I just want you guys to know that I read back on the reviews you've all posted. You should know… you guys are awesome. I hope your reviews are as fun to read as mine, I think you guys deserve it.

Oh, it's been brought to my attention also that I constantly switch from different names (ex: Retasu-Lettuce, Kish-Kisshu, Taruto-Tart) and this might disgruntle some of you. To this I much apologize for the wincing pain it might bring you when you have to watch it occur, but I have a bit of a fetish where I don't like using the same descriptive for the noun, so when they have nick names like that, I like to mix 'em in. I hope it doesn't ruin the story for you

Part 2! Read and enjoy!!

Freedom left the school grounds with a sigh of relief. It seemed that Sarah would give her a trial basis for being friends again, regardless of her job at 'my little pony's' (to quote from Sass). And despite the attack of the wanna-be's, it seemed they had decided not to tattle; yet another reason she owed Sass. As proof of regaining the blonde's favor, Sarah and Jon were meeting her later downtown by the live-feed television screens, once they grouped up, they'd head to the mall, where Freedom would probably end up buying Sass a latte. Freedom shrugged to herself. Oh well, I'm just glad she's not furious with me anymore.

"Freedom, hey!"

The black-haired girl turned to find Esmond trotting away from his circle of friends towards her. She smiled and waved a 'hi', turning to meet him. All at once she remembered that the last time she had seen him, he had been knocked unconscious by the first Chimera Anima. Oh crap! What do I do? What do I say? I just left him there after all that, what must he think of me! What can I say to him? 'Hey, sorry I left you and all, but I ended up turning into a super-powered-animal-girl and had to defeat the mutated purple monster that attacked us, so I was a little out of it, hope you weren't hurt'? He was too close now for her to just abruptly make a run for it. Oh man… "H-hey Esmond, um, about that time in the park…"

He waved his hand. "It's alright, don't worry. The couple that helped us told me what happened." Esmond searched her with his green eyes, a slight frown etching into his features. "But you were really okay, right? I mean, that mugger hit me hard enough to get knocked out, he didn't hurt you too, right?"

'The couple'? Does he mean Mr. and Mrs. Shirogane? A mugger?! So he doesn't know! Thank God! "Oh, yeah, I mean, the guy freaked me half to death, but I was fine."

Esmond laughed. "I know what you mean, I had actually thought the guy was a real monster when he attacked us."

Freedom tried not to let the nervous feeling enter her laugh. "Yeah… but listen, I never, never meant to just ditch you like that, I mean, I was so shocked, and scared…" And shocked, in fact, mostly shocked. She hung her head so he couldn't see her face. "So, I just want to say, I'm sorry." The fact that she was still lying to him, being unable to really tell him what happened, for some reason made her feel even more worse.

"Want to make it up to me?"

The girl looked up at him in surprise, "Huh?"

He had said it with humor in his voice, but he actually looked quite awkward right then, like he didn't know what to do. "Well, yeah, it's just that last time before the 'monster'" he laughed uncomfortably despite himself, "before that happened, I had been wanting to see if you would like to hang out sometime." Suddenly, unlike his usual self, his sentences began to come out faster and more breathlessly. "Just since, you know, we haven't been able to see each other in awhile. You don't have to! I mean, it was just a thought." He ran his hand through his hair in agitation. "But, do you think we could, you know, just to catch up on life? Like a movie, or maybe going to the mall or something?"

Is he okay? Freedom found herself thinking. He must still feel hurt that I left him like that! Man, I'm such an idiot, why had I done that?! An idea popped into her head. "How 'bout tonight? Are you open?"

Esomond seemed surprised. "Um, yeah! I'm open for tonight."

Freedom smiled. "Cool! Is going to the mall fine?"

The brown-haired boy smiled back, looking slightly sheepish for some reason that was beyond Freedom. "Absolutely, when should I pick you up?"

She laughed. "You don't have to pick me up! I'm meeting Sarah and Jon at the live-feed screens there at about 6:45ish, you know, by the Game Stop? You can meet us there and we can all head out to the mall."

Freedom was oblivious to Esmond's sudden down-swing in mood. "Oh, Sarah and Jon? Ah, sure, why not?"

"Great! I just have to call them about it, but it should be fine with them." Freedom felt great, she hadn't seen Esmond in so long, it'd be good to hang with him again. And hopefully now she could make up for her total failure the last time they saw each other. I can't wait for tonight! "I'll see you later then?"

Esmond smiled. "Yeah, see you later."

"Freedom!"

The girl turned to see Cinnamon waving her over on the far side of the street. Why the heck is Cinnamon here? She headed off towards the taller Mexican, glancing back one last time to call 'Later!' before hurrying across the road to the fellow mew. She never did notice that he didn't stop watching her until she was out of sight.

Xx

Cinnamon looked rather impatient as Freedom finally reached her. "It's about time chica!" The Mexican beauty had decided to wear a low-rise tank with jean shorts to match, the kind that Freedom's mother would kill her for wearing and Sass would approve of. Her mew mark glimmered as the occasional flood of light hit it just right. "You really took your time getting out of there."

"I was catching up with someone."

"Who, that niño?"

Freedom glanced up at her. "What now?"

She rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Ella es desesperada. The brown haired boy chica. Just a second ago?"

How long had she been watching me? "Oh, his name's Esmond."

Cinnamon looked Freedom over carefully. "How well do you know him?"

She shrugged absently. "We've been friends since we were kids. He skipped a grade, so I don't see him all that often anymore."

"What had you been talking about?"

Freedom cocked a suspicious brow towards her fellow mew. "What exactly does it matter? We're good friends; we can talk about whatever we want."

Cinnamon watched her for a few more moments before looking away, a small smile pulling at her lips.

Freedom was oblivious, again. "So why're you here?"

The fellow mew snorted in a very unladylike manner. "It's not like I had too much of a choice in this, our jefewanted me to get you and the half-pint ASAP, I'd probably get docked pay if I didn't."

Wow, glad to see you too. No, really, it was so thoughtful of you. Freedom frowned slightly. "But Bonnie's school is probably the closer one, why didn't you get her first?"

Cinnamon shuttered as if she was just forced to eat a moldy shoe.

Seriously? "You still don't like her? Cinnamon, she's an elementary student, and a mew! How can she possibly do anything to you?"

"All niñas at her age are diablos on the inside."

Right, the sugar deprived bouncing bundle of joy is evil incarnate, real convincing. "I think you should give her more of a chance, you know?"

"No."

Freedom, not ready to ruin her day just yet, dropped it and focused on getting to the school.

X X X X X X X X X X X X

Tawny quickly entered the apartment complex and moved towards the front desk. Jim, as the elderly man was known by, glanced up at her approach. "Ah, Miss Bemrose, Nila is up stairs waiting for you, I'll tap you up immediately." Jim rose and walked the marble floor with Tawny in tow to the obsidian elevator. True to his doorman like nature, Jim remained silent the entire ride up to the 67th floor, then as Tawny exited, bowed slightly and rode down with a 'good day to you, be sure to ring if there is anything you and Miss Tericas need'.

"Tawny, I'm in my room!" came a call from further into the extremely lavish apartment. The quiet girl brusquely passed by the expensive antiques and high tech kitchen without batting an eye. When Nila had first gotten the apartment so she could stay close to the school, it had taken Tawny a lot of time to get used to the luxurious features that came with it, courtesy of Nila's parents.

She entered the giant bedroom to find Nila in the corner reading a book on her favorite chair. The blond hated reading, but her parents were pushing her to read some of the more exclusive classics that their friend's children were 'interested' in.

Nila's eyes widened as they took in her friend's state. "Tawny, are you okay?" Without further thought she chucked the book and hurried over to her, the long curls falling behind her shoulders. "You don't look all that well, should tell Jim to call Vivani?" Vivani was Nila's personal masseuse, something else that took Tawny a while to get used to.

Tawny shook her head. She didn't want Vivani, she wanted Nila.

The blond girl grabbed for her friends hand. "Come on, we can sit on the bed." Once they were situated Nila gave her her full attention. "Talk."

Tawny heaved a big sigh. "Do you remember when that… I mean… when everything had started to shake?"

Nila sat up a little straighter, more tense. "Yes, you called me after it had happened, and you had been getting dressed, same as me. Nobody seemed to think anything of it though." An edge came slightly into her voice as she said it, she wasn't used to not being taken seriously, or not believed for that matter.

Tawny nodded her head. "Do you remember that weird thing that had happened too?"

Nila looked at her seriously. "The strange dreams?"

"Yes. Ever since this," she displayed the backside of her right hand unhappily, "suddenly showed up, things have been… I think something's wrong with me."

"In that case," Nila help up her left hand to display her own mark, "We're in the same boat. I would like to speak for the both of us and say nothing is wrong with either of us Tawny."

Tawny's eyes grew slightly wide. "I… I saw something strange, somebody had been outside my window, but…" she looked at Nila in horror, "they were floating."

Nila furrowed her brow slightly, though it didn't take away from her delicate features in the least. "What if you were still sleeping?"

She nodded in consent. "That's what I had thought, and I still want to think so. But then some girl at school… she seems to know what this mark is, and I've been feeling like I'm being followed."

Nila looked at her in surprise, her blue eyes startling. "You've never spoken of something like this before."

"It's never happened before." Tawny tried to shrug indifferently. "I mean, for all I know I'm just being too paranoid."

"Don't give me that." Nila turned away. "We promised no matter what to be real with each other, we don't have to show off to each other, or put up airs, we can just be ourselves."

"Then… I just want to know if you've at all felt that way."

"… No. Not yet, anyway."

Tawny picked up her cell and glanced at the time. "Well," she stood up, "I need to head home for now, I promised mom to take care of some cleaning while her and dad are away."

Nila sniffed. "Please, I could just send one of my people over to take care of it."

Tawny smiled at her best friend. "Nah, mom would know if it wasn't mean, not many people can make so many dust piles appear under the rug like I can." Nila followed her into the elevator and parted at the main entrance. "I promise I'll be back later tonight. I have to be, you're the best person to come to with trig problems." They quickly hugged and said good-bye, Tawny catching a bus, and Nila heading back to her apartment.

The hovering shadow hesitated briefly before silently following the bus.

X X X X X X X X X X X X

It appeared the bell had wrung a few minutes ago for the elementary school, with small boys and girls streaming from the school towards the waiting buses or playground, a few meeting up with their parents.

Freedom scanned the mass of bright colors and high voices, trying to make out the youngest member of their unofficial 'fighters for justice' group, silently praying she didn't already head home. You know, Ryo may have gone about this the wrong way, I mean, maybe we should look more like Marvel comics than fluffy cute girls. Ugh, am I really thinking about this? A pig-tailed blonde head bounced into her view, staying in close approximation with a braided brunette about her age. There you are! "Hey Cinnamon, she's over there."

The Mexican glanced and quickly found the jumping child. "Good, now go get her."

Freedom turned and looked at her. "Hey! What about what Ryo told you?"

The girl's eyes flashed dangerously. "What about what he told me, chica?"

Right. Me dumb, you smart. Jeeze! Freedom turned to go catch the small sprite, rolling her eyes when she was sure the beautiful Mexican couldn't see.

It must have been fate that a giant sand ball was flung at her from out of nowhere.

The grit had hit square in the middle of her chest, exploding in such a way that particles ended up falling down her collar and in her shoes, even going as far as to hit the lower part of her face. Looking down in astonishment sunk the sand further into her shirt (a rather uncomfortable feeling), and a panicky brush aided the sand in falling into her pockets. Who… who…

But she really should have known even before she looked. A mechanical turn brought her gaze to lock full on her little brother, Timmy.

The boy, for his part, looked like he was quickly regretting his rash decision. A rather primitive anger hung over Freedom just then, and she took a menacing step forward.

Timmy glanced around anxiously. "Hey, c'mon Freedom! I thought you'd dodge it!"

Another step forward. For his part, Timothy Dawhe took two steps back.

"What're you going to do? Tackle me in front of all my friends." She surged closer and he quickly mended his statement. "And all these parents and teachers?"

Freedom didn't seem to register this thought, but didn't come for the kill either. Timmy's courage tried to make a recovery, provoking a sideways grin. "And you have to admit, that was hilarious, sand suits you better than ketchup stains anyway."

That did him in.

In the blink of an eye the girl had charged him, tackled him to the ground, and began an all out wrestle in front of elementary students. Timothy, in any other case, would have begun at once to drop down pitiful tears and make wimpy calls to tug the heart strings. But with his friends and all the other boys around, he knew he'd have a worse time if he broke down and complained. This resolution in his mind, he reached out with one small fist and began to yank shamelessly at his sister's hair, while she in turn tried to get him in a headlock so she could give him a hard head rubbing. The fight had escalated to where she had just been about to give him a piece of her mind when they were interrupted.

"Freedom?!"

The girl glanced up from her dirt scuffle to see that Bonnie and Collette had come to see the commotion, as had most of the other students.

The blond became ecstatic immediately. "It is you! How are you! How come you're here? Why are you pounding Timmy?"

Freedom, a new plan for revenge forming in her mind, smiled sweetly. "Hey Bonnie, sorry, I had been coming to see you, but met up with my little brother here."

She got results when Timmy went temporarily limp with shock. "Wait, you know Bonnie?"

"He's your brother!?" Bonnie looked back and forth between the two, trying to see their similarities. "Wow, that's so cool! Because I've known Timmy for a long time, and I knew he had an older sister, but I didn't know it was you!"

"You know Bonnie?" he repeated.

Freedom let him go and rose quickly, absently brushing off some of the dirt on her pants. "Yeah, isn't that weird that you knew little Timmy here?" She turned and gave him a sly look that younger siblings dreaded to see from their older family members. "But anyway," she turned back to the little girl, "Ryo wanted to see us after school, do you think you can come?"

"ABSOLUTELY!" Bonnie was in her element. "Collette, I'm sorry I can't walk home with you today, can I call you tonight?"

The friend took it in full stride, though she did cast a curious glance to Freedom. "Yeah, okay."

"Great!"

"Why don't you head over to Cinnamon, Bonnie." The first mew gestured towards the waiting Mexican. "I'll be there in a sec." Most of the students had left after the scuffle had ended. Freedom turned with a smirk to see her brother now standing and gawking, as opposed to sitting and gawking. "Tell mom I'll be late, k? Oh," She leaned down to his level. "And I'll make sure Bonnie stays safe, just for you."

Satisfied with his coloring face she quickly turned and moved out of range of any other attacks he might concoct, joining the girls and then heading to the café.

X X X X X X X X X X X X

Tawny was running.

When she had gotten off the bus and began to weave her way through the alleys she always took home, the feeling had come back.

The feeling that someone was following her.

She hadn't run then, but her pace had quickened. No, she had started to run when she had seen a shadow off a wall opposite of her.

Of a floating figure.

She didn't know why, she didn't know how, but panic had seized her. And she had begun to run. Faster, faster, faster!

Something tackled her from behind, pushing her to the ground. She managed to twist herself around, ready to fend off the strange owner of the shadow.

And found something much worse.

As her scream was cut short by the creature, Lentro watched from above in satisfaction. One down… he looked back in the direction of the apartment complex, smiling cynically. And one to go…

O_o … I just realized some of you might have taken that as she was killed. She's alive! I didn't just kill her! Promise! Yes, Lentro is a bit scary. I actually like his character though… I hope that doesn't make me weird. The next chapter will be up by the end of April, or else I will never ask for reviews again :gasp: But since it's not the end of April… Anybody feel like reviewing on that creepy ending? Or Tawny? Or Freedom and Timmy? Etc.