~*~Aftershocks: Chapter Eight- The End~*~ ~Silverium~ Disclaimer: I don't own OMF 2097 or any of the characters but this fic is all mine!

Jean-Paul opened his eyes and rolled off the bed. He knew he should wait until reality re-oriented itself inside his brain but he had a feeling he was in danger. He could hear the cries of the people outside, cheering for Crystal, mourning for him. They hardly knew what was going to happen now. Jean-Paul lurched from his seat and ignored the protests of the medical advisers there.
The door to the elevator opened after he had punched the button in seven times. He flew inside and kicked the emergency shut door button and dropped to the floor as the elevator swept down the tower. He could hear the ringing inside his head, the screaming through his mind, the ache that was throbbing there. He was going to die. Just like his Shadow had been blown into a million pieces he could feel his body be torn. He had wanted to be alive, and he had ended up feeling his own death.
The corridors were filled with people leaving the arena. No one recognized him as he rushed past them in a blur. His arms pumped at his sides, pleading with him to go faster, and he hoped his heart would be able to catch up to his laboured breathing.
Crystal. Jean-Paul kept running. He didn't even want to know what she had to say to him, not after all that. How could anyone speak after something like that? He knew he couldn't. Briefly he thought he heard Milano's voice and it only made him fly faster. He didn't bother going to his room, he had kept no personal possessions in their save for some clothes he could live without. It was the shuttle bay he was headed to, and he figured everyone knew that.
Sure enough when he palmed the door open he instantly met the even gaze of Milano, surrounded by seven men with guns. Crystal emerged right behind him, she hadn't seen him stop so she collided with him there. He turned and yanked her up, and as she rose in his arm her eyes flew open, wider than he had ever seen them. He realized he was in a great deal of pain. Jean-Paul looked down to see blood spurt from his chest and dribble down the black button-down shirt he wore. He saw Crystal place her hand over the wound with tears at her eyes. He could see her mouth, 'Bluffing..he was supposed to be bluffing.' she was saying, he couldn't hear her though.
A slate-faced Milano was now barking orders as Jean-Paul fell to his knees, a numbness spreading up his body. Crystal fell with him and held his face in her hands. Apologizing, that was what she was doing, he realized. A guard strode over and grabbed her roughly, pulling her away to be contained by another man as Milano broke free from his knot of guards and waved some men over.
Jean-Paul felt himself be lifted. He was so tired, and he couldn't feel much outside the throbbing bullet inside him. Milano was right beside him, his hand on Jean-Paul's shoulder. Shutting his mint green eyes, Jean- Paul drifted off into a half-sleep that did nothing for his weariness or pain.

"No! No let me see him!" Crystal screamed as he fought the man holding her.
It was utterly hopeless. She had spent the entire day and most of the night fighting in the Jaguar, she was exhausted in every way. Tears coursed down her cheeks, she could only remember Jean-Paul's shocked face when he discovered he had been shot. Crystal hadn't seen any other emotion on that man before, and now it was the only thing she had to remember him by. Gasping for air as she was led into Milano's office she dropped into a chair and folded herself in a little ball, curling up on the padded seats like a child might, with her head on the armrest.
She didn't have to wait long before the President came in quietly. He looked paler than she had remembered him but her tired mind couldn't figure out why.
"Crystal, you wanted answers," Milano spoke softly, "You won, I'm here to give them to you,"
"Jean-Paul." Crystal looked up at him, bewildered,
"He's dead," Was that face full of perplexity?
Crystal lowered her head to the armrest and shut her eyes. Before Milano could speak more she had fallen unconscious. He stared at the worn woman for a moment before picking her up and taking her to her room. After he laid her down on the bed he left and locked the door behind him he turned around and decided he should find Jean-Paul. The hallways had long since grown silent and the walk refreshed him, took him out of his bitter memories.
The medical center was full of people rushing back and forth, as it usually was. Milano could see Ibrahim there casting him a dark look but the President ignored him and walked into the private room where Jean-Paul was lying.
"Jean-Paul?" Milano asked,
"I knew you were bluffing,"
"You're awake!" Milano's eyes widened and he stepped back, then leaned over,
"Either you were bluffing.or your man is an idiot,"
"Why do you say that?"
"Shot me, right side of chest," Jean-Paul's feverish eyes glowed up at him, "You didn't want me dead,"
"We can't let the smart ones go," Milano said softly,
"So my job?"
"Yours, though no one but us two will know it,"
"Pointless battle." Jean-Paul glared at him,
"I thought you wanted to feel alive." Milano looked down at the wounded man,
"I feel dead."

Owari. ~*~R/R. My first OMF fic after all. ~*~