BWA: Can you believe this?
BWA: We've actually reached the end of yet another story in this series. -Sniffles- I'm so proud. But, don't worry, I'll save all the mushy stuff for the end of this chapter.
Warren: Thank you!
BWA: -Pokes tongue out- Anyway, I'm happy so many of you liked the fight scene. I had a heap of fun writing it. Now you'll get to see how Jamie is after getting the crap beaten out of her.
Jamie: Your fault.
BWA: -Grins- Obviously. At least you heal up nice.
Jamie: Blah, blah, blah.
Warren: -Cuddles- That's my girl.
Emmett: ... Your girl is evil.
Jamie: Am not! -Whines-
BWA: I think she's sad to see this story coming to an end.
Jamie: Yeah. -Smiles-
Ethan: This is so exciting!
Magenta: Who has the popcorn?
Zach: Unpopped popcorn, right here!
Layla: Zach.. you're supposed to pop it first.
Zach: Warren, do you mind?
Warren: -Shrugs- Why not? -Pops popcorn-
Will: Woo! Food!
Jamie: -Slaps forehead-
BWA: -Giggles- Some things never change, I suppose. Anyway, we won't keep you any longer.
Emmett: Read on, lovelies! Read on!
BWA: Can you believe this?
Disclaimer: You'd think that, by now, I'd know what's mine and what isn't. I want a Warren!
My thoughts swirled about aimlessly as I wandered through the darkness inside my head. I couldn't hear anything except for a quiet little beeping noise. Last time I checked… I hadn't set my alarm clock. And was sleeping always this painful? I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. It wasn't very nice…
A pretty swirl of colours danced behind my eyes, and for some strange reason, I raised my left arm, trying to catch it. I felt my lips pull down at the corners when something tugged at my skin. Did Will tape my arms to the bed again? I was so gonna kick his butt if he did… A feather and some whipped cream in his hand while he slept would do nicely.
There was that beeping noise again. Alarms got louder if you didn't turn them off – this one just continued on at the same volume. It was then that I registered warmth on my stomach and a searing heat on my leg. That confused me… Did I have a hot water bottle on my stomach or something? Either way, it felt very pleasant. Probably the nicest thing about the strange dream I was having at the moment.
As I began to float towards consciousness, I was able to take in the ache of my muscles. I arched my back, trying to relieve myself of the ache there - only to cry out and flop back down onto the mattress, my eyes squeezing tight.
"Jamie?" A soft voice called, pulling me towards consciousness. I'd know that voice anywhere. "Sweetheart, are you awake?"
"Mhm," I mumbled unintelligently. A warm finger stroked my cheek, and I immediately leaned into it. I frowned when I realized that the pleasant warmth on my body was gone. Wanting to figure out who took it away, I opened my eyes, blinking against the blur.
I groaned, turning my head away from the bright light above me, I went to roll to the side, but that tugging on my left arm made itself known again. I glanced down at my arm to see a small needle stuck there. "Ew," I whined.
I heard a light chuckle from my right side, my head whipped around to see Warren watching me. A small smile playing on his lips. "Welcome back to the land of the living, Jamie. You had me worried."
I cocked an eyebrow at him, "Warren, what's going on?"
He pursed his lips and took my right hand in his warm ones. I sighed. "You don't remember anything?"
I shook my head, feeling a little dizzy, "Am I supposed to?" I asked, "Why am I in here, anyway?" I asked, my eyes drifting down to my hand hidden in Warren's. They travelled up my arm, locking onto some nasty looking gashes on my skin. Little half moons made patterns on my skin, crisscrossing in places. Just like fingernails…
Memories rushed over me faster than I thought possible, and I closed my eyes, groaning from the onslaught.
"Jamie?" Warren asked in confusion, squeezing my hand. "Are you okay?"
I nodded a little, "I remember now…"
He sighed, "That's good."
"What happened after I…?" I didn't have the will power to finish.
Warren sighed again and my eyes opened, focusing on his face as he spoke. "Apparently, someone nearby heard you screaming and called the police. They wired it to your parents who came looking. My Dad and Claire were cuffed in minutes." He explained. "They're in a high-security prison across the country now."
I nodded, feeling a little woozy still. "How long have I been out?" I asked.
My eyes popped wide and I lurched upwards, only to be gently pushed back down by Warren. "A week?" I asked in disbelief. "What injuries did I have?"
He made a strange noise in the back of his throat before he answered, "Three broken ribs, severe gashes on your back and stomach, as well as your arms – and bruises covering every inch of your body."
I looked down at my body, only to see a scary looking hospital gown covering my injuries. I looked up at Warren and wrinkled my nose. He chuckled quietly and leaned forward, carefully peeling the gown away from my body.
I gasped, looking down at my skin – thankful that they kept on my underwear and such. I had a long pink, puckered line on my stomach, surrounded by a big purple splotch. That must have been why it hurt to move earlier. I had more bruises dotting across my skin, and I noticed the almost black bruises on my torso. I glanced up at him again and he gently put the gown back.
"Your ribs are healing nicely, thanks to your counterparts. The injuries should be all fixed in about another two weeks. The scars are healing fast; hopefully you won't have any permanent marks." He sighed and his voice lowered. "You almost got yourself killed that night, Jamie."
"I'm sorry," I whispered, feeling my eyes fill with tears.
"Hey," He breathed, leaning down to kiss away my tears, his thumbs brushing against my neck as he spoke. "Don't cry, Jamie. I'm not mad at you – sure I was scared as hell. But I'm not mad. You fought like a pro that night; I've never seen anything like it. And… I'm sorry I left, I know it was wrong and that it hurt you, but I really didn't have another choice."
"I know," I hiccupped. "It's okay, you did the right thing."
"No," He argued. "Doing the right thing would have been to stay with you, but I didn't. I'm surprised you still love me after that."
I gasped and pushed him back so that he was supporting his weight with his hands which were braced on either side of my head. The top half of his body was leaning over me, his feet still on the floor. "How can you say something like that?" I asked, reaching up to stroke his cheek with my right hand. "I love you, I'll always love you. No matter what." I assured him. "Never doubt that."
He smiled and leaned down so that our noses were touching. "I don't doubt it, not one bit."
"Good," I sighed, tugging on his shirt and pulling him over me. He laughed into my shoulder before he raised his head and pressed his lips to my own, sweeping his tongue across my bottom lip. I parted my lips and granted him entrance, his tongue dancing with my own. We broke apart after a few minutes, both breathing harshly.
"I love you," Warren breathed, our lips brushing.
"I know," I whispered. "I love you, too."
A quiet knock on the door shattered our little moment. Warren grinned and slinked off my little hospital bed, laughing at the expression on my face. "Come in," He called, taking my right hand in his.
The door opened slowly and Will's head poked in, a bright smile lighting up his face. His head then disappeared and I heard him call down the hallway. "She's awake!"
"Brace yourself," Warren muttered, still smiling.
I took a deep breath and watched as my family and friends filed in through the door, one at a time. Michelle was the last one to come in. I smiled brightly at them all.
Mum sighed and took my free hand, being careful of the IV in my skin. "Jamie, what were you thinking?" She asked, tears welling up in her eyes.
"Mum," I whined. "Don't fret anymore. I'm okay… alright, so I'm a little bruised – but I'm still here."
She nodded, "I was worried about you, sweetheart. You didn't look too healthy in that clearing." She mumbled.
Dad made a noise in agreement, "That Claire was dangerous. Her body was struggling to keep all of those different powers under control – they cut off after the fight was over."
"Really?" I asked, my eyes widening. "So… she had her fun with me and then gave up?"
Will rolled his eyes, "The capture has been all over the news - thankfully, they haven't been bugging Mum and Dad too much."
Zach clapped my brother on the shoulder and peeked around him, "Dude… You really beat the crap out of that chick. She looked like hell on the news."
I laughed, shaking my head. "At least I landed a few good hits."
Magenta huffed, "A few? Jamie, the girl had bite marks on her skin… what did you do, sink your fangs into her shoulder?"
My silence was answer enough.
"No way," Ethan cried, "You bit her?! It said that her body had taken on severe electric shocks as well. Jamie, you officially kick ass."
I noticed the look on Layla's face and glanced up at her, "What's wrong, Layla?" I asked.
She sighed and leaned against Will, "Just… knowing that we let you get away… No one noticed until Magenta called for you and you didn't answer."
"Hey," I breathed. "Don't feel bad, Layla. I left to find Warren, and I found him… I would have left anyway."
She smiled weakly and rolled her eyes, "I know… But did you have to break so many trees?"
A low chuckle rolled across the room when I nodded.
We spoke for a good half hour after that – Zach and Ethan were constantly asking about Claire's injuries, wondering what I did to cause them. After having them nag me, I ended up showing them the gash on my stomach and then the matching one on my back. There were little scrapes on my back as well, from colliding with that tree right before I passed out.
They all ended up being kicked out by the nurse once visiting hours were over, except for Michelle and Warren. Warren had apparently been by my side all week, and that fact made me tear up. Once the room was just about empty, Warren announced that he was going to go and get something to eat and that he'd be back soon. Michelle stayed and sat by my side, watching my face.
"Jamie," She began after a few minutes of peaceful silence. "I want to thank you."
My eyes widened and I turned my head to look at her, "For what?"
"For everything," She sighed. "For going out and finding Warren, for keeping him safe. You risked your life for the rest of us without a second thought. You could have been killed but you put the rest of us before your safety. You didn't have to go looking for Warren, but you did. You know what he gets like… Thank you… For loving him." She finished with a small whimper, her eyes filling with tears.
"Michelle," I sighed, reaching over and taking her hand. "I'd do anything for you guys. You're my family – if anyone was out to hurt you I'd stop them in their tracks. I've always got your back, Michelle. Always."
She smiled at me and leaned in to press her lips to my forehead, "I know. Thank you, Jamie." She replied. "Now get some sleep."
"No worries," I sighed, closing my eyes.
'You did well, kid.' D muttered as soon as silence overtook the room. I didn't open my eyes, though.
'Thanks, D. I couldn't have done it without the two of you.'
'That's what we're here for, Jamie.' L replied. 'I have to admit though, you're a born fighter. I'm so proud of you.'
'We're proud of you,' D corrected.
'So, what's next do you think?' L asked.
'Hopefully nothing for a while. Honestly, can't we have a quiet year?'
'I doubt it,' L giggled.
'I'm with her.' I agreed. 'Good thing we've always got each other, huh?'
'Of course,' D crooned. 'But, as much as I love the two of you… I'm beat. Let's get some rest.'
'Shocking how we can still be so tired after sleeping for a week.'
'Shut up, sleep time.'
I laughed quietly as I drifted off to join the two of them in my dreams.
They kept me in hospital for three more days before I was allowed home. Warren stayed by my side – not paying any attention when I whined about him missing school. But, it was getting close to the end of the year, and he kept saying that I was more important than his grades. I was expecting Michelle to argue about that, but she didn't. Not that I didn't mind the company.
Everyone was happy to have me back home after that. I was more than relieved to slip back into a normal life. As promised, my ribs were all better after the assigned two weeks. The bruises were almost gone and those angry gashes were mostly healed up. The news died down after a while, much to my relief.
I got back to school a week after I was released from hospital. A lot of people at school came up to me and gushed about the story on the news. It was very strange being the centre of attention. I whined to Warren about it when we got home from school most days.
Michelle was back to her bright and happy self as soon as I was out of hospital. She had me over for a movie night the first free weekend I had. I'm still learning how to paint… and I still suck. Will likes to tease me about it.
Because Claire's powers overloaded and cut off, I'm not burning anymore. You have no idea how good it feels to know that you aren't going to have a fit on the cafeteria floor each lunch break.
Warren and Michelle had a few rough days after the attack – and Warren spoke to me about having to see his father and all. It was hard for him, to see what his dad had become. At least now he knows he's nothing like his father. He's himself, and I love him no matter what.
Mum and Dad were relieved to see me back to normal, joking around with Will and hanging out with him on the roof. I'm happy to have my brother back. They forgave me for everything, no questions asked. And for that, I was extremely grateful.
It was nice to be able to hang out with my friends and just be stupid. One night, the whole lot came over and we hung out on the roof of the house, eating pizza and playing around with glow sticks – and of course, taking photos. I have a big cork board up on my wall absolutely covered in pictures, as well as the large framed photo I got for my birthday. My meadow is still above my bed. And, I have a very special framed picture of that Aston Martin on my desk. The pictures from the concert turned out great – I still couldn't have asked for a better present.
D and L were happy to be able to relax again, even if we couldn't have quiet years at school, the time in between was magical. They were constantly bantering inside my head, and I was constantly telling them to shut up, causing a whole new round to begin. I liked it when I won.
All in all, the year I'd had had made me stronger. I felt more comfortable being myself and I knew that no matter what, the people that I loved would always have my back. I loved them and I knew that they loved me. Forever.
"So, what do you think will happen next year?" Zach asked one night as we sat in the living room having a SpongeBob Square Pants marathon.
"Dragons," Ethan answered.
"Evil peanut butter and jelly sandwiches," Magenta added.
"Talking plants," Layla interjected with a laugh.
"Me being voted sexiest man alive!" Will shouted, causing a round of laughter and a lot of pillows being launched at him.
"I think that every box of matches in the world will come up to me and make me their king." Warren announced, which then changed the target of the pillows to him – which sucked for me because I was laying on him.
"No matter what," I said after we stopped laughing. "I know I'll still have you guys." I smiled, "And, I think that next year my brother will finally grow a brain."
Will grinned and threw a lollipop at me.
"What?" I giggled. "Anything can happen, right?"
BWA: That's it! It's finally finished! -Wipes tears-
Zach, Ethan and Will: -Cries-
Warren: I'm friends with a bunch of girls.
Emmett: Is anyone else proud?
BWA: Of course!
Jamie: Who are we thanking?
BWA: Oh! Right. I want to thank everyone who read and reviewed this story. You are all absolutely amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better group of reviewers. I seriously need to make sure I don't drink anything while I read your reviews. You should all come with warning signs. "May cause laughter at any time, don't consume liquids while reading unless you want it to come out your nose!" -Giggles- Really, you all mean the world to me. This wouldn't have happened if not for your love and support.
Emmett: -Throws confetti-
Magenta: So, what's next for us?
BWA: The next story in this series is called "Ignorance" and it's about Jamie losing the two people that mean the most to her. Any guesses? It might take a little while before it's up, because I have a heap of other stories to work on. But, I'm going to work my butt off to make sure that you all love it!
Emmett: -Throws more confetti-
BWA: So, if you want to keep following these lovely kids, then put me on Author Alert and keep an eye out for "Ignorance".
Emmett: -Throws more confetti-
Jamie: -Whines- Emmett, we're going to drown in this stuff in a moment!
Emmett: Oops, sorry.
BWA: Anyway, thanks again for everything, you guys. We absolutely love you!
BWA: We'll see you again soon!
Everyone: Bye! -Waves-