eyes closed. Everyone around her it seemed was an enemy. Her mother and father, appalled to even look at her, sent the lovely-haired girl straight to a foster home at childbirth; they didn't even bother to say goodbye. Wrapped in a cold, wet sheet on their doorstep, those strangers had no choice but to take her in, lest they be accused of leaving a poor, defenseless baby girl to die.

They had treated her no less as her real family did, like a thing, a freak of nature that harbored the evil of a succubus inside. Her so called parents avoided her like the fucking plague, and the times they did actually come around made her feel like she was an eyesore.

And then there were the day classes… which were a whole nightmare unto itself. Half the kids were scared to go near her, thinking they'd catch whatever disease she had. The others… the bullies, lambasted her appearance, poured milk on her book bag all the while calling her hurtful things like "horns" and chanting "freak, freak, you're a freak" at her in some hysterical display of adolescent giddiness.

The weight of the world was crushing her, suffocating what little life she had left right out of her until nothing remained...

"W-W-Why…?" she lamented, her voice a harsh whisper on the wind. Kaede's scarlet bangs swept over her downcast countenance. "Why does everyone hate me?"

'We both know the answer to that,' her inner voice answered, injecting self-righteous tones, '-Because we are not welcome in this world. All these wretched humans are nothing more than cattle to us!'

Not long after Kaede had avenged her only four-legged friend in the orphanage, this separate conscious---"Aekade" she had been called---had made itself known in her head, mocking her when she felt sorry for herself for taking her vengeance too far on the children; then praising her the next moment for fulfilling her "rite of passage" as she so eloquently put it.

Now she was pressuring the young scarlet-eyed girl into killing more people, to make a name for herself and let the world know how irreversibly fucked it was now that they'd broken Kaede's heart...

-Aekade had been talking in her mind ceaselessly for the last hour-and a-half... and she was fast becoming a nuisance.

The ten-something year old Diclonius snuffled, gritting her teeth "Shut up! Just leave me in peace, Aekade!!"

'You know that it's true!' she retorted. 'Not once has anyone shown you kindness---Not your parents… not your friends, NOBODY!'

Kaede fell to her knees, holding her head in her hands as she cried ever harder. As much as she hated to admit it… it was true. Though she wished that it were not; that someone would give her the benefit of the doubt…

"If it weren't for these stupid horns… I wouldn't have to keep running away!" she hissed under her breath.

The caricature of her inhuman existence could be seen as clear as day to any passersby--- as if they hadn't noticed the exotic, shoulder-length hair already or the matching color eyes that gleamed of bloodstone. But the bones that grew out of her skull served as a constant reminder to her and others of how much of a freak Kaede was.

Sometimes… she felt like everything would go away……if she just died.

Bottom lip still quivering, the pretty girl stood disconsolately, letting her arms fall to the side. The tears continued to flow, but she no longer cared. Her eyes were hard and resolute.

'I know what I must do…' she curved her head towards the clearing.

There was a steep drop off the grassy plain into the abyss of trees not far from where she was, a flimsy railing the only obstacle from her awaiting suicide. If the fall itself didn't kill her; which she sincerely doubted, then the impact of the canopy undoubtedly would…

Not too many people came by during the day, so one little girl going over the side would hardly go noticed... not that anyone would miss her if she did. As far as the world was concerned, she could burn in the fires of hell.

Sniffling quietly to herself, the little girl turned and walked to her final destination... determination somehow overriding her fierce inner turmoil and guilt. Soon, she would nothing left to cry over; just a few more steps now...


For the first time that Kaede could remember, Aekade sounded terribly afraid. And she had damn good reason to.

'Don't go through with this!' she yelled, her voice mounting with worry, 'You know that I've never wanted you in any pain.'

Kaede ignored her, the cherry haired girl's feet moving them methodically towards the cliff. This was the way it would all end, so that neither of them could despair of their miserable excuse for a life any longer…

'For the first time since our awakening…' the sudden tenderness in surprised her, 'I can honestly say… that I've never been so happy to meet you… For so many years, I watched in agony as the world turned you away from the happiness you so desperately craved; we were both alone, shunned, and abused by the cruelty of mankind…'

The cherry-haired girl slowed in her steps, her sodden eyes on her feet. Her inner self had never been this vulnerable or open with its feelings before. For better or worse, she started to feel… pity brewing inside.

'It's not just you that's in pain… It's us…' a faint whimper somehow slipped past, 'And it's all that's left for you and me…'

It made Kaede want to cry all over again.

"A-Aekade…" she bemoaned.

'We shall remake the world into what we see fit. One day… this will all be a forgotten memory.'

A sudden throbbing made itself present in her mind, and the sadness all but erased from Kaede's features. There was no pain, but it was still unnerving that the intensity of such unprecedented reactions could make Kaede feel so lightheaded. This was unlike anything that she'd ever felt before, and it made her nervous.

'Another is present…'

At that very moment, a beautiful melody drifted through the air to meet her, caressing, soothing her spirit whilst setting ablaze with emotion she'd thought she since lost.

The Song of Lilium…

And when Kaede turned her head, she saw something that she would never forget for as long as she lived.

A boy… no older than she…, wearing a white short-sleeve shirt and blue jean shorts.

In his hands… a music box, the slow chimes ephemeral in its tempo yet the lasting effect was almost surreal.

His expression was one of complete bewilderment, almost like he never saw something as unique or beautiful as her before. He was, for his age very handsome, if not slightly leaner and more broad-shouldered than most children, and the way that his pale skin lit up in the sunlight made her heart stutter in her chest.

However, none of that really surprised her as much as his other features did. There was the sharp boyish, if not slightly effeminate face, with pale lips agape in awe; the long unkempt snow-white hair that seemed to fall around his undeniably cute visage; …and the deep, almost crimson shade of the eyes that bled with underlining sadness cast upon her with startling immersion.

What seemed to captivate Kaede, and not to mention Aekade the absolute most…

…Was that he had horns…

Just like her.

Cherry blossom petals fell like rain before them, and the rest of the world seemed to scream to a halt for this moment. There eyes were locked with one another---so many questions raced through their minds faster than they could put into form.

A slight breeze blew in; invisible, slender fingers sifting through Kaede's cherry hair to brush her lovely bangs over her still tear-streaked scarlet gems. Music continued to pour serenely into the afternoon, and for a time they were completely lost in each other's depths.

They both finally spoke, their minds connected as one:

"Another me…?"

AN: Aekade (pronounced A-ki-day) is the name I chose for Lucy's inner voice, which is actually Kaede spelled differently.