This is a fanfiction for Chris Wooding's Storm Thief. If you haven't read it- READ IT! Haha, but really, it's great.

This story is set about a year after Kittiwake's boats bump shores. The rest is explained.

I suppose you can call this a songfic, but only because I was listening to 'My Hero is You' on my ipod in the middle of the night, and the last time I did something like that I spawned that Black Cat fic. But o'well- I've got to say, that song fits Rail and Moa so perfectly!!

(disclaimer) I don't own Wooding's book or Panettiere's song. So there xb


(edited -- i took of the lyrics thing down there...but i didnt go over any of the text, soooo...)

"Karaoke?" Moa inquired earnestly, leaning over her food. "What's that?"

"They didn't have karaoke where you come from either?" One of the girls opposite her, a petite blond said.

"Music was rare in Orokos, Zoe." She responded. "What is it? And what is that?" Moa pointed at the patty thing on the second girl's plate.

Lauren, brown-haired and towering girl with a friendly aura giggled. "It's a cheeseburger-"

"Forget that!" Zoe cut in impatiently. "Tell her about karaoke!"

Lauren sighed. "Alright already. Moa, karaoke is when they play the music for a song without the words, and you sing the words."

"The reason why we're telling you this is because St. Mary's Hospital is doing an open mike kind of thing this coming Friday, and Lauren and me were thinking the three of us could compete."

"So it's a competition?" Moa nibbled on a thin thing Zoe called a 'potato chip'. "I suppose I can sing, but I don't know the words to any of your songs."

"We'll help you," Lauren smiled. "Wait…wait a second, St. Mary's- isn't that where your friend is?"

Moa grinned feverishly. "Yeah! Rail's in recovery right now though, so I can't see him."

"So, this dude's lungs didn't work? Why couldn't the doctors in…o-RO-kOs-"


"-Orokos, whatever. Why couldn't the doctors in Orokos fix him? That interview on TV with that Kittiwake woman a few days ago said you guys had some technology."

"Because of this." Moa held up the arm marked with the ghetto tattoo. "No doctor would work on anyone with this, no matter how much you paid them." She sighed and rested her chin on the table top. "When we left, Rail gave up all hope that he'd even find someone to help him. He was…ecstatic- well," She amended, "As ecstatic as Rail can be, anyway, when the town actually paid for his surgery!"

"Well, why wouldn't they? When those rickety boats of yours crashed into the coast a mile away from their town- you guys made that sleepy lil town as famous as they'll ever be!" Zoe squeaked excitedly.

"Okay, we'd better leave before Zoe goes nuts again," Hurriedly, Lauren pulled a ten dollar bill out of her pocket and paid for the burgers, pushing Moa and Zoe out the door.

Zoe wiggled away and unlocked her car, muttering a curt "Get in."

"Why is she suddenly sour?" Moa whispered.

Lauren giggled quietly. "I didn't give her time to get dessert."

Moa climbed awkwardly into the car. She and the rest of Kilatas- at least, the boats that survived the trip- had landed on the coast of a state in the United States of America almost a year before. The first few months had been spent learning to speak the language of 'English', and then learning about people all over. Things like music, movies and 'cheeseburgers', Moa was learning about from the daughter- Lauren- of the family she was boarding with, and her best friend. So, many things about America, Moa had become used to.

But she doubted cars would ever become as seamless a part of her life as they were for the mainlanders'.

Zoe rolled a small dial between her middle finger and ring finger, and the tiny tinkle coming from all sides of the car grew. Zoe grinned and sang along.

"…they say that girl you know she act too tough tough tough…"

Lauren turned around in the passenger's seat and spoke loudly over the blond and the music. "So what kind of thing would you like to sing?"

"…I can see, why can't you why can't you see it's all in me…"

Moa watched Zoe sway ever so slightly, eyes half closed and her mouth moving perfectly with the words of the song. She held a bent finger beneath her chin and glanced at the floorboards. "I don't…"

"Don't worry then. Like we said- we'll find you one." Lauren smiled warmly, an expression she used often. Moa smiled in return and looked out the window.

A minute passed, and Zoe sighed and took a deep breath. "I love that song so much." She tilted her head slightly in thought. "I seriously think that's the first time I've heard it on the radio."

"Who is it?"

"Nelly Furtado," Zoe pushed the words through her teeth tiredly. "Back when she was a folk, indie kind of singer and not goddamn rap."


"Whatever!" Zoe hissed.

Moa gripped the sides of the seats and pulled herself forward. "What's the name of the song?"

"Turn Off the Light,"

"It's pretty."

"You think so? Yeah, it is isn't it?"

Moa stopped.

'You know I try to be, all that I can…'

"…But there's a part of me, I still don't understand." Zoe began singing again with the radio.

"Moa? Hey- where'd you go?" Lauren waved a hand and poked her on the nose.

"Oh! Sorry," Moa blushed.

"Why? Just checking to make sure you were home there." Lauren laughed.

"What song is this?"

"I-" Lauren stopped and looked at the radio. 'I don't actually know. Zoe? You're the musical genius here, what is that?"

"Huh? Oh- It's Hayden Panettiere, 'My Hero is You'. Kind of sweet and syrupy-ie, you know?" She shrugged. "But I like it,"

Moa leaned closer the speaker in the door, closing her eyes to concentrate better. Zoe's soft, feathery voice rose up again and wafted through the air, sounded real, and solid compared to the tinny voice of the singer through the speaker.

"…when my world goes crazy you won't let go, when the ground gets shaky you give me hope, when I try to push you away…"

Lauren's voice twined with Zoe's, adding depth and character to her song.

"…you never move."

Moa was strangely flooded with images, memories and recollections of Rail. The more of the song she heard, the more she thought. It fits perfectly!

"Lauren?" Moa said when the song ended.


"I know what song I want to sing."

A stout woman with crow's feet and laugh lines, dressed in a starch white nurse's uniform held a microphone to her lips and spoke. "First off, I would like to thank everyone for coming to St. Mary's 1st Karaoke Contest!" She waited for the clapping to die off before and continued, talking more casually. "Now, I don't mean to toot any horns, but the nurse's staff for the 8:30 to 7:15 shift came up with the idea for this competition. We all hope that it lifts everyone's spirits, patients, and visitors too! I was absolutely thrilled when I read the list of contestants! I mean- do you know how many people signed on? Thirty!"

The hospital had set up a stage that stood a foot and a half off the ground and hung black curtains along the back of it and a small section of the room for the competitors. The room itself was a converted lobby, a large secondary space that was rarely used. Rented, collapsible chairs had been set up in a space-conserving way, three-fourths of them filled with patients in mint green paper gowns and friends lending coats with sheepish smiles.

"Well, you probably know, we don't have the time to go through thirty contestants, so regrettably we had to cut about half of them, but rest assured my good people! We have a wonderful show! And without further delay…"

Zoe grabbed Moa's shoulder and yanked her back from the part in the curtains. "Stop it, you ninny. You'll freak yourself out. Com'on."

Lauren sat at a chair in the farthest corner, propping a mirror on her knee with difficulty and pushing a pin through her pierced earlobe. "So…just because I feel like getting on Zoe's nerves," She winked at Moa as she giggled at the blonde's reddening face. "We're singing what again?"

Moa snickered. "Zoe's singing Ironic, by…who, Zoe?"

"Alanis Morissette!" She snapped.

"And Lauren is singing-"

"Goodbye to You, by Michelle Branch." Lauren grinned with her tongue pinched between her teeth.

"And Moa is singing My Hero is You. Are you all done ralling me up now?" Zoe moaned.

"Yep!" Moa and Lauren chorused.

Rail lay stretched over a hospital bed, watching the cracks in the ceiling tiles. He was breathing, unaiding by anything except for the plastic tube beneath his nose. His chest felt like it was burdened with a bag of rocks, and the skin was pulled tight inward to the thin raised surgical scar that snaked over the better part of his upper torso. But despite such utter misery and inactivity, and a nagging loneliness he felt better than he could remember. Better than he'd probably felt sense he'd had to wear the respirator.

He closed his eyes contently, listening to his own breath.

"What??!?" Moa squeaked. "I'm going next?! I was supposed to go after Zoe! The third to last person!!"

Lauren grinned and shrugged. "Change in the line-up. Don't worry about it Moa! You'll be great!"

"But I-!"

"Go!" Zoe shoved her towards the nurse that had opened the contest, Barbara, who stood holding the black curtain aside for the next contestant to pass through. She smiled.

"Don't fret dearie, I have faith in you!"

Moa gulped audibly and crept closer, taking the thick, cool metal device that echoed one's words when it was spoken into.

"Just remember Moa! Hold the mike- that thing- like this!" Lauren demonstrated quickly. "You'll blow them away!"

She nodded shakily and turned forward again.

"Hey! Little foreign girl!"

Moa looked over her shoulder.

Zoe held up a fist with her thumb pointed up.

"Good luck." She said. Lauren beamed and echoed her.

"Come on dearie!" Urged Barbara. "Let's not keep them waiting!"

Moa steadied herself as best as she could with a breath and took the stage, holding the microphone as Lauren had instructed. "Um, hello. My name is Moa, and the song I'm going to sing is My Hero is You, by Hayden Panettiere." She glanced over the bunch of people, eyes landing on a stick thin old man with sparse white hair. The man wore a green patient's gown and an oxygen tank stood beside his chair. He smiled encouragingly. Moa straightened and smiled. "I'd like to…dedicate this song to a really close person to me, named Rail, who has never let me down, and kept me safe. He's in recovery, from surgery."

She took one last, deep breath, and began to sing.

" You know I try to be
All that I can
But there's a part of me
I still don't understand

Why do I only see
What I don't have
When my reality

Knows things are not that bad

Your faith has shown me that

When my world goes crazy
You won't let go
When the ground gets shaky
You give me hope
When I try to push you away
You never move,"

Two nurses sat at a table at the back of the room, keeping an eye on the patients among the audience.

"You know Lizzy, I'm going to go fetch that young man. He'd probably like to hear this." She winked.

The woman's companion smacked her playfully. "I don't think the doctors will let him out if he's in recovery, Janet. Those old beasts are pretty snappy."

"I figured! But, oh come on! It's so sweet! Look at her!" Janet waved a hand dramatically at Moa. "She obviously means every word!"

"Now when I start doubting
You help me see
There's a strength, and a light, and a power in me
For believing there ain't nothing I can't do
My hero is you

The nurse's face and voice softened. "She cares for that guy, a lot."

Lizzy watched the girl sing.


Janet hopped from her chair and skipped through to the double doors. Pushing one open a hair, she glanced back once more at Moa.

"I never saw the way
You sacrificed
Or knew the price you paid
How can I make it right?"

Janet snapped her head back and stepped into the hall, tapping a finger against her chin as she wondered which direction would get her to the nearest secretary desk.

"I know I've gotta try

When my world goes crazy
You won't let go
When the ground gets shaky
You give me hope,"

"Room F-34, on this floor." Janet mumbled to herself. "That's a bit of luck." She started down the hall and skittered to a halt. "Wheelchair! Yes- if he's in recovery, obviously!"

"When I try to push you away
You never move"

"Wake up!" Janet shook the sleeping figure as roughly as she dared. The boy's eyes cracked open, blinked and widened.

"Does the name Moa mean anything to you?"

"Now when I start doubting
You help me see
There's a strength, and a light, and a power in me
For believing there ain't nothing I can't do
My hero is you,"

Lizzy glanced anxiously between the stage and the doors. "She'd better hurry up- the song's almost through!" She muttered under her breath fiercely.

"And I hope that you can see
You're everything that I wanna be,"

Janet held open the door as Rail rolled the wheelchair into the lobby with minor difficulty. Lizzy saw the nurse and dark-skinned young man come into the room and grinned crazily, looking back up at Moa, who held the microphone close to her mouth in cupped hands, eyes closed.

"When my world goes crazy
You won't let go
When the ground gets shaky
You give me hope"

"See? I told you she was singing beautifully!" Janet chirped, throwing her arms up.

Rail watched with a curious expression on his face, lids lowered, mouth partly open, looking peaceful like he had just fallen back into a deep, feathery mattress.

"You didn't have to tell me anything," He said, unblinking.

At that same moment, Moa opened her eyes, gaze trained on Rail like she'd known he was there. She bit her lip and released it again quickly,

"When I try to push you away
You never move, "

Rail grinned at the words of the song like they'd shared a private joke.

"Now when I start doubting
You help me see
There's a strength, and a light, and a power in me
For believing there ain't nothing I can't do
My hero is you,

My hero is you"

The audience clapped, no more and no less than they had for the other contestants, but Moa didn't pay them any mind. She pulled her lower lip back into her mouth and crinkled her watery eyes.

Barbara stepped back onto the stage and gently took the microphone from Moa's unresponsive fingers, speaking her name and her song to the people a last time and cueing the next competitor. Moa dropped off the small stage and around the chairs to the small table at the back, where the nurses and Rail sat.

She bent in half and dropped into a crouch, twining her arms around him. A single tear coursed down her cheek, and she wept silently into his neck. Rail held her tightly and pressed his nose into her hair.