The bullet buried itself into the wall beside Jon's head, centimeters away from impaling him. Jon's face was chalk white as Jenny walked up to him. She was trembling ever so slightly.
"Kyle's right," she spoke barely above a whisper through clenched teeth. "You aren't worth it." She drew her fist back and punched him hard in the face. His head flew back and struck the wall behind him, and then he fell limp to the ground. She was unable to tear her stare away from his lifeless form as she tossed both guns at him.
Kyle cautiously approached her, more than aware of the emotional condition could make her do. For the first time since he had met her, he was afraid of her. Was she really meaning to shoot him? "Jenny.?" he whispered.
Jenny took an unsteady step backward, shaking. "I'm done," the words barely escaped her lips. "I'm sorry."
He dared himself to reach out and he lightly touched her arm. She finally turned around, all of the anger fading from her expression. But suddenly she looked away and pointed off to the side. "He's in there," she said almost cryptically.
"Dante?" Kyle asked.
She only nodded and stepped forward toward the large steel door. Kyle followed her worriedly. "I can take it from here, Jenny. It's okay now."
Jenny didn't reply. Instead she turned to wrap her arms around him, holding on to him as if her life depended on it. For a moment, Kyle only returned the embrace.
"Kyle."
Kyle and Jenny both looked up to see Erica standing in the doorway, along with Trek and several police officers. Kyle nodded towards Jon's motionless form and the police proceeded to seize Jon and the guns. Erica wordlessly went over to Kyle and took Jenny for him. He watched as the blonde led Jenny out of the room, and Trek came up beside Kyle.
"Will she be all right?" Trek wanted to know.
"I think so," Kyle answered. "This one was just a bit too personal." He turned back to the locked steel door. "We need to open this up."
"I'm on it." Trek headed over to the only active computer in the lab; the one Jon had been working at. He sat down and his fingers instantly flew across the keyboard. Within minutes, he reported, "The door is controlled by this computer."
"Can you access it?" Kyle inquired, anxious to get inside. He couldn't stop worrying that Dante was not in there after all, and that this was not over.
Trek was quiet for only a few moments. "Got it."
Kyle went for the handle, noting that the door looked more like that of a restaurant freezer.
"Wait," Trek's command halted him at once. "I've found an access program to Dante's systems." He saw all hints of any readable expression vanish from his face. "Oh no."
Kyle's back went rigid. "That doesn't sound good."
"They were trying to break into Dante's systems."
"How far did they get?"
"I'm not sure," his uneasiness was clear in his voice. "Kyle, be careful. If they didn't do it right, they might've corrupted some of his programming." He gave him a meaningful look before looking back to the computer screen. "I'll try and undo some of it."
Kyle took in a deep breath. "All right." he said.
He pulled the door open and found himself staring into nothing but darkness. Even the small amount of light from in the lab wasn't enough to brighten the corners of the room. He took a step into the blackness that seemed to stretch on for eternity.
"Light please?" he called back to Trek.
"No light," Trek replied.
"Of course not." He took in a deep breath and went in further. "Dante?"
Silence. But then he was rewarded with a faint response. "Kyle.?"
"I'm here, Dante. Light please?"
The silence returned.
"Dante?"
A beam of light pinned him from the side. He spun around on instinct, and realized that they were headlights. He shielded his eyes until the adjusted to the light and he glanced around. It was a very small room-about the size of a freezer-with steel-like walls, ceiling and floor. And he found Dante in one corner with a damaged grille and dented fender.
Kyle's expression darkened. "Dante, talk to me?"
"Excuse me."
Kyle spun around at the sound of a new voice and spotted a blonde man sitting on the ground, huddled in the opposite corner much like Dante. His hand was to his head, and his fingers were covered in blood. Kyle rushed to his side, hoping that Dante could wait just a little while longer.
"What happened to you, man?" he inquired. He caught sight of a name embroidered on his white shirt: Alex Lopez.
"I am guilty," Alex mumbled, his words a bit drawn out. "I worked with Tanner to reprogram the AI." He saw Kyle's expression harden, but he continued to confess. "The AI and I both lost control of the car body and it struck me, and I flew into some equipment."
"Why are you both in here?" Kyle questioned neutrally.
"We were thrown in here to be hidden."
"What'd you do to my car?"
"He inflicted his own physical damage. He tried to escape this room."
Kyle only took a step back, glancing through the open door where Trek was still working at the computer. "Come in here, Trek, we've got some people to take care of."

~~~@

Kyle sighed as he walked through the hallways, heading for SkyOne's garage. This case was finally closed, Bellflower Industries was out of business, and its employees were either fired or arrested. But he was still feeling uneasy. He hadn't seen Jenny since Erica left the lab compound with her, and Trek was still in the garage under Dante's hood with Gil.
He felt anxious as he walked into the garage, but before he could get to Trek and Dante, Erica stopped him.
"Jon Tanner spilled the whole thing," the blonde started, "about Alex Lopez." She shrugged. "Actually, he spilled everything period. Intentions, missions, goals, names, everything."
"Good," Kyle replied, "so everything is taken care of. Have you seen Jenny?"
"No, she's been up in her room."
Kyle heaved a long sigh. "All right, thanks."
Trek closed the hood and cleaned his hands on a rag as Gil started clearing off the workbench. He looked over at Kyle as if he knew he had been there. "All done," he said.
"What's the damage?" Kyle asked with concern.
"Nothing permanent," Trek answered. "Nothing I couldn't fix. And you're welcome. No autographs, please." He grinned at Kyle and went to help put things away.
Kyle made his way over to his partner and stopped beside the SUV. "Dante," he said as a greeting. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm just glad to be out of that confinement," was Dante's reply.
Kyle was a bit surprised that Dante had nothing more to say. "What'd they do to you?" He asked the question without meaning to, and as a loaded silence pressed in he mentally kicked himself at his inconsideration.
"Nothing I really want to discuss right now," Dante spoke a bit indignantly.
Kyle cringed a bit. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have asked." He hesitantly rested a hand on the AI's hood. "I'm glad to have you back, though," he said quietly, feeling a bit awkward. "You. had me worried for a while."
"Really?" Dante asked with more surprise than he had intended to let on.
"Yeah," Kyle said. "I'm speechless." Kyle rolled his eyes and couldn't help but grin. "Yeah right," he muttered.
Jenny had entered the garage quietly, not wishing to gain too much attention. She caught Kyle's eye as she made her way to Domino.
"Hey, Jenny," he greeted her.
"Kyle," she returned with a nod. "Everything okay now?"
"Yeah," Kyle answered. "Listen, thanks for helping me out on this one. I know it was hard for you."
Jenny smiled. "You're welcome, but you won't have to worry about me pressuring you to put me on a personal case again." "Where you heading to?" "I think I need to go for a drive." She climbed into Domino and fired the engine, smiling at Kyle and Trek through the windshield before pulling out of the garage.
"She gonna be all right?" Trek asked Kyle as they watched the Mustang vanish in the distance.
"She'll be okay," Kyle answered with a nod.
Trek glanced over at him. "There's something about this that I don't know, isn't there?"
Again, Kyle nodded. "There is," he agreed. "Jenny and Jon Tanner were in love."
Trek's head jerked to stare at Kyle, his eyes wide. "What?"
"They were going steady all through high school and ran into each other again a few days ago."
"Oh no." His gaze returned to the horizon where Domino had become too distant to be seen. "Ouch. Poor Jenny."
"Yeah. But she's tough. She did well. She'll be fine."

~~~@

The calm waters of the lake were shimmering with the orange beams of the setting sun and gently playing on the smooth surface of Domino's hood. Jenny was seated comfortably upon that hood, watching the sun as it lazily sunk down below the horizon. It was so quiet here. It was just what she needed for a change. As much as she loved her TKR family, she just needed to be alone for a while. Domino was the only exception right now.
"Are you all right, Jenny?" the AI now asked into the silence that had settled in between them for the past fifteen minutes.
A small smile touched Jenny's lips. "I will be in a few minutes," she answered.
"I'm sorry Jon turned out this way," she said softly.
"Yeah, me too." She gazed down at the wallet-sized photo in her hand. Jon's senior picture. "I just never dreamed... He appeared to be just like he was in high school."
"Time changes everyone."
"Yeah," she said, "but I never knew it would be that drastic." She was quiet for a while before she spoke again. "But that's the best thing about pictures," she continued.
"What's that?" Domino asked.
"They never change, even though the people in them do." She held up Jon's picture and ripped it down the middle before letting the wind carry it down into the water. She turned away from the beautiful sight that was the lake and climbed into the Mustang. She fired the engine, but sat there for a short while, a rare moment when she was simply enjoying Domino's presence. At least she would always be loved.
Finally shifting into gear, Jenny pulled away from the lake and onto the seldom-used road, heading back home.

Fin Dante Knight Please R&R :D