Witch Hunter Robin
False Echoes


Chapter XVII – Maria's Hope


Disclaimer
: Seriously. I don't own it.

Nor do I own the song False Echoes; that belongs to Jimmy Buffett and James Taylor. Ya dig?

Storyline, Plot, Kenny Avery©, Roger Williams©, Kichiro Wantanabee©, Rick Richards©, Michael Campbell©, Rosalind Nichols©, Jackie Flemming and Mr. Jackson David Rica© are all mine.

-------------------

Josh and the team moved like clockwork to reach the Orbo Lab. They had studied all the Intel they could get and had worked out this battle plan and reworked it for years. Now at last it was time to finish it. The plan was to get inside with a powerful bomb and attach it to a specific part of the eastern wall and a second bomb on the northern wall. The bombs were on the same frequency and would both detonate at the push of a button. Once that happened the entire room would go up in smoke and the roof would crush the Orbo tanks and destroy all of Zaizen's research. The problem was the team of Factory agents who would move in and kill them all thirty seconds after that door opened. Josh didn't know the exact time; but he did know that the room was going to be a death trap once they entered it.

"We ready for this?" Josh asked as he cocked his AK.

"Yes sir." Davis replied. Behind Davis a third soldier named Soba was preparing the bombs. Osaka smiled at them both and he reached down for the input pad that would open the door. He typed in the numbers they had painfully stolen from Zaizen months in advance and watched as the door opened.

"GO!"

The team moved inside the room ready for a fight and they all quickly scattered across the grounds. Josh moved behind one of the large glowing green tanks and looked at the poor witch hooked to this dreaded device. It was one thing to kill a witch who was dangerous; it was another to turn a witch into a liquid for hunting witches. Zaizen was sick. This was undeniable proof of his sickness and madness. Personally Josh would rather be buddies with Saddam Hussein than Takuma Zaizen.

The sound of footsteps reached his ears. "GET READY BOYS!"

The door opened and a swarm of at least thirty Factory agents entered the room. Josh and his team opened fire. Josh stood behind the tank and provided cover as he cut down the enemies with his AK-47. Davis was behind an adjacent tank firing with two handguns into the crowd of enemies. Soba had connected the bomb, but before he could detonate it he was swarmed with bullets and fell to the ground dead.

"DAMN IT!" Josh roared over the sound of speeding death. "Davis, I'll cover you, head to the detonator!"

Davis nodded. "Give me three seconds Josh."

By now, every other member of the team was dead except for the two behind the tanks. Josh gave a battle cry and jumped out from behind the tank and opened fire on the Factory agents. He cut down at least seven of them in the surprise but a second later he was swarmed with enough bullets to bring down an airplane. Josh fell backwards onto the ground; so torn to shreds his own mother would have recognized the body. Davis could feel the bullets aiming his way now, but it didn't matter. Even as the Factory agents killed him he had pressed the button.

A second after Frank Davis died, the bombs went off. The room collapsed and the Orbo Tanks were destroyed. The remaining Factory agents were killed in the explosion or in the collapse of the roof. The Factory's security system went online and began preparations to collapse the entire roof and destroy the entire building.

Zaizen sat calmly behind his desk, in his office. The scientist partner of his was panicked, but Zaizen said nothing. Instead he let his eyes go to the door where two shadows had appeared. The scientist panicked and went for his gun; but Amon shot him dead as he walked in the door.

"So you've come." Zaizen smiled from his desk.

"Yes."

----

The rain was coming down in sheets now, and it washed the blood into pools.

Doujima and Sakaki were lying in a heap together, both dead. Blood was washing away from their bullet wounds as the rain came pelting down. Beside their bodies, Rica's Masamune and Richards's Rapier were colliding in a fearsome swordfight while the two undead beings did battle. Jackie Flemming was laughing and watching the battle the whole time. Michael didn't take notice of any of them.

Michael was soaking wet now and the blood of his beloved Robin was being washed off his shirt and hands. He sat on his knees with her lifeless form sprawled across his lap. His eyes were on the glowing white bracelet of Rosalind. Rosalind. She was his ancestor's lover. She had been responsible for Rick Richards's fury. And now she wanted to make amends and heal Robin Sena. Oh Michael prayed it would work. He prayed that Robin would be alright. He actually did pray. Michael had given up faith in God that day when his life was taken from him and replaced by a life of serving Zaizen. Now however, perhaps inspired by the faith in the young woman he loved so much, he turned his sunglasses covered eyes towards the raining sky.

"God. I'm not good at this; but if you let this work, I promise whatever I have to do will be done. I swear it." At this point Michael's face was soaking wet, not only with the rain but with the salty-sweet tears of a boy who had lost his one true love to the cruel world. His tears fell and his eyes became red as he continued his prayer. "I'll go to church again. Honest. Please, just don't let me lose her. I love her too much."

Michael reached down and placed the bracelet around Robin's tiny wrist. There was a pause and then nothing. No miracle. No flash of light. No healing of the wound. No life for Robin. The bracelet stopped glowing and Michael's heart fell and broke. She was dead and she would not be coming back. It was stupid to believe she ever was going too –

And then there was a clash of thunder above and a light brighter than any Michael had even witnessed. Rica and Richards's stopped and turned to stare at it. Michael was bewitched by the light; unable to see but unable to look away. When the light faded a young woman in a blood-stained wedding dress was standing over Robin's body. The dress was old; perhaps from the Victorian age.

"Rosalind?" Richards's gasped in awe.

"Can you're sin never sleep?" Rosalind asked in a soft voice. "Have you no regret for what you have done, Rick?"

Richards's shook Juliano's head. "NO! Campbell deserved what he got! He stole you from me Rosalind!"

Rosalind shook her glowing, pure-white head. "No Rick. Michael and I loved one another. And you're lust not only killed your best friend and the woman you claimed to love; but it has now cost the innocent life of this girl. I forgive you for your evil, Rick. Now rest."

Richards's began to speak; but before he could the glowing black eyes of Juliano closed. The black rapier that he held turned to ash and fell to the ground and Juliano's body fell next and was free. The spirit was gone and would never come back. Rosalind then turned to Michael and ran a hand down his cheek.

"You look so much like my husband." She smiled. "I am sorry that Rick harmed you. I will do what I can."

The illuminating white-light woman then vanished; leaving Michael, Jackie and Rica staring at the spot she had been in. A moment later a cough was heard and Michael looked down at Robin. The bracelet on her wrist had turned to ash and in his pocket he realized that Michael Campbell's watch had done the same. It didn't matter, because those green eyes he loved so much had just flickered open.

"Michael . . ."

"You have to be KIDDING!" Rica roared. "Why is it that people can just rise from the dead whenever they want!?"

A laugh – Doujima's laughed – came up from behind him. Rica spun around to see Doujima and Sakaki sitting on their knees, both of them healed just as Robin had been. Doujima smiled, raised her gun and then spoke to David. "You do."

Doujima and Sakaki then emptied their clips into Rica, who stood their unaffected but flabbergasted. He spun around again and looked at Robin, who had now sat up; though she kept an arm around Michael's shoulder for support.

"This time I'm killing you all." Rica growled. "And you're gonna stay dead."

Michael began to speak, but Robin stood up at that moment. She reached in her pocket and pulled out her glasses, slipping them on over her eyes. Her hand lingered on Michael's shoulder for a moment as she stared at the New Orleans's native zombie. Rica stared back at her for a moment.

"This is stupid." Jackie complained as she took a step forward and raised her gun towards Robin. "Let's just –"

Before she could finish her sentence, a bright orange dance of the devil had appeared. Jackie was burnt into a crisp in a split second; but Rica's usual water-craft kicked in and extinguished the flames before they could consume and destroy him. Rica laughed and flashed his smug smile that had been tattooed in the memories of the STN-J.

"I'd roll my eyes if I had any." Rica's sarcasm shot. "We've battled with our craft twice before little Robin; and I won both times. You really want to dance with the devil a third time?"

It was Robin's turn to smile. Not a smug, devious smile like Rica's; but a smile of a girl who was determined to overcome her challenges no matter no grave they looked and no matter how horrible things could possibly become. She pushed the glasses up the rim of her nose; as the rain water had made them fall down. Rica laughed and fired a jet of water; Robin's flames leapt up and evaporated it before it so much as splashed her.

"This one's for the money." Rica chuckled. "One of us lives, one of us dies."

"Agreed." Robin nodded. She was not normally one to play these games but something had occurred to her now. She had never defeated David Rica before. And perhaps if she could overcome him now she could truly be the Eve of Witches; she could truly bring salvation to her race.

Like Maria had wanted.

Like her mother had wanted.

----

Sirens were wailing in the background as Zaizen sat at his desk. He had the black pistol in one hand and the Pure Orbo-Gun in the other. Amon and Karasuma stood in front of his desk; each of them holding their own handguns and aiming them at the administrator. Zaizen smiled at the both of them.

"Tell me Amon." Zaizen asked him as he stared at the dark hunter. "How long have you been a witch?"

Karasuma's eye darted to the corner of its socket and stared at the dark haired hunter. There was a light breeze from the air conditioner beside him and as the cool air floated through him his long hair fluttered majestically. Amon's eyes seemed to narrow and the emotion labeled "Anger" that he had hidden so well all his life was now very apparent and very lively; and very unhidden.

"Since Rica shot me. My craft is the only thing that kept me alive." Amon answered at length. Karasuma gasps.

"Ha-ah!" Zaizen roared with laughter. "You've been a witch for months and you never once used your craft. Must be tough. Yet I believe I'm right in guessing the emotional overload from Touko's death made you unable to keep it in restraint."

Amon didn't answer the question; and he didn't have too. It was very clear that Zaizen's aim was 100% and that his words were true. Amon's gun was aimed steady; or it had been. Now it was shaking slightly in its aim. Karasuma had seen not only anger, but also fear enveloping on his face. It was at that moment that she realized why Amon's emotions were emerging after years of successful hiding.

"You aren't fully awakened, are you? Only partially." Zaizen said matter-of-factly. "But you will be soon. That's why you came here, isn't it? Because you know it's going to happen one way or another. You know that you're emotions are the trigger to awakening the evil inside you; and that is why you lock them away"

"Yes." Amon replied coolly.

Zaizen quirked his brow; but the amusement was still on his face. "Did you love her, Amon? Did you love my daughter? Or have you found someone else?" He added the last part as his eyes moved to Karasuma and a slight fluster of pink invaded her cheeks. Zaizen laughed once more and then he stood up.

"Well Amon, I want you to know that I hated killing her. And I hate you for making me kill her. But it was because of you that she died. It was because you made me. She is dead because of y--"

"No." Amon growled, true anger now apparent on his face and in his voice. The dim lighting in the room illuminated his pale, sunken cheeks and the emotions he had fought against were clearly breaking free. Amon's will to suppress his emotions and his craft was weakening and soon it would be gone completely. And Karasuma was afraid to know what would happen then.

"YES!" Zaizen repeated loudly. "She may have died by my hand; but she died because of you. Just like you're mother."

The reaction was instant. Amon's eyes flashed a color that Karasuma had never seen before and never wanted to see again. Then a jet of black light surrounded him and all of the glass in the room was destroyed. The computer screen, windows and glass door all turned into sand and fell to the ground. Zaizen laughed and dropped the pure Orbo-Gun to the floor, while raising the black pistol to his own temple.

"YES AMON! I MAY DIE NOW; BUT YOU WILL LIVE AS A WITCH! YOU WILL LIVE AS THAT WHICH YOU HATE MOST!"

Before Karasuma could do anything; a gunshot was heard. The pop was followed by Zaizen's lifeless body falling onto the table and landing on the picture of his family. The gun he used to kill himself with fell to the ground near the table and landed next to the Orbo-Gun. Karasuma ignored the dead man and ran to Amon's side; but his scream sent her flying back.

Amon was not just screaming. It was no human scream. It was more of a primeval howl. A hideous sound more horrific than anything. It was like the sound of children being tortured and women being raped and men murdering each other. It was the sound of all the horrible things in this world combined together into one, eerie, horrible noise.

And when it was over Amon was sitting on the ground. His knees held him up while his hands held his head. Amon was shaking and the sound of evil had been replaced with the sight of a fearless man who was very afraid. Karasuma did not know what to do. She reached down for him, but he swatted her away.

"Miho." He breathed; his voice now like thunder and as evil as the sound he had screamed before. "Shoot me."

Karasuma's eyes widened. "I can't."

Amon turned his head to her and she could see the horrors in his black eyes. He growled at her like a wild animal before his human voice spoke once again in the evil, booming tone. "Shoot me Miho."

Karasuma dropped her gun. "I can't Amon. I love you."

Amon growled once again and he rose to his feet. Karasuma had only now realized that he was several inches taller than he had been before and his clothes were fitting horrible. His muscles seemed to swell and his hair was blowing in an invisible wind. The creature that had once been Amon took a step towards her.

"I will kill you Miho." He growled. "And I don't want to. Now shoot me."

Karasuma responded by dropping her gun. "I can't Amon. I love you. I won't shoot you."

"Karasuma!" Amon – or what had once been Amon – said in a stern voice. "Do it now! Kill me!"

Karasuma's eyes were full of tears. She tucked a lock of red hair behind her ear. "Amon I don't even know who I am anymore. If I lose you, I'll lose any trace of myself. I can't shoot you."

Amon laughed. No; it was not Amon. Because Amon was gone now. The last trace of Amon's humanity and sanity had been lost and the only thing that was left was this horrific beast. It laughed and then it punched Karasuma in her stomach. Karasuma moaned and fell to her knees feeling like her ribs had just broken; which they probably had.

"For what it's worth." The creature that had once been Amon spoke in its evil hissing voice. "He probably loved you too. Or would have one day. Doesn't matter now."

Karasuma closed her eyes. The Amon-creature reached down for her.

And then the gunshot came. A scream of pure evil echoed in the night and the Amon-creature spun around. At the doorway a brown-haired man stood. He wore a white fur coat and hospital gown. One of his hands was clutching his gunshot wound, the other was holding the gun he had lent Touko earlier.

"Hey little brother." Nagira's voice was holding an obvious sadness. "You once asked me to make sure you never became a witch; and to kill you if you did."

The Amon-Creature growled and stepped forward, but Nagira shot it twice more and it fell backwards.

"That's why you joined the STN-J, isn't it?" Nagira asked. "Partially to quench your lust for witch hunting; but mostly so that when you awoke they could kill you."

The Amon-Creature had lost its ability to speak words and now it only roared like a savage creature that was not meant to walk the world of human beings. Karasuma watched this whole thing unfold from her spot on the ground while Nagira's eyes began to water and his tears began to fall.

"I failed you brother. I'm sorry I couldn't keep you a seed. But I can still set your soul free. I never was much for religion Amon, but if there is a heaven; I hope you go there."

The creature roared again and Nagira shot it. The remaining bullets in the gun collided with the creature's head and it fell over dead on the floor. Nagira dropped the gun and clutched his own gunshot wound as he winced in pain for a moment before turning back to Karasuma.

"Sorry you had to see that." He said in all honesty. "But he wanted it this way."

Karasuma nodded. "I know he did. But it still hurts."

Nagira nodded as well. "We should leave before this factory collapses."

Karasuma stood up, winced at her ribs for a moment, and then lead Nagira to the escape tunnel. Then she looked down at Amon's body and walked over to it slowly. Nagira realized what she wanted to do and he helped her drag Amon's mutated body into the escape elevator with them before they pressed the button and left the factory behind them. Orbo, Zaizen, the Factory; they left it all behind.

----

The rain was coming in thicker now. Doujima and Sakaki stood to the left side of the roof, holding hands with one another and forgetting their earlier argument. Michael stood on the right, his sunglass coated irises staring at the woman he loved. Neither the spy, the hunter nor the hacker was moving. Instead they were watching Robin and Rica as their feet moved fast and their crafts faster.

Rica's jets of water were menacing. Flying at a speed fast enough to bend steel; they would be fatal if they hit Robin in her head. However her flames burnt with a raw fury that could be matched only by the fury of the last few days. The flames evaporated the water so that by the time it hit Robin it felt like the raindrops from above. Robin's flames would erupt under Rica's feet, or fly at his chest; but Rica's cooling mist would extinguish them just as fast.

"You've gotten stronger." Rica breathed as he launched three jets of water; one from the right, left and one in directly at her. Robin's eyes flashed and the jets of water were reduced to steam and water drops.

"Repent Rica." Robin replied. "God forgives all who ask for his pardon. Even one as evil as you."

Rica laughed at her. "Tell you what pup; after I kill you, I'll repent."

Robin's flames jumped onto Rica's body; but his H2O washed it away just as quickly. The battle was going nowhere but that was all about to change. David pushed his dark sunglasses back up the bridge of his nose and Robin did the same with her eyeglasses. Her glasses were smudged from the rain but they still worked well enough to fry Rica.

"Now Robin." Rica laughed. "Don't forget we are in the rain; and that's my turf."

Michael didn't like the sound of that. A second later he let out a gasp of surprise as he felt a pinprick on his hand. He looked down to see blood forming. More and more pinpricks were appearing all over him and his clothes were being torn and small spots of blood was everywhere. He saw this same events happening to everyone else. Rica; of course ignored his skin being cut, but the others were looking around for the source of the trickery.

Then Michael realized it. He watched a raindrop fall on his hand and then he felt a needle prick.

"ROBIN!" Michael cried out. "It's the rain! The rain is sharp!"

Rica laughed like there was no tomorrow. He grinned as he saw holes appear in Robin's black skirts and shirt and watched with satisfaction as her pale skin began to become dotted with tiny blots of blood.

"It may not look like much, but I promise that after a few more seconds in this rain you'll all die." Rica explained as his pale lips tugged into a smug smile. "Sayonara."

Maria wanted to name the child "hope".

These words from Toudou's disc played back in Robin's head and she suddenly looked up. Blood was forming and her clothes and skin were both being torn apart. Still she did not fear anymore. While she had never met Maria, she now understood why the mother had loved her daughter. Robin's deep emerald orbs of sight filled with flames; and a second later a burst of flames engulfed Rica. Rica's water came to extinguish the flames; but he wasn't fast enough.

"BAD PUPPY! VERY BAD PUPPY!"

A second later the flames melted away. The pinpricks from the rain stopped hurting the skin; and every eye there went to the spot where Jackson David Rica had once stood. Now the only thing left was a burnt pair of dark sunglasses; which fell apart before their eyes into a pile of ash.

"Think he can recover from that one?" Doujima asked with an amused smile. Michael and Robin didn't answer her. Of course their arms had wrapped around each other despite the tiny sores from Rica's Rain and their lips had interlocked in a deep kiss that neither of them had any plans on ending anytime soon.

----

Master Yuji Kobari; owner and manager of Harry's Place was sitting behind the bar when the door opened. It was very later and he was not expecting any company. However he had company none-the-less. Looking up with his dark eyes he found Robin and Michael at the doorway. Each of them had blood stains on their torn clothes but smiles on their tired faces nonetheless.

"Then it has happened?" Master Yuji asked.

"Yes." Robin replied simply as she collapsed onto a barstool. Michael sat beside her and tucked an arm around her shoulder comfortingly. Master Yuji's eyes flashed to both of them and he asked what had happened. And so Michael explained it.

"Doujima and Sakaki are at the hospital with Karasuma-san and Nagira now." Michael finished his explanation. "She called as soon as she and Nagira were out of the Factory."

Master Kobari nodded knowingly. "What are you're plans now?"

"Sleep." Robin responded as she leaned against Michael's shoulder. Michael smiled at the Master of Harry's before he spoke next.

"We're going to have a funeral for Amon as soon as we can. It's the least we can do after everything that man did for us. After that; well I don't know."

"I do." A gruff voice spoke. Robin sat up and Michael turned his head. Chief Kosaka and Hattori sat at the booth at the back of the bar. Kosaka yawned and sat his coffee mug down before he stood up and walked over to them.

"Raven's Flat was destroyed. SOLOMON has already contacted me and asked me for the status of my team."

Michael shook his head. "What did you tell them chief?"

Kosaka gave Michael a genuine smile and his rough face melted into a rather charming emotion. "I told them I don't know. In a few hours I'll call and list you all as KIA."

Robin blinked at him. "KIA?"

"Killed-in-Action." Michael explained with a satisfied smile. "Thanks Chief."

Robin seemed confused by this, so she looked at her lover in his eyes for a moment. "Michael, why do we want to be listed as dead?"

Michael leaned in and kissed Robin's forehead briefly before breaking away. He had a cut on his lips and she one on her temple but that was a small price to pay for being together at last. Together without Rica or Richards or Zaizen in the way. "SOLOMON will think we're dead. Which means all we have to do is make up new names and then we can live life however we want it. Without being hunters."

Robin's understanding was instant and she smiled at him. Then she sighed and lowered her head. Michael's orange brow quirked and he gently placed a hand under he chin and lifted her eyes to his own.

"What?"

Robin seemed both embarrassed and deeply troubled. "I just . . . remembered something you said to me."

Michael seemed to understand. He closed his eyes and smiled. "You mean when I asked you to marry me and live by the sea?" Robin's blush and her gasp seemed to be answer enough for the hacker, who tightened his grip around her shoulder.

"Robin, I may have been high on Morphine, but I meant it. I want to marry you and move to England."

Hattori, who was now standing next to the chief, let out a soft "aww" which caused the chief to hit him with his hat. Robin ignored it all as she stared up at Michael with wide eyes; no longer full of immense sadness but now deep, true love.

"When Michael?" She asked.

"Well, how does tomorrow morning sound to you?"

----

"Do you, Robin Sena, take Michael Lee to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?"

Robin had been praying in the church by the park every morning since she arrived in Japan. Now she stood inside it. No longer did she wear the black nun's attire; but rather a white wedding dress. Michael stood beside her in a black tuxedo; while Doujima and Sakaki sat in the audience and looked on with smiles. Karasuma and Nagira were there as well; Nagira in a wheelchair and his white fur coat and Karasuma sitting down beside him.

"I do."

The Chief gave a large sniff from the audience. Hattori was next to him, of course, and offered him a tissue. "Are you okay Chief?"

"W-weddings always make me c-cry."

Doujima smiled and leaned against Haruto while she played with a strand as her long blonde hair. "Maybe we should do this sometime."
Haruto smiled at her. "I'll stick with the sex if it's all the same."

Doujima growled playfully and hit him on the arm, but an aged voice spoke from behind them.

"Good call sweet cheeks." Mrs. Kinoto, Doujima's old, perverted neighbor said as she reached down and pinched Sakaki's ass through the back of his chair. Sakaki screamed and fell forward; for a eighty year old woman's hand on his ass was enough to do that too him.

"Excuse me." Michael's annoyed voice called.

"But – old woman – hand – ass – pinching –"

There was a general exchange of laughter before the priest cleared his throat and they all calmed down again. Mrs. Kinoto winked at the priest from his pedestal and he could clearly be seen taking a step backwards, but continued with the service anyway.

"And do you, Michael Lee, take Robin Sena to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live?"

"I do." Michael said happily as he had ever been. Robin smiled back at him and their happiness was radiant even to make everyone in the church smile at them.

"Then by the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."

And kiss the bride he did. Michael and Robin's lips met with one another and stayed together for a few seconds while they absorbed all of the sweetness of love that lingered on each other. It was like an electrical charge radiating through their bodies and making them numb and hot at the same time. The pleasure of being in love is a magical and wonderful thing and these two were lucky enough to find it in each other.

"Woooo!" Doujima cheered as if she was at a football game. Sakaki whistled through his fingers and Robin laughed at him.

"If you need honeymoon advice." Mrs. Kinoto called. "Just ask!"

----

"And so we lay Amon to rest today. But we do not say our goodbyes. For all true believes know of the reunion to be had in the Kingdom of Heaven one day after the return of Christ the Lord."

The priest of Robin's usual church was standing, leading them all in prayer as the large black box was being lowered into the ground. Everyone was there and all of them dressed in black. Sakaki and Doujima stood side by side with tears in their eyes as Amon was laid down in the cemetery next to a grave marked Rem Syunji, who had been his mother. Nagira had traded his white fur coat for a black tuxedo and he sat in a wheelchair next to the grave. Karasuma wore a widow's veil over her face, although she had not been married to him. Michael also wore a black tuxedo. Robin was in her usual attire, but she did have one new addition to it – her wedding ring around her finger. The Chief, Hattori and Yuji Kobari all stood in the back as they paid their final respects.

"Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust. Father we pray that you guide your child back to the light. In Jesus name we pray, Amen."

"Amen" The onlookers echoed with the priest.

----

Zaizen had never mentioned it before his suicide, but he did have one secret. One saving grace. When he had been in New York two years ago for the birth of his first grandchild, he had taken the girl in every attention to kill her. However he had been unable to kill the innocent infant at that time.

Going through the hospital he discovered a doctor speaking with a nurse. Apparently a woman named Kimberly Avery had come in and had a baby; but that baby had died at birth. Her husband, a young cop named Kenny, had been desperate for a child. Zaizen had pulled Kenny aside and offered him the young infant as a adopting after feeding him a crock-and-bull story about the baby's mother dying at birth.

Kenny Avery and his wife had adopted the child of Amon and Touko. And now, as Kenny returned to New York after bidding farewell to Roger Williams in the Japanese International Airport, he was going home to see his wife and adopted daughter.

Kenny came through the door with a smile on his face. His daughter, a nearly-three-year-old bundle of energy gave a squeal and ran to him, hugging his leg as her black hair cascaded down her shoulders. His wife smiled and walked over to her husband, placing a kiss on his cheek.

"How did your business with Mr. Rica go, Ken?" She asked as she held him in a loving hug.

"Pretty good." Kenny lied. "But I don't think we'll see David again for a long, long time."

Kim smiled. "That's too bad. Would you like some dinner?"

Kenny smiled back. "I'd love some, hon."

Later that day Kenny would wind up confessing to Kimberly that he had cheated on her five years ago. They would go to a couple's therapy and would remain married and slowly the trust would be rebuilt.

----

They planed to go to England next year. They couldn't afford a real honeymoon and still meet this plan; so they had rented a car and decided to go to Delaney Street for their honeymoon. Smiling as the green Cadillac they had rented arrived outside the small apartment building on Delaney Street, Michael opened the driver' door and quickly ran around to get his wife's door for her.

He paused. His wife. Four months ago he and Robin had only just kissed awkwardly and barley been able to admit their mutual feelings on one another. Now they were man and wife and returning to Michael's apartment to . . . Michael blushed at the very idea.

It wasn't like it was some big secret really; but he was only seventeen and it was kinda scary to think that he was on his honeymoon. His wedding night even! Everyone from Doujima (awkward) to Kosaka (slightly scary) to Mrs. Kinoto (horrific) had taken Michael aside and given him "advice". Doujima was actually somewhat helpful, although it was still awkward to have her say those . . . things to him. Kosaka had told him the exact opposite and he had decided to trust Yurika; which was a first. Mrs. Kinoto . . . well she had reminded him of some kind of porno movie with her advice that she "come over and supervise". Michael had denied her request and had then backed away slowly, as if she was a dangerous snake that may strike at any moment.

"Michael?" Robin's soft voice came floating back to him as she shook him lightly. "Are you alright?"

Michael blinked and shook his head (which was flushed very red) and looked down at his young wife. He nodded and gave a nervous laugh. "Yeah, sorry. Just spacing out."

Robin seemed to understand. In true honeymoon tradition Robin hoisted her off her feet and carried her across the threshold of the small apartment. She couldn't stifle her giggles and Michael found it amusing that she was giggling. A week ago she was so full of depression and that eerie kind of quietness that it made him sad. She seemed to always be sad because of her job and the tear it caused in her heart. Now she seemed to never be sad. Sure; they were both very upset about Amon's death, but Michael knew they couldn't dwell on their past if they wanted to make a bright new future.

"It isn't much." Michael mumbled as he continued to carry his wedding-dress clad beauty down to the very bedroom where he had proposed to her while being high on the morphine. He set Robin down and she looked up at him. Both of them seemed to be much redder than they had been in the car. Michael moved onto the bed beside her.

"Michael?"

"Yes, Robin?"

"I love you."

Michael smiled at her. "I love you too."

The End

----

Epilogue

(Because I know you're dying to know)

Ten Years Later . . .

Karasuma, Miho

Syunji, Nagira

Live in Tokyo still. After Amon's death, Karasuma was in therapy for a few months and put a great deal of emotional support in Nagira Syunji. They have been married for three years and have one child, named Amon Jr.

Doujima, Yurika

Sakaki, Haruto

Currently live in Los Angeles. They were married a year after the collapse of the factory and had one child together, divorced a year later, and remarried the year after that. They have had two more children since, two girls to go with the oldest boy, and their names are Michael, Lily and Rose.

Shintarou, Kosaka
Shouhei, Hattori

Quit their jobs at the STN-J and moved to Massachusetts, where they got married a year after the collapse of the factory. (C'mon, admit it, you know they're not just friends.)

And last but not least . . .

Shihara, Kinoto

Is in the Guinness book of world records as the oldest living prostitute. Now at the age of Ninety-Two, and still working it.

(LOL!)

Ok, enough bad jokes . . .

Sena/Lee, Robin
Lee, Michael

Changed their last named to "Campbell" in order to avoid SOLOMON's witch database. They did get married one day after the collapse of the factory at the ages of Seventeen and Fifteen. They moved to England a year later and live in a small flat by the sea to this day. They have two children, a boy named Troy and a young girl named Hope. To this day they stay in touch with Doujima, Sakaki, Karasuma, Nagira, the Chief, Master Kobari and Hattori. Once a year, if possible, the entire group meets in Japan at Harry's Place for dinner. They meet on the anniversary of the Factory's Collapse and always bring their children. As for Robin's children; the children of the Eve of Witches, and whether or not Maria's hope was true . . . well that's another story.

-------------------

-Listening to Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney's License to Chill-

THERE YOU ARE FOLKS!

Did you enjoy it? Did you have fun? Happy Fourth of July!

Sayonara