-i don't own ella enchanted.-

Cold as a knife,

swimming in our own sin

it doesn't matter if we die here tonight

cut my face, give me a reason (to live is to suffer)

let's find our meaning,

give us forever

tell me i'm your smile

tell me i'm your laugh

tell me I won't feel your blade tonight...

jokes, 1

She always smiled. Always. Even in the darkest of nights, there was that unmistakeable grin on her face. It seemed to bleed in the dark—running red-on-white-skin-on-the-bed-oh-kiss-me-deadly. It was beautiful, like a car crash. Fast, violent, ripping away lives and cutting sanity to shreds. It was a beautiful disaster, and Ella found herself entranced. Trapped. Like a mouse in a trap. But still she stayed, seated in the little interview room, her patient seated before her, cold blue eyes staring back at her.

"Patient # 49194, Hattie Bast."

Ella swallowed, licking her suddenly dry lips and fumbling with the tap recorder. Clumsy fingers lingered over the record button, and she shuddered when she heard Hattie exhale sharply.

"Having trouble, doctor?"

Ella felt herself blush; a nervous flush against pale skin.

"No, just..." she bit her lip, wary under Hattie's predatory gaze, "tape recorders are so old-fashioned."

Hattie raised an eyebrow, her hands jerking as she stared. The cuffs round them clattered, and Ella winced, her whole body seeming to lock up. What was she doing? Nothing scared her, nothing. Not spiders, the dark—not even cold-blooded killers. And, Hattie wasn't her first patient. No, she had many others—a rapist, a kidnapper...villainous creatures. But none were quite as intimidating as Hattie.

"You seem nervous. I'd say you should be! After all, dear, you are in the company of—dare I say it—the world's most feared criminal? How terribly exciting for you, hm?"

Her foreversmile seemed to glow.

Ella cleared her throat, "You think very highly of yourself."

Hattie's eyes widened, as if she was shocked that Ella would even have the audacity to challenge such a thing,

"Well, of course! I have every reason to."

Of course she did...

Ella picked up her pen, clipboard in in front of her as she lingered over Hattie's chart. There was barely anything written, merely scribbles and little "ha ha ha's" in barely noticeable print at the very bottom. How unsettling, Ella thought, bracing herself and setting about with the interview.

"Tell me, Miss Bast, but why are you back in the asylum? You managed to get out once, what made you want to get back in?"

Hattie licked her lips, tongue darting out even further to trace along her scars. A Chelsea Smile. Ella had heard about them, nights curled up with her computer, Googling serial killers and coming across one "Black Dahlia Murder." The mere sight of the wound made her shudder, but actually seeing it...on a living, breathing human being, was terrifying. Ella found herself wondering how, exactly Hattie got those ghastly scars.

"Well, my dear I'm sure you've heard the rumors. It must be difficult discerning what, exactly, I did."

It was true, the asylum was abuzz with rumors, ranging from Hattie killing an entire family, to cutting some unlucky man's face off. Ella doubted there was a less...terrifying truth that could possibly take the place of the rumors.

"I'm going to tell you, my dear but do keep it under your labcoat. I rather enjoy the...disturbing rumors going around," Hattie winked, leaning across the table, coming dangerously close to Ella. Her fingers shakily moved towards the panic button beneath the table, and Hattie noticed, licking her lips and chuckling. Her eyes widened, seeming to glimmer with excitement as she spoke,

"I was just walking down the street, you see dear. Just having a walk. And then, wouldn't you know it, I saw this...* man, * and he looked exactly like...well, you know the feeling you get when you see a complete stranger who just so happens to look like someone you positively loathe? Well, imagine how I felt!"

Hattie leaned even closer, and Ella stared at her scars, wondering how it felt to have them...

"Well, I did what anyone would do in my position," she smirked, "I took out my knife, and stuck it into his mouth. I carved a pretty little smile in his dirty little mouth, from the sides of his mouth up to his ears."

Ella gasped, cursing herself when she did. Why was she surprised? Had she expected something minor, like pick-pocketing? Certainly not.

"Who did this man resemble?" Ella braced herself for the answer, fleetingly wondering if she even really wanted to know. But, she had to. It was for her patient. Hattie was in her care, and she needed to know

Hattie shrugged, leaning back in her chair and suddenly becoming very interested in the table. Ella watched her, stomach doing back-flips as she waited anxiously for an answer.

"My dear, I have quite a few years on you..." Hattie stated, crossing her arms and regarding Ella with a predatory gaze. Ella shifted uncomfortably in her chair, wondering, panic-stricken, if the button beneath the table would be necessary.

"When I was but a teenager, I was walking home and I found myself in...a bit of a mess."

Ella's breathing seemed to come in short, arduous gasps as she listened,

"I'll spare you, and me, the * intimate * details, and settle on saying that I was ruthlessly violated...and it ended with a knife in my mouth."

Her scars seemed all the more terrifying now.

Ella felt numb—void of all feeling. Why wasn't that on Hattie's chart...?

"You're the only person who knows. Aw, you must feel so special!"

Not at all...

Ella wrote on Hattie's chart, wondering if, perhaps, she could be the cornerstone to Hattie's recovery? Would it be possible, or was Hattie too far gone? There had to be more. Ella wondered if Hattie trusted her, or if she was merely having fun with her new doctor.

"Well, Miss Bast, that certainly puts a whole new perspective on your treatment. Why haven't you shared this with any of your previous doctors?"

Hattie scoffed, "Because. They didn't ask, dear. Silly little doctors, they weren't good enough to treat me."

"Am I?"

Ella wanted to bite her tongue. Why did she care if Hattie thought her good enough to treat her? She was going to treat her regardless! And she was doing a damn good job of it...

"Oh, but of course! You're Ella * Frell, * after all!"

Ella winced; did Hattie know her family...? That was impossible. The...accident was years ago, and even if Hattie had heard about it, why would she care...?

"What do you know about my family...?"

Hattie bit her lip, as if stifling laughter, "well, doesn't everybody? You're the daughter of the Frells—that unfortunate couple who had their lives taken from them after making the biggest business deal of their lives..."

Ella swallowed hard, sweat forming at her brow. She had hoped, and quite ardently, that Hattie would say she didn't know a damn thing. The nightmares had tormented her for years, splitting her psyche wide open and making every hall of her parents' home feel indescribably hollow.

"Ooh, did I touch a nerve, doctor? * You * asked." Hattie sneered, a wicked glint in her eyes.

Ella shuddered, her hands, shaky with nerves, hastily pressing "stop" on the tape recorder. The session couldn't end fast enough.

"Well, Miss Bast, I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today," Hattie pouted, Ella forced a smile, "I'll be back next week. Until then, be on your best behavior. Your cellmate has been complaining."

"Oh, him?" Hattie smiled, "it's not my fault he can't take a joke."