Chapter 5: Awakening

A jolt and spasm occurred as Kaede shot up, covered in sweat and tears, scaring the raven haired teen sleeping next to her.

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHNNNNNNNN NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO !" The ear piercing cry was audible by everyone, but especially Kouta as he threw himself back from the sudden outburst.

Kaede stopped suddenly, gazing into the room that they both shared. Kouta was holding his ears in pain, and he winced at her. "Are you alright?"

The horned girl stared off into the void, with an emptiness in her eyes that reflected the loneliness she had so unfortunately encountered.

"Kaede" he repeated. She slowly turned to look at him, and at her own hands - then she threw herself at him, hugging him tighter than she had ever done before.

"O..Ok..Ay You... !" he yelled as she gripped him harder. "You're hurting me" he wheezed out.

"Nyuuu!" she pulled out and smiled at him. Kouta processed this thought before he realized what had happened.

"NYUU!" he shouted, and immediately silenced himself to avoid making anymore noise. Yuka ripped the door open. "WHAT WAS THAT" she barked. Suddenly, she saw the person she dreaded, hugging Kouta, of all people. Then she saw that she had been sleeping in the same room with him - a mat on the ground next to his.

"Oh" he said. "Yuka" Nyuu turned around too. "Look! Nyuu is back!"

Instead of the welcoming home reaction he expected from her, she turned and ran back down the hallway. Why was she in his room? She thought to herself as she darted away. Yuka flew down the stairs and out the door, falling on her knees and then sitting upright with her head inbetween them.

"Woof" a small bark sounded from Wanta, and she glanced briefly at him through watery eyes before breaking into tears.

Nana and Mayu came to see the commotion, stopping briefly to reattach Nana's leg when it popped off just before the door. "What's going on?" Mayu poked her head through. Kouta was inside, comforting Nyuu, when she turned her head towards the ebony haired girl. "NYUU!" she ran towards the two girls, and wrapped them both in a hug.

"Ahhh" Mayu was crushed, as Nana felt her chest being touched by the perverted girl. "Hey" she said. "Nyuu is back" Nana groaned as the girl felt her further.

"It's nice to have her back, isn't it?" Kouta stood up to greet them. "Yeah. It's better than -" Nana cut off short, realizing it wouldn't have helped shoud she insult Kaede. "It's good to have her again" Mayu said, when Nyuu broke off the hug. Yuka came back, red eyed and sniffling.

"Hey" she said. Everyone looked at her, and she met the same fate as the two girls.

"Oww" she managed to smile, while Nyuu groped her. They were much larger than Nana or Mayu's, so it lasted longer.

"Wait" Kouta stepped closer. "Why did you run away from us?"

"I..I saw her in here" she said. "I got a bit jealous, and...ran off" she said. "I thought you two were, you know"

"Oh, no." Kouta said. "I was comforting her, and suddenly she fainted on me, so Nyuu must have come out" he finished. "Oh" Yuka slapped herself mentally for being so selfish in front of them. "Don't worry Yuka" Nyuu piped up. "I wasn't doing bad things to Kouta!"

Uggghhhh. You shouldn't have taken over. Not now. Kaede echoed from deep within her head. Sorry. I kind of came out by accident Nyuu thought back. "Oh. You're talking now" Kouta said. Yuka smiled upon realizing that it was innocent little Nyuu again - apart from her stealing Kouta, she was definitely nicer to have around than Her.

"It's good to see you again, Nyuu" he said. Nyuu brushed up against him. "Nyuu loves Kouta" she said.

She sure does. Yuka thought. "Come on" Mayu tapped Nana, who stared blankly at the other horned girl. "Let's leave them alone"

Those two walked away, leaving Kouta, Yuka, and Nyuu alone. Yuka hugged her. "Yeah" she said. "It's good to have you back, Nyuu"

"I love you!" Nyuu said, smiling. She looked so different. Her eyes were larger than Kaede or Lucy's, and she was somewhat shorter as well. Her horns weren't as prominent as Kaede's, and most of all, she wasn't a murderer like the other two she had met before - it was like a child, murderer, and prisoner trapped in a single body.

Yuka decided to back off, seeing the moon outside the window. "Hm. I'll leave you two together now" she tried so hard to smile at them, albeit that the smile probably looked very forced. Kouta nodded, mouthing 'Thank you' as she shut the door, followed by a flickering of the lights, and then complete silence as the two settled into bed.

'For once you did something correct' Kaede whispered inside her head.

'No - She accepted us, and that's all that matters'

'You're wrong' a change in Kaede's voice was audible. 'I still have to face Mayu and...Nana' Nyuu could just hear her cringe as the other's name was mentioned. 'Oh yeah' she felt bad for bringing up a touchy subject.

Then, as Nyuu was falling asleep in the real world, Kouta put both arms around her, pulling her slightly closer. The two entities inside and outside were startled by the sudden movement, feeling warmth around their waists where he had placed his arms. Kaede smiled inside their head, and Nyuu let out a slight squeak.

"I love you Nyuu" the voice of Kouta came from the back of her head. Kaede felt left out at not being mentioned, and her smile withered. As if to answer her sadness, Kouta quickly whispered, "And I love you too, Kaede. You're both so precious to me - the little girl who became my best friend, and that innocent, sweet soul who I felt so much happiness around" he finished. Silence followed, and Kaede, inside Nyuu's head, broke down.

'HOW' she sobbed. 'HOW DOES HE HAVE SO MUCH COMPASSION' The weeping diclonius cried out from on her knees. Nyuu was seeping tears too, although she didn't know it.

'Didn't he say it wasn't your fault?' Nyuu thought as she sniffled, thinking Kaede still believed she was the one who killed Kouta's family.

'You don't know what it's like to rip someone apart...with these...cursed hands!' Anger rose in the red eyed woman. Nyuu sighed.

'Didn't she just take control of your body' she felt herself fall asleep in the real world, materializing as a naked figure before Kaede, equally nude. Kaede glared at her, angry that neither Nyuu nor Kouta could accept that she herself had done it with her own vectors.

'Look. You weren't there when I did it. I was. I watched as I...' silence marked both Kaede's voice and face as realization finally dawned on her. 'I watched' she raised her head. 'I watched as she slaughtered them'

'You may have sold yourself for the leadership and power' Nyuu crouched next to her. 'But like me, you simply let her take control and change places' smiling, she concluded, 'You didn't do that'

'I...I see' she recounted Kouta's words when they kissed, and it dawned upon her that she was just to blind, clouded by anger and grief - to notice they both were right.

'Wait' she locked eyes with herself. 'What about Nana' she moved closer. 'What about me almost taking Mayu's life? Even Nozomi?'

'Mayu, and Nozomi yes...' Nyuu shifted, 'But Nana...No' Kaede looked down, still seemingly pegged by one question. 'How can all of them live with me? I took Kouta's family - I tore Nana apart - I took Yuka's cousin and uncle - I tried to kill Mayu and nearly got Nozomi, but how can they forget? How is it so easy to forget that?' she counted, as she was unable to forget what Kurama and that bastard Kakuzawa had done - The bullies would never leave her mind, nor would they stop tormenting her in her head.

'Like Kouta said, he moved on. You need to do that too - you're just stopping yourself from making new memories with everyone, especially after this second chance - all you're going to do is put yourself back into a cage again, driving yourself insane with things of the past'

'I...I..You're right' she shrugged, giving up. Kaede didn't know how much time they had spent in their head, as the darkness around them began to glow red. 'What's going on?' Nyuu felt slightly hotter. Kaede felt her, noting the heat on her forehead. 'Wake up!' she gripped her. 'We might be in trouble!' she paused. 'He might be in trouble'

'..okay, take my place' Nyuu sent her to a small patch of light, as she separated from her.

As Kaede passed through, Nyuu moved back, her foot brushing something soft as she did. 'Ah?'

Nyuu examined the object.

It was a bloody cloth. And a fresh, bloody bandage at that.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Elfen Lied belongs to Lynn Okamoto, and the idea for this story was inspired by a Fanfiction Piece from Komusai Matakatana.

AN: Sorry guys - I've been trying to update sooner - I'm working on the next chapter - Sorry if this one is short. As for how Kaede pieced back together, I'm going to shed some light on in the following parts.