Reaching For the Light

All righty… now for the real story to begin… I gotta warn ya the timeline might be a LITTLE confusing but I'll try my best to make not AS confusing since I imagined all of this in my head, let's see if I can put it on the computer lol, well uh… enjoy! BTW… I'm not the greatest writer in the world so I strongly apologize for OOC-ness because there's without a doubt gonna be some in here… and I also apologize for the sucky fight scenes because I'm just bad at those lol ^^; Still I.. do hope you enjoy this… :3

Long lost words whisper slowly to me
Still can't find what keeps me here
When all this time I've been so hollow inside
I know you're still there
Watching me, wanting me
I can feel you pull me down
Fearing you, loving you
I won't let you pull me down
Hunting you, I can smell you - alive
Your heart pounding in my head

Haunted by Evanescence

Chapter 1: Caged Animals

Two guards bite the dust, and there were ten bloodied handprints staining the wall as Lucy was able to get out of the straitjacket she was bounded by. Once she was freed, she began her walk out of the entrapment that had been her room for the past eight years. Now that she spilt some blood, she felt tempted to make more splash on the floor. Even with her helmet she could see where she was going, and cared not for her lack of clothing as she practically prowled throughout this hellish maze of a hideout.

Kabuto sighed, that girl was such a pain sometimes. He'll never understand why she was so unruly. He thought she had been broken ever since she was recruited in the Sound Village, there was no reason for a deformed girl to abandon a place that gives her some purpose. And the person he had been working with claimed that she had lost all sense of humanity and knew that there truly was no purpose for her, nor was there a place for her in the world. So why did she keep fighting?

"So, you took my advice." A man rather cheerfully replied as he took a sip of coffee. He was a brown-haired man about in his early thirties's, wearing both a white labcoat and a nonchalant smile on his head. Kabuto couldn't help but chuckle, "You don't have the worst ideas." He remarked politely as he pushed up his glasses, and the man he knew as 'Kakuzawa' just kept on smiling. "I try to cooperate." He replied in a false tone of humbleness. "With this new project of ours, our side will be unstoppable, all of Orochimaru-sama's plans will come to fruition…" The doctor raised his arms out, looking enthralled by such a vision, while Kabuto just watched him and kept simpering.

"Lucy's power has been progressing. The curse mark given to her has only increased her the range of her telekinetic powers. And we have more of her kind to go around… the young ones are considerably more powerful." The medic nin analyzed while reading up on Lucy's progress that Kakuzawa had kept on eye on and written on the files on his desk. "If only there were more information on her kind… I still don't know the origin of her abilities. That is certainly a special kind of kekkai genkai… if it even is kekkai genkai." Kabuto then mused, subtly discontent with his lack of knowledge over Lucy's origins.

"Diclonius." Kakuzawa stated simply, earning a stare from Kabuto. "It's a relatively new term that I came up with. There are no history of other horned humans with Lucy's abilities. What started as a mutation, gradually became something far more powerful as she got older. Whatever it is… it's powers beyond that of any normal human…" Kakuzawa began theorizing as the other man in glasses paid attention, looking interested for a change, "Lucy's mother was the key to the first diclonius, and the first child she gave birth too is the one we have here… the orphanage she grew up in said that she was found as an infant in the forest, left to die by the father, but with the mother's whereabouts nowhere to be found. It was only ten years ago that I found her… she had another child by then, but she said it wasn't consensual with the father… that's when… Luke… or should I say #2 was born… the one we found a year after Lucy…" Kakuzawa remiscenced of the day when 'Luke' was found. One year after Lucy.

"Luke… he's far more compliant than his sister is. He's been training some of the younger recruits." Kabuto smirked at the thought. "True. Though I was quite surprised to find out that he's the reason we have so many more other Diclonii for an army." Kakuzawa noted.

"But we only have eight viable ones. The others are still being used for experiments and research. And only two of those eight give us any real use… #5 and #6." Kabuto's glasses glared as he watched one of the camera screens that showed Lucy walking into a training room to greet #6 or 'Roku', who was training three young sound ninja that Orochimaru-sama had recently made given some 'modifications'.

Twelve-year-old Zaku Abumi shouted in great pain after his back hit the wall, groaning as he stood back up on his feet, glaring at the two who had been training him til his bones cracked and til blood spilled on his clothes. Lucy merely stared at the kid as another male stood beside her. He was a tall, thin male and yet his blood red hair and his cold, piercing green eyes made him appear far more intimidating than any thirteen-year-old should have looked. And the thing that stood out the most about him were his horns that stuck out of his skull, exactly like Lucy's and the others just like her and him. They were freaks, just like everyone else here, but everyone feared the Diclonii, they were the most volatile of Orochimaru-sama's collected outcasts.

As the young ninja stood his ground, he grunted at the stinging he felt in his body after being repeatedly punched, tossed and beaten by these things that he couldn't see. Neither him, nor his new teammates Kin Tsuchi and Dosu Kinuta could. They were misfits like him, and for that reason he was paired up with the two of them; they had to learn how to be a team, and neither of them were happy about it, but they all agreed that they hated training with Roku.

With Zaku down, twelve-year-old Kin quickly threw her trusty senbon towards the two Diclonii while they was distracted but once they were within inches away from his face they stopped in midair, and Lucy turned to face the young girl and the senbon went flying towards her and stabbed her in her arms and shoulders as she held them up in self-defense.

"AHHHHH!" She shouted in shock and the pain that circulated through her vains when her own senbon were now sticking out of her skin and making her bleed. And a twelve-year-old Dosu suddenly approached the two of them, standing in front of them in some attempt to keep them alive… he knew how murderous these horned people could be. It's not like he had much care for these two kids, but if they were going to go on missions he couldn't have them already dead.

"You three are pathetic…" Lucy spoke up coldly, a twinge of what sounded like pity in her voice. "Indeed. A year of training and hardly either of you have built up an endurance… if you want to survive you need stamina. You can't just rely on the fancy little enhancements Orochimaru gave you guys. You have to actually try for yourselves, and stop being children." Roku smugly remarked, earning annoyed and angered noises from the three young ninja. And the Male Diclonius sneered at the trio in disgust, "You're all weak." He said with a cruel smirk as he turned his back on them momentarily.

Zaku's blood boiled at the word 'weak'. He HATED feeling so weak, he HATED being beaten so relentlessly, he'd had enough beatings for one lifetime, and with Orochimaru-sama's generous gift to him he wouldn't let this bastard underestimate him! He clenched hs fists and snarled at the older teenager who dared to beat him like the same assholes from his old village.

"AAAAHHHHH! ZANKUUHA!" The youth bellowed and outstretched both his arms out towards the two Diclonii and shot a powerful air stream in his direction, but only succeeded in damaging the wall. He smirked but widened his eyes when neither Lucy nor Roku was nowhere to be seen.

"W-Where did they go?!" He looked in every direction, as Kin and Dosu did the same, cautiously looking for the Diclonii, whom had both floated up above the three and used their vectors in tandem to hold each other up from the wall. Slowly they let themselves come down gently and on their feet with the help of their combined telekinesis, and they stood right behind the children.

"Yo." Roku called out to the horrified trio, and each slowly dared to look over their shoulder to see horrible matching smiles from Lucy and the male beside her, as his vectors flowed from his back and aimed towards the youths.

Quickly, Dosu used his own body enhancements given to him by Orochimaru-sama, he swung a fist at the Diclonius who smirked when he missed… and Lucy suddenly appeared right beside the boy. Immediately she reached a vector into his face, gouging deep into his right eye til blood was spurting out as Dosu let out an excrutiating scream that filled the room, and sent a shudder down his teammate's spines who froze automatically at the utter agony in Dosu's screams.

"Heh…" Roku smirked at Lucy's aggression, but that didn't last too long as he widened his eyes and his vision before him became blurry, disoriented as the world around him rocky and he fell to his knees, grunting and groaning at the wave of nausea that crashed over him and made him vomit up the contents in his stomach as covered his ear in pain. "Roku?" Lucy called him out in soft concern as she knelt beside him, it's not like she and Roku were close but he was another Diclonius like her, and for the most part he was on her side, so she had some bit of care for the younger kid.

Dosu clutched and held his bleeding right eye, but he still smirked when he was able to bring this horned bastard to his knees, and he looked to see with his good eye, his teammates wearing matching smirks."Not so tough without your precious ears are ya? I bet now you won't even be able to use your 'arms'..." Zaku smugly smiled at the writhing Diclonius and raised his own arm towards him and Lucy, "Let's see how you like it!" The youth nearly shot an airstream towards the Diclonii but was stopped by Dosu raising his arm out, "Don't!" He alerted him, annoying the younger boy as Kin glanced at Dosu in surprise and annoyance as well. "Why not?! These two pieces of trash deserve it for all the beatings they've given us! I'm going to kill them once and for all!" Zaku shouted, anger laced in his tone as the vision of revenge shone in his dark eyes. What he saw in Lucy and Roku, he saw in the same people who used to beat him in his village, and he wanted that visage good and dead.

However, any hopes of killing Roku and Lucy died once he heard the boy laughing somewhat maniacally, "Kill me? You think little children like yourselves can kill me… just because you managed to graze me… IT DOESN'T MEAN YOU BRATS HAVE A CHANCE OF KILLING ME!" Roku bellowed as his six vectors shot from his back and he stretched them towards the three kids rapidly and pinned them all to the wall, and they all screamed from the impact.

But Roku decided to be cruel and he let them all fall from a ten feet drop and they landed harshly on the ground. Dosu started bleeding out as he still held his injured eye and winced at the blood now seeping from the top of a fresh wound in his cracked skull. Zaku groaned and trembled as he struggled to get up despite the blood streaming down his face, and Kin could barely sit up as she bled from her mouth and nose. "AH!" She shouted as she was lifted into the air by one of Lucy's invisible vectors, and she started to panic despite trying to appear calm, "S-Stop it!" The girl cried out even though she hated showing vulnerability, the Diclonii were truly a force to be reckoned with. But Lucy didn't heed her cries, she merely let her fall again as she shouted in agony when her body made contact with the hard floor from such a high height once again as Roku watched and smirked upon seeing a puddle of blood forming under her head. Zaku didn't think he cared about the girl, but he still grit his teeth at the sight of his fallen teammate, and took advantage of both Lucy and Roku's distraction, "Hey asshole!" He screamed and raised both his arms but before he could do anything he suddenly felt the wind knocked out of him when he felt two invisible fists lodge harshly into his stomach and chest as Roku used a third vector to pin him to the wall again.

"NGH AHHH!" The boy coughed up a gob of warm blood as he hit the wall for the second time, but screamed in fear when he realized he was dropped and shut his eyes as he hit the floor again. He tried to get up, but the pain from both the drops was too much as he lied on the ground and stared at the unconscious Kin next to him, and Dosu quickly stood in front of them once again. He feared that the two Diclonii were angry enough to try and kill them; he considered himself lucky to still be in some condition to stand and defend Zaku and Kin.

"I can't believe that old snake picked you three losers as his genin team. He clearly has low standards if he's going to have you three do some tasks for him…" Roku chuckled darkly as Zaku growled, his whole body trembling as he forced himself to stand, "Orochimaru.. s-sama said… that I have… potential…!" He challenged him despite being barely able to stand and keep one eye open.

Roku however, just snickered at the boy's pitiful belief, while Lucy's smile dropped. Roku knew what Orochimaru-sama's true plans were, but like Lucy, he wanted these three to find out the hard way, what fun would it be if he told them that they were nothing but disposable pawns? "I hope you three know that I could still very much kill you if I wanted to. I won't care…" Roku threatened with an almost demonic look on his face.

"You're reckless… careless… you won't survive out there… not with your shortcomings… I don't see you living a long life… I only regret not making you suffer for them long enough… but I suppose taking off your head will be good enough…" Lucy stared at Zaku with a somewhat cruel look on her face as she reached her vectors towards the boy once more as a look of fear flashed in his eyes. "NO!" Dosu yelled and prepared himself to move.

"Lucy. Roku." A lower voice was heard as an older, taller male with long, light magenta-colored hair and the same horns and green eyes as Lucy and Roku had. "Mmm-hmm?" Roku casually asked as the older male leered at him. "Leave them alone. You've roughed them up enough, give the brats a chance to breathe." He scolded the two Diclonius as Lucy sighed. Luke was too kind, even for a Diclonius and even for a Sound Ninja like, but that's why she listened to him, because he had a mind of his own and followed no one like she did. However Roku irritably scoffed, "You're too soft Luke-sempai." Roku stated as Luke paid him no mind, and frowned in concern when seeing the condition the three genin were in, they were all pretty beaten up.

"Dosu-kun. Go see Kasumi-chan for your eye and head, she'll heal you. I'll take care of Zaku-kun and Kin-chan." Luke calmly ordered as Dosu grunted and bowed his head as he left the training room with his hand covering his shot right eye, and Luke knelt over the other two kids as he picked up the unconscious Kin in his arms, "Zaku-kun, get on my back." Luke said to the younger boy as he complied by getting behind the older male and wrapped his arms and legs tightly around his neck and torso to hold onto him as Luke started to leave to take them to the infirmary were Kasumi, the Diclonius known as #5 was at.

Roku couldn't help but feel proud, "Heh… wimps." He snickered as he followed them out, but went in another direction to hopefully find some other young brat to beat, while Lucy went off in her own direction. "Off so soon?" Roku asked her, as Lucy kept her back turned. "I won't be gone long..." She stated, even though that wasn't her plan, her plan was to get out of her once and for all. Roku smirked as he looked at the older girl, he had a feeling he wasn't going to see her for a while, but she was the Queen Diclonius and the only one he'd consider following so he trusted her judgment. "Heh… just don't get caught." He said to her one last time before the two Diclonii parted their ways.

Another bespectacled man started walking towards the lab where Kabuto and Professor Kakuzawa were at, only he was wearing a suit and appeared to be in his thirties. As he stepped foot into the room, he was disappointed to see the two of them there, but his stoic face didn't show it.

"Dr. Kurama." Kabuto's voice was polite and welcoming, something Kurama knew was false and only used to lure people into his vile tricks, he hated the smile on the younger man's face. "Is that dirty look your default expression now?" Kakuzawa sounded amused as Kurama didn't dare make any other expression. For the past 10 years he'd been working here at this dreadful hellhole of a village, he'd become extremely embittered and hateful towards the staff as he was acknowledged that all these young children that lived here were either stolen from families, picked up off the streets or lured in with false promises of power. For years he watched them suffer, for years he had to watch children get butchered, experimented on and tortured in the worst ways imaginable, physicaly, psychologically, and at times even sexually…


7 years ago:

"No more! Please! N-Not again!" A young horned girl of not even 5 years old cried and shouted fearfully as she was chained to the wall, screaming when an iron ball was fired at her, just barely missing her face. Kurama was sweating in horror at the cruelty before him, but a young Kakuzawa and even younger Kabuto both looked on in apathy and curiosity. "N-NO! I DON'T WANNA!" The poor child, known as Diclonius #3 sobbed as the iron ball fired and her screaming ceased and blood splattered on the wall as she hung from her chains limp and unconscious with crimson liquid dripping down her chin.

3 years ago:

"AH!" The screams of another young horned girl reverberated through the room as an iron ball struck her in the hip, leaving the girl in tremendous pain as she hung her head, spitting up blood and tears streaming down her face. "Nana…" Kurama called her name from the behind the glass, there wasn't anything he could do other than watch her suffer because of the rules of the Sound Village worked. No pity or mercy shown to villagers, especially those who were 'lucky' enough to be of some use to 'Orochimaru-sama'. "P-Papa…?" She picked her head up with a weak smile as she stared at the glass, the man she came to admire and love dearly because he was so nice to her. "It's okay… it'll be over soon…" He had to reassure her, and hopefully make it hurt less for her, which somewhat concerned Kabuto and Kakuzawa, but if it meant preventing Diclonius #7 from going insane that just meant one less bloodthirsty Diclonius to worry about. In her entrapment, Nana could only smile, she trusted Papa… he was kind to her, and he didn't make her feel like prey… not like Orochimaru did.

1 year ago:

"It hurts! IT HURTS!" The younger Zaku Abumi shouted as he was held back by restraints on the stretcher he was on as some of the medical ninja kept him down and prepared to get his arms ready for the surgery, and they detracted thick needles from his arms, the serum injected in him intended to numb him before they give him his modifications. As he squirmed and writhed in an attempt to get comfortable, his fear was rising as he saw the older ninja grabbing some scalpals and he whimpered and started hyperventilating. But that stopped when the person who had 'saved' him came in, his fear must have caught his attention. "Are you frightened, Zaku?" The pale, long-haired man hissed with a permanent smirk on his face, it was intimidating and unsettling to anyone who looked at it. Zaku, despite his trembling, shook his head as he narrowed his eyes to look brave for this man. Orochimaru-sama gave him this opportunity to get stronger, he couldn't let fear get to him like this. "Good… with this you'll be stronger… and you'll be able to properly serve me as a loyal follower…" Orochimaru chuckled as he turned around to leave the room, and Zaku forced himself to smile. He would be stronger, and he could serve Orochimaru-sama when these doctors are done… he knew he would, and he would not disappoint his savior. No matter how much he screamed at the sight of his flesh being visible and opened up for the airpipes to be applied inside he would find a way to please Orochimaru. All the while Kurama and Kakuzawa watched from afar. Kurama shuddered at the sound of the young boy's agonized screams, and at the thought that Orochimaru was inhuman enough to make these children go through all of this… he was a monster.

"Did you hear?" Kakuzawa's voice broke Kurama out of his intrusive thoughts as he turned to face the man, always alert of whatever news came about in this damn place since it was do or die in the Sound village.

"Orochimaru-sama has a genin team now. They were the only three to survive a fight to the death between some of his other recruits." He smiled in content at the thought as Kabuto chuckled, "They aren't as skilled as some of our others but they will do…" His smile hid sadistic glee, Kurama could tell by the way his eyes held cruelty.

The man remained silent for a moment, before deciding he wanted to hear nothing from these psychopaths any longer and turned around to leave, "So soon?" Kakuzawa asked, a little irritated that Kurama was this soft on the brats. "I have work to tend to." He mustered up an excuse as he tried to leave as quickly as possible.

"I spoke with Nana-chan this morning." Kabuto said with a smile, which turned into the ghost of a smirk when he heard Kurama's footsteps come to a stop. He knew that would get to him, and he knew that #7 was one of Kurama's achilles's heels. When Kabuto spotted someone's achille's heel, he always found a way to strike it to make them wriggle in pain until they crawled over to him for mercy. The man's fists clenched a little bit… "I see." He said as calmly as he could, "Oh there's no need for hostility. I merely told her of the good news." Kabuto's smile didn't falter, "She said… she wished she could be on the genin team." He added as Kurama nearly trembled, there was no way Nana could be a ninja… she had the skills and everything, but the last thing Kurama wanted for Nana to enter that kind of harsh living when she already grew up in these horrible conditions.

"She wanted me to tell you that… she hopes to be a ninja someday… because she wants to make 'Papa' proud…" He almost giggled at that last part, and Kurama grit his teeth and felt his fists shake when Kabuto got him right where he wanted him. "Nana-chan is a strong Diclonius, and she's already met the qualifications to be a ninja, excellent tracking skills, she can even perform simple jutsu and doesn't just rely on her vectors. She can do something other Diclonius can't… the only problem is she won't kill or even hurt anyone." Kabuto gave a sigh, they couldn't do much with an unwilling recruit, "Maybe… you can convince her… because after all... I think she'll prefer going out into the world, rather than just sitting in a boring room for the rest of her life and having iron balls being thrown at her…" The medic nin smirked as Kurama had to fight the urge to punch this guy in the face. He had no choice no… he couldn't let Nana continue to suffer…

"I will prepare her for combat." Kurama stated as he left the room and slammed the door on his way out, leaving Kakuzawa and Kabuto with dark smiles on their faces.

Nana panted as she stood on her knees, naked, covered in blood with her arms bounded by chains. She waited for the pain of the iron balls to fade, but it wasn't going away soon. She didn't cry, because tears wouldn't do anything but make her look weak. For the 12 years of her life she's learned that the Sound Village was a place where there were no tears allowed. Because tears represented humanity, and there was no room for such a thing in a hellish village created by Orochimaru. Human emotions didn't matter, they would just make you weak and turn you into prey for predators to come out and kill you. Nana wished she had learned that lesson, because she still cried even when she tried not to, she simply wasn't cruel enough to strip herself of her humanity like the other forsaken children here have. The ones she knew of at least, like those new kids Zaku, Kin, Dosu, and those other, much more frightening kids Jirobo, Kidomaru, Tayuya and Sakon and Ukon. She couldn't be like them, she just couldn't be cruel enough.

As she wallowed in misery, she then perked up when she heard the door open, "Papa?" She called in a rather excited tone, but it wasn't 'Papa', instead it was a fair-skinned boy of about only thirteen years old, with pretty white hair, jade green eyes and two distinguishable red dots on his forehead. Her smile didn't halter, it was her 'big brother'. "Kimimaro-nii-san?" She was confused though, what was he doing here?

"Nana. Are you all right?" He came over to her and knelt in front of the bloodied girl. He didn't show any expression but his tone was laced with concern and she saw the sympathy in his eyes, and Nana smiled. Kimimaro was thoughtful like this, he came even when she wasn't needed, most of the time he did, but on moments like these he came because he was concerned. "Yes! This doesn't hurt at all!" She chimed, even though she was indeed still hurting. Kimimaro couldn't help but give the tiniest smile, allowing Nana to see the smallest sliver of happiness from him. In his mind, Nana was too optimistic at times. She was coping being locked up better than he ever did, he had no idea how she could be so carefree and happy even when she was ignored and made to do things against her will. Still, he couldn't help but both envy and admire her, but at the same time, he did find her quite an oddity, especially in a place like the Sound Village.

"I heard… Orochimaru-sama has a genin team now…" Nana mused at the thought as Kimimaro nodded, "They hold their own, for trash." He sounded a little smug when he thought of those three, and Nana giggled a bit, finding his pride endearing even if she didn't always approve of him looking down on others. "I hope… I become a shinobi one day… maybe… Papa would be proud of me." She voiced her thoughts aloud, sounding dreamy because she knew what it took to be a ninja. Nana wasn't a ruthless girl, she was sweet and compassionate, but these two traits juxtaposed what it meant to be a ninja. To be a ninja, means to be exceptional, dutiful and ruthlessly devoted to their purpose. The only thing that could ever make Nana qualified to be a ninja is her own devotion, but her devotion was towards her 'Papa', Kurama. Kimimaro knew this, which is why he was worried about the thought of Nana becoming one.

"Being a shinobi… is a sacrifice. It's about living up to your purpose, and serving no one other than the most important thing in your life." He explained to her, and she knew that he was talking about Orochimaru, the man Kimimaro practically worshipped. The boy always followed him without question, obeyed his every order. He would stab himself in the heart and bleed out to death if that's what Orochimaru really wanted. But Nana was afraid of Orochimaru… his hands weren't warm like Papa's, they were cold, and his voice had no sense of comfort or gentleness, it was slithery and unnerving. She assumed Orochimaru was kind to Kimimaro, but she couldn't understand his devotion to such a frightening man…

"Is Orochimaru-sama your papa? Kimimaro-nii-san?" Nana found herself pondering, and Kimimaro stared at her. He was always quiet, but that question made him start to really think. Papa? He almost didn't understand the meaning of the word… other than the fact that it meant 'Father'. But he didn't know what it was like having a father, not when his own father kept him locked up in a cage his whole life, ignoring him and keeping him in the dark for no reason other than to use him as a weapon. Yet Orochimaru-sama gave him a purpose in his life, and he was kind to him when no one else was. Could that be what a Papa was?

He chuckled lowly, "Orochimaru-sama is the one who gave me a reason to exist. A father is someone who grants a child that purpose, so… yes. I believe so." His answer was short, but sweet. Nana wasn't sure Kimimaro knew what a Papa was though. Not when Orochimaru wasn't anything like her Papa… she pitied the boy, he was a nice big brother to her, he deserved a better Papa than Orochimaru. Orochimaru never hugged, comforted or even smiled at the children he picked up off the streets, all he did was praise and smirk, as if he were plotting something for them. But Nana wouldn't judge Kimimaro, she couldn't. Not when she herself christened the first person who was ever kind to her as a parental figure as well.

She smiled up at him. "Nana is devoted to Papa… like Kimimaro-nii-san is devoted to Orochimaru-sama." Nana was optimistic about her and Kimimaro, as long as they could still move even beyond their bodies' use, they would be of use and value to their 'Papas'. However Kimimaro was worried that Nana seemed to favor Dr. Kurama over Orochimaru, a mere doctor compared to the legendary sannin that was his master. There was no way Kurama could ever compare to Orochimaru-sama. However, he couldn't judge Nana either. She met Kurama first, and Kurama was kind to her first… still… he was sure that Nana knew that her purpose was to be of use to Orochimaru, and only that. "Yes." He nodded as he unzipped his long-sleeved lavender shirt, revealing his already toned chest and lean, yet muscular body. Nana felt some heat rising on her cheeks but didn't understand why she felt that way, she had seen plenty of the others half naked or even completely naked so she didn't know why it bothered her. Then again… Kurama did tell her that seeing other people naked and being naked in front of people wasn't appropriate. But then she felt something warm drape over her shoulders, it was Kimimaro's shirt. He gave it to her.

"Put that on once you're let out." He advised her, saying nothing else of it. She stared up at him in confusion before smiling again. "Thank you! Kimimaro-nii-san!" The girl chirped out a 'thanks', not missing the small smile from him. He wouldn't admit it, but even though he would do anything Orochimaru asked him and told him to do. Secretly it bothered him knowing that Nana had to be put under these conditions, and had to be locked up like he was. Nana did nothing to deserve this, and he couldn't help but wonder why she had to be under this kind of imprisonment, even though she proved to be a stable and otherwise kind-hearted person. It bothered him.

He had another friend who was put under similar treatment. Juugo. The fact that he had to be imprisoned too greatly bothered him as well.

"Are you going to go see Juugo-san too?" She suddenly asked, bobbing her head a bit curiously, knowing that Kimimaro also spoke to Juugo like he did to her. "Yes." He nodded. Juugo was his other close friend, and much like Nana, he didn't deserve the treatment or imprisonment he was forced under, even if Juugo proved unstable and had to be kept under surveillance. Kimimaro became close to him ever since the day they met, he was able to calm down the volatile boy. So, he often visited him and Nana just so that they could see be heartened to see him, and of course to remind them of their purpose. That's where he went during breaks, just to check up on the only friends he had in this place. He knew his purpose, but he also knew who his friends were. He actually liked talking to them, which is why it bothered him so much that they had to be in cages…

His thoughts were interrupted by a sharp gasp from Nana as she perked up when she sensed something, and Kimimaro sensed it too, but did not react like she did. Instead he turned slowly to face the door that had let him into this containment chamber that was Nana's 'room'. No one was there, but he knew that someone WAS there… "Lucy-san was…" Nana shakily answered, and Kimimaro slightly widened his eyes…

He wasn't afraid of Lucy by any means, but he certainly wouldn't underestimate her unique abilities. And she was very aggressive when she wanted to be. Kimimaro and Lucy never did like each other…

"Don't worry. She won't be out for long." Kimimaro said to reassure Nana when she showed fear as he turned to face the door, preparing himself to leave, much to Nana's dismay; it was so lonely by herself, she liked it when Kurama or Kimimaro talked to her. They were the nicest people she knew. Juugo was nice to her too though… but they couldn't talk to each other unless they were let out, which wasn't often…

"Please nii-san… be careful…" She pleaded him, as he stood for a moment, answering her with rhetorical silence and acknowledgement as he gave her a smile before leaving her somewhat reluctantly.

Nana sighed. She was alone again…

"Nana." Another familiar voice called her, and she smiled wide and perked up. "Papa!" She exclaimed happily as Kurama approached, and she tried to move closer to him, but was unable to due to the chains restricting her movements. She whined a bit as she struggled to try and get a little closer to Kurama, but stopped when he went over to unlock the chains and set her free. "Papa!" She cried again as she threw her arms around him in a hug, forgetting about her lack of clothing as Kurama merely let her hug him. "It's so good to see you!" She nuzzled into him a bit, having missed his warmth after a couple of days and Kurama gave her a warm smile, though he was surprised to see a shirt around her shoulders. But then he noticed something: it belonged to that boy Kimimaro…

"Nana… I have a task for you." Kurama began as Nana gasped and paid her full attention on him. "What is it Papa? Nana will do anything you ask…" She asserted, as Kurama force back a sigh. He really didn't want to do this but… it was only a matter of time before Kabuto or Orochimaru would do something far worse to Nana. "You're going to be a ninja." Kurama finally said after a long moment of silence, and Nana's eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.

"Me…? A ninja…?" She asked, absolutely astounded and bewildered, and a little bit sad. He nodded. "Yes. You have proven capable of a being a shinobi, and you have good stamina, tracking and fighting capabilities." He deducted, and she nodded. She was being trained for a reason, she wasn't just getting abused for nothing, she was being bred and experimented for combat and scientific reasons too.

Despite the tears welling in her eyes she smiled, "I told Kabuto-sensei I wanted to be a ninja… I can't wait to tell him that now I am one…" She smiled at the thought as she started to cry a little bit, and it broke Kurama's heart, even if he didn't show any expression. He couldn't. Otherwise that would just make it worse.

"Get dressed. I have clothes for you." He stated as he helped her up and led her to a washroom where she could change and wipe the blood off of her body. Nana eagerly followed him, utilizing the shirt Kimimaro had given her by wearing it so that way nobody around could see her modesty.

"What should I do afterwards Papa?" Nana asked curiously as she stood in one of the showers in the washroom to cleanse herself of her own blood as he kept his back turned. "Be careful. There are other Diclonius around training others or being trained. Try not to get close to the oldest one. Lucy… she's very dangerous and will kill you if she gets the chance, whatever you do Nana, don't give her that chance. You know what to do though. You can do something she can't… make sure you do that when you get scared." Kurama advised her as she thought about it for a moment, before nodding enthusiastically, "Yes! Yes Papa… I will." She said with a smile as she dried off her body and grinned happily when seeing the new outfit Kurama had gotten her, and soon started to change.

'That's another person he cares for…' Lucy thought to herself as she analyzed how both Kimimaro and Kurama seemed to care for Nana. A grim idea crossed her mind as she kept walking among the dim hallways, she had to do something before she tried to get out of here.

She kept on walking until she found a room, the room that belonged to the person she cared for the most in this hell. And she was surprised to hear a pained groan as a dark-skinned, twelve year old boy with six arms writhed on his bed with gauze and bandages strapped around his torso, left leg and at least 4 of his arms. To anyone else he might have looked horrifying, akin to a cross between a spider and a human boy, but to Lucy, he was someone precious to her, and he was hurt. The boy panted heavily as he kept his eyes shut as if trying to block out the immense pain he was clearly in, and there was dried blood under his lip.

Lucy gasped and her eyes widened upon seeing the younger boy in so much pain, and she ran towards him in concern, "K-Kidomaru!" She cried his name out gently, and Kidomaru's eyes snapped open in complete surprise to hear a familiar voice, and to see a familiar face as well.

"Kaede?" He sounded bewildered, and at the same time relieved. Worriedly, she caressed his cheek with a rather sad and soft expression, something hardly anyone saw from Lucy. "What happened to you? Who did this?!" She suddenly became angry. Kidomaru was her only friend in this hell, and anyone who tried to harm him was going to face her wrath. Surprisingly, even when Lucy had hatred and the killer intent in her eyes Kidomaru managed to weakly chuckle.

"Relax… this is the result of training… you don't always win every game… and when you're low on energy, you just need to replenish your power… and rely on a medic…" He explained with a forced smile as she took one of his uninjured arms, placing his hand over her cheek just to feel his warmth. Kidomaru's smile became less forced and softer when he felt her cold, and yet warm cheek, it had been a while since he felt any sort of warmth like that, especially since not too recently he and another group of kids had been recruited as Orochimaru's top bodyguards.

He missed Kaede. Everyone else called her Lucy, but Kidomaru knew who she really was… he's known her since they both got stuck in this place.


6 Years Ago:

An eight-year-old Kaede hyperventilated as she walked among other children in this dark place she found herself in. There was nothing she could do, she had just been found and beaten by a man named 'Kurama' and another group of shinobi that she couldn't kill because they overpowered her in numbers and power. When she woke, here she was… with so many other kids. The worst part was, all of them looked just as lonely and miserable as she did. So many more children… some were even younger than she was, they were all different looking compared to each other, but they all looked so sad, some looked unhealthy and some were just broken…

"AH! W-What are you?!" A young boy screamed as he backed away from her once he noticed the horns on her head, and rather than scared she just looked sad, and even a little angry that even in a dark place, she was still feared for having horns. "She's a freak!" Another boy shouted and pointed at her as more children backed away, and she clenched her fists while she found a corner to sit at and brood with her head between her knees and her arms folded across her chest.

Soon she became apathetic when she heard more screams, "What the hell is he?!" She looked confused when they mentioned a 'he', and she lifted her head when she saw who they were screaming at. And it was a boy. About her age, only a little younger, and he had dark skin, black messy hair tied in a weak ponytail and six arms. Her eyes widened a little bit, when she saw a somewhat sad look on his face at the words he was getting from the other kids, and she frowned. Those eyes, they held the same kind of pain she felt every goddamn day of her life. However, the boy sneered at a few screaming kids before turning away and wiping angrily at his eyes. He was too old to cry, as he wiped a few stubborn tears he gasped lightly when his eyes met with Kaede's, their eyes now locked in a stare both widened in unison. They were both shocked to see no fear in neither's eyes, just… amazement… but that soon turned into something akin to shyness. Yet, it was he who was brave enough to approach her.

"…Hey." He hesitated for a bit before speaking up, and she gasped a bit… not many people actually spoke directly to her. "…Hey." She repeated him, having hesitated as well They were silent for a moment, as neither of them seemed to have a clue on how to really talk to each other, especially since the obvious being that they were of the opposite gender. "Is it okay… if I… sit here?" He suddenly asked her, and Kaede perked up a bit, now more surprised than ever that someone was willing to even be NEAR her. She was quiet for five whole seconds before regaining her composure and nodding, "Y-Yes." She stated quickly and somewhat shyly as the boy cracked the tiniest smile and gladly sat next to her.

"I'm Kidomaru." He introduced himself, seeing no harm in greeting someone who seemed to be as much of an outcast as he was. Even his name gave Kaede the indication that he was an outcast. Kidomaru… that meant 'demon child'. The boy, Kidomaru, however knew that, but he never actually knew his real name. It was just a name the adults gave him at his old orphanage because they deemed him demonic and inhuman enough to 'deserve' a name that mean 'demon child'. It didn't bother him though, having a wicked name was better than having no name at all. "I'm Kaede." Kaede shortly introduced herself afterwards, and she couldn't help but blush when Kidomaru actually looked at her and smiled, and for some reason, even she cracked the tiniest smile, but it quickly turned into a frown when his eyes focused on her horns.

His eyes were full of awe, but Kaede convinced herself that there was fear in them. "Are those… horns…? Are they… Are they real…?" Kidomaru asked with a rather amazed and confused tone, and Kaede felt anger boiling in her, was he going to just leave too? She should just kill him, kill him for making her believe someone wasn't afraid of her. She should kill every last damn forsaken child in this dark place. However,…

"That's awesome!" He quietly exclaimed to her with the largest smile she had ever seen on anyone before, at least towards her. She could've sworn that Kidomaru actually looked fascinated. Now her eyes were the ones that went wide, except they were wide with shock and utter confusion. He... he really wasn't afraid of her? She almost felt horrible for even considering killing him, but her confusion and skepticism didn't dissipate yet.

"You don't think they're… strange…?" She asked skeptically with slightly narrowed eyes as she covered them a bit self-consciously but Kidomaru just shook his head and gave a small laugh. "No way!" She blushed when he was actually grinning at her, no one had ever grinned at her before. "They actually remind me of this character I saw once in a game! It was an elf!" He went on and on about some game that she had never heard of, because kids never let her play any games with them. "Elf? Game?" She sounded rather confused as he looked rather shocked that she didn't know. "Yeah. I used to love playing this old game where you get to roleplay as the main character, an elf who must beat all the bad guys and demons and free the rest of his people. Elves are old creatures with sharp pointy ears. A lot of people think they're oni because they look different. But they're actually not all bad, some are even heroic." Kidomaru eagerly explained the game and described what this 'elf' creature was to a confused Kaede, but she looked rather entranced by the idea of a heroic elf… so he considered her like an elf…?

"Wow… everyone else finds them disgusting… or weird…" She couldn't help but pout and glare down at the floor when she recalled the countless times she had been called weird simply for having her horns. It's not like she could help it, they were just something she was born with. "Please… when you have six arms… nothing is weird or disgusting… I wish I had those instead of these…" Kidomaru gave her another smile that she swore could brighten up this whole room. Hell, she herself was feeling somewhat brightened up because of the smiles he was giving her. "You have six arms…?" She found herself asking as she couldn't help but glance at his extra arms, and Kidomaru for a moment looked self-conscious as he gave a sigh and nod. "Y-Yeah…" He frowned and sounded almost ashamed for having extra appendages when normal people had only two arms. "That's… amazing…" Kaede finally said, nothing but sincerity in her voice as she smiled and looked genuinely awed, and surprising Kidomaru almost as much as he did her.

"You… you think so? You don't think this makes me… a monster…?" He asked somewhat sadly, since everyone else certainly thought he was one, and they didn't care about how much it hurt his feelings and made him feel like he really was one. But Kaede shook her head and smiled sadly. "You can't be a monster… no one's ever talked to me like you have… because they think I'm a monster too… just because of these… no one likes me. I'm nothing but a freak in their eyes…" Kaede sadly sighed, and Kidomaru could understand the girl, that is exactly how he felt. "So we're both monsters…" He finally deducted, and Kaede glanced at him in confusion and slight shock, before she suddenly gave a small laugh. It felt foreign to laugh, and yet it was a pleasant noise and feeling in her throat and vocal cords.

"I'm glad I'm not the only one…" Kaede sounded relieved and… happy at the moment as she smiled at Kidomaru, and for some reason her smile made him feel weirdly shy as heat rose on his cheeks as he nervously returned the smile. He wasn't alone after all… both of them weren't…

Lucy sat next to her dear friend while she tried her best to ease his pain with her comfort and soft touches as Kidomaru couldn't help but blush when her hands touched a few areas on his body. He shouldn't have felt too embarrassed, he had seen her naked more times than he can count, and vice-versa, still… he couldn't help but feel just a little bit shy around his close friend.

"So… you never told me, who did this to you?" Lucy asked, a little bit more demanding this time as Kidomaru felt somewhat reluctant to answer, but she deserved to know the truth.

"It was Kimimaro…" He fessed up with a sigh as another flash of anger and hatred burned in her flaring green eyes, and Kidomaru felt the aroused energy radiating from her and could've sworn he could see her fourteen vectors ready to come out and kill. "That bastard…" Her voice was low again, and Kidomaru was definitely a little bit scared. Kidomaru was no weakling, he was very strong and getting stronger each and every day thanks to the new cursed seal he received from Orochimaru, and he was only improving on his analytical skills, and his gaming skills for that matter, that skill in particular he was the proudest of.

"You can't kill him you know…" He sounded disappointed just saying that, and Lucy herself looked rather disappointed as well that she couldn't, not with Orochimaru and Kabuto making a large fuss about her killing Orochimaru's favorite pet.

"I know…" She nodded, and yet she had an idea and the ghost of a smile that made Kidomaru's blood turn cold. He knew Lucy better than anyone else, even if she was his friend, her thirst for blood actually unnerved him at times.

"What are you going to do?" He felt stupid for asking, but knew Lucy wouldn't hurt him for that. And he was surprised when she just smiled at him, "I'm going to make him pay…" She admitted as she sighed and held Kidomaru's hand, blushing a warm shade of red as she did so, making Kidomaru gasp and blush darkly. Only Lucy could plot something wicked and make him blush like this.

"I can't take him out… but I can at least pinpoint his weaknesses…" She shared as Kidomaru started to smirk and chuckle a little bit. "Even a boss character has weaknesses. Once you find them and strike them, they're much more vulnerable and easier to strike even if they keep a strong guard up…" Kidomaru explained in something of a gamer language as Lucy chuckled. "That's where I learned it from…" She said softly with a smile as she and Kidomaru shared a laugh, "Heh… Kimimaro is definitely a boss character… but I don't think he knows that you're just as much a boss character…" He voiced his thoughts as Lucy nodded and stood up, "He's cocky… cockier than he seems. Deems you and the other Sound Ninja 4 as trash… when he should look at his own self…" Her voice got cold again as Kidomaru grunted and looked down at his feet. He really did hate how Kimimaro disregarded and treated him, Jirobo, Sakon, Ukon and Tayuya like shit.

"Hm…" Kidomaru's smirk turned somewhat dark, "I hope you succeed. I would wish you luck but I know you won't need it." He sounded confident as Lucy gave him one more smile, "I know…" She gently said before leaning in and kissing Kidomaru on the lips suddenly, and the spider-nin gasped at the unexpected kiss but was unable to pull away as he returned her kiss gently, blushing dark pink when she pulled away, and seeing that she was blushing too.

"I'll come back to you Kidomaru." Lucy said in a promising tone as Kidomaru watched her leave with a smile on his face, he knew she would come back to him somehow. He was just sad that now he would have to go back to being his arrogant self when he goes back to training with the other Sound Ninja 4.

Twelve-year-old Tayuya grunted in pain as she felt her fresh wounds burning her skin as she stared at some of the gauze and bandages stuck on her body after getting treated by Kasumi. Even after being healed, she could still feel the after-effects of her recent training with the others Sakon, Ukon, Kidomaru and Jirobo. It hurt like hell, everything in her body was hurting and after using the 2nd stage of her new cursed seal just made it feel worse. On top of that, she and the boys had all lost a match with their new leader Kimimaro. He effortlessly tore through all of them like a wrecking ball, and now they were all suffering from the pain he gave to them, both physical pain and emotional pain from their bruised egos.

"Ngh, FUCK!" She shouted a bit as she clutched at her side, which had been viciously kicked repeatedly after trying to fight Kimimaro head-on with Sakon and Ukon. The three of them tried their best after he knocked out Jirobo and Kidomaru, because they were stronger than those two, but Kimimaro proved stronger than all five of them put together.

"Stop… shouting already Tayuya..." Tayuya scoffed when she turned to face a not-so-friendly face, but one she had grown accustomed to, two faces in fact. "You're not the only one who needs to heal, and moaning about it won't help…" Sakon bitterly muttered with annoyed eyes as his brother Ukon turned to face her with the exact same, only he looked far more tired and pale compared to Sakon. And much like her, Sakon was covered with bandages across his arms and legs, only he had less gauze since his kekkai genkai gave him a healing factor that allowed him and Ukon to heal faster.

"Tch,fuck off Sakon…" She rebuffed him as he grunted in annoyance. "What the hell are you even doing up when you also look like shit? Go back to bed like the pansy you are." Tayuya rudely stated, as much as Sakon would like to smack her, she wasn't worth the wasted energy. "Shut up Tayuya." Ukon had to speak, but gave the smallest gasp when he saw Lucy coming… "Be quiet everyone." He warned them as both his brother and Tayuya widened their eyes and immediately shut their mouths when they heard faint footsteps becoming louder as they sensed Lucy's presence…

Lucy walked slowly, a menacing aura surrounding her as Sakon, Ukon and Tayuya lightly trembled when she passed through them, only briefly making eye contact with her and praying she didn't sic her vectors on them. She gave a tiny smirk at the fear she could practically smell of them, even when they tried to look tough and composed.

Meanwhile, Jirobo took a step outside of his room with a pained groan as he rubbed at his aching arm that had gauze wrapped around it. But he paused when he spotted Lucy in the hallway with his other injured teammates, "Oh, hey Lucy." He rather casually yet politely greeted the Diclonius girl, "Hello Jirobo." Lucy returned the polite greeting with a softer tone, her aura much less threatening when speaking to the taller boy.

"You should all be resting. It's unwise to stand when you should be recovering." Lucy advised the four of them, "That's what I tried to tell these three… but they insisted on staying up… I was about to go get 'em…" Jirobo gave another low groan, and Lucy gave him the slightest sympathetic look, now she knew he was telling the truth. Even if Jirobo acted large, tough and even something of a bully to his opponents he was the softest of the Sound 4 and tried to keep some sort of peace in their squad. Emphasis on 'tried'.

"Oh you shut your mouth you fatass, it's not my fault you're a pussy who can't take a beating, go back to fucking bed already nobody asked you to get up and come for us." Tayuya hissed, but gasped when she felt something coming for her and she shouted in pain when feeling her back hit the wall. It felt like a pair of arms was holding her by the neck, and she could barely breathe… Her brown eyes wide with fear when she realized what it was, and she made the mistake of looking into Lucy's cold green eyes, while she could see the conflicted Sakon watching her being held up and Jirobo held his hands up and stood away from the angry Lucy…

"That's quite a mouth you have on you Tayuya… I could easily pull it off your face…" Lucy threatened with a dark, evil look in her eyes as Sakon took the opportunity to strike her when preoccupied with Tayuya.

"Tarenken!" He came fast at her with an array of fists prepared to hit her thanks to Ukon's aid.

But suddenly he was ironically met with numerous punches to his fatigued body by forces he couldn't see, but they very much felt like actual fists thanks to Lucy's vectors. "AHHHH!" He and Ukon screamed together in pain as the brute force was strong enough to separate them as they hit the ground.

Sakon tried to sit up but his face met the ground, thinking a hand was pinning him down. He couldn't see it, Lucy's vectors kept him down, "One wrong move and I'll splatter your brain." She warned him as Ukon growled at her, "Don't you fucking dare Lucy! I swear I'll-." His speech was cut off as his back hit the wall, opposite to Tayuya as Lucy used another vector to pin him like she did to his brother and teammate.

"Such stupidity…" She sighed as she stared apathetically to their pained groans and their pathetic attempts to wriggle. They wouldn't show it but they were terrified, if they made one wrong move it was over… they've seen Lucy's powers and how she could tear someone's head off just like that. "Back… the fuck off of em... Lucy…!" Tayuya choked out, surprising Sakon, Ukon and Jirobo. Since when did Tayuya care about anyone besides herself? Lucy sure was surprised, but then she had a feeling that she only tolerated them because they could perform incredibly powerful jutsu together.

Lucy gave an amused yet dark chuckle. "I guess you worthless scums have a heart in there after all… yet… you choose to act like demons because you know you're weak." She smiled as she went over closer to Tayuya to psyche her out, "Is that why you talk such a big game? Because you know your abilities can't truly hurt anyone as much as your words? That's why you talk down to them... because you know you're weak... you know you're the ones who are truly afraid of dying... not your enemies..." Her voice was cruel and dulcet as Tayuya wriggled in her grasp, nearly hyperventilating at the closeness because she feared that this would be it for her. She would be killed right there and then.

"I hope you guys are aware that… not a single tear will be shed if either of you were to die…" She whispered to the three of them, and then she stared at the twins, "You toy with the enemy because it's fun… you find sick fun in hurting someone because deep down you know that nobody gives a damn about you… and that nobody will." She continued as Sakon and Ukon both visually squirmed to try and escape her hold, although Ukon was clearly trying harder to fight his way out, Sakon actually paid attention to her, but tried to growl and glare at her in an attempt to defy her since deep down... he, Ukon and Tayuya were hurt by such a harsh truth they've come to accept. Jirobo glanced at his three teammates sympathetically, there was nothing he could do. Lucy had far more power than him, and she wasn't angry at him… even if he tried to stop her, he secretly feared that she would kill him too. She was simply a force to be reckoned with. Everyone knew that.

She gave one last chuckle as she lowered the three battered and beaten kids to the ground, smiling at their pain. "Watch your backs…" Lucy said as a final warning to them before continuing to walk ahead to where she needed to go. Which was out. And Jirobo went over to pick up the already physically weaker Ukon in his arms, and Tayuya found the strength to help Sakon stand.

Hehe yes, yes this story will have some Lucy X Kidomaru and a little bit of Sakon X Tayuya if you look hard enough and decide if you wanna see it that way or not, and I wouldn't really say Nana X Kimimaro but if you wanna ship em go ahead no one's stoppin' ya~ But uh... I'm going to mostly be following the Naruto and Elfen Lied manga, since the way Lucy and Kidomaru met is VERY reminiscent to how Lucy met Kouta and that was my intention and also the flashback with Number 3 also actually happened in the Elfen Lied manga/anime just so ya'll know.

And this chapter I think is where all the good stuff will happen from here on out so just bear with me... It might be a while cuz I'm a really slow writer but I will do my best! :)