A/N: psychiatrist gender unspecified, they/them/their pronouns used.

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about hypnosis. I got my information from a wiki page. Please don't try it at home without doing meticulous research on the subject and performing it on a willing, un-coerced, informed partner.

Disclaimer 2: I do not claim to be an expert on psychiatry and law, my knowledge on the subjects are inadequate. If you have any tips on these subjects, please gimme, gimme. I try to research on these things to make them as realistic as possible, but sometimes I get lazy. Bleh.

PSA: Abusive relationships don't take form only as physical abuse. There's psychological abuse and sexual abuse, too. If you say no and they still make you have sex, it's rape. NO EXCUSES.

Go to "goo. gl/K9lfPz" (or my bio for direct link) for information on emotional abuse.

Stay safe.

Read and review, please.


It took a little under an hour for the psychiatrist to diagnose Ivan with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known and commonly labeled Multiple Personality Disorder); a result from his father's abuse and mother's abandonment. When he was asked what his most recent memory was, he professed he had been writing in his journal when his father had arrived early from work and had found the kid had been planning on moving out for university. Though, it was strange he would be so opposed for the child to continue school, the doctor knew most, if not all, abusers were extremely possessive. That, and perhaps the father knew how expensive college would be.

Ivan couldn't recall any memories further than that, but that wouldn't be good enough for the prosecution. They had to see which of his identities had carried out the crime. They decided to put him under hypnosis.

It was later that day when both the psychiatrist and Ivan had gotten some rest, that they executed the plan, inside their own office where it was comfortable and could darken the room. They explained to Ivan that it would be safe and he would remember everything, made sure to clarify that he didn't have to say or do anything he didn't want to, and made him get into a comfortable position on their leather couch because it could take a while.

"I need you to close your eyes," the shrink began, their voice monotone and deeply soothing, "and imagine a happy place. Somewhere peaceful and safe."

Ivan did as he was told and began imagining a beautiful, luscious, green forest with a river cutting through, leading to a short waterfall. His breath evened out to a calm whisper and the doctor continued. "Let your body relax; your feet and legs, your waist and chest, your arms and shoulders, your neck and head. Feel your entire body relax all over." The doctor watched as he visibly released the tension in his body, and continued to direct Ivan to relax himself, monitoring his breathing.

When the psychiatrist decided Ivan was deep into hypnosis, they began to wake his other identities. First they started with Noah. Noah was a seven year old, closely based on Ivan since they had the same mother. He couldn't have done it since he was only a child, so the doctor moved on to Imelda. Imelda was the mother. The chance of it being her was greatly doubled, since she had shown herself to be violent. The protector, though she was, was not the persona that had committed the murder. She explained to them that she was a pacifist and could never hurt another being, though she would threaten and intimidate them or even call the authorities. From there, they went on to the drug dealer that claimed he could hardly deal drugs without being a nervous wreck, unless doped up; how could he have killed another person. Then the college student; although still reluctant to share her name, she finally gave in and stated it was Cara Jin Hye, and expressed her hatred for abuse but couldn't have done it for she was deathly afraid of blood.

Only two known identities left and the shrink began to doubt the efficiency of hypnotherapy, until they got to the prostitute.

Coco, the name she bestowed upon herself as a protective measure, would either perform her services on the spot - inside the client's car or even deep into an alley- or in a motel. Never had she gone to one of the customer's house and, that day, she would have been found in one. It started off normal, as normal as it could be, that is, with the woman trying to arouse the man by following the man's demands and acting docile and submissive, which was what most of the men wanted. But the male wasn't reacting to her movements or words, he stood staring at her, with a ferocious glint in his eyes, and she realized something was terribly wrong. He then raised his voice, the deep vibrations reverberating through her ears, producing intense panic to settle at the pit of her stomach. If that wasn't frightening enough, the man raised his hand and slapped the escort, hard across the face, sending her to the floor with tears.

She was in trouble. Coco knew that the prostitution ring was a very dangerous 'workplace', so she had to be prepared for this sort of thing, but when she searched through her person, she was alarmed to find that her mace keychain was missing.

She was unprotected and in danger, for the man's abuse became harsher as he had resorted to kicking as a way to induce deeper pain onto the girl. Thankfully, for some unknown reason, she found out they had been positioned in the kitchen, and promptly, as if in reflex, she reached for a knife. She threatened to used the weapon against him, her expression etched with false courage, but he didn't flinch one bit. If anything he got closed to the female; her bravado slipped as he ridiculed her, taunted her with her cowardice, showing no signs of fear.

So, she snapped like a rubber band. Anger and lingering fear washed over her and when he was too close, she extended her arm and stabbed the disgusting man straight in the stomach. It wasn't enough to kill him, though, so when he tried to wrestle it away from her, managing only to cut his arms and tear her clothes, she jabbed the blade deeper into his body, again and again. But she didn't stop when he was dead, she simply couldn't; it was as if something had a hold on her, forcing her to mutilate his body even after he was lifeless. Several thrusts later, she found herself on top of the terrifying, disgusting man, soaked in his blood, as well as her own. And after the incident registered in her mind, after realizing she killed the man, she called the authorities and fled.

Having recorded Ivan/Coco's confession, the doctor began reversing the trance the teen was put under.

"I'm going to count down from five and you'll gradually start feeling heavier and more conscious. At the count of one you will awaken fully." The shrink waited a couple seconds before counting down. They observed their patient's movements as he regained awareness. "One..."

Ivan was baffled. He had remembered everything that he went under and it just couldn't be real. It felt like another person was talking for him, but it was him at the same time. And he had confessed! He heard himself confess to killing his own father. Furthermore, he had recalled the memory itself! He had seen himself stab his father mercilessly, until life thrived no more. He saw himself pick up the phone and dial the emergency number. He saw himself standing over him, shedding not one single tear. It was sickening. Ivan felt like a monster.

"Ivan... listen to me. It wasn't your fault. You didn't do this."

But Ivan couldn't accept their comforting support; he was guilty. How could he possibly believe otherwise?

"It was.. it was m-y fault. Oh god. M-my," his self-loathing and revulsion made it's way up and he released his stomach contents on the unfortunate green carpet. The doctor handed Ivan a paper waste basket, before leading him into the nearest bathroom.


Meanwhile, Detectives Donald and Louis had unearthed some interesting information. According to the neighbors across the street, Valentin's wife would only go outside her home to pick up the mail and newspaper, take Ivan to school, and on early Monday mornings, run errands, such as grocery shopping. On those Monday's, whenever there were neighbors out, she would freely smile at them a greeting. Any other day, she would quickly make her way indoors. They thought it was unhealthy for a woman to be so closed off and asocial, when she was clearly very friendly. But what was strange was that near the time of her leaving, she had seemed to be in a brighter mood. Everyday, when she went outside, she would acknowledge her neighbors, but not before checking behind herself, through the windows. This woman, who had never talked or returned her neighbors greetings, -save for those rare Mondays- was now recognizing their existence.

Stranger yet, was that she had apparently landed herself a day job, a maid service job. Tuesdays through Fridays, she would leave her home at 9:30, dressed in a blue-gray smock-frock dress; while on Monday, she would leave an hour earlier. She would, then, return thirty minutes before Ivan was out of school, at around 2:30, and change into regular clothes. Her job was a secret, known only to her clients, herself, and those few who had seen her leave her home in the mornings.

It was no joke that if the husband had found out about her secret, he would cause her great harm.

No one knew, though, the maid service company's name; no one knew where her employment serviced, either. In their search, the previous day, the detectives also hadn't found the uniform the woman used; it could have given away the name of the organization with some type of logo. They were stuck in a rut.

But their investigation had progressed and Donald wouldn't give up now. He called the department's tech guy and asked for a list of cleaning services and their information. It was a large city, though, with a population of over 700,000, meaning the number of business specializing in commercial cleaning was distinctly high, so he asked the list to be narrowed down to a 30 mile radius. Had she really wanted to earn money, she would need all the hours of work she could get, which suggest that her daily commute had to be short, but far away enough to be unrecognized; so, no more than a thirty minute drive.

From there, the list was narrowed down to a dozen businesses. All they needed to do now was visit each of their business locations and ask if Benny Nakamura was one of their employees. But what were they to do afterwards?

The cleaning service would probably have little information on the female, especially since her leaving had happened years ago. Even any possible information they could receive, wouldn't seem likely to be helpful. So what to do now? They needed evidence that Lavi had done something to the woman, would her employer or co-workers have anything against him? It didn't appear likely. Benny was a scared woman; she wouldn't share her abusive life to anyone.

"Did you know your next door neighbors, Mr. Valentin and Ms. Nakamura?" Lou asked the woman next door, Kala El-Hashem's. The couple across the street had no information, claiming to have been on a vacation at the time of her disappearance; the people next door were a family of four, and had been living there for over a decade.

"Oh, yes. Unfortunate family… My children often used to ask why they were always yelling. It was difficult explaining to them that the father was an abuser…" replied the plump woman.
"Do you remember the day of January 6th, 2003?"

"2003? That's a long time ago… but I do sort of remember that day... it was my wife's mother's birthday. She had turned 82, so we threw her a birthday party. She passed away about a month after that day, unfortunately… So, yeah. I try to keep that memory stored, since it was the last time I had seen her alive," she lamented. "Why?"

"That was the last time anyone saw Ms. Nakamura residing in the neighborhood. How well did you know them?"

"Um, not well. The wife was a recluse, the husband worked from 9 to 6 and when he would get home, the screams would ensue. No time to get personal with them, you know? I tried talking to her once, but she was fidgety, gave me one word answers and had this fearful expression, like the husband was gonna pop out of the bushes or something. He was already at work though, just goes to show how deep her fear ran…"

"And you didn't do anything about it? Report the noises? Keep trying to talk to her? She was being abused and you knew and you kept it to yourself!?" Donald seethed. How inhuman did you have to be to listen to the cries of a tortured woman everyday and keep that to yourself? It was cruel.

"How well that works," she snorted, derision lacing her voice. "I tried that once a long time ago with my downstairs neighbors, called it in for suspicion of domestic abuse, so they came down to the apartment building. They came once to warn them about the noise. The noise! The pigs can't- won't do shit! If anything they got that girl killed! A week later, the guy shot her in the face, then killed himself... What was I supposed to do with Benny?! She dodged my presence, my acknowledgement anytime we happened to be outside at the same time… her husband was a psychopath… the police wouldn't do anything again..." her voice narrowed to a soft whisper. "I would just have gotten her killed, too…"

"You might as well have!" Donald bellowed. This caused the chunky neighbor's head to snap up, her face twisted in disgusted shock.

"Donald!" Detective Lou was furious. He pulled the man away from the woman, out through the front door and turned on Donald. "What the FUCK is wrong with you?! Why the fuck did you say that?!" he fumed. "We don't know ANYTHING about Benny! She could be alive for all we know!" he closed in with an accusing finger pointed on his portly partner, "you're an officer of the law and that was false information you're distributing!"

"I didn't give away any disinformation," Donald tried to reason.

"Insinuations is all it takes for rumors to spread. You know that Donald," Lou was exasperated at his partner's lack of finesse. Donald wasn't a rookie; he was supposed to already know how to handle things with tact.

"Ugh, Donald… Just…" he rubbed his face and sighed. "Let me do the talking. Try to think before you say something next time."
When they went back inside the El-Hashem's home, they found Kala to be pacing with evident unease.

"Were you serious when you said she was dead?" she asked worriedly.

"We have our suspicions against Mr. Valentin and his wife's absence." Lou answered, avoiding direct confirmation or denial. He didn't think Kala could undertake any more guilt. Plus, it was technically the truth. They had no evidence against Lavi. They had no idea where Benny was at. They couldn't say he had killed her, they couldn't say she was dead.

"A-and you say that, uh, that the last known whereabouts of Benny was on the 3rd?"

"Yes," Donald quickly replied. "Did you happen to notice anything out of the ordinary?"

"Well, actually… I don't know if it's anything but that afternoon, around 3 or something, I heard her crying outside. It didn't sound like regular sad crying, though... it sounded different. I-I don't know how to explain it, but it was… it was definitely different.. I didn't think anything of it because I had heard her sobbing two other times before, and when I had, um, peeped over the fence, and she was just, uh, sitting down with her hands covering her face…" having a habit of talking animately, Kala demonstrated the action by covering her own face with her hands.

"Did you look over that time?" Lou asked.

"Uh, no… I should have, though… Right? I, um, I- that's all I had noticed that day…"

"Nothing at all that night? How about the next day?"

"Well… No. I mean.. no. They just kept on with life… like she had left so we just believed that and didn't give much thought into it..." Donald was disappointed. There was nothing against Lavi; a crying woman wasn't proof of anything. "Wait… I remember my mother-in-law saying the next day, that she couldn't sleep, she kept hearing the neighbors in their backyard. But her hearing wasn't the best, so I just let her comments slide… she slept on the downstairs guestroom which is next to the Valentin's residence, so... is that helpful?"

"Anything is helpful, thank you." Lou replied. "Do you remember what exactly she had said?"

"No, just that someone was making a ruckus and she said she was afraid of it being a burglar, so she stayed awake late into the morning." Kala looked uncomfortable then. Could this all have been prevented if someone had spoken up for Benny? Or was her life predetermined? Her destiny, was it supposed to be a path of unfortunate torture? Was God truly that sadistic? Was she even dead?

"I'm sorry... I know I should have called... I know I should have but I was afraid of the same thing happening here..." she inhaled deeply not bothering to elaborate her ramblings."She wouldn't have pressed charges against him, I know she wouldn't..." pause. Her eyes began to water, her hands shook and she held them together, tightly, on her lap. She took in a shuddering breath before continuing. "I, too, was in an abusive relationship.. my then boyfriend would, uh, rape me almost everyday.. he would use me as an ashtray, my back is covered in scars; I'm branded.

"He made me feel worthless, scared, pathetic, disgusting, depressed, and I stayed with him for over two years... One day, he raped me so viciously that my pelvis was fractured. I somehow lost a lot of blood, too. I was going to die... so he dropped me off at hospital, near the emergency room entrance, and threw me out the car, like trash. He forced me to tell them I was victim to some kind of robbery gone wrong or something.

"But the doctor's saw that I had... uh, trauma down, uh.. and that there were healed fractures around the hip and basically, I gave off the warning bells of someone who was being sexually abused. That and they also saw the burn marks... So, they questioned me and forced me to say the truth or threatened to charge me with obstruction or reporting a false arrest, something like that... They arrested him the next day, he plead guilty but, luckily, was sentenced more than a year.

"So when I found out about my downstairs neighbor and her abusive relationship, I was determined to help her out. I called the station and reported it, and the next day I tried talking to her, tried to relate with her so she could get the courage to leave, but I slipped and she found out it was I who had called the pigs on them. She was furious, told me to mind my own business and threw me out of her apartment. I didn't take it personally, though, because I understood her pain and worry. I wanted to help her! I wanted to be an anonymous hero, but I waited too long. She was murdered a couple days later..."

Kala was sobbing by the end of her speech; her voice had become nasal, her eyes were red, mucous and tears intermingled and streamed steadily, and she continued, "I was so afraid of it happening to Benny, too, so I only tried talking to her. I really, truly did, but she was a hermit crab. Whenever she was scared, she'd crawl back into her house. I felt her pain as if was my own. I couldn't sleep on the days I had overheard Lavi screaming at her, the days I could hear Ivan weeping outside. I prepped myself up everyday, everyday, with the notion that today, I'd call or today, I'd talk to her, but every night I'd go to bed with regret welled deep in my chest. I never picked up the phone, I never knocked on her door.

"And then she was gone. I thought she had finally left him, had found the strength to move on... but then there was Ivan. He was left behind and I know that Benny loved that child, yet he remained in the custody of his abusive father. I thought maybe she was going to return for him one day, so I never intervened... but she never came back.

"I've made some questionable decisions throughout my years but the choices- or lack thereof, I should say- uh, that I made regarding Benny and her family are ones that I'll regret for the rest of my life."

"Guilt is a heavy burden, Mrs. El-Hashem. And you're not responsible for the outcomes of this case," Lou played mediator. "Please know that.

Thank you for your time, if you recall anything else please give me or my partner, Det. Phạm, a call." Lou stood up and handed her a card with the department's office number and address, and his personal information: his name, station phone number and email. With that, they bid themselves goodbye.

It had been a relatively uneventful day. The information they gathered was either way too vague or simply dispensable. Donald was desperate to seek closure for the mental teen, but were they even on the right track? They didn't even have an official case against the deceased man, they could be wasting their time. But curiosity was their driving force. Even if it was pointless, all that mattered to them would be giving Ivan some piece of mind. Lou remembered about the teen and began contemplating.

Maybe Ivan could help shed some light on the officers suspicions.


A/N: Kala is bi. I didn't make her a lesbian because of the abusive relationship she endured (though that did influence her marriage); I hadn't even planned out for her to be abused. So don't think every person that has gone through similar experiences has to become gay. Some people might, some might not, some might completely give up relationships. What I'm trying to disclose is that people are complex beings and you shouldn't be a close-minded, ignorant fool.