I watched The Crow the other day, and the plot bunny bit me hard.

Disclaimer: I don't own BMFM or The Crow.

Chapter one

It had been a year since the day Charley died.

Throttle, Vinnie, and Modo had rolled in the garage like normal from a night on patrol, laughing and joking about the latest smack-down on Limburger's thugs. Vinnie couldn't wait to brag to Charley about the sweet tricks he'd done on his bike this time. All laughter had stopped when they saw the scattered tools on the garage floor, puddles of oil and gasoline spread in wide arcs. The radio that had a direct link to their helmets was in several pieces against the wall. Broken glass was all over the kitchen, blood spatters on the floor. Small patches of blood had been spilled on the stairs to the floor above, smeared as if something--or someone--had been dragged up the stairs.

They had frantically called for her over and over, praying for some kind of answer and getting nothing but terrifying silence. Modo had beaten Vinnie up the stairs, throwing open the door to her room and freezing in horror. He'd desperately shouted to Throttle to keep Vinnie away, but the white mouse was having none of it, tearing out of his bro's grip to go in. All three mice saw her body, beaten and broken, her wrists and ankles tied to the bedposts. Their cries of denial and greif rang out for what felt like forever, but nothing they did or said could bring their girl back.

She had been dead for three hours, the coroner's report read. She had suffered severe blunt force trauma, dying of internal bleeding and severe hemorrhaging in her brain. And post-mortem examination had shown that she had been raped by multiple people. The police concluded that the oil and gasoline spread throughout the property had been the perpetrators' attempt to cover the evidence by burning it down. A cigarette had been found on the scene, thankfully too drowned in oil to light the rest of the fuel.

Despite the dozens of fingerprints found at the scene, no link could be made to existing criminal records. The police had no leads, and since nothing had been stolen, no motive for the crime. Charlene Davidson had been well-liked in the community, a volunteer at the local orphanage, a fair business woman by all accounts.

Chef Andy had taken responsibility for the boys, knowing that it was what Charley would have wanted. He arranged for a simple service for the girl, her body creamated and the ashes scattered over the grounds of her home. He had explained that by law, no property that held a person's remains could be sold until all the remains could be gathered and moved to another place of rest. And there was no way anyone could prove they had every bit of ash left. The mice had found a bitter comfort in the knowledge that after all the battles to protect her home, her death had guaranteed her home was now safe from Limburger's schemes forever.

They had been nearly inconsolable, falling into a deep depression that it seemed like nothing could shake. They had stopped checking in with Mars, leaving Stoker and Carbine completely in the dark as to what was going on. The only thing that mattered to them now was finding the ones who had killed their Charley-girl and making them pay. And the only people they could think of that would do something like this were Limburger's goons.

The biker mice had burned the tower down, destroying every attempt the Plutarkian made at rebuilding. It had been the mad scientist Karbunkle that had suggested building a base hidden underground: the very earth they sought to destroy would now protect them.

And it had worked. Without the destruction of Limburger's operations, the fish could save the money and buy the services of even more villains. The mice were now fighting almost nonstop, barely having time to heal from injuries before receiving new ones again. And while Vinnie did his best, their bikes were almost always in a state of near disrepair without an experienced mechanic to help them.

They called in every ally they could get to help, and even the efforts of Jack McCyber's hacking into surveillance satellites couldn't find Limburger's base. With the villains going nonstop, they couldn't catch every crooked deal and plot, and parts of Chicago were going up in smoke.

It had been a year since the day Charley died.

Things were looking grim indeed. Such chaos and destruction was not supposed to happen, not like this.

The Powers the Be made a decision. It was time that Charlene Davidson came home.


Birds over Chicago were not unusual.

Birds over the Last Chance Garage, that wasn't unusual.

Dozens on dozens of black crows clinging to every square inch of the roof, every window, every door of the garage in the last moments of the sunset: that was unusual.

They swarmed over the unassuming building, the normally raucous birds eerily silent. They went completely still as the last crest of the sun sank beneath the horizon. When the last of th light faded, the sky turning inky black, one of the birds began to tap its beak on the roof. One by one the other birds began to tap in time with it until the sound rang out like dozens of hammers beating in unison.

A lazy wind began to swirl around the garage, getting stronger as it went, pulling up the dust from the earth outside. Inside the building the dust of the past year began to stir with the same wind. The birds kept up their fierce tapping, several panes of window glass breaking, the dust from outside pouring in. Gradually, bit by bit, a form took shape in the swirling mass.

Slowly, the form of a young woman appeared, arms raised, bracing herself against the storm winds.

A single crow cawed.

The violent winds ceased.

The girl fell forward, hair tangled about her face, scraps of once fine clothing clinging to her body. She barely caught herself from hitting the floor, trembling as the cold air shocked her skin. She began to shiver, hunching over for warmth and glancing around to get her bearings. She stood on shaking legs, blinking to adjust to the lack of light.

A large crow worked its way in through a broken window pane, hopping from the window sill to the floor in front of the girl. It caught her attention and met her curious gaze. Blue eyes locked with jet black.

The memories began to come back to her.

Her first steps, unsteady on bare feet, into welcoming arms. Her hair being combed with gentle care. Kicking off a frilly dress because it had itched and being scolded for tearing the fine lace. Her first day of school, how she'd been so scared to go into that big building without her-(Mommy, I remember now, she died when I was six.)

Playing with tools far too big for her hand, a deep voice saying how proud he was of her. Her first bike ride, his large hands holding onto the seat until she was brave enough to go on her own. The first time she ever tried on the heavy gold band, on her thumb because it didn't have a chance at staying on any other finger. (Dad, oh god, I almost forgot about that, he loved that ring.)

She remembered childhood, high school, her first crush (Jack, sweet stubborn Jack, you were gentle that first time, my first lover.) She remembered her father, teaching her everything she knew about machines, never saying she couldn't because she was a girl. She remembered the day she won her first racing trophy, how proud he was, she remembered the day he died and they laid him to rest. The garage, (The Last Chance, because there wasn't another decent mechanic in this direction for fifty miles), it was hers, her home.

White, tan, grey fur; warm arms, warm smiles, she knew them better than anyone. Her boys; the Martian mice that she loved so much. Aliens and mad scientists, her world was a B-rated movie. The wild adventures, the thrills of racing with them, fighting by their side. Vinnie and Throttle and Modo. Oh god, how could she have forgotten the best time of her life?

Her life?

Wait, something had happened, there towards the end, right?

The end?

The memories began to come back to her.

Greasepit and his thugs had ambushed her as she had got out of the bathroom, they had been watching, waiting for the right time to attack. They had caught her so fast, she couldn't reach the radio, couldn't cry out, couldn't stop them as they had-

They had-

She had--

The screams rang out, the crows outside instantly flying away in a flurry of feathers and caws. She screamed and screamed, doubling over at the memory of pain and fear and death. Her body rebelled at the horror, trying to throw up, but nothing came but dry heaves, every limb shaking in terror.

Only the crow at her feet was undisturbed. It patiently waited for her screams to stop, her crying to slow from hysterical sobs to streams of tears. She was on her knees now, face buried in her hands.

The crow cawed.

She remained still, her breath gasping and hiccuping from her fit.

It cawed again.

Slowly her head lifted, her hands falling into her lap.

Blue eyes met jet black