The Girl Who Loved a Monster
By Metal Overlord 2.0
Okay, brief show of hands, who among what's left of my audience thought I was never updating again? Raises hand as well LOL But seriously I can't apologize enough for how long its taken me to update, if it was just writer's block I might be a bit more lenient on myself but its mainly been a combination of extreme procrastination and lack of motivation. Ironically I've spent most of my time reading everyone ELSE'S fanfics rather than work on my own. However a miraculous event has happened which has finally reignited the creative fire within my soul, I'm in love. Yes you heard that right I've gone the way of my OC Zeruge and fallen head over heels for a lovely young lady from Missouri named Jenny Gray. As it turns out she is perhaps my biggest fan of all for this story so through the aid of my newly acquired muse I have taken up my pen once more and am back to doing what I love best, writing. I dedicate this chapter and many more to come to Jenny and hope she, and you, will rekindle your love for this story as I have. Enjoy!
"Ah-ah-AH-CHOOO!" The entire tower seemed to shake as Zeruge sneezed for what seemed like the umpteenth time since Raven had first dragged his water logged carcass out from the rain early that morning. "Bless you." Raven said in her classic deadpan tone as she and the other Titans poked their heads out from behind the couch still having vivid recollections of the last time Zeruge had sneezed. Said demon was currently plopped down on the sofa with an embroidered floral patterned ice pack on his head making a series of soft but insistent clicking noises with his fangs as he shifted the thermometer in his mouth from one side of his mouth to the other. At the moment he was wiping his nose with a claw full of tissues blowing into them with a sound reminiscent of a fog horn and adding them to the steadily growing pile overflowing the nearby wastebasket; all things considered he'd certainly seen better days.
"Do you think that friend Zeruge will be alright? He is making quite a large number of alarming noises and expulsions of mucous." Starfire quipped concerned for her new friend but at the same time making sure that she was safely out of the range of his constant projection of soot and mucus. "I'm just hoping that whatever he's got isn't contagious, I still get a rash thinking about the last time I was sick with the chicken pox." Beast-Boy said turning into a clucking hen for emphasis. "I didn't even know demons could GET sick." Robin admitted not having all that much experience with demon biology outside of Raven and her father Trigon, neither of which seemed like the kind of folk you'd expect to call in sick on account of the flu. "Demons may operate differently from humans but that doesn't mean their immune to disease and other normal ailments. I remember one time when I was still little that Trigon came down with a bad antler infection, his minions had to surgically remove it so that he could get a prosthetic one, and their ideas of quality medical treatment were the blades and torture instruments that had the least amount of blood stains on them." Raven explained cracking a small smirk recalling the incredibly foul mood her father had been for the next few decades trying to get both horns to grow at the same pace so he didn't look like something out of a doctor Seuss book.
"Just out of curiosity was the fake antler the one Slade hacked off with that halberd when Trigon came into our world?" Robin asked giving a slight cringe at saying the name of one of their most infamous enemies but had fortunately gotten over his former obsession with hunting down and destroying said nemesis (at least to the point that Starfire could actually find him doing something OTHER than staring at broken equipment from his droids and old newspaper clippings when puttering about his room). Raven nodded. "Right, even if they're just made out of bone their still a part of Trigon's skull and believe me, his head's as thick as they come, with a few exceptions." She added glancing over at Zeruge as he sneezed again. "I just don't get what's up with him," Cyborg said walking over and taking the thermometer from Zeruge's mouth for what had to have been the umpteenth time a dumbfounded scowl never leaving his face. "I mean, his body temperature is going DOWN but he's acting like he's got a fever, if he gets any colder we could stuff him in the freezer and use him to keep ice cream and vegetables cold." He said shaking his head. "Perhaps friend Zeruge would feel better if I prepared some Glerkasplootch Stew, when I was young and had the times of runny noses and sore throats Galfore would always prepare a large pot for me. Perhaps I have a recipe in one of my Tamaranian cookbooks." Starfire suggested flying off to her room. Raven just rolled her eyes before hearing the kettle of water on the stove whistle going over to make a fresh cup of tea.
As she poured the water in and added the spices and herbs from her private stash she paused, the warm aroma from the tea seeming to be spurring some nagging little thought at the back of her head to start jumping up and down waving its arms to get her attention. She glanced from the cup of tea to Zeruge, who despite having a perfectly normal temperature (actually a bit lower than normal and lowering at a steady rate) he looked absolutely miserable. It couldn't be THAT simple, could it? Raven wondered before Zeruge gave another colossal sneeze the gale force wind making her cloak flap. Taking the kettle full of tea and the cup with her Raven sat down next to Zeruge handing him the cup. "Here, drink this," She offered. Cyborg, Beast-Boy and Robin exchanged surprised looks, Raven wasn't exactly known for her overflowing generosity, ESPECIALLY when it came to her tea. Zeruge took the tea in one talon sipping at it for a minute before setting the now empty mug on the coffee table in front of him with a content sigh. "Thank you Master Raven (sniff) I feel a little better actually." He said giving her a grateful smile. Raven allowed herself a half-smile for a moment before a beep from the thermometer drew everyone's attention. Plucking the thermometer from the demon swordsman's mouth Cyborg studied the digital display for a moment before blinking in surprise. "What the…his temperature just went up, a LOT." The teen said double checking the thermometer to see if it wasn't broken.
"Wait, if his temperature is going UP then why is he not shivering as much?" Robin wondered. It was true, though Zeruge still looked a bit under the weather his constant shivering and sniffling seemed to have abated a bit. "Only one way to find out," Raven said, suddenly she scooped up the tea kettle using her powers and grabbing Zeruge by the nose tilting back his head like a garbage can and pouring the scalding hot tea down his throat. Before any of the others could do anything to point out this grievous violation of guest/host protocol Zeruge seemed to stop shivering all together giving a deeply content sigh and expelling steam from his nostrils. "Ahh, I needed that like you wouldn't believe." he purred tossing the ice pack and blankets aside and hopping to his feet stretching out his arms and wings. "Um, not to sound clueless or anything, but what the heck just happened?" Beast-Boy said still trying to piece together the source of Zeruge's miraculous recovery. Raven rolled her eyes and pushed the demon swordsman toward the others. "Here, YOU can explain it to them while I boil up another pot and we'll call it even." She said simply taking the now empty kettle and filling it up with water again. "Okay, well you see the reason I was in the sorry state you saw me in a few minutes ago was because the source of my powers, a process that revolves around my stomach's ability to produce flames by mixing together several flammable chemicals in my digestive enzymes, is tied in directly with my bodily temperature. Provided I have fuel in my stomach to burn I can maintain a healthy body temperature even during colder weather but without food or drink my temperature begins to plummet leading to vulnerability to getting sick as well as a failure to use my powers effectively." Zeruge explained.
While it was clear they hadn't gotten the full gist of what the demon had just said there was at least a general nod of understanding from Robin, Beast-Boy and Cyborg. "Well that shouldn't be too much of a problem then. Jump City tends to get pretty warm weather a lot of the time." Robin said filing away this latest discovery about their unorthodox guest for future reference, every little bit of info helped the young crime fighter get a better idea of whether or not Zeruge presented a threat to the team. So far he seemed to be mostly harmless (if a little wearing on all non fireproof materials in the tower) but the safety of those he worked with and protected was a position Robin had NEVER taken lightly nor had any plan to do so any time soon. Starfire suddenly reappeared bowling over Cyborg and Beast-Boy carrying an armload of cookbooks the titles all written in an obscure alien language (most likely her own) and dropping them on the counter top next to the stove where Raven was still making tea with a heavy thud. "Have no despair friend Zeruge! Somewhere in these twelve thousand Tamaranian recipe books I am certain we can find a dish to restore your waning health!" The alien princess exclaimed a determined expression on her face seeming to promise that she was going to do whatever she could to nurse her new friend back to health even if it killed him in the process.
"That uh, that won't be necessary Starfire, it turns out all Zeruge needed was a pot of tea." Robin said quickly not sure they were ready for another round of her infamous cooking just yet. She paused in the process of bringing down an over sized tenderizing mallet on something that resembled a cross between a yellow warthog and a diseased chicken along with a great deal more eyes than anything really had a reason to have. "Well if you are certain that you are feeling better friend Zeruge," She said lowering the mallet and stuffing the odd looking creature into a cabinet (which the others noted queasily seemed to be still alive as it made a noise like a whoopee cushion). "I am sure miss Starfire, though I wouldn't mind a few more of your recipes, all that tea made me hungry." Zeruge said rubbing his stomach hopefully. Starfire smiled and opened her mouth to recommend another recipe when Cyborg and Beast-Boy both grabbed the demon and dragged him to the kitchen table plopping him down at a seat. "Oh no, this time we're going to show you a REAL man eats around here! You haven't lived until you've tried my famous triple cheese omelet with golden hash browns on the side!" Cyborg exclaimed proudly before he was butted to the side by Beast-Boy in the form of a ram. "Oh no you don't tin man you're not bringing THIS one to the side of meat by products! Nothing starts a day better than a heaping helping of tofu and French toast." The green skinned changeling said before a metal hand wrapped around his neck in a vice like grip courtesy of a slightly dented and very unhappy Cyborg the two quickly engaging in yet another kitchen brawl cooking utensils and insults flying through the air.
Raven rolled her eyes at the squabbling teammates before turning and heading up to the roof for some meditation. Just before she left she grabbed a box of cereal from a cabinet and tossed it to Zeruge. "Here, if I know those two, and believe me I do, it might be a while before it becomes safe to enter the kitchen. I'm going to be up on the roof for a bit, ALONE." She added when the demon made a motion to get up and follow her. "Oh alright Master Raven, I suppose I can stay here for a bit and dry off." He said looking a little dejected at the thought of not being at her side. Raven looked around for a moment to see if anybody was watching before scratching Zeruge behind the ears making him purr a little his head leaning toward her hand. "Relax, I won't be gone for too long, I just need some time to clear my head and Azar knows its not here." She said giving him one last friendly pat on the head before heading up the stairs while Zeruge turned his attention to the cereal box making several unsuccessful attempts to open it before shrugging and biting through the cardboard box and plastic bag eating it along with the actual cereal.
Raven made her way back up to the roof the rain still coming down in droves but this time she made a shield of her aura around her in a dome keeping her dry as she made her way to the edge and assumed the classic lotus position in mid air and resumed her mantra. "Azarath Metrion Zinthos, Azarath Metrion Zinthos, Azarath Metrion Zinthos, Azarath Metrion Zint-(sigh), is asking for a moment alone really that much to ask?" Raven said not even having to turn her head to know she was no longer alone on the roof. Instead of Robin however, whom she had expected to have come up to give her a long overdue lecture on bringing strange men into their home (especially those with fangs and claws that breathed fire) her visitor turned out to be Starfire who joined her on the edge of the tower overlooking the bay with a pink umbrella in her hands. "Forgive me for interrupting friend Raven, I was merely hoping I could join you in the moment of quiet and peace. Friends Beast-Boy and Cyborg are still in the kitchen engaging in hand to hand combat to see whose choice of the stuffs of food is superior for friend Zeruge and friend Robin is in the combat room practicing the kicking of the butt." She explained. Raven was silent for a moment before floating to the side to make room for Starfire who assumed an identical position to Raven's before closing her eyes and repeating the sorceress's own mantra.
After a few minutes of this Starfire peeked open her eyes and glanced at Raven who was still meditating. Finally she sighed not even bothering to open her eyes to know that Starfire wasn't just up here to hang out. "Total stab in the dark, but is there any OTHER reason you chose to join me up here?" The Tamaranian princess nodded. "That I do, over the past few days I have noticed you have been displaying an unusual amount of interest our new friend Zeruge. This struck me as somewhat odd considering the last time we had a guest was the incident with Terra." Her face fell for a moment in recollection before brightening up again. "However this time you do not seem to be having any problem being hospitable, would you mind if I inquired as to why?" She asked in that open naïve tone that had been the precursor to many an unsettling conversation with the alien about the way things worked on planet Earth. "And the reason you want to know this is….what?" Raven replied. "It is merely that I am not used to seeing you demonstrate this level of tolerance toward newcomers to the tower and cannot help but wonder if there is not some…more personal reason for doing so." Starfire said her usual happy-go lucky smile changing and becoming more impish than one would normally expect of the naïve young alien. Raven gave Starfire a full force glare at this but it only seemed to slide off her like water off a duck's back.
"If your thinking that I'm taking care of Zeruge because I like him, DON'T. I'm keeping an eye on him because its either that or let that two hundred pound pointy eared garbage disposal run wild in the city, and frankly I don't have the energy or the patience to keep Robin from trying to neuter him with a bird-a-rang should he happen eat, burn or lick something he's not supposed to in good company got it?" Raven explained acidly before attempting to go back to her meditation now giving off a few sparks. Starfire pondered this for a few minutes before replying with deadpan naivety "So I suppose it would not trouble you in the slightest to take friend Zeruge for a day to show him around the city?" There was a sound that brought to mind an electric motor blowing a fuse followed by a splash of water and a yelp as Raven's powers went haywire for a moment leaving her sitting in a puddle now with a thoroughly soaked rear end. "Care to run me by that again?" She said wringing her cloak dry and trying to rebuild her energy shield having to try a few times before her emotions were restrained enough to let her conjure anything more than a few sparks.
Starfire sighed as though she was trying to explain something to a child. "Friend Raven, do you recall how before your father Trigon forced his way into this world last year you had to restrain yourself from showing any emotion at all for fear of hurting those around you?" "Would YOU forget shutting yourself away from the outside world for weeks on end?" Raven replied bluntly. "No, which brings me to my next question. Now that you CAN express your emotions, could you, strictly in theory, be able to leave your room for more than once a day and socialize more often?" "I...suppose so." Raven allowed the notion of leaving her room for more than a few hours at a time an entirely new and foreign concept to her. "Well then, in that case I have just one last question…..HOW CAN YOU BE SO OBLIVIOUS TO THE OPPORTUNITY THAT'S BEEN DROPPED INTO YOUR LAP?!" Starfire bellowed making Raven's hair, hood and cloak flap from the force of her outburst. "I apologize for the lack of subtlety in expressing my feelings friend Raven. But I could not keep quiet any longer about my concerns about your behavior lately. Before we defeated your father you did indeed need to keep a certain degree of control over your emotions and to do so you tried to be as removed from the outside world and other people as possible. But even now that you can express yourself more freely and begin to enjoy all that you have missed during your years of fear of hurting other through your inability to control your powers you STILL keep yourself locked away in your room trying to substitute from your books what must be experienced yourself to be truly appreciated. What was once necessity is now merely habit. You must break free from your comfort zone and explore the world around you or else all that we fought for to free you from Trigon's control will have been for nothing." Starfire said finally pausing to inhale a deep lungful of air after such a lengthy bit of counseling.
Raven was silent for a moment mulling this over and knowing that there was a great deal of truth in her friend's words but not quite willing to admit it. "Pardon me to for breaking the mood of the moment, but weren't we also fighting Trigon to save the planet and all of existence in general?" She asked dryly. "Um, well, yes there was that." Starfire said rubbing the back of her head in a way that suddenly reminded the dark sorceress of Zeruge. "But my point was that you'll never truly be free of your father's control if you are not willing to stray outside your comfort zone and take a chance. I do not entirely believe your meeting with friend Zeruge was an accident. Perhaps this is your chance to allow your barriers to lower and to allow someone into your life again. We all deserve a second chance friend Raven, even you." "Starfire I…" Raven paused taking a deep long breath of air letting it out slowly trying to find the right words. "I know what your getting at and I appreciate the thought but its just, I don't think I'm ready yet. If all that it would have taken for me to open up to people were to get control of my emotions then I would have started dating after I defeated Trigon. But there's more to it than just his influence. Isolating myself from the outside world has become so ingrained into who I am that its hard to just cast it all aside, especially after what happened with Malchior," She faltered a bit her eyes shimmering a bit with pain at the memory. "I'll admit that Zeruge is…not the worst person I've ever met, but I don't think I'm ready to take that big a step with someone again. Not when I've already been hurt once before for letting someone get that close." Her shield started flickering in a few places as she felt conflicting waves of embarrassment and frustration at herself.
"I see," Starfire said simply and for a few minutes there was only the sound of the pattering rain to fill the awkward silence. "Then I suppose I have no choice but to take less….reasonable measures," She said rummaging through a pocket and taking out a photograph using her right hand to shield it from the rain. "Do you recognize this by any chance?". Raven glanced at the photo and was about to comment that she wasn't in the mood for one of the alien princess's souvenir photo's of her Earth misadventures when she did a swift double take her eyes bulging with shock and terror. There, in brutal, horrific clarity, was a shot of Raven dressed in the unspeakably garish sunflower yellow frilly dress that the unspeakably vile cosmic horror known only as Mother Mae-Eye, had brainwashed her into wearing courtesy of her mind controlling pies. Next to the incident inside Mumbo-Jumbo's hat where she was turned into a bunny rabbit it was perhaps the most mortifying experience of her life, one that she had made the others swear to never speak of again even under torture. "Wh-wh-wh-WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?!" Raven shrieked making a frantic grab for the offending piece of evidence, only to find a purple boot applied to her face as gently as it could her hands uselessly clawing at the air inches from Starfire's hands. "You would be most surprised at the things one can discover about their teammates by scanning the Tower's photo surveillance system. I would like to point out that, even if you were to destroy this copy, I already have the original image loaded up and ready to post on my MySpace page, which I am quite certain would damage your reputation yes?" She stated simply her tone still friendly but also carrying an underlying edge to show that she meant business.
Raven would have liked nothing better then to rip the photo out of her friend's hands and burn it to a crisp, but as much as she hated to admit it she knew Starfire had her in a corner. "Okay okay! What are your demands?" She said her anxiety level through the roof, which would explain why it looked like a miniature fireworks display was going off around her head. "My demands are simple, you will take Friend Zeruge out and go into town for the day and be social. If you do this I will delete all copies of this photo and we shall never have to speak of its existence to the others. Those are my terms take it or leave it." Starfire explained folding her arms in front of her chest. Raven's face seemed to develop an odd facial tic for a few seconds before she finally sighed running her hand down her face and mumbling something under her breath. "Hmm? Care to say that a little louder friend Raven?" Starfire said a hand to her ear and an impish grin on her face was disturbingly reminiscent of Jinx. "I said…mumble mumble" The sorceress replied through her hand still not able to look the alien princess in the eyes. "Just a liiiiiitle louder please." By now Starfire was trying to hold back from giggling. "I SAID I'LL DO IT OKAY?!" Raven hollered her cheeks heating up even as she said it. The next thing she knew she was being strangled in a bear hug that threatened to rupture her lungs. "Oh joyous day! I knew you would make the right decision friend Raven I am so happy!" She gushed. "I'd…be happy too…if I could breathe." Raven wheezed.
Letting go of the poor sorceress Starfire put a finger to her chin in thought. "Hmm, now where you two should go for the day…do you have any places you go to have fun?" She asked. Raven's only response was a blank stare. "Um, okay, maybe I should rephrase that. Where do you go…where you don't feel as much of an outcast and danger to society?" "Not that that question is much more reassuring then the last, but there is a small café I go to sometimes at the mall to relax. I know the girl who runs the place." Raven said making another grab for the photo. "Then it is settled! You will take friend Zeruge to this café and engage in various social and possibly romantic activities for the day." Starfire said handing over the photo which Raven promptly tore into pieces, which she then ripped into even smaller pieces, which she then ate therefore ensuring that no evidence was left of that horrible, horrible crime against good taste. "Was that really necessary? I could have simply burned it with a starbolt." "True, but it wouldn't have been as reassuring." Was Raven's response. "I…see, well we should probably join the others so that you and friend Zeruge can get ready for your da-MMPH!" Raven had clasped her hand over the girl's mouth and was giving her a piercing look. "You're already forcing me to go against everything I know for out of blackmail, don't push it." She said a vein throbbing in her forehead.
When the girls returned to the kitchen Beast-Boy and Cyborg were settling their dispute over which breakfast Zeruge would find more appealing once and for all using a tried and true method. "BOO-YAH!! How does that RPG taste grass-stain?!" Cyborg taunted his fingers blurring over his controller as he and Beast-Boy went at it on a head to head first person shooter. "Its not fair! You picked the map where you memorized where all the best weapons!" Was the green-skinned teen's retort trying to dodge a hail of bullets courtesy of Cyborg's character while he fumbled for the reload button. "Its called 'strategy' little man, try it sometime and maybe we won't have to bail your little green butt out of trouble every time we fight evil." Cyborg gloated following after Beast-Boy. He was so caught up in his impending triumph he failed to notice the sneaky glint in the changeling's' eye as his character pulled out a mine whirling around and strapping it to the face of Cyborg's game avatar. "Ya mean like THIS?" Beast-Boy asked with mock innocence hiding behind a barrel and pressing the detonator trigger making Cyborg's character be blown to pieces the screen flashing the message 'PLAYER 2 WINS'. Cyborg just sat there his jaw moving soundlessly while Beast-Boy turned into a gorilla and started beating his chest and howling in victory. All the while Zeruge had simply leaned against the sofa behind them completely at a loss as to what was going on but finding the bright lights and sounds to be inexplicably entertaining.
"Let me guess, they've been at this since I left." Raven said masking her embarrassment about what she was about to go through with behind her normal deadpan expression. "Mmm-hmm, I think they've forgotten what it was they were fighting about at this point, judging by how easily they flip from one conflict to the next I'd say they do this a lot." "Like you wouldn't believe," Raven said fidgeting slightly before giving a sigh. "Say Zeruge? I was wondering if I could talk with you about something, ALONE." She added noticing Cyborg and Beast-Boy, now back to his normal self, peeking at them from over the top of the couch and bearing her teeth at them in what was definitely NOT a smile. The demon swordsmen merely nodded standing there for a moment before Raven realized he was waiting for her to show him where to go so they could talk. She jerked her head out the north door and led Zeruge out into the hallway all the while subconsciously wringing her hands together a great deal more nervous about this whole situation then she would have liked to admit.
The demon swordsman was, unsurprisingly, completely clueless to his master's anxiety following her like the obedient lackey that he had become so very good at being. "You wanted to talk to me about something Master Raven?" He asked looking at her curiously. Raven coughed into her hand looking down at her feet and taking a deep breath trying to steel herself and failing miserably. "W-w-well, I was ahem wondering if you…well that is if you wanted to, um, go...I dunno…out?" She managed to mumble having to struggle past every word wanting more and more to go hole up in her room for a while, like the rest of her life.
Zeruge just blinked and cocked his head to one side. "But weren't you out just now?" He asked. The sudden urge to smack the demon for his incredibly dense thinking almost overpowered Raven's embarrassment but she managed to reign herself in before she blew a hole in the wall. "Actually what I MEANT was if you wanted to, we could maybe, possibly, go out and see some of the city?" She said suddenly very grateful that nobody else was around to see her so outside of character. Hell's bells all that was missing was for her to be twisting her hair or have her pulse speed up and she'd look like just another shy schoolgirl asking the captain of the football team to the prom, granted a very pale and oddly dressed schoolgirl. "Oh? Hmm, I don't see any real reason why not Master Raven, I'd love to join you for a little trip. I'm very curious about this strange new world. Besides what little of the city I saw last night was somewhat marred by the incident with the metal monster." He said giving a slight chuckle.
Raven couldn't quite sort out the sudden feelings she was experiencing hearing that. She had been somewhat hoping the demon would turn her down yet at the same time was glad he hadn't. "Okay, but before we go anywhere I'd suggest that you get some new clothes." She suggested. Zeruge looked down at his black samurai armor, which was still dented, charred, and slightly smelly from last night's excitement and gave a small look of distress. "What's wrong with the way I dress? Your friend Cyborg wears armor in public and nobody seems to mind." He whined. Raven immediately rapped him on the forehead with her middle and index finger. "That's because he can't take his off, Cyborg's part metal now so he's allowed to go around looking like a promotional gimmick for an electronics store. YOU on the other hand can take your off and seeing as having an armored demon walking around town is likely to start a panic your going to have to accept the fact that you need to wear something that draws less attention to yourself got it?" She explained putting her hands on her hips.
Zeruge wisely chose to give up the fight then and there nodding. "Yes ma'am." "Good boy," Raven said reaching up and giving him a pat on the head that was half teasing and half affectionate. "Now there's a storage closet with spare clothes that we keep for guests and jobs that require disguises two doors down the hall to the right. You go and get changed while I do the same," She said watching the demon obediently head toward his newest destination and slumped her shoulders. "…Right after I go have a nervous breakdown."
FINALLY this chapter is finished! It wasn't easy as this was somewhat of another filler chapter in between the more entertaining moments in my story but dammit I'm not abandoning my loyal readers that easily. Here's hoping you all enjoyed this long overdue chapter, there are more in the works I assure you and as long as my fingers can move and my mind can, to at least some degree, function properly I will continue to work on my first and best fanfic yet no matter how long it takes. As always please read and review provided you still remember me over here and I will get to work on the next chapter which I promise will be posted MUCH sooner and will have far more action. Ta-ta for now!