Runes, Methods of Death, Love, and Other Things

So… who actually liked the ending of the Forbidden Game…?

Summary: I am writing a bunch of alternate endings… not necessarily in chronological order though.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Forbidden Games series… or Julian *sighs*, if I did, I wouldn't be writing this fanfiction! L.J. Smith, owns the Forbidden Games series…and Julian *sighs again*. But anyway, on to the fanfiction, before I bore you with my depressing comments about how much I want Julian *sighs again*…

So, what if Jenny had locked Julian in the closet, but still ran out of time?

Excerpt:

"Nauthiz!" she shouted. She slashed the X in the air.

As she shouted it, the rune flashed brightly on the closet door. Not red like fire, but blue-white like ice.

She didn't know if she was doing it right, but it was what her grandfather had done-or tried to do. Shut the door, trace the rune, say the name. She pronounced it as her grandfather had pronounced it.

And Julian did not come leaping out after her.

The closed door stayed closed.

The silence was deafening.

Jenny turned, and ran for the staircase.

He lied, Jenny thought, racing up the steps. He changed the rules and he lied. Sometimes you can't return good for evil; sometimes evil just has to be stopped.

She knew all this, of course; it had been in her mind from the very beginning, from the moment when she'd offered to stay with Julian. She didn't need to explain it to herself.

She was saying it to the whispering, plaintive voices in her own head that were begging her to go back.

Coming up to the last stair of the steps, she tripped and fell all the way down the steps.

She knew that she was almost out of time, so she charged up the steps, two at a time. Her breath heaving, she burst into the room.

Her friends were there, all five of them. How loyal, Jenny thought. Even Zach, who looked like he wanted to murder her at the moment, was there.

But the thing that caught her attention, the thing that made her eyes widen in shock, was the bright blue color that emanated from the turret exit.

And just like that, it was gone. The sun had come up, dawn was over; she had run out of time. They were stuck here forever.

"No!" Jenny screamed. She was too late; falling down the stairs had made her lose, had made her lose her friends, oh god she was lost, she had lost, oh god oh god…

"Sunshine," Dee's voice came through, sounding hesitant, "would you care to tell us what is going on? And where is…er… Julian?" She said the word Julian, the way that Julian had said the word Tom. With disgust.

She looked miserably at all of them.

Tom, who was looking at her with grief stricken eyes.

Dee, who looked at her with mistrust.

Audrey, who was looking shocked.

Michael looked back with understanding.

And Zach, who looked at her with such cold rage, it almost could match Julian's.

Taking a deep breath, she was ready to explain to the five pairs of glittering eyes that were staring at her. Almost like those shadowmen, something in the corner of her brain said, amused. But it's your entire fault. You are trapped, they are trapped, and you lost Summer…

And then she heard a noise. "Uh… did we win, I'm sorry guys, I tried…" Jenny looked sharply towards the sound, and what she saw made her eyes light up with joy.

"Summer!" She cried happily, "Oh, Summer, we thought you were dead!"

All of her other friends were crowding around Summer, smiling and laughing. Summer looked as if she had just woken up from a deep sleep. "Hey guys," Summer began tentatively, "what happened?"

Zach looked coldly at Jenny. "I think she can explain," he said. Jenny looked at her friends for support, but they were all looking at her, nodding in agreement with Zach.

So Jenny explained.

"We all went through our nightmares, except for you, Summer," She began tentatively, but then began to talk louder as she gained the courage to face her friends.

"At the end, he tricked us. He told us that we couldn't go, because the Creeper and the Lurker were in front of the door, even though the door was open. So, I decided to trick him." I turned, at the audible gasp from Zach. I grinned. I was finally getting to these people!

So I began to talk again. "Anyway, I promised myself to him, and goaded him to come into the closet with him. Then, I used the cross-stance to vault out, close the door, and trace and say the rune. Obviously, Julian was thinking that I had led him into the closet for another reason," she said, and cracked another wide grin when Dee snorted with laughter at this thought.

"I am proud of ya' girl!" Dee said, "to ever think that you would use the cross-stance to defeat something that I couldn't even touch!"

Within one minute, all seven of them were laughing till tears were coming out of their eyes. They were still gasping, when Audrey said, "well, even if the shadowman is not here, we are still stuck. This. Is. A. Very. Bad. Situation." She said each word as a separate sentence.

As if to make matters worse, Tom uneasily broke the silence that had fallen over us because of Audrey's devastating and truthful words with "Hey… Thorny? I know this may be a bad time, but… I saw how you and Julian looked at each other and…" he trailed off.

"And what," she demanded, "what does that have to do with anything. It was a trick, a farce," Jenny saw Michael raise one eyebrow in disbelief. She continued on desperately, "I was just acting… "she trailed off as she realized that they didn't buy it.

But they were right, she thought. I was the one who was not right. I had felt something for him. Was it passion…? Love…? Her thoughts broke off as she shook her head wordlessly, and dropped it into her lap. What if trapping Julian in the closet was a bad idea, what if I should have stayed with him forever? Her brain told her.

Well, you can't now, a small, different, practical part of her brain told her. He would kill you and all of your friends in revenge if you let him out. It took away her growing hope that she might be able to get Julian back.

Jenny turned, and looked at Tommy straight in the eye. "Maybe you're right, Tom, " She said gently. "Maybe we should just… break up," She watched as his face contorted in horror, and then harden into a stiff mask of indifference. She felt her insides twist. When Jenny looked at all of her friends, their faces mirrored the way she felt.

It was Michael who asked the question, "You… you're… breaking up? No! You can't break up! It would be like the end of the world! You guys have been together since second grade, you guys can work it out…" he broke off, embarrassed at his speech. "No, Michael," she said, looking at Tommy, "I don't think Tommy can get over this," Jenny whispered.

And then, trying to gather the last of her broken pride together, she put her chin up and walked confidently out of the room.

Or, that is what she had tried to do.

But then the whole house shook, and she and her friends were thrown to the ground, and shaken about. She saw books crashing to the floor, and games breaking, and a bookcase falling on the ground right next to Audrey.

Oh no… she thought… we are going to die. It was funny, she thought, that the Creeper and the Lurker did not know this was coming. She looked pointedly at the Lurker who was sliding around the store, yelping with horror. It is very strange, she thought, that the last thing I can think of is those… creatures, while my friends are dying right next to me.

Suddenly, the rumbling stopped.

The Creeper and the Lurker sulked off, and Jenny took a shaky breath. She glanced at her friends.

What she saw made her eyes widen in shock.

Audrey and Michael were sitting right next to each other, which was to be expected of course. But Dee and Zach were holding hands; supporting each other and looking at each other in a way that she hadn't seen either of them look at anyone like that before.

But that wasn't what made her catch her breath, that wasn't what made her heart turn into a hard rock of ice. It was Tom.

Tom was sitting on the ground, holding on to Summer with all of his might, caressing her, and whispering in her ear. And Summer was holding on just as tightly.

Tom turned to look at Jenny, and fixed her with a cold gaze. "If our relationship won't work," he said, his voice level, "then I will just have another one". He pointedly turned his attention back to Summer, ignoring Jenny.

Jenny let out a sharp intake of breath. She narrowed her eyes, and willed herself to be strong. If I could get through Julian's bee's, I can get through Tom being a jerk, she thought.

She glanced around the room, trying to see what it was that had caused the earthquake. And then she saw it.

A silver pedestal.

She rose, her loneliness somehow trying to weight her down, and looked on the pedestal. There was a note. And the note was written on black paper. It was a black that she couldn't explain. A deep black, a night with no stars, a darkness that could be felt. The writing was in silver, shining like stars, but somehow never illuminating the paper.

"What is it, Sunshine?" Dee asked. From the expression on Dee's face, she could tell that Dee was expecting it to be something that was very bad.

"It's a note, guys!" Jenny said, excitedly, "here, I'll read it to you."

Dee looked a little relieved. " Who is it from? Never mind, its probably Julian."

Jenny glanced at her friends, took a deep breath, and began to read…