Author's Note:

Last night, I was watching My Sister's Keeper, which, in my opinion, is one of the most sad, tragic, and yet realistic movies I have ever seen. It especially got me in the end, when Anna said, "I wish I could say Kate made some miracle recovery, or that her death had some great meaning. But it didn't. We just had to go on." The entire movie was so sad and yet so touching; I sobbed through practically the whole thing.

So, of course, you can see where I got the inspiration from. As usual, I own nothing.


Aerrow was used to being the first one up. As team leader, he was usually the first person awake, turning on the lights, sometimes even starting breakfast.

However, Piper usually was up with him, helping him, encouraging him, making the breakfast with him.

Ever since Cyclonia had been defeated, things had been a bit less strict. Sure, there were still Raptors and Murk Raiders and ex-Talons to hunt down, but they didn't have to be ready for battle every second.

When Finn stumbled out into the bridge, yawning, Aerrow felt a hint of foreboding. Why wasn't Piper up yet?

Then, he realized that Piper was usually up so early. She had been working late on her crystals again last night, so there was no reason why she wouldn't want to sleep in.

However, as the morning went on, he got more and more worried. She never showed up. She never came out of her room for breakfast or anything. It was like she wasn't there.

What was going on? Why wasn't Piper OK?

He decided to give Piper some space, and had just mentally talked himself out of worrying when Junko barged into the bridge. "I tried poking her, but she just won't wake up!" the Wallop proclaimed.

Aerrow's heart jumped into his throat. Somehow, for some reason, he was irrationally freaked out. This was making him far more scared than he should be. Still, better safe than sorry. He rushed to his best friend, his sister in all but blood, his first crush, his Piper's room.


The navigator's voice was weak, as weak as her body. She looked pale, and skinnier than usual. There were dark circles under her bloodshot eyes. Her entire body looked like it was covered in bruises.

"Piper!" Aerrow cried. "We've got to get you to a hospital! Now! STORK!"

"No, Aerrow," she said softly. "It's too late."

"Don't you dare say that," he scolded, tears falling from his bright emerald eyes, spilling onto his cheeks like little rivulets. "STORK! SET COURSE FOR TERRA ATMOSIA!"

"They can't help me," she whispered.

"You don't know that!" Aerrow insisted.

"I do. Because I visited them the first time, when I fainted, because I wondered what was wrong with me. I didn't tell any of you because I didn't want you to worry." She started crying.

"I have leukemia. As in cancer, leukemia. I worked with too many unstable crystals, and the radiation caused my blood, my bones to start to…" She broke off, wiping her eyes furiously, determined to finish her story before she went hysterical.

"They told me I had two options: I could stay at the hospital, and undergo treatments, and live for a few months, or I could try to ignore it, and live for a few weeks. That was three weeks ago."

Aerrow gave her a tight hug. "Why?" he whispered, his voice catching in his throat. "Oh, Piper, of all the stupid things to do, why? You just killed yourself, basically. Why, Piper? What if they come up with some new cure in two weeks? Or a month?"

She shook her head. "Aerrow, you have to let me go. There are no miracle cures. I will die." She took a deep, shuddering breath. "I will die, and I am ready to die. As ready as I'm going to be. And I didn't want to spend my last couple weeks in some hospital, surrounded by faceless strangers, getting ready for the next treatment that would make me sick. I wanted to spend it with you. Months, weeks, it's meaningless without my friends." Tears flowed freely now. "I didn't want to die in some hospital bed. I wanted to be with you."

Aerrow pulled her into a tight embrace. "Do you want to see the others?" She nodded.

The rest of the Storm Hawks, who had been listening mutely in the doorway, came filing in. Piper raised her eyes, then began to address all of them.

"Junko: you always were the sweetest person I knew, and it only goes to show that you can't judge a book by its cover. Promise me you'll learn to make sandcakes, and cook them for the others."

"Stork: I guess I should have been a bit more paranoid like you."

Stork sniffed, then leaned down to hug her. She giggled, surprised. "Aren't you afraid I'm contagious?"

"Leukemia isn't contagious," he replied stiffly. "And even if it were, there are more important things."

Piper smiled gratefully. "Radarr, I'll miss you. I'll never forget all the ruckus you always made, and how much those chickens loved you. You always made me smile."

"Finn: I'm so sorry. I've always been so busy criticizing you, that I haven't told you how much you meant to me. You're like my brother, Finn, and I only wanted you to do better. Promise me you'll never give up. Maybe one day when you've changed the musical world with your rock, you'll write a song for me, 'kay?"

"Okay," Finn replied, tears streaming down his cheeks.

She turned to the last person of their group. "Aerrow?"

"It's okay. You don't have to say anything."

The other Storm Hawks began to inch out of the room, leaving the two alone. Piper smiled weakly. "Are you mad at me?"

"Not at you. At the world. For being so unfair!"

"Aerrow? Promise me you'll never stop…being you." Aerrow nodded, unable to stop himself from speaking without bursting into tears. He jumped onto the bed, holding her, comforting her, as they both drifted off to sleep.

Piper of the Storm Hawks did not die in battle. She did not die in some skimmer crash, or in some lab accident. She was not murdered by Master Cyclonis, or one of her subordinates.

Piper of the Storm Hawks died in her sleep, with Aerrow holding her. She just stopped breathing.

Wow. I actually feel bad for Piper, and I HATE Piper. Well, that's the end. I hope you enjoyed it. Review, please!