I've decided...this is the last chapter. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing BUT you can look out for my new Wolf's Rain story that's coming soon. Okay? Well, wipe a tear from your eye, cause this is the last chapter of 'Protect'.

IIIII (Narrator POV)

"Hey! Mr. Whiskers!" shouted Tanis as she ran through the snow, carrying a pile of white fluff in her hand. Hige turned around (since he had gotten so used to her calling him that by now) only to have ice shoved down the back of his shirt. "Haha! I'm so eeeeviill!"

"Grrrr..." growled Hige as he opened his shirt in the back to let the snow fall out. "I'm going to get you for that!"

"Nyah!" Tanis stuck her tongue out at the fellow wolf.

Hige threw a snowball at her, hitting her in the stomach. "Ha! I got you, you little brat!"

"Little?! Brat!?!" She shrieked, picking up her own snowball. She smushed it into a snowball then held it up threatening him. "You got my shirt wet you idiot."

"Oh, I am so frightened," Mocked Hige with a equally mocking smirk. "You probably have really bad aim anyway. Couldn't hit the broad side of a barn I would think. And you are a little brat. So deal with it."

"Grrrrr...." Tanis growled ready to beat him into a pulp.

"You two! Stop it! We aren't here to play," ordered Tsume roughly as he trudged through with Toboe following close behind. Kiba was right next to Hige and Tanis's snowball fight and got caught right in the middle with some hitting right on his chest...thrown by Hige. Then he started throwing also. "Oh, boy. Is there no end to this groups foolishness?"

"Hey, Tsume?" Toboe questioned.

Looking down at Toboe, he asked "What?"

"Tell me cold the snow is, please," Toboe said with a devious smirk as he shoved two handfuls of the said snow by running his hands up his back. Tsume yelped at the cold as he ran around. Toboe started laughing.

"That is not funny!" Tsume shouted at the pup as he took up some himself. "I am going to get-"

Right there, Tanis had hit him in the shoulder with her own snowball, cutting him off from saying anymore as he swapped at it with a hand to get it off. Hige and Kiba were having their own little battle so Tanis wanted to join on Toboe's side since they were the youngest against the oldest of the group. As for Tsume, well, he just felt out numbered.

"Need help, Toby-chan?" questioned Tanis as she scooped some more up with her hands.

Squeaking out "Sure!" Tsume began to run up the hill, trying escape the terrors that were called children.

"Come back here!" Shouted Tanis, throwing some more snowballs. "These adorable little pup's just want to play in the snow with you!"

"Take this!" Tsume grabbed his own, threw it as high as it could go. Both Tanis and Toboe looked up, and Tanis got it smack dab in the face. "Well, Tanis was the lucky one that got hit."

Swiping it off, Toboe tried to throw his own snowballs but he didn't have much a throwing arm. It always fell one foot in front of Tsume so when he moved up a foot Tsume would only move back a foot also. Just so he wouldn't hit him. Tsume HATED getting wet or being hit by something wet. That's why he does not like snow. But, right now, he didn't have much to worry from Toboe. Until Tanis got the rest of the snow out of her eyes and started hurling endless supplies of snowballs at him.

"ARGH! You hit my face! You will PAY!" shouted Tanis angrily, throwing them as if there was no tomorrow.

Tsume got hit a couple times as he ran towards Hige shouting "She's frickin' crazy! She's just crazy!!" Once he got there, he held Hige in front of him so he got hit instead of him. Soon enough, Hige was covered his ice cold snow.

Tanis breathed hard to catch her breath. She looked down at Toboe who seemed to be in pain since his hands were beginning to bleed since he was making a fist so tightly. The she-wolf's eyes softened as she took his hands, making him loosen the fists.

"Is everything okay?" she questioned.

Toboe nodded "I'll be alright. Just that my back is starting to burn. I don't know if it's from the cold or what..."

"What else?"

"What do you mean 'what else'?"

"I know there's something else. Tell me?"

"Don't you dare start that again," Toboe hissed.

Tanis repeated "Tell me?"


"Tell me? Please?"

"I said shutup!"

"Who, me?"

"Yes, you!" Toboe was getting really pissed off. He was not in the mood for Tanis to do this. "Now be quiet! Before I shove snow down your shirt."

"Awwww....is little Toby-chan getting mad?" she teased, giving him a noogie.

He ducked and slid away so she wouldn't mess up his hair more than she already had. Toboe started putting it back in place, while saying "I'm just still not right. I don't know whats wrong with me. I feel like something is missing."

"Like there is a hole inside of your heart?"

The young boy nodded.

Looking at Tsume, Hige, and Kiba, she said softly "You shouldn't. You're lucky, you've got them. You have family."

(That's right, her imouto is missing) he thought to himself.

"But, I think that your still not feeling right because of all the crap that happened. Though, you have them to help you. And you've got me. So we're going to help you in any way we can. Mentally or physically. We'll try. If you let us. You'll let us help you get through this, right?"

He nodded once again. (I can only hope that I can get through this)

"I want you to know that it's natural that you carry some scars. No matter how bad it may get Tsume, I, Hige, and Kiba will be right behind you. So don't you try anything on your own! Your the chibi and I'm not letting anything happen to my Toby-chan! Haha!"

The elder girl gave him a hug, he whispered "Thank you."

"Aw, you two are going to bring tears to my eyes," joked Hige.

"Rrrr!" the two growled.


What Tanis said was true. They can only help me if I let them. I'm not sure if I want to do that, you see, I'm still scared that something is going to happen. The talk with Tsume last night got things out but it got me more agitated than I already was. If that's even possible! What am I supposed to do? Fujii and Roi plague my dreams; turning them into nightmares that seem to drag on forever. They won't stop. I'm whipped over and over. The pain getting more and more. My back slick with blood. Then, I beg them to stop, but they just laugh in my face.

It all ends when I try to run away but they shoot me down. Full of bullets I die on the spot. It's an awful dream but I have it over and over again. I want those nightmares to stop. I hate them! Why won't they stop? Until someone wakes me up, since I'm squirming or whimpering, I can't bring myself out. The pain feels like it's actually happens. I can feel their cold touch. The whip making contact, ripping my flesh. It makes me feel that I never want to go to sleep. Ever again. The others are trying to cheer me up. They really are. But this is all I can do. Just lay there, helpless, as the nightmare continues. Hoping that someone will wake me up. Sometime I wonder why me?

I know why but why couldn't it have been someone else? Someone stronger? I may be strong but I'm only fourteen. There is only so much that I can do. Back there, I was still not able to do that run for Tanis, and even though she said she was feeling okay I knew that she was in serious pain. Call it just a sense. I'm not sure if I should just go all out crying or try to stay tough.

I've put on my bravest face. I've done everything I can. Now I'm at the deep end, searching for answers that I know that I'm not going to be able to grasp. I don't want the others to see me cry. Because, the worst thing that could happen to me, is the people that I care about the most, hating me. I'm scared to tell the truth. Scared to go to sleep. Scared to cry. Scared to get close anyone. Scared to even speak now. I know that I'm not strong enough but I'm trying. I really am.

"Toboe," said a familiar voice, I looked up. There stood Kiba in front of me, everyone else was at the fire, trying to warm up. But I sat by a tree.

He put a finger on my cheek, catching tears that were falling.

"Your crying," He said.

"I-I...erm..." I was at a loss for words. I guess my subconcious made me cry. This is the last thing that I wanted to happen! Now Kiba might think that I'm a big cry baby! "I'm sorry! I was just, I don't know."

"It's alright," Kiba replied, sitting in front of me, staring me in the eyes. "I understand. Toboe, you know, it's not good to keep it inside."


"We won't judge you for crying. There's a time when you need to cry, and a time where it won't help you, but this will help you. If you don't cry then that'll just hurt you more on the inside. Tsume tried to help you now I want to try. It's the only way to get you feeling happy again. I want the old Toboe back. The happy one."

"Kiba..." I sobbed out, hugging him around the neck "T-The happy one you want isn't anymore! I'm sorry! I can't do it! I'm putting on my bravest face but it's not doing any good! The nightmares keep coming back to me! Please...make it all stop....I don't want to be like this anymore. I want to be the Toboe that you like! Now you hate me!"

"No we don't!" he snapped back. Surprisingly, he hugged back, cradling me a bit. "Your Toboe no matter what! Nothing will ever change that! I know that the happy little Toboe is in there somewhere! You're stronger than you appear to be, Toboe, I know this for a fact."

I've got to try....try to be the same as I was before this happened... I thought to myself. Now I am determined to do so. There are to many people that care about me to not atleast put in an effort. I've got to.

IIIII (Narrator POV)

That next morning, Toboe looked around. Everyone was still sleeping. The small boy knew what he had to do, he had to do what he would usually do every morning, go wake them up so they could eat something. He forced himself to get up, despite that burning pain filling his back; Toboe stood up using the tree next to him as something to lean on.

Taking in a deep breath Toboe walked over to Kiba first. He was the closest since, well, he was only a couple feet away from him. Shaking him lightly the dark brown haired wolf's eyes fluttered open to see a smiling Toboe over him. Wait. Toboe was actually smiling? He hadn't been smiling in so long that it was a welcome sight to behold to Kiba. He sat up while Toboe walked over to Hige, shaking him.

As expected Hige just shrugged the shaking off then rolled back to sleep.

Tanis wasn't to happy about being woken up at nine in the morning but she got up despite that. Like Kiba, she was equally happy that Toboe was smiling.

Tsume woke up wearily but he was awake.

The female of the group walked over to Hige, poking him in the arm with a finger. "Hige. Wake up. Now. Or I will light a fire, and throw you in it."

"Mmm..." He whined.

Tsume gave a 'pph'. Then said to Tanis "You should give up. He's not going to wake up. He's a lazy ass; don't think that he would even wake up if I were to keep on insulting him. Calling him chubby, weirdo, stupid, moron, girl chaser-"

"Shutup," Hige said, sitting up.

"Your fault. You wouldn't wake up," said Kiba as he and Toboe walked over to them.

Hige pointed to Tanis and accused "Because this little brat kept me up all night with her singing 'This is the song that never ends' all damn night!"

"I told you that I have to do that to fall asleep. And annoy you."

Toboe asked rather randomly, breaking the arguement,"Do you guys want to go and eat or something? I'm hungry."

"Toboe?" Kiba asked, walking up to him. "You feeling better? You seem to be....happy."

"Well, I can't be depressed forever. All I can do is make a better future for myself," Toboe said with a big old smile.

Kiba put a hand on his shoulder. "Thanks. I'm glad to know that. Guess that we'll see the old Toboe from now on. Right?"


"That's good to know."

"Tanis! Let go!" Hige yelled for she was pulling on his arm to get him to stand up. "I'm not going to stand! I'm tired! I'm going back to sleep!"

"Lazy," Tsume whispered.

"I heard that."

"You aren't going back to sleep! Toboe wants to go and eat!" she replied, using all of her strength to pull him off the ground. He did finally give in because she would have pulled out his arm at that rate. "Good. Let's go eat. I'm hungry too, to tell the truth."

All of their stomachs growled in agreement.

They're my reason to keep on going. I'm sure that I would have gave up if it weren't for them. And Kuro-kun. I have to go back to myself. I'm going to give it my all. After what they've all said to me, how can I not feel loved? Tanis doesn't even have hear imouto but she's still going, being happy. Though, it seems like a coverup at times. And the others all have scars but they also keep on going. If they can't lift my spirits up I don't think anyone else in the entire world could do that. Toboe thought to himself with a big smile. Well, world, here I come.


Yes. Short but I think that it was atleast decent ::eye twitches:: O.- Great. I sound like an idiot complementing my own stories. Now that the story is done I have thanks to some special people (but I thank all of you for your reviews)

MalletWielderOfDoom: Yes, my neesama. Thank you a lot, Kate-Kate! Luvv you ::huggles:: EVERYONE: LOOK OUT FOR THE SEQUEL FROM HER.

Hottie From Hell: :D Thanks a whole lot. One of my favs. Of course. She's going to be in my next Wolf's Rain story so look out for Cristi Turner!

Mai Mianase: Don't hate me because the chapter was short ::twitches:: Anyway, thanks for all of the constructive critism.

Brittney Anna: You were so sweet to me! ::huggles:: Thanks a whole lot! :) :) :) :) :)

Zee: I have to thank you, of course! Your so awesome! :)

Those five helped me a lot. And everyone else did too. Just that they sort of stuck out to me ::twitches:: Don't be hating.

NEWS: The sequel type thingy for Protect will be by MalletWeilderofDoom. She's sort of a slow updater so it might take a while. :D

Sorry that it took so long to get up. I had really bad writers block ::twitches...again:: O.- I can feel you all already beating my head in with sludge hammers for the late update. Don't be hating! I'm already twitching, haven't you tortured me enough! But, I thank you all, and please review. :) Hope you liked the chap even if it was extra short.

Sakaki's Little Sis: Out