He was alone and he hated it. He needed something, someone to make him real. He didn't quite understand how he came into existence until she called him a second time. For ten years he lay dormant, in the back of her mind, waiting for the chance to be set free and make his own decisions. He wondered as he slept if he was truly hated by her or if she only used him to forget her own mistake. Did she really blame him for what happened to Maromi? Or did she keep him around because she needed someone to lean on when she blamed herself? He didn't know.

But now, ten long years later, he was awakened from her pain. The stress stirred him but the sudden blunt agony was what threw him out of her head and into the world for the first time. The night air was cold and he was confused.

What has happened? he wondered as she fainted at his feet, Am I real? But he had no time to think. This city was brimming with paranoia and stress. She had summoned him once again to protect her and by manifesting in the form she had imagined he had done his job for the time being. There were others like her who needed protection from their fears, from themselves. With his shimmering weapon he literally smacked the sense into several panicked individuals, thus curing them albeit temporarily. No one can heal the paranoid but themselves.

As he grew in power he almost forgot the girl who needed him most until her memories called him back for one last time. He stood nearby the bloody corpse, his grip on the bat a bit looser than usual, and listened silently as she blamed and forgave herself for her careless act. She turned her eyes to him and he smiled. She didn't need him anymore. He had fulfilled his decade-long purpose.

"Goodbye," he whispered, little more than a shadow now, before completely vanishing from sight and mind. Now he lives only in memory, the dark knight a little girl had imagined to save her in her times of need. His final thought before returning to the corners of her mind was simply this,

"Tsukiko…thank you…" Thank you for needing me…