RATING: T, for a lot of things you probably aren't going to like being done to a child. I didn't get graphic in my descriptions, because...while I'm totally capable of writing stuff like that...I didn't think you needed to 'see' it. Also for swearing, and some other stuff.

A/N: I wrote and rewrote this story about five hundred times, just trying to do some semblance of justice to my head cannon for Viper. I fiddled with first person and third person and all sorts of crazy narratives, but this seemed to be what I kept coming back to. I'll...probably write something happier after this. =w= I'm such a bad person. -diiiesss-

PS: This was getting long, so I'm splitting the main story into three chapters. After which, I'll probably release a series of 'in between' scenes. The stuff that I kinda glaze over, the stuff that I don't mention at all, that kind of thing. So yeah, it'll be sort of a jumble, but I think that's the charm of it. 8D

I don't own anything and blah blah all of that jazz. You know the drill.


A Study In Indigo

Chapter One: Innya

By: Indigo Avarice


Let me start this off by saying that, in the beginning, I never meant to hurt anyone. I was just a child—hurt, abused, confused beyond words. I never understood. I couldn't fathom why everyone hated me so much, why no one wanted anything to do with me. I didn't realize that my mother's soft words were laced with hatred, didn't realize that what my father was doing was wrong. I didn't understand that the other children were just acting as their parents would have them act.

I didn't get any of it. I was just trying to live, and no one would let me. All I wanted to do was exist.

"I'll deal with this, Miss Petrova."

"Just...get that...thing...out of my class...please."

"Don't worry. She'll be properly dealt with."

Silence. Silence for the duration of the trip home. The small village watched through half-drawn curtains, eyes that peered out to see what was going on. Could anyone blame them? So little happened in this town. It was so rare to see someone different, so rare to see a scene like this. They were just curious...

But curiosity was painful. It should be punishable by death. It just filled her with hatred, made her want to see all of them in as much pain as she was in. She wanted them to be out here, dragged through the streets by their hair, pulled into their own house, thrown on the floor like they were worthless trash. She wanted them to know the pain of the yelling, the words, the tongue lashings that her father gave her. She wanted them to know the pain of what came after, the rope burns and knife wounds and attempts to 'separate the demons'. Wanted them to know how much it hurt when someone you trusted so much violated you so wholly.

Her hands flexed against the ropes, ankles rolled to try and find comfort. She stared at the wall, trying to paint a prettier picture on it. She watched the shadows dance, watched the rhythm that they fell into. Watched the rhythm, felt the rhythm. When the bed started moving, she even heard it, just a little. She imagined that the shadows were friends, at first, imagined that nothing was happening and that they were all having a play date. Then she imagined that the shadows were enemies, imagined that the rhythm was her hate.

She wished a silent hell on everyone in this town. Wished it with every part of herself while she lay in that wretched room afterwards, staring at the ceiling, so very confused. She was only seven. How could she possibly fathom the amount of hate that was thrust upon her day after day after day...?

Children weren't meant to feel such things.

It was hours until her mom finally came into the room.

"Innya..." the woman moved and stroked her hair back, giving her a gentle smile, "...you're alright."

She leaned in and kissed the little girl on the forehead, causing a certain kind of calm to wash through her mind. For a moment, she felt bad for wishing hell upon anyone. For a moment, she forgot all of the bad things and let her mother soothe her.

"Momma..." she wrapped her arms around her mother's neck, holding her close, "...momma it hurts...momma..." it was strange. Her voice was such a soft, cracking sound. Had she been there so long, this time? Had her voice already been lost to pain and fear?

"You're alright, darling. It won't hurt anymore, just give it time...you know...your papa wouldn't have to do this to you if you'd only learn not to hurt the other children."

"...I'm sorry, momma..."

"You were doing so well, too..."

"...I couldn't help it, momma..."

"...what happened?"

She cringed. She couldn't talk to her momma about that stuff, it always made her get a sad look on her face. How could she tell her momma that she'd been playing with the boys again, and that one of the older ones had peeked up her dress? How could she tell her momma that they had noticed the extra thing down there, that they had realized she was...different? That she was funny, that she was strange. That she wasn't just a girl.

"...they stole my toys." she lied softly, violet eyes going distant. She hated lying to her momma. But she had to. If she told the truth, the pain would come again. If she told the truth, papa would come back in here and use the stick. She closed her eyes tight and hugged her mother, "I'm sorry." she whispered into the woman's hair, and her mother petted her softly.

"Normal children would find that upsetting..." he mother whispered back in reply, cradling her daughter close, "...just don't let it happen again."

They say that, on the day I was born, the doctor told my parents they'd have to make the choice. What kind of life would I live? Would I be a boy, or would I be a girl? My mother, who had always wanted a girl, was the one who decided. My father always resented that decision. Whenever he'd hurt me, he'd call me his 'precious son'. I became so confused that I myself wasn't really sure what I was. My mother wanted me to be a girl. She wanted me to wear the dresses. Wanted me to get a husband and live a full life.

But my father spoke differently. He said that, no matter what other parts were down there, the fact that one of those was present at all meant I must be a boy. He used it as an excuse, as a crutch. He could hurt his son, it was just discipline. Boys should be able to take this kind of beating, he'd say. But in his mind, his daughter was safe from all of this. He'd never hurt his daughter. He promised that over and over and over again.

No matter the promise she made her mom, it happened again. It happened again a few months later. The little girl was out in the sandbox, minding herself. The other kids rarely played with her, these days. Not since the last time. There had been a lot of talk on playground about whether or not Sven would be coming back. There had been a lot of whispers about how the 'witch' had 'cursed him'.

She hadn't wanted to hurt him so bad that he wouldn't be able to come back. She just couldn't help it. He'd looked up her skirt. He'd seen the extra parts. He'd touched there.

"You should find a different place to play, devil child, no one wants you here."

She looked up, confusion rather outward. Why...why couldn't she just stay here in the sand? Why did everyone always have to drive her away or hurt her? She didn't understand.

"Maybe we should put her in the water and see if she floats."

"Didn't you hear what Sven said, she's not even a she."

"Oh yeah! Maybe we should see if we can do anything about that."

"You wanna play doctor?"

"Let's play doctor!"

Panic filled her chest. She just wanted to go, now, she didn't want to play doctor. She stood up, trying to push her way passed to get out of the circle of other children. But she couldn't. Hands grabbed at her arms, at her legs, at her hair. The hem of her skirt got caught under her foot, the sleeve of her blouse got ripped a little. She let out a strangled noise of frustration. Why did they always want to hurt her? Why couldn't she just play in quiet? She didn't understand...she didn't understand.

Words on repeat. Shadows against the sand. Shapes that she wanted to forget. Everything was so painful and unreal...

She was already halfway home when she even realized something was wrong. She sat down on the side of the road, bruises and aches screaming softly as she landed against the stones. She'd somehow been aware enough to pull what was left of her clothes on. She'd somehow managed to wipe some of the blood off in the grass.

Where were the boys?

Why was there blood to wash off at all?

She looked up at the sky just in time to hear the scream.

I just want you to know that in the beginning I never meant to hurt anyone. Hurting people should never be so easy. Even when they've hurt you. Especially when they've hurt you. Then you just become another monster. You become what they are. You lose your heart, you lose your soul. You lose your ability to sympathize, to understand the weight of your actions. I think that every life we take has a very distinct effect on our soul, every person we hurt, hurts us in kind. I think that imparts a little bit of evil on us, something we can never wash away, something that will be with us until we die.

But I was evil to begin with. I never had a chance to be clean. So sometimes I wonder if it even matters.

"Innya? My sweet baby..." her mother's arms were such a safe place, such a warm place.

"They say the Fedorov boys were just found strangled to death in the park." her father was pulling on his coat, "I'm going to go down and help them catch the culprit, you two stay here."

I hope it doesn't have anything to do with that wretched child.

She looked up from her mother's chest, staring at her father. Why...why was there this echo voice? Where was it coming from? Why...why were the Fedorov boys dead? What happened...why was there blood...? Why did she hurt? Why...?

"Alright, honey...just be careful..." she kept stroking her daughter's hair, carefully brushing it back, humming softly as she did so. "You're alright, baby, you're alright..."

I hate holding this child.

She blinked, pressing her face into her mother, trying to hide. The echo voice...it was saying such horrible lie things...she hated it...she just wanted it to shut up.

The fact that this thing ever came out of me makes me sick.

"Momma..."

"Yes, sweetie? Is everything alright? Did you see anything with the Fedorov boys?"

I bet this monster had something to do with it...I bet...

"...I didn't see...momma I didn't do it...momma I..."

It's lying. This monster is everything that's wrong with the world. This monster...

"...momma..."

The door flew open, and her father stormed in. He ripped the child out of her mother's arm, holding her up above the ground by her already-ripped blouse.

"You little bitch!" She cringed. Papa was mad...punishment would follow...she knew how it went...

"Honey! What the hell are you doing to our child?"

"They found her doll at the playground," he spat straight into her face, holding her further away. It was like he couldn't stand to be touching her. She wiggled. She didn't like this...this didn't feel good.

His spit was warm and smelled bad. She raised her arms to hold onto his hand, trying not to get dropped or thrown. It'd hurt to get dropped or thrown...why was papa so mad...? She didn't do it...she didn't...she didn't do it...

"Put her down!" her mother came and slapped her papa in the face, causing him to set her down.

They argued for the next hour. The next three hours. And all she could do was sit there and listen to all the echo voices. All she could do was sit there...and...

Eventually, she fell asleep. Eventually, pain and weakness and confusion won out. Eventually...

She woke up because her mother's perfume filled her nose.

"Momma..."

"Shhh, it's okay. We're taking you to church with us this morning."

We're going to the church...everything will be better there.

The echo voice was agreeing...she was tired...she latched her hands into her mother's nice dress, holding on as she was carried.

"Okay momma...let's go to church." she buried her face against her mother, her perfume smelled warm and welcoming. Everything still hurt so much, it was hard to think about anything. She liked church. Everyone acted like they didn't hate her there. She felt welcomed there...she didn't mind it there. But for now, her momma's perfume smelled sweet and warm. And her momma was soft and safe. She drifted back to sleep...no one would hurt her in these arms.

Like too many times in her history, of course...she was wrong. She woke up because she couldn't move. Because it wasn't soft anymore. It was still warm...but it wasn't soft. It smelled like smoke...

Why was there a fire in the church? She needed to tell her momma...! She tried to run, tried to get to her momma to tell her that there was fire in the church. Her limbs felt like they couldn't work, like something was restraining them. Panic filled her chest, her eyes wide and wild. Why couldn't she move? Why was there fire? Why...why...

She screamed. She screamed and screamed and screamed. And that's when she realized...that's when she realized. Everyone was here, everyone was at church. They all sat in the pews, dressed in their Sunday best. Everyone stared on with a morbid sense of duty. Everyone was watching. The fire wasn't consuming the church, just the area in front of her. Just the area around her. Just the hem of her skirt. Everyone was staring. The priest was saying some sort of prayer. Her mother was in the front row, crying.

Why was she letting them do this?

"Momma!" she squeaked, coughing on ash and cinder, the heat crawling up her legs, making her skin feel funny. Her lips seemed chapped, all she wanted was some water. All she wanted was out. All she wanted was her momma. "Mom...ma..."

"It'll be better..." her mother whispered.

With you gone, everyone can be happy. I can be happy.

Why would the echo voice lie...why would it lie at a time like this? She tried to cry, but her tears seemed to evaporate into the heat just as soon as they reached her cheeks. The fire was licking up around her arms now, her legs had stopped hurting. The fire had hurt at first...but it felt like nothing now...everything was starting to feel like nothing...

Her vision swam. Everyone seemed to be saying things around her, all in those echoy voices. All them were talking about how much better it would be. But they weren't talking...their lips weren't moving...

She didn't do anything wrong. Why were they doing this when she didn't do anything wrong? She didn't hurt the boys...she didn't hurt the boys...she did hurt the boys. The memory of hands on her body, of pain on her skin, of paying them back for what they had done...

"It would be okay to wisssh for bad thingsss, now." A soft voice called. She could see something in the ash, a black outline, a shape. Like one of her shadowy friends from the bedroom.

She was hurting and everyone was happy. But she didn't want to go away. She didn't want to die. Not yet.

She stared out at the church, faces of friends and family staring back at her with those dutiful looks. Her mother's face full of tears, her father's face full of disgust. Some looked away, unable to bear the sight of what was in front of them. She looked down at the fire. She couldn't blame them. It really was disgusting. She looked like she was shedding her skin. She looked back to the crowd. Saw everyone that had ever hurt her. Her teacher who had overlooked the bruises, her father who had caused them. Her mother...who had lied about loving her. The neighbors, the classmates...

And in that moment she hated them all. Every ounce of hatred and disgust that could exist in her small body burst forward. She was going to make them pay like the Fedorov boys did. She was going to make everything better, like her momma wanted.

All of the echo voices stopped. Everything stopped.

She finally got to bring them hell.


A/N: Next one soon~ Any questions/comments/flaming bananas should be directed to the reviews. I'll try to address any issues you find. 3