Hello, everyone. This pen name might look new to those who clicked on this story, but if you noticed my writings, I have written for the Mortal Kombat series on a few occasions. I have been MIA on here for some time and around the summer of last year, I deleted everything associated with my old name on places such as Tumblr, YouTube, and Twitter. I didn't delete my deviantART mostly because I have commissions that I hold dear to my heart and I keep my account there just in case anyone wants to commission me for writing.

This piece was inspired by my need for someone who I love so much, but time is just so cruel. The MK11 trailer got me hyped as well. Watching it live from Maximilian Dood's Twitch stream was just pure excitement. Ed Boon, you really know how to tease us fans. And I would like to say thank you for giving me a franchise where I got to befriend amazing people and discover the wonderfully crafted characters.

If I were given the chance to do Serenity's story, this would have been a chapter taking place near the end, so I won't exactly spoil a lot. This would be one of my favorite chapters to do for the emotions alone. I've never been good with fight scenes, but portraying the characters with emotion and conflict is just a lot of fun. Since MK11 is going to feature time travel, I decided to use that theme and incorporate it to this one shot.

I also like to say that this might not be what the story mode of MK11 will provide. Hell, we don't even know the lady's name from the trailer yet, so for this story as of January 8th, 2019, she is currently unnamed. She could be an antagonist, but she will be on neutral grounds in this story. In the meantime, I will take the liberty in adding in some things that are more than likely not going to happen in the game's story. So, this might not entirely be accurate at the time of this story being uploaded. I just want to have fun with this idea, nothing more. Hopefully, I haven't lost my touch in fanfic writing, but here goes.

I don't want to make this author's note too long, so without further ado, enjoy.

The black-haired woman entered the bath from the temple she resides in. The relaxing water was what she needed to feel after having a somewhat stressful day. On the regular, she would take a bath after training, but this was an only exception. The truth is, she was at a different temple. The scenery was vastly different from where the woman used to live, but it somewhat looks familiar as well.

She was not originally from Earthrealm, but she is half-human. She was born in Orderrealm, though she would not live there longer. By the time she grew older and looked to be in her mid-twenties, she resided somewhere around here and helped by being a caretaker for students at the Shaolin Temple as well as helping out godly figures. She grew close to two students named Liu Kang and Kung Lao. The first time she met them was when they were young boys, and now that they're gone, it reminded the woman how cruel their fates were and how lives can be cut short just like that.

She found herself looking up at the sky. It felt like there has been no sunlight for a very long time. She might as well not remember what the sun's rays look like now because of how long the gray clouds covered it. The season was early spring, but it certainly had not felt like it in the slightest. The warmth of the water that cleansed her body helped her feel calm, despite being outside. The wind chilled her face a bit, but it was soothing and welcoming. The breeze eventually swayed to where some of the flowers from the bath moved to the opposite side of the black-haired woman's position in the bath. Her gray eyes stared at the beautiful flowers.

The smell of lotus petals… While it brought a wonderful scent and soothed the young woman, she can't help but be reminded of someone. That someone would gift her a carefully crafted bouquet of white lotuses on the anniversary of her birth. The name of that person escaped her lips more than once. Every time she would say the name, her heart pounded in excitement, but her body shuddered in fear.

The sound of thunder roared in the background, causing her to jump while getting out of the bath and drying herself off. She never had a fear of thunder, but ever since that fateful day, the thunder grew louder and reverberated more than ever. When she touched her skin while drying herself off, it brought her back to when she felt someone else's touch against hers. The warmth of someone else's skin felt wonderful, especially when it's someone who loves that person dearly.

When she was alone with him, which was rare, their nights were heavenly and earthshattering. She ghosted her fingers against her lips, feeling them being touched by another pair from long ago. The thought of their nights almost ignited a fire inside her. Even if he were here with her, his persona changed, and he would be too focused on making sure Earthrealm is unharmed at all costs. Not that she wanted to immediately couple with him, it's just that she tragically longed for him to come back to his senses, just like the good old days. Earthrealm always came first for him, and the woman respected that immeasurably because he would always come back to her.

She eased her racing heart, huffing quietly. From afar, she noticed a strike of lightning that was all too familiar. Instead of a light blue, it was a dark red. It was him, and he was clearly up to something. She has a feeling that whatever he was up to, it might be detrimental. Who was threatening Earthrealm this time?

"Raiden…" the woman murmured. Raiden, the protector of Earthrealm. The compassionate, yet imposing Thunder God. The one her heart grew attached to. Not anymore. Now, he is more ruthless, corrupted. The first instance of that happening was when he beheaded Shinnok. It was not her fault that the Thunder God became corrupted, but the woman felt powerless to help Raiden return to his normal state.

She couldn't heal the one she loved...

Shinnok was to blame. Because of his unquenchable thirst for revenge against the Elder Gods, he took it upon himself to endanger Earthrealm and corrupt the Jinsei, the lifeforce. He tried to do it almost thirty years ago, but the American actor Johnny Cage defeated him, and with history somewhat repeating, his daughter Cassie overpowered the former Elder God. It was hard to believe that two Earthrealmers managed to defeat a former Elder God, but they did.

The woman helped with healing Bo' Rai Cho's grave wounds while also aiding Fujin, the Wind God, with the invading army coming from Outworld. It was devastating to go through Earthrealm nearly being invaded again, but she became stronger after witnessing it earlier when the former emperor Shao Kahn tried to merge Outworld and Earthrealm together. When she returned to Raiden's Sky Temple after everything felt at peace, seeing his eyes change from electric blue to blood red stopped her heart. At first, he seemed fine despite his physical form changing, but over time, his outlook began to change too.

The gray-eyed woman heard footsteps coming her way. She remained calm since she knows who it was. She made no effort to shield parts of her body, even if the figure in mind did not enter the bathroom.

"Serenity, are you ready to head off?" Hearing the masculine voice calling out her name never bothered her. He respected her boundaries since she was putting on clothes. Only one man has seen her unclothed completely and while she preferred to keep it that way, there was nothing she felt ashamed from her physical form.

"Yes, Fujin," Serenity responded, putting on her black and blue-cloaked hood. Fully clothed, she headed to where Fujin stood. Her gray eyes looked into the light blue eyes that were like Raiden's. He nodded to her, while she did the same. Together, they walked outside of his temple, where raindrops greeted them. Serenity put on her hood and looked at the pelting rain that kissed her exposed skin. To think that she just had a bath, but she digressed.

Unfortunately, Serenity couldn't fly. But, Fujin was kind enough to carry her through the skies. Gently, Fujin picked her up bridal style and in a few seconds, he took flight. The black and blue clothed woman hadn't flown like this in a while. Raiden took her with him after their victory against Shinnok thirty years ago. The warmth of the sun, the feeling of the clouds, and the scenery overall were just breathtaking. His rare, but handsome smile engraved in her memory.

The atmosphere here was the exact opposite.

The black-haired woman desperately wanted to start a conversation with the Wind God, but the destination clouded her mind for her to bother speaking. Not only that, but Raiden also invaded her mind, referring back to how he has changed ever since he tried to restore the Jinsei. Instead of speaking, she held onto Fujin and stared at the backdrop below, deep in thought about the Thunder God once again.

Serenity understood a long time ago that Raiden will stop at nothing to make sure Earthrealm stays safe from endangering threats, but this version of Raiden was not him. Raiden was empathetic towards the people of Earthrealm, but also serious when it came to fighting for those he protects. This Raiden's still serious, but more aggressive and unwilling to be remorseful. He just… snapped.

"There are fates worse than death."

Serenity remembered him telling her that after he visited the Netherrealm. That was the saying he stuck by and despite his drastic change, he was not wrong. But then again, Raiden's a victim of that quote too. He hoped Serenity would follow his new philosophy, but she couldn't. She would have loved to be the one to finish Shinnok for doing this to Raiden. Unfortunately, she had to take care of the drunken, but ingenious Bo' Rai Cho. Raiden would have wanted her to do that as well.

And now, they were in a bitter quarrel that led to her leaving his temple and residing with Fujin. It has been three months since she told him goodbye. It was the most difficult moment in her life, leaving someone she held dear to her heart. While there was no physical violence from their argument, the words he said to her cut her deep. She felt embarrassed when she broke down in front of Fujin after leaving Raiden, but thankfully, the former understood her agony. The Wind God mentioned his concern for Raiden, feeling that he should step down as the protector of Earthrealm.

If he said that in front of him, then it would have been an intense and bloody fight. Serenity was thankful that Fujin provided his temple as her home during this time, but she does miss being at Raiden's temple. She loved exploring and witnessing the history of the kombatants who fought for Earthrealm, including the Great Kung Lao, an ancestor of Kung Lao and even Liu Kang. But when Raiden would tell her stories, his voice would tremble from the thought of losing him and others from the years to come.

As much as it does hurt her to think of it, she will be leaving him one day. She's not immortal, but since she's half-Seidan, she will live for many more years to come. In a way, she relates to Raiden for having to lose companions who only live for such a short time. Whether it's sickness, old age, or losing in the Mortal Kombat tournament, it was absolutely painful when she witnessed the deaths of Kung Lao and Liu Kang. They looked up to her like an older sister. Seeing them in their revenant forms and saying venomous words to her and Raiden crushed her. There was a way to bring them back to their human forms, but it would require the Netherrealm sorcerer Quan Chi, and he's dead.

"It will be a while until we get there. Why don't you try to get some rest?" Fujin suggested, breaking the silence between them. Serenity looked up at the Wind God, who stayed focus on looking at what's in front of him. She nodded, placing her head against his shoulder, slowly letting her eyes close. Their destination could take them hours, maybe even a day, but with how fast the Wind God is going, Serenity knows that she will wake up and fulfill what she requested of Fujin weeks ago.

Ever since he told her about the woman who can provide time travel, Serenity couldn't believe it. Then again, she is part of the supernatural too, since she is a light sorceress herself. But still, time-traveling sounded like a wonderful miracle. She read a lot of books over the years which involve time travel and it was amazing that writers can come up with ingenious ideas without having knowledge of gods existing who can actually do it.

Serenity just loved what Earthrealm had to offer. Whenever she could, she would spend some time as an ordinary woman. Raiden was kind enough to bring her to many places, even if they couldn't stay long. She even encountered the places of her ancestry from one of her parents, who, while not alive anymore, was a joy to meet. It was strange how she didn't grieve from their passing, but she did love them very much. Despite Raiden's current state, she was so thankful for him to let her learn about half her race's world and just how beautiful it is, despite evolving over time.

The speed of the wind slowed down, and there was no more rain. That meant the two were where they needed to be. Serenity and Fujin were inside a mystical area. The background looked unsettling. It felt like time was moving inside this place. What caught Serenity's eyes, however, was the giant hourglass with who knows much sand is in. There stood a feminine figure who looked their way. She sported light skin, no hair, and her clothing looked futuristic, yet traditional at the same time. Parts of her body were glowing, reminding Serenity of her own powers, but this was different.

"The light sorceress Serenity. What brings you here with Fujin?" the numinous woman asked. Serenity's thoughts were interrupted when she tried to figure out the mysterious being. She was not surprised that she knew her name. For someone who's responsible for managing time, she must have unlimited knowledge. Perhaps the thought of the future must have concerned the goddess, just like how Serenity feels at the moment.

However, the light sorceress had not come here to have a civilized chat with her, nor care to find out her name but to request what she has been mentally preparing for. For the sake of herself and for Earthrealm. The black-haired woman took a deep breath and spoke out,

"I want to see Raiden. Before he got corrupted from Shinnok's influence. Specifically…" The light sorceress paused. The moment that has always been special to her replayed in her head repeatedly. If Raiden wasn't corrupted as well as incredibly cold and distant, Serenity would have picked somewhere else to be. She finished her sentence, "…when Fujin brought there after my wounds healed."

Fujin raised an eyebrow at her. Not that he was surprised to hear her say that, but it felt rather strange to pick that moment. The goddess released her hand from the giant hourglass, walking towards Serenity and Fujin.

"And why would you want to do that, my child?"

"Because…" Serenity trailed, stopping herself from speaking. The goddess had a point. Why did Serenity want to be with Raiden at that moment? This was way before Shinnok and the forces from the Netherrealm began to attack. If Serenity were to tell Raiden of what's to come starting with Shinnok, it would give him the upper hand. But after her talk with Fujin, she needed to be careful just in case she managed to change the course of time itself. She said to the bald woman, "If there is no way to save Raiden in his current state, I want to at least relive at that moment and give a proper farewell. For the future of Earthrealm."

The otherworldly woman pondered at Serenity's words, staring into her eyes. The light sorceress focused on the eye contact, hoping that her words can convince the time goddess to accept her request. The light-skinned woman broke the eye contact. With her hands, she formed some type of jewelry.

"Have this," the enigmatic woman said, giving Serenity a necklace. The latter put it on and noticed the small hourglass hanging around the small beads connecting each other. "Once the sands of time end in that hourglass, you will be back here. Do what you need to do before your time there is up." Serenity nodded. The bald woman closed her eyes and chanted, forming an aura that is similar to the glowing parts of her body.

She created a blast that hit Serenity's body, but it felt harmless. The light sorceress looked at herself and noticed she is slowly fading from their sight. Before she disappeared, she gave the Wind God a small, but hopeful smile. She closed her eyes and waited until she was transported back in time.

When she opened her eyes, Serenity found herself in a familiar spot. She looked around and noticed the temple behind her. It was his temple, the place she resided at for so long. Then a gentle gust came by, just like the first time when the Wind God dropped her off here. And finally, she noticed her beloved standing a few feet away from her, looking at the bright moon.

Serenity's eyes began to water. This was real. This was the Raiden she grew to love. Except for being in a different outfit, having longer hair, and being a bit older despite not aging a day, she was reliving the moment of when Fujin took her to the open lands near the Thunder God's temple. It was the moment after she recovered from Shao Kahn's blow when he made it to Earthrealm.

It seemed the time bender got everything that Serenity said perfectly. It seemed too surreal, but this was happening again. The night wind felt cool and relaxing. The clouds were scarce but complimented the sky. The moon was as white as snow, and Serenity remembered that the most.

She ran to the Thunder God. This was exactly like the first time she had this moment. Serenity remembered her tears blurring her vision while running to someone she grew to love. She remembered her heart drumming loudly in her head. All of that was happening again and despite shedding tears, Serenity was just so happy to have this chance again.

History was repeating itself again.

"Raiden!" Serenity cried. Once the Thunder God turned around, she threw herself into his arms, lifting herself off the ground slightly. She buried her face while her sobs muffled against his chest. Her shoulders quaked from the tears escaping her closed eyes. Like before, she ran into Raiden's arms and while he was surprised at first, he was quick to reciprocate the embrace. She knew that he was smiling down at her, happy that she made it okay from her grave wounds. Serenity felt the warmth and love, which healed her heart after it was broken by his future self.

In her mind, Raiden knew she would look very different from her younger self. She has not aged in the slightest, but her hair has grown significantly longer, and she has worn an outfit that was certainly different from the one she was wearing during the Mortal Kombat tournament. The sound of his beating heart against her head felt wonderful. It was like a lullaby pulling her into slumber. If it was allowed, Serenity would not mind if no word was spoken, but she knew that Raiden will say something. No matter how critical, the light sorceress would do her best to answer it as honestly as possible.

"You time traveled here, didn't you?" the Thunder God asked. Of course, Raiden wasn't dumb. Other than the obvious physical appearance, Serenity knew that this Raiden could tell the difference in a heartbeat. She refused to lie, but she couldn't tell Raiden all that will happen. Still in his embrace, she frowned, gripping onto his clothing. She answered his question in a whisper,

"I did... Even though we defeated Shao Kahn for good, the future was still not at peace. Because of that, you..." Serenity stopped herself, fearing that if she said more, it could disrupt the flow of time. She shook her head and decided to say, "I wish I can tell you more, but I'm afraid." She bit her lip, tilting her head to the side. "I do want to let you know something: When my past self comes here, please hold her just like this." Raiden quickly held her tighter, giving her more warmth and comfort she needed so badly.

"I will. I'm sorry if I did something that ended up hurting you. You know how much that breaks my heart."

Serenity's blood turned cold. What a sad truth he just let out from his lips. Her skin formed goosebumps after hearing him say that, but he meant it. He really did. Unfortunately, his future self will change drastically to where sweet nothings like that would be nonexistent.

You have no idea, Raiden, Serenity said mentally. She found herself sobbing again, but she said in a hushed voice, "Just please keep holding me. Embrace me like this just a little bit longer." The Thunder God accepted Serenity's command, letting her stay where they are for what felt like minutes, possibly even hours. Despite the time limit, Serenity felt like she was in heaven. She would sacrifice everything just to stay like this forever, but even not gods can harness that kind of miracle.

The increasing heat of his embrace and the sound of his heartbeat made Serenity felt safe and happy. She wanted to feel his lips against hers again, but Serenity felt too greedy. To kiss him for what might be possibly the last time would help her immensely, but in her mind, the light sorceress didn't want to sabotage this precious memory.

But what surprised her was that Raiden lifted her chin and immediately kissed her. Maybe Raiden knew how much pain she went through, so that was the way to help her feel better. Despite what the woman said earlier, Serenity wanted to believe that time stopped when their lips reunited. While the touch of his lips felt amazing, it only made it harder for Serenity to deal with having to go back to the present. If only she could stay in this moment forever. Screw time.

Sadly, their lips pulled away. Serenity panted heavily, feeling her face heat up from the passion and lack of oxygen. Raiden carefully placed one of his hands on the half-Seidan's face, caressing her cheek. His eyes lowered down to look at the necklace with the hourglass. He frowned, noticing that the sands of time were almost completely at the bottom. With his thumb, he smoothed over the woman's hot skin, hoping it can help comfort her just a bit longer.

"I love you, Serenity." The sorceress' heart stopped. She missed hearing him say that so much. Out of everything they did as partners, him saying that ranks above all else. He rarely said those words, but whenever he does, Serenity felt like her soul was restored. The cruelest part about him saying this, however, was that he didn't say it when she encountered him here long ago.

Serenity's not mad at that fact. She was instead appreciative. Regardless of what happened, him saying those three words made her feel thankful to have him by her side for so many years up until now. She looked at him once more, tears falling faster. With one glance at the necklace given to her, the sands of time were almost up. How painful.

"Raiden, I–!" She reached her hand out to her beloved's face, but in an instant, she found herself back in her own timeline. Instead of the god of thunder, the god of wind stood in front of her. Words cannot describe how much she wanted to shed tears for being back in the present, to where this Raiden is crueler compared to his past self.

"Welcome back," the bald woman greeted in a monotone voice. She walked up to Serenity and removed her necklace. It began to fade out of existence, fulfilling its role in a timely manner. Fujin walked up to the frowning woman, whose eyes lost their shimmer. He spoke up, placing his hand on her shoulder,

"Serenity, are you sure that was worth it?"

The black-haired woman dearly wished that she was still there and not here. She would do it all over again and again until the end of her days. Will there be hope for Raiden after all? Or will he just have to be taken down for good? The memories of when she first encountered him replayed in her mind. She managed to make her way to Earthrealm and traveled without food or water for days. She felt weak and exhausted, yet she stayed strong-willed. The moment she met Raiden was when fate intertwined their paths.

She remained loyal to him and grew close to him. She helped with caring for the students at the Shaolin Temple while also learning new fighting styles with the Thunder God. She never left his side when the Mortal Kombat tournament arrived. Even when she thought she was going to die from Shao Kahn's deadly blow, she still made her way to Raiden's arms. With a shaky breath, Serenity gave the Wind God a determined glare. At least for now, her being with Raiden from the past gave her the strength to move forward. This Raiden will eventually fight for one last breath, until the end. She said to the Wind God,

"Fujin, if we need to stop Raiden for good, I will do what I must."

As much as I want to focus on Serenity's story and develop my writing style in the process, I, unfortunately, can't. For one, I'm a senior in university and I will be finishing up during the summer. Hard to believe that I first started writing Mortal Kombat fanfiction after I graduated from high school. I also have two freelance jobs that I take very seriously since they're my source of income, minus the student loans that I need for extra classes. Hopefully, the sprinkled information I gave in this story will at least bring curiosity about Serenity's character. The cover image was done by Axsens, who has been a wonderful and lovely artist who helped draw her to life, and that picture perfectly brings the scene where Serenity reunites with past Raiden come to life. As for Raiden's fate, I do hope that there's a chance for him to be restored because he's a special character in my heart. The sentence near the end of this story, "This Raiden will eventually fight for one last breath, until the end," was inspired by Breaking Benjamin's "Dear Agony." I could make a follow-up to this in the perspective of Raiden, but that's only if there are people interested and/or if I have the right mindset.

Right now, I'm also dealing with personal issues that took a toll on my mental health. I currently struggle with a lot of things, and I won't say it since it does hurt, but if you know about all this, you will figure it out. All I can say is: fuck 2018. That year should have never, ever happened; not just for myself, but for all of the events that happened worldwide. I'm still doing my best to recover, but it is such a difficult battle that sometimes I feel like I'm going to lose no matter what. At the very least, I'm still here for now.

Regardless, I am very excited for MK11 and I will probably get it on the Switch instead of Xbox One since playing it on the go sounds amazing. Hopefully, the graphics will be the same. I already have a complaint and it's mostly due that Scorpion, Kitana, and Mileena's voice actors are not reprising their roles since I think they did justice to the characters. But I'll try to remain openminded since it is Mortal Kombat after all.

By the time this is uploaded, it is my 22nd birthday. I like to dedicate this short story to the person mentioned in the author's notes above. I hope and pray that we can have more time together. Feel free to give your thoughts and/or constructive criticism. If I plan to update this, it will mostly be for any errors spotted while rereading this or for getting new information about the new character.