Hey, guess what:lololol: I don't think there's anything that needs to be said. ;) There are no words. Except:

Enjoy! Much fmeek! Sorry this is so short compared to the last few chapters, but it didn't need to be any longer, and I'm just happy to have it written at all! Thank you all for all your patience with me! And thank you all SO much for the reviews! Trust me, if it weren't for the reviews, this story would have never come back!

--Your obedient Scorpion

Concurrent with the Announcement

Nadir Kahn, who often made a point of finding a way into places he didn't belong, had actually had no difficulty whatsoever in making his way back to where Erik was being held. He had come to know the layout of this courthouse well enough, but surprisingly the usual security guards that would have stopped him from trespassing into restricted areas were not at their posts.

He was set with excuses and falsehoods that he hoped would gain him access past the doors, but when he reached them, he found them open in a final stroke of strange fortune. He heard the sounds of panic before he even made it around the corner to the inner room but did not let his alarm betray his caution and attempted to remain inconspicuous.

A small crowd that consisted of the defense lawyer Clara Varlese, a uniformed prison guard, and two other men in standard business dress surrounded a fallen man who lay on the floor near the wall. Nadir glanced about for anyone else of authority that might explain the circumstances but only saw a disinterested Erik seated in a chair behind the bars on the other side of the room. He did not even seem to notice the hysterics.

"Call them again." The voice of the lawyer brought Nadir's attention back to the group and he watched from the corner as the officer barked into his radio unit in a thick West Indian accent.

"No, don't move him!" Varlese stopped the hands of one of the plainclothesmen. "Just wait until they get here."

"We should take him out into the office," the man objected.

She shook her head. "Are you crazy, he's twice your size. No way you could move him without hurting him."

The third man, who wore a clerk's nametag sat back on his heels and put a hand to his forehead before Nadir's shape caught his eye.

"Are you a doctor?" He stood hopefully.

Nadir shook his head but could not speak before the officer shot up from where he had been crouching, cutting him off:

"Get out! Restricted area!" He turned to the clerk, "Why don't you stand at the door. The whole city is going to wander in here."

"It's okay," Varlese put an arm out in front of the man's legs before he could advance towards Nadir. "I know him; he's with me."

The guard looked at her doubtfully. She glanced at Nadir, hesitating only a moment before adding:

"He's a cop." It was only half a lie.

Nadir nodded and came further into the room, looking again to where Erik sat, but saw no change in his posture.

"A detective, actually," he addressed the guard. "What happened here?"

Varlese shot him a look that he easily ignored.

"No one knows," the guard said flatly. "He was like this before any of us came in."

Nadir stayed where he was for a few moments, noting the trickle of blood that had begun to form a tiny pool beneath the man's head. Then his eye traveled up the wall to a place where a few black hairs clung to the cold cement.

"Did anyone get him any water?" he asked one of the kneeling men.

"Why don't you go get him some water," the guard snapped at him.

Honestly, Nadir did not want to leave the room any more than any of them had.

The radio came alive with static and a distorted voice and both Varlese's and the husky man's attentions were diverted.

Nadir stepped back and moved around the group over to the cell. Everything about Erik was absolutely still except for his left hand, which was moving in slow circles at the wrist, and his thumb rubbed absently against each of his fingers.

"Erik," Nadir hissed at him through the bars. "Is this your doing?"

Erik lifted his head and his eyes turned quickly to the anxious group, then snapped back to Nadir. "No."

"Don't lie to me, Erik." Nadir kept his voice hushed.

Erik eyes narrowed behind the strange new mask. "What are you doing here?"

"Since when do you wear white?" Nadir asked instead.

"In some countries," Erik tilted his head back where he sat, "White is the color of death."

"He's turning purple!" the clerk shouted suddenly and all but Nadir returned to his side.

"Erik, what have you done?" Nadir breathed almost inaudibly.

Erik ignored him and stood to move toward the bars, looking through, offhandedly waving Nadir out of his line of sight.

"It's asphyxiation," he offered, his voice, as always, heard above all others.

"Shut up," the conscious guard snapped at Erik.

"He's right," the man on the floor called. "He's stopped breathing!"

Varlese jabbed the guard to take his attention from the bars. "Call them again!"

"What the hell is taking them so damn long to get a doctor in here," the other man demanded simultaneously as the officer began shouting into his walkie-talkie.

The man on the floor began to convulse slightly and Erik moved to the door of the cell. "Sit him up," he told the desperate clerk, who glanced over at him quickly, then began to lift the guard by his shoulders.

"No!" The other man stopped him. "Don't listen to him."

"What are you doing?" Nadir shot at Erik as Varlese moved over to listen.

Erik put a hand on the door. "He can't breathe. He is going to die."

Varlese looked back at the clerk who had attempted to begin CPR while the other man was attempting to prevent him.

Nadir scowled at Erik, "And how do you know that?"

Erik glared at him and lifted a hand to direct his gaze to follow Varlese's. It looked as if the fallen man's head were about to explode.

"Not like that," Erik called through to the clerk again.

"Shut up!" The guard hit the door of the cell with his radio that had never ceased to scream static.

"He knows what he's talking about," Varlese said, turning up to the guard.

Erik met the officer's eyes. "I…could help him."

Varlese reached for the keys at the guard's belt.

He stopped her hand roughly. "Woman, don't touch my keys."

"He's a doctor!" she exclaimed. It was only half a lie.

Erik's eyes moved back across the desperate scene on the floor, and then met Nadir's again. "He is going to die."

"Let him out," Nadir suddenly commanded with all the authority of a chief of police.

The guard looked back and forth between both Varlese and Nadir, then turned back to look at the others, shaking his head with uncertainty.

"His pulse!" one of the men on the floor looked up at those standing and none of them could mistake the honest fear in his eyes.

The guard tucked his radio away, then unhooked the keys from his belt and unlocked the cell's door.

"Now—" But before he could give any orders, Erik had already brushed by him.

Immediately, Erik was on the floor at the unconscious man's side, lifting him up slightly and holding him around the shoulders. Nadir could not see very well then what the trickster did as he turned completely where he knelt to shield his actions with his body, but he was sure he distinctly saw one of Erik's mystifying, manipulative hands about the guard's throat.

Nadir stepped forward, but then Erik was sitting back again, and the guard, though still unconscious, had begun to gasp in great breaths of air as the deep color almost instantly began to drain from his face.

"He'll be fine," Erik said simply, and perhaps with a note of disappointment that only Nadir could pinpoint.

"What…" the undistinguished man stammered.

"I was not looking when it happened," Erik's eyes stayed on theirs for a brief silent moment before he looked down to gesture to the guard's body as he continued, "but I can imagine that after he tripped and cracked his head against the wall, he may have pinched a nerve in his neck the way he fell, here, which slowly stopped the flow of blood to his brain."

The two men in suits glanced at each other, then looked back to Erik as the clerk rubbed the back of his head. "But…how would that…"

Erik was moving the unconscious man back to half-sit against the wall. "If someone had actually taken two minutes to retrieve some cold water, you might have revived him right now."

No one responded to that and for a few moments the only sounds in the room were the guards pants of recovery and the steady static of the other guard's radio. Abruptly the static changed into a painful shrieking nose and the guard turned down the volume.

Varlese looked slowly at each of the six men in the room before being the first to speak:

"Well, I—" but her words were cut short by the sudden sound of approaching voices and many footsteps that were at once in the door and around the corner into the room. The paramedics had finally arrived.

The guard moved from where he had been standing, around the group on the floor to inform their chief of the circumstances.

The doctor nodded and moved towards the victim, but stopped short upon seeing Erik at the man's side.

"Who is that…Hey! What is he doing there!"

Erik looked up at the paramedic, dusted off his hands and stood to face him, then looking down at the paramedic.

The doctor took a step back and said nothing more, waiting for an explanation as his eyes found the open cell door.

"He's coming around," called one of the other doctors who had gone straight to the fallen guard.

"He just saved this man's life." Varlese stood as well and brushed off the front of her skirt, stepping up to Erik's side. "A lot more than I can say for you, doctor. What in God's name took you so long?"

The man shook his head and waved his stretcher-bearing attendants into the room.

"My client is a hero," Varlese continued. She turned to a police officer who had arrived with the team. "Put that in your report."

"I need some answers here," the new officer addressed her and the rest of the room, only glancing briefly at Erik.

"Get them from them," Varlese gestured to the guard and the two men in suits. "We are late." She handed the officer one of her cards and gestured for Erik to come with her as she moved toward the door.

Erik's eyes found Nadir then who had backed out of the way of the new crowd of white and blue suits in the tiny grey room.

Nadir did not like that look. What was it; a strange sort of triumph. And how was it that he had been the only one who had noticed how the heel of Erik's shoe had crunched down upon and ground into the unconscious guard's fingers when he had first moved to stand and then discreetly kick away the billy club that had been lying nearby. A hero? Hardly... But if this incident were to gain publicity, that might just be what a great deal of people would soon think, and Nadir highly doubted Varlese would have any trouble acquiring publicity. Nadir shook his head in silent thought. Just when he thought he had Erik figured out, it was always a new surprise. The color of death indeed…

He waited until Varlese and Erik had managed to leave the room in the company of a new prison guard and then he too slipped away while the inquiring officer questioned the other men.

He found his way into the packed courtroom just in time to see Erik being brought in through another door. Varlese was already at the front of the room, explaining the situation to judge and another official there, but Nadir's eyes remained upon Erik, and as he was led up the aisle between the crowded rows, every other eye in the room found him as well.

The noise in the room ceased. They were all staring at him. The pale glow of Erik's yellow eyes roved slowly over each of the faces in the seats as he walked, searching, until he found her. She was looking at him too. And her fiancé's arm moved around her shoulders to pull her closer to him.

Christine did not seem to notice, and her arms where they had remained wrapped around herself, concealing the shape beneath her sweater, slowly fell limp. She was sitting on the aisle; he would walk right past her. She would be able to reach out and touch him…

Her mouth opened, but she said nothing. He was coming closer…closer…He was there…Raoul's arm stiffened where it held her. Her breath caught in her throat and her entire frame tensed as the slight breeze of his passing felt like enough wind to blow her away. So close again…She could touch him… But Erik was still walking with the bailiff, already past her, and her hands remained limp in her lap. Why had she thought he would stop?

Her eyes followed the back of him as he went around the front and took his seat at the table, just as everyone's eyes followed him, burned into the back of his grey suit. Then the whispers began again. Christine already felt her tears reforming. She looked down and rewrapped her arms about herself.

"Do you want to leave?" Raoul asked her softly.

She shook her head. She was in the same room with Erik. She did not want to go anywhere.

Ahhh… Hope you liked, and please let me know what you think! Again, sorry it was so short, but it was just a little scene. Sorry to say though that this story is, along with all my others, now on hold until after I finish my story Elainie. Instead of working on all my stories at the same time, I'm going to finish them each one by one and this one probably will be third or fourth in line. Thanks so much to everyone who's stuck with it, I love you all!and I promise you, what I have planned will more than make up for the wait!