Hey everyone! Happy New Year!

So remember when I said I wouldn't post this until I finished chapter 4? Well, I lied! Yay! As it's a holiday, I figured I would post this as a treat! So enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own RotG, it's characters, or Rose!

Chapter 2: Up in Flames

"Are you prepared for the German test tomorrow?" Derek asked as he and his best friend walked home. They lived one street apart so they were able to stick together longer than the others.

"German test?" Quinn had a thoughtful look before going pale. "Oh crap! I completely forgot!"

"You… forgot?" Derek stared at his friend as if he had grown a second head. Quinn never forgot about any assignment, let alone when he had a test. Especially if said test was in his worst subject.

"I've been a bit distracted lately." The teen groaned. "I'm totally going to bomb!"

"Chillax. I can come over and help you study." The baker took out his phone and began to type a message to his mom.

"Thanks man."

They made it to the Wu household just in time to prevent Zane from starting up another cigarette before quickly heading up to Quinn's room.

"I'm so screwed." Quinn said after they began to pour over the material. "I need at least another day to study if I want to get a B."

"Well, unless we get a snow day or something, that's not going to happen." Derek responded. Quinn paused, a smile creeping across his face.

"Who knows? We may just get that snow day." He said cryptically before turning back to the textbook a lot calmer than before, causing Derek to stare at him. The red head shook his head after a minute and left it at that, just chalking it up as one of Quinn's strange quirks.

"Right. Now, repeat this phrase in German. What do you do in your spare time?"

"Was machst du in deiner Freizeit?" Quinn said carefully.

"Good. Now give me a response to that question."

Later that night, the Wu family were slumbering soundly.


Quinn was yanked from his peaceful dreams by the harsh blaring of the fire alarm. Groaning, the teen covered his head with his pillow, trying to block out the offending noise. Footsteps could be heard in the hall; most likely his father or brother going to turn off the alarm. He readjusted himself into a more comfortable position and waited for obnoxious beeping to go away.

Quinn frowned and sat up. It had been several minutes since the alarm had started up, and still it continued to sound off. He took a deep breath and gagged at the acrid smell of smoke. His pulse began to quicken, hoping that this wasn't happening.


His heart plummeted when he heard his father's frantic shout. Quinn sat there, uncertain of what to do. The sound of more footsteps and panicked shouts brought him out of his stupor. He jumped out of bed and slipped on his shoes as quickly as possible. Grabbing his coat, he dashed out of his room. His family were rushing to the stairs, most still in their pajamas.

"What's happening Quinn?" His younger sister asked, completely frightened. He grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the stairs.

"We need to get out of the house!" Quinn said in panic. The rest of the family had already made it to the first floor as he and his sister started down. They were about half way when Lorelei gasped.

"Keaton!" She let go of Quinn's hand and rushed back upstairs to rescue her favorite stuffed animal. After letting lose one of his grandmother's Chinese swears, the teenager followed her to her room. She clutched the small fox her chest as he scooped her up, heading back into the hall. His heart leapt to his throat when he saw thick plumes of black smoke billowing up the stairwell, the menacing orange flicker not far behind. How had it spread so fast?

Still carrying his sister, Quinn rushed to the room furthest from the stairs; their grandmother's. He closed the door behind them and set Lorelei on the bed. The air was starting to become warm and stale. The teen quickly opened the window, breathing in the crisp January air. He gazed down across the street to find his family and several neighbors gathered around their mailbox. Kai was retraining Jane as she tried to run back into the house to find her two children.

"Quinn! Lorelei!" She screamed frantically as she fought her husband's firm grasp. The teen cupped his hands to his mouth.

"We're up here!" He shouted, drawing their attention. "There's too much smoke coming up the stairs se we can't get out!"

"Don't worry!" Zane shouted back. "The fire department is on its way! You're going to be fine!" Even when he was shouting, Quinn could hear the worry in his brother's voice. He looked around and soon found the reason why.

He had asked Jack to give them enough snow for a snow day, and the winter spirit had delivered. Two and a half feet of snow covered the ground. He realized it would take a while for the fire trucks to drive all the way across town in this; even if the snow plow was driving in front of them. His heart fell as the truth of the situation set in. They weren't going to get there in time.

His mother was sobbing now as she too came to the awful realization. Kai was holding her close, gazing up at his son with concern. Zane was supporting their grandmother, who was also crying, as he stared in the direction of the town, waiting to hear the fire engines' blaring sirens. The teen felt a small hand tug at his pants leg, the small action drawing him away from his place at the window.

"Quinn, what's wrong? Why are you crying?"

Quinn wiped his eyes and found them to be wet. Not wanting to scare the girl, he put on a brave face as he knelt down to be eye-level with her.

"No reason. But don't worry, we'll be fine. The nice firemen are coming to get us, ok?" Lorelei nodded, but she didn't seem convinced.

"Oh what delicious fear." Said a certain spirit of nightmares; unseen and unheard by the two siblings. He walked over to them and chuckled. "Look how adorable they are when terrified." Pitch glanced out the window to the family below. "And look, the fear has spread to the entire family. How wonderful!" The dark spirit chuckled once more as he leaned close to Quinn's face. "Where's your Jack Frost now? Do you still find joy in his snow when it's going to cause you and your sister to die?" The teenager shivered and looked around in confusion. The Boogeyman laughed once more and took his leave. He had a young Guardian to taunt.

The minutes seemed to drag on for hours to Quinn, his fear growing with each second. He held Lorelei close, whispering comforting words to her. She gasped in fright suddenly. He turned and saw with growing dread that smoke was billowing under the door. He could hear the crackling roar of the fire now as it destroyed his home. He was starting to panic. How in the world was the fire spreading so fast?

Lorelei distracted him from his thoughts as she began to cough. Quinn looked around desperately for something to cover their mouths with and filter out the damaging smoke. He eyed the large quilt on their grandmother's bed. He grabbed it and was about to press it to their faces when he stopped suddenly. He had an idea. It was crazy and daring, but it was their last option. He bundled the quilt up as best as he could and threw it out the window.

"Dad! Zane!" He screamed, catching their attention once more. "Grab the quilt! We're going to have to jump!" They understood immediately and, along with several other men from the neighborhood, rushed to pull the quilt tight in a makeshift trampoline. Quinn knelt next to his sister and looked her in the eye. "You're going to jump first."

"No Quinn! I'm scared of heights!" The terrified girl sobbed.

"Hey! Listen to me!" He said sharply, cutting off her cries. "Do you remember your New Year's resolution?" She nodded. "Well, there's no better time than now to work on it. Don't worry. Daddy and Zane and other nice men are down there. They are going to catch you. You're not going to get hurt."

"But, I'm still scared." Lorelei sniffed.

"I know you can do this. Imagine you're flying with Santa on his sleigh or with the Tooth Fairy as she collects the teeth. They're up in high places all the time and they don't get scared. Can you do that?" The little girl's fear slowly melted away as she nodded, determination shining in her eyes.

"We're ready!" Kai called up to his son.

"Alright!" Quinn called back. "You ready?" Lorelei nodded once more. He picked her up and placed her on the window sill. "You have Keaton?" The girl clutched the stuffed fox close as she nodded again. "Ok. Jump on three. One. Two. Three!"

With an extra push from Quinn, Lorelei jumped out from the burning building. Her breath caught in her throat as she saw how high she was. She felt something in her stomach as she fell. She wasn't sure what it was as it wasn't fear, but she liked it. She landed roughly onto the stretched blanket, unharmed and giggling. The men quickly carried her off to her waiting mother, who was sobbing in relief.

Quinn sighed happily. For the first time since this nightmare began, he felt a sliver of hope. He gazed up at the moon. It was three quarters full and glowed brightly, as if congratulating him on a job well done. He closed his eyes and smiled. He was going to be alright.

The house exploded.

Jack leaned against the tree he was perched in and sighed contentedly. He loved the clear winter nights of Burgess, the stars in the sky twinkling like North's Christmas lights. Sure, he had a room at Santoff Clausen now, but every now and then he enjoyed staying out under the sky.

The wind tugged at him, but he ignored it, enjoying the scenery. It pushed him harder, trying to get his attention. The winter spirit sighed in annoyance.

"What?" He snapped.

"And here I thought I had snuck up on you again." Said a familiar, silky voice. Jack jumped up and turned to face the smirking Nightmare King.

"What do you want Pitch?" Jack snarled, aiming his staff at the dark spirit's chest.

"I'm just here to congratulate you on that wonderful snow storm you made over Galion. From what I heard, you gave them over two feet of snow. Quite an achievement if I do say so myself."

"Well no one was asking you." The Guardian of Fun narrowed his eyes. Pitch was playing with him. They both knew two feet of snow was nothing to the winter spirit, so why had he brought it up? An uneasy feeling began to form in his stomach. "Why are you really here?"

"Aren't I allowed to appreciate the handiwork of my fellow spirits?" Pitch asked with a hurt expression, which soon turned into a smug smile when Jack scowled. "No? Well then, I suppose I'll just take my leave." Before the winter bringer could react, the Boogeyman melted away into the shadows.

Jack floated there for a moment, confused about what had just happened. A terrible suspicion began to grow through him as he thought about Pitch's words.

Galion… Quinn!

"Wind! Take me to Galion!" His old friend obliged, whisking him off into the night at a much faster pace than normal. Jack furrowed his brow as he sped along, trying to ignore the building anxiety in his gut and hoping that this was just another of Pitch's tricks.

Nicholas St. North sat in his study reviewing the Naughty and Nice lists. It was extremely early in the year, but the Guardian of Wonder always liked to have a head start on everything. The lists themselves weren't actually written down, but stored in North's perfect memory. He knew the name of every person in the world by heart. He knew the children especially well, even the newborn infants once they were named.

Of course, this amazing ability had its downside as well. While he knew every human as soon as they were born, it also meant he knew whenever they passed away. North did not get upset whenever someone who had lived a full life died, but children were another story. He always felt himself become a little sad when the name of a child faded from his mind and the normally jolly Russian would pause in whatever he was doing whenever it occasionally happened.

Tonight was no different. North would review the names in his mind, smiling whenever a newborn was given a name he liked, and pausing for several seconds when a child faded away. This lasted for several hours, the large man stopping only for cookie breaks. He was on one of said breaks when it happened.

He had just picked up a large cookie, double chocolate chip, and raised it half way to his open mouth when he froze in shock. A name that had just recently come to his attention had faded from his mind. It was the name of someone who believed in the Guardians; all of them, including Jack. What startled him the most was that it wasn't the name of a child.

Dropping the cookie to the floor, where several elves began to fight over it, North rushed out of his study. He pushed through the yetis in the workshop, ignoring their concern when they saw his troubled expression. He dashed up to the giant globe, searching for a single light in particular. Unfortunately, it was no longer there.

"Poor Jack." He sighed, a deep sadness for the younger Guardian washing over him.

As if by cue, snow began to fall inside the workshop. North did not seem as surprised as the yetis and elves, which all began to run around in a panic. Like his northern lights, each Guardian had a way of calling the others in an emergency. The snow, which would be falling wherever the other Guardians were, was Jack's distress signal.

North held out his hand and let a snowflake land on it. By doing so, he immediately knew where the winter spirit was. The small town of Galion, only a few hours from Burgess.

"Ready the sleigh!" His authoritatively loud voice lacked its normal warmth. As preparations were made, the Guardian sighed heavily. This was going to be a long night.

North landed the sleigh in a clearing in the woods just outside of town. Leaving Phil to watch it, he made his way through the trees. He wasn't even startled when Bunny popped out of one of his tunnels next to him.

"This had better be bloody important." He muttered, his tone irritated but his expression full of concern.

"It is." North stated simply as he continued walking.

"You know what this is about mate?" The Easter Bunny raised an eyebrow questioningly at the large Russian as he fell into step with him. "Pitch isn't back, is he?"

"No. There is no immediate danger that I'm aware of at the moment." The Pooka sputtered indignantly at this.

"Then why are we even here?!"

"Jack may not be in trouble, but he still needs us right now." North replied cryptically. Choosing not to respond, Bunny continued on in silence.

They soon came to the tree line where Rose, Tooth, and Sandy were already waiting. Beyond them was a small neighborhood. However, on one of the plots of land closest to the Guardians were the smoldering remains of a home. Smoking debris was strewn around the entire area. The neighboring houses were slightly damaged, but nothing too serious. Police and firemen were still at the scene while the occupants of the neighborhood stood about in shock. Jack Frost stood near the edge of the ruined house, his back turned to the other spirits.

Sandy was the first to notice North and Bunny, making a question mark appear above his head as he gestured to the view in front of them.

"Don't ask me." Bunny replied. "North here is the one with all the answers." They turned to the large Guardian expectantly who sighed and shook his head sadly.

"Quinn Wu." The others seemed puzzled at this response.

"Wait." Tooth spoke up. "Isn't that the name of the teenager that believes in Jack?"

"Well, it was his name…" It took several moments before what North said sunk in.

"Crikey." The Aussie whispered as he stared at the smoking home with wide eyes. "What a way to go."

Sandy made several images that looked like two adults and several children followed by a question mark. Rose knelt down and placed her hand onto the ground, her eyes closed in concentration.

"The rest of his family is safe Sandy." The Earth spirit answered his question.

"What about Jack?" Tooth glanced at the young Guardian, her eyes filled with sympathetic tears.

"He knows we are here." North said while folding his arms. The fairy didn't seem to accept his inaction, but remained with the group. She knew as much as they all did that he needed time alone at the moment.

Jack, vaguely aware of the others' presence, gazed at the ruined house. Many emotions swirled inside him like one of his many snowstorms. There was grief, confusion, helplessness, anger, and guilt. Oh yes, there was a lot of guilt. He was directly responsible for the two feet of snow that had prevented the fire engines from reaching the house on time. True, he hadn't caused the supposed gas leak that led to the explosion, nor was he the still unknown cause of the fire itself, but in the state his mind was in, he might as well have been.

He knew these were dangerous and untrue thoughts, but he couldn't help it. He had never lost one of his believers before. Of course, he didn't have any believers until the previous year, but it still hurt worse than the three hundred years of solitude he had been forced to endure. To top it all off, it had been the believer that was closest to him in both attitude and intellect. Quinn had been able to relate to the spirit and talked to him about all the things normal teens talked about. What was even worse was that he had requested the snow special just so he could have an extra day to study.

But now he was gone. The only teenager who believed in Jack Frost and had become one of his best friends was now resting with the Man in the Moon. The winter spirit couldn't help but feel slightly responsible for the tragedy, even though he knew he wasn't.

Sighing heavily, he turned and trudged his way back to the others. The young Guardian's vision became blurry as he stopped a few feet away from his new family. He normally tried to avoid crying in front of them as he saw it as sign of weakness, but he couldn't stop the tears that slowly started down his face.

Tooth rushed to embrace the winter spirit as his resistance crumbled and began to sob earnestly. She stroked Jack's white hair silently as he shook in her arms, tears flowing down her own cheeks as she did. Rose was next to join in, followed by Sandy and Baby Tooth. Bunny clasped the grieving boy's shoulder supportively while North grabbed his free hand, squeezing it slightly. Jack's sobs grew with each of the Guardian's comforting actions, completely overwhelmed with emotion. No one spoke for the ten minutes he cried himself out. They knew their presence was worth more to him than any words.

With several loud sniffles and coughs, Jack pulled himself together. Leaning on his staff, he looked around at the other spirits.

"Thanks." He croaked, his throat raw from crying.

"Anytime mate." Bunny said with a small smile.

"Jack." North addressed, looking the boy in the eye. "You know this is not your fault, yes?" Jack sighed.

"I know. But it sure feels like it."

"There's no way you could've know this would happen." Rose reasoned. "It's not like you caused the fire." Jack simply nodded.

"I suppose now would be a bad time to mention that I saw Pitch?" The others tensed at this.

"What?! Where did you see him?!" Bunny demanded, his boomerangs drawn.

"He visited me at my pond." Jack explained, slight bitterness in his voice. "He wanted to "congratulate" me for the two feet of snow here.

"Bloody ingrate." The Pooka growled. "Don't pay any attention to him. He's just trying to mess with your head." Jack nodded once again.

Sandy made several images of Rose beating up Pitch and then Pitch attacking the guardians, but with an X over it.

"Sandy's right." Tooth translated. "Pitch is probably still too weak from his fight with Rose to try and attack us directly. We shouldn't have to worry about him for now." There were several murmurs of agreement at this before a silence settled over the group.

"Um…" Jack began nervously. "Can we go check on his family?" They all looked to North, whose eyes had softened.

"Of course we can." The big Russian said before turning to Rose with an upturned eyebrow. The Guardian of Family nodded and knelt to the ground, one more placing her palm against the Earth.

"They're at Burgess General Hospital." She announced after several moments of concentration.

"To the sleigh." North said without his normal exuberance. Not even Bunny complained as they trudged through the snow, and soon there was nothing left that marked that the spirits had ever been there.

The sterile hospital room was filled with a melancholy silence. Kai Wu lay in his bed with several bandages over the minor injuries he had received from the explosion. The rest of the family sat or stood around him, each lost in their misery. Little Lorelei looked around at the sad faces she knew by heart, noticing for the first time that one was missing.

"Mama?" Jane looked down at her youngest child.

"What is it hun?"

"Where's Quinn?" The tension in the room became heavy. They all looked at each other helplessly. How were they to explain to her that her favorite brother wasn't coming back?

"Come here Rosebud." Leann gestured to her granddaughter. When she was in reach, the elderly woman picked her up and set her on her lap. She began to stroke the young one's hair affectionately as she explained. "Quinn…left."

"Where did he go?"

"He…he went to go live with Grandpa." There was a choking sound as Jane tried to stifle the oncoming tears.

"Where does Grandpa live?" Lorelei asked with big eyes. She knew that she had a Grandpa, but she had never met him.

"Well…do you really want to know?" The girl nodded her head enthusiastically. Leann searched desperately for something to tell to her grandchild. A cold breeze wafted through the room, causing all the occupants to shiver. This gave her a sudden inspiration. "He lives at the North Pole with Santa." Lorelei gasped.

"Really?!" Her eyes were wide with wonder.

"Uh-huh. He helps Santa around his workshop. Now that Quinn is living with them, he's helping too."

"Does he get to help the Easter Bunny too? And the Tooth Fairy, and the Sandman, and Jack Frost?"

"You bet he does Rosebud. But he's going to be very busy now, so he won't be able to come home." The girl immediately became sad.

"But…doesn't he love us anymore?" Jane covered her face in her hands, trying to hide her sobs from Lorelei.

"Of course he loves us. He's just going to be too busy to visit." Lorelei's eyes began to water.

"So, we won't ever see him again?"

"I'm afraid not Rosebud." Leann gave a sad smile. The tears building up in the small girls eyes slowly started trickling down her face.

"But he didn't even say goodbye!" she cried out. Looking at the stricken faces around her, she continued rambling on. "His stuff is still at the house! Won't he be cold at the North Pole? Can't he visit when Santa brings the presents or when the Easter Bunny brings his eggs? And…and...He promised to help me not be afraid of heights anymore! He promised to help all of us! Why would he leave when he made a promise? Why would he leave?" She dissolved into uncontrollable sobs, burying her face into Leann's shirt.

Tears flowed openly on the faces of everyone in the room as they listened to Lorelei's heartbroken gasps. Especially on the faces of six, unobserved spirits.

The week that followed was devoid of any happiness, for the Guardians, the Wu family, and Quinn's friends.

Jack's normally cheerful demeanor had been replaced with stoic silence. No snow fell anywhere in the world, the spirit providing only cold winds and light frost. He didn't even attempt to pull any pranks or tell jokes. His dour mood affected the others as they had become used to his playful antics, casting a gloomy cloud over them all. He assured them that he just needed some time to recover and they respected that, but they couldn't help but miss the fun-loving spirit.

The Wu's fared no better. With their house and all of their possessions gone, they were forced to move in with Mai and David in the house they rented in Burgess. Lorelei, while she had not said anything, began to suspect that Quinn hadn't just left as her Grandmother told her, and became secluded. She ignored everyone and didn't speak, not even to Keaton the fox. Zane began to smoke an entire pack of cigarettes again, trying his best to dull the pain. Mai simply stared off into space for hours at end, thinking of all the fun times she shared with her brother. Even David couldn't pull her from her stupor.

It was worse for Kai and Jane. The pain of losing one of their children was nearly unbearable. Kai tried to go to work and take his mind off of it, but his supervisors wouldn't hear of it, sending him home with plenty of time off. While he wasn't ungrateful, he wished he had some sort of distraction. Jane busied herself with chores, but soon ran out of messes to clean. She then settled for taking long naps, usually crying herself to sleep.

Leann tried her best to raise their spirits, but to no avail. Her attempts to start a conversation were all met with silence. She eventually stopped, knowing that they each needed to handle the grief themselves, promising herself that she would be there when they needed a shoulder to cry on.

His friends had been devastated when they had found out, and each of them had gone through their own forms of depression.

And so, the week passed in a dreary slog without a single smile or laugh from sixteen grieving hearts.

The day of the funeral was a somber affair. They held the memorial service in the morning, inviting all who knew Quinn to come. The building they were in was packed. Jane looked around her in wonder, it seemed like almost everyone from town was there. She had no idea that her son had touched so many lives. People she didn't even know were coming up to her and offering their condolences. Thinking of Quinn's sunny personality and willingness to help anyone brought a smile and tears. Oh how she missed her little boy. Kai held her close as she started quietly sobbing, trying his best to be strong for her. He wouldn't let down his guard until they were alone. Even so, a few tears escaped unnoticed.

For the next two hours, people stood in the front of the room telling stories and memories they had of Quinn. His ashes were in a beautiful urn, surrounded by pictures of him. None of his friends could bring themselves to stand up though. They didn't know what to say. Especially Derek. How could he fit five years of memories into a single story? How could he express the pain he was feeling? Quinn was more than his best friend, he was his brother. He knew he should get up, but he just couldn't. Instead, he sat between Kaitlyn and Mark, staring blankly at the floor, tears flowing freely down his face. Kaitlyn was hugging him and sobbing and Mark was sitting stone faced. The only ones in more pain than them was Quinn's family. They couldn't stop crying long enough to get up, but no one blamed them. After the services, just his family and friends went to the gravesite. It was at Leann's request. She felt they all needed to say a more personal goodbye to Quinn. Only then would they start the long road of healing.

The caravan pulled up to the cemetery and everyone slowly got out of their cars. As they made their way to the gravesite, Zane looked at the bleak and dreary sky, finding it fitting somehow. Nothing should look pretty or happy on a day like this. He shouldn't have to be saying goodbye to his little brother. None of them should be going through this. They made it to the gravesite and Zane stared at the headstone. Since they cremated Quinn, there wasn't anything to actually bury, but they still felt a need to give him a resting spot. Someplace they could visit and talk to Quinn. But it felt like a punch in the gut to Zane. A headstone made it official. He couldn't pretend it was all a bad dream anymore. Couldn't wish away the fact that this was it. Quinn was gone. And he was never going to see his little brother again. He was pulled out of his thoughts when his grandma placed her hand on his shoulder.

"It's time." She whispered. Walking around to everyone, she said the same thing and stood by the headstone. Holding the urn close to her, she looked at each of them with tears in her eyes.

"I know this is hard for all of us. It will take time for the pain of this week to dull. It will never go away, but we need not let it dictate the rest of our lives. We need to live, to honor Quinn's memory. It's what he would've wanted. He never let us give up, and it would be a dishonor to him to do so now." Taking a handful of ash in her hands, she turned to the headstone and sprinkled them on it.

"Goodbye Quinn. May you always watch over us and keep us going." Turning to Jane and Kai, she held out the urn and they each took a handful. Kai looked so lost as he sprinkled his handful on the headstone.

"Goodbye son. We'll always love you." Jane echoed his words as she let her handful go. Mai and David were next. Mai was crying so hard she couldn't find the words to say. David just held his fiancé and murmured a quiet goodbye. Zane grabbed some ash and stood over the headstone. The words he wanted to say were caught in his throat. He couldn't do this. Letting this ash go was letting Quinn go, and he wasn't ready for that. His vision got blurry and with a strangled sob, he threw the ashes at the cold hard stone. Stepping away he grabbed his mom and clung desperately to her. Leann watched him sob, and with a heavy heart turned to Lorelei. The little girl was staring at her with wide eyes, the pain on her face heartbreaking.

"Rosebud, sweetie. It's your-"
"NO!" with a shout, Lorelei cut her grandma off. She knew it was bad to do that, but she didn't want to hear what was coming next. She was scared. Zane was crying, and Zane never cried. She looked at her family and wished for the millionth time that Quinn was there. He'd help her not be so afraid or sad. Where was he? Why was everyone saying good bye? Quinn had to come back.

"I want Quinn!" her shout made everyone stare at her and her mom to start crying again.

"Why is everyone crying and saying goodbye? He's not gone! He has to come back! We need to find where he went and make him come back!" She looked around at everyone, tears starting to flow.

"I'm not gonna tell him goodbye when he's not even here! He has to tell us goodbye to, doesn't he? Where is he? I want Quinn!" She shrieked the last part and broke down crying, shouting for her brother that was never coming back. She hoped if she shouted loud enough, he'd come and ask her what was wrong. He always did. But instead of Quinn coming to comfort her, her parents hugged her tightly and cried with her. They didn't even tell her it was going to be ok like they always did. Because they knew it wouldn't be. Nothing would be ok for a long while.

The full moon shone down on Galion that night, washing everything with its silvery light. Silence hung in the air, every living creature in the small town fast asleep. The moon slowly brightened and seemed to grow in size. A breeze blew through the cemetery, picking up some of the ashes scattered on a new headstone. The wind made its way across town with its cargo, soon coming upon the remains of the Wu household. It had already been searched by the family for anything that could be salvaged; only lose boards and ashes remaining.

The wind picked up these ashes, mixing it with the ones it obtained from the cemetery. They swirled together in a small vortex, which began to spin faster and faster until creating a mini tornado of ash. The ash began to rearrange itself, forming a figure in the center of the swirling wind. A body was formed, followed by four limbs and a head. The sooty black and grey was replaced by other colors as the figure began to breathe deeply, as if asleep. The wind stopped as the figure was completely formed.

Awake. The voice was gentle, yet filled with power and wisdom. The figure felt compelled to obey immediately.

Slowly, Quinn opened his eyes.

Boom. That happened. I'm sure you older readers will notice several differences to this. And yes, that is grammatically correct German in the opening scene.

Also, I would like to thank my awesome sister/beta maplewind for writing the emotional funeral scene! And if you think I kinda brushed off his friends after spending a whole chapter introducing them, don't worry! She plans on writing a companion fic for this focusing on them! So go bug her about it!

OC submissions are still open! Send me a PM if you want them in!

And don't forget to leave a review and tell me what you think!