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Mar 31 2013, 09:39 PM

Episode One: Pirates Unleashed

The battlefield had been drawn. On one side, the Battlesnare Empire with its top commanders Lord Dimas, Serpen, and Furyblaze surrounded by tens of thousands of Timbaks and Golbaks; on the other, the Power Rangers, led by Jason Scott. The Rangers started out strong, taking out as many of the Timbaks and Golbaks that they could manage.

After fighting for what felt like days, Megazords and Megazord parts littered the streets of Pan Central City. The Rangers, knowing that they couldn’t win by normal means, gathered together, Jason standing in the middle of the crowd of Rangers. Battlesnare fleets rose on the horizon, starships coming down as well.

“Rangers! We don’t have a choice!” Jason yelled.

Turning to face him, a Ranger in Green--later determined to be Tommy Oliver--nodded, putting his hand on his long time friend’s shoulder. “You’ve got a point, old friend. We don’t have a choice,” he said, sighing.

“What’s he talking about?” a yellow Ranger asked, looking at Tommy. Her name was Kira Ford, a former student of Tommy’s.

“Sacrificing our Powers…and our lives to stop the Empire’s assault.”

“If we have to, we have to,” a Blue Ranger said, stepping up beside his team. The blue “2” on his suit designated him as SPD: Space Patrol Delta. “It’s the fate of the world. Our lives, or over seven billion.”

“Gather your powers into one, Rangers!” Jason yelled, closing his eyes and focusing his energy into his entire body. Soon, every single Ranger gathered, numbering one hundred and two total rose into the air all glowing a bright gold. “For the Earth!”

“FOR THE EARTH!” they all yelled, flaring out in different directions before blowing up the Empires fleets on Earth.

That was the last time that anyone saw the Power Rangers. Their essences were scattered across the Galaxy, soon reforming into “Power Keys”, each taking a similarity to a Ranger, but more compact. Scattered across the Galaxy, these Keys were the….Key…to Earths survival. Deep within space, Lord Dimas, the leader of the Battlesnare Empire, was pacing his control room as his flagship, the Blizkon, headed towards Earth.

“With nobody to defend this planet, it shall be easy to take its resources for our own, leaving the planet barren,” he growled, standing behind his communications drone. “Time to the Third Planet?”

“Five minutes, sir. And…there are reports of a vessel coming from the starboard side,” the drone said, pulling up a monitor.

“James,” Dimas growled, his hand tightening around the handle of his sword. “Target the Uchuu Galleon and fire all weapons on the starboard side!”

As all cannons fired, a direct hit was scored on the Galleon coming up fast. “Direct hits, my Lord.”

“Good. Now…reset the course for--” Dimas started, but was abruptly cut off.

“My Lord! They’re…still alive,” the Drone said, his voice cracking in fear.

“WHAT!?” Dimas screamed, turning to the viewer where the Uchuu Galleon Megazord was running on he surface of the Moon, slashing down ships from the fleet left and right.

“Finish them off!” Dimas yelled, slamming his hands down on a console again. The Galleon Megazord seemed to shrug off every attack, finally slashing part of the main ships engine. Growling Dimas gave the order to retreat, giving the newcomers a win--for whatever side they were on.

As the Megazord collapsed in on itself, five Rangers appeared in the middle of the interior cabin, each one in a different color suit.

“Ah!” the one in Green said, stretching as he let go of his morph, revealing a young darker toned man with a very full head of hair. “Won’t they ever learn?”

“I don’t think so, Rich,” the one in Yellow said, following suit and letting go over her own transformation, a blonde haired woman taking her place. “It’s the Empire. They never learn.”

As a pink clad Ranger stepped up, she put her arm around the Yellow Ranger. “Drea, you should know that by now bad guys never learn!” she giggled.

“True,” Drea--or Andrea--said, shaking her head. “Artemis, even you should know that Evil doesn’t take a vacation.”

The Red Ranger, named Thomas, shook his head as he watched his team interact. The Pink and Yellow Rangers were the only ones from Earth--the very same planet they were heading back to. “Alright, guys. Settle down. The Megazord worked beautifully, so let’s just head to Earth, find the Empires commanders, and end this occupation once and for all. We need to get our homes back,” he said, sitting in a winged-back chair in the middle of the room. “Geeps!”

From a perch in the wall, a mechanical bird flew out and landed in Artemis’ arms. “Oh, what the bleeding hell do you want now?!” he chirped, looking over at the Red Ranger. “I ain’t searching for more treasure if that’s what you’re wanting! I already spotted these four! The hell else you want out of me?!”

“Chicken wings,” the Blue Ranger--who had up to this point been mostly silent--chimed in, drawing a knife from his pocket before he began sharpening it. “Because, if you don’t listen to the Captain, that’s what I’ll make you.” As if to prove his point, he threw the blade in his hand and caused it to sail past Geeps’ head and land in the base of the Mast going to the top of the ship.

“Alright, alright! Keep your toga on!” Geeps said, shaking his head. “Last time my sensors were activated, the Empire was heading BACK to Earth. I don’t know why, so don’t ask!”

“Moody ass bird,” Thomas said, shaking his head. “Well, looks like we’re heading back to Earth, guys. Let’s hope we can end this fight once and for all.”

“Let’s go!” Artemis cheered, flopping down on the couch before watching her sister disappear into the kitchen with Rich to start working on something to eat.

As the Rangers mingled, Thomas couldn’t help but worry that Earth was going to come under heavy fire in the coming weeks in the war with the Empire. He started looking over the Ranger Keys, taking a sixth one that looked like theirs in his hand. “Silver…” he muttered. “Maybe on Earth we’ll find the one this Key belongs to.”

Later that night, the ship descended into the bay on the southern side of Pan Central City. Artemis ran to the window, grinning as she looked out. “Ahh! It’s so pretty! I forgot what PC City looked like at night!” she said, looking out of the porthole. The skyline was lit up with the lights on inside and out of buildings, cars speeding down the highway trying to get home or to a friends, some even headed for the bars after a disastrous day at work.

“Don’t get to comfy, Ms. Blaine,” Alec said, making the Pink Ranger turn her head.

“Why?” she asked, her eyebrow cocked. When she got a “are you kidding me?” look from Alec, she slapped her head. “Duh! I’m stupid.”

“No comment, little sister,” Andrea said, putting her arm around her sister’s shoulder. “It is beautiful.”

On the Blizkon, Dimas was fuming as he slammed his hand on a button on his console. “CHORHA! GET IN HERE!” he yelled, pouring himself a stiff drink.

The door opened a few minutes later, a robotic looking minion walked in. “Lord Dimas! How nasty to see you again,” he said, bowing his head.

“Cut the shit, Chorha. What do you know of Earth?”

“Plant life is tasty, some of the meatier species are gamy, but enough seasoning and they’ll be fine. Their water is disgusting, the air is dirty and smells like those machines they drive. Why?” Chorha asked, his hands behind his back.

“Because I want you to go and destroy the city. Start in Pan Central City. Shouldn’t be too hard, no?”

“No, my Lord. I’ll be off at once,” Chorha said, bowing as he turned to leave. As he headed towards the exit, he looked down the hall. “Timbaks! With me! It’s time for some fun!”

The next morning as the Rangers settled in for something to eat--courtesy of Richmond himself--Geeps woke up and flew towards the Rangers. “OI! You lot! We got trouble! Dimas’ sent down one of his Commanders, Chorha! Get movin’!”

“Where is he?” Andrea asked, getting up and grabbing her Unleashed Caller before tossing her sister her own.

Thomas hit the screens, his fingers flying over the keys. “South part of PC City. Heading right for the finance district. Let’s go!” he yelled, grabbing his Caller from Alec as he headed towards the lower decks, unveiling five motorcycles, each one based on a different shark. “I call them the UQR. The Unleashed Quick Riders. Let’s go!”

As the Rangers each climbed up onto one of the motorcycles, Richmond tried to start ranting off about safety. “Guys! Obey the traffic rules and put helmets on! Don’t need you getting screwed up before we get to the fight.”

“Richmond?” Artemis asked.


“SHUT UP!” the Pink Ranger snapped, looking back at her Green counterpart. “Let’s ride!”

Dropping out of the ships hold and landing on the ground with tires spinning, the five Rangers took off towards Pan Citys Finace district. After several minutes of riding and breaking traffic rules--much to Richmond’s dismay--the Rangers skidded to a halt near the city’s biggest bank.

“Chorha!” Thomas yelled, stepping off of the bike and pulling out his Unleashed Caller.

“Well, it’s about time, Rangers! I was beginning to think you didn’t want to come out and play!” Chorha laughed, snapping his fingers as Timbaks surrounded the Rangers. “My friends and I want to have a little fun. What do you say?”

“How about, “You and your Empire get off my planet, bitch!”? Work for you?” Artemis asked, her eyes blazing in anger.

“Hey! That ain’t nice to say!” Chorha pouted, acting hurt by Artemis’ words.

“Well, dumb ass, you didn’t say you wanted us to be nice,” Alec smirked. “Captain, let’s say we put the hurt on this punk. End it and get back before breakfast gets cold?”

“A man with some smarts!” Andrea grinned, taking out her own Caller.

Thomas nodded, and he and the Rangers stood shoulder to shoulder in line. Each of them grabbed a key from their pocket, flipping the legs up as they flipped open their Callers.

“Unleashed! Engage!” all five yelled, slamming the Keys into the slot on the Callers and turning them, the top of the Caller splitting to reveal a Key and Crossed swords.

Thomas found himself in a raging sea on a Red ship, similar to the Galleon. He swung his arms around, his suit appearing in his hands before he pulled it on like an overcoat, adjusting the gloves before the helmet snapped closed over his head.

Alec was under water, the water enveloping him like a shield that formed his suit. Adjusting the collar, the helmet snapped over the Blue Rangers head similar to how a clam would close. The Blue Ranger then popped up out of the water onto a cliff, overlooking a sunset.

Andrea jumped out of the ground, her suit being formed pieces at a time by the rocks that surrounded her in the air. She grabbed a larger rock and hit it, her helmet forming from the remains in her hand before she threw it into the air, leaping up and letting it secure. She hit the ground and adjusted her skirt as she did.

Richmond ran through the jungle, his suit forming from pieces of the underbrush before he blasted out into a clearing, kicking up a dust storm. He formed his helmet from the sand and pebbles, snapping it closed over his head. Rolling his shoulders, he started to hop like a boxer.

Jaiden spun in the air, clouds forming her suit before she grabbed the sun, closing her hand around it and taking the light to form a helmet. She threw the helmet down, following in a dive that would make an Olympian Swimmer jealous before landing on her feet, the helmet closing around her head. She fixed her sleeve, snapping her fingers.

After all five Rangers had transformed, they stood ready to go, each one holding their Saber or Gun.

“Unleashed Red!”

“Unleashed Blue!”

“Unleashed Yellow!”

“Unleashed Green!”

“Unleashed Pink!”

Chorha, who at this point had been waiting patiently instead of attacking like he should have, stood open mouthed at the five Rangers in front of him. “NO! This isn’t right! You’re not supposed to be Rangers!” he yelled, snapping his fingers. “Timbaks! ATTACK AND KILL THEM!”

“Rangers! Ready!?” Thomas yelled, smrking under his helmet.

“GO!” the other four replied, rushing out to meet the Timbaks head on.

Each Ranger took on a separate group of them. Thomas used both his sword and gun to block slashes from the Timbaks he was fighting, shooting htem when their guard was down. He drove a kick into one’s chest, knocking him into several of it’s buddies. “Stay down!” he yelled, driving his sword through the robot drone’s chests just to make a point.

Alec was hard at work cutting down his own Timbaks, growling as he tried to shoot them from a distance but missing terribly. “Hate the gun!” he growled, slamming the hilt into one’s face before shooting it under the chin, wires and hardware falling out of it’s destroyed head. He saw the sword whip by him, stabbing one Timbak in the chest before he looked at his gun, nodding to Thomas who was busy with just his gun.

Richmond--who had taken to the high wires and resulted in some wrestling moves--drove his feet into one of the Timbaks before slashing it on the downward swing. “Have a nice flight!” he yelled, grabbing another by the neck and launching it into the air. He looked over at Thomas who gave him a nod. He flung his sword, Alec flinging his pistol before the Blue Ranger took up the captain’s sword. Thomas spun quickly, kicking the second pistol at Richmond as he caught the sword, slashing a few more down. Richmond grabbed the pistol, cheering as he blasted several of the Timbaks, knocking the back.

Andrea and Artemis were working together, each of them slashing or shooting several of the grunts in a row. “Little sister!” Andrea called, waving her pistol before tossing it up and over some of the grunts.

“Now you’re talking!” Artemis grinned, throwing her sword up and catching the pistol before going full out. She started working faster, shooting several rounds before jumping back and split kicking a pair of Timbaks. She landed on her back and laid still, pretending to be taken down. She looked down out of her helmet, seeing one of the Timbaks trying to lift her skirt. “HEY!” She snapped her leg up and twisted, breaking the Timbaks’ neck before jumping up and shooting more of the Timbaks’ back. “Hey, you wanted to look up my skirt!”

Andrea laughed, shaking her head at her sister. She drove forward, grabbing the hooks on the end of her swords before throwing them out, using the hooks to hold the swords before slashing down the rest of the Timbaks she was fighting.

After a few more minutes, Chorha got angry and stamped his foot on the ground like a little kid. “DAMN YOU! You took out my friends!”

“Well, they weren’t much fun,” Thomas said, smirking.

“Oh, I’ll get you for this!” Chorha yelled, running forward before kicking the two sister Rangers back, knocking them away from the boys before he hit Alec in the chest. He barreled forward and hit Richmond in his legs, snapping his legs back and making the Green Ranger hit the floor before throwing Thomas around like a rag doll.

After the Rangers picked themselves up from the onslaught of Chorha, Thomas looked at his gang of Rangers and nodded. “Let’s Change this up,” he said, hitting his belt as another Ranger Key popped out, this time the Key being that of the Mighty Morphin’ Rangers.

The other four followed suit, taking out the rest of the first team of Rangers. “Unleashed! Engage!” they yelled again, performing the same actions as when they morphed for the first time.

ITS MORPHIN’ TIME!” the Callers rang out, the image of the five Dinosaurs the first Rangers were based on coming out of the Caller before enveloping the Rangers.

“WHAT?! They’re dead!” Chorha yelled, firing several blasts from a gun turret in his chest.

“Sure they are! That’s why we use their Ranger Powers. We’re Pirates after all, so this is a pirate version of the Power Rangers!” Artemis said, drawing Kimberly Hart’s Power Bow before firing several Energy Arrows at Chorha, some of them getting stuck in his turret.

“Power Lance!” Alec called out, separating the staff at the middle before slamming the pointer ends into Chorha, knocking him backwards.

Richmond, in Black, summoned the Power Axe before slamming it against Chorha’s back as he came flying backwards into it. He lifted Chorha up, throwing him into the air before seeing Andrea. “Go for it, Drea!”

“You got it!” Andrea yelled, slamming her Power Daggers into Chorha’s back, sending him back to the ground. “Captain! Finish it!”

“Power Sword!” Thomas called, the Red Rangers signature sword in hand as he started slashing and cutting Chorha down to size.

After the onslaught, Chorha got back up and growled, his entire body surging with energy. “I’ll kill all of you in a single blast!” he yelled, his face splitting to reveal an even uglier face under it.

The Five Rangers reverted back to their Unleashed suits, taking their five Unleashed Keys in hand. “No, you won’t, Chorha,” Thomas said, hitting the switch at the bottom of his sword, the others doing the same. As they slotted the Keys, each ones hilt glowed with their respective color, the color filling up the blade. “Unleashed Slash Strike!” The five Rangers jumped into the air, slashing down with their swords as the energy was released, hitting Chorha square in the chest.

“NO!” Chorha yelled, hitting his back. “LORD DIMAS! Forgive me!” The last syllable carried as an explosion engulfed Chorha’s robotic body, leaving a smoldering pile of mechanical parts on the ground.

The Rangers let go of their transformations, standing together with smiles--or in Alec’s case a smirk--on their faces. “Alright!” Artemis grinned, pouncing her sister. “We did it!”

“Yeah, but now the Empire knows we’re on Earth. They won’t let us go that easy,” Thomas said.

“It doesn’t matter. We’ve got the Rangers powers and our own. We’ll be ready,” Richmond said, putting his hand on Thomas’ shoulder. “For now, let’s go back to the Galleon and have some lunch. I’m more then willing to bet that breakfast either got cold, or Geeps at it all.”

The Five Rangers laughed as they climbed back on their bikes, racing back towards the Galleon, feeling like the world was alright for a change as they basked in the glory of their first win against the Empire.

High on a building in the middle of the city, a figure in a black cloaked closed his glowing white eyes. “Soon, Rangers. Things will get tougher for all of you.” he whispered, vanishing against the sunlight.
Mar 17 2013, 10:53 AM
My version of what the last minutes of yesterdays Young Justice Finale should have been like. Tissues needed if you have a soul, were emotionally attatched to Spitfire as a ship, or if you enjoyed Kid Flash as a character....

As Kid Flash, Flash, and Impulse ran around the Chrysalis, Wally sighed softly as he watched the other two start running faster and faster ahead of him. “Sure, lap me. Not the first time you two have done this,” he mumbled, watching as Barry slowed down to match speeds. “Just keep running, Barry! I’ll be fine!”

“Not a chance, kid!” Barry called back, watching the energy from the Reach’s chrysalis escape and hit Wally hard. He reached out for his friend and protégé, having stopped calling him a sidekick almost six years before. “Wally!”

Wally groaned softly, feeling each blast of energy spear him that escaped. His speed this time was a hindrance more then a help since he was the slowest of the Flashes, but he had to try and help no matter what. After several more blasts hitting him, he saw Barry trying to reach for him to siphon some of the energy.

“Oh, man….Artemis is going to kill me!” Wally called, smirking his trademark “I’m getting out of this mess” grin. “And don’t even get me started on Mom and Dad!” Barry watched as the twenty-one year old Flash Family Member’s face turned solemn. “Tell them I love them. Tell Artemis…I’ve always loved her.”

“WALLY!” Barry yelled, trying to grab his friend.

“Tell her, Barry…” Wally whispered, the last blast of energy hitting him and sending him into the next life.

After a few more seconds of running, Flash and Impulse stopped running, both of them panting as they rested their hands on their knees. Barry’s eyes closed as he heard the Bioship behind them, hearing footsteps and cheers. He turned to look at Artemis, seeing her grinning.

“You did it!” she cheered, looking around. “Where’s Wally?”

Barry walked over to Artemis, his own eyes swimming with tears. “Artemis,” he whispered. “He said that he loves you, and that he’s sorry. He’s so sorry, Artemis…”

“NO!” Artemis yelled, shoving Barry backwards. “No! WEST! Get your yellow clad butt out here now!” She waited, her voice echoing off of the snow and ice. Tears fell down her cheeks lightly, and she sank to her knees, feeling a pair of strong arms around her. “NO! WALLY!” She turned and buried her face in M’gann’s shoulder, the two members of the Team sitting and crying while they remembered their fallen comrade.

Beast Boy came bounding out of the ship, looking at Nightwing. “Dick, what’s going on? Where’s Wally?” he asked, ever the optimist.

Nightwing sighed softly, knowing that what he was going to say was going to anger the youngest member of the Team. Especially after his promise. “Garfield…Wally didn’t make it,” he said, looking down, thankful that his mask blocked his eyes. “He was killed by the chrysalis as it used him to siphon energy out, his speed not matching the others.”

“NO! You’re lying! You swore to me that you wouldn’t fake anyone’s death for a year!” Garfield yelled, shoving Nightwing back into Connor. “Wally! This isn’t funny anymore! Get out here or I’ll kill you myself!”

He started looking around behind rocks and glaciers, hoping that this was some elaborate trick. After he finally ended up beside Artemis and M’gann with tears in his eyes, he fell to his knees and turned, curling up against Artemis’ back as he felt M’gann and Artemis hug him tightly.

“He’s gone,” Artemis whispered, rubbing Garfield’s arm. “He’s gone, Gar…he’s really gone…this…”

“…isn’t fair,” Garfield whispered, burying his face against Artemis’ neck, thankful he did have a pair of people strong enough to keep him from killing someone.

A couple of hours later, Artemis stopped her car outside of Wally’s house, Garfield getting out of the other side, Artemis taking his hand in hers softly. The two were an unlikely pair, but were bonding over the death of a loved one, and Artemis told him to stay with her for a couple of days outside of the Team and the Watchtower.

She knocked on the door, Wally’s parents opening the doors before seeing the two standing in front of them. “Artemis, sweetheart? Where’s Wally?” his mother asked, tears starting to fall from Artemis’ eyes again. She’d held it together on the drive over for Garfield’s sake, but she couldn’t do it anymore. The tears in Artemis’ eyes were enough to tell Wally’s parents what was wrong.

Wally’s parents pulled both of the heroes into hugs, all four sitting on the front steps sobbing into each other’s arms, each remembering Wally in their own ways.

The next day, Garfield was standing beside Bart in front of Wally’s memorial statue in the Hall of Heroes, and he sighed softly. He looked at the former Impulse, and he couldn’t help but smile warmly.

“You look good, Bart,” Artemis said, walking up behind the two boys.

“I feel like an imposter,” Bart said, slipping the hood off of his head. “How are you holding up?”

“Alright, I guess. The apartment’s quiet without him, but I remember him all the time,” Artemis said, noticing the looks that the two boys were giving her. “What?”

“Why are you wearing that again?” Gar asked. “You’re not going evil on us now that he’s gone?” He looked up at her with fear in his eyes, but it dissipated when she put her hand on his cheek.

“No, Garfield. Artemis was Wally’s partner. It doesn’t feel right to wear the green when he’s not beside me. I thought I’d try this, though. Thought I’d give it a shot as a blond,” Artemis said, smiling softly down at Garfield.

“Good…because I don’t want you to be evil again, Artemis,” Garfield whispered. “Neither would Wally.” He gave her a hug, putting his arms around her waist before feeling hers around his shoulders.

“I know, kiddo. I know,” Artemis whispered, kissing Garfield’s head as she looked up at Wally’s statue. “I love you, Wally. I’ll make you proud, I promise…”

“You already have, Artemis,” Garfield whispered. “You already have made him proud.”
Nov 8 2011, 12:32 AM

We set out to create the worlds strongest monsters…… We succeeded. They’re on their way to destroy our World while they look to be complete. Our only hope is the One Who Is Complete. We’ve saved three of the Core’s, Red, Blue, Yellow. It’s the only way that he can stop them. Whoever finds this recording…..the world falls on your shoulders. May the Gods be your strength…..

Several years have passed since that day. The Alchemist was slaughtered by the ones that he’d created. They scattered around the planet, searching for their Cores to be complete. What none of them knew was that a force that was sent to stop them was gathering his strength. The One Who Is Complete, the Kamen Rider.

A young man, like you and I, but a man like no other. A man with zero desire, no ambitions, no skills that could be useful. He starts to search Corminian Island where the Alchemist was said to have created the Greeed, and he finds a belt like nothing that he’d ever seen, as well as a young man with a weird right arm. The two team up to take back the Cores and destroy the Greeed once and for all.

Character List:
Akira Kobyashi---Kamen Rider OOO
Harumi Saito

Uva (Human Form)
Gamel (Human Form)
Mezuru (Human Form)
Kazari (Human Form)

Unknown Alliances:
Elitist Foundation Headquarters
Hiroto Ishinaba--Elitist Foundation's Founder
Emi Sonozaki--Hiroto’s secretary and right hand help

Chapter List:
Episode 1: Burnt, Medals, Beginnings--COMPLETE (11-7-11)
Episode 2: Explanations, Lies, Cornered
Episode 3: Truth, Full Combo, Unlocked Power
Episode 4: Taken In, Hidden Depths, Undying Trust
Episode 5: Deceit, Devils, Force
Sep 22 2011, 04:28 PM
Is This The End?

Raven. A mystery to the Teen Titans, a daughter of Trigon, and a force of Darkness that uses her powers for good with the Titans. Years ago, a prophecy was made that when she reached her adulthood, she would become the Portal that would allow her father to make his way to Earth, causing the destruction of everyone and everything that she loved…

Sitting on the edge of the Tower, Raven watched the city that she had come to love, though she’d never admit it to anyone’s face. Looking at her hands and arms, she felt her eyes go wide when she saw that they were glowing with the Mark of Scath, the symbols of Trigon. She wished they would go away, leaving her in peace. What she didn’t see, or sense, was a small fly on the ledge next to her that saw the entire thing. The fly wouldn’t be out of place, save for it’s greenish hue.

When Raven decided to return to her room for some meditation, she saw Beast Boy standing in front of her door, looking upset. “What?” she asked, her monotone voice cracking.

“Why? Why didn’t you tell us?”: Beast Boy asked, his demeanor changing from upset to hurt. His eyes revealed that he was worried about her, and that worry wasn’t going to go away with a simple explanation. “Raven….we’re a team. We’re your friends….your family. I…you should have told us….” He cast his green eyes to the floor, sighing. “You could have at least told me….”

Raven looked at the heartbroken Titan in front of her, and she stepped up to him. “Garfield,” she said, using his first name to make him look at her. She put her hand on his cheek--a gesture that wouldn’t go unnoticed--and she looked in the green eyes that she had come to admire and--dare she speak it?--adore. “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want you to worry. You worry about me as it is, and that’s something that I can never thank you enough for. It means everything to me that you worry about me, that you care for me. I…I can’t let you be killed when this happens. I don’t want that….not for you guys. It…it’d kill me if something happened to you.”

Beast Boy--who was still getting over the shock of hearing her use his first name--looked at her like she was crazy. “Raven…I don’t want anything to happen to you. You may be the daughter of Trigon, but I don’t care. To me, you’re still a Teen Titan, still one of the bravest people I know. I don’t want anything to happen to you. You’re one of my best friends, and….I hoped that you’d trusted me enough to at least consider telling me.”

Raven heard the pain in his voice, something that she had tried to avoid causing. She looked up at him, and she put her hands on his cheeks. “Listen to me. I will not let him hurt you. I will fight until I can’t anymore to make sure that he doesn’t come out. I don’t care what happens to me, as long as I know that you’re safe, do you understand me?” she asked, running her hand into his tangled mass of green hair. “Please….just don’t give up. Please. Don’t give up on me. I will see you again after everything is over, Garfield. I promise you.” She kissed his cheek and gave him a small, warm smile--one that she knew would be the last--and she turned to walk into her room when she felt his hand on her arm.

“Wait, Rae,” he said, turning her to face him again. He put his arms around her in a hug, wishing that he could give her his strength to fight her destiny. After he pulled away, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a single penny. He took her hand, and he closed the penny around her fingers. “This is my promise to you, Raven Roth of Azarath. I will find you and save you, even if it takes me fifty years to accomplish. I will save you again.”

He kissed her forehead and walked off, the door to his room opening and shutting in the same breath. “You already have,” Raven whispered, looking at the penny before clutching it to her chest, wishing that she could fight her destiny. She whispered a final sentence in the darkness of the hallway before sliding into her room. “Is this the end?”

Raven wanted nothing more then to scream in pain. She was being forced to become the portal for Trigon, and it felt to her like she was being split apart. She remembered the chant that had somehow made its way into her mind, and she forced herself to speak through the pain. “The gem was born of evil's fire, the gem shall be his portal, he comes to claim, he comes to sire, the end of all things mortal!” As the portal opened, a red demonic hand shot out. Ravens hands slackened, her iron grip on the penny in her hand failing as she let it fall.

Pulling himself out of the portal to gaze upon what he would soon destroy, Trigon stood over his daughter. She managed to carry herself enough over the ground to grab the penny again before passing out. “Weak. You will be weak forever, little Raven,” he growled, picking her up by the tattered remains of her cloak. “Take her away.”

As Slade--one of the Teen Titans most deadly enemies--carried the unconscious Raven to a cell, he smirked. “Happy Birthday, kid,” he laughed, his voice mocking as he repeated it over and over until he threw her into the cell, her head smacking against the wall.

Back inside of the Tower, the alarms rang out, Beast Boy knowing instantly what had happened, and hoping to whatever gods there were that he was wrong. HE ran towards Raven’s room, inputting the emergency code to open the door. When he made his way into the room, he fell to his knees.

“Raven…” he whispered, finding the strength to get up and walk over to her bed. There, he found a note addressed to him. He picked it up and unfolded it, noting that the handwriting was beautiful and serene, something that he had always pictured Raven as. His eyes scanned the page as he started to read.


If you’re reading this, then it means that I’m gone. It means that Trigon is back, and I’m either dead or captured. I wrote this to say thank you for everything over the years. You have been a true friend to me, even though I never could show you the same kindness. You know from being inside of my mind that time that I can’t let my emotions out for fear of losing control over them, Rage in particular.

I don’t want you to fight him. I don’t want to lose you twice. I want you to stay safe. Run and hide as long as you can. I’ll do everything that I can from where I am to stop him. I will see you again, Garfield. I promise. I’ve left something for each of you inside of each of you. It’s a little part of me that might help stop Trigon if I fail. Please….don’t get hurt because of me.

Love, Raven

It was the last line that made the Titan known the world over as Beast Boy come to a decision. “I’m sorry, Raven, but I will save you,” he swore. “I’m done hiding.” He ran out of her room as he folded the letter and put it in his pocket, skidding into the hallway.

“About time, Beast Boy! We’re leaving,” Robin said, doing one of his signature window-leaps.

As the other Titans made their way after their leader, they got a look at the city for the first time since the night before. Statues that looked too detailed to be statues lined the streets, everything looked dirty and dingy, the entire planet over. With each car, person, street that they passed, it only served to make Beast Boy angrier.

“F*ck this. I’m going after her,” he said before shifting into a falcon and tearing through the skies, his mind set on saving his friend. With a mighty screech, he sailed into Slade’s lair--though he didn’t know the way--and he stopped in front of a cell where he heard whimpering. “Raven?”

He looked in the door, seeing Raven curled up in a ball, tears flowing down her face as she clutched something to her chest tightly. Beast Boy shifted into something small that he could use to try and get into her cell, and when he managed, he shifted back.

“Raven?” he asked, kneeling beside her and picking her up. He sat on the small makeshift bed that she had in the cell, and he felt her curl up into and press against him.

“I told you….not to come for me,” she whispered, trying to be angry at him, which would have worked under normal circumstances, though this time it didn’t serve its intended purpose.

“I don’t take instructions very well,” Beast Boy whispered, wiping her eyes. “I came to find you because I wanted to tell you something.” When Raven looked up at him, he felt his heart shatter again. Before he could speak, Slade arrived and opened the door, seeing--to his surprise--not one but two Titans.

“Well…..this is a surprise,” Slade growled, grabbing Raven by the hair and slamming her against the wall before he grabbed Beast Boy by the throat. “I’ll kill you, gather her powers, and then destroy the other Titans before my Master destroys this pathetic planet.”

“Like….hell….” Beast Boy growled, breaking out of Slade’s grip. Before he had a chance to attack again, he was transported away by Raven who used the last of her strength again to save him from her fate. He reappeared in the Tower, and he rushed over to the consoles, hitting everything that he could to activate the lines to Raven’s Comm.

When she finally answered, what he saw broke him. Raven was battered an bruised, a red line forming above her eye as well as well as her right eye swelling shut. Beast Boy swore right then that he would save her, no matter what.

“Raven. Listen to me, and you listen to me good. I don’t care what happens to me. I will save you from Slade and Trigon, and we will finish them both off for good. Do you understand me? I promise,” he said, putting his hand on the screen. “I will save you, my Angel of Darkness.”

Raven nodded weakly, her comm falling out of her hand and shattering on the floor. Beast Boy shifted to a Rhino, breaking out of the window of the Tower before shifting to a pterodactyl once again to rejoin the fight with Trigon on the other side of town.

The battle with Trigon was shifting in both directions. One second the Titans would have the upper hand, the next Trigon would. Robin looked at Starfire and could tell that she was starting to get tired, so he ran over to her and propped her up.

“Run, Starfire. Get to Tamaran. Please don’t argue with me,” he said, kissing her cheek. “Please. I love you.” He felt a little stronger as he went full force against Trigon, a green blur overhead letting him know that Starfire was gone. “This ends!”

‘You’re correct,” Trigon growled, using his power to destroy the area that Robin and Cyborg were standing on, killing both Titans at the same time.

A dark energy seeped out of the Titans bodies and found their way into Beast Boy, who had a renewed vigor as he charged Trigon, hoping to succeed where his friends failed. He flew up high in the sky and hovered over Trigon before giving an internal smirk and shifting into a Blue Whale, falling like a stone onto the Demon Lords head, knocking him to the ground. Beast Boy shifted back into his normal self, feeling all of Raven’s powers inside of him, knowing that this is what he had to do.

“Azarath….Metrion…..ZINTHOS!” Beast Boy yelled, screaming as a White Raven soul projection blasted out of his body, towering over Trigon. “You will never destroy my planet! You will never threaten my friends ever again! YOU WILL NOT DESTROY RAVEN!” As the Raven projection swooped in on Trigon, the Demon Lord laughed as if it was nothing.

“That will not stop me, boy!” he laughed. When the projection grabbed him in its claws and lifted him over the city, he stopped laughing. “What is this?!”

“This is the power of her REAL family!” Beast Boy said, his body in the middle of the projection as he closed his eyes and spread his arms wide, the Projection ripping Trigon in half and killing him forever. As the Demon was sucked back into the hellish plane he was taken from, the Soul Projection died, leaving Beast Boy on the ground.

He looked over at the only items left on the ground after Trigon’s death, and he ran over to them. Picking up a Birdarang and Cyborg’s Sonic Cannon, Beast Boy swore vengeance on Slade so that he could get his friend back.

Three years and countless attempts later, Beast Boy managed to find a way to get into Slade’s lair. With Jinx--who under Robins orders was working for Slade again--the Dark Magic Girl carried him into Slade’s throne room, the mark of Scath still on his helmet. As Jinx threw Beast Boy onto the floor, Slade grinned and stepped on his leg, breaking it in three places.

After taunting the young Titan with the fact that he let Raven get and stay captured, Beast Boy was taken to a very familiar cell. Since his leg hurt him too much, he shifted into a cat, limping over to see Raven who had dried blood on her face and side, the fact that Slade had beaten her continuously fact on her face. Beast Boy padded over to her, meowing in pain as he sat on his back legs, pushing against Raven’s cheek with his head softly, trying to get her to wake up.

“Mmm….” Raven moaned, opening her eyes enough to see the green eyes staring back at her. “Mm…dreaming…. Dreaming about him, again…seeing his cat look staring at me….three years and I’ve finally lost it….” When she blinked again, the cat was still there. “Or not…” Raven sat up, holding her side as the cat climbed into her lap, nuzzling her hand softly. “Beast Boy….”

The cat looked up at Raven, his eyes sad as he licked at his back leg, wanting to make it heal before he passed out. “He hurt you,” Raven whispered, petting the cats head softly as she looked at his leg. “I need you to shift back so that I can heal it, Beast Boy. Please.”

The Cat nodded, and he padded down off of Raven’s lap before shifting back, a scream of pain tearing from Beast Boy’s lips as his leg seared. “I’ll kill him for everything,” he said, looking at Raven as she knelt in front of him to start setting his leg.

“Trust me, you’ll get your chance,” Raven said, using her powers to get a cloth to wrap around his leg to hold the sticks that she found in place. “I want to kill him myself, but….I haven’t had a chance to try and meditate at all in three years. I don’t know if my powers will go out of control or not. I’d rather not chance that.”

“I know,” Beast Boy said, pulling Raven up to sit beside him softly. “Rae….Trigon killed Robin and Cyborg. Starfire’s gone, she ran before Trigon killed her, too. Jinx is back here under Slade, and the Towers all but about to fall. The city’s barely rebuilding, even with everyone helping. I swear to God that the JL has been here more then at the Watchtower.”

“At least they’re helping this time. I wish that they would have been here when Trigon attacked,” Raven whispered, letting her hand fall to her side where the Penny fell onto the bed.

“You kept it,” Beast Boy whispered, picking up the penny and flipping it over and over, seeing how worn out it had gotten. “All this time.”

“Of course I did,” Raven said, putting her hand on Beast Boy’s. “Why wouldn’t I?”

Before Beast Boy could answer, the door to the cell burst open to show Slade looking ready to kill and wipe out the Titans for good. “Hope you’re ready for the last moments of your lives,” he drawled, stepping forward with a gun in his hand. He held the gun up in front of Beast Boy, knowing that he was going to kill the Changeling until he was dead.

“NO!” Raven yelled, using her powers to jump in front of Beast Boy and create a force field as Slade fired all six rounds in the gun. Instead of bouncing off of the force field like they should have, the bullets speared through the field, hitting Raven in the chest, shoulder, and stomach. She fell to the ground, blood pouring from her wounds.

“YOU SON OF A B!TCH!” Beast Boy yelled, shifting into a Tyrannosaurus and attacking Slade, the enemy not knowing what hit him as Beast Boy chomped down on him, tearing him apart and hearing bone and flesh rip and tear and break, Beast boys primal instincts taking over for the fastest second of his life. After he knew that Slade was dead, he spat out what he had in his mouth and shifted back, yelling for Jinx to get in there and help him.

He gathered Raven up in his arms, feeling her start to slip away. “Don’t you do this to me, goddamn it! Not now! I’ve spent three years of my life trying to get you back! And I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to lose you now!” he growled, forcing Raven to look at him.

“I won’t….leave you alone,” Raven whispered, taking his hand in hers. She told him what to do so that he could get the bullet that was closest to her heart, and when he had the bullet, he threw it aside. Between him and Jinx, they got Raven into the jeep and to the hospital where she was taken into emergency surgery to save her life….

In the present day, Garfield and Raven were sitting with their two kids Adam Jason and Isabel “Izzy” Marie on the bed explaining to them what had happened to her the year before they were born after a very surprise trip for all of them into the Nevermore, Raven’s own mind with her emotions represented as her.

“Wow, Mama,” Izzy said, the images that Raven was projecting vanishing. “I didn’t know that all of that happened….”

“Me either,” Adam said, snuggling up in his mothers lap. “It’s been eleven years….and you still think about it?” Raven nodded, and she sighed.

“I always do. I think about what would have happened if Dad hadn’t saved me, what would have happened if he had gone with Robin and Cyborg instead of breaking off to find me, what would have happened if I had died in your fathers arms laying in Slade’s lair….I think about it all the time, the what-ifs and the might have been. It doesn’t go away, even with all the meditation that I do. There’s a lot of ways that your dad helps me, but you guys are to young to understand that,” Raven said, taking Gar’s hand in hers again. “I thank whatever Gods were out there that day when he found me that he found me when he did. Otherwise when I whispered, “Is this the end?” to myself, I would have believed it for the rest of my life.”

“Rae, I couldn’t leave you in there. You helped me through some of the most traumatic parts of being a Titan, like Terra and her betrayal, the Beast, Doom Patrol, everything. I couldn’t leave you alone in there knowing that you had helped me, and I had to help you. I could see in your eyes the day before that you were worried, and the way that I acted that day by acting tough and not caring made me hurt worse when you actually left. I had hoped that you hadn’t left and that you would have tried to fight. I’m just glad that I was able to save you,” Gar said, squeezing Raven’s hand.

“So am I!” Izzy said, smiling up at her mom and dad.

“Me too,” Adam said, hugging his mother and leaning against her stomach.

“So am I,” Raven said. “So am I….”
Sep 18 2011, 07:59 PM
Disclaimer: This is rated pg-13 for strong thematic elements as well as suicide and attempts at such. This is straight out of something I was working on a year ago, and I hope that you find it as enjoyable to read as I did to write, though there were times I was sure that I was going to start crying while I wrote.

December 25, 2018

“Mama?” a young girl asked, grabbing a picture from the table and holding it up. “Who’s this?” She put the picture on her mothers chest and climbed up into her lap.

“That, baby girl, is Mamas friend from the Pai Zqua. That’s Matthew. Want to know about him?” an older female voice asked, stroking her daughters platinum blonde hair.

“Yeah,” the little girl said, smiling as she snuggled up into her mama’s lap, ready for a story.

December 22, 2010

December was fast approaching for the Students of the Pai Zqua Martial Arts Academy. The trainees were setting up trees in the different sections of the school, adorned with all sorts of fancy colors and happy lights and general Christmassy stuff. In the Jaguar Section, a tree would be lined with Blue Lights and Jaguar-themed Ornaments, and the same in the Cheetah Wing: Yellow Lights and Cheetah themed decorations and so on through out the Academy. One such wing, though, was not as cheerful as the rest, oh, no. The Rhino Wing was eerily quiet for a cheerful time of Yuletide and Santa Claus Spirit.

Sitting in the dark of his room, Matthew Thompson was contemplating once more his death. Having been the oddball of the Academy, it seemed to be that he wasn’t ever happy with anyone else around the School. Always sitting by himself, he was alone even outside in his house: his father died when he was a child, and his mother was killed in a car crash when a drunk T-Boned her. He was found on the streets wandering around scavenging for food. He never knew where his next meals and such would come from, and when he wandered onto the Campus of the Academy and stumbled on the Rhino Pavilion , he knew that he’d found a place where he’d belong for good. Until the day that he found out that Rhino Spirit Wielders were rare: one in ten thousand.

Since then, he’d been shuffled along, training himself since his master, Dom, was never around to help him out. He got a part time job working at Jungle Karma Pizzeria, where he started to work with RJ and the others that he saw around the Academy, like Masters Rhodes, Chilman, and Martin. He was always working by himself in the back, the others never bothering to say anything to him until the day that she came in.

Katrina Mikel. Her hair flowed behind her like a silky blonde curtain, while her eyes penetrated the soul as they dazzled an electric green. She had on a shirt that looked like a Rhino pattern but with Wolf claw marks. RJ smiled as he walked around the counter and gave her a hug.

“Katie, it’s good to see you in town again,” RJ said, smiling at his niece. He was looking her eye-level, amazed at how much she looked like her mother but with hints of her father thrown in, like the narrow eyebrows and high cheekbones. “Where’s your folks?”

Katrina sighed, and she shook her head. “I came by myself. Uncle Casey called me and asked if I’d be interested in helping at the academy for a while over Christmas since you’re here all the time working, and I told him that I didn’t mind it. I’d been meaning to come back for a while. He said……he said that there was someone here who’s got the Rhino Spirit but shunned because of it,” she said, looking at her uncle. “I was going to see if I’d be able to help him open up since Dad told me what it was like for him when he was at the Academy when Dom wasn’t around……I don’t know if I’ll be able to or not, though.”

Matt, meanwhile, had stopped what he was doing so that he could listen to Katrina talk, and his face fell as he took off the apron that he was wearing in the kitchen and threw it in an oven, watching it burn before he walked out. “RJ, I hate to do this, man, but I quit. I can’t keep doing this. You’ve got more then enough people to work here, and I’m just getting in the way,” he said, sighing as he looked at the girl in front of him, pushing past and going out of the door.

RJ sighed, and he looked at Katrina. “Sorry about him. That’s the Rhino guy that I was sure you were hearing about,” he said. “He’s got no one, so he’s depressed and down about it all the time. Maybe some friendship will cheer him up. You willing to try, kiddo?”

“Yeah, Uncle RJ, I can try,” Katrina said, her green eyes sparkling with sadness for the young man that she watched speed off. “If I’m any kind of Mikel, like my mom, I’ll be able to help him out and see that being a Rhino Wielder isn’t that bad. I’ll be back later, RJ.” She gave him a hug, and she bolted from the room, speeding out after Matt as she followed him back to the Academy.

When Katrina got to the Academy, she looked around trying to find him. She looked at how the Cheetah, Tiger, Jaguar, Wolf, and even the other Areas were decorated. She found a secluded area where there was nothing but a single light on, and she figured that was Matt’s room. She sighed as she knocked on the door, but when she didn’t get an answer, she opened the door and found that the room was empty. “Matt? I’m not going to hurt you, I promise,” she said, stepping on the floor and causing some dust to spout up. As she coughed, she heard a muffled sniffle from the bathroom.

As she trudged through the dust and dirt on the floor, she pushed the door open and saw Matt on the floor with thin red lines along his wrists, blood coming from his wrists and the small knife in his hand. He was curled up on the floor, the blood making a small pool around him.

“Matt!” Katrina yelled, running over to him and hitting the button on the wall to make the alarms go off. As a few of the Masters ran in, she was cradling Matt’s head in her lap. “CASEY! Get him to the hospital! NOW! He’s lost a lot of blood!”

Casey and Theo picked Matt up and rushed him to the hospital wing where Lily and Fran started working to get his wrists healed up and some blood back into him. Casey went out to see Katrina, sighing as he looked at her bloodstained hands and tear streaked cheeks.

“Katie,” he said, kneeling beside her. “There wasn’t anything that you could do. He’s lucky that you found him when you did. A few more minutes and he wouldn’t have made it. Lily’s got him in recovery right now. I want you to go in and see him. RJ told me that he sent you to try and talk to him.”

“Alright, Uncle Casey,” Katrina said, sniffling a bit and giving him a small hug. She got up and walked towards the recovery wing, Lily pointing to the room that Matt was in. When she walked in, she felt her heart catch in her throat and her breathing all but die. He looked helpless laying in the bed with bandages on his wrists, evidence of the act that he tried to do. She sat beside him and put her hand in his, wanting to give him her strength. She felt a small tingle in her fingers as she realized that her Wolf Spirit was reacting with his Rhino Spirit.

“Oh, Matt….I’m sorry I didn’t get there sooner or stop you as you ran out of JKP earlier,” she said, sighing. “I wish that I could help you…”

She sat by his bed in the hospital for three days until he woke up and was released. She took him to the Rhino Hall again, but this time instead of only one room, there were two that were being used. Katrina made sure that she was close to Matt in case of an emergency. She knew that he was going to be fine in the long run, but she wanted to be there just in case.

Matt hadn’t spoken more then two words to anyone--which for him would have been like a small novel if he spoke again--and Katrina was getting worried. She’d seen him limp a few times, and she was sure that he was cutting again. Finally Christmas arrived, and she had bought something for Matt to celebrate since she knew that he didn’t have a family or anyone to receive gifts from.

She walked down to his door and knocked twice. “Matt?” she asked, knocking again. “Matt, come on, please answer the door!” When he didn’t, she opened it herself and looked around, not seeing him in the cabin. She went to his bedroom where she saw a bottle of sleeping pills empty with a bottle of Vodka sitting next to them. “You idiot.” She sat on the edge of the bed and put her hand on his shoulder. “Matt? Wake up.”

“Go away, Katrina….” Matt muttered, burying his face in the pillow. “Can’t you leave me be in peace? Shit….just go away…. I don’t want the help….”

“Tough! I was told by RJ to help you! And I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit here and watch you try and kill yourself!” Katrina growled, grabbing the covers from the bed and jerking them off of him. “GET YOUR ASS UP AND GET DRESSED! It’s time that someone showed you a little bit of tough love.”

When Katrina slammed the door and stormed off, Matt groaned and got up. HE sat up on the edge of the bed, sighing. “I’m sorry, Katrina,” he said, looking out of the window at her retreating form. He spotted the box on the chair, and he picked it up. “What’s this?” He sat back on the bed and opened it up, setting the lid for the box aside. Inside of the box was a jacket with the Rhino Emblazoned on the back of it. “Oh, Katrina…. You didn’t have to do this….”

He set the jacket aside and walked towards his dresser, pulling out clothes for the day. After getting his shower, he dressed and slid the jacket on, surprised at how well it fit him. He slid into his shoes and walked out of the room and down towards the tree in the middle of the courtyard where he spotted Katrina.

“Kat?” he asked, sighing as he walked over to her.

She turned and was going to berate and yell at him, but her face lit up when she was that he was wearing the jacket. “Thank you,” she said, putting her hand on his shoulder. “Thank you for wearing that. I didn’t want to get it and then have you not wear it. I think that it fits you perfectly.”

“I wanted to thank you for this. Nobody’s given me anything since my folks died, and it’s always been what I could steal and find for myself,” Matt said, smiling a bit. “Thank you.”

Katrina smiled and stood on her toes and kissed Matt’s cheek. “You’re welcome,” she said, smiling. “Come on. Let’s go out and just have some fun today. It’s Christmas after all!”

As the two left the grounds of the Academy, Katrina didn’t know what Matt was planning for himself that night after they separated. They went and hit different shopping centers, shopping malls and talked with people, wishing them a Merry Christmas and getting the wishes in return. After going to have lunch, they headed back to the Academy and joined in the bonfire and the storytelling, Katrina telling stories on her mom and dad as Matt listened with the biggest concentration that the Rhino could come up with. After everyone said goodnight to each other, Matt and Katrina walked back to the Rhino Pavilion and towards their rooms. They stopped outside of Katrina’s, and Matt took her hand in his.

“Thank you, Katrina,” Matt said, smiling down at her. “Thank you for making me get out and around today. Thank you for making this Christmas my best one.” He leaned down and kissed her softly, feeling her gasp and pull closer to him. When her hands knotted in his hair, he smiled against her lips.

“You’re welcome,” she said, breaking away from him and smiling up at him. “I’m glad that I got you to open up finally.” She put her hand on his cheek, knowing that something was wrong, but she couldn’t come up with what. “I’ll see you tomorrow morning, alright? I want to take you out of here for a couple of days, make you see the rest of the city other then what I showed you today.”

“Alright,” Matt said, smiling down at her again. “See you tomorrow.” He watched her walk into her room, and when he shut the door behind him, he shrugged off the jacket and sat on the bed, sighing as he took the bottle of sleeping pills in his hand. “I’m sorry.” He upended the bottle and took a long hard drink of vodka. He threw the bottle in the trash, gave the jacket one last look and laid on the bed, facing the wall in the darkness. He closed his eyes…..

The next morning would be the day when everything changed. Katrina knocked on Matt’s door, thinking that he was awake. When she pushed the door open, she found him laying on the bed with his face in the pillow, one arm and leg out from under the blankets.

“Come on, Matt, wake up,” she said, nudging him with her foot. “Come on, dork. Don’t act like you’re asleep. Wake up!” When she shoved his shoulders, she felt like she’d been stung. “No….” She knelt beside him, and she looked at the empty bottle of sleeping pills and the vodka bottle. “MATTHEW! WAKE UP!”

When he didn’t wake up, tears welled up in her brown eyes. She walked out of the room and shut the door behind her, sniffling as she walked towards Lily’s room and knocked on the door. When the Cheetah Master opened the door, she knew that something was wrong with Katrina fell against her and couldn’t support her own weight.

“Hey….. What’s wrong?” Lily asked, helping the girl to sit on the bed where she started crying.

“Matt….he….looks like he overdosed and drank himself to sleep last night, and now….I can’t….I can’t wake him…..wake him up!” Katrina sobbed, falling against Lily and clinging to the older woman.

Lily paged Casey and told him to go look at Matt and see if he was alright while she held her younger adopted niece. “It’s alright, Kat. We’ll get Casey to check on him,” she whispered, rubbing her back and sighing.

After a while, Casey walked over to the room and knocked on Lily’s door. When the Yellow Cheetah answered, Katrina was asleep after having cried herself out. He shook his head, letting Lily know that he was dead. Lily’s hands flew to her mouth, a few tears in her eyes. “She’s going to be devastated,” she whispered.

“That’s why we’ve moved the body for now to the hospital. We have to tell her though,” Casey said.

“Don’t….I already knew…” Katrina muttered, sitting up and sighing. “I should have known when he kissed me that I wouldn’t be seeing him alive today….” SHe sighed as she walked out of the room, going to her own and collapsing.

Theo--being the kind of person that he was--wanted to give Katrina the news that he had found something inside of Matt as he examined the body. “Kat?” he asked, knocking on the door.

“What?” she muttered.

When Theo walked in and closed the door behind him, he saw that Katrina was wrapped up in the jacket that she had given Matt for Christmas the day before. “Umm…..first, I’m sorry about Matt. I know that you wanted to change his attitude, but that’s not really why I’m here. I was doing some X-Rays, and….I found something on his heart and lungs. He had cancer, and he knew that he was dying anyway. I think that he wanted to go on his own terms. That’s why he was drinking so much. I’m sorry that this had to happen, but….Matt was a good person underneath the tough, stubborn @ss appearance that he had.”

“Alright….thanks, Theo,” Katrina said, getting up and giving him a hug before sniffling again. “I….I guess I’ll go home to Angel Grove…. Mom and Dad are probably curious about how I’m doing….”

“Alright,” Theo said, putting his hand on Katrina’s shoulder. “You’ll be alright.”

“I hope,” she said, waiting for Theo to leave. When he was gone, she walked over to her bathroom and closed the door. She stripped down and climbed into the bathtub, feeling like she’d failed her uncle and her parents in helping Matt open up. She grabbed the razor that she had for shaving her legs, and she popped a blade out of it.

“Matt…. I’m sorry that I couldn’t help you,” she said, bringing the blade up to her wrist. When she felt the first sting of the razorblade on her wrist, cutting her open, she winced in pain, but the pain was subsiding as it got replaced by numbness. She felt like her entire world was ripped out from under her when Matt killed himself, and she knew that he wouldn’t want her to do the same thing to herself because of him.

She looked at the jacket hanging on the hook on the back of the bathroom door, and she knew that he’d want her to keep living and being the best that she could be. She threw the blade into the trash, and she let the water wash over her cut. She stood up and toweled off, grabbing the jacket from the wall and getting dressed, pulling that around her.

“I’ll live for you. I won’t let your memory die with me. I’ll make sure that I remember you, Matthew,” she swore, pulling the jacket on and zipping it up before she left Ocean Bluff for Angel Grove once more, swearing that she’d remember him no matter what….

After Katrina--now aged to twenty-seven--finished her story, her five year old daughter had to wipe some tears from her eyes.

“Aww…. Mama, I’m sorry about Matthew. He was your friend, wasn’t he?” she asked.

“Yeah, Lils. He was my best friend at the Academy that winter,” Katrina said, running her hand in her daughters hair again and wiping some tears from her own eyes. “I think about him every day, pray that he’s still in a good place, and I know that he’s watching me and you from wherever he’s at.”

She looked up at the stars shining through on a cloudless Christmas night, and she said a small prayer for Matthew, the man that she found herself falling in love for after just two days, and the person who’s spirit stays with her for the rest of her life.
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