Authoress: Third chapter!

Sahori: Let's just get this started. Disclaimer: Stuff belongs to Disney. Period. But Liz belongs to us.

Authoress: Me. Not 'us', you mean.

Sahori: No. Us. She's technically in our group.

Authoress: I created her.

Sahori: We're family. We pwn you. (smirks)

Authoress: Bipolar carrot top.

Sahori: Insane psycho-bitch.

Authoress: Ah, I like to thank all the readers out there (I got favorited and people leave comments. THANK YOU SO MUCH! X333), and would like to thank those who commented. It let's me know you people are actually out there. ^.^ Thank you!

Sorry this took so long, but I have a life (unfortunately) and things tend to happen whether I like it, or not. Mostly not. SAT's, CM's, all sorts of testing is not my thing. But I have to do it anyways,

P.S. I don't think I'm holding these conversations with Sahori anymore, she's not talking to me anymore…

What does that tell you? =_=

Originally, this was one huge chapter, but because I'm taking so long to type it, I'm splitting the chapter in half. An update, finally. Again, sorry. ^.^;

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~CHAPTER 3: So It Begins (Part I)~

(To clear it out, Liz still thinks her adoration for Jim is as a very precious friend/partner/brother and vice versa. Neither are actually very clear about their feelings.

This will change.

Just you watch.

IMPORTANT: For the past two chapters I have been saying that it was Liz's MOM that's been cheating with some kind of non-human creature. I meant her dad, the rich old guy. For some reason I'm having trouble reloading the other chapters. I'll get to that as soon as I can….)

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~JIM'S POV~

Liz and I sat on the roof together, leaning against the warm, slightly crooked chimney.

Shoulder to shoulder, lazily throwing pebbles stuck in between the shingles into the gutter. As the rocks bounced off the gutter and rolled, they each sounded their own lonely ping-ping sound. The sky had turned dark, and cloudy. Everywhere was gray and shadowed, shadowy fingers seem to draw themselves across the cliffs as we had ran back up to the Benbow Inn and climbed onto the uneven, rundown roof. It was our place to be alone, and the only place where we could watch the going-on's of the inn while be as close to the sky as possible when our boards are confiscated. The roof itself was rough and mismatched.

Dirty. Chipped. Sad.

After sneaking through the security of the Kingston Mansion, I had to get by the guards, and wait for the bunch of stuck-up kids in pressed, expensive clothes to pass by before being able to help Liz out of the locked basement through a little window at the corner of the mansion.

It was a breeze after that. Even if the guards saw us, they didn't put in the effort to chase us. We were too fast, and it happened too regularly of late to be of much matter. They knew they couldn't catch us.

We were taking turns lazily flicking pebbles into the gutter down below. Liz made it every. Single. Time. Which made it exasperating after a while, so we just leaned our heads back against the warm stone chimney and attempted to relax. Though brood is probably a more accurate word for it.

I heard voices coming from inside, escaping from the main room to us on the roof.

There was a circular, slightly crooked window next to us, the glass was smudged and dirty from all these years, but the light could still shine through, and I could still just glimpse my mom and Delbert. I could see my mom pacing back and forth, cleaning, tidying the now empty inn, and talking to Delbert.

"I really don't know how you manage it Sarah," Delbert's muted, nervous voice reached me.

"Trying to raise a business while raising a felon like—felon-like—fellow—fellow, like Jim. And he's running around with Elizabeth isn't doing him much good either. She's as bad as he is. Both of them are getting into so much trouble, and all."

I felt Liz shift restlessly besides me. She was listening, too.

"Managing it? I'm at the ends of my rope!" Mom exclaimed, both of us winced ever so slightly at the despair that heavily colored her tone. "Ever since his father left—well—Jim's, just never recovered."

Why did she have to bring Dad up? My eyes trailed back to the gutter below.

"And, well, you know how smart he is," she continued, my eyes found it's way back to the yellow-tinged window. "He built his first solar system when he was eight!" A small, tired smile pulled at the corners of my mouth, and I could feel Liz nudging my arm very lightly, very encouragingly. "And yet, he's failing at school. He is, constantly, in trouble. And when I talk to him, it's like he's a total stranger to me, I don't know, Delbert! I've tried everything!

And Liz…"

Sarah cut off her sentence abruptly, and after a period of stifling silence, she sighed tiredly.

"She…just goes along with everything. I don't know who starts things, Jim or Liz. But if one of them does something like—like jump over a gorge with a flyer just to see if they can make it to the other side, they other will immediately follow. Without thinking about it at all! With Liz…you know thing's always been hard on her, her being a halfling and the subject of that scandal with her 'father'," Sarah's exasperated tone changed instantly as she the word drew out 'mother' distastefully. She did not look well upon a man who ignored his child, even if Liz was a result of an obviously non-human mistress.

"Sometimes," Sarah sighed. "I think it's better if those two spent some time apart from each other, but then I look at them when they are apart and when they're together…Jim…he… withdraws into himself completely, it's like he's just completely and utterly alone and gone from here when she's not around …and …Liz…God, Liz… Sometimes, I'm afraid of her. When she comes to the inn after getting into a fight, without a single scratch and, I wonder what makes up her other half. Delbert, don't get me wrong, I love her and she's such a sweetheart! Even if she gets in so much trouble! But I can't help but wonder at times if she's actually safe to be around…"

Liz stiffened with each passing second, half curling into herself, purple eyes completely shadowed by the mass of hair she grew out. I could feel her trembling. I knew she was holding back tears.

I scooted closer, and gently pressed up against her side. In times like these, we really only have each other, don't we? See, wait for it…

There! She'll turn slightly and give a half-hearted, sad smile. She won't put out emotion like this to anyone these days but me. Another reason why I hate this monotone lifestyle of ours. She's growing pale. Well, she's always pale, but lately, she's been getting more thin and waxy, all sick-like and sad.

Liz suddenly stiffened, sitting up ramrod straight and away from the chimney, eyes wide and staring into thin air. It was like she was desperately trying to see or hear something. She spun to face around the chimney and toward the sky a split-second before I heard it myself.

The sound of a craft hurtling through the air with the engines sputtering with strain, and fire cackling harshly as the whatever the craft was moaned in pain. The sound got louder and louder, closer and closer.

I turned to see instinctively and saw some sort of pointed gray craft whoosh past us in a flash and crash land at our spindly docks in a spiral of sparks and black, thick smoke. It looked like a life craft, a small vehicle usually kept on a bigger ship for escaping, scouting, or small-scale landings.

Liz's reaction was faster than mine as she slid down and off the roof. I followed closely behind. Slowing our fall by clawing the rooftop as we dropped from roof to roof, and we both hit the ground running and ran to the rickety dock where the ship had hit.

We rushed down to the end hill that the Benbow Inn was located on and down to the end of the dock to the crash-landed.

Liz got there first, jumping lightly on top of the craft, balancing precariously on all fours. Taking out a small, dull pocketknife she always kept hidden in the waistband of her baggy pants, she used it to pry open what I knew would be the circuit panel of the ship. With opening it, a column of smoke rose out of the opening. Carefully poking through it before turning her head back and forth to examine the ship itself, her eyebrows furrowed.

"Jim! This ship was shot down by a canon in the tail and the port engine! And it ain't gonna take off again anytime soon!"

When I finally caught up, I banged on the foggy, glass dome that I knew was the cockpit.

"Hey, mister! You okay?"

I started when the glass dome started opening with a gaseous his of air escaping a closely confined area and rusty, sudden movement of the dome unlocking. Liz slid down the side of the craft agile and landed besides me the moment the cockpit suddenly opened, tensed up and wary with one hand still gripping the dull knife lightly, but firmly. We both saw a shadow moving from within the smoke….

Continued in part 2…..

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Thanks for reading!

I'll get Part 2 up ASAP! It'll be easier since I already wrote most of it. =3333