Aya: Don't blame me for the late update! FF.net was down for scheduled maintenance, so that's
why this is up even later than it was supposed to be.

X: Sure, blame the other guy.

Vile: So wait, am I dead or not?

Aya: Yeah, yeah, you kicked the bucket. Now move along.

Vile: Aww... *slowly slinks away.*

Aya: Here goes, the Final Chapter of "The Power Within"

The Power Within
Chapter 9: Mend

"Commander! What's wrong?!"

"Out of my way!"

"Oh my God, is X alright?!"

"Where's Douglas?!"

"The shuttle bay..."


Zero placed X's battered body on of the beds in the Med Bay. After X collapsed, he immediately
rushed back to HQ on his bike. The warehouse was one of the areas impossible to teleport in and out
of, costing X more valuable time. When he arrived back at HQ, he immediately tore down the halls,
searching for Douglas and ignoring other concerned Hunters.

It was bad. X stopped emitting vital signs strong enough for Zero's sensors to pick up on the ride
back. The only thing Zero could do was to hold on tighter, futilely trying to keep X from slipping away.
His body looked like it had already sustained heavy injury, which was only helping whatever Vile
set up to finish the job of killing X.

Douglas rushed through the door, saw X lying on the bed and immediately bee-lined for the tool cart to his

"What happened to X?" Douglas pushed the tool cart beside the bed and started to get readings on X's vitals.
"I'm not getting any readings at all!"

"Vile did this." Zero gritted his teeth. "He said if I killed him, then X would die too."

"And you killed Vile?" Douglas dropped one too in frustration and picked up another.

"NO, no..." Zero's eyes started to blur. "X killed Vile... then he.." He closed his eyes and tried
to regain composure.

Without anymore exchange, Douglas continued to work on X while Zero watched on. Alia was in the door minutes
after Douglas' arrival and joined in the repair. The two worked nonstop for several hours, but finally put down
their tools.

"Douglas, will you get the recharge pod ready?" Alia turned to address Zero, who looked confused as to why
the two stopped working. "Zero, it doesn't look like we can do anything right now..."

"What do you mean?" Zero shifted his gaze from Alia to Douglas moving X's body to the pod. "Is he going
to be alright?"

"We repaired his body the best we could, but his control chip sustained heavy damage... we can't even go
in and look at what's left of the data without better equipment." Alia sighed. "I'm going to call Dr.
Cain and have him take a look."

Douglas and Alia tried to get Zero to go rest, but Zero refused to budge from beside X's recharge pod. They
finally reached a compromise. Alia set up a cord to hook Zero up for recharge with him sitting beside X.

When Douglas and Alia finally left the med bay, tears started to roll down Zero's cheeks. His eyes fell upon
X's unmoving body, his pale face, and closed eyes.

//"I missed you."//

Zero picked up X's hand and weaved his fingers between X's. His hand felt cold when Zero brought it up to his face.

"I'm sorry, X." He began to sob and shook his head. "I'm so sorry." He leaned his head against the pod. The events
of the day finally caught up with him. He lied to Alia and Douglas when he said he wasn't hurt, so they would continue
working on X. In actuality he himself had been in dire need of repairs. An internal notice told Zero that he would
be shutting down soon for repairs. Zero leaned his head against the pod, and drifted off to sleep.


Darkness surrounded him. Very far away, there was a speck of blue light. Instinctively, Zero headed in the direction
of the light. A young boy sat where the light was... no, the light was coming from the boy. He had his legs
drawn up to his chest, his head buried in his arms. Soft, sniffling sounds was coming from the boy. He was crying.

"Are you alright?" Zero asked the boy. The boy looked up at Zero, and the resemblance immediately struck Zero. The
bright, green eyes. The soft brown hair. The same glow. "X?..."

"I'm lost." The boy said between sobs. "I can't find anyone." Zero wrapped his arms around the boy, who started to
cry on his shoulder. "I've just been here by myself." Zero patted the boy's head and wondered what on earth was going

//This must be a dream.// Zero thought to himself.

"You're not lost. I'll help you find your house." A loud explosion could be heard behind Zero. The hunter unwrapped his
arms and spun around to look, but there was nothing except darkness again.

"The place is falling apart." It was X's voice. Zero's heart jumped and he turned around again. There was X, standing
before him. He was in his full, blue armor, no injuries anywhere. His face, however, looked as pale as Zero remembered
in real life. "My control chip is starting to deteriorate, Zero." X's voice was haunting; it was almost a fading echo.

"Wait... this..."

"A link-up between us, Zero." Another distant explosion could be heard. "Your recharge cord is drawn from the same power
source. I managed this one last meeting before..." X looked like he was choking back tears. "I'm glad I have this
chance to say goodbye."

"You can't go!" Zero went over and hugged X. "Dr. Cain will be here soon. He can fix you!"

"He can't." X said solemnly. "I know, this is beyond even his abilities. Even I don't know how to fix this." Another
explosion. "It's coming."

"No, NO." Zero gripped X tighter. "You can't go now! Not after I finally told you I loved you."

"You have to go now." X pushed Zero away. "If you stay here, there's no telling what will happen to you when I finally
shut down."

Zero locked his eyes onto X's, a steeled look on his face. "I'm not leaving. Not until I know you'll be fine."

"You'll be killed." X looked behind Zero. "It's coming!"

Smoke and dust rolled ominously into view. Zero felt the urge to spit when a familiar figure stepped out of the darkness.
It was Vile, except he looked like he had some upgrades.

"Hello X!... and ZERO." Vile's voice was even darker than usual. "What a pleasant surprise!" Vile let out an animal roar
and smoke started to emanate from his body. "This will be fun..." In no more than three seconds, Vile turned into
a large shadow, looming over the two hunters. A metallic noise rang through the air as the shadow stretched its large
claws menacingly at the two.

"No!" X was a boy again, and jumped in front of Zero. "Wake up Zero, NOW! Get out of here!"

"You can't defend yourself or anyone when you're just a little boy!" Vile mused. "You're going to join me in HELL soon!"
Vile's claws made a grab for the small boy.

//Vile program must be doing this to X!// Zero's mind raced. //This is why he can't defend himself!// Zero grabbed
the young X from behind and shielded the blow with his own body. The claws sliced through Zero's back armor like butter.
Zero suppressed his scream and looked weakly at the young X, who wore a horrified expression.

"Do... do you love me?" Zero immediately gasped for a breath when he finished speaking.

"I do." The boy replied. Zero smiled, his grip relaxed, and he slumped to the floor. A pool of blood started to form
underneath Zero's body.

"I... I..." The young X was too shocked to say anything coherent for a moment. "Zero?..." There was no response.
"ZERO?" He said again, more desperately.

"Your turn." Vile brought his claws down on the young X again, but hit an invisible shield. Sparks flew in the air as
Vile pushed down further to break the shield. X calmly looked up at Vile and raised his arm.

"You." In a flash, X turned from his younger form back to normal "Die." The shield was visible now, a brilliant ocean
blue. "NOW." The shield expanded, and started to burn Vile's shadow form as it did. The blue light engulfed all, and
evaporated Vile's shadow form.

X opened his eyes, and was now in a green meadow. Zero was lying on the grass, but the pool of blood was gone. Instead,
he looked like he was peacefully napping.

"Zero?" X knelt down beside Zero. "Wake up, Zero." He leaned forward and planted a kiss on Zero's lips.


In the Med Bay, Zero woke up and found X's lips brushing softly against his own. X pulled back when he realized Zero was
awake and looked happily at the other Hunter.

"In case you didn't hear me from before." X's eyes glittered. "I love you."


Mob Member 1: Wahh, that was soo cute!

Mob Member 2: But I thought we were supposed to be vehemently against cute and all for lemon.

Aya: Ha ha ha! *nervous laughter* I wanted something more to happen in this last scene. Generally with X and Zero in their
bedrooms, talking. However, when I got to here, it seemed to be a proper ending. Anything more would sort of ruin the
moment, you know? I envisioned a totally different ending, but now this. Writing is funny, sometimes.

X: Yay! I'm not unconscious, drugged up, or any other bad thing!

Vile: Dang, even my ghost died.

Zero: Um... My cute love scene?

Aya: Well, if you really want your love scene, Zero, there's a closet over there that you and X can-

*ZOOM* X and Zero disappears into the closet, more armor clanking and giggles can be heard.

Aya: That was fast. Um.. if you guys like the fic, please tell me. If you don't like it, tell me as well, so I can write
a better one next time. Thanks for reading! *bows* and I appreciate all your comments so far! I'll start working on a new
fic when a new idea hits ^_^