Title: Prophecies and Foreboding


A/N- Thanks SO SO much to Pink-Green-White-4ever for betaing! You rock, girl! This chapter is dedicated to her:)

A figure sits in a large armchair that has been placed in front of a roaring fire. To the normal onlooker, this handsome, young man would seem to be very at peace, poring over a piece of parchment. The true reality is that he is not at peace. The piece of parchment holds an ancient prophecy which had been written thousands of years before. The young man leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers together, taking a long sigh. "I will find a way to make sure that this does happen. The mystic mermaid will bear me a child, no matter what. She will be mine and no one else's, and I'll get to fulfill my father's evil desires," he laughed harshly and coldly. If an onlooker were to read the piece of parchment, they would see that there was a prophecy written upon it, just as the young man had declared.

'In the time following the coming of the Light, the bearer of the Mystic Mermaid will conceive a child with one whose parentage is of both the Light, and the Darkness. The child will be even stronger than The Light, and able to overcome any that stands in it's way.'

"It fits perfectly, this prophecy does. I AM the one that it is speaking of; I need only get closer to the Mystic Mermaid," the young man chuckled to himself. His mind was fast at work, formulating a plan that would have amazed even his father. "This is going to be all too easy for me. Let the games begin."

Nick sat in a wooden chair on the porch of his adoptive parents' home. His real parents were inside, preparing their things for the return home. He wasn't completely sure as to how they'd react to his telling them that he would be staying behind, but he hoped that they would be all right with it. He still had a lot of thinking to do, and where he was, he could do it and not have to worry about his friends asking questions like how he was and what had happened while he'd been gone. He wasn't sure as to what would happen when he finally did go home, but he knew one thing for sure: he missed Madison a lot. He had talked to her a few times over the phone, and each time he heard how everyone was doing before he always managed to pull out of her that she was fine, but waiting for him to come home to her. As much as he wanted that too, he couldn't go home, not just yet. He knew that he needed to sort things out concerning himself and his place in the world before he could go home and face the music.

His parents came out onto the porch, shaking him out of his thoughts. They both had their bags in hand, ready to return home to Briarwood. Udonna looked at him in surprise. "Aren't you coming home as well, Nick?"

Nick sighed. He'd already known that he would be having this conversation and he knew what he was going to say. "No, I'm gonna be staying here for a few more days. I need some more time to think."

"Are you going to be all right, Son?" Lianbow questioned.

"Yeah, I will be. I just need some time to myself. Trust me, I'll be home soon, I promise."

Udonna sighed, setting her lips in a thin line. "Is there anything that you would like for us to tell your friends?"

"Just tell them that I'll see them when I come home. I should be heading out of here in another few days," Nick explained.

They nodded their approval, knowing that he could take care of himself if by some chance a problem should arise. They secured their bags onto the back of their motorcycles, and then took turns saying their goodbyes to their only son.

"I love you, Bowen. Please be careful, all right?" Udonna asked as she held him tightly.

"Don't worry, Mom. I'll be okay and home before you know it," Nick told her.

Udonna reluctantly let him go, unbidden tears starting to fill her eyes. Her hands went to her eyes, wiping the tears away. Nick faced his father, both of them just looking at each other. Without a word, they pulled each other into a strong embrace, knowing that nothing needed to be said between them.

Udonna and Lianbow mounted their motorcycles and secured their helmets. "See you soon, Son. We love you," said Lianbow.

Nick smiled. He had his real parents back, and no one could take feeling away from him. "I love you guys, too. I'll see you in a few days," he told them.

Udonna and Lianbow hit the starters on their bikes, and then rode slowly down the driveway and onto the road, waving as they left. Nick waved after them, sad to see them go, even though they both needed and wanted to return back to Rootcore. He returned to his seat on the porch, where his Mp3 player and a light blue blanket lay. He picked both of the items up and sat down, placing the headphones on his ears and pressing play on the device, his arms wrapped up in the blanket that reminded him so much of Madison. He wanted to go home, but he knew that if he went now, then all the thoughts and insecurities that had been plaguing him about himself and Madison would come rushing back. God, he missed her more than anything, and he'd give anything just to have her here with him. He wrapped himself up tightly in the blanket, as a cold, chilling breeze blew through the air sending a shiver running down his spine. "I hope that's not a sign that something evil is coming," he groaned. Little did he know how right he was, that something was coming, and it wouldn't be good.

Madison sat by the edge of the pond, practicing her water manipulation. Although she and the team had defeated the Master awhile ago, she didn't want to get out of practice should something happen and she was needed. A red blanket with yellow thread lay in her lap. She kept it with her to remind her of Nick and that he would be coming home soon. She missed him so much that sometimes it hurt, but he'd told her that he was coming home soon, and she was content with that.

Madison sighed. Although she didn't mind practicing, it took a bit out of her. She stopped moving her wand and leaned against a tree for support. As her mind wandered, she subconsciously clutched the red blanket, enfolding herself in it. A cold breeze blew through, startling her out of her thoughts. "What's up with that?" Madison wondered aloud. She shook her head, but before she could lose herself in her daydreams again, she heard the roar of approaching motorcycles. 'Nick! He's back home, just like he promised!' Madison jumped up, the blanket forgotten at her feet. She ran as fast as she could towards the roars that assaulted her ears, not caring how loud they were, as long as she could see Nick. She followed the sound to the entrance of Rootcore. She stood hunched over to catch her breath for a moment, and then straightened, seeing only two motorcycles, and not three.

"Hello, Madison, how have you been?" Udonna asked pleasantly.

"I've been okay. Umm, where's Nick? I thought that he was coming home when you were," Madison babbled. As she said this, the dragon's mouth opened, and out walked Clare, Daggeron, Jenji, Xander, Vida and Chip. For several moments, the only thing that could be heard were the 'hellos' and the 'how was your trip's' being issued from everyone. After Udonna had greeted everyone, she gently pulled Madison off to the side. She shared a look with Lianbow, who nodded at her.

"Where's Nick?" Madison asked again, her voice sounding sad and disappointed.

Udonna sighed. "He's still with his adoptive parents'. We talked, and he said that he needed more time to himself. He said that he needed some more time to sort things out. I'm sure that he'll be all right and that he'll be coming home soon," she smiled.

Madison tried to smile and nod her head. Something else struck her. "Do you have any idea when he might be coming home?"

Udonna shook her head. "Not really. He did say that he would be home in a few more days, but he gave no specific date or time. I'm sorry, child." Udonna embraced Madison, and the tears that had been threatening to fall from Maddy's eyes did so freely. After a few moments, they parted and Madison started wiping her eyes with the backs of her hands.

"Will you be all right?" Udonna questioned.

Madison nodded her head. "Yeah, I was just hoping he'd come home today, with you. I just need to be alone for awhile."

Udonna acquiesced silently to the request and turned to enter Rootcore. Madison walked back towards the pond slowly, taking her time. She reached the spot that she had been practicing at and sat down. Now that she was alone, she let a fresh torrent of tears fall down her cheeks. She had thought that he would be coming home just like he'd promised, and now she wasn't even sure if he would be coming back to her at all.

"You okay?" a voice asked.

Madison turned her head in surprise, hoping that it was Nick. Her hopes fell when she saw that it was her sister, Vida.

"Yeah, I'll be okay, I just wanted to be alone," Madison told her sister shakily.

"Okay. Just hang in there, sis. He'll be home soon," Vida told her.

"I'm gonna wait for him. He's gonna come back, just like he promised."

Vida nodded her head once, and then headed off towards Rootcore. Madison watched her sister go, happy to be alone again with her thoughts. At least in the deep recesses of her mind, she could think of happier times when Nick had been there with her. She wrapped her arms back up in the blanket once more as a fiercer, colder breeze blew. "I hope nothing's happened to you, Nick. Just come back home to me safe," Madison hoped aloud.