Morty knew he wasn't much use.

Sure, he was technically a shaman, but he could barely preform spirit unity without passing out for a half hour.

He knew he was weak. He knew that, in most cases, he was more trouble than he was worth.

He was the one who you talked to when you were upset. The one you asked when you needed research done, or a question answered.

He was the brains, the one behind the seen, the one who would never be a hero.

That was fine with him. He wasn't really hero material anyway.

He was glad he had friends. He was glad they accepted him, and glad that he wasn't alone anymore.

And he would do anything, anything, to protect them in any meager way he could

Len liked Morty a lot more then he let on.

He admired the boys determination, the fact he kept coming back up no matter how many times he was knocked down.

He also found it fascinating how he was utterly different from the way his uncle had described humans.

The short boy was friendly, fiercely loyal, loving, determined, kind.

He found it funny that a laid back boy like Yoh had found a best friend in high-strung little Morty.

And he would never forget that, in the battle agents Zeke, after Yoh was absorbed, it had been Morty who reminded them what they were fighting for.

"Fight with the love of Yoh in your hearts, not the hatred of Zeke."

Lenny found that the words had almost become his motto.

Tray never really thought about Morty, not much anyway.

Not in an unkind way, though.

He didn't need to. There were others who watched him, who thought about him, who kept him safe.

Tray wasn't needed. Not when Morty had Yoh, Rio, Faust, even Len.

But, secretly, he had always liked the boy.

He found that Morty had a heart and a mind that made up for his small size.

Tray thought of him as glue. The kind of thing you would never really notice, but as soon as it's gone you realize how important it is.

It was Morty who kept them from falling apart, and Tray knew it.

Rio knew there was more to Morty than meets the eye.

The older shaman had seen the boy preform acts of bravery that would have made bigger men tremble.

He would never forget the time he had seen him trying to take on 5 guys, three times his size, in order to get something resembling a sword for Yoh to battle with.

The kid had heart, and that was more than most people had.

The boy would always be his 'Little Buddy', a person who you could always trust.

Morty was the first person he had told why he loved rest stops so much for that reason.

But what made Rio feel guilty was how many times he had put the boy in danger.

Beating him up in the cemetery, for one, but everyone was over that.

It was allowing his to be caught by the X-laws that made Rio sick to his stomach, though.

He had almost died.

Rio didn't think he would ever forgive himself.

Morty was one of the few people that Anna had a soft spot for.

For one, he always listened to whatever she said, and he wasn't a bad cook.

It was more than that, though.

It was like he could see through the shell she had created for herself; saw what she let no one see.

And the best part? He didn't go proclaiming it to the world.

He kept it to himself, a little unsaid secret between the two of them.

In truth, Anna hadn't been so surprised when she saw Morty was a shaman. He fit most of the criteria.

What had shocked her was that it had taken Yoh's life being in danger because of him to bring it out.

It made her realize how strong the bound between them was.

She would forever be grateful to Morty. He kept Yoh grounded.

Anna knew that, without Mory's hand on his string, Yoh's kite-like mind would have gotten lost in the clouds long ago.

Morty was a big reason Yoh had kept fighting towards the end of the shaman tournament.

There were sometimes when something inside of him said 'Why not? Why not join Zeak?'

Yes, why not?

Because Morty wasn't a shaman. He wouldn't exist in Zeak's world.

Morty was his best friend, his first friend.

And he wasn't about to let him die because of his insane twin brother. Who was really 1000 years old.

Yea, didn't make sense to him, either.

Morty was great to talk to. He always gave encouragement. And he could do things with a computer that Yoh could only dream of.

He didn't know what strange, cosmic force had brought them to the same cemetery that fateful night, but he owed it big time.

It had given him a best friend.

It had given him a reason to fight.

No one had expected it.

Then were going on a picnic, the old gang back together. Len and Tray were bickering, Rio carrying the food and trying fruitlessly to make conversation with Anna, Morty and Yoh slightly in front of everyone, talking about whatever came into their heads. Just a peaceful day in the park.

No one expected a silver arrow to come flying out of nowhere.

No one expected it to pierce Morty's chest.

Morty had given a small, surprised little 'Oh…" as if the sensation was curious.

The rest watched in horror as blood seeped from the wound, as the life drained from Morty's eyes.

"Yoh…" He gasped, before falling down, down, down into the black abyss that was death.

Len went numb.

Tray fell to his knees.

Rio couldn't understand it.

Anna's heart of ice cracked.

Yho's whole being burned.

And nothing was the same, ever again.

The world had been…