Stephen Dene

when all have left me and hope has disappeared; you find me here.

Stephen could feel himself drowning. Drowning in fear, drowning in pain, but most of all - he was drowning in his misery. Oxygen was coming in shorter breaths, his heart was pounding at a speed that he was sure would detonate his chest into a million pieces.

That's how he felt really - like the only thing remaining of his existence was pieces of him that were scattered around the asphalt. Pieces of memories, pieces of his goals and aspirations, pieces of the people he was supposed to call family.

This was how he assumed death would always feel like – like the world was coming to a complete stop and the only thing left for you was the merciful heaven of afterlife. He never was really religious, but at this moment he hoped and prayed his sister was somewhere out there, waiting for him.

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.

The clocks steady rhythm was driving him into insanity, although maybe he was already mad. He could hear muffled voices of the other guys in his dorm, their laughter was suffocating him.

He needed out, he needed for everything to just stop.

Without even thinking about it, he grabbed his keys and ran out the door. He ignored the other boys calling out his name as he passed by; they wouldn't understand the need for this to end.

He wasn't thinking coherently, that was for sure. He could only focus on the boundless pain and what life has taken from him.

His sister. He needed his sister. Everyone else could go to bloody hell for all he cared, he just wanted her back. But he realized that it was impossible, so he's going to her.

Within minutes, he found himself in the boathouse he has spent a majority of his days in since his sister had died. He searched for rope, and then he tied the rope into a somewhat noose-looking fashion. He had calmed down considerably since ten minutes before, he was completely numb now. Everything he was doing now was in measured steps. Rope. Noose. Chair. Step on chair. Check, check, check.

Before he put his head through the rope, he took one last look at the world that has only ever let him down, and then he kicked off the chair and experienced the most excruciating pain he had ever felt.

The rope sliced through his neck like a razor blade on thin ice. He realized this death wasn't going to be quick. He gasped desperately for air, but only came back with more pain. He clawed at the rope, but it wasn't going to loosen.

Black spots were scattering around his vision. He began to think of everything that he was leaving behind. His friends, his sports, his school, the smell of autumn, the feeling of not only doing something right – but doing it above his greatest standards.

He realized what a terrible mistake he was making – he realized he didn't truly want to die. The pain was at its worst now and a part of him silently begged for the end to come, but the other part screamed to live.

Right before the darkness completely overcame him, a boy walked in front of his view. He knew this boy was not here a second ago; it was like he appeared out of thin air. Stephen didn't recognize him, but he was wearing a worn out version of his school's uniform. The stranger cocked his head curiously at Stephen. Stephen wanted to cry out to him to help him out, but he was almost so gone by now that he didn't have the energy to even kick his legs.

It was then that the boy finally spoke. "You can see me, can't you?" If Stephen had the energy or the oxygen, he would have asked him what he meant. The boy pulled the chair under Stephen's feet and casually walked away. Stephen stepped on the chair and pulled at the noose that was already beginning to loosen with his last remaining strength, and gasped for air.

Stephen decided that he wouldn't abuse the second life he was given. He didn't know who the stranger was, and realized he might never see him again to thank him, but he would be eternally grateful to him.

A day went by with counselors asking about his bruises and as he explained the mysterious hero, they questioned his sanity again and again. Stephen himself believed he was mentally unstable. He was checked into a mental hospital and that was the day that would start his new life.

The woman who approached him in his room was around her 40's. She had auburn hair that was pulled back into a slick ponytail. He was lying in the bed they provided him, barely conscious. He was loaded on some heavy drugs. He hesitantly watched as she moved closer to his bed. She sat down in the chair beside him and said, "I can help you Stephen." She had a Scottish accent.

Stephen stared at the wall as he said, "That's what everyone here says, that they can help my madness by giving me drugs while I talk about my feelings." His voice broke on that word; he hated telling them about his feelings. It only led to them asking about his sister.

"You're not crazy, Stephen. You're depressed, but that's understandable considering your circumstances." Stephen continued staring at the wall.

"Stephen, what would you say if I told you I can offer a position to you where you can help serve and protect other civilians?" Stephen finally looked to her but didn't respond.

"That boy you said you saw, he didn't look familiar, yes?" Stephen nodded. "What you saw was not your hallucination, what you saw, Stephen, was real."

"So, what? I don't understand what you're trying to tell me."

"What I'm saying is, you have a special ability that could help others, others like your sister. By taking this position, we could get you out of this place."

"What's the position?"

She finally smiled, "Stephen Dene, we would like you to work for The Shades."

A/N: I was going to write a Stephen/Rory story, but I somehow wrote this instead. So R&R, please? And to anyone who cares; I have Gendry/Arya (Game of Thrones), Michael&Alex(Nikita) and Dan&Blair(GG) stories planned. They shall be posted soon