Okay, guys. I know how long it's been. Really. And I won't blame you if you're giving me the silent treatment. But… be nice?

I own nothing as usual.

After their near-death experience, the two didn't dare stay in the woods. As Julian reminded her when she flagged, they needed to keep moving. They needed to find Tom. Only then could they stop.

The no-longer-quite-Shadow-Man and the no-longer-quite-human wandered, retracing their steps. First the city where she had been treated. Then the old forest where the fire had broken out.

As they went, he taught Jenny more of how to control her powers, trying harder and harder tasks. Finally, he was forced to concede that there was little else to teach, and she was forced to concede that there was little more to learn.

It was a little dizzying, she mused a few days in, to think that there was almost nothing she could not do. An old saying about absolute power… A bit of bitter irony struck her when she realized that the only thing she couldn't do was scry Tom. Whenever she tried, she either saw black mist or simple darkness.

So Jenny wasn't expecting much when she closed her eyes again, resting in Julian's arms.

However, life never lived up to her expectations.

Her eyes opened, only to see a familiar – and unwelcome – face. Tom! Jenny fought to stay silent, though she wanted to yelp in triumph. She couldn't break the connection now.

"I told you, you weren't supposed to go after the girl," He was grumbling. His surroundings were undefined, but she was a step closer nonetheless.

A boy that seemed to be woven of darkness answered him, the mist swirling around his face. Jenny shivered. "You said you didn't care."

"I said kill the boy, leave the girl!"

Another voice broke in, and she recognized the woman from the hospital. "Leave it, it doesn't matter now. We have to plan this out better." Her face was cold – almost more so than the Shadow Man's, though she was nothing but human. "Boy, don't presume to tell us how to do our work."

Tom scowled but fell silent.

"After all, you still have a price to pay. Now, I believe it's time to continue with our plan…"

And Jenny's eyes snapped open.