Author's Note: The Last Chapter! I hope you have enjoyed this sad story about five children who never got a say in their own lives.

Review Replies: Please, remember that it's not too late to review! To Batsu: Thanks for being an awesome beta! To Nym: I'm glad you've enjoyed it. There may be more in store for dear Lyrra, Steven, Nyssa, Quinton, and Jared... you never know, but hopefully, it will be a bit more... happy...

Fragilis

Chapter 12: Face Off

It was the first day of high school. A chance to start fresh. And Steven Thales was starting fresh with all new friends, a new place, a new life.

"Steven," his friend Luis Rodriguez walked up to him with another guy in tow. "This is Marcus, the chico I was telling you about. He plays drums, looking for a band."

Marcus and Steven nodded at each other in greeting. "So, Luis told you about our ideas?"

"Yeah, sounds like it'll be good. I don't sing though."

"Don't worry about that. I'm pretty good, but Luis and I were talking about finding a singer."

"A female singer," Luis clarified.

"A hott chick singer," Steven added.

"Then I'm definitely in." Marcus and Luis began talking about possible band names and practices, but Steven tuned them out.

He looked around the courtyard of La Brea High. And there she was. Lyrra leaned up against one of the buildings, a small congregation of fellow freaks surrounding her as though she were some sort of revered goddess. She wasn't talking to any of them, as she fiddled with what looked like a very high-tech, very expensive, new cell phone.

They hadn't spoken a word to each other in just under a year. Every so often she would show up at the old apartment he was squatting at and they'd have sex. But that was it. Every once and a while he would talk to Jared who would fill him in on Lyrra's life, so he still knew the important stuff, like that Ken and her momma divorced after Ken was taken to a mental institution and that Lyrra was about to become a full fledged witch in the Mysticae. But he knew other stuff from her. She didn't have to tell him anything; he just knew – he knew her better than anyone else on the planet and he doubted that would ever change.

The day crawled by far too slowly for Steven's liking, although, towards the end of it, he wished he'd've had more time to prepare. It was the second anniversary of their pact, which meant they would meet at the graveyard – at least, that had been the plan. Last year they had met before any of the crazy shit had started happening.

Steven made his way to the secluded spot right at sundown. He knew without thinking that Lyrra'd be there, and she'd probably drag Jared along with her. Quinton, he'd heard, was back in town, though he now went to Turney High, and Steven wondered if he's dare show his face.

But the biggest question was if Nyssa would be there. Jared had tried to explain what had happened to his former stepsister, but Steven could just barely grasp the concept.

Steven was the first there, so all he could do was wait.

For a while it seemed as though no one would come, and then Lyrra and Jared stepped into the clearing among the gravestones. For a moment Steven wondered if they were seeing each other, but one look at Lyrra, as though she could sense his thoughts, told him that she would never betray him by sleeping with his best friend. Then Quinton appeared, looking less like a boy and more like a man who had seen too much. They all waited for one moment more until an unnatural shadow glided towards them and materialized into Nyssa.

They all stood silently, staring at each other though seeing one another for the very first time.

How had they gotten this far from their days of inseparable friendship?

"Never again," Lyrra said, obviously referring to their annual meetings.

"Never again," everyone else agreed aloud, except for Steven who could barely bring himself to nod his head.

And much quicker than they had come, all were gone, leaving only Steven.

He leaned against a gravestone.

First to come and last to leave. Did that mean their friendship had meant more to him than to the others?

Their friendship... Their friendship was officially dead. Everything was so freakishly screwed up:

Quinton was a frikkin' vampire,

Lyrra was about to become a damn witch with Jared as her idiotic slave boy,

Nyssa was something akin to the embodiment of evil...

And here he was... plain old, normal old Steven... hanging out in a graveyard... Lovely. Steven snorted in disgust. What the hell was wrong with him?

He stood upright and began walking out of the cemetery. He looked back once more. He was through with all this supernatural bullshit.

Fin