A monster, they'd called him.

Orochimaru watched some of the light filter through the vial in his hands, the color quite pretty. Hm… it could stand to be a little bluer. It didn't look strong enough at the moment to work correctly.

Maybe they were right.

A final chance to fix Juugo's poor little enzyme problem. Or control it, at least. He'd been working on the problem on and off for several years, like a particularly large crossword that he never quite finished. And now, it seemed that the solution was finally had hand.

But it was too late.

The second the tincture entered Juugo's system, he doubled over, roaring. His body bubbled and buckled, the enzyme sucking in every last bit of natural energy around them, and then moving to steal normal chakra as well.

He had created not just a monster, but the monster.

Juugo's hair darkened, lengthened, as it began to spread over his body, his eyes losing that beautiful orange hue as they became a dark brown, nearly black. His voice rent the air with a feral, tortured scream, as even his mind was torn apart and shoved back together in a newer, twisted form.

The Ape Titan was born.

o.o.o.o.o

Grisha Jaeger had a secret. It wasn't a particularly common secret, like infidelity or an addiction, but a much darker, older secret. The secret of an immortal man whose only goal now was to rectify his sins.

He smiled at his wife as she did the housework, knowing that she would never live as long as he would.

He smiled at his son as he talked about joining the army, knowing that the boy would never know normality with a monster like himself for a father.

He smiled at his adopted daughter, knowing that the girl was as broken as the ones he had once taken in, and that the look in her eyes was what brought back the nightmares of days, weeks, months, years spent working underground to make them stronger.

Orochimaru smiled, because it was the only way he could stay sane in the hell that he had created.

o.o.o.o.o

A/N: This is just a one-shot running off the crack theory that Orochimaru caused the Titans. Juugo is the Ape Titan, and creates Titans by infusing them with the chakra that his body continuously gathers from the world around him, with the natural chakra being the part that twists them into monsters. His personality is the "polite" aspect of his better half, mixed with the "evil" aspect of the other. The "good" and "rude" are buried somewhere in the back of his mind.

Also, no pedo jokes about Orochimaru. As far as this fic is concerned, he was a father figure to the kids he gathered, not anything perverse.

And yes, he is genuinely repentant and trying to fix things. He is also failing miserably.

Ja ne,

Phoenix