*cue drumroll* Alright guys, this is it. I'm like, trembling in my wee-little-boots right now. The review response for chapter six was absolutely amazing, and so many of you have told me of your uber high expectations for this chapter. I hope I don't disappoint. I spent forever on this, adding scenes, deleting scenes, editing and proofing. Hopefully my work payed off. =)
Disclaimer: Alas, Young Justice does not belong to me. (Do you hear that DC? I'm so nervous right now, I can't even plot and scheme against you properly. Consider this battle yours but just know, this war isn't over. . .)
So without further ado, I give you the final chapter. Enjoy.
Wally was bleeding. A lot.
"Arrgghh, I hate thorns!" he screamed, hacking at a branch that had nicked his shoulder, drawing blood. He was still covered in scratches from his trip through Superboy's thorn forest, and here was, in the same situation!
After leaving the castle, Superboy had led them out of the Super Kingdom (Roy had been right, they would have gotten out if they had just continued north patiently. . .) and into the neighboring Kingdom of Bats. The first town they entered was deserted, the empty houses all in various states of disrepair. Windows were broken, as were shop signs. Many houses had holes in the roofs and nearly every structure made of wood was dry-rotted through. The second village they entered was in the same state of abandonment, as was the third. It was just ghost town after ghost town after ghost town.
"The people of Bats were afraid after the princess was cursed. The magician who did it was never caught and everyone feared where he may strike next," Superboy explained from behind him, having been questioned by Kaldur about the kingdom's deserted state, "A lot of people left soon after it happened. Most of them came to our kingdom, since it was nearby and had room enough for them. The king was a wreck over it all too. I remember my father would leave often to visit him. They were close friends, once. But he refused to leave the castle. His kingdom slowly fell to ruins around him and he just let it happen."
"It must be difficult, seeing your own child in such a state and being helpless to do anything," M'gann said, ducking under a branch.
"I agree. It is unfortunate that his people had to suffer, but his situation is still sympathetic," Kaldur said, following behind her, "How long ago did this happen, Superboy?"
Superboy frowned. "I was small when it happened. I remember my cousin was living with us at the time, so I was probably around six. So about ten years ago."
Wally came to a standstill and Artemis ran into his back.
"Watch it, Prince Neanderthal! I could have stabbed you!"
Wally ignored her, turning around to see Superboy. "Ten years! How old is this princess?"
Superboy shrugged. "I don't know. I think Father may have said it was an ageless sleep though. I don't really remember."
"So, you lived with your cousin when you were younger, Superboy?" M'gann asked. Superboy nodded.
"Yeah. She's actually my second cousin. After her parents died, Father took her in for a short time, but eventually he decided he couldn't handle two children. He put her up for adoption. I've never seen her since."
"Oh, that's awful! I wonder what became of her?"
Tuning them out, Wally turned back around and hacked at a branch, feeling only slightly better. Ageless sleep was good. He was only fifteen; he didn't want to climb the tower and find some super old lady up there. What if she was like, 25 or something? That was like, halfway to death! (Was the King of Bats leeching her while she slept? She may have been as bad off as Uncle Barry, after all this time. . .)
The forest of thorns around the tower wasn't as thick as the one around Superboy's castle (which was kind of sad, because that meant King Clark really wanted to keep his son hidden away), so it only took them a few hours to get through. Hacking the last few branches, Wally walked into the clearing.
An enormous castle lay before him, with a single tower taller than all the rest.
"Taller than Uncle Barry's," he thought aloud, gazing at the structure. She was in there, mere minutes away. . .
"What?" Artemis asked, giving him an odd look. He shook his head.
"Nothing. Come on, let's go." Taking a deep breath, he took a single step toward the castle. Then the ground began to shake.
It was subtle. Just enough for them to feel, but not violent enough to make them lose their footing or even wobble slightly. Wally glanced down and watched for a few seconds as a pebble vibrated across the ground, then lifted his head and glanced around. He could hear something. It was almost like. . . a growl.
Keeping his sword ready, Wally tried to locate the source of the sound. "Something's coming. Get ready guys."
"Wally, over there," Kaldur said, pointing toward a spot in the thorn forest opposite from where they had emerged. It was far away, being on the other side of the tower, but Wally could just make out two yellow lights beaming at them through the dark. They were like two sickly, glowing eyes.
"What is that?" Artemis asked, raising her dagger higher.
"Looks like a monster to me," Roy said from beside her, aiming his bow at the. . . whatever-it-was.
M'gann shifted uncomfortably, sticking close to Superboy. "Maybe if we're quiet, it won't-"
She was cut off when a roar and a squealing noise simultaneously erupted from the whatever-it-was and it lurched toward them at a speed Wally had never seen before. They stood their ground while it sped across the clearing, and Wally quickly observed the monstrosity.
It was black. Kind of shiny. It was long and the back was sort of taller than the front, like an incline. Or decline. Whatever. There were large black panels on the taller part that almost looked like. . . glass? Furrowing his eyebrows, Wally looked at the bottom. Whatever-it-was was on wheels, but they weren't like any wheels he'd seen before. They were black (surprise, surprise) and were made out of something. . . odd. Not wood, in any case.
"Guys, it's not stopping," M'gann whispered as the whatever-it-was came even closer. Roy shot an arrow at it and it boinged off without a scratch.
"Split up?" Artemis suggested.
"Split up," Wally confirmed. They didn't waste a second as they lunged in different directions, just missing the whatever-it-was as it sped over the very spot they'd been standing. Wally hit the ground but quickly scrambled to his feet, sword ready. From where he was, he could see the back on the whatever-it-was as it kept on going, barreling toward the forest. There was some sort of yellow square on the back, engraved with black lettering. He squinted.
"Batmobile?" he read, cocking his head. Was that its name?
The "Batmobile" crashed into the forest, leaving a thornless trail in its wake. The sound of it's growling slowly faded as it disappeared from sight. The team regrouped.
"What was that thing?" Artemis asked, watching the forest tensely.
"The thing on the back said 'Batmobile,' I think it's some sort of vehicle," Wally said, "But there aren't any horses."
"I saw in the windows," Superboy said, "There was no one inside."
"So it's some sort of carriage that is mobile. . . by itself?" Kaldur said, also eyeing the forest. The growl was soft, but still there.
Wally frowned. "So, an automatic mobile device? An automobile?"
Artemis snorted. "Don't be stupid, Wally. It's just a fancy carriage."
Wally opened his mouth to retort but was cut off when a screech sounded from the forest. The growling started getting louder, and it was getting louder very quickly.
"It's coming back," Superboy said, bracing himself.
Mere seconds later the yellow lights reemerged, the shadowy form of the Batmobile appearing moments after.
"When an animal hunts, it goes after the weakest of the pack," Roy said, "It then tries to isolate its prey from the others, to make the kill easier." He glanced at Wally, smirking. "Feeling weak, Prince Flasher?"
The question was barely out of his mouth before Roy pushed him to the ground. "Act hurt. Everyone else, follow me!" he yelled, dashing off to the left. Artemis followed without question while the others hung back, hesitant.
"But Wally. . ." M'gann began, glancing between him and Roy.
"He'll be fine, trust me!" Roy yelled, not stopping.
"It's fine guys, go on. Roy obviously has some sort of plan. I'll just stay here and. . . act hurt," Wally said, a little bitterly. He was the leader of the team (more or less), so why did he have to act injured?
Superboy nodded and, taking M'gann's hand, pulled the still indecisive girl along until they were with Roy. Kaldur followed unhappily behind.
Wally frowned. To be honest, he didn't get really hurt all that often. Sure he got minor injuries (the thousands of thorn scratches littering his body were proof of that), but even then, he didn't really complain much. Would the Batmobile care if he just sat there quietly?
Looking up, he saw the Batmobile racing toward him. If it wanted the others, it would probably start turning right about now, just like. . . just like it was doing.
"Shit," Wally whispered. He grabbed hold of his leg and let out a wail that would have made Uncle Barry proud (Wally didn't complain, but the great King Barry was the world's biggest crybaby).
"Owww! Oh my GOD! The AGONY! I think I'm dying!" It was getting closer. "Oh why did my friends abandon me! I think my leg is falling off! Oh why cruel world! Why, why, WHYYYYYY!"
"Oh my god, shut up Wally! It doesn't have ears!"
"YOU DON'T KNOW THAT! OH GOD! Just kill me to end the PAIN! If only I wasn't so ALONE and HELPLESS!"
Ears or no ears, the Batmobile veered back to its original path and made a beeline for him. Roy pointed an arrow at it and stood silent, waiting as it drew closer.
Just as the Batmobile sped past the group, Roy released the arrow and hit the front wheel. Quick as lightening, he threaded a second arrow and shot the back. The Batmobile wobbled off course slightly, but kept on toward Wally. Wally glanced at Roy. This didn't seem like part of the plan. . .
"Dammit, don't just sit there Flasher, run!"
Okay, definitely not part of the plan. Wally stood up hastily and immediately fell back down on his face.
"Ow! Guys! Guys, my leg!" His entire leg was riddled with pain; he couldn't even move it. He lifted his face from the dirt to see the Batmobile coming straight at him. What a perfect freaking time for a Charlie-horse. He groped around for his sword and, finding it a few feet to his left, gripped the hilt tightly. Somewhere, M'gann was screaming his name.
He braced himself as the Batmobile closed in on him, ignoring the pain shooting up his leg (funny, how he was so quiet when he was actually in pain; Artemis was probably making a snarky comment about it right now). He watched the wheels, splintered arrows still lodged in them, as the "fancy carriage" wobbled right, then left, straight a second, then right. If he timed it right, he could make this work. If he didn't, well. . .
Wally rolled to the left onto his stomach just as the Batmobile was about to crush his skull in. Seeing the mechanical underbelly of the beast (what was this thing made of!) as it soared over him, Wally did the first thing he could think of. He lifted his sword and plunged it into the Batmobile.
The blade snapped in half as a shower of hot sparks rained down on him. He yelled in surprise but managed to keep still the half a second it took for the Batmobile to pass over him. Once the sky was made visible to him he sat up and beat at his clothes, swiftly extinguishing any flames. In an instant the others were at his side.
"Wally, are you okay!" M'gann asked, kneeling by his side. Wally nodded silently, watching the Batmobile as it skidded across the clearing. It made a quarter turn then came to a complete stop, smoke billowing out of it. The others followed his gaze and watched the vehicle apprehensively.
"Is it. . . dead?" Superboy asked.
Roy put his bow on his back then helped Wally up. "I don't know about dead, but I'd say it's broken, at least for now."
Wally brushed himself off quickly, sheathing what little was left of his sword. "We should head to the castle before it decides to. . . I don't know. Repair itself or something."
The others silently agreed and Wally led them to the massive structure.
Used to running up the tallest tower in the Flash castle with his uncle, Wally wasn't terribly fazed by the never-ending spiraling staircase that met them when they entered the tower. The others, however, weren't as prepared. They started the trek up.
"Wally, can we," M'gann paused to take a breath, "can we take a break?" Judging by how large the tower looked on the outside, Wally guessed they were only about a quarter of the way up. He shifted uneasily, glancing back at everyone. They looked tired.
"She's not going anywhere Prince Flasher. She's waited this long, she can wait for us to catch our breath," Roy pointed out, not as winded as M'gann but still fairly tired. With a sigh, Wally nodded and they all almost immediately sat down on the steps, breathing deeply. Less enthusiastically, Wally sat down with them.
They continued on after a few minutes and ended up having to rest two more times (Artemis' hair grew so long everyone could eventually rest on it. . . Wally refused) before they reached the top, where a large wooden door awaited them. Wally glanced back at his exhausted friends.
"There might be a witch guarding her or something," Wally warned. Artemis rolled her eyes.
"If there is, she's lazy as hell. We climbed all the way up her and she could have just flown down and destroyed us on the first floor."
"She was already protected by a dragon. A witch would be overkill, wouldn't it?"
"It wasn't a dragon, Superboy. It was a fancy carriage," Artemis stated, crossing her arms.
Wally smiled fondly at them before turning back around and, taking a steadying breath, opening the door.
The room was decently sized. Slightly larger than Artemis' old tower room. There was one window, the light from which was falling on a golden sheeted bed in the middle of the room. Lying atop the covers was the princess.
She had pale skin (perfect, beautiful, flawless skin. . .), short black hair (really short, but that was okay, Wally liked short hair. . .), and was wearing a sleeveless gown, the top of which was red, while the rest was black. The red stopped in an odd place, a little less than halfway down her chest, giving the gown an odd appearance. Almost as if paint had been spilt on the top.
She was very slim (her shoulders were kind of. . . broad; not as broad as his, but still. . .) and petite (totally flat-chested, but that was fine. . .). Her jawline was really. . . strong and her neck sort of, kind of, almost looked like it had an Adam's apple. . .
She was a boy.
Wally stood stock-still, feeling as if someone had just punched him in the stomach. His princess was a boy. How could that be? How could that possibly be! The newspaper article said. . .
"There's no way," he whispered faintly. He took a shaky step forward then stopped, as if afraid getting any closer would make the situation (impossible, unreal, it just could not be, princesses were girls) more real.
"I thought we were looking for a girl?" Roy asked, crossing his arms. The others stayed silent.
"You were. It's supposed to be a princess lying there," a deep voice said from behind them. They all turned around to see a man dressed from head to toe in all black: black armor with a silver crest in the shape of a bat splayed across the chest, black gloves, a long black cape, a black crown. Over his eyes was a black mask and under his crown was a silver chainmail hood, covering his head and neck.
"Who are you?" Wally asked, eyeing the stranger warily. The man walked passed his friends and over to the bed, brushing the young boy's bangs out of his eyes.
"I am Batman, the King of Bats. And this is Prince Robin, my son."
"But, I thought your daughter was the one who was cursed," M'gann said, stepping forward. Batman didn't move.
"She was supposed to be. When the princess, Batgirl, was born, I held a celebration. The entire kingdom was invited, except for one man: a murderous madman who goes by the name 'The Joker'."
Superboy nodded. "My father told me about that. He was angry that he wasn't invited, right? And vowed revenge on the princess?"
Batman glanced over his shoulder at him. "You're Clark's boy."
Superboy nodded and Batman returned his gaze to Robin. "You've grown."
Superboy didn't respond and an uncomfortable silence fell over them. After a moment, Batman resumed his story. "The Joker arrived at the party and swore he was going to kill Batgirl on her 16th birthday. No one heard of him for years after that, as if he had fallen off the face of the Earth. I, and many in my kingdom, had hoped he was dead. But then Batgirl turned 16."
"What happened?" Kaldur asked.
"The Joker wasn't aware that I had a son. A lot of people weren't. After what happened with Batgirl, I decided not to announce his birth, to better protect him. We held a party for Batgirl at her request, here at the castle. My men and I were certain if the Joker were to appear, we could capture him. But honestly, I didn't believe he would. I was foolish, believing him to really be dead. I should have known better. The Joker never dies. . .
"Robin understood the danger of the situation much better than I. He offered to trade places with his sister, as a precaution. I thought he was being foolish, but I saw no reason to object. Batgirl called him silly but also went along with the scheme, thinking it would be fun. The night of the party he put on a red gown, specially made for Batgirl, and a wig, and Batgirl pinned up her hair and dressed herself as a boy. Their facial characteristics are similar enough that it was a convincing scheme. Throughout the party though, Robin seemed tired. Sluggish, almost. I should have realized what was happening, but I thought he was acting. He's a very energetic boy, much more so than his sister, so I told myself he was acting calm to appear more like her. The signs were so obvious, but I didn't even notice anything was wrong until he collapsed."
"He just collapsed? He wasn't like, attacked or anything?" Artemis asked, brows furrowed.
"It was the gown. As soon as he collapsed, the Joker's voice echoed through the castle. He told me I had been foolish, being so trusting with my staff. Apparently he was able to bribe one of my seamstresses into making the gown meant for Batgirl out of an enchanted fabric. He said Batgirl was in an ageless sleep and when all the blood had left the gown, my daughter would die, and I would have to watch, helpless, while it happened."
"So that's. . . blood?" M'gann asked, staring at the small portion of red left on the gown. Batman nodded.
"What if you just take it off? The gown, I mean," Artemis suggested, eyes on Robin's sleeping figure.
"He'll die, if what the Joker says is correct. There's a chance it's not true, but it's not a risk I'm willing to take. At least not yet, while there's still time."
"So, you never found the Joker then?" Roy asked.
"No. I sent my men all over the country searching for him, but he was never found. I'm sure he's still out there, somewhere."
"And what happened to the real Batgirl?" Kaldur inquired.
"Batgirl was tormented with guilt. She left the kingdom, in search of a medicinal cure to her brother's state, but it was for naught. Nothing can save Robin now save for one thing. . ."
"True love's kiss," Wally whispered, watching Robin with an unreadable expression. Batman glanced back at him and nodded.
"Yes. In the Kingdom of Bats, every person is given true-love's-kiss insurance upon birth, in case an otherwise fatal accident were to befall them. It's my son's only hope."
"True-love's-kiss insurance? How does that work out?" Artemis muttered. Her question went unheeded.
"King Batman, I do not understand," Kaldur said, stepping forward, "If you are hoping for your son's true love to arrive, why did you place a guard around the castle?"
Batman finally turned around to face them fully. "Guard?"
"The Batmobile," M'gann clarified. Batman frowned.
"It attacked you? I must have left the keys in the ignition by mistake. My apologies."
Artemis clenched her fist. "Look here pal, thanks to your stupid carriage Wally almost-" Roy placed a hand on her shoulder and firmly pulled her back, fixing her with a stern look. She huffed angrily, but kept quiet.
"What's an ignition?" Superboy questioned thoughtfully.
Batman ignored him (Superboy seemed miffed, but didn't press the issue) and shifted his focus to Wally. "I presume you came here to save a princess?"
Hesitantly, Wally nodded.
"You must be very disappointed. I'm sorry you came all this way for nothing. I never meant to cause anyone any trouble." That said, the King of Bats strode past them and out of the room, cape billowing behind him. The others watched Wally, uneasy.
Surprisingly enough, it was Artemis who tried to comfort him first. "Look Wally. . ." she came forward and put a hand on his shoulder, "I'm sorry things didn't work out, but there are lots of princesses out there! You'll find the one for you soon!"
"Yeah Wally, just think of this as. . . a practice run! Yeah! For your real quest!" Roy said, jogging in front of him and smiling reassuringly.
M'gann appeared at his side and placed a hand on his other shoulder. "They're right Wally. You're a wonderful person, and you've already proven so much."
Kaldur came forward to stand by Roy. "She's right. Any princess would be lucky to have you. You'll find the one you're destined for, Wally. You shouldn't worry."
"Wally." Wally half turned to regard Superboy, who was still close to the entrance. "When you head out on your next quest, I'd like to come with you. You're a. . . good friend. I think you should be happy, and I'll do what I can to see that happen."
"He's right!" M'gann shouted, beaming at Wally, "I'll accompany you as well Wally!"
Kaldur nodded. "I will as well."
"Yeah, me too man," Roy said.
Smirking, Artemis lightly punched his shoulder. "Me too. Besides, you'd just die if I wasn't around to save your butt anyway. I can't very well let you go off without me, knowing that. I'm not really big on the whole guilty conscious thing."
Wally looked at them all in turn, a small smile tugging at his lips. "Thanks guys. Really. That means a lot. I don't think I could ever ask for better friends."
They all smiled warmly back. "Come on firecrotch, let's go home," Artemis said.
They all headed toward the door, pausing only when they realized Wally wasn't following. Artemis turned around. "You coming?"
Wally stood still, watching Prince Robin contemplatively. Silently he walked forward until he was next to the bed, gazing down at the boy's face.
"Wally?" M'gann questioned curiously.
"I feel stupid, coming all this way for nothing."
An awkward silence fell over them. Artemis cleared her throat before speaking up. "Look, Wally. . ."
"You know," he interrupted, talking as if to himself, "he is kind of pretty. For a boy, I mean."
They all exchanged silent glances.
"And really, having two kings wouldn't be that bad. It'd make a good statement about the Kingdom of Flash. Equality and stuff. It might help make my people a little more open-minded. That would be a good thing. It could be revolutionary."
"Hey, Prince Flasher, what are you-" Artemis cut Roy off, placing a hand over his mouth and holding a finger to her lips.
Wally continued as if he hadn't heard him. "It wouldn't hurt just to try, right? I mean, it really would be stupid. Coming all this way, then not trying."
None of them answered, frozen in place. Wally slowly leaned forward until he was a mere inch from the prince's face.
"I just. . . for some reason, I really just. . . want to see his eyes," he whispered, right before shutting his eyes and closing the distance between them in a soft kiss.
Then, the world turned white.
Wally's winced when he opened his eyes, the brightness of the all white room momentarily blinding him.
He blinked a few times then sat up, the sheets covering his body pooling in his lap. He fingered it gently, a small frown marring his features. Weird how he felt the sheets should have been gold. . .
Breaking his attention away from the sheets, he noticed a white bandage, stained red in certain areas, encircling his arm. Gingerly he picked at the edge until it came loose and he could unravel it. His arm was perfect, not a wound in sight. Looking down, he saw the bandages around his bare chest and gave them the same treatment. Same result. Chest was A-OK. He groped at his back. Everything seemed good back there too. Yay accelerated healing.
"The building exploded," he mumbled to himself, running a hand through his hair. He recognized the room he was in as the infirmary at Mt. Justice, so the mission couldn't have ended too disastrously. He was alive, after all. And his team must have made it out okay too, for him to be brought to the mountain.
He noticed something dark in his peripheral vision and glanced to his left. Robin was lying on the bed beside him, unconscious. There was a bandage around his head and Wally imagined around his chest as well, since his shirt was off. The white sheet lying atop him stopped just below his shoulders. Wally tilted his head. With the blanket like that, it sort of, almost, kind of looked like he was wearing a sleeveless top. Why was that so familiar?
Wally's eyebrows dipped in thought for a minute as he observed Robin's sleeping form. Quietly, he got out of his bed and crossed to Robin's, sitting carefully on the edge.
"I never got to see. . ." he whispered, running a finger along the edge of Robin's mask. He stared at the face of his best friend for a few moments before gingerly pulling at the mask's edge, carefully prying it off. Robin didn't stir.
Wally leaned closer until he was a hair's width away, studying the face before him, before leaning in to close the gap in a gentle, chaste kiss.
He sat back up and watched as Robin's eyes clenched tighter shut before wearily blinking open. He groaned, wincing slightly at the bright lights.
"KF?" he asked, his voice slightly course with sleep.
"Hey there, sleeping beauty."
Robin sat up a little, the sheets falling away to reveal the bandages Wally had guessed were there. An odd look crossed the younger boy's face as he placed a hand to his lips.
"Did you just. . .?"
If he had plans to finish the question, Wally didn't allow them to come to fruition. "You have really beautiful eyes, you know."
Said beautiful eyes widened to astronomical proportions before disappearing behind Robin's arm as he frantically tried to shield himself.
"Where's my mask! Wally, did you take it off! Bats is going to murder you! I can't believe you!" His free hand was blindly groping around, searching out his missing mask, or even his glasses.
Wally smirked and grabbed Robin's hand tightly in his own, halting its search. "Come on Rob, I had to see them eventually anyway. It's nothing to get excited over."
Robin frowned (pouted, but bff code called for Wally to keep that a secret). "Oh? And why would you ever have to see them?"
Wally snorted. "Well if you think I'm going to marry you without ever seeing your face you're totally wrong dude. Which reminds me, you might as well tell me your name too. I think they put that on the marriage certificate."
Robin froze and Wally took the opportunity to gently pry his arm away from his eyes. Robin stared.
"Since when are you and I getting married?"
Wally frowned contemplatively, actually thinking about the question. "I don't know. I think I may have just had a dream about it. . . I just kinda woke up feeling like we were engaged. . . and I have this really clear memory of you in a dress. . ." he smirked, "you looked really hot."
Robin's face turned a million shades of red as he began sputtering incoherently. Finally, he settled on punching Wally in the shoulder to communicate how he felt. Wally grinned.
"Does that mean yes?"
Robin frowned, his cheeks still burning as he stared Wally down. "I think you should probably ask me on a date or two. . . or two hundred, before you ask me to marry you."
Wally's grin widened, the silent plea for a date written all over his features. Robin sighed.
"Fine, fine. . . but you're paying." He paused and Wally watched as the red staining his cheeks faded to a pink. Damn he had pretty skin . "Did you kiss me right before I woke up?"
Wally smiled. "Sleeping Beauty could only be awoken by true love's kiss."
"Since when did I become a princess?" Robin asked, chuckling lightly and raising an eyebrow in amusement.
Wally smiled fondly and leaned closer. "Since I dreamed I was your prince," he said, his voice a mere ghost of a whisper.
Then, he kissed him.
And they lived happily ever after.
So there we have it. The end. Finito.
A lot of people have been asking about Robin's quirks in the first chapter. I honestly never planned to revisit those quirks, since Robin is supposed to be a mystery, but since so many of you have questioned, I've decided to write a companion piece to this. It'll probably just be a oneshot or something, but keep an eye out for it. =)
Big thanks to all my readers. You guys have given me a lot of support and love, and it's meant the world to me. I'm really going to miss updating this story.
So long for now.