AN: While writing this fic I was listening to two songs by Yoko Kanno called Sora and Arcadia. Both songs are from the anime Escaflowne and they are amazing. I highly recommend listening to them while reading Hiram and Leroy's scene till the end of this chapter on repeat. =D

Smoke filled his lungs as the taste of blood lingered on his tongue and with each passing second the pain in his stomach became unbearable. He knew someday he was going to die, but not like this. Not by the bullet shot by the man he despised more than anything. The bullet hadn't even been meant for him, but he wanted Rachel to be happy. He owed it to her for leaving her behind even when he had no choice. At least he had a few years with Samantha without his father intervening with his life. Now it was Rachel's turn. Even though a part of him did not want to die, he wanted to be selfish and get back to Samantha, but it was no longer a possibility. "Tell Samantha that I love her." Abraham gasped through his pain. He could barely feel the blood that continued to pool around him as he held Samuel's gaze and with his last breath he told his best friend and brother-in-law his final wish, "Protect Rachel."

"Man college applications suck."

"So do universities."

"Isn't that what I just said?"

"No, you said college."

Before Puck could tell Sam to shut up Alex intervened. "If the both of you don't shut up I'm going to unplug both your computers before you can even save or submit your applications and make you restart the whole process."

"You wouldn't fucking dare." Puck glared at him.

"Don't tempt me."

"What has you in a bad mood?" Sam asked curiously watching Alex glare at the computer screen.

"It's mom. She wants me to attend a school back in Cali preferably in LA." Alex sighed rubbing a hand over his face.

"What do you want?"

"I don't know. I just know I have to go to university."

"Do you want to go with Santana?"

"Preferably, but if I can't I don't mind. Four to five years apart is nothing compared to how long I have waited for her and even then I will get to see her during our vacations." Alex sighed. "I just don't want my insecurities for the future hold her back."

"I guess it makes sense." Puck frowned. "Does Santana know this?"

"We haven't talked about it."

"She will have your head when she finds out you're going back west coast and you haven't told her." Sam said from his seat.

"Well I haven't decided yet."

"But it's best to tell her."

"I know, but it's not exactly the first thing on my mind." He yawned and stretched his arms.

"Dude, aren't you forgetting something?"

"No…" Alex glanced at his cell phone and cursed. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?" He quickly saved his application before signing out as he packed his materials into his backpack. "Zack's going to have my head if I'm not ready in five minutes." He swung his gym bag on one shoulder and on the other swung his backpack. "You guys coming to the game?"

"Of course, I'm not going to miss my girl cheering." Puck grinned.

"And here I thought it was because we're best friends." Alex said smirking as he ran out the computer lab.

"I've realized that if we had laptops this process would be a lot easier."

Puck glanced at Sam. "You going to meet up with Rachel?"

"Yeah, I told you she saved us some spots." Sam grabbed his backpack. "Now hurry your ass up."

Zack glanced at Alex worried. It had been a week since Sectionals and Alex should have been able to catch up with his school work and concentrate on basketball. Not that he was failing horribly it in reality it was the opposite. He was excelling at it, but even Zack could see that his heart wasn't in it as much and he wasn't the only one who noticed Alex zoning out a couple of times during practice. It was a disturbing sight to see one of his best players become mechanical in their movements. He flinched when one of the players tried to snatch the ball from Alex only to end up throwing him to the floor.

Alex bit back a curse when his elbow and knee slammed into the polished hardwood floor. A collective gasp went through the crowd.

"Alex!" Jake ran toward him and helped him up. "You okay?"

"Yeah." Alex stretched and bent his arm to put some feeling back to it. "Nothing seems to be out of place." He joked as he shook his leg.

"That's not funny."

Alex ruffled his hair affectionately when he saw him frown. "I'm fine." The referee passed him the ball to take a penalty shot. He bounced the ball three times before taking the shot. The ball fell strait into the hoop causing the McKinley crowd to cheer and the players ran through the court freely again. Alex snatched the ball from his opponent and passed it to Virgil who ran passed him and slid passed the other team's members as he dribbled the ball. Seeing his opening he took a moment to aim and shot the ball from the three point line. The crowd held their breath as the ball sailed through the air and went wild the moment it went through the basket.

Virgil grinned at Alex as they high fived each other before watching the other team take out. Zack intercepted the pass.

"Did you fucking see that?" Alex chuckled when he heard Puck's voice.

Zack didn't waste any time as he jumped into the air and shot. It came to no surprise to his team when he scored, but it didn't stop the crowd from going wild again. "That's my man!" Zack blushed when he heard Mercedes shout and Jake and Byron didn't waste any time in teasing him. By the second half they had switched places with Jeff, Blaise, Dominic, Ed, and Omar. Blaise was all over the place snatching the ball from the other team and passing it to Jeff or Dom. When the other team found out his strategy and began ganging up on him Beiste had to pull him out and put Seph in. Michael patted him on the back and wished him luck.

His teammates sitting on the bench watched amused as Seph unintentionally stole the ball from the other team and in a state of panic shot the ball from the three point line. He watched in shock when he scored. Dom came from behind him and scared the shit out of him when he pulled him into a big hug that had the young teen off his feet as the crowd cheered for him.

"Pull him back in." Zack told Beiste who looked at him confused.

"The boy is good."

"He is for a few moments," He watched with a small smile as Seph looked around the court nervously. "That is before he starts becoming self conscious. He doesn't like playing in front of huge crowds, but he loves the game."

"Seph!" Beiste yelled. "Get your ass in!"

Seph ran back to the bench were Zack and Alex welcome with hugs and ruffling of hair as Michael went in to replace him.

Rachel found herself constantly getting up from her seat and clapping her heart out each time their basketball team scored and when Omar did it was no exception. Sam watched his girlfriend amused and wondered if she would cheer him on like that for one of his football games.

"Get the ball!" Rachel yelled as Ed ran after one of the players. "Pull his shirt!"

"Rach," Sam bit back a laugh. "I think that would be considered a foul."

But Rachel simply brushed him off and continued to yell out instructions that had Puck laughing his ass off and it wasn't long before Sam joined in.

Alex had taken Dominic's spot and passed the ball to Jake who passed it to Byron. The freshman duo kept passing the back and forth to each other as they ran down the court dribbling the ball. He glanced at the time to see they had less than a minute left. Bryon shot the ball and missed only to end up grinning when Jake caught the rebound a made the shot just before the buzzer went off. The McKinley crowd went wild as they cheered the victory.

"Thirty three to twenty eight." Zack said as he approached Alex.

"Not bad considering they began catching up close to the end." Alex grinned as they bumped fists.

"Fuck yeah!" Blaise yelled and jumped on Dom's back who stumbled onto Virgil who was standing in front of him. They ended up in a pile on the floor. Omar and Ed thinking they were playing jumped on them causing the seniors on the floor to groan in pain. Seph and Michael watched amused as they debated whether or not to help them.

"Aren't you going to your girl?" Alex asked Zack when he saw Mercedes walking toward them.

"Yeah." The once confident guy walked up to his girlfriend shyly.

Alex knew he wasn't only one watching the scene as Jeff came to stand beside him. "He's completely smitten with her."

Before Alex could respond Santana ran up in him and engulfed him into a hug. "You did great out there!" She exclaimed pulling back slightly only to kiss him.

Jeff walked off to give them their privacy only to be stopped by Quinn. "So did you." A small smile graced his lips as her words.

"I try."

"Modest as always."


They both turn to see a young girl with dirty blonde hair and familiar emerald eyes bound down the bleachers as she ran to the freshman, who had left his best friend in the crowd of girls that surrounded them and met her halfway.

"You have got to be kidding me." Zack said as he watched Jake embrace the girl like there was no tomorrow. "Where the hell is Sam?" It was then he caught sight of the blond standing at the end of the bleachers debating whether to go to his sister or follow Rachel.

"So that's Tiffany?" Rachel asked Zack who had told her week before about Jake and the girl he seemed to like who just happened to be Sam's younger sister.

"If Tiffany is here that means Alison is close behind." Zack barely turned around before he was engulfed in a hug. "There you are." He chuckled holding his younger sister.

"You did awesome!" She exclaimed grinning as she pulled back and turned to look at Mercedes. "You must the girl he cannot seem to stop talking about. Has he finally asked you out?"

"Yes he has and I had no idea that he talked about me." Mercedes glanced at her boyfriend amused. "You will have to tell me all about this."

"With pleasure."

"Just hold up a sec." Zack wrapped an arm around Allison's shoulders. "Just who side are you on?"

"Do you even have to ask?"

"Clearly it's my side."

"Rachel, remind me to keep them separated."

"Can't guarantee that I will remember.' Rachel winked at Mercedes and Allison causing them to chuckle.

"I wonder what I did wrong to have the girls in my tag team against me."

"You know you love us either way."

Before Zack could comment Sam walked over to them. "I can't tell if they are already going out." Zack and the girls looked at the young teens to see them standing close to each other. Jake was smiling as he talked excitedly and Tiff was giving him her full attention. When he tucked a lock of hair behind her ear she blushed, which in turn caused Jake to go red in the face when he saw what he realized what he did.

"They are so cute." Rachel sighed twining her arm with Sam's and leaned her head on his shoulder.

"What do you say we play the role of cupid?"

"Don't you dare."

"Come on Sam you're no fun."

"I just don't want shit to hit the fan and then for it to bite us in the ass when things don't go as plan. I rather let them take their time instead of us risking ruining it by interfering."

"He has a point Zack. I know Tiff and Jake, it's best to leave them to go at their own pace." Just as Allison said this Ed snuck behind Jake and shoved him enough to make him stumble forward. He ran before he was able to see the end result of the chain reaction he started, which end with Jake accidentally kissing Tiff on the lips.

Zack face palmed. "Rachel, please make note that Ed is to run fifteen laps next week during practice as punishment."

One Week Later

It was the week before winter break and most of the glee kids were hanging out in Lima Bean. It had been a while since most of the them could meet up somewhere outside of school since they had been busy with college applications, making up assignments for class, the boys had either football or basketball and girls had cheerleading or other extracurricular activities to deal with, so their lives were very hectic at the moment.

"Come on!" Puck exclaimed. "That time it was Alex's fault!"

Alex bit back a smile as he took a sip from his frappe.

"There's no use in pointing that finger at Alex." Rachel said grinning. "You had the matches."

"Technically it was Alex that set the cat's tail on fire."

"You and I have different memories surrounding that afternoon." Alex commented for the first time causing those around him to laugh.,

Puck shook his head. "You left me hanging."

"I had to get Rachel out of there and it was only necessary for one of us to get the blame."

"I could have taken her away."

Alex grinned. "You were still looking at the cat in shock as it ran in circles with its tail on fire." He leaned back against his seat with an arm around the back of Santana's seat as the conversation kept going. He enjoyed these moments when he could hang out with his friends and forget about anything concerning the future and simply enjoy the present. It never ceased to amaze him how in a span of a day his morning could be shitty, but after a handful of hours or simply greeting a friend and talking with them could turn his day upside down, but the same concept could be applied in reverse. Just like things can go from bad to good in a matter of seconds the opposite was true and then there were those times when things just from bad to worse. In life Alex knew one universal truth and that was, nothing in life is ever guaranteed except for death. Even knowing that he wanted to make the moment last and would be aware of their surroundings for anything that would disturb them.

The moment he heard the bell that hung over the door jingle to signal a customer's entrance or departure Alex looked toward the door and felt his stomach drop when he saw three guys dressed in black hoodies with scarves covering the lower half of their face and sunglasses covering their eyes. His arms curled around Santana's shoulders protectively as the men made their way to the cashier.

"Alex." Santana looked at her boyfriend concerned.

Puck and Sam seeing their best friend tense followed his gaze and noticed what he had moments before. All three of them shared a nervous look before the girl at the register gave out a startled cry. Seconds later shit hit the fan when the three guys pulled out their handguns. "Get down!" A gunshot echoed through the café.

Alex pressed a finger against his lips signaling Santana to stay quiet as they all crouched under the tables. He needed to think of something quickly. Finn placed himself at one of the ends of the table in case the men begin to shoot the girls will be protected for the most part. Alex took the other end looking for a way out of the situation safely, but there was only one exit and they had to get through the three guys in order to reach it.

Sam had to push back his own fear as he shielded Rachel his body and peered through the legs of the chairs to see one of the guy's hand shaking as he held the gun. Worry clawed at him whenever there was a nervous robber any sudden move can set them off, the risk of being shot increased. Even if they get the money there was no guarantee that they would let them live. Nothing was stopping them from taking their lives, so there will be no witnesses, but that didn't solve the problem with the cameras.

Four more shots sounded and Sam covered Rachel's mouth to keep her from whimpering too loudly and grabbing their attention. "It's ok." He whispered into her ear trying to calm her even though he was panicking himself. "I'll protect you."

Puck cursed. "They shot the cameras." He whispered to them harshly.

Blaine whispered back holding Kurt in his arms. "They probably had this planned out."

"We have to do something." Mike joined in as Tina tried to calm Quinn who buried her face in Finn's back.

"If we do we will only have one chance and there's no guarantee that we will come out unharmed." Alex told them boldly not wanting to lie.

"Or we can wait here and hope they will leave once they get the money."

Alex smiled at his cousin sadly. "That's not a risk I'm willing to take."

"Yet you would risk your own life."

"To save you and the others gladly…this isn't the first time." They shared a knowing look. "You know that I'd rather die fighting than be killed on my knees."

Rachel stayed silent and glanced at Sam who squeezed her hand reassuringly. "All of you be careful."

"If I fail." Alex looked at Santana. "You know what to do."

"I avenge you."

"I was going more for you finding a way to survive this with the others."

"Leave that to Rachel. I plan on following you."

"I don't know whether to be flattered or worried."

"It's okay to be both."

Alex fought back a smile knowing that he shouldn't be amused at the moment. It wasn't appropriate considering their lives were on the line, but Santana's banter had distracted him from the fear and he was able to breathe a little more easier and think clearer as he looked back at the three men. He needed a diversion.

Hiram couldn't ignore the feeling of dread that was slowly creeping in on him. He stopped writing and looked around the room to see nothing amiss. A knock on the door broke echoed through the room. "Come in."

Leroy stepped in smiling. "You ready to go?"

Hiram looked at him confused.

"Don't tell me you forgot about the meeting?"

"Oh…no, my mind has been elsewhere." Hiram stood up abruptly ignoring the worried look Leroy directed at him and muttered a curse when his knee hit the desk. The sound of glass breaking caught his attention and was able to ignore the dull pain.

"Be more careful Hiram." Leroy warned as he watched his husband walk around the desk and crouch down to pick up the broken frame.

Hiram paused as he stared the photo. It was one of his favorites. It was taken decade ago and both his husband and Rachel were in it along with Alex. Leroy and him were sitting on a bench smiling, while Alex and Rachel sat on the floor. The little boy had both his arms wrapped around Rachel's shoulders, while her hands were placed on one of his arms. He had his face pressed against hers from forehead to cheek and both were laughing as they looked at the camera. Looking at the photo filled him with a small dose of bittersweet nostalgia that never failed at making him smile, but at the moment it only strengthened the dread that had been pooling in the back of his mind just moments ago. "Where's Rachel and Alex?"

"They told us that they will Lima Bean with some of their friends after school." Leroy responded looking at his husband confused. "What's wrong?"

"Can you call her?"

"I'm on it." Leroy wiped out his phone a speed dialed their daughter.

Hiram tried to carefully remove the photo from the broken frame only for a shard of glass to pierce his finger. He watched with silent horror as a drop of blood fell from the small wound and landed on the picture.

"She's not answering."

He could barely hear Leroy's response as he stared with disbelief on who the drop of blood landed on. "We need to go get them." Hiram said leaving the photo on the ground and grabbed his suit jacket with car keys.

"I'll call to cancel the meeting."

The moment Rachel cell phone began to ring everyone around her went tense.

"Who's phone is that?" One of them guys asked angrily.

Quinn grabbed Rachel's hand as if to stop her from answering.

"I won't ask again!"

Alex shared a look with Puck and Sam when the sound of footsteps came closer. Puck tapped Mike in the shoulder as one of the males stopped by Finn's end of the table and the other one behind Sam's chair. When the guy pulled the chair Finn grabbed the other guy by the leg and tugged. "Go!" Alex yelled as Sam pushed Rachel toward Quinn and crawled out of the table as Alex kicked the guy behind the knees before getting out from under the table.

"What the hell—" The last one raised his gun and tried to aim at Puck who had succeeded in pinning one of them down and was proceeding to use his face as a punching bag, but was caught off guard when Sam sprinted toward him and tackled him and sent him flying over the counter. The girl at the cashier screeched when his body landed at her feet.

"You should get out of there." Sam warned and assisted her in climbing over the counter. He turned around to see Mike trying to calm Puck down as Finn handed the gun to Quinn as she and Tina stood guard over the severely wounded man. Alex had succeeded in disarming the other man and Santana stood over him and repeatedly kicking in gut. Blaine stood to the side not knowing whether to stop Santana or let continue kicking the man on the floor, but he made sure to keep Kurt behind him in case of anything. Rachel climbed out from under the table and smiled at Sam relieved as he made his way toward her. Sarah pulled out her cell phone and she dialed 911 as she went to Puck.

Sam felt the hairs on the back on his neck stand as if someone was looking at him from behind. He glanced at Alex to see his eyes widened as he looked at something over his shoulder.

"Sam." Rachel whispered his name as her eyes clouded with tears.

He turned around to see the guy he had tackled had gotten up and was pointing the gun at him. Sam knew he screwed up by making a rookie mistake. Alex and Puck had made sure to disarm them, while the thought had slipped his mind. Now he was going to pay consequences.

"I'll kill you." The guy hissed venomously.

The sound of a phone ringing echoed, but no one made a move to answer it. The bell hanging over the jingling as someone entered.

He squeezed the trigger.

Sam closed his eyes when he heard the gunshot and waited for the bullet to make contact.

"Sam!" Rachel screeched.

Waited for the pain to tear through him.

"She's not picking up." Leroy said growing nervously as Hiram drove like a mad man.

"Try calling Alex." Hiram instructed honking at another car that wouldn't drive faster.

"Why don't you slow down?"

"I can't!" Hiram snapped. "Not until they answer!" He stepped on the accelerator more and made a sharp right turn. "Until I see them!"

"Please, pick up the phone." Leroy begged as he speed dialed Alex's number.

But the bullet never pierced. The pain didn't assault him instead he heard a grunt of pain from someone…in front of him. His eyes snapped open as a warm body stumbled into his arms. Emerald met sapphire.

"Never turn your back against your opponent." Alex uttered the words that he centuries ago advised him with as both his hands clutched his stomach where the bullet pierced. Disbelief clouded his eyes as he felt blood seeped through his fingers. "Not again." He whispered so quietly that only Sam could hear him.

"Alex!" Santana ran to them.

In that one instant seeing the disbelief overshadowed by pain made Sam remember of a time long ago when he held his best friend like this. The life had been fading from his gaze, the smell of smoke filled his lungs. The café was replaced by a room being licked by flames and its roof was a wall of smoke. His eyes burned with unshed tears. This time instead of the Count laying face down dead in his own pool of blood, he stood a few feet from them alive.

"No!" Sarah yelled running forward passed Sam, Alex and Santana. She killed the gun from their assailant's hand and aimed a roundhouse kick to his face.

"Abraham." Sam whispered looking down at Alex as Santana snatched him.

"Mercedes call an ambulance!" Zack who had barely entered the cafe with his girlfriend a moment before the gun had been fired helped Santana lay Alex on the floor.

"Apply pressure to the wound." Finn instructed as he ran toward them.

Santana placed her hands over Alex's. "It's going to be okay babe." Her voice cracking as tears blurred her eyes. "I won't let you go…I won't let you leave me again!"

"I'll kill him." Sam vowed so low that no one heard him. No one paid any attention to him as he walked to the guy that had shot Alex. Sarah had taken the gun from him and handed it to Mike who was standing guard of the other two with Kurt and Tina.

"Use my sweater!" Rachel moved Alex and Santana's hands and placed it over the wound holding it there.

"We need to make a makeshift bandage to tighten the wound." Finn took off his shirt. "Give me yours." He told Zack.

Zack handed it over and Blaine didn't wait to be asked. Once he got both shirt he began to tie them together.

"Zack, you will his upper body and sustain in a neutral level. We don't want the blood to rush out faster. Blaine you will grab him from the legs and help Zack keep Alex's body as if he were still lying on the floor." Finn eyes narrowed as his mind ran different scenarios of what could happen if they succeeded or failed. "Now!"

Zack and Blaine did as they were told without question. Following Finn's orders were like second nature to them.

"Fuck!" Alex yelled.

Hearing Alex's yell Sam saw red and he grabbed the guy by the throat. "I'll kill for killing Abraham." The guy had no way of defending himself as Samuel slammed him to the floor. He placed his hand against his mouth. "I don't want to hear you scream yet." And tied the scarf around his mouth muffling the sounds he may make.

"Remove the sweater." Finn told Rachel gently after she did he began to wrap the shirts around Alex's stomach area.

Alex's phone began to ring, but neither Santana or Rachel made a move to reach for it.

"Answer it." Finn glanced at Rachel without losing stride.

Quinn sat across from Zack and helped him level out Alex's body. Zack nodded his gratitude.

"It hurts…so fucking much…" Alex whispered as tears slid down his face against his will. Santana tried to wipe them away with bloody hands as she tried to hold her own tears.

"Daddy!" Rachel cried into the phone. "It's Alex! He's been shot!"

"Gods…mom is going to kill me when she finds out." He forced a chuckle.

"I don't know if he's going to…he's bleeding a lot daddy! Please hurry!"

"Sweetheart, are you okay?" Leroy asked Rachel worried once she answered Alex's cell phone crying. "What's wrong?"

Hiram glanced at his husband nervously when he sucked in air through gritted teeth.

"How did— I don't understand—" Leroy didn't even know what to ask next, it was as if his brain was trying to process what Rachel just told him. "How bad is he hurt?"

He remembered seeing the drop of blood landing on Alex's face. "Please, don't let it be him!"

"Breathe sweetie, we'll be there soon." Leroy hanged up, his hand clutching the phone desperately as if it were his only hope.

"What happened? Is our little star hurt?" He asked trying to keep his voice normal.

He shook his head. "Our little star isn't hurt physically, but emotional…that's another story."

"Why was she crying?"

Leroy gulped not knowing how to break down the news.

"Tell me." He demanded.

"Alex has been shot."

Hiram's hand's tightened on the wheel. "How bad?"

"Rachel's not that sure."


"She said he was bleeding a lot." Leroy closed his eyes as a "No!" ripped from Hiram's lungs and shattered his heart.

"You need to preserve your energy." Finn told Alex seriously. "Only talk when necessary."

"Of course King."

Finn bit back a small smile at his jab.

He glanced at Santana and gave her a small smile. "I love you."

"I love you too."

"I just wanted you to know…in case of anything."

"Where the fuck is that ambulance?" Zack hissed looking at the door to see Mercedes standing there with Rachel waiting for it.

"Don't say that." Santana held his hand. "We still have many memories to make…you can't leave me again…not yet."

"You can put him down." Finn wiped sweat from his forehead not caring that he left a smudge of blood. "I did what I could all we can do now is wait for that ambulance."

Quinn, Zack, and Blaine placed Alex back down carefully. "Thanks." He whispered to Finn, but continued to look at Santana who held his hand desperately in both of hers.

"Sam!" Puck grabbed Sam and pulled him off the bleeding male. "Snap out of it!"

Hearing Puck's Rachel turned to look at him and gasped when she saw the blood coating Sam's shirt and hands. A few feet from them on the floor lay the guy who shot Alex. Scratches marred his face, his nose cracked, his sunglasses lay crushed on the floor beside him and both his eyes were swollen shut.

"Let go!" Samuel fought violently against Puck's hold. "I have to kill him! He deserves to die Zane! He killed Abraham!"

Finn, Zack, Blaine and Quinn looked at each other nervously thinking that Sam may have snapped.

"He needs to be dead!" He broke free of Puck.


"Sam!" Alex yelled as if to attract his attention before he did something he might regret.

Rachel ran to stand in front of the wounded man and Samuel. "You can't."

"Rachel." He begged his bloody hand coming up to caress her cheek and leaving a trail of crimson.

As she gazed into his emerald eyes, her worries were confirmed. This wasn't her Sam, it was… "Samuel."

"I won't let him ruin it for all of us again." He vowed.

"It's different this time. Can't you see?"

"What do you mean?"

"It's coming." Mercedes announced her gaze unwavering from Samuel's form. "Can't you hear?"

"Hear what?"

"The sirens."

Everyone grew quiet and were able to hear the sound of the sirens growing louder the closer they came. A small flame of hope burned within them.

"We have a chance." Rachel whispered to him grabbing his hand.

"This time it will be different."

Hearing Alex speak Samuel walked toward him while holding Rachel's hand. Zack made space for him as the blonde came to kneel by his best friend. "Abraham, how can you be so sure?"

"This is our second chance." Alex clasped his hand weakly. "It has to be…why else would we come back?"

Samuel eyes glistened with tears as he gritted his teeth.

"I refuse to believe we are doomed to the same fate."

The sirens became deafening as the ambulance and police cars entered the parking lot.

"In here!" Mercedes yelled from the door.

"Come back to the present my friend. You're in charge of taking care of my girls when I am being hospitalized." He winked.

"You never change dear old friend." His eyes closed as the paramedics rushed into the room. When his eyes opened they were a calmer emerald no longer haunted by tragedies echoed in fire. "I will." He promised as the paramedics shoved through them and worked on placing Alex in a stretcher. He gave them a thumb up as they rushed him out the building. "You should go with him and Santana." Sam whispered to Rachel as the Latina followed her boyfriend.

"Are you sure?" she looked at him worried holding his hand tighter.

"I'll catch up with you later." Sam promised giving her a peck on the lips before giving her a slight push toward the doors. He looked over his should to see Sarah's future uncle Matt questioning Puck and her.

Hiram didn't bother to park the car once he entered the parking lot for Lima Bean and quickly unbuckled his seat when he saw Alex's on a stretcher with a breathing mask. "Alex!" he yelled running toward his nephew. A few police officers blocked his way. "That's my nephew! Let me through." He growled at them.

"Dad!" Rachel ran to him. "Let him through!"

Matt came out from the stores to see the commotion and waved the officers to the side to let Hiram and Leroy Berry pass.

"Sweetheart." Hiram pulled his daughter into his arms before giving her a once over for any injuries.

"Dad, I'm going with Santana and Alex."

"I'm going with you." Hiram said leaving no room for argument.

"You can't Dad the others are going to need you…namely Sam."

"Sweetie, I know how much you care for Sam, but Alex is far more important to me. I need to make sure he will come out alive…his mother…" Hiram shook his head to clear away any dark musings.

"I'll go with her." Leroy said quickly as the paramedics were ready to go. "I'll call you with updates and you can join us once you are done here."

Before Hiram could agree Leroy was already pulling Rachel into the ambulance.

"Good thing you are here." Matt said bringing Hiram's attention back to him. "Most of these teens including my niece," he grumbled, "are going to need a lawyer." He said motioning for Hiram to follow him. "Scratch that, everyone in here is going to need one because no one is willing to open their mouths and start talking about what happened."

"Why is that?" Hiram asked confused.

"The three burglars were beaten…if I'm being honest one of them appears to be beaten till an inch of his life."

"In other words unreasonable force?"

"You can say that." Matt opened the door and let Hiram inside where Puck, Sarah, Finn, Sam and the others were waiting. "They have been checked for injuries and appeared to not be injured except for bruised knuckles. The blood on their clothes is Alex's." He stopped speaking for a moment and looked at him. "My apologies."

"It's fine." Hiram looked at the teens. "May I have some time alone with them."

"Of course." Matt whistled catching the other officers attention and motioned for them to head outside.

Alex moved the breathing mask to the side to talk to his uncle. "Uncle Leroy."

"You shouldn't speak." Leroy ran a hand through his nephew's sweat matted hair.

"I need you to listen." He groaned. "Tell Uncle Hiram to protect Sam…he was trying to protect me…even though he used unnecessary force."

"I'll tell him." Leroy promised as Alex closed his eyes.

"Please save him." Santana begged one of the paramedics as her hand held onto Alex's desperately.

"We'll try everything humanly possible to keep him alive."

AN: I apologize for any grammatical errors since I'm not able to proofread before posting. I blame my older sis because she got me sick and right now I am battling a cold and fever with various teas, halls and medicine. =( I hope you still enjoyed the chapter even with the errors and maybe somewhat rusty (It's been months since I have written a chap for this fic, so I'm afraid I might have loosen touch with it). I apologize for not updating this fic as I do the others, but I really don't have a schedule set for this one like my other fics, so the updates will be very random especially with the future fics I have planned out. I'm so happy to have written this chapter because the scene with Alex getting shot had been planned since the beginning, which signifies this story coming to an end. There are still a few more chapters to go, but this officially marks the beginning of the end for this fic. I have had this story favored and alerted so I know people are still reading it, but barely any reviews, so please don't forget to review all I ask for is 15+ reviews, it will be nice to hear from you. =) As for those who have reviewed, thank you! It shows that this fic is still getting some love. (^_^)