* N: Next Step
* "A New Chapter To Life"
* written by eric42@planetc.com

Prelude - "A Sign Of What Is To Come"

-*-*-*-

"Hey there Kid." Kevin said as he walked past Kid Icrus in
the hallway.
"Hiya Kevin-icus!" he said.
Kevin continued to walk straight into the princess' chamber.
"Lana? You in here?" Kevin said, looking around. Lana came walking
out of her bathroom. "Yes Kevin. You are a bit early, aren't ya?"
Kevin looked at his watch. It said 8:35. "Oops, I guess I am.
Oh well!" Kevin smiled at Lana and she returned it. "Are you ready?
If not, I can come back in a few minutes..."
"No, it's alright. Gimme a second and I'll be out." she walked
back and started her shower.
For the next few minutes, Kevin walked around in the room.
Tonight was New Years Eve for VideoLand and Kevin had the pleasure of
taking Lana out on a date. This was only his sixth or seventh date
with Lana yet he was still nervous about it. Only recently had he got
the guts to ask Lana out on a date, even though he has been in
VideoLand now for years.
He looked around the room, merely glancing as items in Lana's
room. The first thing he took notice of was the picture of the king,
Lana's father, who was still trapped in Mirror Land, though long
rumored that he had passed away by this time. The next was the picture
of Lana's brother, Lyle, who was the keeper of Scared Square on Tetris.
Kevin was quick to think that Lana's family were all important in some
way, but he didn't think much more.
Kevin took a seat on Lana's bed and sighed a bit as he waited for
Lana. She was out of the shower now, as he no longer heard the shower
running in the bathroom. He continued to glance around the room and
another picture caught his eye. It was a picture of the original N-
Team when Kevin first came to VideoLand. In the picture was Lana, with
Kevin and Simon Belmont on both of her sides and Mega Man and Kid Icrus
in front of them. Kevin smiled at how young he was there.
At this moment, Lana walked out of the bathroom, already dressed
up in her pink dress. Kevin looked at her and did a double-take.
"WOW!" he said, almost to the point of drooling.
"Ready?" she said.

-*-*-*-

In was outside of the Palace of Power that the New Years Eve
party was taking place. Simon Belmont and Mega Man X was already there
as Kevin and Lana, in arms, and Kid Icrus arrived. "How's the party?"
Kevin asked, in a joking manner. As he said that, more fireworks were
going off in the background.
"Great, Kevin!" Mega Man X said.
"Uhh.. yeah." Kevin said. And for the next few hours, the team
just laid back and enjoyed the fireworks, the food, and such. It had
been a hard year on not just the team but on VideoLand.
Kevin and the N-Team had defeated Mother Brain and her goons the
year before, and even though VideoLand has been in peace since, hard
economic times had hit VideoLand hard.
Kevin looked on at the celebration and thought about what it
meant to him and VideoLand at large. It meant a promise of something
new, a promise that there was still hope despite all the problems that
lay in front of them. Kevin knew of all this but still couldn't help
to feel a bit bad about VideoLand. They were all nearly broke and he
could do nothing about it.
Lana looked over at Kevin and saw a worried look on his face.
"Kevin, are you okay?"
Kevin looked over at Lana and looked right into her eyes. Could
he actually tell her how he felt? "Yeah, I am alright. Just... just
thinking."
"Oh." Kevin figured that Lana already knew. She was a smart
woman, else VideoLand would have been taken over by Mother Brian even
before Kevin showed up. Lana had refocused her attention back on the
fireworks again and Kevin went back to his thoughts.
But even though he knew he could do nothing for VideoLand in the
way of money, he knew that he will remain there as Captain N. He was
the chosen one, even though the task he was called upon was complete.
He was the protector of VideoLand. He couldn't disappoint the
inhabitants of VideoLand by getting up and leaving for home. He was
the Game Master.
Kevin noticed a shadow was now cast upon him so he looked up for
the source of the shadow only to find Princess Zelda and Link from the
Kingdom of Hyrule. "Link! Zelda!" he exclaimed as he saw them. He
hadn't seen them for months and Link was a good friend of his.
Both Kevin and Lana rose to their feet and exchanged hugs with
the Hyrulains. The four sat down and for the next few minutes, just
talked as if they were just friends and not rulers or protectors. It
was one of the joys that the four could experience. It made them feel
human and it took away the feeling that their titles gave them.
All four watches the fireworks as well. They all loved watching
them as they lit up the sky. It gave each of them a feeling of peace
that not much else could.

-*-*-*-

Dr. Wily sat down in the black leather chair, breathing heavily.
He had been working for the past couple hours. He looked back at his
workplace. It was a complete mess, but among that mess laid four brand
new robots. "Finally, they are complete!"
He stood up and walked over to the window and saw that the New
Year's Eve/Day celebration was still going on. He watched for a second
as the fireworks shot up into the sky, completely lighting it up for a
few seconds. The thought that he has always liked fireworks passed
through his mind for a moment but it passed quickly and his attention
was brought back to the robots behind him.
The thoughts of the actions that he had planned for the next
couple days passed through his mind as he looked at the robots and
suddenly broke out in a thing of mad-like laughter.

-*-*-*-

"Thanks for showing up, guys." Lana said to Zelda and Link as she
hugged them both. The two Hyrulains were about to leave.
"You didn't think that we weren't going to, did you?" Link said.
"Of course not!" Kevin said in response. Small giggles came from
all four. But Kevin got serious. "We are just glad that you came. It
was good to see you guys again."
"We are glad to have come, Kevin." Link responded. Silence
filled the room for a moment, but it finally broke when the goodbyes
where exchanged and the two Hyrulains went through the warp to Hyrule.
Kevin and Lana walked through the doorway back to the inside of
the Palace. The two walked into the main area, all the time remaining
quiet.
They continued walking up until they came up to Lana's bedroom
door. Up to this moment, the two had kept their eyes from each other,
barely talking but now they had came to the inevitable moment of their
date.
They stopped right at Lana's bedroom door. Without thinking,
Lana put her hand on the doorknob and started to open the door, but
something within stopped her. "Uhm, Kevin..."
Kevin was beginning to walk away but stopped when he heard Lana's
voice. "Yes?"
"I had a good time tonight." Lana said, despite the huge knot
that seemed to form in her throat.
Kevin had the same problem and even had to cough before he could
talk. "So did I." He was now looking her straight in the eyes. If
either of the two could read thoughts, both would see a love for each
other like nothing they had ever seen before. But what happened next
surprised them both.
Kevin brought his left hand up to Lana's right cheek and leaned
forward and kissed Lana on the lips. Before this moment, he had never
kissed another girl and the same with Lana. The kiss only lasted mere
moments in real time, but for the two of them it seemed to last
forever. After the kiss broke off, it was quiet between the two until
Kevin spoke up.
"Uhm, Good night, Lana." he said.
Lana started to walk into her bedroom but before going completely
in, she spoke.
"Kevin," she started. "I love you."
Kevin seemed only a bit surprised at what she just said. "I love
you too, Lana."
"See you in the morning?" Lana asked.
"Of course."
"Good night." Lana said as she closed the door to her room.
Kevin stood there for a moment, attempting to gather his thoughts but
only took a moment before he started to his own room. On his way, he
slowly started to realize what he did and smile came across his face.

-*-*-*-

The End For Now....

Look for the next chapter very soon.....