Author's Note: The second of the new chapters after my latest hiatus. Please enjoy

Summary: About 5 years have passed since the gang saw Ash, he reappears out of the blue in his hometown of Pallet much to the surprise of everyone. Ash decides it's time for him to settle down and open a gym in Pallet. What new trials and tribulations await our young hero? Rated M for adult situations that will occur later on in the story. AshxMisty,MayxDrew,BrockxSoldat. Takes place after the Sinnoh League

Disclaimer: Pokemon belongs to Nintendo and , I do however claim all OC's created by myself in this story.

Chapter 37 - Is it real?

"Nerves got you Brock?"
"Not really nerves, just not used to not sleeping next to Solidad is all."
"So no nerves for the big day tomorrow?"
"I wouldn't call it nerves, just a real feeling of restlessness, more anticipation than anything else. Coupled with a cold bed, definitely enough to not allow me to sleep."
Ash couldn't help but laugh lightly at his best friend. "Still can't believe it."
"Believe what?"
"Still can't believe you are getting married. Figured if anybody we knew, it would have been Gary to one of his cheerleaders/scientist girlfriends. Or maybe Drew, he always seemed the more serious romantic of everybody. I mean he always did carry around a rose…"
"As much as I flirted and confessed my love, my intentions were always pure. If they felt the same way I would have been committed faithfully to them."
"Think it's hard to convince me of that Brock. I mean you confessed to every single girl that was remotely attractive. Not to mention your poetic expressions of adoration for every single Nurse Joy or Officer Jenny we met along the way."
"Well it's true Ash."
"So if the Nurse Joy we met in Celadon returned your feelings, you would have stayed in Celadon?"
"Who knows."
"So if any of the Officer Jenny's in Johto was okay with the notion of being your one and only. You would have unpacked you're travelling bag right there and then?"
'What about Melanie?"
"Melanie, you know. The blue haired caretaker of the weak Pokemon of the Hidden Village. You know where I got Bulbasaur from?"
"I haven't thought about her in ages. Safe to say though, I don't think I would have stayed. Our journey had really just begun. "
"Fair enough."
"Plus I don't think any of my confessions were really my true feelings. Just plain old teenage infatuation."
"Even with Professor Ivy?"
Brock shook his head slightly, but a smirk came onto his face. "That, was definitely something else."
"At least you aren't trembling any more when her name is brought up."
"I guess, because the pain isn't there anymore."
"So she broke your heart?"
"Not really, she let me down in the best way possible. I just was a bit too young to understand she had my best intentions at heart and I took it the wrong way."
"So with you being in the Breeder/Physician field, do you ever see each other again?"
"I saw her last year actually, and there definitely weren't any lingering hard feelings or awkwardness between us."
"Glad to hear that you don't have any unresolved issues before you take the next step."
"Got to thank the countless rejections for that."
The best friends laughed and talked idly for a few more minutes. Attempting to past the time until sleep finally came to them both. Brock realizing that his anxiousness had not calmed down decided to break out the big guns. He walked into the kitchen and returned with two glasses and a bottle of from his personal stash. He poured for both himself and Ash, and then handed Ash his glass. Ash took a sip and definitely nodded in his approval. The two didn't speak for a few minutes until Ash broke the amicable silence.

"So friends from the past, meet again by chance and marry. I think you can probably get a TV deal out of that."
Brock scoffed lightly. "Like that will happen."
"Have you seen what is playing lately, this is definitely something that will be a hit."
"I think the story of childhood friends separated from years only to be reunited and confess their juvenile crushes to each other. Sweeping her away from her evil boyfriend and showing her true warmth of love and marrying her. That my friend, would be a best seller."
"Think you took a step too far with that story."
"That chapter is a work in progress. It shall be completed soon."
"At least it's being thought of."

Ash opened his mouth to continue their conversation, but an emergence of another house member changed his words.

"Can't sleep as well Forrest?"
"What is sleep of nothing but practice for death." he replied as he collapsed onto the sofa.
"So is that a yes or …"
"Don't bother try Ash."
Ash just shook his head. "I thought he was just down in the dumps this afternoon. Didn't know this was a permanent thing."
"Yeah, he has pretty much been like this since Goldenrod. Just call him Mr. Gloom."
"Mr. Gloom, huh." Ash took another sip from his glass.
"I am not Mr. Gloom."
"So explain this." said Brock gesturing to encompass Forrest's being.
"You just wouldn't understand bro."
"I am fully aware of how heartbreak feels."
"Not this kind of heartbreak."
"I'm confused here. What heartbreak?"
"My heart is not broken but starved. I did not realize that I needed her for it to beat."
"Wait, is this about Janine?"
"Yes, my sun, my moon, my sky."
"Here we go again."
"I thought you two were going to talk things out."
"Well you remember her sudden exit from the car?" Ash simply nodded in response. "Well that was the last time we saw each other."
"She's probably been busy."
"That's the same thing I told him Ash."
"And it's not the case as I told you before Brock. She never replies to my invitations to come over or responds to my suggestions for me to visit Fuchsia. Hell to any other place even."
"And yet you kept on asking?"
"I caught on to the hint after three replies of silence."
"So doesn't that mean she just needs time to be by herself?" asked Ash.
"Yes it does." answered Brock, before Forrest could answer.
"So why can't you just wait for her to come around?"
"Because my soul is tortured, I have tried to occupy myself with almost anything to stop thinking about her. As soon as I believe I am breaking free from my addiction. She goes and asks me how my day is going and about my wellbeing. She then goes onto to tell me about her own, and how she is doing. It's like she's watching me and knowing when exactly to pull me back in." Forrest hands gripped the cushion on the couch in frustration.
"Can't say you don't deserve a little of it." Hinted Ash.
Forrest released the pillow and then sighed. "Yeah, I guess."
"Doesn't make what she's doing right, but you do deserve it." Ash then took a sip from cognac Brock had poured into his glass. "So what about doing a surprise visit?"
"Do you really think it's wise to surprise a ninja?"
Ash's face contorted to show Forrest that he indeed made a fine point.
"Just wait it out little brother. I'm sure once she's thought about the situation completely she will let you know. If she was completely silent and didn't respond at all, then you would have to be worried."
"Or return to the single life."
"Isn't that what got you into this in the first place?"
"Brock's got a point there Forrest."
"She said I didn't make her feel as if she is the one, if she won't give me a chance to prove otherwise what am I to do?"
"Not go out and find the nearest skirt to flirt with, looking at your luck as of late, she would just decide to surprise you…"
"Either that or her ninja underlings will report it to her." Interrupted Ash, he took a sip from his glass once again. "Or assassinate you. One or the other."
Forrest started to harass the pillow once again, he grunted to express his frustration.
"Besides, a cheap fling isn't going to help you. All you are going to feel is less satisfied and add another person to the mix. Also, there isn't any telling how this person would view you and you could end up causing more damage than good. So take advice from your older brother who has your best interest at heart. Just wait, I'm sure she's going to come back around to you. When she does, make sure that your feelings are true. You saw how your actions hurt her the first time, if you aren't going to do her justice call it off."
Forrest began spinning the pillow in the air, his mind apparently in deep thought. Ash and Brock looked at each other and just shrugged. After a few more minutes of conversation…

"I think I'm going to try and see if I can head off to sleep now." said a stretching Ash.
"Think I'm going to try another shot at sleeping as well. Want to make sure my eyes are wide awake to see the love of my life stroll down the aisle." Brock turned to his brother on the couch. "You coming Forrest?"
"Not just yet, going to sit on the couch for a bit more. See you both in the morning."
Brock sighed, walked over to his younger brother and ruffled his hair. "Don't think too much on it. Things will work its way out, always have and always will." he then walked out of the room while issuing his last bit of advice. "Don't stay up too late."

Forrest found himself tossing the pillow into the air for a few more minutes until his arms tired and thrust the target of his confused frustration underneath his head. His head now propped up he just blankly stared into the dark ceiling.

'Make sure it's genuine huh?' Forrest sighed once more again. 'Who knows if it's genuine? What if all the reaction in Goldenrod was just the thought of her leaving me and not really what I meant truly? 'He paused. 'So how could I answer all the questions Ash posed? And does that mean anything that I could? I mean I was still oblivious to the pain I was causing her. Then again, I was changing. I didn't take any of their advances. I just acknowledged and moved along….ARGH!' Forrest just exhaled, breathed in deeply and gave out another exhalation of frustration. 'Is this really what love is supposed to feel like? Or is this the loss of love? Wait…love? Hold up, hold on brain or heart whichever one of you threw that out there. I mean I really like her, but do I love her?' Forrest began questioning himself over his true feelings for Janine. Forrest realized that he wasn't getting anywhere with this right now. He could swear his mind had turned into the floor of legislation, both parties arguing whether or not his feeling is genuine or not. 'I need to drown this out'

Forrest rolled onto his sides and fumbled in the dark for the targeted device. With a button press the TV illuminated the room. It was just his luck that absolutely nothing was on. He scanned the channel guide reading the synopsis attempting to find out if something was even remotely entertaining.

'Western gunslinger returns……Spy vs Spy…next….Ancient warriors are born again…next…From Johto With Love…next….The Love Eternal...' Forrest rolled his eyes. 'It doesn't even matter, I just need something else to focus on.' Forrest then punched a random channel number and threw the remote back onto the table. 'Just my luck…' Forrest landed on an infomercial, an infomercial that was selling the super suction vacuum. Able to remove everything from the floor, even the tiles if on maximum. His luck was not as dreadful as he thought as sleep came to him quickly.

"You sir!"
Forrest began to stir, he was sure he heard a voice but chose to ignore it.
"Will somebody wake him up! We are going to begin recording." The voice continued. "Anyone? So nobody can hear me then? Fine I'll do it myself!"
Forrest could hear the sound of footsteps coming closer and closer. The noise stopped in front of him and then he felt a violent jerk. His body shot up and his eyes finally opened. They hurt as the light blinded him, but the pain subsided as his eyes adjusted. What was in front of his eyes was not his living room and the voice he heard was not from the TV he left on.

"What the hell?"
"Glad to see you could join us today sir."
Forrest finally took a look at the person and their representation caused more confusion. "Mom?" In front of him was definitely somebody who resembled his mother, but the voice certainly didn't match.
"I understand it was a long flight sir, but please remember you volunteered to assist us today. Since we are about to record please pay attention. You and the rest of the audience will be asked to participate."
"Rest of the audience?" Forrest finally took the time to look around. The place, it looked like the set of a TV studio. There were lights, cameras, screens and all the equipment necessary. People were looking occupied, Forrest assumed they were starting their work. What really stood out in Forrest's mind was that he was the only one in the stands. "So will other people be joining us?"

"Excuse me?"
"Yeah, you said the rest of the audience but there's only me here."
His mother's doppelganger looked at him strangely. "You're pulling my leg right?"
Forrest took a look around once more to assure that he was indeed alone. "No, I'm not. I'm the only one here."
Lola's clone laughed heartily then toned it down to a chuckle. She then spoke into her headset. "Hey audience, he says there is nobody else here. Prove him wrong will you." While talking she gestured to the rest of the stands, goading them into response. What scared Forrest was the roar from the "audience" that answered to her command. "See, there sir. You aren't alone, just get ready, we start in the next 5 minutes." She gave him a curt smile and then disappeared downstairs to the stage.

Forrest definitely felt the unease creeping into his body. The fact that the person resembled his mother didn't make that feeling any less. Tied with the fact that he was now starting to hear the murmurs of a crowd as if he was surrounded, but to his eyes he couldn't see a solitary soul besides himself.

'What the hell is this place?' his eyes were darting back and forth trying to spot an exit. There wasn't any in sight, and it was as if the workers of the studio just appeared. They didn't seem to come from the same spot, or exit the area in a certain direction. There were no hints given to him that there might even be an escape route that way. His escape plan was thwarted as a voice boomed over the speakers.

'Live in 5…4…3…2…1...and action!'

The lights dimmed around the set dimmed and the stage was left illuminated. Forrest could see Lola's duplicate counting down with her fingers, and when it reached one she pointed to the left side of the stage. From this left, he got another surprise.


Entering, stage left was indeed his father Flint. At least somebody who definitely looked like him, but like his mother, the voice didn't match.

"Ladies, Gentleman. Those at home, those here in the studio prepare to be amazed. What I bring to you, is the best kept secret in the world. What is it you say? I don't think I should tell you guys."

"No tell us! Let us know!" shouted the invisible audience.

"Since it's you guys. I will let you know, just for this time. This one time only, and for those at home thinking 'Oh this commercial is going to come on again.' Well you're wrong my friends. This is live, and this is just as advertised. A one day deal." Pseudo-Flint just stared at audience and winked. "Now here's the thing everyone. I found this secret, well I stumbled on this secret so to speak. I was actually amazed that nobody had found this out before but I'm not about to complain and I'm sure you guys won't mind either. Now as I said, this is a one time deal only, and since it's a what?"

"One time deal only!" answered the audience.

"We are definitely going to shock and amaze you guys here." He then reached into his jacket and produced a bottle. "You see this here, this is the key to the secret. The secret that will completely change the way your world works. No catch, no tricks, just believe it works. I know you guys are out there saying, but how can this be true? You have got to be kidding me, this little bottle is the secret? I don't blame you guys at all. I barely believe it myself and I'm the one who found this out. So what's better than just talking about it? Let me show you guys what it is, and for that I'm going to need the help of the audience…" He looked into the audience and as if on cue, the spotlight blinded Forrest right in his eyes. "…and here is the lucky gentleman who is going to have his life completely changed for free. He definitely won't regret this."

Forrest started shaking his head, but despite his initial refusal Flint kept motioning for him to come on down to the stage. Forrest became a little more adamant in his refusal but his refusal was definitely not going to be an accepted choice. His mother's clone soon found her way to the audience and lifted Forrest out of his seat with surprising strength and strong armed him down the stage. If she wasn't on television I'm quite sure she would have simply thrown him instead of leading him to the spot. The stinging sensation on his arm assured him that his assumptions were probably correct.

"Now have a seat there young man." Flint's doppelganger pushed Forrest, with strength that rivaled that of Lola's and he felt himself falling back. Forrest expected to make contact with the floor, but it was as if somebody flung a chair from off stage with the right speed to capture his falling body. His supposed father then spun him a few times in the chair, slightly disorienting Forrest, then brought him to a complete stop.

"Now are you ready young man to have your life changed?"
"Not really, especially since…" Forrest was cut off.
"He's ready folks. Now take a look. His life will definitely not be the same. Prepare to be amazed." The clone popped the top of the bottle.
"I said no."
"No, to the way you are living now. No the monotony of your daily life. No to having the unknown being unknown. No to not knowing if you love her or not!" he exclaimed.
"Wait what? What the hell…" before Forrest could finish speaking Flint held his jaw and poured the contents of the bottle down his throat. Ignoring the coughing of Forrest he pushed him to the front of the table and began parading him to the invisible audience to a round of applause.
"Watch ladies and gentleman as he changes right before your eyes." He then centered the chair stopping in front of the main camera and spun Forrest a few times then brought him to a stop once again. "Tell them young man. How do you feel?"
"I don't feel so…" Forrest wasn't able to complete his sentence as he felt as if the floor went away from underneath his feet and it all went to black. He tried to regain his senses, but this wasn't definitely a battle he could win.

"So what now?" he heard the Lola clone.
"Don't know, this is the first time I tested this out."
"So lunch?"
"Definitely, lunch."

Then it went silent until a voice was heard through his senses.

"You think he's dead?"
"Not at all, looks like he could use some water though. Prolly been out in the sun for a good day or two."
"How did you think he ended up here out in these parts?"
"Let's see if he wakes up, probably can answer those questions himself."
"So how do we wake him?" after a momentary pause "I guess that'll do"

"COLD!" Forrest bolted up, his eyes not taking as long to adjust to the light as once before. What he was having a hard time processing, was where the hell he was now. Directly in front of him was a desert landscape, arid temperatures and cacti dotting the horizon. This was a far change from the TV studio he remembered being in.

"That did do the trick indeed."
"Never fails, well, unless they're dead."

Forrest spun around to face the source of the voices. He was once again faced again with doppelgangers. This time, they resembled two of his coworkers but of course their voices were definitely not the same.

'Blaine and Volt? Not this again.'

"Let me help you up there stranger."

The Blaine clone offered a helping hand to Forrest, helping him to his feet. Forrest brushed off his clothes and that was when he saw his attire. Boots, leather pants, suspenders, a thick overcoat and gun holsters. Forrest looked up and saw that Blaine and Volt had tensed up, it was safe to say they saw what he was carrying and became a tad more cautious.

"Something the matter?" Forrest asked, he honestly wanted to know if there was a problem with him having two pistols on his side.
"Everything's alright, if you say so. You're the one with all the decision making power right now." Said the Volt impersonator.
"Thanks again for saving me." Forrest looked around the arid environment. "I definitely wouldn't have lasted too long out here."
"So what exactly were you doing out here stranger?"
"That's a good question. Your names?"
"Well I'm Blaine, a travelling doctor of sorts. And this here is Volt my assistant."
'They still have the same names, weird. I wonder…' Forrest then extended his hand to greet them both. "The name is Forrest, pleasure to meet you both. To be fair, my minds a little groggy. Pretty vague on details from a day or two ago."
"Sounds like you might have taken a tumble from your horse. Only reason I could see how you would end up on this road and with those pieces still stuck to your side." Reasoned Blaine.
"If it were bandits, you definitely would have been relieved of those." Added Volt. "But enough about that, I'm sure it will come to you after a while. We're heading towards the town of Saffron, it's probably a few more hours' journey from here. Could give you some time to remember what happened. "
"Also has a stable, so if you need to purchase a new steed. You should be able to get a fine stallion there."
"Sorry to inconvenience the both of you."
"Not an issue young man, so get on the back."
"Will do."

Forrest found a space between their cargos in the back of their carriage and made himself comfortable. He listened in on the conversation between the doppelgangers, and one thing was quite sure. They looked like people he knew, but they didn't act the same. They had similarities but the differences were numerous. They asked him a few questions, but he answered only what he could remember. As the time passed, the sun was starting to meet with the horizon for their second appointment for the day. As the sky grew darker, the lamps of the small town grew brighter and slowly but surely they arrived at their destination. 'Blaine' stopped the carriage in front of a saloon.

"We have to let you off here, this is the local saloon here. You should be able to find lodgings for the night and hopefully that full night's sleep lets you remember those missing days."
"We would let you stay with us, but we are staying with an old friend in this town. We're already imposing on them so our apologies"
Forrest hopped over the side of the carriage. "That's not a problem at all. You already saved my life and brought me to civilization. If anything I have to say I'm sorry that I can't do anything for you all right now."
"Just be safe, and that will suffice." Said Blaine.

Forrest bid farewell to the unlikely pair and then made his way inside the saloon. Forrest expected the saloon to be a bit more bustling, but only a few were in the building. Nobody was by the bar, except for the barkeep and when she turned around Forrest was in for another surprise.

"What do you want stranger?" said 'Sabrina'
"Fine way you greet people, I can see why business is booming."
"When you live around here long enough, you realize that manners are wasted on the heathens here."
"Just looking for a place to rest my head for the night."
"Rooms are 3 pieces for the night."
"3 pieces?"
"3 coins, pieces, are you an idiot?"
"If a person doesn't have any money what can they do to earn a nights lodgings."
"Well they can leave my place and go elsewhere. Save us both the trouble."

Forrest started searching his pockets and found a pouch on the inside of his coat. He looked into it and got counted three pieces and showed it to the Sabrina.

"Will this do?"
Sabrina grabbed and inspected them. She responded with a simple nod. "I think I might need to charge two pieces more."
"On account of those two troublemakers you have hidden in that coat or yours."
"These are just for show Miss?"
"Miss Sabrina."
"Brina, huh?"
"Like I said Brina."
"You are definitely an idiot."
Forrest gave her a toothy grin. "So what do you recommend to slate my thirst."
"I wouldn't suggest you anything, you have to try and preserve your brain cells."
"I think you can see that I'm a lost cause."
"Fair enough, that's one coin."
"Make sure you take a good look at this one." Sabrina mildly chuckled. She poured his drink and rested it in front of him. "Thanks"

Forrest took a gulp and winced at the strength of the drink. He looked up at Sabrina, who had a smirk on her face.

"I think you killed the last remaining ones I had."
"I warned ya stranger. Now bottoms up, quitters pay a liquid disposal fee."

Forrest, took another gulp and exhaled slowly as it burned his throat on the way down. As he took another swig, he realized that one of the members of the bar was giving him the eye. It was as if they recognized who he was, but Forrest shrugged it off. That was until he locked eyes with the gentleman as they passed by him. He stared at Forrest intently as he passed, his eyes not leaving Forrest until his exit from the saloon. Forrest thought nothing of it and went back to his drink. Forrest and Sabrina were starting to strike up a conversation until some new faces entered. New faces who had a rather violent agenda.

"So this is where you were?" Forrest didn't even look up from his current drink as he assumed the person was talking to somebody else in the bar. "So you choose to ignore me?" There was no reply.
"I think he's talking to you stranger."
"Can't be me. I don't know anybody here."
"So you are saying that you do not know of me?"
"Not at all."
"Well I recognize you and I think there is a score to settle."
"Look, I don't know who you are…" Forrest started to turn in his chair"…so I don't have any…KOGA!"
"So you do know me then."
'Thanks brain.' Forrest stood up and leaned against the bar. "Must be a small world we live in, you resemble somebody that I know as Koga. To think that it must be an eerie coincidence that you guys share the same name."
"Coincidence huh? I see."
"Definitely a coincidence."
"So it's a coincidence that I have a daughter at home crying her eyes out because of a coincidence as well then?"
"Definitely…wait hold on. A daughter?"
"So you feign knowledge of her now?"
"Does your daughter's name begin with a J?"
"You play with the feelings of that many innocent women that you need a clue as to which one you have offended."
"Not at all, it's just with all these coincidences I need to make sure."
"Enough of this." Koga motioned his hand forward and from behind him emerged six individuals. "Bring him back to the ranch, so we can put an end to this nonsense."
The henchmen of Koga moved towards Forrest that was until Sabrina pulled out the rifle from underneath the bar.

"This here is a paying customer, so until he says he wants to leave. He's going to stay. If you want to wait outside for him. No problems, but I won't have you harassing my guests while I'm around."
Koga just stared defiantly at Sabrina, the men in turn looked at Koga for instructions. "What are you fools waiting on? Get him!"
Sabrina gave a warning shot in the air, but the men still advanced. Then she shot one in the foot. "Does it look like I am bluffing? I take customer service very seriously here."
Koga stared at Sabrina once again and then weighed the situation more carefully. "Your money will run out eventually. We'll be waiting for you when her hospitality has run its course." Koga snapped his fingers and the men made their exit, assisting the wounded one as well. "Until our next coincidental meeting."

"I knew I should have charged you more."
"Thanks Brina. I owe…"

Forrest's words were cut short as Sabrina's shot had loosened a hanging chandelier. Gravity then took over and the object crashed directly onto Forrest's skull, knocking him out for the count.

"I definitely should have charged him more…"

The silence started to ring in Forrest's ears. His other senses were then starting to come back to life but his eyes were still dark. He tried to stir himself awake but no avail. He was then generously assisted by whatever blunt object that slammed into the side of his body.

"Wake up swine!" Forrest's eyes were opening but his vision was groggy. The absence of light was definitely a contributing factor as well.
"Mercy on a commoner dear guards. His only crime is being hungry like the rest of us."
That plea did nothing but infuriate the source of pain as Forrest felt the impact of the assailant's blow to his side once again.
"The fact that you three are still alive is mercy enough."
"All thanks to the Prince for his leniency." This voice was different from those prior.
"Leniency." The owner of this new voice started laughing. "There was a collapse in the mines recently, the only reason you're alive is so that you can die in that forsaken place."
"Labour until death, something to look forward to."
"It's going to be a pleasure seeing that sense of humor of yours die in that hell."

Forrest's eyes finally began to adjust to his surroundings and images could be seen. Standing before him in light armored garb were two soldiers. Forrest could only assume the closet one to him was the one that vented his frustrations on him. Looking around the room, it was now apparent this room was indeed a cell. Shackled to the opposite end was a person sharing the same face as his brother and the other individual was taking on the visage of Ash. Forrest tried to look at the faces of his captors but their face was shadowed, none of their facial features stood out.

"See you curs in the morning." The two guards exited slamming the door behind them.

"Are they gone yet?" said Brock's clone to the Ash look-a-like.
He had his eyes closed as if he was focusing on the sound of their footsteps. "They are gone."
"Time to get to work then."
"Yeah, work. Why do you think we are here?"
"To be prisoners?" asked Forrest.
"I thought that guard kicked you in your sides, not your head."
"This isn't the time for games. Take off these shackles and bust open that door. We have to get on with the mission."
"I told you he wasn't listening when you went over the plan last night." Said the dream Ash.
"Look, we got captured so that we could free the wanderers who were captured."
"Why do we care again?"
"It's a vagabond's oath to help each other when our paths cross."
"And it just so happens that we are a group of nomads with a special skill set."
"That and the payment was definitely worth it."
"What happened to the oath?" questioned Forrest.
"That got them a discount." answered Ash with a toothy grin.
"Enough with the recap, time is of the essence."
"What's the escape route."
"I've got that all taken care of." was Brock's reply.
"So hurry up and get us out of here."
"Sure…" said Forrest as if he knew exactly what he was planning on doing. This was quite the opposite, as he didn't know where to start. He looked at the handcuffs and then tried pulling them from the wall. That didn't work as he thought. 'I guess brute force isn't the answer.' Forrest then left his gaze on locks as he tried to figure out what to do next. As his gaze fixated on his left wrist he found himself blinking and in that instant the metal around his hand shattered. Forrest was taken back by this sudden event, and his reaction caused the others to laugh at him.

"Forgot how your powers work I see."
"Just a little groggy from being knocked out is all. Things are taking a lot longer than normal." Forrest took a breath to calm himself. 'Now just to see if that wasn't a fluke.' He fixed his gaze onto the right shackle and then blinked. Forrest let out a slight gasp of amusement as the results replicated themselves. He rubbed his hands to erase the harshness of the metal confinements.
"Yes, they are your hands. Now hurry up and get us out of here."
"Huh? Oh yeah." Forrest was about to repeat his actions, when it seemed as if his body informed him of something he was capable of. Instead of focusing then blinking, Forrest placed his middle finger and index finger together. Performing a slash like motion, a gash appeared on the shackles and then the metal began to crumble and wither away. 'Nice'

"You deal with the door, I will take care of our leader over here." Said Ash.
"Right." Forrest repeated the same form with his hand and motioned slashes around the bars of the cell. And as before gashes appeared and then the bars just crumbled away. "So now what?"
Brock who was still rubbing his wrists motioned for Ash to head out first, an order he did with a toothy grin.

"What are you so happy for?"
"This is where the fun begins." He patted Forrest on his shoulder. "Let's get going." He dashed down the corridor, Brock soon behind him and Forrest taking up the rear.
"Left." Commanded Brock. "Right, now they should be two guards and they are through the door." He instructed.
Ash moved as instructed and as he burst through the door he reached out to each guard and incapacitated them easily. Forrest could only sit and look in awe at their effortless teamwork.
"Next left, three to get rid of and we should be there."
Ash followed the instructions and stood in front of a door. "Accurate as always" Forrest stood behind Ash and noticed that his hands now took on a beast like appearance. With a shake of his hands they now returned to their natural form.
"What now?"
"You break down this door."
"Why me? Didn't you just break through two steel doors single handedly?"
"Didn't say I couldn't, it's just your turn."
"What he means to say is, there are people on the other side. Those people are our objective. It's easier to believe no harm will come to them when they aren't greeted by a gentleman who just burst through a steel door."
"I see your point."
"Now hurry up, we should be expecting to be discovered in five minutes. I would rather we have a good lead on them before that."
"Leave it to me." Forrest formed his hands and then slashed at the door and as expected it broke apart and revealed those who they came to rescue. Brock took this opportunity to step through.

"This here is a rescue, if you want to get back to your family and loved ones. Follow us. If you want to become slaves and work in the mines please feel free to stay here. Those who are shackled please raise your hands as far as you can and we will take care of those. I ask that you hurry as we are currently on a schedule and I would like to ensure that we all arrive safely in our destination." Brock nodded as he noticed a good amount of hands began to raise. He then looked to Forrest who using his eyes removed the shackles in front of him. "Now ladies and gentleman, follow this lovely young gentleman." He looked at Ash who took point, Brock counted as each individual passed and when the last came passed by he motioned for Forrest to take the rear. Brock made his way into the middle, so that he could give instructions to Ash.

As they navigated through the prison Forrest thought that things were going a little too smoothly. Even though they were able to exit to the mountains and into the jungle below. Forrest still felt uncomfortable, and then the arrow that flew past him and impaled the tree in front of him confirmed his gut feeling.

"We've got company!" warned Forrest.
"Everybody move it!"
"What do I do now?"
"Protect the rear!" shouted Brock as he ran into the jungle in an attempt to remove those pursuing them from the sides. Considering that it was only three of them, Brock's decision to use the terrain to prevent them from surrounding them from all sides, and leaving a side undefended was proving to be a wise choice. Forrest could hear the noise generated from Ash slamming into whoever dared to attack them head on. From where Brock headed, Forrest saw flashes of light and from behind Forrest started to see the torches held by the riders who were in pursuit. Forrest believed them to be riders based on the sheer height of the flames but as he got a closer look he truly wished them to be men on horses.

In front of him stood a stone goliath, towering over him his eyes being the source of flames. With surprising speed, the giant's fist swung down towards Forrest. Forrest dodged, but what was shocking this was the distance from his original spot to where he landed.

"Didn't expect that" said Forrest to himself. There wasn't time for him to ponder his new ability as the giant didn't care to pursue him but continue on his path to the escapees. "Well that's not good." Forrest then leapt back towards the giant letting out a wail of enjoyment as he soared in pursuit of the giant he tried to avoid. His shouting drew the attention of the giant who swung again to swat Forrest out of the air. "Not a good idea, but I can think of something that might not be any brighter." Forrest then focused his sight on the golem and then blinked. Forrest was waiting for his ability to take place, but as he could see the granite palm still on course to rake him out of the sky, he could do nothing but brace for impact. Forrest expected his body to be sailing through the air on a return journey to his point of origin, battered and bruised and worse for wear. What occurred was his body flew through a cloud of dust causing him to cough as he landed. "Guess it takes longer than normal on stone giants."

The giant didn't seem to be bothered at all that his limb was now in a pile of pebbles below Forrest's feet. It turned his granite body, armed raised above its head with palm spread.

"If at swatting you don't succeed." The huge hand descended with velocity towards Forrest, all intentions of embedding his body into the ground. "…flatten me into the ground huh?" Forrest side stepped and then made his way onto the forearm of the giant. "I wonder…" Forrest then trailed his fingers across the surface of the giant, from the forearm to the crown of its head. Then with a dismount that would make a gymnast proud he landed a few feet away from the giant. The giant turned its head and started to move his body to return to his objective of crushing the obstruction that was Forrest. Forrest stood there confidently as the giant lumbered towards him, as it gained momentum and its crawl starting to look more of a charge Forrest's confidence started to wane. As the distance decreased between them a sheepish grin emerged on his face and he took a step back, just as a precaution. Fortunately a solitary step was all he needed as the golem began to crumble before his eyes. "Just as expected." he said ended with a nervous laugh. "Now..." He turned his head trying to figure out how far away from the group he drifted. The sound of a collision, pointed him in the right direction, but the visible clouds of dust from the impact was indeed enough for him to realize he had to get there in a hurry. Bounding to source, he used his abilities to crumble the legs of any golem he met along the way. It didn't take long for Forrest to see the back of the group he was protecting, their pace had definitely decreased but they were not yet at a complete stop. Forrest took a look up front to see Ash's doppelganger dealing with a few of the golems. He was about to provide assistance when he heard the shout from Brock's clone.

"One on the way!"

From Brock's direction came a golem, smaller in stature to the ones he had faced so far. This one was indeed quicker and its main purpose was definitely not for combat. This was evident as it seemingly took advantage of Brock's entanglement with a few of its peers to make a break for the group. Forrest tried to use his eyes to focus on the golem but his speed prevented him from getting a proper fix. He decided to make things up close and personal and went after the speed golem, attempting a cut off that ultimately failed. When Forrest went to make contact with his extended hands, the golem spun to avoid him grabbing a souvenir along the way. Forrest knew the golem was successful with the grab by the rescue cry coming from hostage.

"Go get them back. We got mostly everything covered here. We need whoever that is back to get all of our money."
"Will do."
It became a foot race, the specialized golem increased its speed as it bolted back towards base. Luckily Forrest was faster, and his bounding ability was assisting in closing the gap significantly. As the golem came more into view, Forrest could see the hostage was being carried underneath its arm.

"This should be simple." Forrest placed himself in line with the golem's body, but with enough space so he didn't cause alarm. He focused on the torso and then blinked. "And right about…!" He increased his speed and began sprinting to the golem. The golem looked over its shoulder to see the approaching Forrest and then attempted to increase the distance between them. It would have gone to plan except its body started to deteriorate. Forrest, using his speed slid underneath the golem's hand to collect the dropping hostage.

"Gotcha." Forrest had a smirk on his face, definitely satisfied with the stunt he just pulled. With the hostage cradled in his arms he headed towards the group. He took care not to leap too high into the air, not wanting to startle his guest. He looked down at the person in his hands, they were definitely female, and how they looked he had no clue as they buried their face in his chest. Clinging to his shirt, the speed and height more than likely not what she was used too. As more ground was covered, Forrest was able to see the figure of Brock, clearer and clearer.

"Almost there."
"Watch out!" was the scream he heard from Brock.
As Forrest leapt, his leg was caught by a new golem. Seeing as how Brock was close he used all of the strength he could gather from that position and threw his passenger to him. Forrest didn't have a chance to see if she made it as he made contact with the ground. As the golem raised its hand to once again smash Forrest into the ground, their limb crumbled thanks to the touch Forrest gave. Forrest winced as he tried to move. He turned to face the golem, and with its arms out of the way he was able to see another group closing in to join him. Forrest looked at Brock, and for the first time he was able to see the face of the person he rescued.

"Janine…" he mumbled. 'No wonder that felt right.' He thought. 'Shit, it's a dream right. Might as well go out with style.' He turned to Brock with a smile. "Get her out of here. Don't worry, I will meet up with you guys." Brock only nodded as he held Janine's doppelganger and led her away.

"So, we got a cliff, incoming living statues and a rock crumbling super power. Yeah I think we both know how this is going to end right?" he said to the limbless golem. "Sit tight and enjoy the ride." Using his abilities, he caved the ground below him taking the limbless golem and the early pursuers down to the valley below. Forrest looked at the golems he took with him. "Sucks to be you guys huh?" Forrest felt his conscious begin to fade, but not enough as he felt as if his body was now submerged.

He waited for the feeling to fade but it never did, as his eyes began to open he realized he was still under water. Panicking slightly he looked left and right and then above. The light that sparkled on the surface was the indicator as to where he should go. His eyes definitely played tricks on him, the color of the water depicted a false sense of depth. He realized this as in two strokes he broke the surface, his mouth open inhaling air to supply his lungs with the oxygen they craved. Forrest then felt his feet touch the bottom, his senses adding once again to his confusion. As his eyes adjusted to the light, he found out that we was definitely not in the ocean or any natural made body of water. There he stood in the shallow end of a hotel pool. A luxurious pool, his mind added as he took in the chic modern designs of the building in front of him. He looked around to see if there was anybody around to clue him into what was going on, but not a soul could be seen adorning the pool's edge. Forrest ran his hands through his hair and was surprised of the length. His normally short hair was long enough to be tied in one and with his hands in his hair he then noticed something attached to his hand. A key with the numbers 704 attached to it.

"Guess that's my room number." he thought out loud. "Wonder what's waiting for me there." Forrest made his way out of the pool and to the chair which he assumed his belongings were placed. Mainly because they were the only chair with a towel draped across the back of it. Forrest grabbed the towel and began to dry himself, he paused as he finally caught a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror. He moved closer, to ensure that his vision was not being hindered by the bright sunlight. His upper body had a tattoo taking up almost half of his chest and by turning he realized that it was indeed a continuation of the tattoo that covered his entire back. The stone dragon stared defiantly at Forrest in the mirror.

"I think I like it." Mouthed Forrest.

Apparently he wasn't the only one who appreciated the artwork as he locked eyes with a stranger behind the glass. The pool was next to a restaurant and this guest seemed to appreciate the modelling display to finish off her meal. She lightly applauded with her hands, drawing a flirtatious smile from Forrest. Forrest attempted to step closer to the glass to get a better view of his admirer. He was only in time to see her get up from her table, her hat and glasses now on her face. His efforts were rewarded though as she lightly blew a kiss to him and gave him the chance to watch her toned legs walk away from him and into the heart of the hotel.

"Damn…" was the only words Forrest could muster. *sigh*"Let's see what awaits in the hotel room."

Strolling through the hotel lobby in nothing but his towel, Forrest drew more than a few eyes. Who wasn't fascinated by his body were definitely intrigued by the tattoo. In the elevator he could only smile as people were startled to see such a tall individual in only a swim suit and a towel across his shoulder.

"700…702…704." Forrest took the key tied around his wrist and opened the door. The door revealed a very posh room, black carpet with white furniture that were trimmed with a navy kind of blue. On his bed laid a black suit with a pale yellow dress shirt. On his dresser was his jewelry and wallet neatly organized. He looked at the watch and let out a whistle, this definitely was a run of the mill piece. Forrest then looked in his wallet and realized, it probably was a watch he could afford. Black cards lined the card slots and a fair amount of currency resided in the middle. Forrest was about to count when the phone in the room rang. Forrest put the wallet down and answered the phone.

"Good Day sir, this is the reminder you requested for your ferry at 6:30. We have called a taxi as well and the driver will arrive in five minutes."
"Thank you, I will be down shortly." replied Forrest. 'Guess I have a train to catch.' Forrest quickly showered and put on the clothes laid out for him. He did notice that the only bag in the room was definitely a traveler's bag. Small enough for the essentials and a minor change of clothes, he only shrugged and placed what he could in it.

'Now do I buy a ticket or…' Forrest put the jacket on and realized his question was answered. In the lining pocket was indeed a ticket, the destination, Olivine."

Forrest made his way down to the lobby, getting quite a few stares along the way. He could see friends whispering to each other from the corner of his eyes, and the schoolgirlish manners of the clerks at the front desk. This drew another smirk to Forrest's face.

"Anything outstanding I need to pay for?"
The clerk replied, smiling ear to ear. "Nothing at all, sir. Will we be seeing you again shortly?"
"Of course, I must see you again." Forrest gave her a toothy smile before bidding farewell and headed for the waiting taxi.

After a few minutes of travel Forrest was dropped in front of the terminal, the S.S. Aqua prominently standing in the background. Adjusting his bag as he exited the cab, he headed to the front desk to check in. He couldn't help but flirt once again with the attendant as she began his boarding process. With the key to his room in hand, Forrest made his way on board and went straight to his room. Opening the cabin, he was once again impressed by the interior. It rivaled that of his hotel room, the furniture had a more rustic charm but nevertheless the finishing was exquisite. Not one to stay inside his room, especially on such a luxurious liner he rested his bag down and exited his room. He stood in the doorway, adjusting his jacket.

"Yellow suits you."
Forrest was slightly startled, he looked in the direction of the source. He was then surprised once more as the compliment came from the admirer from the hotel.
"Coincidence that we meet again so soon?"
"I don't think you can consider you flexing in the mirror as a meeting."
"True, but it ended with a kiss. "
"Who says that it was for you? Not sure it was somebody passing by in the restaurant?"
"Unless they suddenly emerged from the pool then I am definitely sure."
"Well it's true, the kiss was meant for you, and us meeting again was definitely a coincidence."
"One can almost call it fate, Ms..." The stranger from earlier was leaning against the frame of her cabin's door. The hat still concealed her face and what was seen was still occupied by the large sunglasses she had on. She got up and stepped towards Forrest, she removed her glasses and extended her hand in greeting.

"Janine." Interrupted Forrest.
"How did you?" she was rather startled that the stranger knew her name.
Forrest could see the slight puzzled expression on her face. "It's a little embarrassing to say…" She crossed her arms and gave him a chance to voice his explanation.
Forrest had a sheepish grin on his face and then sighed slightly. "The thing is, I asked your waiter who you were before I left the hotel. Not something I normally do, but a beauty such as you is not something I see every day. My curiosity was piqued."
"As they say, curiosity killed the cat."
"Well some things are worth dying for." Forrest replied with a sly grin.
Forrest was confused, this was the first doppelganger who had the same voice as the original. Their mannerisms were indeed similar, how she spoke, how her hands had to be kept occupied as she stood. This was her, yet not at the same time.
"So what are your plans Mr.?"
"Just call me Forrest."
"Okay Forrest, what are your plans for the evening?"
"I was planning to enjoy the deck, grab something to eat later on in the evening then who knows."
"Sounds rather spur of the moment."
"Sometimes it's best to just do and not think."
"Well, if we see each other again maybe you can show me that kind of planning works."
"How about at the restaurant? Eight tonight okay?"
"Are you asking me out?"
"Yes I am."
"Eight sounds delightful. See you there."

Forrest explored the ship, just idly passing the time by until eight o clock. He wished he could just fast forward the time, but no device was in his possession. When he saw her at the entrance of the restaurant he felt the hours waiting were worth it. It was so uncanny to him that they were able to talk as if they knew each other. She wasn't like the others before, she was actually her, and she was actually how he remembered. This was how their conversations went before, that feeling, that feeling he could only describe as his soul's burden lightening. They continued talking until the maître de gave them the hint that the restaurant was preparing to close. Realizing that they were the only ones left, they shared a laugh and slowly walked back to their cabins.

Forrest walked her to her door and bid her goodnight. She opened her door, but stopped and turned to him.

"It's so funny…" she then trailed off.
"What is?"
"This, what happened. Us."
"I think I know what you mean." He said with a smirk.
"Oh? So what do I mean?"
"The feeling that we have known each other all our lives. The ease at which we talk, as if we were lovers and friends in a past life and somehow fate has brought us back together again. That it's almost painful to part even though we just met and we both know that this parting is simply for a nights rest." A faint blush formed on Janine's cheeks. "Something along those lines?"
"Give or take a word or two." Forrest couldn't help but laugh. Janine then stepped up to him, tipped on her toes and kissed Forrest on the lips. "Goodnight my fated lover, hope that dulls the pain of parting." Forrest just stood there, fully embracing the moment. He could only watch as Janine made her way into her room and then closed her door before waving goodbye to him once more.

Forrest had a broad smile across his face as he entered his room. Throwing his jacket and the rest of his attire to the side he landed onto the bed. He wanted to fall asleep like a kid on Christmas Eve, the faster he went to sleep the quicker the next day would come and Christmas would be here.

"Sleep, sleep…sleep…" his body willingly obliged his request and he fell into blissful sleep.

In what felt like eternity to him, Forrest finally began to stir. His eyes started to open, the vivid light in the room caused them to take time to adjust. It also didn't help that they widened enough for all the rays of the sun to enter his pupils. The reason for their widening was the sight of a familiar head of purple hair curled up against his chest.

'I thought she went to her own room…' Forrest then took a look at the bed he was in, it was definitely not the cabin of the S.S Aqua. It didn't belong to any place he had visited thus far yet it still brought a sense of familiarity to him. As he was trying to figure out what was going on, the alarm clock rang and instinctively his arms swung to hit the snooze button. That was when the other occupant of the bed began to stir.

"Can't believe its morning already."
'It's definitely her.' He then ran his hands through her hair. "Yeah, time to get up."
"Yeah, we both have long trips ahead of each other today." Janine was the first to rise, the sheet dropping off her body to reveal her exposed chest and when she got up from the bed it showed nothing else was there on her lower body as well.

'Definitely her.' Forrest could only chuckle to himself.

Following suite he got up out of bed and prepared to get dressed. Coming from the bathroom, towel wrapped around his body he opened his closet to see nothing but suits and dress shirts, coordinated ties and expensive looking shoes.

'I guess this is my normal attire.'

Janine then walked in front of him, towel wrapped around her body as well. She plucked out a shirt and a matching suit and handed them to Forrest whilst kissing him on the cheek.

"You're definitely going to be late if I let you chose what you want to wear. I saw that look on your face." She walked past him once again and smacked him on his butt. "Hurry up and get dressed."

Forrest looked down to see that the suit held similarity to that what he had on the S.S. Aqua. He only could smirk and he got dressed and waited for Janine to finish getting ready.

"Waiting on me?"
"Yeah…" his jaw dropped as she stood in front of him. It was normal work attire, form fitted skirt that went past her knees, an undershirt and a regular blazer. Yet it was enough to render his speech faculties useless.

"Was going to ask you how I looked, but that reaction was enough to answer my question."

Janine walked pass and kissed him on the cheek. "Safe travels. Call me as soon as you reach."
"Yeah, you too." said a still shell shocked Forrest. He could only watch as Janine exited the house, his brain then resuming normal functionality as he heard her car leave the drive way.

"I guess I should be going then." Forrest picked up his travelling bag, it was unexpectedly heavy, and he paid no more attention to it. He got into the car, keys in the ignition already. Started it up and was met with a very welcoming message.

"Good Day 49, glad to see you made it to another morning."
"A lot on your mind today sir? No greeting."
'Wait is the car talking to me?'
"Have I done something to offend you sir?"
"No not at all, just got caught up thinking about something."
"Don't we all. Time to get down to business though. Here are the coordinates of the target. Orders are to execute at all costs. Collateral damage and all that will not be cared for."
"Yes sir, check the files. We are setting up a meeting with the notorious information broker. We were finally able to get a personal greet with the individual. It's been four years in the making and management just wants this person dead."
"Let's get to it then."

After driving for more than two hours Forrest arrived at the location shown on the car's GPS.

"I noticed in the dossier that there is no picture for the target. Let alone even a sex, how do I know who I am looking for?"
"That's why this is ranked as such a dangerous mission. You will literally be out in the open and just sitting and waiting on the target to make contact with you."
"So I'm pretty much going to be without contact until this mission is over."
"That is correct."
"Beautiful. Nice knowing you if I don't make it out."
"The pleasure has all been mine sir, good luck."
Forrest opened his travel bag to reveal a rather surprising stash of ammunition. "Let's go with you on top, you're up first so I think you are old reliable. No need for a silencer, just need spare clips in case." He zipped the bag up and carried it out of the car. He made his way towards the shopping mall where the rendezvous was scheduled to be. It was a weekday and considering its distance from the city or suburban areas it made an ideal space for a weekday appointment. Only workers and the random shopper was present, leaving the mall pretty much for himself and his target. As he walked into the food court, Forrest scanned the second floor assessing possible locations that would be ideal for blowing his brains away from far away. Walking to the far end of the square, he selected a table against the wall but left himself exits on his left and right. Now came the best part of the mission, the waiting. He opened a newspaper he swiped in passing from the stalls and occupied himself with the happenings of the world. It didn't take long before Forrest was approached. As the person sat in the seat across from him, he started to close his newspaper only for his guest to protest.

"No need for that."
"It will be difficult to complete our transaction with my face stuck in this paper."
"That's true, but it will make this a lot easier."
The new comers tone was enough to activate the instincts of Forrest gained through years of experience. He dashed to the side, missing the shot aimed for his head. His pistols now drawn he returned fire. His assailant had already began to move, using a nearby table for cover. The assailant made an attempt to change cover, but Forrest fired a volley pinning the attacker by the table.

"Why arrange a meeting if you just wanted to put a bullet in my head?" asked Forrest. Of course he got no response. 'Fine then if you won't answer.'
Forrest got up from his cover and fired shot after shot to suppress the assailant, at this point he didn't know if it was his original target or not but a bullet in the head would suffice for the time being. The assailant began firing blindly in the direction of Forrest. Forrest kept on moving forward, he then threw a fake grenade behind the table. The assailant seeing the projectile, moved from the table only to be winged on their calf by Forrest causing them to falter and collide into another of the food court's table. This hesitation was just enough time for Forrest to get on top on the attacker, disarming them by slamming his foot on their hand, his gun now pointed at their face ready to pull the trigger. The scream of pain from the assailant is what froze him, it wasn't that he felt sympathy it was the sense of familiarity of the cry. His mind was now telling him that it was impossible, it was simply a coincidence that their voices were similar. His professionalism was telling him to pull the trigger and ask questions later, but his heart knew better. He wished he could look down at the assailant and assuage that fear, but the helmet across their face prevented the outcome. Deciding in this instance safe than sorry would be the better route, he picked up the attacker's firearm and holstered it. Pinning the female attacker to the floor he forcibly removed the helmet and stepped back in surprise his gun still aimed at her head.

"Who are you?"
"Same I can ask of you. You have the face of somebody I know, somebody who was supposed to be at a business conference in the next hour."
"I'm taking that this is the new location of an airport then." Forrest responded.
"I guess we both have a lot of explaining to do."
"Since I have the gun pointed at your head, I think you better start off Janine."
"Would you mind lowering your pistol just slightly?"
Forrest lowered the gun's aim, relocating it to that of the middle of her chest next to her heart. "Better?" he coldly asked.
*Sigh* "Really Forrest?"
"Yes, now start talking. Are you the 'Broker'?"
"No I'm not…"
"Janine…" Forrest's grip tightened on the pistol.
"I'm not Forrest!"
"So why the fuck did you try to kill me?"
"Because, the 'broker' was you."
"That's bullshit! You were the one who picked this location. This date was arranged by you, this time, all of this. How the fuck could I be the broker?"
"I know for damn sure I'm not an information broker. Sitting behind a desk and learning secrets of other people isn't to my liking."
"I'm the broker huh?" Forrest closed the distance between their faces, looking her in the eye, he placed the end of the barrel's gun on her forehead. "So explain this?" he presented her with communication evidence on his phone between the information broker and himself.
"Something you forged, it seems you are good and creating false impressions."
"Seriously Janine, you are seriously going to say that as if you didn't try to put a bullet through my head just moments ago."
"Still doesn't change the fact." She said with a smile.
"So if you aren't the broker, who are you and why are you here?"
"Well the why has already been explained. Who I am? Well I'm Janine, professional assassin."
"Working for?"
"A certain syndicate, who is being employed by a certain firm. You know the rules of the game, I can't divulge any more than that."
"So you're going to let me put a bullet in your head to save your secrecy."
"I'm good as dead if I let you know, and besides if I'm going to die. Wouldn't be too bad that it's by your hands."
Forrest looked into her eyes, he contemplated pulling the trigger but found out that he couldn't. "For Fuck sakes!" He moved the gun away from her head.
"Calm down Forrest."
"Don't tell me to calm down. How can you even tell me to calm down! I just found out I was dating a professional assassin."
"I just found out I have been sharing my bed with a hitman, slash spy, slash whatever you are. You aren't a whoring spy like James Bond are you?"
"What? No!" he shouted in reply. Janine let out a sigh of relief. "Seriously? That was your only concern given this entire situation."
"Well yeah, I mean you're a spy. Big deal, I'm an assassin. If you have been cheating on me, then that would piss me off."
"So me being an international man of mystery doesn't piss you off, but the infidelity would."
"Damn right, you know how possessive I am."
"So if I said yes would you kill me then go after whoever I slept with."
"Well you might have gotten them, but you wouldn't have gotten to me."
"Please, you are dead to the world when you are sleeping."
"Please, I hear every time you stir in your sleep. Even when you go into the fridge to sneak out ice cream from the fridge." Janine blushed slightly. "See, not such an easy target am I. Besides, here we are. I'm on top of you with a gun and you're below me at my mercy."
"Would it be weird if I said I was excited by this proposition?"
"Not as weird as the fact you tried to kill me."
"Not going to let that go are you?"
"Especially since it doesn't make sense as to why I would be made to have a hit placed on me."
"The spy is really wondering why people want to kill him?"
"You seem to be a lot more sarcastic when you're working."
"Comes with the job unfortunately. Either your cold and boring or sarcastic and temperamental."
"What's the price for you not killing me?"
"Probably mutilation, probably death."
"Seriously, what will happen."
"Death more than likely since this was a very sensitive job. Got explicit instructions to finish the job or die trying."
"So should I kill you then?" asked Forrest placing the gun once again to her forehead.
"Depends on how you answer this question."
"What is the question?"
"Was this all just a cover? Was 'us' real? Did you love me?"
"That's more than one question"
"Just answer Forrest." Janine's sarcastic tone had completely disappeared. It was replaced by an emotion filled voice that almost cracked. Forrest could see tears begin to well in her eyes, as she waited for his response.
"We, us, was real. No cover whatsoever. Don't know why you would even feel the need to ask, I love you Janine."
"Then, go ahead and pull the trigger Forrest. My life had purpose and you gave it more meaning than I ever thought I could get."
Forrest removed the gun and replaced the cold steel feeling of its barrel with that of his lips. "Like I could pull the trigger after hearing that. " Forrest got up and helped Janine to her feet. "Now what do we do next."
"We don't do anything."
Forrest looked down at Janine to see that she had tears running down her eyes. She was trying to smile but couldn't keep up the façade.
"Janine, what's…?" Forrest was cut off as Janine planted her lips on his.
"I do truly love you Forrest." With all her strength she pushed Forrest away from her.
"What's going on Janine?" She simply stood there and gave him a weak smile as the tears still streamed down her cheeks. Her body then pulsed violently as bullets entered her slender frame.

"JANINE!" screamed Forrest.

He ran as fast as he could towards her falling body, but no matter how he tried the distance would not decrease. It was as if time had slowed, for in front of him her body fell for an eternity. In a desperate attempt he lunged at her body calling out for her.

"Janine!" Forrest shot up from his makeshift bed on the couch. He looked frantically around to find out where he was. As his mind and heart calmed he realized that he was home in Pewter City. Back at the gym, but yet his body still felt a tinge of pain caused by the final scene showed to him by his dream. He took in deep breaths to erase that feeling and to center his emotions. Telling himself over and over it was nothing but a dream. He turned and looked at the TV to see the opening theme for a James Bond movie begin to play. He found the remote and turned it off.

"No thanks."

Author's Note: Like it, hated it, let me know. Look forward to the shall be very interesting =D