Title: What's in a Name?

Author: Cal (Calenlass Greenleaf)

Disclaimer: No. 6 is not my creation.

Spoilers: I've tried to keep the majority of spoilers out. There are spoilers for what's been given in the partially translated novels, the manga, and the anime.

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: Eh. None, really.

Summary: What it means to be "Nezumi," the rat. Character analysation.

What's in a Name?

"Nezumi" would always be his favourite name as opposed to VC103321 or Eve. Nezumi: rat, or mouse—he preferred the meaning of rat, for rats were more vicious and hardy than mice, to him. But the image of being a shunned rodent that hid in the shadows and waited for opportunity always appealed to him.

Rats collected things, too. Things that were of interest to them that others didn't give a damn about. And so he did. He saved books. He saved music. He even salvaged a piano. He read out loud until he could control his voice and could change the pitch and tone of it, mimicking others. He taught himself how to read music until he could understand basic music theory. The only thing he hasn't mastered well enough was playing the piano, but he still thinks one day he'll succeed. Rats are versatile and adapt, after.

No-one teaches him many things; he gets by just fine on his own and with the help of books and manual. Self-sufficient. Maybe true rats live in together, but he prefers being a loner. For two years, he spent his free time toying with mechanics and things until he could create for himself robots the size of mice. Funny, he doesn't call them rats. Maybe it's because he's grown attached to "Nezumi" and all other rats can't compare to him. In any case, the mice are his eyes, ears, messengers, and guides. Where he knows a human can't go, an animal can.

Maybe because he knows he's feral, like some rats. Rats were vicious fighters and knew how to use their teeth and claws. They grew big, bigger than mice. They had no good name to them. But they were wild and free and that's what he wants and is and prefers his life to be. No pretty white-furred, red-eyed lab rats, if you please. He cannot be kept in any cage for long. Sometimes, he wonders just how much an animal he could turn into. How much he could actually resent. His trust is a difficult thing to earn, and even if earned, he doesn't show it. No, he prefers taking the stance of bringing out a person's bad side, for only then can he tell if they're trustworthy or not. It's worse when a rat is cornered; desperation will drive a rat to kill. He has killed before, and only briefly felt horrified at it. Rats rationalise the things they do, for survival, and his shame at murdering disappears.

The only regrets that rats have? Their pride and greed. He knows that his skills are deft, his acting perfect, his smirk in place. He knows that he can get what he wants with a small price. But that pride and greed, he knows, comes from a hard life. You take what you can get, and so he has. Rats have no security, either. Always on the search for more. Always wanting. Needing. He tells himself he watched that boy for years in order to find a chance to repay him, but it's always been more. The desire of understanding why they are different haunts him. After two years, he still doesn't know, and all it's left is a bitter taste in his mouth regarding that damn city.

Maybe everyone had a side of "Nezumi" to them. The secret side that people dare not think about because they think it's not worth being different. But he lives and revels in it, because it is the identity he knows best, and the only identity that he knows won't change. So every day he goes out wandering among debris and people. Every day reads, sings (less of it now), and attempts to play on the piano. Every day he sharpens his knife and recounts the number of people he killed. Every day, he wonders how different a life he could have lived. Every day, he greets the sun with a smile that can only be spoken of as untamed.

It makes up in part for forgetting his real name, the one that he will never remember—the only thing he has salvaged from his past before "Nezumi" were the scars on his back. Battle scars of a worldly-wise rat that scoffs at many things, yet secretly harbours a want for things it cannot reach.

And so he will be Nezumi until he dies.