Hey guys. I'm still alive. It's just last year was horrible, and this is my senior year in high school. I'm already accepted into the college of my choice, and I hosted exchange students in October. I guess what I'm trying to say is that life got in the way… And my plot is just being taken over by everybody. I don't know when any other chapters to any other stories are going to come out… They will when they do. Sorry for being a sloth-turtle with my updates.

But this chapter is long and it talks about a lot of things. I mean, that couple has had a hard time in this story, but I love them so much. It's about time to stop focusing on Amu and her self-induced coma and Ikuto in his angst. The two MCs have so much angst it's almost hard to keep writing. Almost.

Then, there's Tadase. Some people will be disappointed, but that story is complicated as well. There's a reason he's here now, and all of that will come later. He also seems terribly out of the loop, and he is.

Finally, there's some Rimahiko (Rima and Nagi) stuff. The couple has had a horrible time in this story, and if you were paying attention last chapter, a lot of things are explained. But here are some memory-issues that need to be covered.

This story is far from over, and there are a lot of twists and turns to go.

I hope you can be patient and wait for the next installment.

The ending isn't even close. And this story might have a sequel. MIGHT.

Chapter 15: Asleep, Lost, and Forgetful

October 2, 2012

3:55 AM

"I know you're there," he hissed. "Come out, because I want to talk to you."

And he could have sworn he heard the ceiling creak, as if someone was about to jump.

He waited-expecting- something, anything to happen. Someone to approach him. Someone to attack him.

But nobody did.

Nobody came down, not even a murmur, nothing.

Nothing happened.

It almost seemed like a cosmic joke. The one time he felt like he could take on anything, there was no one to take on. He could have sworn he heard something.

Now, the adrenaline was coursing through his veins, and the quiet room seemed like hostile, enemy territory. Every sound could be someone coming up from behind, someone ready to kill. Every creak, every beep, ever rustle, was something that could kill him: even if it was an old hospital, even if the foundation was shifty. Every quiet noise could be someone with a gun waiting behind him- just like in the stupid horror movies.

Except now, it wasn't stupid. The threat was very, very real.

Neither the rush of blood in his ears or his clammy hands deterred his brain from racing: and he ignored the fact that he was becoming paranoid in an insane sort of way. The only word his brain supplied, the only logic, was the word protect.

Protect.

Protect.

Protect.

Protect.

Everything else was instinct, every other thing was animal. He was no longer a human rockstar, obsessed with himself: that was a persona. Now, he was Ikuto- a lion on the prowl, ready to hurt anything that was threatening what he considered important.

He was turning around, not once taking Amu's bed out of his peripheral vision, trying to figure out if what he was hearing was paranoia or actual sounds. He held in his curses, because damn it, he was so fucking angry right now.

He wanted to do something, anything, useful. He wanted to take his anger out on somebody because damn it he was angry. How dare anyone hurt the people he considered important, after all this time. After all this time, after he learned to become something more; after he became more than a cornered, fucked up alley cat that scared everyone away.

"An angry alley cat. That's what you are. You want people to care for you, but you're so damn scared of someone hurting you that you don't let anyone in. You're just like the rain, slipping away any time someone wants to get close." He could still see her, a combination of every woman he had ever been with. Good figure, black dress, hair that seemed to be every color… He didn't remember her face, and he vaguely remembered her physical appearance because it was so long ago… But he remembered her voice. A biting, icy, snarky voice of a woman who he would never forget.

God, fuck… He couldn't do this right now. He had to stay alert.

But she wouldn't let it go: just like she hadn't that night. He remembered this part well, that after sex she had talked to him, and this came out. She was picking up her clothes as she said it, the words that would stay with him in his nightmares.

"You make it to be some sort of trauma, you know. Dad went missing, mom went crazy… She got married into the glorified Yakuza, you protected a sister who just left you to deal with the consequences of her actions, and you got mixed up with the wrong people, did some bad things… Your stepdad's still trying to find you… You got some scars along the way, so what?"

She began slipping on her dress, looking straight at him. Usually, most women would turn away, as if he hadn't seen under the dress anyway. But this woman, this nameless woman, stared at him. And though he didn't remember her eyes, he could feel them still on his form.

"It's more than that." He had tried to defend himself then, but he was as cryptic as ever with his defense. She didn't understand, and no one ever would. Protecting was in his veins, and no one understood that better than Amu. At the time, he thought no one would.

"Then what is it that chains you? Your loneliness? The fact that no one 'gets you?' Are we fifteen, Ikuto?" She, of course, was mocking him, which gave him little reason to defend himself. Usually, he would have let the woman think whatever she wanted, but she was hitting too close to home.

Before he could stop himself, it spilled out. "I still have to protect my sister, and my mother. No matter what it takes: no matter what it does to my sanity, my health, or if it takes my life. I will protect them from the things I can't fix. From the sins I committed. I will protect them from that family. I will protect them, just like my father would have."

Of course, she didn't believe him. He was often so cold, so indirect, that most thought he would say anything to keep them away. In fact, this is where his previous actions bit him in the ass.

He remembered seeing it from her posture. He could even tell what she was thinking, how she was disappointed that he didn't say what was "really"troubling him. "You're fucking self-destructive, that's what you are. If you're going to say something, at least don't fucking lie."

"I…" He shouldn't have felt the need to explain himself. But he had found that he couldn't let it go. She was looking for her purse now, no longer looking at him. As if she was throwing him away.

"Look, you're like a fucking soap opera. I can't deal with this shit. Listen to me, and listen well Ikuto: the only person you'll ever, ever find peace with… Is someone who is abnormally more fucked up than you." She had finally found it, and was now at the door. As she said that last word, she was out. Ikuto was left naked in his own bed, feeling more exposed than ever possible.

And he never knew until this moment about how right she was.

His blood seemed to chill after recalling such an event, which sobered him up. He couldn't… He wouldn't bow to paranoia. That's what the Grey Hoodie would want. He needed to stay calm. He needed to support Amu in her time of need.

Beep. Beep. Beep. She was calling to him, even if she wasn't awake. It was as always- she calmed him down, she made him get with the program. No matter if she was not completely with him or not.

He needed to get his shit together. He had too much pride to have a mental breakdown when Amu needed him, and in a public place.

He sat again in the chair, taking her hand in his. He made little circles in it, trying to find comfort in her once more.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Up and down went the heart monitor, showing that even though she wasn't awake, she was alive. She didn't look it though: all the tubes and machines attached to her, her skin so white… It looked like she had died: or was barely holding on. Her amber eyes were closed, but not peaceful. She seemed to be in pain even in her dreams, a side Ikuto wished he wasn't used to seeing now. She was cold, too cold to be alive, yet the machine couldn't lie. Down there, somewhere in her unconsciousness, she was fighting.

For him. For their friends. For her life on the outside.

He knew what she had been thinking, but wished he didn't. He knew her too well. She was stalling.

His hand gripped hers, and even though his rockstar repertoire was used to the wee-hours of the morning, he felt spent. Spent, yet wired.
Wanting to go to sleep, but he couldn't.
He couldn't leave her alone, not after that dream. She needed him. She never spoke in her sleep: but looking back on it, she didn't sleep much when they were together. She was usually comfortable, and the last to fall asleep.
The first to wake up, as well.
He should have pieced it together then- but he was so happy, he couldn't think straight.

And look where that landed him.

He remembered that he was usually the last to fall asleep with his other, er, partners (he couldn't really call them that either) ... But with her, it was different. He was comfortable, and he could tell she was too.
But, for some reason, she couldn't.
He wondered why.
Was it the product of always looking out for yourself, always looking over your shoulder, unable to do what you wanted, when you wanted? Was it some sort of signal he was supposed to get? Was it just habit? Did nightmares, like today, plague her so often she didn't sleep? Was she afraid to? Did she feel unprotected? Was there something he could have done? Everything ran races in his head as he tried not to rip his hair out.

It isn't your fault. He remembered her say, when he casually popped why she didn't go to sleep before him. It's just... I don't know. I feel safe here, in your arms, and I guess I'm just not used to that. I'm not used to being… Loved this way. My other partners... Well. It was get in, get out. Cuddling was out of question. I like this, and I want to remember it... Burn it into my memory forever. I know I'll probably get used to it... But. I want to remember this. I don't want to miss it, take it for granted, you know what I mean?

Of course, he had replied. I understand.

But he hadn't. Not really. He didn't get her clue: that she wouldn't be here to get used to this, that she wouldn't be here to enjoy it forever. She had a time limit, and she wasn't going to waste a few precious hours sleeping instead of ingraining it into her soul.
Now, too late, he had understood. He couldn't, wouldn't get to tell her. He wouldn't get to crawl into bed with her again. He wouldn't get to tease her, wrap his arms around her. Not after the deadline.

Damn the Hinamori clan. Damn them all to hell.

I'm wondering if you'll ever get to see this. Her voice was like warmth, dripping into him and his soul. Even if you'll never see this, I think of it as an unsent love letter. Something that I have to say, yet have no courage to give. Tears pricked at her eyes as he remembered the video.
Utau probably cried her eyes out when she "talked" (here she held up air quotes) with Kukai. I promised I would not do that, that you deserve better than seeing me cry... But. I just... I just can't hold them back. Here she began to cry.
I'm sorry, Ikuto. I never planned... I never planned to find love. It wasn't in the cards for me; at least that's what I thought. I never thought I'd find you. I never thought I would find what we have. I just wanted to escape my previous life and chase my dreams. I wanted to be free. I wanted to live... I was focused on my music, but somewhere in between I was blessed with great friends, a good job, and you. I... I'm sorry. I know that's not enough, I know it isn't, but I want you to know that. I want you to know that I love you, and you...
She paused, nervously biting her lip and wiping the tears, trying to appear strong.
You deserve someone else. Not me. What's so good about me anyway? You often told me, but I knew there was something else... Something you didn't say. I always wonder about that. The words echoed again through his head, her voice, that part of her long speech invading the deep corners of his mind... Caressing his spirit and cuddling against his very soul.

You saved me, he thought. That's what I didn't have the courage to say.
He was stupid, and he knew it. He should have told her, each and every day- he should have thanked her for loving him, for loving the man who was just like the rain... Who never held on, who wandered like an alley cat looking for a warm place to stay. Thank you for making me the man I am now, he had wanted to say. Thank you for spoiling me, thank you for letting me be who I wanted. Without your endless support, I would be nothing like I am now, but instead... I would be living a lonely life as I had been. I need you to help me be an even better man. I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you, improving, arguing with you, kissing you, killing the spiders, making you pick up the towels, watching crappy TV... I want it all. I want you to marry me. So will you? Will you marry me?

He had thought he had time. He thought he would tell her when he proposed: take her to their spot under the Sakura trees, play the piece he wrote for her, propose marriage in a very smooth way... Sweep her off her feet and confess his feelings and boom! Happily ever after!

At least that was how it was supposed to be.

Now, after her confession, he put the pieces together.
Their meetings. The performances at the strip club. The school she attended. The disappearances. Suu. Their climb. Their first time. The sleeping (or lack thereof) . The "never minds." The awkward biting of the lip. The unfinished sentences. Their songs. Their last. The disappearance.
The break-up. The year in between. Somewhere, Nadeshiko. The 2011 concert. The accident.
The deal they had. The calls. Kukai's frequent disappearances. The interviews at the same time.
The songs. Now.

Everything finally came together, all the things he couldn't name, but knew. God.
It was heartbreaking. It was... He couldn't name it, but it was painful. He had his head in his hands by now, and he didn't realize he was crying until the tears made dark spots in his jeans.
He felt numb.
How could he have been so stupid?! He prided himself in knowing how she felt, and yet he missed the greatest part of her life!
He just couldn't believe that he missed it.

He was an idiot.

-x-Still don't know how to do a line break-x-

October 2, 2012

8:00 AM

"Now, it's an honor having you on 105.5 Tokyo Life, Tadase." The voice was characteristic of a radio personality- big, entertaining, and with a touch of big-headedness. It was a small room, with the man, Go Hiroshima on one side, and the rockstar (or rather, Popstar) on the other. Go was pretty young, early 30's maybe, but not nearly as young as the Popstar was. He was actually, for someone who had a great voice, very attractive. His eyes were a chocolate brown, and his black, shiny hair was swept kindly a tad to the right. His clothes, though, weren't a suit- but instead a purple button-down and some jeans. Go Hiroshima was a ladies' man, and he certainly had that drawl that had them screaming for him- but he took his work very seriously.

The blonde-haired Popstar smiled a very kingly smile, one that might have been misconstrued as easygoing. It was overloaded with sunshine, and if one would look closely, one could see the bags under his eyes due to jetlag. His clothes were a bit wrinkled, but otherwise he was spic-and-span. He had a white button-down and black slacks, and what definitely qualified as dress shoes. He always dressed like this, and didn't do anything less.

"It's an honor to be here, Go." He didn't want to be here, because he had just gotten into Tokyo, he really wanted to sleep… And catch up with Amu.

"Let's cut to the chase, shall we? Tadase, it's rumored that you're working on a new album. Are these rumors true?" His voice peaked up a bit, as this was Tadase's first interview since he got off his plane at 10 PM Tokyo time. The paparazzi had followed him back to his apartment, asking for an interview, but he had said "No comment," and went up and never came down until this interview this morning at 8 AM.

"Go, it is. After a two-year break in America catching up in my studies, I decided to start working on another album." He seemed genuinely happy here, as if he was doing what he loved.

"Wow, Tadase. That's quite a lot on your plate." Of course it was. Studying and recording were two time-consuming tasks, which made him a little more sleep-deprived than he was used to being.

"Are you again working with Saaya?" Tadase almost tuned him out (though that would be very rude), because he hadn't gotten enough sleep. But a persona was a persona, and he had to be polite and happy to be here even though he really just wanted to be in bed.

"Yes I am." He was glad to finally release the news, because people have been pestering him about it for years. It was getting annoying, especially when he had to hold himself back from screaming in their face to leave him alone when he was studying. Especially when he did much of the work in secret: which was hard to do if you were constantly followed around.

"When do you plan to release the album?" Of course, this guy wouldn't give him an inch. It was the dreaded question, one he hadn't answered in two long years. Surprisingly, his popularity hadn't dropped that much since "Moves like Jagger" with Saaya. Go was leaning forward in his chair, smirk on his face, because Tadase had owed him a favor. He cashed in, of course- getting the first interview with the Popstar right when he came back.

"December 2012." He said the month with a bit of distaste, though Go didn't catch on to that. There were many reasons he hated December… Especially when "it" was so soon.

"That's awfully soon, isn't it?" Of course it was- it was only two months away: less, even. Usually stars couldn't produce a platinum album in two months- let alone a good one. Good thing he had already started recording.

"Yes, but I've been working with the idea for awhile now." There it was, the secret. He left it vague on purpose- he could have started it two years ago, before he went. Or while he was abroad. Who knew? Only he and a select few did.

Surprisingly, Go let it slide."Tadase, you know that Black Kat and the Pink Attitude are releasing an album around that time? It's going to be hard to compete with the top two bands in Japan." There was the other hard statement; something he knew would be an uphill battle. Though the Popstar loved music, it wasn't in his plans to become #3 in Japan. He was chasing after Amu, and his success was actually a happy accident.

But he hadn't been in Japan in two years: and Amu didn't answer her phone (it seemed like she changed numbers) and he often watched her on TV. He knew how busy she was, but last he heard she was still going out with Ikuto before she exploded.

However, what was truly puzzling was that she never said anything about him, and he didn't say anything about her. Even when either was asked if they loved someone else, neither gave the interviewer an inch.

Puzzling, indeed.

Realizing Go had asked him a question, he replied, "Oh yes, of course. But I have faith that my fans will love our new songs. Catching the number one spot isn't what I'm after- I'm just after inspiring my fans and people who are not yet my fans."

Tadase wasn't aware of the many fangirls across Tokyo that "squee-d" at that tidbit.

"So Tadase…" Go leaned back, savoring the pause. Then, he inched forward. "My listeners want to know if anyone has caught your eye yet."

Well, he hadn't exactly been 100% honest either. He didn't even pause, but looked Go straight in the eyes and replied, "Sadly, Go… No. I guess I'm too romantic and I haven't felt that connection with anyone yet."

Go smirked at this, "You hear that ladies? Tadase is still looking for the love of his life! Any girl could be very, very lucky!"

Tadase wished he didn't have to do this for another hour.

-x-x Can someone tell me how to do a line break?-x

Tokyo Hotel

Suite 1145

8:45 AM

It had been hours, but it felt like lifetimes. And while Yaya had instantly passed out once her head hit the pillow, Rima was still awake, sitting on the bed. She had long given up trying to sleep, because she couldn't sleep, and felt restless. She didn't know what was going on, or why she couldn't close her eyes.

She didn't want to go back to the hospital, not yet. Seeing Amu, her best friend, so hurt… It was impossible to bear. She needed to give that stupid black cat more time.

She wouldn't want to see Utau either. She hadn't seen Kukai, her on-again-off-again boyfriend in awhile. She respected both of the girls… And yet, those were just excuses.

Something… Something was bothering her. She couldn't place why that black cat was so familiar, nor why that cross-dresser made her feel…

Well, she couldn't place it. It was confusing- like, she felt like she needed to tease him, but she hated it when he was sad. She wanted to help him, but at the same time make things harder for him. She wanted to cuddle him so hard, yet she wanted to pull on his stupid long hair. His scent sent her back to a familiar nothingness, but everything seemed obscure.

But she couldn't close her eyes.

But she couldn't sleep, and that itself was an oddity. She usually could sleep anywhere, at any time… She never had trouble sleeping.

But tonight, or last night, rather… Every time she closed her eyes images popped to the surface of her brain. Images she didn't know existed, images that seemed too real to be dreams. Sometimes, it was just sensations or thoughts, and sometimes… Sometimes it was a pain somewhere in her heart that was so deep rooted she feared it.

She didn't want to go there, and yet it was as if a dam of memories, pains, sensations, and thoughts had been released after a long period of blockage.

She wanted to know what they were: often, she faced blanks in her memories… And when she asked Amu, Amu would often stiffen up, and answer the bare minimum. Sometimes, she'd get a sad smile on her face, and most times Rima reined in the questions. She didn't want to make Amu feel bad, especially since she would ask her to explain jokes and stuff.

It would remind Amu that she didn't remember the good times, before the accident of falling out of a tree. It made Amu sad that she forgot a lot of things, so most times she wouldn't ask.

And finally, after two years, the memories were popping to the surface of her mind- late, of course. Now, she didn't want these painful feelings.

Now, she didn't want to look at what her subconscious was showing her, because of what it made her feel.

There was a pain in her heart that made her want relief- something deep rooted, something that made her want to throw herself over the edge…

A memory popped to the surface.

She was sitting on a windowsill, looking down the four floors, looking at the asphalt. How amazing it would be for it to stop.

The feeling of heaviness, the feeling of lonesomeness, the feeling of uselessness… It seemed as if she wasn't good at anything.

Splat. Just like that.

So simple. And it wouldn't be painful.

The memory stopped, as if it had been burst, like a little bubble. Another, however, viciously followed the next, harming her heart.

He couldn't remember her. The person who she had given her heart, who had saved her from her façade…Who helped her learn from herself, who would drag her this way and that, who had an obsession with dancing…

Another.

She mourned for Nadeshiko- and her d-death... A car, ramming into her, across the street from the recording studio.

Another.

She couldn't help Utau, who was suffering. She… Kukai was swamped with recovering himself from his motorcycle accident, and helping Utau who still wasn't responding and was in a heavy state of shock. Utau's screams of agony were still echoing in her mind even though she hadn't been hurt at all.

Kukai, her friend, hadn't slept. He hadn't eaten, though they had forced him. He was right next to Utau, who wouldn't let anyone touch her but him. Should anyone else brush her, she would retreat in a fit of soul-wrenching screams, only to be calmed by his arms.

She couldn't help him. It was too much. Utau had been out of commission, Kukai was restless at her side, Amu was closed off, Ikuto wasn't responding… Amu wouldn't look at anyone. She was taking it the hardest, holding Ikuto's hand, and singing a song… It was so soft, almost like breathing, but her tune was heartwarming yet so solemn at the same time that it was impossible to ignore. "Soon you'll be… Home with me." The lines were repeated, over and over, like a chant to herself more than him.

Another.

Yaya was grieving with her parents- her baby brother, only ten, had been shot in the middle of the street in Kyoto on a trip… And they still hadn't caught the murderer.

Another.

Nagi was hurt…

Rima blinked. Nagi? Like, Nagihiko?

No, it couldn't be. She hadn't known him.

She grabbed a fistful of his long, purple hair and began pulling it. His head jerked back, and she began screaming so loud it echoed in the large ballroom.

"NAGIHIKO! YOU SWORE TO GOD AND BACK THAT YOU WOULD CALL ME EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, AND WHEN I COME HERE, YOU'RE SITTING NEXT TO A GIRL I DON'T EVEN KNOW, AND IS SHE MY RIVAL? NAGIHIKO, YOU BETTER ANSWER ME THIS SECOND OR-

Nagi managed to spin her around, tip her like they were dancing, and kiss her. "Rima, you've got nothing to worry about. She's staying here for awhile, and she's not your rival. She's a friend."

The voice was so familiar. It matched with… But Amu said…

"Is there anyone I should know about? I mean, I remember you, Utau, and Yaya…" She was in the bed, head wrapped, and body broken. It was amazing that she was still alive, and her body actually hadn't suffered that much.

Apparently, she had fallen on a branch first, breaking some of her momentum.

There was a pause, as if she was thinking. But in the end, she had answered… Almost hesitantly, "No."

She had… Her best friend…

She hadn't realized she was pacing the room. Amu wouldn't… Couldn't lie. Not to her. Not to Rima Mashiro. She didn't. Rima was making things up again.

"Hey Amu… I remembered something." It was early in her recovery, and the doctors still went into whisper discussions though she was still right there. It made her feel irritated, so she ignored them, focusing on Amu.

"Yeah? What is it?" Amu of course, had been excited. Would she have her friend back? Would she remember things like meeting her?... Like meeting Nagi? The deal's deadline was coming soon, and everyone was so close. She would have to separate from Ikuto and Kukai… and even Nagi… Her first friends. If Rima remembered Nagi, she'd have to tell her that she would have to leave them. And then Rima would fight until she knew. And then… They would all be dead, Amu's worst nightmare. She wanted her to remember everything… But at the same time, she didn't. She was a horrible friend.

"I remember… It seems so stupid. There's this guy, performing on stage… With a guitar. He's singing about falling in love, on a rather crappy stage. In front of him, are chairs and a microwave cake. In one of the chairs, you're sitting on. The other… Someone. Someone I know, but I can't see his face. I know him… His purple-colored hair and all. I remember… He liked to dance." She gesticulated, miming the guitar, and the imaginary stage in front of her.

Amu laughed uncomfortably, which Rima first took as a sign that this wasn't right: when in fact, that had been an actual memory, and it was Amu's nervousness showing through.

"Rima, you're making things up again."

But… Why? Why had Amu lied like she did? (If she even lied at all.) She didn't have anything to gain from lying to her.

Whispers of dialogue came into her head.

"Something's wrong." Her own voice, in something of a fight- she could picture it now. In a recording studio, right? It had been raining that fateful night.

"It's nothing, Rima." Of course, there she had been lying. It was her stupid pride. Rima had started this after seeing a scar on Amu's torso. One that was new- it was still angry and red. All of her other scars were a pink lemonade- almost skin color, but not really. Amu winced, even, when she was dancing. She never winced- she was always graceful. But Amu was protective of her body, so she would never let such a scar happen, much less talk about it. But Rima was pushing her anyway.

"There's something strange going on here." The boys were coming to meet them, in their brand new red Ferrari, and the rain had slowly come down, until it was a downpour. Of course Rima had to start a fight: she wanted to know who had done that to her best friend, and what his name was so she could carve him up into little pieces.

Another memory.

Splat. A feeling of nothingness, only hard concrete. Maybe the crack of many bones. It was a miracle she was still alive.

Another.

Crash. A red Ferrari, crumpled and smashed, into a light post, and the other side a hit-and-run by a nearby Toyota. Amu was screaming, running, before she had a chance to blink. Ikuto's head was bleeding, but as soon as she saw a clump of purple hair she was going just as fast.

She had to get out of here. She had to leave. These thoughts, dreams, memories, whatever… They were too strong. Too emotionally taxing. She had to get out of this room right now.

She didn't know whether sensations made up from the dark corners of her mind were dreams… Or were real… If any of them were.

She flung open the hotel room in a quiet panic, and decided it would be best if she went down into the common room.

Just to clear her head.

Usually, Rima Mashiro was careful about going out in public- but right now, she wasn't Rima Mashiro, member of the Pink Attitude. Right now, she wasn't cold.

Right now, she felt painfully raw.

She probably looked like hell, and therefore had no resemblance to her alter ego, who was usually polished and cold, someone who had no trouble calling her "slaves."

Right now, as she closed the door, trying to be quiet in her panic, she just looked like a lost little girl.

As she went down the carpeted hallway in her long-sleeved shirt and pajama pants with fuzzy socks, she didn't look like a starlet.

With her messy hair and baggy eyes, she looked like a sleepless insomniac of a little girl.

As she walked down the hall to the elevator, she saw a familiar head of purple hair and the button already pushed.

Tada.

Now to the responses:

BlackWolfe: As always, thanks for reviewing and thanks for your support.

Hihi: Kat, Thanks for the support! Hope you like this chapter. Thanks for reviewing

KL: I'm not stopping, I'm just totally busy. I cranked out this chapter, and it's pretty long… So hopefully I can finally update regularly. Thanks for reviewing!

HckrGrl19: You actually inspired me to complete this chapter despite how horrible it was to get through it. Thanks for reviewing!