"Genis, run!" Lloyd's voice sounded frantically from somewhere behind the young mage but Genis had more pressing concerns. The men who had them completely surrounded and outnumbered wasted no time in launching their assault. Two of them charged at the mage, knives drawn. Genis barely had time to put up his shield before they were on him. Energy cracked and sparks flew around him as steel bounced off the force field, the sound deafened only by the distant clang of swords fighting for dominance. From the corner of his eye he could just make out the red flash that was Lloyd, but he knew better then to take his eyes off the enemies in front of him. More and more of them were joining the fight and they were coming at him so fast he almost didn't have enough time to protect himself let alone go on the offensive. Instead the most he could do was hop continually from spot to spot throwing up a shield that was getting weaker and weaker by the second.

He was running out of energy.

His magic was being extended to fast.

A loud yelp sounded from somewhere behind him. He recognized it as Lloyd and for a brief second Genis let his eyes dart to the left in an attempt to see his best friend.

That one second loss of concentration was all it took…


Raine flew out of her seat by the window so fast that if anyone was watching the only thing they would see would be a streak of white. She skidded to a stop by her brother's bed. She was forced to take a step back to avoid missing her brother's flailing arms. When the danger had passed she all bug flung herself onto the bed gripping the young boy's shoulders tightly.

"Genis!" she shook him, "Genis, wake up!"

The unconscious boy took no notice of his sister as he continued to thrash around.


There was a loud slam and the sound of running. Raine didn't even notice. She gripped her brother's shoulders tighter.


Raine shook the boy again in a desperate attempt to wake him. Genis only struggled harder. His cries broke her heart into a thousand pieces. And her magic was completely useless.

Out of the corner of her eye a sudden splash of pink appeared on the opposite side of the bed. Raine didn't need to look up to know that it was Presea and for a moment she let her mind question why the young axe wielder was there beside her, then Genis cried out again.

The half-elf was turning desperate. She could feel her little brother shaking underneath her hands as sobs wracked his small body. Screams of terror and fear had dissolved into wails of sadness and pain that Raine knew could only come from a person whose heart had been ripped out.

Jealously and anger shot through her as she thought of the boy who at times seemed more like Genis's brother then his best friend. The one who at some times seemed to have more of his heart then she. She shoved it away. It would not help her little brother now. She gripped the smaller boy's shoulders tighter.


Raine blinked. The gentle calling of her little brother's name had not come from her. Raising her gaze from the distressed face Raine watched as Presea lent carefully forward calling the name softly again.

Genis's breath hitched.

Presea took the younger boy's hand in hers.

"Genis," she called again, "Genis can you her me?" The still unconscious mage whimpered slightly and turned his head toward the girl. His body was still shaking, but he was slowly stopping his struggle against his sister's hands. Presea continued, "Genis, if you can hear me, I know your scared and hurt and worried about Lloyd and we want to help you, we really do, but for us to do that you need to wake up. We need you to open your eyes and tell us what happened."

By now the unconscious mage had stopped squirming.

"Genis?" Raine move her hands from her brother's shoulders and grasped his hand.

Hearing his sister's voice seemed to spark something. Scrunching up his nose and arching his back slightly off the mattress, Genis moaned softly as his eyelids quivered.

"That's it Genis, you can do it." Presea encouraged anxiously. White lashes fluttered.

A hand suddenly reached down and rested on the struggling boy's forehead.

Raine's head snapped up. Zelos ignored the healers, and really everyone else's, look of confusion, choosing instead to focus on Geins.

"It's okay Genis, you can wake up now." Blue eyes snapped open, breath hitching at the new voice. Whipping his head around Genis locked eyes with Zelos. Upon seeing the chosen his eyes began to water. Zelos leaned in closer to the mage; his red ponytail falling over his shoulder, he threw it back, "Take your time," he hid the tightness he felt, "don't force yourself."

Taking no heed to the chosen's words the newly conscious boy shot up, grabbed Zelos's arm, and pulled him closer. Raine could see the glazed, pancaked look in her little brother's eyes; she doubted very much if he could actually see any of them though. He was shaking again and holding the red-head's arm so tightly that his knuckles were going white.

"Zelos, Lloyd, he took him."

Zelos tensed, "Who Genis? Who took him?"

Genis's grip tightened, "He told me, he told me that if…if Kratos didn't come…Lloyd, he would have to play with Lloyd."

The red-head tensed further, leaning closer so that their foreheads were almost touching, "Who Genis, who took Lloyd?" Raine head the urgency in his voice and as much as she wanted to tell Zelos to leave her brother be, that he needed his rest, she couldn't help but lean forward, hanging on her brother's next words.

Tears began spilling over the boy's cheeks, "Champ," he swallowed thickly, "his name is Champ…I'm sorry Zelos."

A soft smile ghosted over the chosen's face and some of the tension left his body to be replaced by an aura of sadness, "Don't worry, we'll get him back, it wasn't your fault."

Genis shook his head slowly, "No it isn't."

His eyes slid closed again.

Kratos was leaning against Altessa's table when Zelos and the others returned from Genis's room. Zelos walked right up to the table, stopped in front of the mercenary, and slammed his hand on the table. "Who is Champ?"

Anger laced the chosen's voice. Kratos's head snapped up.


"Don't mess with me Kratos, Genis told us that Champ told him that if you didn't come he would have to play with Lloyd so don't you try to tell me you don't know who he is."

All the color drain out of Krato's face. His eyes scanned the chosen's face. "I do know him, or at least I used to know him."

Zelos waited for further explanation, "We met many years ago, after I had first lost Anna, he was into some less than favorable things and I used him as an outlet for my rage for Anna's death. I almost killed him. He swore revenge on me, but I never believed he would be callous enough to involve anyone else in our feud."

"It seems you were wrong." Presea came to stand next to the two red-heads, Raine just behind her.

The healer pulled up a chair and dropped tiredly into it, "What sort of 'unfavorable' things was this Champ into?"

Kratos sighed, "He was known as a trader. He would go from town to town to pick up what he called 'packages' and sell them to the highest bidder on the black market."

"By packages you mean people." Said Raine

"By people you mean boys." Said Presea

"By boys you mean Lloyd." Said Zelos.

Kratos nodded solemnly, "Champ had just kidnapped a twenty-one year old who he only referred to as 'My Sweet,' his mother had walked in on the kidnapping so Champ killed her in front of him. He was catatonic when I dropped him off at the hospital."

There was a palpable silence.

This man, this 'trader' had literally come out of nowhere and taken one of their own. For that alone they would hunt down this man. Now to find out that Lloyd was with him.

"Do you know how to find him?" Zelos could barely keep his anger in check.

Kratos stood up, "I can do you one better," he looked pointedly at the chosen, "I know where he keeps them."

A slow, malicious smile spread over Zelos's face, "So Mr. All Mighty, what's the plan?"

Sorry this chap took so long, and for the crappyness of it, but my brain has been somewhere else lately.

Anyway, review are much appreciated and welcomed and I will probably end up editing this chap at some point to make it better