(A/N: Ok, so this story takes place after the anime. I haven't read the manga yet, but I do know some of the differences between the two. One of them will appear in this story. Just a warning though. For now this story is rated T, mostly due to violence. I'm not sure yet, but the rating may go up to M. I'll let you know in an Author's Note before/if I change it.)
Disclaimer: I own nothing
"THE DARKNESS WITHIN"
Chapter 1: I Am Kaede
History tends to repeat itself. But then again, Lucy knew that from personal experience. Why else would she be back here at the lab, under more security than before?
'It's because of those heartless bastards.' She thought. 'Why couldn't they have just killed me? I was ready to die. I was willing to die.'
She replayed the events in her head. After a vicious battle with another creature like her, during which she had lost one of her horns, she had been ready to accept death. It was for him, it was all for him.
"Kohta." She whispered the name of the boy she loved more than anything.
She decided that it had been worth it, just to see him again and apologize, it had all been worth it. She hadn't thought she would ever see him again, but Fate had decided otherwise.
'I know you can't forgive me. I killed your father and sister. How could you forgive me?'
Yes, Lucy was a killer. As much as she hated to admit it, she was a killer and had been since she was a child.
'It wasn't my fault!' she shouted to herself. 'Not entirely my fault. They were all so cruel. Every last one of them. Just because of my damn horns. I didn't ask to be born this way!'
Though it was impossible to tell, but underneath all her bindings, Lucy wasn't completely human. She was a Diclonius. A newer, different species of human. The details in a Diclonius were easy enough to recognize if one knew what to look for. Pink hair and magenta eyes were a physical feature that all Diclonius had, along with pale skin. Most Diclonius also had invisible arms called vectors that could retract in their back that could be used as deadly weapons. Lucy had four, and with them she had killed more people than she could remember. But the most noticeable feature about a Diclonius were the horns on their head. Two horns, no more than two inches long were really the only thing that gave away what they were. It had been because of her horns that poor Lucy had faced so misery.
'Guess I don't need to worry about them anymore.'
She had lost her horns some time ago. She didn't know how long ago since she'd been imprisoned ever since. The first one she had lost fighting another Diclonius. The second one she had lost facing that firing squad. Both times had hurt like a son of a bitch. But it was nothing compared to the emotional pain she had felt over the years.
Her earliest memory was of the orphanage. She had faced so much harassment and abuse, both verbally and physically, on a daily bases. Mostly from these three boys who made their mission in life to make Lucy miserable. They had been the first ones she killed.
But it wasn't her fault! They'd provoked her. They'd set her off. Those boys and that girl. That damn girl who had gotten close to Lucy, just to make her miserable. Lucy had lost faith in humanity, thinking everyone was cruel, but that girl, she thought she could trust her. She had told her about the only friend she'd ever had; a small puppy that she had found. She had confined the secret of her puppy in that girl, and the girl had promised not to tell anyone.
But what did she do? The first chance she got, she told those bullies about the puppy, knowing full well that they would be mean to it. No, mean was an understatement. When those boys had found Lucy's puppy, they had beat it to death right in front of, no matter how much she begged them to stop. All just to see her get upset. And that girl was there too. She had said that she didn't know the boys would do that to the puppy, yet she smiled; she smiled!
The next thing Lucy knew, the three boys and the traitorous girl were dead, sliced to pieces. They were her first victims. And she felt no sympathy. How could she? She had been physically and emotionally abused every damn day of her life by them. She saw them as cruel heartless monsters whose sole purpose was to hurt her. How could she feel sorry for them? They'd laughed at her misery, they'd laughed!
She'd fled the orphanage at that point. She killed when she had to and took residence in her victims' homes. But what the police were calling murders, she was calling survival. As far as she was concerned, humans were evil creatures who didn't deserve to live. They were worse than vermin, wanting nothing more than to inflict cruelty on everyone around them. When viewing someone in such a light, could one honestly feel sympathy for them? Lucy didn't, she felt nothing. As far as she was concerned, she was doing the world a favor by ridding it of these cruel, evil creatures.
Then she'd met him. Kohta. The only, only, person to ever show her kindness. He didn't laugh or make fun of her. He liked her horns. He wanted to be friends. Not like the girl who betrayed her, but really wanted to be friends.
All of Lucy's faith in humanity had been placed in Kohta. As far as she knew, he was the only person capable of compassion. Even at her young age, how could she not help falling madly in love with him? She would do anything for him. Absolutely anything.
It had been while she was with Kohta that she realized that she was becoming a monster. When she realized that she needed to kill again to find a new place to stay, it finally registered to her what she was doing. She was killing. Murdering. She tore people to pieces and felt no sympathy for them. And that terrified her to no end. She didn't want to be a killer. She didn't want to hurt people. And she was afraid that she wouldn't be able to stop.
And so she decided never to kill again. And she'd begged Kohta that if she couldn't stop, that he would kill her himself. The young innocent boy hadn't known what she'd meant, and she hadn't brought it up again. But she had meant what she said. She'd rather die than be a killer.
The killings had stopped. But sadly, it didn't last, because Kohta betrayed her. The boy she loved more than anything, her last anchor had lied to her about his cousin. She knew why though. Kohta had known that Lucy would be jealous of spending time with another girl, so he had told her that is cousin was a boy. But she found out, and it broke her heart.
Things had gotten out of control then. The killing had begun again, and she just couldn't stop it. She killed everyone around her as if they were insects, which, in her opinion, they were. Then she had killed Kohta's father and sister. And she would have killed his cousin too if he hadn't begged her to stop. And for him, she did.
She'd been caught that very day, and sent to a lab where sick inhuman experiments that wouldn't even be done to animals were performed on her. It had been very painful, but also educational. She'd discovered a few things about her species that she didn't know before. First off, Diclonius couldn't reproduce naturally. They depended on humans. Apparently, their vectors had a chemical compound in them. If a person should come in physical contact with a Diclonius' vector, they would become, for lack of a better word, infected, and their children would be Diclonius.
Lucy was the exception. Apparently, she was the queen of this new species. She and she alone was capable of bearing children. It was for this reason she became the special project at the lab, and was experimented on the most.
The tests were painful, but she had endured. She had one goal in mind, one thing she needed to do above everything else. She had to find Kohta and apologize for killing his family, even though she knew he would never forgive her. But for that reason alone, she survived and maintained her sanity. All for the chance to apologize.
Her chance had finally come along after years of confinement. Apparently, the man in charge of the Diclonius project, Director Kakuzawa had a son who was a Diclonius. He had let Lucy out, and she had killed everyone in her path to make her escape. It was just too bad she had been shot in the head. But who would have thought that such a head injury would cause her to have a split personality, let alone a sweet child-like one who could only say, "Nyu!"
Even now Lucy could feel Nyu somewhere in her subconscious, waiting for her chance to come back out.
'What kind of name is Nyu anyway?' she thought, smiling in spite of herself.
Still, Nyu had been… useful at times. It was because of Nyu that she had gotten to see Kohta again and got to stay with him. Being reunited with her love was the greatest thing that could have happened to her, even if she did have to put up with his cousin and those two others that eventually moved in.
But those damn scientists just couldn't leave her alone. They sent all those people after her. One soldier in particular, Bondo, if she remembered correctly, had been quite sadistic. She'd cut of his arm, broken the other one, and gauged out his eyes. But the bastard came back with fake eyes and a mechanically arm to get revenge. As if he stood a chance.
After Bondo's second defeat, she had managed to tell Kohta everything. It had been the most bittersweet moment of her life. Kohta had embraced her as if he were afraid she would disappear. And he told her that even though he couldn't forgive her for killing his father and sister, he still loved her. He loved her.
It was enough. No, it was more than what Lucy could have ever hoped for. And she had been ready to die. To die for Kohta, so he may live.
But she didn't die. After getting her second horn shot off, she had been captured again, and had been imprisoned her ever since. The hornless queen of the Diclonius was nothing more than a science project once again.
'It's what I deserve, if not worse.'
But someone else disagreed with her. 'Is it wrong to kill in a war? Because that's exactly what this is. These people are your enemies. Does one feel sorry for slaying their enemies if it means their survival?'
Lucy put these thoughts aside. No, she would never kill again. She would spend the rest of her life rotting in this prison, suffering these mad men's sick experiments. This would be her penance.
'Such dark thoughts for simply acting upon your instincts? It is in a Diclonius' nature to wipe out humanity.'
Lucy shook her head. 'Not true. Diclonius need humans to survive. Since we can't reproduce we have no choice but to infect humans with the Diclonius gene.'
The voice in her head chuckled. 'For now. But you are the next stage of evolution. You are the queen of the Diclonius. Your children will be the next generation. Perhaps with them, Diclonius would be able to reproduce.'
For the first time, Lucy realized that even though the voice in her head was her own, it wasn't her thinking these thoughts. 'I take no interest in the continuation of my species. The only children I would ever bear would be Kohta's, and I lost him.'
The voice laughed again. 'Of course, everything for Kohta. You were going to die for him. But it looks like things didn't go as planned. He's probably at home right now screwing that Yuka girl.'
Lucy's heart clenched painfully. 'Shut up! Who are you? Get out of my head!'
'Lucy, you have nothing to fear from me. I am a friend. I am here to give you what you want, no matter what that is. I've always been here. You just forgot about me for a while.'
Lucy shut her eyes tightly, trying to block out the voice. It only seemed to make it louder.
'Lucy, do not shut me out. I only want what's best for you. It's because of me that you survived. Don't you remember me from the festival eight years ago.'
An image appeared in her mind. She had indeed seen this figure all those years ago after catching Kohta with his cousin. It was a mirror image of her with bandages wrapped all around her face. But it wasn't the same. Just as Lucy had grown up, her clone had too.
What she saw was a present day version of herself, once again with bandages wrapped around her face. These bandages were the only thing covering her body, unless you counted the blood she was covered in. the only difference between the real Lucy and this duplicate were the horn. The clone still had her horns, only they were much bigger and they curved upward, making her look like a devil.
In her mind, Lucy saw herself standing next to her duplicate. 'I do remember you. Who are you?'
The clone snickered. 'I am you, Lucy. I am all your desires, all the darkness and hatred in your heart. I have no name of my own, but you may refer to me as Kaede.'
It didn't slip by Lucy that she had the same name as the house she stayed at. 'Why Kaede?'
'You consider Kaede house your home, and you may consider me the real you. I am your home, Lucy.'
Lucy felt angry towards this new personality that had come out of hibernation. How dare this Kaede say that she was the real Lucy! Lucy knew who she was, she didn't need this mental disorder telling her what she wanted and how to feel.
'I'm not telling you how to feel. I'm telling you what you do feel. I feel it as well. As for me being the real you, I suppose a better way to say it is that I am who you should be; what nature intended you to be. All your instincts to wipe out humanity so that Diclonius may prosper.'
'I decide what I am and what I do, Kaede! Go back to whatever part of my mind you crawled out of. Go on, go keep Nyu company.'
Kaede sighed. 'To think, here you are being sarcastic with me when I was going to help you find Kohta again.'
Lucy's heart skipped a beat. Kaede smirked at her reaction.
'That is what you most desire, right?'
As tempting as it was, Lucy turned her offer down. 'No, I will not cause Kohta any more trouble. I was going to die to free him from me. I will not… go back… I will not endanger him further.'
If she expected Kaede to give up, she was sadly mistaking. 'He won't be in danger. We will protect him. We will wipe out anyone who dares to hurt him. We'll tear apart this entire lab and kill everyone in it if we must.'
Lucy shook her head. 'No, no more killing. I will not kill again.'
'So you will sacrifice your happiness for him. You've already lived a miserable life, let me give you some happiness. Be selfish for once regarding Kohta. Remember the joy you felt in being with him, being in his arms. Remember his kiss. Wouldn't you give anything for just one more day with him?'
It hurt, it physically hurt thinking about Kohta. Why was Kaede doing this to her? It was taking all her willpower not to take Kaede up on her offer. She loved Kohta so much that she would do anything for him.
'Even if I wanted to, I can't escape from here.'
Kaede laughed. 'You can't, but I can. You're conscience and reluctance to act upon your Diclonius nature hold you back. I am not held back by such things. I will free us and bring you back to Kohta. And if anyone stands in our way, I will kill them.'
'I said no more killing.'
'You may not want to kill, and you may want to die, but you want to be with Kohta even more. That gives me strength to fulfill your desire. Don't fight me Lucy. I will give you what you want. Just go to sleep and let me do the rest. It will be no different than when Nyu takes over. Anything you do will be done by my hand. I will be responsible.'
Lucy felt her mind fogging. She felt Kaede taking over. And she didn't fight it. 'Take me to him. Take me to Kohta.'
(A/N: Yes, the relation to the anime and the manga is that Lucy gains a third personality. For those of you that saw the anime, you should remember in Lucy's flashback that she was talking to a darker version of herself that had her face all wrapped in bandages. That's who Kaede is. So stay tuned for the next chapter when Lucy makes her escape.)