Based after Episode 39 The Master Plan, in Ace Lightning series. I do not own Ace Lightning- that esteemed honour goes to BBC. Main Pairings: Ace/Illusion. New characters. Warning massive spoilers for all episodes.

Edit: 2010- If I ever use the word crystalline again- please send me to oblivion. There is a new scene here, a juicy bonus. Or rather the massive I'm sorry for using the word crystalline!

Once upon A Time

Chapter One: Fade Away

Love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.

-Maya Angelou

Mark was at his computer as he listened to his latest message from Pete in England, and his friend was wearing a look of shock. He didn't blame him- sometimes Mark could scarcely believe it himself.

"Lady Illusion sacrificed herself to save Ace, Kat knows all and Lord Fear is in hiding…. how do I know this does not sound good- what are you and Ace going to do now?"

Mark sighed brushing his hand through is hair. It was not a great situation.

Ace was looking day and night for Fear and was determined to send him into oblivion. It was taking all their efforts to watch the superhero. Ace Lightning was starting to fall apart as he became ever more human.

To make things worse the amulet had scattered again- all over Conestoga Hills itself. And Mark just knew if he had their piece, Lord Fear would have his.

The only consolation for any of them was that they knew Fear would never dare to bring Kilobyte back. It would be too risky, if Kilobyte got on to earth again there could be no stopping him and then it would be 'Game Over' for real. The victory they had sacrificed so much for, at least for the time being had not been in vain.

But Kilobyte had the master programmer, the one who even if he had never created the world... had turned a video game into a portal. Mark didn't even know what was and was not real anymore. And most of all they had to find Lady Illusion, to stop Kilobyte destroying her… it was the only way to set things right.

And Illusion didn't deserve the fate- after what she had done for all of them.

Mark sighed as he looked at the amulet. The game was certainly not over and too much was at stake if they lost now.

The game would never be over.

The outskirts of Conestoga Hills, at the opposite end to where the thunder tower is bleak. A run down gas station with a half asleep attendant, a few dead trees not very eye appealing at night either.

On the side of a ditch a girl who looked like she belonged at a gaming convention, groaned and stood.

She stared down at her hand. So this was the mainframe the creatures of this world were in.

Like a shapeshifter, empaths could change their bio field. This meant whatever world she was in, the bio field would adjust.

Allison Lightning flew upwards. Whatever that shockwave had been it had jarred her into this mortal dimension, and to Earth. The dimension her brother protected.

"Sorry Ace, it was my destiny to destroy you"

"I'm sorry to Fear, but I've got a destiny of my own" Ace Lightning walked onto the scene the after effects of Illusion's energy ball fading.

"What's goin- Lady Illusion?!" The apparent Ace figure shimmered and revealed Lady Illusion.

Anger built with Ace Lightning the likes of which he had never felt before. "This is for Lady Illusion!" Flames came through his rage and everything else seemed to fade- everything but destroying Fear...

Ace found himself at the spot Lady Illusion had faded away quite often. But he didn't need to be here to relive that moment. When all the evil and conflict had melted away and left her to fade in his arms.

"Why- why'd you do it?" Ace took Illusion into his arms.

"Because...I knew he'd betray you.... and because... I love you" The admission was no longer possessive, no longer anything but what it was- the bond between them. In defiance of the rules.

Ace felt his heart break. "It... should have been me"

Illusion gave a smile, but it was more regretful. "Oh Ace, those human emotions have made you weak. Before I go I have the power to take them away, my last gift to you"

"No" Ace said, "No let me keep them... emotions what I'm feeling for you now- that's the real gift" The tear slipped down as she reached up to touch him and within a moment she was gone.

It had always been there- the feeling. The training, all it took to be the best of the Lightning Knights had made him blind to the feelings he had never truly felt until her.

Had never flirted- that simple affection meant love. That love was real and not just a condition of mortals.

Ace Lightning shook his head. "It should have been me Illusion" But he was going to make Lord Fear pay in kind, was going to stop the lord of Fear and end this. And even then, Ace didn't know if that would make this hole go away. Was that how human emotions worked?

---To Be Continued---

Hopefully this flows better now.