Author's note:

Firstly, this is intended to be a long-term story. NOT a oneshot! Rejoice. ;)

Secondly, I've become totally obsessed with the song this fic is named after as of late. I love it! I also love the 2010 Nightmare remake. So as I was listening to 3 Days Grace and thinking to myself about stories…an epiphany came to mind! …Why not combine ANOES and this song? Could make for an interesting tale to tell. :)

Chapter One - (I can't escape this hell)

I can't escape this hell

So many times I've tried

But I'm still caged inside

Somebody get me through this nightmare

I can't control myself

So what if you can see the darkest side of me

No one will ever change this animal I have become

Help me believe it's not the real me

Somebody help me tame this animal

This animal, this animal…

Nancy Holbrook sits on her bed, alone in her room. She listens to "Animal I Have Become" by 3 Days Grace for hours on end. So loud, and so long until her ears ring from the melody. The angry lyrics burn into her brain, her heart. She's frowning and rocking herself back and forth the entire time, arms folded. Head down. Knees bent in an upward position on the bed. She grips them with her arms, allowing her head to fall between them.

It's raining outside, but only slightly. Just enough so she can hear the faint pitter patter of raindrops beating against the room's only window. That is…if her music wasn't turned up so loud.

Suddenly, the music comes to an abrupt stop. Nancy looks up to investigate, and sees Quentin at the foot of the mattress, two earphones in hand and a weak smile on his puppy-dog face.

"What are you doing?" she asks him, hesitantly. There's a bitter tone in her voice that he despises, but by now has come to accept.

"Doing you a favor," he replies.

She scoffs. "How so?"

Quentin peeks secretly at the black bags under his girlfriend's eyes and sighs.

"How long has it been since you last closed your eyes, Nance?"

"I don't know," she lies. Both pupils dart to the earphones in unison, her expression anxious.

Quentin holds them further away from her, bringing her sole focus back to his face so she can scowl at it.

"Yes, you do."

"Quentin, just stop. Are you going to stop?"

"No."

Nancy groans. It's a common sound to her boyfriend's patient ears.

"How many times are we going to do this? You can't keep asking me the same thing all the time. Especially when you already know the answer to what you're asking."

She opens her hand, palm flat as a pancake, and motions for her ipod back.

But Quentin ignores her.

"I'll give this back…when you talk to me like a normal person, and not some stoned-out zombie. Okay?"

Biting her lip is the only available option to keep Nancy from saying something she'll regret. Teething on one's own tongue is so overrated anyway, she thinks.

"Twenty-two hours ago. I laid my head on my pillow around four twenty-four AM and drifted off for oh…"

A short pause as she thinks.

"Thirty, maybe forty minutes." Shrugging. Like insomnia is as casual as listening to rock music. But it's more sleep than she usually allows herself on any given evening, so Quentin's low expectations pay off in easing his troubled mind…for now.

After spending an official two months with Quentin, Nancy can now distinguish the difference between his exhales. One means she's off the hook and they can drop whatever she doesn't feel like discussing, and move on…

The other, well…she's already heard the other one today. Much more than once.

"Thanks," she muses while snatching her music back. The earphones are about to find their way back to their near-permanent home inside her drums, when all of a sudden…

"Nancy, wait."

This time, she lets out the sigh.

"What is it this time?"

Quentin scoots her over and plants his rear end atop Nancy's soft comforter. For a moment he just sits there, stroking the silky fabric with an absent-minded hand.

Soon, one moment turns into two minutes, then three…It seems to go on for an eternity. Nothing but silent awkwardness spreads between two lost souls like butter; the tension so thick, it's just begging to be sliced. Before…

"Quentin?" she whispers, snapping him out of his thoughtlessness.

"Yeah? Right, sorry." He clears his throat.

Amidst her drowned-out emotions and the ever-screaming sound of rock music, Nancy thinks to offer him a glass of water. She keeps a full one by her bedside, as always. And his voice…well, it sounds so damned scratchy. He could probably use it more than she.

But, instead…

"Did you want to ask me something?"

Quentin forgets what he wants to tell her. Just like that. He feels guilty for letting his mind slip so simply into senseless things. Like how soft Nancy's bedding feels. Or when was the last time he took out the garbage at his house? Or how he needs a new watch…

Pointless shit. Utterly and undeniably pointless.

"It's nothing, just forget it." He tries out another weak smile, pretending not to be bothered by her lack of affection toward him. And in return, she pretends not to notice him pretending to smile.

"All right. See you later."

"Yeah, bye." He nearly leaps off the bed, leaving Nancy to brood in peace once more. But before he exits the room, Quentin turns back and a strange feeling of déjà vu washes over him. As he's looking over every inch of Nancy, he forgets her current state and allows his wishful mind to wander back to a time not so long ago.

A time when the thrill of danger brought them closer together. Sadly, after that danger left their lives…so too, did the thrill. After Freddy stopped haunting their dreams…Nancy stopped caring for Quentin's.

"I'll be in the front yard helping your mom with the weeds, if you need anything."

He waits for a response. Some small sign that she's heard or is willing to acknowledge him…but it never comes. So, discouraged over his failing efforts to rekindle their romance, he leaves her room.

Empty-headed with an even emptier heart.

For Nancy, one has become the luckiest number, as she relishes any alone time she can find. With her mom and Quentin bugging her every few minutes on the hour, asking how she's doing or what's on her mind and all that jazz…her music is now the solo thing that calms her paranoia.

So she replays her favorite song, rewinding it back to the best part and closing her eyes. Just for a second. Trying not to think about the big secret she's kept hidden from everyone.

Everyone including Quentin.

But remorse is soon pushed to the back of her mind, as now, only the melody of rage and nothingness occupies the forefront. She lets it wash over her entire being like the remnant of a soothing neck massage. Lingering in all parts of her body, long after the cause of the feelings themselves, dissipate.

I can't escape myself

So many times I've lied

But there's still rage inside

Somebody help me through this nightmare

I can't control myself

So what if you can see the darkest side of me

No one will ever change this animal I have become

Help me believe it's not the real me

Somebody help me tame this animal I have become

Help me believe it's not the real me

Somebody help me tame this animal

Somebody help me through this nightmare

I can't control myself

Somebody wake me from this nightmare

I can't escape this hell

"Cant escape this hell…" Nancy repeats in a whisper.

"This hell."

She then hits the 'replay' button and starts it all over again.

Oh Nancy, how emo you've become! Don't hate me for doing that to her, you guys. She already seemed somewhat distant in the movie, if not depressed. I didn't think it'd be too big a push in the SAD direction after her friends were all murdered by a toasted, pedophilic psychopath. :)

Btw, reviews are awesome! Please don't favorite the story or anything without a review. It lets me know people want me to continue writing it. Criticism is good too. I'll take anything. Lol!