Disclaimer: I do not own West Side Story. Even though sometimes I wish I did…

"Tony, get with the gang!" Riff screamed. He turned his back to Bernardo for only a second. And that's when Bernardo took the shot. Riff felt the knife stab rush through him and, before hitting the ground, Riff saw the events of the previous nights fly past him: his talk with Tony, begging him to come to the dance; the dance itself, where he challenged Bernardo; and meeting the gang at Doc's for the war council.

The gang had wanted to know why he, the leader of the Jets, had been late to his own meeting. Riff had never told them. But now, Riff's fading mind went back to what he had done that night—

He had been taking Velma home that night after the dance. Sure, Velma knew what was going to be happening soon. She knew rumbling was dangerous. And Riff knew she didn't want him to rumble. As they neared the front door, Velma turned to Riff.

"Riff, I know you're going to rumble tomorrow night, but I'd wish you'd just listen to me for once and cut this out."

"Babe, babe, you're always saying that."

"I always say it because I love you. Riff, one of these days you're going to get hurt. Or even worse. And I don't know what I'd even do if that were to happen."

"Velm, I'm not going to let that happen."

"But you never know what could happen. And Riff, something just…just…doesn't seem right. I've just got a bad feeling about this."

Riff put his arms around her and kissed her quickly. "Babe, there is absolutely nothing to worry about. It's going to be okay. You're going to be okay. I'm going to be okay." As she started to cry, he gently wiped the tears off her cheek. "Honey," he started.

"Riff, it's just that you don't listen. Not just to me, but to everyone. You don't listen to Doc. You don't listen to the cops. Heck, you know Tony's parents have been telling you guys for awhile that this whole gang-thing is a bad idea." And what she had said had stopped him for a moment. Yet his gang needed him. He turned, looked at her, and spoke almost hesitantly.

"Well, I need to make my way down to Doc's for the council. I love you Velma, and I'll see you tomorrow after the rumble." He gave her a kiss, and started to make his way out.

"Wait. I'm, going with you. Riff, I love you, and I want to be with you. I'm coming with." Riff smiled, grabbed her by the hand, and the two of them had made their way over to Doc's. —

All this raced through his mind while he could feel the pain shooting throughout his body. And now he wished that he had just listened, just once, to somebody who really cared about him. If only he had listened, his life wouldn't be ending like this. If only he had listened. Then, soon enough, Riff hit the ground. He went cold, and his thoughts went black.

Author's note: So, did you guys like that one? It kind of gives a glimpse into some of the relationships that aren't Tony and Maria's. Oh well. This, story, like the others, goes out to Steph, who really thinks that I can do some great writing. So, thanks for reading!