(I am sorry for the long wait. I've been busy with school starting and all.)

I don't own anything that is not mine.

Chapter Twenty Two: Last Effort

Erren could not take on a ninja. She was completely incapable of such a feat. She could see herself trying to take on a ninja and failing miserably. She'd be dead in three seconds flat. Erren nervously looked away from the branches, hoping the stranger didn't notice that he had been noticed. She casually moved her hand over Scorpion's, hoping he would look at her.

Scorpion seemed surprised by the teen's touch and turned his head, his eyes blazing. Erren quickly got his attention before he lashed out and started yelling. She moved her eyes back and forth between him and upward. Scorpion cocked an eyebrow and was about to say something -- Erren flipped and did the first thing that came to her mind.

The teen quickly embraced Scorpion in a hug. Great going Erren… She thought as she moved her lips closer to his ear. Her plan was to tell him, very quietly, that there was a ninja in the tree above. Of course, she wouldn't have to do that if he could take a hint.

"Look up," she whispered into the Shirai-Ryu's ear. Scorpion did as instructed and to Erren's amazement, jumped up while making sure neither he nor Erren were hit with a few kunai knives that had suddenly been thrown from above.

Scorpion threw Erren behind him and continued to stare at the tree where the knives had come from. Erren didn't know how Scorpion was standing so firmly, or how he kept perfectly still.

"Come the hell out." Scorpion demanded. A few seconds later, the ninja Erren had seen minutes earlier appeared below the tree. He was dressed just like the other ninjas Erren had seen in the village; brown and black.

"Raiden doesn't know everything it seems." Scorpion snorted as he prepared himself for an attack. Erren thought she noticed a slight tremor run through Scorpion's body and she instantly felt the urge to stop him.

"Wait…stop - " Erren reached her hand out but stopped when Scorpion stepped forward out of her reach. "You can't.."

Scorpion heard Erren mumbling something behind him but didn't listen to a word of it. He wasn't going to just sit around and not fight. Of course, he was in no condition to fight. His body was violently protesting any sort of movement. But what could he do? If he didn't do anything Erren would die…

I'm so pathetic.There he was worrying about someone else's safety; something he hadn't done in a long time. He had tried so hard not to grow attached to the girl but it was hard when every time he looked at her he had a hard time thinking straight. For some reason she had that strange -- and somewhat dangerous -- effect on him. Scorpion had feelings for her, but that didn't matter because he wasn't going to let them control him…or, not anymore.

"Shut up and hide somewhere safe." That shut her up. Scorpion could hear the girl's footsteps running away and shortly after turned his attention wholly on to his enemy.

Which was what he should have done seconds ago -- the strange ninja had thrown another set of knives in Scorpion's direction. The Shirai-Ryu dodged and forced his arm to reach for his sword; it was getting harder to move.

"That's all you can do? Throw knives?" Scorpion tried to sound as normal as possible as he held out his sword menacingly.

The stranger snickered as he pulled out a sword of his own. "You're in no position to mock me -- it seems our poison's doing it's job nicely." He paused and put his free hand on his hip cockily. "You'll be dead in a few minutes if you keep moving like that. Why don't you just give me the girl? I promise I'll kill her quickly."

Scorpion felt his eyes narrow. "Stupid bastard," he growled as he charged. He swung his sword but it was met with the enemy's. Scorpion flinched back as the force of the hit rippled through his aching middle. Ignoring the pain, Scorpion pulled out his other sword and put it to the stranger's throat.

"Nicely done. I'm shocked you're still able to move."

"Yeah, well try not to be completely amazed after I do this." Scorpion began to pull the sword back and cut off his opponent's head when he felt a sharp pain throughout his middle. He instantly took a step back, but the pain only doubled.

"I could defeat you with one finger." The ninja said as he jammed his finger further into Scorpion's side. "Funny, huh?" The stranger watched as Scorpion fell to his knees and balled up.

"Damn..you…" Scorpion ground out through clenched teeth. He had over looked that little part. He should have been watching both of his hands.

"Again, you're in no position to - " There was a loud thunk noise. Scorpion looked up to see a very pissed off ninja and a rock lying on the ground near his feet.

She didn't…

Erren stood behind the ninja holding another rock in her hand. She looked absolutely terrified. "D..don't even think about it.."

The ninja's anger dissipated when he began laughing. "Oh, aren't we the brave one." He began walking toward Erren casually. Erren stiffened and backed away a couple of steps.

"D-don't come any closer!" She held up the rock as if she was going to throw it.

"What are you doing?" Scorpion roared. Why couldn't she have ran away?

The stranger laughed. "Yeah, what are you doing? You think a rock will stop me?"

Erren glared as hard as she could and continued to hold the rock firmly. She didn't say anything. Scorpion could only watch in horror as the ninja continued getting closer and closer to the girl. He had to do something so she could get away. But after a few moments of trying to stand and failing, Scorpion realized there wasn't much he could do.

"Damnit." With one last effort, Scorpion stood. He grabbed one of his swords and began toward the ninja silently.

Erren glanced behind the ninja who was going to kill her and saw Scorpion stand. She quickly looked away and tried her best to seem terrified of the man before her. "I..I'll throw it!"

The ninja laughed harder this time. "Are you slow? I just said - " He was interrupted by a sword entering his middle. A second later he fell to the ground in a dead heap. Erren dropped the rock and tried not to look at the dead man as she ran toward Scorpion. She noticed he was about to fall, so she did her best to keep him up as she literally jumped to him and held him.

"If you…ever do that…again.." Scorpion could barely breathe. Why was it so hard to breathe? He then noticed he couldn't feel his legs and quickly fell to the ground, taking Erren with him. "Damn.."

"Scorpion," Erren was crying by then. Scorpion could have rolled his eyes.

"What…are you crying about..?" Shit he sounded pathetic. He looked at the girl and noticed her arms wrapped around his neck and she was crying into his shoulder.

"I..you're…" Scorpion rolled his eyes -- or, thought he did -- and placed a hand on Erren's back. There was nothing worse than a blubbering woman.

"Don't worry about me…just worry.."

Scorpion never finished the sentence because unconsciousness took over.

When Scorpion came to, he was in a bed. He quickly sat up, suspicion taking over and threw the sheets off.

"Calm down," an all too familiar voice said coolly. Scorpion looked up to see Johnny Cage sitting beside the bed. The Shirai-Ryu had not expected to see the blonde there.

"Where the hell am I?" Scorpion demanded hoarsely. Why was his throat hoarse?

Johnny sighed as he stood and stretched. "You're not gonna like it when I tell you."

"Tell me or I'll slit your throat."

"Ok, ok!" Johnny sighed again and backed up a few steps. "The Lin Quei shrine…"

Scorpion blinked a couple of times before registering the information. He glared at Johnny -- or would have if he was there. The blonde had left. Scorpion sighed and stood, but his legs gave out for some reason and he about fell on the floor…

Until a strong arm wrapped around his middle and helped him back up. Scorpion looked up to see blue and could do nothing but glare.

"Come on Scorpion, you could at least thank him." Raiden's familiar voice echoed through the room as he stepped in. "He's the one who nursed you back to health."

Scorpion didn't like the way the sentence was worded -- nursed? No. "…How long was I out?"

"Four days." Sub-Zero said as he urged Scorpion to lie back down. "And all of that will mean nothing if you don't lay back down."

Scorpion pushed away from the Lin Quei headmaster, only then realizing how weak he really was. He ignored it however. "No. I'm fine."

Sub-Zero was about to say something else but Raiden stopped him. "We thought you were going to die for a while there."

Scorpion snorted. "Then why did you revive me?"

The room was silent until Sonya came in. "Because you ass, Erren wouldn't have ever left if you were going to die." Scorpion stared at the blonde woman like she was crazy.


"After we defeated the ninja who kept attacking Erren, Raiden found a portal back to Erren's world. We came back to get her and found you barely breathing." Sonya said as she folded her arms over her chest. "She was hysterical -- she wouldn't leave until she knew you'd be ok."

"And that took about a day or so to convince her." Johnny added. "Subs over here had to work constantly to keep you from dying, and when he finally got you stable Erren left."

It was quiet for a moment before Johnny started to chuckle. "But not before she --"

"She told us to tell you bye." Sub-Zero interrupted. He gave Johnny a look.

"What? I think he'd like to know!" Johnny said in his defense. He began to chuckle again as he looked at Scorpion. "She gave you a peck on the cheek before she left."

Whatever Johnny was expecting from Scorpion, he didn't get it. Scorpion was staring at the floor. So she's gone..What did that mean to him? She didn't matter to him. He didn't need her, and she didn't need him. There was nothing there.

So why did he feel so empty all of a sudden?

"So," Raiden started. "We have saved the realms thanks to Scorpion. Thank you."

Scorpion continued to stare at the floor. "…yeah."

End of Walking Kontradiction

(A/N: Ok, I know you're all thinking "Wow, what a sucky ending!" But, it's not over. There will be a sequel and it will be up as soon as I can get it up. Thank you all who have reviewed and kept me going. I hope to hear from you again!)