It was quiet in the Sea Weasel home. Mist had just gathered up some berries for breakfast. She saw both of her sons, River and Zel, walking towards the pile of berries she had laid out, along with the Shinx they were temporarily housing, Watt. She turned around to grab a few more berries, but when she turned back there was no one there.

"River? Zel? Watt? Where'd you all go?" she called out. A paw on her shoulder caused her to spin around to see her mate, Wake. He had a saddened look on his face.

"Mist, have you forgotten? They were all lost in the forest…" he said somberly.

Mist's eyes grew big and her breathing heavy. 'No,' she thought to herself. 'No, they can't be gone… they just can't.' The entire world around Mist started to distort and grow black. She felt like a thousand arrows were stabbing at her. Soon everything went completely black. Everyone-Wake, Zel, River, and Watt-they all disappeared from Mist.

"No, come back! Please come back!" The world around her just continued to darken. It felt like she was falling from an incredible height with the ground close approaching.

"No!"

The world around her suddenly had color again. The bright, vibrant rays of sunlight were just starting to show in the field in front of their home. It was morning.


Mist looked around the entire area that made up their home. To her left was Wake, and behind her were the three kids, all of them still sound asleep. She rubbed her eyes to make sure she wasn't hallucinating; she didn't want to have to go through that feeling she just had again.

'But what was that feeling?' Mist asked herself. 'That dream… it seemed so real.' She got up from her bed and walked towards the mouth of the cave. 'Is that really what's going to happen or am I just worrying too much?' she asked herself again. One of her paws moved over to where her wound was. She was able to protect Zel once before, but with her not around she wouldn't be able to protect him again. Mist didn't want to let her children go into the forest, but the plan was already set. It would be traumatic to Watt if the search for her parents and brother was called off.

She just sat back down at the mouth of the cave, leaning against a rock. Her mind started to drift, making up every possible negative scenario the two brothers might encounter in the forest. She tried her best to focus on something else, but it was like some foreign force was preventing that.

"Hey, you feeling alright?" a voice called out to Mist. She turned to see Wake up and alert. He bore a slight smile as a way to try and get Mist to cheer up, but with what he knew was on her mind, it really wouldn't have worked.

"Yes. I'm fine," she replied.

"C'mon, tell the truth. You're still worrying over the boys and Watt, aren't you?" He got it right exactly with that statement. Mist was worrying and nothing she did could stop it. "Listen, you just need to have faith in them. You've seen them in action before; you know how powerful they are. You just need to believe that they'll do what they've been tasked with and complete it with no trouble at all." All his words may have seemed reassuring, but truth is even Wake was in a state of worry as well. Only difference is he's just able to control it better than Mist is.

Mist tried to believe, but she just wasn't strong enough, mentally, to do so. All she could do was worry. Wake caught onto this and moved to sit down next to her, wrapping his arms around her to at least attempt to calm her down. It worked to keep her mind off all the negative thinking, but not enough to calm her worries.

Meanwhile, back in the cave, the rest of the Pokemon started to stir. The first to open their eyes was Watt, whose first sight of the day was a picture of Zel's sleeping face. He had a small smile going, and Watt just silently giggled at the sight of the sleeping Buizel.

"Good morning. How'd you sleep last night?" Zel said as he opened one of his eyes, proving that he was very much awake. The smile never drifted from his face though.

Watt jumped up a little. She definitely wasn't expecting Zel to already be awake. "How long have you been up?" she asked.

Zel moved his tail out from around Watt and sat himself upright. His face caught an eyeful of sunlight and the bright light temporarily blinded him. He shifted his head around so he was facing away from the sun and answered Watt's question, "Not very long. I woke up and saw that you were still asleep, so I decided that I'd just wait until you woke up yourself." Zel shot another smile at Watt, causing her to turn in slight embarrassment. There was something about him that just made her feel… safe.

Watt herself now sat up and stretched out her legs. She looked around for a bit before opting to just sit and wait for something to happen. She didn't want to wait much longer though. Her family was still waiting to be found.

Zel had the same thing on his mind. He wondered how her family would take to him, if they'd be nice or not so much… There really wasn't any reason for them to be aggressive towards them, but you never know… He, too, looked around his home, noting that both his parents were already awake, but out of view somewhere, and that his brother was still asleep. That was quick to change though, as all the talking between Zel and Watt was suffice enough to rouse him from his sleep.

He let out a large yawn as he sat himself upright, "Morning, you two. Are Mom and Dad up already?" he asked, still rubbing the sand from his eyes.

"Yea, they're up, but I don't know where they are," Zel responded. "Think they'll mind if we start breakfast without them?"

Both River and Watt chuckled at Zel's question. It was so typical of him to always be thinking about food, especially breakfast. "Nah, I don't think they'll mind. The longer we wait the less daylight we'll have anyways," River replied. Even he had his mind on the upcoming search. He was the one still a little cautious of the whole deal, but he knew his parents weren't going to change their minds. Besides, someone had to keep Zel in line.

All three of them walked over to the side of the wall, Zel and River leading while Watt just followed because she didn't know where all their food was kept. She was used to finding the berry trees and just eating from them when her and her family needed food. She was always told not to take more than needed, so as to not be wasteful. Her mind was filled with the condition of her family; she worried about them, but she just needed to wait a little longer. After breakfast, she was certain that she and the two brothers were going to be searching for her family. She'd only been away from them for less than a day, but it felt like an eternity to her.

Both brothers had stopped at the side of the wall and grabbed hold of a fair sized rock leaning against it. As they moved it aside, a hole containing a very large amount of berries of every kind appeared. Their parents tried to keep this area secret from the brothers, but they eventually found out about it. They weren't allowed to take from it without their permission though; however, for breakfast now, they were sure that they wouldn't mind.

The trio grabbed an assortment of berries from the storage, not taking any more than what they needed, which was actually a really hard thing for Zel to do. All those delicious berries, but he knew if he took more than what he needed, he'd get in trouble for being wasteful. Even the brothers were taught that rule of not wasting anything. He did manage to find a Wacan Berry in the mix though… and wasted no time in downing that berry first.

River was a bit pickier on what he ate this time. He grabbed mainly Oran and a few Sitrus Berries, focusing in on getting as much energy as he could. He also grabbed a Chesto Berry to help wake him up and keep him alert.

Watt didn't mind what berries she got. She took a little bit of everything. Oran, Pecha, Leppa-she didn't mind any of 'em. Her favorite has always been a Bluk Berry though, even though they turn her mouth completely black afterwards. That was the main reason she loved that berry so much. She didn't happen to find one in the current stash but wasn't disappointed. She could live without a Bluk Berry.

As the trio was halfway through their breakfast, Mist and Wake re-entered the cave. Upon seeing that they were already eating breakfast, they, too, decided some breakfast for them would be good. Wake hoped some food would help calm Mist, but that wasn't too likely. Only her knowing the boys were safe would ease her mind.

The two Floatzel each grabbed a few berries from the storage. Mist was able to eat down a few berries, but after that she just lost all her appetite. She couldn't eat knowing what was going to happen when they'd get done.

River, being a bit more attentive than his brother, noticed that something was off with his mother. "Hey, Mom, you feeling alright?" River asked. His question was basically the same that Wake asked her a bit earlier. Wake was the one to respond to River though, and merely shook his paw to try and tell him not to get on that subject.

River understood his gesture, but Zel was a bit more naïve. "What's wrong with Mom?" He was instantly met with an elbow to his arm, River's elbow. "Hey, what was that-" River again hit Zel's arm, cutting him off. He then shook his head, hoping that Zel got the message this time. He just looked at River, then over at his mother. The look on her face was enough to silence him; he at least knew that that she wasn't feeling well.

River, however, was a bit smarter on what was troubling his mother. He knew that it dealed with what he, his brother, and Watt were doing that day. He wanted to try to assure her, too, but decided it'd be best to just stay silent for the time being.

With breakfast over, Mist just felt like she was going to collapse. She was starting to get fatigued from all the thoughts running through her head, wreaking havoc on her body. Wake realized that the longer they delay, the more damage Mist will do to herself. Plus, they didn't have all day to lollygag around anyway. It was finally time for the search to begin.

Wake had gathered the trio at the mouth of the cave. Mist was also present but was just on the brink of total mental collapse. This whole ordeal was doing more damage to her than anyone would've guessed, but there was no turning back now.

"Ok, you three know what to do, right?" Wake asked them all.

"Yea, Watt'll lead us to where she last remembers seeing her family and we go from there," River replied. 'I'm also to keep Zel on task and from going to explore the forest,' he added in his mind.

"That's right. We've made a sack of berries for you. Only eat these when it's fully required. See if you can save some for Watt's family, in case they need food." Wake handed River the sack with all the berries in it. He swung the bag over his shoulder and wore it like a backpack. "Alright, is there anything else?" The whole group shook their heads. "Then off you all go, and be careful." With that last bit of advice, the trio again shook their heads and turned to walk away, Watt leading and the brothers following.

Mist watched everything from inside the cave. She gave a weak wave to the group. It really was all she could do; she was too weak from mental fatigue to do anything else. Zel glanced back at his mom and gave her a thumbs-up and a smile. The seemingly simple gesture both helped and hurt Mist's mind. It helped by reminding her that her children are doing something to help one in need, but what if that's the last time she'll ever see her kids again?

When they were beyond the tree line, Wake walked back over to Mist, "Hey, I think we should go to the lake. The water'll help you calm down." He helped Mist to her feet and the two slowly walked towards the path leading to the lake. With one final glance over her shoulder, Mist saw the last of her kids disappear into the trees.


"Ok, Watt, do you remember the way that you came from yesterday?" River asked the Shinx. They hadn't been walking that long, but he wanted to make sure they still had their best-rather, only-lead.

"Yea, I think so... I really wasn't paying attention to where I was exactly going, but I can get a general direction," she replied.

'Better than nothing.' "Ok, we'll follow you. Just tell us if you see anything."

Watt nodded and started off deeper into the woods. Both brothers were on high alert for any signs of danger. River was actually quite surprised that his brother wasn't gazing around randomly into the forest. He focused straight forward but seemed ready to change direction should anything go amiss.

Zel remembered what he promised Watt the night before. He was entirely willing to put aside his innate want to explore the forest in favour of helping Watt. He'd have plenty of time for exploring after she was safe with her parents.

After a while of walking, everyone had their guards lowered a bit. They've been walking for this long and haven't even so much as seen a single dangerous Pokemon. They've witnessed a few random Bug and Flying types in the trees, but nothing that warrants a need to defend themselves. A thought crossed both brothers' minds: why were their parents so adamant on not letting either of them into the forest? Nothing seemed even the least bit dangerous.

Watt seemed to slow a little as they progressed further. Something wasn't sitting right with her.

Zel was the one who caught onto this first, "Hey, is something wrong?"

She looked around the path they were on, noticing a familiar mark on one of the trees. "We passed by here shortly before being attacked," she replied, her voice starting to waver a bit. "Where we first saw them should be just up ahead."

Knowing this, both brothers got their minds focused on their surroundings. If these Pokemon jumped them like they did Watt's family, it really wouldn't end well for them. But even after walking for another few minutes, nothing came at them. Nothing was hiding in the bushes or trees, ready to ambush any unsuspecting Pokemon.

River stole a gaze up ahead and saw something wrong with a small clearing. "What the?" Focusing his vision, the entire area looked as black as night. "Watt, look up ahead. Is that area familiar?"

Watt had already noticed this area and nearly stopped completely in her tracks. "Y-Yea… that's where we first saw them…" She just about broke out into tears. This was the area where her parents and brother fell to those foul Pokemon and where she had left her family. All the memories of that time flooded the poor Shinx's head. Her eyes started to water up with tears.

Zel bent down next to her and stroked her along her back. It was something to try and get her to calm down. "Watt, listen, take this as a good sign. This is where your family last was so they couldn't have gotten far," he said to Watt. She ceased her crying for a moment then nodded her head. A few moments later, and she was ready to continue. "That's better. Now c'mon. Let's check it out. We might find some clues around there." Everyone agreed to his suggestion, and the trio moved towards the battle-scarred area.

The clearing was nearly an unrecognizable part of the forest. Trees, plants, grass-it all was completely charred black. Only this certain area was damaged though. Looking out just a little ways, the rest of the forest foliage remained unharmed. There was no sign of any Pokemon in the area though.

"Wow, this damage is amazing. It's a miracle the whole place didn't burst into flames." River said as he placed his paw on a piece of charred bark, only to have it crumble away into ash on his paw. He wiped the ash off him and continued to search for any clues. Watt and Zel were also searching the area.

Watt was both scared and, strangely, excited. She knew she was close to her family, just how close remained to be seen. Unfortunately, no matter how hard or how long they searched the area, no clues came up to the whereabouts of Watt's family. They all gathered in the center of the clearing to try and plan what they should do next.

"Well, I'm stumped," Zel called out first. "I really don't see anything about this area that can help us." Watt winced at Zel's words. All they did was just discourage the little Shinx even more.

"Yea, I don't know either," River replied. "Watt, do you have a clue what to do now?"

"N-No…" She once again felt like breaking into tears. The only lead they had turned to a dead end. 'Mom, Dad, Cord-where are you?' She wished in her mind to know the location of her family, that's all she wanted.

Both brothers felt kinda bad that they weren't able to find any clues for finding Watt's family, especially Zel. He still had a promise to keep. As the two brothers tried to form a plan of action, a tremendous amount of electricity suddenly surged through the sky, illuminating the forest with a tremendous blue light.

"What in the hell is that?" River shouted. Both brothers had ducked down, even though the lightning was high in the sky. They didn't want any to come near them.

"I don't know!" Zel shouted back. "Was that an attack!" The bright blue electricity vanished from the sky as quick as it appeared.

While the brothers hunkered down a bit, Watt just stood and stared at the sky. "Guys… that was an attack and I know what it is…" Watt said quietly. The two Buizel looked at Watt, wondering just exactly how she knew that lightning. "It's my dad's Discharge!" she shouted out.

"What? No way," River responded, slightly dumbstruck. That attack was an immense amount of electricity, and if its wielder was having trouble against these assailants with power like that, River was getting extremely worried that these Pokemon might be able to defeat them even quicker.

"Hurry up, you two! My family's close by!" Watt shouted. She immediately darted off towards the direction the lightning came from, prompting the brothers to follow. 'I'm coming, everyone,' Watt said in her mind. Her wish had been granted; she knew where her family was again. But she was also worried. For her dad to have to use his Discharge only meant that they were in trouble.

As the distance towards the source of the electricity shortened, the sounds of battling could be heard. Watt was able to pick out her dad's sounds, but they were of pain. "Hurry! My dad's getting hurt!" she cried out to the Buizel brothers.

"River, I'm going ahead!" Zel called out. He formed a stream of water around him and shot off the ground, using his Aqua Jet to gain an incredible speed boost.

"Zel, no! Get back here!" River protested, but Zel was already out of range. "Crap! Watt, hold your breath!" He dropped the bag of berries on his back, picked Watt up, and mimicked what Zel did: use his Aqua Jet to get a speed boost. However, he had to be careful; he was also holding onto Watt, and she couldn't hold her breath as long as either he or Zel could.

Zel broke off his jet just short of the battle zone. He hid behind a tree and poked his head out from behind it, but the area was empty! All that was left was charred greenery, just like at the past clearing. River was close behind and broke off his jet behind Zel. Watt was coughing and gasping for air as she was set back on the ground. River then moved next to his brother on the opposite side of the tree.

"Did you see anyone?"

"No, it was completely empty when I arrived."

The two just stayed behind the tree for the next few minutes, watching every inch of the clearing ahead. Some trees still had flames lingering on their branches. Whoever shot off that massive amount of electricity wasn't in the area anymore.

Watt, after regaining her breath, poked her head out from behind Zel. She was looking for any sign of her family but saw none. She was so sure that the electricity was her dad's Discharge attack though, and wherever they were, they couldn't have gotten far in a minute's time.

After another few minutes, the group cautiously moved out from behind the tree. In the middle of the clearing they were at a massive disadvantage should anyone decided to launch an attack. They shouldn't stand there too much longer.

Zel's eyes were as locked onto any movement in the trees as they were when he was watching for River. Nothing seemed out of place; however, a dark shimmering made him realize that whoever was there knew they were there. The shimmering object grew bigger and closer to the trio. It was a dark sphere of energy-aimed directly at Watt!

"Look out!" Zel grabbed onto Watt and jumped clear of the orb. River followed suit and the orb harmlessly impacted the ground. Well, harmless to them. The orb exploded with such fury, dust and grass were kicked up in all directions from the impact zone. All eyes were immediately focused on the direction the orb came from, and not much later did the figure that fired the attack speak.

"Hee hee hee hee… what have we here? Aren't you that same little Shinx that ran away from us last time?" the figure spoke. It finally manifested into a semi-physical form. A mainly purple looking Pokemon with fierce, red eyes and an extremely large grin planted on its face.

Watt froze up again at the Pokemon. "Tha-That's one of th-the P-P-Pokemon that atta-attacked us," she stuttered out.

Zel made the first advance towards this Pokemon. "Hey! What have you done with Watt's family?" he shouted towards the purple, Ghost type Pokemon.

"Hmm? That group of Luxray and that Luxio? Why should I tell you? You're gonna see for yourself anyways." The Pokemon let out a loud cackle after it spoke.

This only infuriated Zel all the more. He was ready to charge full-on at this Pokemon. River noticed Zel's over-ambition to attack. "Zel, don't you dare! You can't take on this guy alone! We need a plan."

Zel simply blew off River's words. "Here's my plan!" He charged forward a few yards then inhaled, ready to fire off his Water Gun.

"Heh, fool." The Ghost type Pokemon disappeared for an instant. A second later, he reappeared in front of Zel, its fist planted firmly into Zel's gut. Zel let out a gasp, a little of his water flew out of his mouth with it. With a fist planted in his gut, he struggled to get any breath. Moments later, he went limp, only being held up by the Pokemon's fist. Zel just groaned in pain as more water dribbled from his mouth. When the Pokemon removed its fist, Zel just fell down to the ground, out cold. "Hee hee hee… Sucker Punch."

"Zel! Are you alright? Wake up!" River shouted, but his brother was completely unconscious. He faced towards the Pokemon responsible. He had to get back at this Pokemon for injuring his brother, but he also needed to protect Watt. Occupying this Pokemon is the best way to accomplish that. "Get back to the trees!" he ordered Watt. She obeyed and retreated. Meanwhile, River formed another stream of water around him, shooting at the Ghost type with his Aqua Jet. However, he was unable to get to his target. Another dark sphere came from behind the trees and nearly blindsided River. He caught sight of it, broke his jet, and the orb just barely missed him, continuing on into the trees.

"Aww… I missed," a different voice proclaimed. Another Pokemon manifested into the battle. It looked almost the same as the first Pokemon but had no legs and its hands were just floating by its sides. "Let's not miss this time." Another dark orb formed in the Pokemon's hands, and then it hurled the orb at River.

River countered the attack with a Water Gun of his own. The orb overloaded and blew up mid-air. "Oh, c'mon… Why you gotta be like that? Oh well, let's see you counter this one." The Pokemon again charged another dark sphere, but concentrated even more energy into it, forming a much larger attack.

Right then, something clicked in River's mind. This Pokemon was focusing its energy into an orb, and he felt like he could do the same with his internal water energy. Focusing, he attempted to form an orb of water just like his opponent did with its darkness.

The Ghost Pokemon hurled his much larger attack at River, nearly causing him to instantly drop his concentration and dodge, but he stood firm, continuing to focus on this orb of water. With one final burst of energy into his paws, a blue, pulsating orb of water formed in between his paws. Like the Ghost Pokemon did with his attack, River hurled it to meet its opponent's attack. The orb left a wake of water in its path, moving exceptionally faster than the attack of his enemy.

When the two attacks met in mid-air, both dispelled their energy into the other. Although the Ghost's attack was much larger, it was also more unstable. The impact with River's attack shattered the energy holding the attack together. A plume of smoke erupted from the collision, blinding both River and the assailant. However, from the assailant's side, River's attack managed to stay together through the impact and continued towards its target.

It quickly moved to either dodge or guard the attack, but wasn't fast enough for either. The attack slammed into its face, dispelling the remaining energy it held, which was still substantial.

The smoke had cleared, and River was able to see that his attack still made contact. 'Heh, wow. Looks like both of us have our own little moves, huh, Zel?' he remarked in his mind, but it also reminded him of his brother's condition. Quickly spinning around, he saw Zel still face-first on the ground; the one responsible hovering above him. River focused another orb of water into his paws and readied to attack.

"Don't even try it, kid," the Pokemon calmly responded to River's hostility. "You may have been able to connect that attack to that weakling, but I will be an entirely different story." River disregarded the Pokemon's words and fired off his attack. "Fool." The orb of water was quickly met by an orb of darkness, one about equal size to the one River previously dueled with but much, much more stable. It easily shattered River's attack and continued on. River barely had any time to react and dodge, but he somehow managed to do so.

River regained his composure and tried to formulate some plan. However, the one he previously fought wasn't out of the fight yet. Behind River, the weakened Pokemon charged up another attack. Unfortunately for it, and unknown to River, the attack it was hit with was a Water Pulse, which has the ability to confuse the target. Unable to make out which one to fire at, the confused Pokemon just let his attack fly.

River noticed the sound of the attack from behind him and turned to face it, but the attack missed him by inches and instead aimed for the larger Ghost type. Although it was a surprise to it, the Pokemon simply batted the stray attack away. "This has gone on long enough," it declared with a tone of agitation in its voice. "Time to end this, once and for all."

River stood at the ready, prepared for whatever this Pokemon would throw at him, or at least he thought. The Ghost type vanished into thin air and rematerialized behind River. As he spun back around, the Pokemon grabbed River by the cheeks and directed his gaze to its eyes. "Time to go night-night." Its eyes were glowing bright red as it forced River to gaze into them.

No matter how much he struggled, River couldn't escape from the grip he was in. He was also unable to not look into the Pokemon's eyes. He started to slip in and out of consciousness. Every ounce of energy and awareness he had was slowly drifting from his body. He tried his best to stay conscious, but the Pokemon's passive attack was too powerful and was able to fully knock River out. He was then thrown out of the way and landed right next to his brother on the ground.

"I told you it was pointless to take me on," the Pokemon declared to the unconscious brothers. The tone of its voice had changed from the easiness it was before to one of extreme seriousness. "Now for the unfinished business."

Watt had watched in disbelief. Just like with her family, the Pokemon defeated the two brothers just like her family. "No, not again." She began to run away, just like she did the time before, but the third assailant finally made itself known and stopped Watt dead in her tracks.

A black sphere encased in a purple cloud of gas appeared in front of Watt. "You're not getting away this time, little Shinx." Its eyes then glowed blue as it used its Mean Look ability, effectively preventing Watt from escaping. She tried to run; she tried to move, to get away, but nothing worked. She was now being surrounded by the same Pokemon that defeated both her family and the two brothers. An uncontrollable fear washed over her, and before the Pokemon could do anything to her, she blacked out from fear.

"Pathetic. Gather these three up, especially those two Buizel. They're young and powerful, so their dreams will be very tasty and they won't die too soon. Hurry up and get them back to our lair." With that said, the Pokemon instantly phased out of sight.

Snapped out of confusion, the Haunter gathered up all three Pokemon. The task was left to him because the Gastly had no arms and the Gengar was the boss. The Haunter grumbled a bit, irritated that he had to do all the grunt-work, but the thought of the tasty dreams that he'd get from these three pushed all irritation out of his mind.


Back at the lake, Wake and Mist were just sitting on the sands of the shoreline. Mist was still feeling fatigued, but was slightly better than she was before. That all changed, however, when she felt an eerie chill creep up her spine. Her breathing started to grow slow and staggered. She instantly recognized this feeling-it was exactly like what was in her dream! As it turned out, the chill came at the same time River and Zel fell to the Ghost types.

"No… River. Zel. No…" Her breathing started to become even shakier. She once again felt like the thousand arrows were stabbing at her. Well, it felt more like a million arrows this time. She somehow knew her kids were defeated, and their defeat pushed her fatigue to extreme limits. She lost all control over her body as she went limp and collapsed to the ground.

"Mist? Mist, what's wrong? Mist!" Wake just sat beside his mate as she drifted into unconsciousness. "Mist, wake up!" He tried everything in his power to revive Mist, but she was in a coma; nothing he could do now would wake her. He hefted her up onto his shoulders and ran as fast as he could back to their home. He himself knew that something was wrong with the brothers. Only something happening to them could send Mist into this horrible of a state of shock.

'Dammit, boys. Don't give up yet. There's one more life you need to save now. Come back safely; your mother's life may very well depend on it.' He only hoped the brothers could hear his message, but that's all he could do: hope. All he could do was hope that they were still alive and treat Mist as best he could.

As he got to the cave, he set Mist down on a bed of leaves, grabbed a piece of cloth that they scavenged, doused it with water, and put it over Mist's forehead. There was really nothing else he could do but monitor her condition.

Frustrated, he slammed his paw against the side of the cave. 'Dammit… This never would've happened if I just went myself…' He sighed at his own stupidity, realizing that all of this was happening because of his plan. He looked over his shoulders to his unconscious mate. 'I'm sorry, Mist. This was just another stupid idea by me.' He moved to the entrance of the cave and stood there, staring out into the forest.

'Be strong, River, Zel. I know you'll pull through… You've got to.'