I never thought that I would willingly turn to Vlad. But I never thought that there could be a chance that my loved ones would…

I never thought I couldn't protect them. I could protect them… I just didn't know that they…

Sam was a jumper. I saw her body flinging through the air… I had vomited. Tucker was crushed. I heard his scream. My family… they were hit. I could imagine the look of shock when they heard it…

All of them, gone. If I knew what could have happened that day, I would have sacrificed myself. I would have stopped it. I knew I could, and that's what killed me.

The other building was already hit, but I couldn't stop crying. Then a hand was placed on my shoulder. Vlad was looking down at me, and for once, I saw a tear sliding down his cheek. I threw myself upon him, wanting nothing more than to stay like that forever. Our sobs chorused together in harmony. We never felt loss like this before. I tried to see his face- it was the only one left. I stared at the dirt, and the few cuts, already healing, and into his blue, teary eyes. He was already trying to control himself, be the adult, the father, for my sake. He picked me up bridal style, and I shivered, despite the fires. I was supposed to be dead, and here was the man I used to hate, saving me. I buried my head in his chest. He flew us out of the building, and suddenly there was a tremendous roar. I screamed, and Vlad shielded me as best as he could, trying to hide me from the horrifying picture that would be forever etched in my mind- the tower falling, the crunching of bones, screams, and so much smoke…

"Let go! I can save them! I can save them! Let go! Let go!" I shouted, sobbing, kicking, screaming, all the while I heard everyone's screams and the shatter of glass… "You can't save them! It's suicide!" He yelled at me, trying to keep me from escaping.

"I don't care! They're dying! They're dying!" I screamed back, clawing away from him.

I finally got a good view, and I screamed. It wasn't a scream of desperation, like my Ghostly Wail, but of fear and horror. The towers were both crumbled. A hurricane of smoke rose like a wave and covered the area, and was engulfing people on the ground below. "No! No! No! Stop! Please! Stop!" I cried, eyes widened.

I stopped struggling, because for once, all I could do was watch. Vlad was right. I couldn't possibly save them. They were too far, and too slow. They would all die. Vlad realized I had seen it, and he swore loudly, before shielding me with his cape. I just rested in his arms, dazed. They were all dead. Everyone down there was dead. My chin trembled furiously, and tears cascaded down my cheeks without me really knowing. After what seemed like hours, there was finally silence. A terrible silence… There was no more screaming or shouts… Just… nothing.

"They're dead." I whispered.

Vlad didn't look at me as we flew away, but the look on his face said it all. Everyone was gone. Everyone.

It was awhile before I spoke again. "Vlad?" I mumbled, tears still running.

"Yes, little badger?"

"Can I l-live w-with y-you?"

Vlad stopped flying and looked down at me- bloody and broken, but still alive. He considered his words carefully, and finally said, "Do you… really want to?"

There was no excitement in his voice. Just concern. I answered slowly, "Yes… I do."

I saw one more tear slide down his cheek before he pushed away the pain. "If you really do."

He gave me a sad, fatherly smile. I suddenly wanted that smile to be on his face everyday. I wrapped my arms around him tightly. "I love you." I whispered into his chest.

Vlad was all I had left. But he could be good enough and so much more.

Vlad wrapped his arms tighter around me and stroked my hair. "I've wanted to hear you say that ever since I met you. But now… I feel guilty for wanting it."

"Don't…" I said, and closed my eyes.

When I did, I saw the towers falling again. Smoke, blood, and screams. So many screams.

I would never forget 9/11.