Path Through the Forest

Chapter Eight

Brief A/N: didn't know if I should put this but I did anyway sooo…warning: brief mention of previous nudity, VERY brief, says naked like twice but I'm paranoid so i'm putting this. (I feel really awkward about this…)

Shun sighed. He had so many questions he wanted to ask Julie, but he didn't know where to start; or even how to start. He was slightly nervous about how she would react, but she seemed to be… returning to normal Julie quicker than he thought, so maybe she would respond to his questions reasonably. Shun took in a deep breath and mentally prepared himself for any type of reaction he would get from the girl before exhaling. He walked to the island and sat down on the stool, "time for some answers…" he thought to himself.

"Julie," he said. Said girl looked up at the male and blinked.

"Y-Yeah?" she replied.

"I…" Shun sighed, knowing that there wasn't any way to get around this. "How are you feeling?" he asked, deciding it was better to start off easy.

"I-I f-feel f-fine. Why?"

Shun stared at her; Why? She asks him why? "Hmmmm… Gee I wonder. Maybe because I'm worried about you because I FOUND YOU IN A FREAKIN' FOREST! And you were naked! I mean, really, Julie, think a little. Sheesh!" Shun thought to himself. However, he couldn't say that to her… who knows what going on in her head anyway. He shook off his first reaction to the whole 'why' thing and came up with a new answer.

"Just needed to know." Julie nodded her 'okay'. "Do… do you want to go to a hospital, Julie?" the girl's eyes widened a little; Shun noticed. The two spent a few moments in silence before Julie responded.

"No," she said quietly, but loud enough for the ninja to hear. He stared at her for a short while, she looked sad and scared.

"But, Julie… something could be- you could be seriously hurt. I think that you should go." Julie shook her head. "No," she said once more.

"Why not, Julie, with all of the bruises on you, somethi-"

"NO! JUST NO!" Julie yelled. Shun was taken aback. He stared at her with his mouth slightly agape and his eyes wide with shock.

Julie gasped, realizing what she had just done. She bowed her head and quickly apologized.

"Julie…" Shun said quietly. He looked down and sighed. Something was wrong and he knew it. He looked back up at the girl with sympathy in his auburn orbs.



"Why don't you want to go and at least get checked out?"

"…because… th- they…"

"What, Julie? What is it, baby?" Shun said. Tears formed in Julie's eyes and she looked down. Shun brought a hand to her chin and lifted her head. "Julie, look at me." The girl, instead, shut her eyes tightly, willing the tears to stop.

"Julie, baby, look at me." Her eyes fluttered open a bit. "Julie, what's wrong? Why can't you go to a doctor?"

"Th-They said th-that… that something b-bad w-would happen."

"Bad?" Julie nodded in response. "Bad how? What would happen Ju-"

"I don't know!" Julie said hysterically. "I don't know; I just know that bad things would happen!" She was bawling at this point. She clutched her head, trying to block out everything that was happening. Tears were streaming down her face and Shun wanted to do was hold her and tell her that everything would be alright.

The ninja stood up and walked over to the other side of the island to be beside Julie. He placed a hand on Julie's shoulder. She leaned on him and he placed his other hand on her head, patting her hair.

"Shhh, it's okay, Julie, it's okay. Who are 'they' anyway?"

"I-I- I d-don't kn-know," the female said, shakily.

"What do you mean you 'don't know'?"

"I- exactly th-that…I-I don't kn-know; and i-if I do… th-than I don't re-remember."

"…" Shun didn't know what to say to that. He was surprised, to say the least; that was one answer that he really didn't expect. Until he figured things out in his head, he'd just accept the answer. "…okay." He uttered. Shun stopped patting her head and let her go. He walked over to the other side of the island, grabbed the stool and brought it over by Julie.

"Can I ask you some more questions, Julie?" Shun asked; Julie nodded in response. "Okay, well… you don't know who did this to you, right?" Julie nodded in response. "Do you have any idea?" Julie shook her head. "No," she said.

"Okay… um, do you know why you were… uh… n-naked?" Shun asked awkwardly. She was silent for a moment before she shook her head. Shun inwardly sighed. "Okay, well, do you know where they kept you?" Julie looked at him and tilted her head in question. "Julie, the bruises on your arms didn't just happen yesterday; they formed over time. That black eye is proof on its own; it's obviously a few days old, but … still a fresh wound. Julie, these people who kidnapped you, you were with them for at least three days, if not more. They had to have kept you somewhere. Now, do you know where?"

Julie thought about Shun's reasoning for a few minutes while she stared at him. He was right, bruises don't form that fast, but they can form quickly. However, she definitely had a lot of them… and Shun does seem like he would know a lot about the basic injuries, being a ninja and all. But she didn't know.

"I-I'm sorry, Sh-Shun, but I… I don't know." Julie said looking down. Shun sighed heavily.

"Okay… okay, that's fine. Do you remember anything?" Shun asked, sounding slightly desperate. Julie was quiet for a moment, thinking. She blinked twice, a look of slight remembrance adorning her facial features. Finally, she looked as if she knew, at least, something.

"oh… oh, I-" Her eyes widened, remembering waking up alone in a dark shed. Tears formed; which didn't go unnoticed by the ninja. Shun placed a hand on Julie's shoulder and looked her in the eyes.

"It's alright, Julie, you can tell me; I'll protect you… I promise." He said with a serious look on his face. The tears in Julie's eyes fell; but she nodded nonetheless. She took in a deep, albeit shaky, breath.

"I-I remember … a shed…"

"A shed?" Shun repeated. Julie nodded.

"Mm-hm, a-a dark shed, very dark… and lonely. I was all alone in a dark shed, at least, I think it w-was a shed; i-it looked l-like one. And an old one t-too. It- it was locked and I-I couldn't g-get out… I-I d-don't kn-know h-how I-I did."

"That's okay, Julie, keep going."

"Okay. W-when I, when I did get out I-I s-saw a lot of t-trees."

"Like you were in a forest?"

"Yeah. I-I think I w-was in a forest, Shun."

"You were, Julie."

"Yeah, because then I started running-"

"Wait, why were you running?" Shun asked.

"I-I d-don't know, I c-can't remember; maybe I-I heard s-something?"

"Yeah, maybe…" Shun said quietly; Julie didn't hear him.

"And th-then I f-found you." Shun was silent for a moment; thinking about what Julie said.



"Do you think you can take me to that shed?" Shun asked. Julie looked at him, slightly wide-eyed.

"W-what, what do you mean?"

"I… want to see the shed, Julie; do you think you can take me there?"

"I-I-I don- … no." Shun sighed lightly, he thought that might be her answer; but, hey, it doesn't hurt to ask…

"May I ask why?" the ninja said.

"I- I don't want t-to go… back." Julie said timidly.

"I understand that, Julie; but you don't have to worry… you won't be alone; I'll be there with you." Shun put a hand on Julie's shoulder. "I'll protect you… I promise. I'll protect you with my life." The male looked at the female with caring, yet serious, eyes. When she looked into them, she knew he was telling the truth; he would keep that promise.

"I-I-I'll… I don't know, can I- can I th-think it over?" Julie asked; it was obvious that she was nervous.

Shun nodded. "Of course, and don't feel rushed; take all the time you need." He said to her. "But not too much time, Julie… please." The ninja thought to himself. Julie stood up and walked out of the kitchen. Shun was so wrapped up in his thoughts that he didn't even notice how Julie didn't take hold of his arm; and the thought that she might get lost never even crossed his mind. A few moments later, Shun felt a familiar presence enter the room that held food. He sighed lightly.

"How much did you hear?"

"Enough; are you sure about going to see an old shed, Shun?"

"Yes; Grandpa, I- I need to know where she was; I need to know how they treated her."

" Shun, you don't know how long she was there; her kidnapper, or kidnappers, whichever one, could have just put her there that night; you don't know-"

"But I want to know!" Shun yelled, slamming his fists on the island and standing up, knocking over his stool in the process. "Grandpa… I need to know." Grandpa Kazami stared at his grandson for a short moment before speaking.

"It is obvious, Shun."

"… What is?"

"The fact that you love this girl…"

"What- no, Grandpa-"

"Shun, you can't lie to me; I could tell that you had a crush on her when you were thirteen, and I know that your feelings grew into love; and I can see it even more now. You're angrier, yes, but you show more caring and affection towards Julie than you have towards anyone else before. Shun, you love her."

"What, Grandpa, come on; I don't know what you're-"

"Shun… You love her." Shun was silent. He looked down at the countertop, then back at his grandfather before quickly reverting his eyes back to the countertop. He heard the elderly ninja sigh and stand-up; and he heard his footsteps as he started to walk away.

"I'll leave you alone for a while; you look like you could you use some time to think." Grandpa Kazami said as he walked out of the kitchen. Shun sighed, then groaned loudly as he placed his elbows on the island, plopping his head in the palms of his hands.

"Ugh! I don't love her; she's my friend. I mean, she's one of my best friends. It's impossible," He exclaimed. "I don't-… do I? Well… I have been more emotional lately, but- no, I- Ugh! Why does this have to be so confusing! …I can't… have feelings for Julie. I won't, I- I don't, I… I do… I love her. … And I can't do a DAMN THING about it! Damn this! DAMN- just… *sigh* just nothing…" Shun started to feel a migraine and rubbed his temples. He sighed again before walking out of the kitchen saying to himself, "I need to lie down."

Unbeknownst to Shun and his grandfather, someone had overheard their little conversation. "Shun… he- he l-loves me…?" The girl shook her head, trying to get such a silly thought out of her head, and walked down the long hallway, trying to find her room. After about seven minutes of searching, she had found it, entered the space and walked over to the bed. She plopped herself on it and closed her eyes, allowing the sweet feeling of sleep to take over her.

Author's Note: yoyoyo people! :) yay i got it up before AYC :) WOOHOO! *everyone reading this cheers and claps for joy* lol anyway i just wanted to let you know that i thank you all very much for reading my story and staying with it for this long. and my author's note at the top, let me know if i'm way too paranoid and should take it down... thanx.

well i really hope you liked this chappie... i worked really hard on it; i started it a few days ago, but i took yestarday off ;p anyway. i stayed up past 4 a.m. to finish this for y'all before AYC (which is today btw)... so LIKE IT OR ELSE! lolJK. but then my computer need to be charged and i was REALLY tired... so i charged it and went to sleep... it's now 10:55 here in texas sooo, yeah. Also, i think this is one of my longer chappies so YAY!

Anyway, pray for me while i'm at AYC and i guess that's all i have to say, so...

AYC- July 20th -22nd

hopefully this A/N wasn't that long :P i've been working on that... (not really :P lol)


GOD BLESS *insert heart here*