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Sacred Hearts

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Chapter 1: Trail

Daniel waited in the entrance of the white portal, stomping his feet slightly against the ground repeatedly. “Where is she?” He asked to himself.

“Goodbye Blair, goodbye Finn! See you soon!” Daniel sighed. Finally. Through the portal came Connor’s twin sister, Candela, with a bright smile on her face. Daniel noticing the happy smile she wore, smiled himself.

“Did you have fun?” He asked.

Candela nodded vigorously. “Yes! We played a lot, though I accidentally poisoned Lionel,” She said grimacing, but then shook her head with a smile. “Finn healed him on time though!” She giggled. “Greg fainted like, twice.”

Daniel smiled at her warmly, though a small pang of sadness conquered his heart as he remembered Greg; how he missed his son. “Glad you had fun, but now I gotta take you home, Dela.”

Candela yawned. “Okay, but with one condition,” Daniel arched an eyebrow and suddenly Candela jumped on him. “You have to carry me back home!” She giggled.

Daniel laughed as Candela climbed to his shoulders. Once she was sitting on his shoulders, he smiled at her. “Are you comfy?” She nodded. “Let’s go then!”

***
Daniel now was carrying her on his arms as she had fallen asleep midway home. He looked down at her and smiled sadly; Candela was like another daughter to him, since she had no parents in the City of Stars. She shifted in his arms and put her head close to his shoulder with a little smile. He was sure that she also looked at him like a fatherly figure.

Ahead of him, he saw Connor’s grandparents walking towards him, their faces troubled. Daniel arched an eyebrow worriedly. “What’s wrong?”

Carnelia sighed. She shook her head sadly. “Fidelite and Nina just lost one of the twins, we were looking for you.”

Nina was Daniel’s daughter, she had married Connor’s brother, Fidelite, two years ago. Daniel’s shoulders dropped. “Oh…”

Bruno, Connor’s grandfather, said. “We thought that you would like to come with us, after all, the little boy is your grandson.” Bruno shook Candela awake gently.

“What’s happening?” Candela asked sleepily.

“Come, Candela, Daniel needs to do something.” He said, then grabbed Candela’s hand to take her away. Both left and Carnelia faced Daniel.

“I’ll go with you, little Connor is my grand-grand son, and I need to watch over him until his parents join us.” She said. Daniel felt guilty for not being updated with his daughter’s family, but with all that has been happening in Tarabiscoville and Greg, could anyone really blame him?

“So they did name him Connor after all?” He asked while he walked alongside the elderly woman.

“They did, minutes before the little one died...” Carnelia answered sadly.

Daniel shook his head as they stepped out of the city through the Great Gate. Ahead in the forest, a huge starry turquoise crocodile looked at both of them while holding a basket full of flowers in its jaws.

Carnelia and Daniel stood before the crocodile. “Thanks for bringing little Connor here, Swift Lake.” Carnelia said.

Swift Lake’s scaly tail moved and she gave Carnelia the baby. Once her jaw was free of the basket, she said. “It’s the job of an Animal Totem to keep their child safe.” She looked sadly at the baby on the basket. “Or what I got to meet of mine...”

“Sorry, Swift Lake.” Daniel sighed. “Death is something inevitable.”

The turquoise crocodile looked away. “I know…” She turned around. “I’ll be heading now, there’s nothing else for me here. Happy swimming, Stars.” With that, she adventured the marshes and disappeared of sight.

Daniel and Carnelia turned their gazes at the baby on the basket when he started crying. Daniel picked him up and swang him on his arms gently. “It’s okay, Grandpa is here.” The little’s boy eyes started to pour stardust from them and he opened his eyes slowly, revealing beautiful blueish green eyes.

“Hey there, little one.” Carnelia greeted quietly, caressing Connor’s pale skin. The baby stopped crying and looked at both of them with huge watery eyes, curiosity sparking here and there. Carnelia put a yellow Dandelion on his light brown hair. Connor’s lip twitched a bit. “Do you like the flower?”

Daniel chuckled. “I think he does.” He turned around and walked away with Carnelia by his side, heading for the Great Gate.

Daniel sighed and shook his head when they crossed it. “I lost the count of how many dead children I’ve seen in the past few weeks.”

Carnelia looked at him. “What do you mean by that?”

“Your grandson Connor just visited us recently, but you know that already.” He said. “And due to the anomaly of that kid Romeo, I’ve met two other children from another universe, Blair and Everett, dead as well.”

“What an interesting life,” Carnelia said.

“It got on my nerves recently, I don’t like seeing dead children,” He looked down at the baby on his arms, now snoring quietly.

“Well, if it helps dear, at least you’re here to give them the life they deserve.” Carnelia comforted him.

“I guess-” Daniel didn’t get to finish his sentence when all the city started to shake violently. Carnelia held onto him, afraid.

“What’s happening?” She asked.

“I have no idea!” Daniel yelled. All around him, lampost and trashcans fell to the ground, some other Stars yelled in fear as no one understood what was happening. On all the time that he has been on the City of Stars, nothing like this had happened; it was usually a peaceful place to rest.

There was a huge creak sound and suddenly, a crack parted the street on half, and it continued to do so until it got out of Daniel’s sight. He held strongly onto the door of a building alongside Carnelia, both protecting the kid.

After a few long minutes, everything stopped and went calm again. Daniel and Carnelia slowly got loose of their hold and carefully, stepped on the street. “What happened?” He asked to himself.

“Daniel!” He turned to see a very frightened Candela running up to him.

“Candela?” Wasn’t she at home? “What are you doing here?” He asked.

“I-I ran into Calypso and we got distracted talking, then everything started to shake and- and-” Daniel put an arm over her and handed the Connor to Carnelia. He admired the crack on the ground, bewildered.

What happened?

***
So warm… He cuddled in there, in the arms of the other warm boy. I wanna stay here forever… Wait.

Warm? Other arms?

Connor slowly opened his eyes in the slightly illuminated green room. The blinds of the window were half-way closed, so the morning light didn’t get inside as much, giving the perfect illumination. He tried to move but found out that arms were around his waist and that someone’s chest was pressing against his back. He turned around slightly to take a look at the person, only to meet Greg’s green eyes.

They stared into each other's eyes for a moment before Greg said. “Hey,”

He turned away and sighed. “Again?”

“Again...” Answered the other boy behind him. Last night they both had gone to Cameron and Selina’s party, as they were leaving Tarabiscoville to live in Milennia Town -a very bad choice in Connor’s opinion- and got very drunk, or well, at least him.

Greg sat on the bed, an amused tone on his voice. “You know, you have really cute moans.”

Connor covered himself with the sheets of the bed. “Shut up, Lizard Boy.”

He felt Greg crawl his way out of the bed. “Come on, not like we haven’t done this before, Connor. Why do you still feel embarrassed about it? If it happened, happened.”

Connor uncovered only his eyes and found himself staring at Greg’s toned back as the other put on a dark green shirt. His face felt warm. “W-Well, yeah…” He carved his face onto the pillow. “But I just don’t wanna think what I said last night… drunk me is the worst me.”

Greg giggled. “Drunk you is the best you, at least in bed.” He muttered. Connor uncovered himself fully now and stared at him annoyedly. Greg smiled. “I was joking, relax. Besides,” He gave Connor a shirt. “I don’t remember too much of last night either.”

Connor sat up on the bed, only wearing boxers and proceeding to put on the shirt. “You don’t want to.”

Greg sat by his side and put a hand on his cheek. “I said I didn’t remember too much, not that I didn’t remember.” He stood up and walked out the door, but before saying. “I’ll be downstairs having breakfast, join whenever you want to.”

Connor nodded and put on his clothes, feeling warm inside despite feeling embarrassed for getting really drunk last night. He quickly put on some socks and then walked out the door, heading downstairs. There he saw Greg pouring milk on a cup. “Your mom wasn’t home?” He asked.

“Last night? Nope, she was working.” He turned around with two cups in hand and handed one to Connor. “And she won’t be here for a couple of hours more.” He walked to the couch, on the way grabbing a box of cereal, and sat.

Connor followed and sat by his side. “How can you be hungry?” He looked at his cup. “I feel like I’m gonna throw up if I eat something.”

Greg only poured the cereal on the milk and with a spoon, ate. “I guess we experience different hangovers.” He said with his mouth full. He turned on the TV and put Netflix on. He swallowed. “Wanna watch something? Riley and Federico are taking care of the Petit Masks, Riley said to call them once you got rid of your drunkeness.” He put the spoon back on his mouth. “We can hang out for a little while.”

“Okay, and put on whatever you want,” Greg was about to say something when Connor interrupted him."Everything but any animal shows, I can't stand them."

Greg giggled. "Okay." He quickly put on The Rain and pulled covers over both of them.

The curtains were closed, so the living room was pretty dark except for the light of the TV. Connor sat there, watching how the mother of the children was killed by rainwater…

Rain…

Catboy held his hand in the air, his claws unsheathed. Under him, the bigger man with one blinded eye stood with his eyes wide open in terror. With a yell of anger, he sank his claws in the man’s throat, watching satisfactorily how the blood poured from his open throat and his mouth.

He watched now how the children of the woman cried after her, watching her die there, under the water…

Catboy heard Owlette’s cry above all the mess, but he could only contemplate the river as he fell, rainwater and wind against his face as he enclosed to his deathly fate. He had hit the water, and everything around him was blurry and his ears were filled with the sound of the rushing water...

The woman laid dead on the floor of the forest, with her eyes wide open.

Catboy could only felt the water making its way into his lungs, taking his life away...

“Connor!” Connor blinked a few times and looked around, finding himself in Greg’s living room.

“W-What?”

Greg turned off the TV and turned to him. Softly, he asked. “You are shaking, are you okay?” Connor looked down at his hands and realized they were shaking harshly. He felt cold and sick, and wanted only to lay down there; that’s what he did.

“Can we go back to sleep, I just… I just don’t feel so good…” He said. Greg watched him laid down on his shoulder, and he quickly adjusted himself into a comfortable position for him and Connor.

“Okay…” There was silence for a few minutes while Connor finally laid down on Greg’s chest and rested there, hearing the other’s calm heartbeat on a quiet morning. Greg broke the silence. “Do you wanna talk about it?”

Connor closed his eyes. “It’s that again…”

Greg sighed. “Figured.” Pause. “Last night you were having nightmares about it.”

Connor chuckled. “I thought last night we were busy doing something else.”

Greg laughed. “Well, yeah, but I mean after that. You fell asleep faster than I did, and you started crying on your sleep.” Connor felt Greg’s arms around him now, which made him feel safe and warm. “You stopped once I cuddled you.”

Connor smirked. “Maybe I was just trying to get you to cuddle with me.”

Greg scoffed. “Yeah, sure.” He giggled. “Let’s just go to sleep…”

Connor yawned as he slowly drifted into sleep. “Okay…”

***
“Don’t touch that, no! Kids stop!

Hope giggled as he ran around with Vita, two small delicate silver objects on their hands. He looked at Vita mischievously as they ran around Federico’s home. Riley was chasing them with a tired expression.

Hope jumped to one said and Vita to the other, taking two different paths. Riley panted and grunted. “Come on!” He looked at Federico, who was sitting on the couch making Unità a few braids on the hair with shiny accessories. “Why are they so energetic?”

Federico giggled. “Maybe you’re just too old.” When Riley only stared back, he laughed. “I’m kidding, chill. They might be excited to finally have a home and a family.”

“We are!” Unità exclaimed.

Federico looked at Riley with a smile. “See?”

“That doesn’t give them the right to grab your stuff and why aren’t you doing anything?” Federico pointed at Unità’s braided hair.

“I’m busy.” He shrugged.

Riley rolled his eyes and went after Hope and Vita. He walked to the backyard and searched between the bushes, getting nowhere. He sighed, and a buzzing sound on his ears made him wave his arms around in panic. Something stung him on the forearm and he saw a big hornet hovering over him.

He ran inside and angrily, he yelled. “Vita, Hope! If you don’t stop right now, I’m gonna tell Connor and your fun will be over!” Holding his arm, he walked back to the living room and headed for the kitchen.

Federico looked up and asked worriedly. “What happened?”

Riley, using the tip of his fingernail, started removing the needle. “A fucking hornet, that’s what happened.” He said between gritted teeth. Federico fixed him with a glare and he quietly apologized as he used tweezers to pull out the needle safely.

Vita and Hope carefully stepped into the kitchen, with the two objects still on their hands. “Sorry…” Both of them whispered.

Riley still felt angry about it. “This is not your house, you cannot run around here as you please. You could’ve broken something valuable, like the two spheres you have in hand.” Vita and Hope sat down the objects and looked at their feet when Riley scolded them. “Connor will hear about this, I’ll make sure of it.”

The two kids walked away sadly and sat on the living room’s table. Federico looked at them sadly then back at Riley, who was cleaning up the wound left by the hornet. “Did you had to be that rough? They are kids.”

Riley stopped and thought about it for a second before feeling guilty. He sighed. “Sorry kids, didn’t mean to snap like that, but you cannot do that in someone else’s house, it’s bad behavior.” He said softly.

Both of them turned around to look at him. “We were just playing, sorry…” Vita said.

Riley thought for a second. “Maybe we can go to the park later and play.” He suggested, trying to make up to the kids for being so rough on them.

Vita gleamed. “Okay!” She shyly asked. “Can we have breakfast though? I’m hungry.”

Riley nodded and Vita smiled at him, turning around. Riley locked gazes with Hope and felt uneasy when the little boy only stared at him with a mysterious glare. Hope expression changed and he looked at him with a glare full of hate for a second before smiling and turning around. Riley looked back at Federico, but it seemed that the pink-eyed boy didn’t catch that. What was that all about?

Riley walked into the kitchen and started preparing breakfast so later he could take the kids to the park, and although that was on his mind, Hope’s terrifying glare still hang around. He suddenly heard the kids talking to each other and Federico appeared by his side.

“You look thoughtful,” He remarked. “Wanna share what’s on your mind?”

Riley just wanted to ignore what happened earlier, he shook his head. “It’s nothing important.”

Federico watched him. “Are you sure?” Riley nodded. Federico wasn’t convinced but he didn’t want to push Riley around anymore. “Okay, but at least let me help you.” Both of them started to make breakfast, fooling around in the process, then sat with the kids and chattered until they left.

***
Riley sat on a blanket in the ground alongside Federico, both looking at photos Greg send Riley last night. Riley chuckled. "Connor was pretty drunk."

Federico looked at him with an amused smile. "Tell me something new." Both giggled and Federico snatched Riley's phone from his hands.

Riley tried to retrieve it. "H-Hey!"

Federico easily held him. "Let's take a few selfies, pleeeease?" He begged.

Riley looked away. "I don't like taking pictures…"

Federico moved to where Riley was facing and made puppy eyes. "Please?"

Riley looked at him and then away again for a few seconds. He sighed. "Just one selfie."

Federico smiled and hugged Riley, putting his arm around his shoulders. "Say pink!"

Riley smiled calmly as Federico took the picture, and when he was done, Federico gleamed. "I like it! Can I post it on my Insta?"

Riley felt a little anxious. "I'm… not sure…"

"Come on! I don't have any pics with you in there…" He said, looking down.

Riley felt anxious, about the picture being public and about letting Federico down. What should he do? "I- Err- F-Fine…?"

Federico clapped his hands happily and kissed him quickly on the cheek, sending Riley up into the clouds. "Thank youuuu!"

Riley observed Federico happily post the picture with a stupid smile on his face. His phone rang and he saw the notification for Federico's new post; he opened it. "It's not that bad…" He said, looking at the picture.

Federico shook him slightly. "See? I told you!"

Federico laid down beside him and he looked away, feeling slightly warm inside. He looked at the playground not so far away, trying to get a glimpse on the kids. He relaxed when he saw Vita and Unità running over there, but felt unsettled when he didn't saw Hope.

He looked down at Federico. "Keep an eye on the girls, Hope is missing." Federico nodded and Riley stood up, walking away from their spot.

He looked quickly inside the playground and confirmed that Hope wasn't there, so taking one last look, he walked away and decided to check the forest beside the playground; kids loved to play Hide and Seek in there.

Once in, he walked around carefully looking. He checked behind any tree and bushes, and if Hope was in sight, he would've spotted him a while ago. A sudden bad feeling overwhelmed him and he looked around attentively. "Hope…?" On the corner of his eyes, he thought he saw a black shadow pass by, but when he turned, nothing was there.

He heard creaks above him and when he looked, a silhouette stood against the sun, making impossible for Riley to see. A huge branch hit Riley on the side of the head, breaking one of Riley's hearing devices and hitting his eye strongly. He fell to the ground dizzy while blood poured from the side of his head, he could only hear from his left ear and his vision was blurry.

Someone walked up to him, and managing to concentrate his sight, Riley spotted Hope. The kid was standing over him, looking down at him with a treacherous glare.

"H-Hope, help me…" He said painfully.

The orange-eyed boy only smiled and walked away, dropping the branch on the way. Riley gasped, both in pain and horrified. Did he do this?! He agonized on the ground for a few moments before standing up, dizzy and in pain.

***
Federico sat with Vita and Unità, the girls were eating a few cookies and he was having a soda. He looked away. Riley hasn't come back yet… should I go and check…?

From the playground, Hope trotted his way to him with an innocent smile on his face. Federico looked confused. "Where's Riley?" He asked the boy.

Hope scratched his head looking around; he seemed lost. "I don't know… I haven't seen him, or don't remember doing so..."

Federico worriedly looked around until Vita punched his leg with a worried glance. "Look!"

Federico spotted Riley making his way to them, blood pouring from one side of his head. "Oh, my stars… Riley!" He shot up and ran to the other boy. "What happened to you?!"

The kids looked scared and worried not so far away from him, and he noticed Riley staring at them. "I'm… I'm not sure…" He answered.

Federico looked at the kids. "Pick up everything, we are going to the clinic."

***
Greg laid on the couch with Connor resting peacefully on top of him. He was checking his phone since he wasn't as tired as Connor, though he wasn't concentrated on what he was seeing. His mind went back and forth between the content and Connor's nightmares and lost looks.

Since they arrived from Milennia Town, Connor had been fairly quiet than his usual self, and every now and then he would space out, either staring at the wall or starting shivering, like what happened not so long ago.

Greg wanted to help him, but he didn't know how, Connor won't open up to him, even though they had been very close lately, more than he would like to admit. He closed his eyes for a second.

He found himself looking down at Connor's blue eyes, both of them were a sweaty mess, and Connor's breath was out of sync. The blue-eyed boy laughed drunkenly under him. "Are you gonna kept staring at me or do something?" Greg smiled, his senses not at his best. "Do something, definitely." He reached down and kissed Connor on the lips, and not so long after, he found himself making out with him.

Greg shot his eyes open, his face red and warm. He tried to calm himself down until his phone rang on his hand; he answered quickly to avoid waking up Connor.

"Gregory Green, who is it?" He was almost left deaf when Federico on the other line yelled at him. "Geez, calm down and tell me." He said annoyedly. He sat up on the couch alarmed. "Okay, we are on our way."

He hung up and gently shook Connor awake. "Wha…?"

"Riley is at the clinic, something happened." He said.

Connor sat up instantly, rubbing his eyes. "Are the kids okay?"

Greg wasn't sure. "I don't know, Federico only told me that."

Connor jumped out of the couch and headed upstairs, followed shortly after by Greg.

***
Connor, alongside Greg, followed a nurse inside the hospital. It wasn't long before they spotted Federico and the kids

Connor hurried to them. "Is everyone okay?" He turned to Federico. "What happened?"

Federico let out a curt sigh. "Riley was attacked by someone." He bit his nails. "Sorry for worrying you, but someone needed to take the kids."

They turned when they heard Riley fighting with the doctor. "Don't touch me! I'm fine!"

Federico sighed. "You take them, I'll handle the angry badger over there." He waved at them before heading Riley's way.

Connor looked at the kids and signaled for them to follow. "Have you kids seen anything?" When they shook their heads, Connor put a hand under his chin. "Why attack Riley?"

Greg walked closer to him. "Have he been robbed?"

Vita jumped in. "Mister Federico said he had everything on him."

Unità nodded. "He broke those, uh, what are they called?" She signed her ear.

"Hearing Devices?" Greg asked.

"Yes! That." She smiled awkwardly.

Connor looked down at Hope, who was walking by his side but really quietly, more than his usual self. "Are you okay down there?"

Hope looked at him. "Federico said Riley went looking for me because I wasn't on the playground," His expression changed to a troubled one. "But I was playing there the whole time…"

Connor arched an eyebrow and looked at Greg. "Maybe he didn't saw him?"

Greg shrugged. "I don't know, Riley might not have the best hearing, but his sight is amazing, I doubt he has missed Hope by accident."

They walked out of the hospital and walked down the street. When they stepped in the *corner, Connor asked. "Are you sure you were there, Hope?"

Hope frowned and looked at him angrily. "I said yes!" He spat. Connor was taken aback by this sudden outburst, so was Greg. Hope looked guiltily and apologized. Greg eyed Connor and he shrugged with a troubled expression. They kept walking silently.

***
The kids were playing on Amaya’s backyard, following Birdie around. From the kitchen, Connor, Greg, and Amaya eyed them while they talked.

“So he says he’s been on the playground all the time, but Riley didn’t see him?” Connor and Greg nodded. “Weird… what could it be?”

“I’m not sure… Federico texted me saying that Riley was okay, but also mentioned that Riley was sure that Hope wasn’t there.” Connor told them.

Greg sat on the counter and put his chin on Connor’s shoulder and his arms around him. “I think the hangover is starting to show off…” Connor chuckled and Amaya eyed both of them with a smile.

“What had happened last night? I wish I could’ve gone…” She rolled her eyes. “You’ve been lucky enough,” She glared at Connor. “You dash off and disappear causing a mess with everyone then come back with three kids and two fluffy rats.” She giggled. “How did your mother let you go after that?”

Greg lifted his head from Connor’s shoulders, but the arms remained around him. “I was gonna ask about that. What did your parents say about… you know… us being superheroes?”

Amaya shifted a little in place. “I’m not sure, my dad hasn’t really said anything about it, which makes me think he’ll drop a bomb any time now.”

Connor leaned back, adjusting himself. “My mom took it pretty well, actually, she said she suspected something like that?” He shrugged. “I don’t know, mothers are weird, with their senses and all.”

They all laughed and Greg said. “My mom knew something along that, she knew there were heroes, actually.” He looked at Connor. “She asked me if you were a superhero too, a blue one, to be precise.”

Amaya starred. “Care to explain?”

“It was the night we defeated Drakko,” He said, trouble in his eyes. He shook his head. “I brought you home, and your mother spotted me.” He laughed. “She almost kicked my ass for not explaining what happened to you, fierce.”

Greg laughed and eyed them both, Connor caught her eye and raised an eyebrow. Greg let go of him and jumping from the counter, he put an arm over his stomach. “I think everything just hit now… I’ll be back in a sec.” He said, before dashing upstairs.

When they heard the door of the bathroom close, Connor looked curiously at Amaya. “What was that?”

She only smiled. “What was what?” Connor raised an eyebrow and she giggled. “You two are just too cute, what can I say? Makes me happy to see both of your asses finally together.”

Connor scratched the back of his head. “We…. We aren’t together?”

Amaya opened her eyes big. “You aren’t? Because it seemed like it.”

Connor blushed. “I’m not sure, we’ve been going on and off for the last few weeks, last night especially…” He looked at the floor. “What do you think he thinks we are?”

Amaya looked thoughtfully. “Well, how much intimacy have you shared?”

Connor’s face got red. “A lot.”

Amaya chuckled. “Not that kind, silly. I mean cuddles and kisses and junk like that.”

Connor thought about it for a second. “Well, we do cuddle a lot, and sometimes we kiss, but then it stops there only to start again.” He scratched his arm. “Do you think he’s uncomfortable with that? After it happens he just… shuts down? He doesn’t talk about it.”

“Maybe he thinks you two are just fooling around and you are uncomfortable with it.” Amaya smiled. “You two should talk about it.”

Connor was about to say something else until Greg came from the stairs. “Talk about what with who?”

Connor eyed Amaya and she nodded. “I’ll be outside with the kids for a while,” She looked out the window, where Birdie was sitting on a branch. “I think Birdie is getting tired.”

Both of them nodded and Amaya walked outside, leaving them alone. Greg sat on the counter again and Connor took Amaya’s place, right in front of him. “What were you two talking about? You seem off.” Greg said.

Connor thought about how to start what Amaya had suggested. “I- well- uh,” Greg raised an eyebrow and Connor got more nervous. “We were- we were-” He shook his head. “We were talking about the two of us.” He blurted out.

Greg looked genuinely confused. “Oh?”

“She asked me something that I have actually thought about for a while now and… and I’m not sure you feel the same?” He couldn’t meet Greg’s stare.

“And that is…?” Connor could hear the expectation on his voice; he knew what he was meaning. He gathered bravery and met Greg’s green eyes. “Are we something?” Greg seemed surprised. “Or are we just fooling around?” He played with the end of the sleeve of his jacket. “I need to know because I’m genuine-”

“I guess we are something?” Greg suddenly said.

“Oh.” Was all Connor said.

"I wasn't sure either, I thought I was making you upset?" Greg only looked at him. "I wasn't sure you thought of us in like, a relationship. That's why I always pulled back."

Connor looked at him silently for a few seconds before saying. “So… we are boyfriends or…?”

Greg showed a little smile. “I guess so?” He chuckled and said. “Oh wow, I have a boyfriend.”

Connor giggled. He wanted to bounce around in happiness, it was something he that for a long time he longed, but he controlled himself. He walked over to Greg and stopped in front of him, not sure of what to do. Greg smiled and kissed him tenderly on the lips, both laughed once the kiss was over.

“Yuck!” They looked to their side to see Unità and Hope standing there. “Love is... ew!” Unità exclaimed. Greg and Connor laughed before looking at each other, slightly blushing.

Greg was about to say something when the sky outside turned dark. Both looked out the window. “What?” They hurried outside to Amaya’s side and saw the sky getting darker and darker. The temperature started to get colder and the wind stronger. “What is happening?” Connor asked.

“I’m not sure…” Amaya answered. In the sky, a trail of stars started to appear in the form of lightning, making it seem as if the sky was breaking. The moon covered the sun completely, and all around it, the sky turned red, while on other sides it was blue. “That’s not scientifically possible.”

“Not at all,” Greg said. He looked at Connor and his expression changed to a concerned one. “Connor?”

Connor could only stare at the trail of stars crossing the sky, his hands slightly trembling. Connor swallowed harshly. Stars… no more Stars, please… no more Stars… His chest moved up and down agitatedly. All over again, the feeling of water feeling his lungs and the cold feeling of the grim forest around him felt intense, as if it was haunting him.

He kneeled on the ground and bent over, pulling his hair. “No more Stars, please!” He felt hands on his and saw Greg in front of him. He was saying something to him, but Connor couldn’t listen to them.

He could only think about the trail of stars in the red and blue sky.

Chapter Text

Greg held himself tightly to Connor's waist as he drove fastly through the route. They were leaving Milennia Town after all the chaos that went down there. Greg felt the relief of leaving the place like a whirl of wind; he didn't want to go back there, not now, not ever... unless it was really necessary. He closed his eyes tightly. "Connor! Can you slow down a bit? You're going to fast!"

"Too fast for you, Greggy?" Connor mocked. "Sure," Then he started slowing down. "You know, it's a good thing you said that though,"

Greg arched an eyebrow and asked. "Why? Are we stopping?"

"Not quite," Connor answered. He drove past a car and then drifted on a side path, all surrounded by trees and streams.

Greg watched all around carefully. Where is he taking us?  The trees were full of flowers, and the streams' water was crystal clear. At some point, the streams started to be covered by grilles with flower patterns. The trees above overwhelmed them, but Greg liked it, they made the ambient more Spring-like. 

He shook his head. "Connor, where are we going?"

"Well, aren't you impatient, huh?" Connor said. 

"I'm impatient when you are taking me to strange places and not telling me how are they called," Greg shot back. "Where are we going?"

"Geez, it's nowhere bad, I swear," Connor said, taking another road, this time with wooden houses far inside the forest. "You'll love it,"

Greg rolled his eyes. "I hope, else we leave,"

"Aye aye, captain!" Then Connor sped up once more.


 

Connor was sitting on a bench, right beside Greg, with his rover right in front of him. Greg had his arms crossed and he smiled, leaning on the back of it. "So?"

"So...?" Greg repeated.

"Do you liiiike it?" Connor asked, leaning towards Greg this time. 

Greg blushed slightly. "Maybe, but still, you should've told me that this was Courant City," He looked at Connor. "Imagine if something bad happened because you took us to an unknown place-"

"Greg, relax," Connor put his hand on Greg's shoulder, and he thought he saw the other boy flinch slightly. "I've been here before! And besides," He bit his lip, and he felt that at the mention of the place, his scar burnt intensely. "This is not- This is not Milennia Town..."

He kept quiet for a moment; suddenly everything around seemed ten times louder than before. Children were playing on a nearby playground, and Connor felt that he could hear them laugh inside of his skull. He looked around and for some reason, the burning stare of others upset him; he jumped when Greg squizzed his arm.

"You okay?"

Connor stared at him, unable to form words for a moment, before shaking his head and nod. "Yeah, I was just thinking,"

Greg seemed unconvinced. "You sure?" He frowned worriedly. "You looked pale for a second there,"

Connor smiled at him. "Yes, I'm fine, don't worry..." He instantly stood up and said. "Come on, let's take a look around so we can head off," 

Greg stood up and accidentally bumped into him, making them closer to each other. Connor found himself looking at Greg's eyes and both stared for several moments, without knowing what to say. Greg was the first to look away. "S-Sorry, um-" He walked around Connor and jumped on the rover. "Let's go,"

Connor touched his cheeks, they felt warm. "Okay..."

When he took control of the rover, he felt Greg's hand on his chest, grabbing onto him tightly. He smiled at the soft grip he had on him, it made him happy. He started the rover to drive away. "Wanna have breakfast or something?"

"Maybe we can look around and end our tour with lunch, what do you think?" Greg suggested.

He felt Greg's breath on his neck and shook himself to drive away from the intense feeling it brought. "Whatever you want, Greggy,"

"Stop calling me Greggy," Greg said. "My sister called me that,"

"Aw," Connor smiled mockingly. "Greggy doesn't like it?" Greg smacked him on the helmet and Connor laughed as he drove away. "Okay, okay, I'll stop!"

Connor drove on the main streets, watching gift shops fighting for the attention of people walking outside. Greg looked amazed, and from time to time, he pointed at some and Connor stopped to look inside those stores. Currently, they were looking through a handicraft store, or more like Connor was watching Greg fall in love with everything in the store.

"For my stars... I would buy everything- Is that a Lizard totem?!" Greg trailed off and Connor followed him with a tender smile. "Everything is so good in here!"

Connor looked at a Cat totem right beside the Lizard one. "Honestly, yeah," Connor looked at the Cat totem. "I could buy this one,"

"Those are totems Love totems," Greg and Connor turned to look a middle-aged woman. She seemed to work there. "Any of these totems here go in your love section, they attract love,"

"They do?" Greg asked curiously. "Any of them work for me?" Connor giggled and Greg punched him slightly. 

The woman giggled too. "You can't just buy any, you gotta buy the one you felt attracted to, which is the Lizard, in your case," The woman looked at Greg thoughtfully. "You want an intimate relationship, don't you? One that's homely, full of love, but that at the same time allows your free spirit to roam around,"

Greg looked at Connor and then at the woman. "I... well, yeah,"

"That's what the Lizard totem says about you," The woman said, and then blinked at Connor. "You better keep it that way,"

Connor and Greg shared several looks, panicking for several moments. "What? Oh, we are not dating!" Greg tried to explain.

"Y-Yeah, he's my best friend!" Connor burst in.

"Really? There's a lot of love in the air around you," The woman said. "It might be the totems, sorry for the misunderstanding!"

"It's okay..." Connor said, then turned to Greg. "So... you want the Lizard one?"

Greg opened his eyes wide. "You're not buying that for me, no sir," 

For you, I would buy the whole store. He wanted to say, but that would make Greg uncomfortable, let alone that he would look like a cheesy idiot. "Come on, it's just a gift, you know... for saving me?"

Greg kept quiet after he said that and smiled. Connor smiled back and then signaled the Lizard totem. "We'll take that one," He said to the woman. "Can I have it as a gift?"

"Sure," She took the Lizard totem and walked away, to the main desk so they could pay for it. 

Greg walked past Connor and with a shy smile, said. "Thanks..." Connor smiled back and followed him.


It was already noon, and Greg and Connor were carrying two bags with food wrapped inside. They were currently trying to find a nice spot in the park to have a picnic together. The rover was parked safely near the entrance and was being watched. Greg spoke up. "This park is different than the other," He pointed out. "It's calmer, and less crowded,"

"That's great, honestly," Connor said relieved. "Too many people are just... no..." He looked at Greg. "Want to find a nice shadowy spot?"

"Sure,"

They walked into some bushes and found a spot near the walls of the park, right under some trees and well covered of other people walking through the path. "This looks nice," Greg pointed out. Connor agreed with a nod and both started to adjust everything so they could be comfortable enough to have lunch.

As they sat everything down, Greg unwrapped his Lizard totem. "Thanks for this again, you shouldn't have,"

As Connor put in his mouth a bunch of french fries, he said. "I owe you my life, Greg, I should be serving you,"

Greg rolled his eyes and smiled. "You don't owe me anything! You would've done the same for me..." Then Connor caught a glimpse of Greg's grim expression. 

He swallowed hard. "What's wrong?"

Greg, using a fork to mix his salad, said. "I feel like it's all my fault,"

Connor stopped eating instantly. "What the fuck are you saying, Greg? Are you out of your mind?" Connor put down his food. "What happened wasn't your fault at all, if all, it's mine,"

"But- But if I had gone with you in the first place maybe we wouldn't have run into Bleeder and- and his men! All the problems could've been avoided!" Greg said, pain in his eyes.

"You don't know that," Connor said quietly. "We could've run into him some other way, or they could've spied on us without us knowing because I ran into them way before you..." Connor crawled to his side. "The possibilities are endless! You can't say it's your fault, because you're not certain about that,"

Greg kept quiet for a few moments before saying, "I guess..."

Connor put his hand on his shoulder. "Let's have lunch, okay? We're having a good time," He smiled at him reassuringly. "Those are old pages," Greg nodded and both started eating their food. 

***

One hour later, Greg and Connor were lying on the ground, right beside each other. They were quiet, enjoying the rustle of leaves as the wind blew gently; it was more like a breeze. 

Greg decided to break that silence; heat rushing to his face "Hey, uh, Connor?"

Connor looked at him. "Yeah?"

"How..." Greg swallowed. "How does it feel to kiss a boy?"

Connor started giggling and then burst out laughing. "Well, aren't you curious!"

Greg's face was all red and he sat up. "Yes, I am! That's why I'm asking!" He looked away. "But nevermind."

Connor sat up. "No, no, no! I was kidding!" He got close to Greg. "It's just like kissing a girl, Greg, but with a boy instead," Connor giggled. "There's not much to it,"

"I see..." Greg said. He kept quiet for several seconds before turning around hastily and, grabbing Connor's cheeks with his hands, kissed him, taking Connor to the sky. As soon as he did, he also parted away, covering his mouth and his face all red. "I'm sorry!"

"I-" Connor was out of words.

"I don't know what came over me!" Greg said frantically.

"You-"

"I'm sorry, I really am!" 

"Did you like it?" Was all Connor asked.

Greg looked at him, his face still all red. "I..." He put his hands over his chest. "I'm not sure..."

Connor bit his lip and then quietly asked. "Wanna try again?" Connor's sense of right or wrong was nowhere to be seen, the kiss Greg gave him was enough to send him into a hazy state of mind; he dreamed of that kiss for over 8 years. 

"Y-You don't mind?" Greg asked. Connor shook his head slowly. "I- Okay..."

Connor moved aside everything and laid Greg on the ground. "If we are gonna kiss, we might as well do it the right way," He was over Greg, and the blonde was looking up at him expectantly. 

"I never thought I had you over me like this," Greg laughed awkwardly. 

Connor could easily tell he was nervous, and Greg knew it. "Relax, we are not committing a crime," He leaned down a bit. "If you don't like it, we won't talk about it again, and this whole thing will be forgotten. Does that sound okay with you?"

Greg nodded as Connor put his hand on his cheek. Greg hesitantly put his hands on Connor's back, not sure if he was doing it right, even though he had been in the same position with Luna... except that he was the one on top. "Wait." He suddenly said. Connor was watching him curiously, expectant to know what he had to say on this. "What if- What if I don't like it and then everything goes wrong? What will happen to our friendship?" 

Connor looked down at him. "Death couldn't break our friendship, nor a betrayal..." He broke eye contact with Greg before looking back at him with the sweetest of smiles. "A little kiss surely won't do anything to it,"

Greg found himself relaxing at Connor's smile. There was always something about the older boy that relaxed him, and now he pondered if it was something he always felt but never noticed... or that he didn't want acknowledge. "You are right..." Connor started to get closer, and Greg felt his hot breath on his lips. "It won't,"

Their lips pressed and Greg felt a rushing excitement ran through his body. This was a whole new experience for him, one that he wanted to embrace because Connor right now was making him feel things he never felt with Luna. The warmth from his bodies pressed against each other drove him crazy; Connor's hand tracing his cheeks rushed heat to his face; their lips pressing together, bringing them closer than never before and making them one through the feeling Greg was sure it was mutual.

The feeling was mutual.

The feeling is mutual.

The feeling is mutual?

He pushed Connor gently and looked at him quietly, he didn't say a word. Connor was about to say something but Greg pressed his finger on his lips, and Connor closed it slowly; right now there was no time for words, only for feelings. Greg brought Connor down and this time the kiss was deeper, hotter, too. 

He felt himself grinding against Connor's leg, and he wasn't sure what he was aiming for anymore. Was is it experimentation, or was it sex? Did he really want to have sex with his best friend? Connor's hand moved and now it was inside his shirt, caressing his belly and tracing up to his chest carefully. 

He couldn't deny it, Connor was hot. Everything he did was hot, and right now that was driving him crazy, making him lose control. It was such a feeling of arouse that Greg didn't even realize that Connor had his tongue inside his mouth and that he was smoothly following suit. Maybe this was something natural for him, but why? He has never felt this attracted to Connor before.

Right?

He pushed Connor's head down and Connor's lips pressed on his neck, making him moan without him noticing. Then Connor started to nibble, and that's when Greg completely lose it. His body felt hot, and Greg wanted Connor's body to release it. He liked this, he liked the closeness it brought to both of them, and how it erased every world problem there was for them. 

Milennia Town didn't exist, nor did the Petit Masks, nor the Diamond Masks, or anybody else; it was them and only them, and Greg was gonna grip onto that as much as he could. 

He put his legs around Connor's waist and Connor's body instantly knew what to do; words lacked, but each other seemed to know what the other needed and wanted. Maybe this was supposed to be.

Maybe the feeling was mutual.

Connor was grinding on him, making himself even more aroused and needy, almost making him lose control. Almost. "Connor, wait-" But Connor didn't stop, and Greg did nothing to stop him. "This is a public space-" When Connor bit his neck roughly, Greg almost dismissed the whole issue and let Connor keep doing what he was doing; but he overrode that. "We are gonna get caught-!"

"If you keep talking, we are gonna get caught, Greggy," Suddenly that name didn't bother him at all. Maybe it never bothered him when Connor said it. 

They looked at each other in the eyes, crazy expressions on their faces. "We can't have sex in the park!" Greg whispered frantically.

"Wanna bet?" Connor chuckled.

"Connor!"

"We are well hidden here," He sat up quickly to go back down as fast as he did. "And there's no one around, we are safe,"

Greg looked back and forth between the big bushes that separated them from the rest of the world and kept them hidden and Connor. He sighed defeated. "Fine, but if we get caught, you are going home with a stick up your ass,"

"Maybe I'd like that," Connor joked with a smirk. 

Greg slapped him while he laughed and Connor smiled. Connor sat over him and asked. "Want me to top?"

Greg's eyes opened. "To what now?"

"To top," Connor said. "You know..." Connor put Greg's legs on the air and placed himself in front of him with a smirk; Greg's face turned red.

"I..." Did he want to? He wanted to experiment as much as he could, and he knew there were better times and places to do so, but having Connor on top of him messed with all of his senses right now. Besides, he wanted to be sure he liked this. What's there to lose? He giggled. My virginity, that's for damn sure. "If I don't like it I wanna try it the other way,"

Connor smirked. "I'm more than fine with that,"

Connor lowered himself one more and Greg pulled him through the distance that was left, eager for more. They kissed again, this time sure of what they were doing to each other, sure of where the hands of each other were and what their bodies were doing together. His neck was craving for more of Connor kisses, and his body was pleading him to do it already.

Greg used his hands to unbutton Connor's pants, and then one of them slipped inside them, following through until he felt his bulge in his hand. Dammit... this is hot. He started to fondle it and felt himself getting harder as Connor moaned in his mouth, ready to take on everything.

Connor stopped kissing him as excitement started to get ahold of his body; Greg smirked. It was so evident. Connor looked down at him and smirked himself. He lowered himself until he reached Greg's crotch, making Greg impatient with that stare of his; not that Greg disliked it, on the contrary, he loved how it drove him crazy. 

Connor unbuttoned his pants now, and he didn't have any shame on lowering his boxers as instantly as he unbuttoned his pants. Greg's face turned red again; he felt somewhat embarrassed that Connor was seeing him in such a compromising position... he never liked to feel as if he was less, or that if other owned him. Maybe it applied to this too.

Connor grabbed his cock in his hand and Greg squirmed in his place. This felt not only satisfying but a little bit uncomfortable, though Greg was mostly enjoying it. When Connor started to move his hand up and down, Greg moaned, and he had to cover his mouth to avoid others from hearing him; those were for Connor and only Connor. 

He arched his back and got a grip of the grass and the cloth they were using for the picnic. Without knowing he did, he said, "I want more, Connor," He sounded so desperate when he realized that he hated it; he never begged, he wasn't that type of person. 

Connor didn't answer, instead, he lowered his head and put Greg's cock in his mouth. When he did, Greg moaned his name in pleasure. This feels so good... but I don't like being in this position. Maybe he needed to make Connor stop; he didn't like to be powerless.

But his mouth around him felt so good that Greg couldn't just bring himself to tell him to stop. His hand grabbed Connor's hair and then pulled his head down, wanting more of it. Then the bit of sense he had left made him wonder. Is he okay with me doing that? But Connor only going faster swiped away the doubt he had. Of course Connor was enjoying it, not like this was his first time. Instead, it was his first time.

With anybody.

He pulled himself up onto his elbows and watched Connor please him. Connor was a spectacle that, while others have enjoyed, right now he was getting the best of it. He has heard Connor had sex with others before, but the brunette never knew, what would've he thought about him if he did? 

He didn't do it intentionally, it was mostly at parties, or sometimes at his house, when he would accidentally bump into them without them knowing. 

Greg felt himself reaching his limits and wanted to warn Connor, but the pleasure was unbearable and didn't let him speak at all... so he cummed, all of it inside Connor's mouth. Connor opened his eyes in surprise but still took all of it in, and to Greg's surprise, swallowed it. When he took his mouth out, he looked at Greg. "You didn't warn me,"

"I-" He was panting. "I'm sorry," That was hot as fuck. 

"No worries, others were rougher with me," He looked at Greg. "You don't mind me mentioning others, right?"

Greg smiled awkwardly. "T-This is only sex, right? No feeling involved,"

Connor smirked. "No feelings involved," Though Greg wasn't sure about that. When Connor positioned over him, Greg stopped him and Connor looked confused. "I thought you wanted me to top,"

"I don't think I like it like that," He told Connor.

Connor smiled reassuringly. "That's okay, not everyone likes it," He pushed Greg back to the ground and sat on him. "Want to try this way instead?

Feeling Connor frot against himself already drove him crazy, so he was one hundred percent sure he wanted this way; he was sure he wanted Connor for himself. "Let's try it,"

Connor nodded, and with a desired-laced voice said, "I'll guide you through this one," Greg only nodded and sliced Connor's pants down his tanned legs, leaving him in only his shirt and his black boxers. He caressed Connor's legs. They were perfect, and his butt wasn't far from that, either. "Holy shit," He mumbled. Connor chuckled and started frotting his butt against Greg's cock, making him moan quietly.

Greg took out Connor's cock from his underwear and caressed it, moving his hand up and down. Connor threw his head backward and moved his hips rhythmically while Greg moved his. Greg couldn't hold back and sliced Connor's underwear down his legs with some of his help. 

Connor stopped him and said. "I'll take it from here," 

"What if you don't?" Greg joked.

"Someone's gained confidence," Connor smiled. "If I don't, then it'll be uncomfortable for both of us, me especially," Greg nodded with an amused smile and Connor slightly pulled a string of his blonde hair playfully. Connor put his fingers in his mouth and filled them with saliva; Greg watching carefully, he wanted to learn as much as he could. Connor looked at him, blushing. "I- I don't usually do this, but I don't have any lube,"

Connor put his fingers inside him and moaned in the process. He slightly opened his eyes, and his face was all red as he looked at Greg. He laughed awkwardly. "This is kinda embarrassing," He started fingering himself slowly, moaning each time.

Greg admired Connor from under him, right now, the taller boy was a beauty to his eyes, a spectacle he didn't want to share with anybody else. His own words echoed in his head. This is only sex, no feeling involved. He couldn't bring himself to fully believe that when he had Connor being all horny over him; let alone, had Connor in love with him for years.

Greg now realized, now he knew it. 

The feeling was mutual, and now he was sure of it. 

How could he ever bring himself to believe that it wasn't? All those times Connor would make him feel like the only person in the world that mattered, those times he made him feel alive, happy, and reassured, those times Connor made him feel something, was because he was in love with him, but he was so blinded by his stubbornness that he didn't stop one second to ponder it.

Connor snapped him out of his thought as he aligned himself with him, and the lowered down slowly until Greg was fully inside him. Connor had a pained expression on his face, but he still smiled. "I'm not used to doing this without lube," He looked around. "Or protection for that matter,"

When he finished saying that, he slowly starting moving up his hips, closing his eyes and holding onto Greg's knees behind him. Maybe for now they could do this, they could fool around until the way was clear for a relationship, but wasn't it? Maybe Greg just felt fear, maybe, but he was sure he wanted a relationship with Connor in the near future. 

He started moving his hips slowly now, alongside Connor, and the older boy started moaning in pleasure. This was something of his liking now, owning Connor, being able to handle him and please him, being in power. 

Connor jumped up and down now, not as fast as Greg would like, but still bringing pleasure to him. He grabbed Connor's hip-bones and moved them himself. Connor suddenly pushed himself down, near his face and buried his face in his neck. "What's wrong?" Greg whispered.

Between pants, Connor said, "T-There's people,"

Greg kept quiet as he heard footsteps on the earthly ground, keeping still. Connor was still panting on his ear, and he could tell that Connor was barely holding in. Greg pushed his hips up and took Connor by surprise. "What are you doing?!" He whispered frantically.

Greg only shut him up as he waited for the people to leave. Connor wailed weakly on his ear, gripping on his sweater with one hand and with the other jacking off; Connor didn't even bother to hide the fact that he wanted to be pleased, neither did Greg. Greg kept pushing inside Connor until the other was begging quietly for him to stop, telling him that people could find them. 

Greg pulled out and rolled Connor on the ground, his chest on the ground and Greg above him. Before keep going, Greg peaked through the bushed just to catch glimpse of the people from before already leaving. When he was sure they left, he grabbed Connor from his hips and pulled towards him.

Connor moaned weakly, and Greg made sure he didn't have any discomfort before he pulled out and in again. Connor looked at him through bedroom eyes and that was all the confirmation Greg needed. He kept going in and out, and at some point he fastened his pace, making Connor grip onto the cloth underneath them. 

They didn't keep quiet anymore, they didn't focus on anything anymore. The only thing Greg could think about was how wonderful Connor was and how much he meant to him, and all Connor could think about was how much he wanted and loved Greg. Now it was them and only them, no one around mattered. 

The flew by as they enjoyed each others' bodies and desires, but as those desires came true, everything was finally coming to an end. Greg felt himself reaching full pleasure and he was sure Connor was too, as he moaned louder than before and had his hand on Greg's leg. 

Greg finally broke; he grunted and pressing himself against Connor one last time, he let out everything inside him. Connor trembled slightly as he cummed too, panting heavily as the end of their little adventure came to end. Greg pulled out and then rolled beside Connor, who also laid on his back in the ground.

Both of them were panting, but both wore smiles on their faces and tiredness overwhelmed them. Greg felt his hand being tenderly squizzed by Connor's and didn't complain, instead, he intertwined his fingers with Connor's and kept there. They kept happily quiet for a few minutes before Greg said:

"That was... something,"

"You are..." Connor laughed. "Definitely not straight," Greg laughed alongside him and he rolled over, ending right above Connor. They shared several kisses and a few quiet words before dressing up and cleaning the mess they left, ready to leave Courant City.

Five hours later, Greg spotted Tarabiscoville from afar as Connor drove fastly on the route. He was holding tightly onto him, wanting to hold him closer and say many things more to him that was only for his ears. 

He loved Connor but was slightly scared of sharing too much intimacy that a relationship brought. What if they hurt each other? Greg couldn't bring himself to think about that, he didn't want to lose Connor, death could do them apart, but love could tear them apart; Greg didn't want that.

He wanted Connor to be with him, if all forever. 

He looked back on the way they were going and smiled. Courant City will always be a special place to Greg, it's where he had -for the first time-, realized that he wanted nothing but to be with Connor, to love him; it's the place that awakened that love he had for him.

Maybe, just maybe, something good came from all the mess that happened.


 

It was three months after all that happened, and Greg laid on his bed beside Connor as he thought about them. Now they were a thing, rather than friends with rights, and that made Greg happy.

He looked outside, where the sky was a mix between red and sky blue, and worriedly looked over to Connor. He recalled how he reacted earlier today, how he panicked at the sight of the sky turning red. He caressed Connor's hair. I hope we can make it through this... whatever this is.

Then he frowned. Of course we will! We always do... 

I'll do it for us, but for him especially.

 

Chapter Text

Three days later... 

Greg walked cautiously towards Riley's house, watching back and forth the way and the red sky. No one was outside, absolutely no one. Greg looked around. If someone is watching me, they might think I'm crazy for stepping outside. Ahead he spotted Riley's house and took a deep breath; he wasn't sure Riley's parents would let him inside, they hated him, he could tell. 

He used the doorbell and waited, and when the door was open, a tall man resembling Riley but with longer hair looked down on him. "Yes?"

"I... I was looking for Riley," Greg said.

"Tanuki," The man said disdainfully.

"What...?"

"Tanuki is his name," Said the man before closing the door.

Outside, Greg heard him yell to someone and after two minutes the door was open and he met Riley's gaze. "Sorry for my dad," Riley said, looking back inside upset. "You are not exactly his favorite person,"

"He has a favorite person?" Greg joked quietly. 

Riley stared at him amusedly and stepped outside, closing the door behind him and leading Greg away. "Let's go to HQ, there's something I need to talk about with you," Greg arched an eyebrow but followed him. Luckily, the park wasn't so far away so they didn't have to stay outside too long, under the menacing red sky...

They crossed the usual bridge that led them to Greg's HQ once there and headed inside. It wasn't long after they reached Gekko's room that Riley spoke up. "Remember the other day when I had to go to the clinic?"

Greg nodded as he sat on a yellow couch in his room, followed by Riley. "Yeah, because someone hit you in the head, right?" Greg watched the bandage around his head. "Is it better?"

Riley put his hand over his right temple. "It kinda hurts, but that's beside the point now," He looked around and then again at Greg. "It wasn't just a someone who hit me, Greg,"

He had a terrified expression that unsettled Greg. "Then who was it?"

"It was Hope," He said, scratching his wrist anxiously.

Greg looked incredulous. "Hope?" Riley nodded. "The six-year-old kid that was homeless for the longest time and is unable to hurt a fly?"

Riley sighed frustratedly. "I know it sounds ridiculous, but I swear," He caressed his cheek right above the eye, where he had been hit. "I went looking for him in the forest, and I thought I saw someone, and when I heard someone above me I looked up and bam! He had hit me with a branch." He scratched the back of his head. "Of course at that moment I didn't know it was him, but when I was on the floor agonizing he walked over to me with that... creepy smile of his and the branch on his hand," Greg smiled slightly and Riley's shoulders dropped. "You don't believe me."

"I'm sorry but... I find it hard to believe that a boy like Hope, who has seen his parents die in front of his eyes, would hurt anybody. What I've seen of him and what Connor told me about him... it just... doesn't make sense that he would do it, of out of all people," Greg told him. "Maybe you thought you saw him, after all, you were looking for him and maybe got dizzy after the hit,"

Riley annoyedly said, "I know what I saw,"

"Dude, he's just a little kid," Greg tried to reason. He was sure Hope would never do something like that.

Riley grunted. "You know what? Fine," He stood up and walked past Greg. "He didn't do it and I'm crazy, fucking crazy,"

Greg stood up and followed him. "Riley come on, but you know as well as I that-"

Riley turned around suddenly, making Greg jump slightly. "No, I don't!" He exited HQ and Greg followed, but Riley didn't give him time to catch up. "I suggest you go home, it might not be safe to be outside," He spat.

Greg watched him go and scratched his arm. He's really convinced that Hope did it. He thought about the little boy and how shy he was. But how can a boy like Hope do such a thing?

He took his phone out as he heard the ringtone echoing in the quiet city. "Hello?"

"Where are you? You aren't at your house," It was Connor.

"Sorry, Riley wanted to meet up, but we're finished and I'm heading there, I'll meet you in a few minutes," Greg told him.

"Okay, love ya," Said Connor.

Greg smiled. Right... "Love you too," And then he hung up. He walked all the way back home thinking about him and Connor. We're an official thing now, it feels... good.

Greg had realized three months ago that he loved Connor but was too scared to confess, and often would hide that fact by saying that he thought Connor was uncomfortable with them making out and sharing intimate stuff; that was a lie because he knew well that Connor was ready to be something with him. He waited for years, why would he be uncomfortable with it? 

As he was reaching his house, he thought he heard someone call his name and turned around, only to find no one. He arched an eyebrow. "Hello?" He saw a shadow in the corner of his eyes and turned quickly, only to find no one again... Maybe someone was playing with him. He trotted away and head to his house, where Hope and Vita were watching from the window and disappeared once they spotted him.

The door opened and Connor stood there, letting him pass as he trotted inside. "You shouldn't be outside," Connor told him.

Having in mind what just happened, maybe it was not so wise to be outside. "I wasn't alone," He replied. "But I'll have it in mind for the next time," Connor closed the door and both sat on the couch of the living room, talking about his meeting with Riley.

"And he's so sure that Hope did it," Greg whispered, so Hope wouldn't hear them. 

Connor looked amused. "I find it so hard to believe it, I know Hope better than anyone," But when Greg didn't smile or say anything he asked. "You believe him?"

"What?" He seemed confused. "No... well, I don't know," He looked at the kids playing with some of Connor's old toys. "He almost raged out of there when I told him what I thought, he seemed so convinced Hope did it,"

"Maybe he just hit his head hard," Connor said. "And was seeing things,"

"That's what I told him, he still argued," 

Connor scratched the side of his head. "Well, then I don't know what to say more than I don't believe him," He stood up and walked over to the kids. "Are you all hungry?" They all shook their heads and kept playing, then Connor walked over to the kitchen. "You Greg?" He yelled from there.

"No, thank you," Greg answered; he was still a little shook from what happened before, so his appetite was gone. 

Connor came back with peaches on a cup and was eating them with a spoon. He grabbed the TV control quickly and put on a movie. "Let's have a good time and forget any of this, I just need to calm down from everything for a bit,"

As he chose a movie, Greg stared at him. "Calm down?" His expression changed to a worried one. "Are you okay?" Greg recalled how he had panicked three days ago when the sky broke.

"Yeah, but it seems as if everything is upsetting me lately, and I don't like it," Connor put a slice of peach on his mouth and swallowed hard. "Dammit, I almost choke," He laughed.

Greg smiled at him and put his arm around his shoulders, watching La Casa de Papel on Netflix. "Can't believe you still hadn't watched this series yet,"

"I'm a busy man," Connor joked.

"Yeah, right, and we aren't superheroes," Greg said sarcastically. 

Thirty minutes later, the kids were upstairs playing with an old Lionel in Greg's room, while the show on the TV ran but no one watched it. Connor was in Greg's lap as they kissed and Greg ran his hands on Connor's body. When Greg moved to kiss Connor's neck, Connor said. "Let's not... cross the line, Greg," He moaned when Greg bit his neck. "The kids are upstairs!"

"Okay," Was all Greg said as he just kept going. 

They didn't continue for long when a call arrived at Connor's phone. "Greg... someone's calling," 

"Then let them call," Greg told him.

"No, Greg, seriously," He parted away frustrating Greg, and when Connor answered, he seemed worried. "Okay, calm down and tell what's happening,"

Greg alerted and cast him a confused stare. "What's happening?"

"Someone?" Connor asked the person on the other side of the line. "In your house? What about your dad, isn't he there?" Greg watched him look sick worried and he became worried too. "The police don't answer? What the fuck?" He stood up from Greg's lap and Greg followed him. "Okay, stay hidden in there, Greg and I are coming," With that, he hung up.

"What's wrong?" Greg asked. "Who was it?"

"Amaya," Connor said, running around the house closing every door and window. "She said someone's in her house and that it's not her dad!" He yelled from somewhere in the house.

"Holy shit," Greg ran upstairs and the kids looked at him when he burst into the room. "Stay here and do not leave at all costs, okay?" The kids looked scared but nodded. Lionel rolled on his back and the kids smiled at him, suddenly forgetting everything. Greg closed the door and put lock on it, just in case.

When he ran downstairs, he met Connor and both exited the house, running towards Amaya's. They climbed the wall and jumped onto Amaya's yard, then ran, slamming the door open. Both alarmed when they found out it was already open. Greg yelled angrily. "Who's there?!"

Connor and Greg spotted a shadow running up the stairs and followed, Connor with a kitchen knife on his hand. "We are not afraid of you! Get out!" He yelled.

They reached Amaya's floor, and both saw the black shadow enter her room and a female laugh followed, but it was an evil one. They ran after it but when they entered the room, no one was there. Both shared a confused stare. Cautiously, they checked every possible spot anyone could hide in Amaya's room, only to find no one there. 

They both agreed to check the house, and while Connor was checking the first and second floor, Greg was checking the third floor and the attic. Greg didn't find anyone, but still felt watched and a sick feeling twisted his guts as if something suddenly made him ill. Connor climbed the stairs to the attic. "Greg?" Greg leaned over a pillar and threw up. "Holy shit, Greg!"

When he was done, Greg looked at him. "Sorry, I- It must have been the fear... I'm okay," He stood up and walked away, descending the stairs. "Let's check on Amaya,"

They followed the hallway towards the stairs and headed to the second floor, and once there they knocked on the bathroom's door. "Amaya, it's us!" Connor said.

The door unlocked and as soon as it opened, she hugged them; she was slightly shaking. Greg and Connor hugged her and she said, "I was so scared! I was in my room using my laptop when I heard people talking downstairs, so I went down to check," She parted away and a fearful expression showed in her face. "I didn't make it down when I saw shadows from the stairs, and then footsteps running towards me. I hid in the bathroom and called Connor,"

Greg and Connor scratched the back of their heads, Greg told her: "We saw someone too, but then they vanished,"

"Vanished?" Amaya asked confused.

"Vanished, poof," Connor added.

Amaya looked thoughtful. "Something very weird is happening. First the sky, and now shadows everywhere?"

"I'm not sure if everywhere, but you make a point," Connor said.

"Well, actually..." Connor and Amaya looked at him as he told them what happened on his way back home. "I swear I heard someone, I can't possibly be making this up,"

"Federico told me that when Riley told him what happened in the park, he explained that before being attacked he saw a shadow, do you think this is all connected?"

"It sure is. First, the sky breaks, now there are shadows everywhere! I agree with Amaya, something very weird is happening," Greg agreed.

"Come on, let's go back to Greg's house together and stay there, the kids are alone," Connor looked at Amaya. "And it's not safe for you to be alone. Where's your dad?"

"He insisted to go to work because he really needed the money," She explained, biting her nails. "What if something happened to him? He was supposed to be back an hour ago,"

"Don't worry, let's go back home and call his work to see if he's still there, okay?" Greg asked her. Amaya nodded, and grabbing her keys and cellphone, they all headed towards Greg's house cautiously. Once there, the first thing Connor did was to check on the kids while Amaya called to her father's workplace.

"Hi, uh, the name's Amaya Flanagan, I'm the daughter of Alexander Flanagan," There was silence as the other person in the line talked. "Yes, his shift ended an hour ago, but he didn't come home. Is he possibly still there?" There was silence again and Amaya's gaze filled with fear. "Alright," She rushed to Greg's fridge and used the sticky notes in there to write down an address. "Alright, thank you,"

"What happened?" Greg asked worriedly, just as soon as Connor got down.

Amaya grabbed her stuff and was heading to the door with the sticky note in hand. "He's in the hospital," Her eyes were watery and Greg stopped her before she could head out. 

"Calm down and explain, what did they tell you?"

"They didn't tell me shit!" She snapped. "They just said he was in the hospital!"

Connor walked towards them. "Greg go with her, I'll stay here to watch over the kids,"

Greg nodded and then he gently nudged Amaya outside. He first accompanied Amaya to get her bike and then they got his, then used them to get faster to the hospital. On the way, Greg couldn't stop worrying about Amaya, or the fact that no one was outside. When they were arriving, the sound of an ambulance got their attention and they had to jump out of the way when the ambulance crashed into their bikes.

Amaya ran towards Greg and looked at the entrance of the hospital, terrified; Greg didn't fall behind. They both hurried and when they entered, everything inside was a mess. Some people were tied to beds while they shook and yelled in anger, with foam coming from their mouths.

Nurses and doctors ran around and lots of phone calls arrived at the same time. Greg felt sick even watching. Amaya hurried to the front desk. "Hello?" A woman with a phone in her ear looked at her and signaled her to give her a minute. While they waited, Greg noticed that some people had black and red spots in certain parts of their bodies, and followed through their veins. 

When the woman was finally over with the phone, she asked. "What do you kids need?"

"I'm looking for my father, Alexander Flanagan," Amaya told her. "His co-workers told me he was admitted like two hours ago or so,"

While Amaya and the woman talked, Greg started to feel sick again. What's wrong with me?  Sourness filled his throat and suddenly he wanted to throw up, but he swallowed it and took a few deeps breaths. Just in time, Amaya shoved him ahead with a nurse in front of her.

"Is he here?" Greg asked her. 

"Apparently," Amaya said, but when they reached their destiny, all they faced was a horrible scene that made Amaya almost faint. Alexander was tied to a bed, all around his mouth blackness took over and from it, foam poured combined with blood. The man's eyes were red and wild, and his teeth were bared like a rabid animal.

The man twisted and roared like an animal as he fought against the doctors and nurses in the room. "Is she family?" A blond, tall and skinny doctor asked. The woman beside them nodded and he yelled. "Take her away, don't let her see this!" 

"Come on dear," Amaya fought but Greg also helped the woman to take Amaya away. Amaya collapsed onto Greg as she cried and Greg caressed her back, trying to reassure her everything was gonna be alright.

The image of Alexander being wild like that still hung in Greg's mind, and the red sky along with the shadows came back as well. 

"What is happening?" Greg murmured. 

 

Chapter Text

Connor and the kids huddled together in the living room as outside turned dark, everything was quiet. Connor's heart raced in his chest, strong enough for him to see it move rhythmically along his heartbeats. Everything will be okay... Greg and Amaya will be back, and everything will be okay...

"Connor?" Vita's voice made him jump and he shook his head, looking at the red-haired girl.

"Huh?"

"I'm scared," She said, holding his hand. "I don't feel safe,"

Connor looked at the little girl with a frown. He didn't know how, or why, but every time any of the Petit Masks said that, something bad was around the corner. Anxiety prickled in the back of his neck. He breathed heavily. No, no. Everything will be okay, you're safe... How he wished that at least Lina was here. She and his mother left a day ago to visit Nina and his brother, Fidelite, after they lost one of their twins.

"It's okay, Vita," Hope said, trying to reassure his sister. "I'm here, I'll protect you,"

Connor looked at him. Where did he got that confidence from? But when Hope looked at him with a smile, he felt unsettled, as if something was out of place. The conversation about Riley flashed in his mind. No... He denied. Hope would never harm anyone. Maybe the conversation left him troubled.

As time passed, and the dark became more prominent, Connor's heartbeat increased. He swore he could hear his blood rush in his ears. When three knocks on the door broke the silence, Connor squeaked. The kids looked at him stranged and he forced a nervous smile. "Sorry, I'm just a little, uh, distracted,"

He stood up and cautiously walked towards the door. He put his head against the door and heard heavy breathing outside. "Who is it?" He asked roughly.

"It's me Connor," Greg's voice came across the door.

Connor sighed and opened the door. "Didn't you have keys?"

"I forgot them on the counter," Greg said as Connor closed the door and he walked inside. "I was so worried I forgot,"

Connor observed how Greg held his stomach, and a hint of pain showed through his eyes. "You seem ill," He walked towards him and put his hands on his shoulders. "Why don't you rest?"

"I'm fine," He said, trying to seem healthy. The pale color on his face told Connor it was the other way. "I'll just... sit and wait for Amaya to call, she stayed at hospital,"

Connor didn't seem sure about Greg's decision. "I guess... you can do that?" As Greg sat in a nearby chair, Connor pulled another from the kitchen and sat by his side. "What happened to Alexander?"

Greg looked at him for several seconds before snapping out of it. "He's got a weird disease that hasn't shown in centuries, or so the doctors said," Greg's stomach roared slightly. "I... you might be right," Greg finally said, standing up. "I think I'm ill,"

"Go rest in your room, I'll make a tea or something," Connor said. He looked at Unità, who watched silently their conversation and said. "Why don't you walk with Greg? He's not feeling okay,"

Unità nodded and grabbed Greg's hand gently, taking him upstairs. Connor walked to the kitchen and started preparing tea for Greg. Maybe he caught something in the air... The images of the red and blue sky flashed on his mind. After all, it's not the usual air... And he was right.

Earlier that afternoon, when Greg and Amaya left, it had started snowing, despite being the end of Spring. The snow wasn't normal snow though, it had a red tint to it, and smaller snowflakes were shiny. As Connor removed the teabag from the cup, he kept staring at the colored water. Just like the Stars's dust...

For a moment Connor closed his eyes, and everything went dark. The sounds around Greg's house vanished and Connor didn't hear anything but the sounds of wind rustling bushes and leaves. He looked down at his hands and found himself trembling as he noticed he could look through them.

The opaque white outline seemed to darken as Connor breathed heavily. He closed his eyes shut. Am I dead?  He was trembling so hard he fell on the ground. For some reason, he felt as if he could feel the grass. He whimpered and hugged himself. Am I real?  When he opened his eyes again, the image of the foggy forest switched between it and Greg's kitchen. Am I even alive? What's happening?

He used his nails to scratch the skin over the collarbone. The burning feeling to it told him he was alive since Stars couldn't feel anything, but then again he wouldn't even be a Star, he was supposed to be a Spirit from the Sacred Forest, or worst, a Fallen Star.

His hand was snatched away and everything went back to normal, but he felt cornered. Greg's kitchen was around him, the water warming in the fire let out a whistling sound that hurt Connor's ears. He looked around but still could not understand what was happening, or why he felt so defensive. Am I alive, then?

Greg was in front of him, looking sick worried as he was telling him something. Connor could only look at him. Or is it Daniel?  He wasn't sure where he was, or what was happening... any less who he was with. Am I with Daniel or with Greg?

The blonde stood beside him and started whispering things to his ears that Connor found comforting. "I'm here, don't worry," He said. Connor looked at his blazing green eyes. "It's me, Greg, and no one else,"

Connor put his hand over the scar on his face, feeling it fully cured. It's not open... He thought. It doesn't have Oleanders... He rested his head on Greg's chest. I'm not there... "I'm sorry," He told Greg, ashamed. "I don't... I don't know what happened..."

"I'm here now, don't worry," Greg told him. 

He still sounded sick, and Connor felt guilty. He was supposed to be taking care of Greg, not the other way around! "But you should be resting! You don't feel okay and I'm here bothering..."

Greg looked thoughtful. "Want me to call Riley and Federico? That way they can look over the Petit Masks and we both can lay down and rest. Does that sound okay to you?" It did. He nodded. Greg smiled tenderly. "Okay," He stood up and grabbing his cellphone, he put it on his ear. "I'll be right back," He told him as he left.

As Vita sat by his side and gently rubbed his back, Connor closed his eyes, ashamed. What even was that? I never... I never felt that way before... He opened them and took a deep breath. He let it out. How embarrassing. Greg shouldn't deal with this kind of stuff from me.

Greg walked back into the kitchen and helped Connor up. "They are on their way," He grimaced. "Though Riley was a little bit reluctant about it..."

As they neared the couch and sat, the kids following them, Connor asked. "He's still convinced about...?" He shook his head slightly towards Hope. 

Greg shrugged. "It seems like it," He sighed annoyedly. "I just can't see it the way he does,"

Connor put his hand over Greg's. "You don't have to, no one's forcing you to,"

Greg, as the kids sat beside him, put his head on Connor's shoulder. "Sometimes it seems I have to live up to everyone's expectations," He coughed and then cleared his throat. "I just wanna rest and do nothing for a while,"

Connor smiled sadly and then rested his head over Greg's. "Yeah, that would be nice," He closed his eyes. "Resting without having to worry about anything that might happen," The sound of rushing water filled his ears and he frowned. He squeezed Greg's hand harder. "Or that happened,"

Greg squizzed his tenderly and quietly said, "Yeah..."


Federico waited outside Riley's home, though really close to the door. Something outside, besides the cold, sent chills to Federico. He was slightly trembling. It wasn't only from the slight fear he had, but the cold that suddenly struck the city. It was so cold he could see his breath. 

The door opened suddenly and he watched Riley exit the place, closing the door behind him. He smiled at Federico. "Ready to go?"

"Thought you'd never ask," Federico said, following Riley. As they walked silently, Federico accommodated his pink wool hat and then rubbed his hands -or gloves- together.

Riley watched him amusedly. "You're a really cold person, aren't you?" The other was just wearing a grey jacket and a scarf, not really bothered by the cold.

"I'm not used to the cold. It wasn't this cold back in Argentina!" Federico replied with a small blush.

"You've been living here for almost two years now!" Riley laughed. "Ah... but if you say so,"

They went back to the silence from before, but it wasn't uncomfortable. As they approached Greg and Connor's neighborhood, Federico's ears picked up footsteps. He turned around alarmed but found nothing. Riley stopped confused but before he could say anything, Federico was thrown to the ground harshly, the back of his head hitting the pavement.

"Federico!" Riley rushed to his side and helped him sat. "Are you okay?"

Federico rubbed the side of his head he hit, small tears in the border of his eyes. "I-I think so?" He looked around confused. "Who was it?"

"What do you mean who was it?" Riley asked. "You sled on ice,"

Federico moved his leg to reveal a small pond turned to ice. He was confused. "B-But I felt someone! They hit the back of my legs hard, that's why I fell!" When he moved his hand, he saw a patch of white and pink colored flowers covered in blood. He looked at his hand and discovered that his glove was ripped open, and so was his skin, tinted in red.

"That looks nasty," Riley said, trying to reach for the wound.

Federico held his hand against his chest, far away from Riley. "Don't do that," Then he looked down when Riley backed away awkwardly. "Sorry... but you know I don't like people doing that,"

"I forgot. Sorry," Riley walked behind him and stood him up. "Let's just get to Greg's house. He surely has something we can use to cure that," Federico nodded, and in pain, he walked with Riley behind him. As they spotted the house and walked, Riley said. "You've got a bruise though, on your cheek,"

Federico was slightly disoriented, but he quickly regained his consciousness. "What?"

"Here," Riley reached for his cheek and pressed his fingers gently, making Federico flinch slightly. "It seems you hit more than just the back of your head,"

"I guess so," He looked around the streets, where no one could be seen. What happened?  He was absolutely sure someone pushed him. The push was so strong that he felt pain in his legs as whatever hit him, hit him. "I'll put ice on it, it'll get better in no time,"

They both stepped into Greg's yard and rang the bell. It took a while before a child asked. "Who is it?"

Federico recognized the voice as Hope's. "Hope, it's Fede and Riley," The door unlocked and they were welcomed by the orange-eyed boy. "Where's Greg?" Federico asked.

"He's sleeping. He wasn't feeling well..." He answered shyly. He moved out of the way and let the two boys pass. Federico watched Riley keep his stare on Hope as he passed, and didn't stop until he entered the living room. Federico arched an eyebrow and followed. That was... weird...

As Hope said, Greg was sleeping beside Connor, and he didn't seem well at all. He seemed paler than last time he saw him, and dark bags appeared under his eyes. Connor raised his head towards them, a sleepy expression on his face. He shook Greg awake gently. "Greg, they are here,"

Greg opened his eyes, which were full of pain, and looked at them. "About time..." He agonized.

Federico observed him worriedly. "You look bad, like, really bad,"

"I've noticed," Greg grunted as he stood up. "Keep an eye on them, none of us feel well enough for it," He told Federico as he walked past him, towards the stairs.

Federico observed Connor, who didn't seem ill at all; or at least, not like Greg. "He seems better than you, though,"

Greg stopped and looked at him annoyedly. Federico rolled his eyes. Right... 'my opinion wasn't asked'. Riley stepped between the two of them before they could even start quarreling. "Do you have anything for an injury? Federico got hurt on the way here,"

Greg looked at Riley, though not less annoyed. "What happened?" He signaled Riley and Federico to follow. "Dude, my mom's a nurse. There's always stuff for that here, you don't have to ask."

Greg opened the door to his mother's room and entered, his hand over his stomach. Federico observed from the door frame. "Where's your mother anyway? If my mom caught me entering her room, she would get mad,"

As Greg pulled a small blue bag from a closet, he answered. "She and Katrina left not so long ago. My sister and her husband lost a baby and they wanted to be there for them,"

"Sorry about that," Riley said.

"It's not really my problem, but I still feel sad about it," Greg said, handing them envelopes, rubbing alcohol and then a box. "Here. In the box there are gloves, in case you need them,"

"Thanks," Was all Federico said. Both of them watched Greg enter his room and close the door shut. Federico looked at Riley. "He wasn't that pleasant before, but ill? I think I like him less now,"

Riley elbowed him. "He isn't bad, he just isn't feeling well,"

"I guess," Federico said, heading towards the stairs. On his way, he bumped into Connor. "Sorry," He said. Then he noticed. "Wait, where's Amaya?"

"She's at the hospital," Connor answered. Riley and Federico looked alarmed. "Nothing happened to her, but her father apparently has a disease,"

Riley flinched. "Is that disease the media is talking about? What was the name...?" He looked thoughtful for a second before straightening. "The Hemlock Effect!"

Federico looked worried at Riley and then back at Connor. "He caught that...?"

"Apparently. Greg said it was terrifying," Connor took a deep breath and walked towards Greg's room. "If you excuse me, I'm gonna rest for a bit..." Federico noticed that his blue eyes were of a darker shade as if something was occupying his mind. Connor smiled at them, but he noticed that the smile was forced. "I don't feel like myself today..."

Federico moved out of the way. "Don't worry, we'll be downstairs if you need us," Federico and Riley left upstairs and headed to the living room. Federico looked back at the stairs and when he heard a door close, he looked at Riley. "He seemed kinda... off... don't you think?"

Riley nodded. "He's been a little bit off since we came back from Milennia Town,"

Federico looked at him. "What do you mean?"

"When we are in class, sometimes he's not listening and our professors need to snap him out of whatever he's thinking about," Riley told him. "Sometimes loud noises scare him too, or he gets a little bit aggressive when other's point out his scar and joke about it,"

"I mean, if I had died too and people would joke about the scar that reminds me of my death, then yeah I would be aggressive too," Federico said. He kept quiet for a second and then scratched his arm. "It's still unreal to me,"

Riley arched an eyebrow. "What's unreal?"

Federico looked at the kids, now watching some TV, then back at Riley. "You know..." He lowered his voice as he sat on the couch. "That he died... don't you find that unreal? It's weird to think that... that he was dead for hours and now he's just here... as if nothing happened,"

Riley seemed thoughtful. "Yeah, I can agree, at least on the first part," He looked worried. "Though I don't know if he acts as if nothing happened,"

"Because of what you said earlier?" Federico asked. Riley nodded. Federico removed the ripped glove from his hand, but concern was clear on his eyes. "I guess you're right..." He sighed. "Would you get me a glass of water? I think I might still be dizzy," 

Before putting on some gloves, Riley nodded and headed for the kitchen, only to come back with a glass of water. He left it on the small table sitting nearby, beside the rubbing alcohol and put on some gloves. Reaching for Federico's hand, he asked. "May I?" Federico doubted for a bit before hesitatingly stretching his hand towards Riley. "It'll hurt," He said.

"I know, just get over with it," Federico said, looking away. He gritted his teeth as Riley passed the cloth with rubbing alcohol over the palm of his hand. Riley reached for something, but noticed there was nothing. "What are you looking for?"

"Povinedone-iodine," Riley simply said, looking around. 

"The what now?" Federico asked. He sighed. "Nevermind, I'll hold this and you search for it," He said, holding the cloth against his skin. As Riley stood up and trotted upstairs, Federico took a look around. The kids were visibly bored, Vita was even falling asleep, and the house despite having the TV on was unsettlingly quiet. 

He yawned and looked outside, where he could see Titina, Connor's cat. He lets her wander around in this weird day?  Surprisingly, she didn't even flinch at the touch of snow. Maybe I am a really cold person. Federico arched an eyebrow when she suddenly started watching around wildly as if she was following someone. 

She stood up and followed something, meowing at the thing. When she finally stopped, she arched her back and purred, as if someone was petting her. Weird... Federico thought; there was no one outside. When she looked at him, suddenly her fur spiked and she hissed. But you know me! Unless... Chills ran down his spine and he slowly turned around, finding no one. He felt unsettled but looked outside once more, only to find Titina over the frame of the window, hissing and clawing the window furiously. 

"Riley!" He yelled, jumping back.

He heard rushing footsteps and Riley appeared. "What's wrong?" Then he stopped dead. "What are you doing?"

Federico seemed confused about the question but when he turned around, Hope had the rubbing alcohol on his hand and the content was falling on the glass of water. Federico swallowed. 

On his glass of water.

"I thought this was water," Was all Hope said, but the way he said it scared Federico to death. He found himself looking at the kid's eyes as if losing him of sight would end up in a deadly situation. 

Riley approached carefully and took the bottle of Hope's hand. "That isn't... water..." But Hope wouldn't let go of it. He kept staring at Riley until he smiled. 

"Sorry, I didn't know," And then he left, dropping the bottle. 

Federico and Riley kept still on their places until both looked at each other. Riley asked. "You saw that, right? I'm not hallucinating,"

"I saw that, yup," Federico said, looking back at the glass of water. He sighed exasperatedly. "Weird things are happening, Ry, and it's getting me on edge. I don't like this at all,"

"Me neither," Riley said. He helped Federico back on the couch and then grabbed his hand, nervous. "Let's just finish patching up your wound," Federico nodded and only looked at Riley's work, to avoid thinking about all that happened. 


The moon was high in the sky when Federico and Riley finished accomodating the kids on Greg's bed. Connor watched them. "Be sure to not leave them too close to the edge, they could fall,"

"We know," They replied in unison. "We've done this before,"

"I think being with Greg is affecting your mood a little," Federico joked.

Connor frowned. "I'm just making sure everything is alright," He spat.

"Geez, I was just joking," Federico pulled the sheets over the three kids and then nudged Connor and Riley outside while he heard the kids snore. He closed the door. "We'll be sleeping in the next room, to be closer to the kids,"

Connor yawned. "Whatever you please, I'll be off to bed," 

It was almost 1 AM, and they had to wake both Connor and Greg to move the kids. Greg didn't look pleased at all, and he seemed worst than before, and Connor was really annoyed at the fact they had taken the kids to sleep so late. Federico yawned. He's not the only one tired.

Riley and Federico walked to the door next to Greg's room and entered the place. That used to be Greg's sister's room, but when she left, Lina had cleaned up everything and made it a guest's room. He looked at Riley once he closed the door. "You didn't bring any pajamas, have you?"

"Nope, didn't think we'd be staying, which reminds me-" He took his cellphone from his pocket. "I have to let my parents know, or else they'll get mad," He rolled his eyes. "Like at everything I do," He said between gritted teeth.

As he texted, Federico pulled some extra sheets from a closet and said. "Why do you keep doing what they tell you, then? Not like they'll be pleased with it," He bit his lip. "Not to sound rude,"

"You don't," Riley said. "I don't know, I guess it's a habit?" He sighed. "At least Greg let me borrow one of his shirts," As Federico turned around, he opened his eyes bewildered. The sight of Riley without a shirt wasn't unpleasant, in fact, it was quite the opposite. The other boy was stretching Greg's shirt. "These sure are small,"

Federico smirked as an idea struck his mind. "Well, at least it'll let you show off that body," He turned around and could hear Riley struggling his words. He smiled crazily as he accommodated their bed; he was trying so hard not to laugh.

"Let's... Let's just go to sleep..." Riley said awkwardly. 

Federico giggled and nodded, jumping on the bed. "I take the wall side," He heard Riley sigh and he smiled; it was fun to get on Riley's nerves. 


Greg slowly opened his eyes as he cuddled into somebody. He was welcomed by the dark of his room, except for a faint tint of red coming from the window, and proceeded to look up the person sitting next to him. He narrowed his eyes, trying to adjust them to the dark, only to spot Connor looking down to his cellphone calmly.

Connor looked at him when Greg moved his arm over Connor's belly. "What are you doing awake?" Connor asked gently.

With a raspy voice, Greg answered. "I was gonna ask you the same,"

"I'm checking my phone, I'm not that tired," Connor answered. He turned Greg's nightlight and the room's darkness was swept away by a tenuous yellow light. "Your mom texted me, though,"

Greg sat up slowly, but not letting go of his grasp to Connor. "Oh really?" He rolled over onto Connor and laid his head on his chest; it felt so warm being there. Closing his eyes, he asked. "What did she say?"

"She was checking on us," Connor said. "She also said that the sky broke when she was traveling with my mother,"

"That must've been terrifying," Greg added. "Did she tell you anything about Nina or Fidelite?"

Connor nodded. "She said that Nina is devastated, but that she's trying to move on for her other baby," Connor laid his head on the back of the bed. "Losing a kid must be hard... I don't want to ever experience that," He closed his eyes, and Greg could feel a knot forming in Connor's throat. "I don't think I'll ever move on from it,"

Greg kept silent for a few moments before saying. "You moved on from what happened in Milennia Town, and that's pretty fucked up..." A long silence followed that before he nervously added. "I think you can move on from anything after that,"

Connor's grip tightened so hard on his shoulders that Greg had to look up to him. Connor's blue eyes were so full of anger Greg felt shaken up.  "How can you even think that? I don't think there's anything worse than losing a kid. You don't know how is like to see their little smiles fade away that horribly,"

Greg's eyes were wide open and his voice came out silently as he replied. "N-Neither do you,"

Those words seemed to wash away the storm that held Connor's eyes, and the blush on his cheeks betrayed how guilty and embarrassed he felt. Connor drew his hands back from Greg's shoulders slowly, as if unsure what to do. His mouth hung open as if words were stuck on the back of his throat but after a long minute, the words came out in a trembling voice. "Sorry, I'm-" He laughed nervously. "I'm not sure what came over me,"

Greg kept quiet and only laid on Connor's chest, but he didn't know if he did it because he was still tired, or if he did it only to avoid Connor's stare. His mouth felt dry as he said. "It's okay," Those words didn't feel right, there was something wrong and Greg could feel it, but he wanted to ignore it.

He didn't want any more problems, so far everything with his life finally seemed to aline, only for the sky to break into a color it never held before and a weird disease to attack his loved ones.

He closed his eyes and wanted to go to sleep, but a sharp and sour-like smell tingled in his nose. He dismissed it as something coming from outside, but Connor's voice only confirmed what he was smelling. "Something's burning,"

Greg sat up and looked towards the door, where outside the light seemed to be on as it peered under the door. "Do you think it's coming from the inside or the outside?"

"I'm not sure," Connor kept his stare on the door when Greg stepped out of the bed. He walked over and opened the door, stepping outside and seeing a faint wall of smoke over the yellow lights. A popping-like sound came from downstairs and an orange light sparkled from what seemed to be the kitchen.

He hurried down, only to find fire building up to the upholstery. He blurted out words before he finally snapped out of the trance that the dancing flames of the fire created. He ran up to the end of the stairs and yelled. "FIRE! WAKE UP!" He saw Connor's shadow before the brunette appeared over the top of the stairs. "WAKE UP EVERYBODY. THERE'S FIRE!"

Connor disappeared into the hallway behind him and Greg ran around, looking for something to extinguish the fire with. When he finally found the spot where his mother usually kept the fire extinguisher, his nightmares became real as the red tank was nowhere to be seen.

He approached quickly to see if it was near but didn't make it far when something blinded him.  His eyes burnt greatly and Greg tried to wipe whatever he had over his eyes. It felt sticky and fluffy at the same time. Foam? Was the first thought that crossed Greg's mind, but when he realized what it was, something hard hit him right in the spine. 

He was left out of breath and gasped in pain when he fell to the ground. His hands reached for the hit spot, and he could not make any other sound besides a gasp of pain. Whatever it hit him, it was hard and heavy.

Someone suddenly sat up over him and a huge hand with pointy nails, or more like claws, grasped his neck and choked him. Greg fought for his life, scratching the arm of the person and trying to kick them with his legs, but his efforts were in vain. Whenever Greg scratched them, his fingers didn't feel anything but a raspy and slimy texture that seemed to suck up his fingers; and whenever he would hit the back of the person, his legs would just go through them.

The foam from his eyes was finally out, but his vision was blurry and his eyes still burnt. Through the blur his vision was, he only spotted a faint red glowing outline instead of a person over him. Who is this? A cracked laugh rang on his ears and Greg felt chills on his whole body. That laugh wasn't human, it was something else.

When the air from his lung was finally running out, the grasp suddenly loosened and Federico's angry voice rang over the mess. "What the hell do you think you were doing?!" He yelled.

He tried to stand up, but the pain on his back was too strong and he only fell back into the carpet. "I need... help..." He whimpered.

"I've got you," Riley quickly said, holding him up. 

When his vision was finally clear enough, he saw Federico struggling to keep Hope in his arms. The little boy had his teeth bared in a crazy smile and his eyes glowed dangerously red. 

He was carried outside safely by Riley, while Federico trailed behind them. Connor was already outside with Vita and Unità holding onto him. When Connor helped Federico held Hope, Riley turned to Greg's house, allowing him to see. 

That green-roofed house that once was a happy place now was all burning down slowly. So many memories in them, not from his time as a young hero, but as a normal kid playing with friends and spending time with his family. All his birthdays, the family reunions, the family games... the memories of his father... 

Everything was gone in only one, damned fire.

Small tears rolled down little by little, allowing Greg to mourn for a moment those memories that he never thought would be losing so quickly and so easily. 

He also never thought that his house would ever make him feel the way he was feeling now. Alone and unprotected. 

Riley sat him down in the pavement, but his attention was caught by Connor and Federico's voices. He turned around, only to see them having Hope pinned down into the grass. Federico's arms were full of scratches and a bite on Connor's forearm dripped with blood. Riley's voice came from above him. "I told you," Greg looked worriedly at him. "That kid is not okay,"

And those words seemed to make sense when Greg heard that cracked laugh from before that made him freeze. He rubbed his eyes once more, just in time to see that same laugh come out from Hope's mouth. Hope -or whoever was talking- said. "You humans think you're safe without me, without us, around you? Well, look alive!"

Yells of horror and different atrocities started occurring all around, echoing in the city and filling it like a deadly song. Greg's heart started to beat hard on his chest when people started running out of their houses either alone or with their families.

Greg looked back at Hope, now looking into Connor's eyes with a twisted smile. "We never left."

Evil and twisted laughs filled the air as people started to be chased around by others, but not any others, people with red outlines. Their ghostly bodies let Greg see right through them, and the path behind them left a sparkly and clear dark slime on the ground. Some of them turned into shadows and got ahead of the people running, only to trap them once more and force them to turn around.

Greg was pulled up by Riley and when Federico and Connor ran beside them with the girls; Connor carried an unconsciously Hope over his shoulder. Riley helped him get ahead, and as they ran through the streets of the city, Greg noticed more of the red-outlined people hurting others.

It was an unpleasant sight for Greg. His motive in life was to help people, not watch them get hurt while he ran away into safety... presuming that HQ was still safe to hang around. His heartbeat raced in his chest, and the screams of fear and the two little girls holding Federico's hands crying didn't help... anxiety was starting to build up in him.

Both him and Riley bumped into Connor and Federico and realized they were getting surrounded by the red-outlined people. Their hands were full of hemlock flowers, and blood poured from wounds in different parts of their bodies; some of them even had flies flying around them. 

When they launched into them, horses' neighs caught them surprised and hooves kicked them away. Their horsemen carried a white lantern and a long, sharp silver sword, while they themselves glowed white. Several of them started appearing out of nowhere and taking that in advantage, they started to run away again.

Greg crossed eyes with one of the horsemen near them, and the young-man nodded to him with a noble stare. The horsemen fought wildly with the evil people, but the black-eyed people didn't stand a chance against them.  No one reached a living person, any less hurt them, and instead, they drew back from cracks coming from the ground and walls.

These cracks, as Greg observed, had red outlines as well, and through them, a forest of dead trees, red grass, and rivers of black water could be seen. What is that place?  Whenever a bunch of the evil-looking people would go through them, they would also close, making a high pitched screech as they did.

They finally stepped into the park, where the water where once Octobella lived raged through the sides of the bridge. HQ held tall, mighty as it always has, ready for them to be protected by it.

They didn't hesitate to go inside as Connor pressed his hand on the pad beside the door, allowing them in and into Greg's HQ floor. The water from his pool, now that Greg could look at it closely, had white-ghostly faces that mourned quietly and moved around with the waves. A hissing sound made him and Riley jump back and nearing them, a half-chewed pack of large snakes approached them dangerously.

Greg swallowed. But what chewed them?  "Hurry, go upstairs!" They didn't care how big or small the elevators were, they all got into them with someone else to avoid being left alone. 

They stopped tired, breathing heavily. Connor's room definitely was different from his own room and the whole of the city; it seemed like paradise. Everything was quiet, no weird and evil people chasing others or white-outlined people in half-dead horses chasing the others. It was only them.

"¡Pero la puta que te parió! ¡¿No hay algo que no pase en esta ciudad de mierda?!"  Federico suddenly burst out.

Greg, Riley, and the two little girls with Connor exchanged a confused glance, but they could imagine what he was saying. Whenever the pink-eyed boy would stress or get angry, he would start speaking in Spanish, his native language. 

Connor looked at Federico. "It would be better if you could calm down. You'll get more stressed if you keep thinking about it,"

"How can I not think about it when the whole city outside is falling into pieces?!" Federico spat at him. His eyes betrayed the fear he tried to hid, and Greg could totally understand him for the first time ever. Federico straightened up when a thought seemed to flash on his eyes. "My parents. I need to call my parents,"

He started searching for his phone when two lights, a light blue one and a red one, landed in the room. From them, Snowfox and Owlette stepped out, a freaked-out expression on their faces. Snowfox said. "Whenever there's something weird going around, you're all usually involved, so explain what the heck is happening out there,"

"If I knew what the heck is happening around here, I would have already tried to fix it," Connor snapped.

"Let's calm down," Owlette said. She looked at Greg. "What happened to you?" The four boys exchanged a glance and stepped out, only for Owlette to arch an eyebrow. "Am I supposed to be seeing something?"

When Greg turned around, Hope who was laying on the ground, was now nowhere to be seen. The four boys got back-to-back to each other, with the two little girls protected. "Long story short," Riley said. "Hope went crazy and tried to kill Greg,"

"Wait, what?" Snowfox, removing her mask, asked. "That's ridiculous, he's six!"

"Well, is it more ridiculous that a bunch of evil people fighting with horsemen on dead horses?" Connor asked. Silver opened her mouth to reply, but then shut it close, a confused frown on her face. "I thought so," Connor said.

"Do you honestly have no idea?" Owlette asked pleadingly, removing her mask to look at Connor genuinely. "These... weirdos started attacking doctors at the hospital, and my dad is there!" Her face wore worry and fear, and Greg limped over to her. "He needs them, but he cannot be attended if all the doctors are dead!"

Greg put a hand on her shoulder. "They won't die, and your dad will be fine," He put on a reassuring smile for her, even though inside he was dying of fear. "We'll figure this out," 

There was a long silence that filled the room until Connor finally spoke up. "I..." They all turned to him, and Greg saw that lost stare from that other time again. "I might have an idea of what it is... I just don't wanna think it's true..." He groaned and pulled his hair from the side of his head. "It's all coming together... the red sky, the accidents, the diseases, the red-outlines in their bodies..."

Amaya walked over to him, exchanging a glance with Greg and a frown in her face as she looked at Connor. "Connor...?"

Connor looked at them, fear clouding his eyes. "I think... I think we are dealing with Fallen Stars,"

Chapter Text

Thunder roared far away in the sky as the storm started to drift away slowly. Soft rain pelted over the forest and the water in the river started to slow down. The only thing that would be heard would be the rain crashing against the leaves in the trees and the mud in the ground... if it wasn't for the cry of grief breaking through the place.

He watched the lizard lad held his body close to him, crying as if he just lost somebody that meant a lot to him. He looked down at the boy in his arms. 

It was someone that meant a lot to him.

It was himself.

Connor watched dully the scene as if there was nothing else left for him but still a lot left undone. He looked around, where some trees had white outlines and others were normal. 

"Gekko?! Catboy?!" A female voice echoed in the ravine. He made two steps and suddenly he found himself in a clearing near the river's ravine, where some dead bodies could be seen. The red owl-girl flew over the spot he earlier fell from, but she didn't leave the place, as if she hoped that at any time he and Gekko would go back up just fine. 

He looked at her, up and down, and carelessly said. "We're not there, Owlette." She turned around suddenly and met eyes with him. He slightly stiffened but stood there. "You did hear me, didn't you?"

She flew carefully towards the trees and checked each and one of them with her feathers shield in the arm. "Who's there?"

Connor looked down at his side, right where he was stabbed by Bleeder. He passed his hands several times through the seven wounds, watching each time Marigold petals fall into the ground. He couldn't also see from one eye but could feel the raspy and soft texture of the Marigolds and its leaves as he passed his hand through the right side of his face. 

He leaned down and picked up a rock, and after staring at it for a moment, he threw right at Owlette's back. She turned around wildly, but still couldn't see him. 

He walked away and with a poof appeared far away from here. "Owlette," He called her. She turned, searching for him, but still couldn't see anything. Each time he would get far and far away from the clearing where all the dead men laid until he got to a rocky ravine. Rocks were sharp and pointy as if it was made for no one to cross, and deep down there was only a sandy patch with mud all around. The river roared near and the forest stayed deadly quiet behind it.

He stood on one of the rocks, looking down at his best friend crying over him. His own white eyes gazed up to see Owlette looking around confused as if she suddenly lost somebody. 

And of course, she did, he was no longer there.

His voice, coming out as a ghostly whisper, rang loud enough for her. "I'm down there," He breathed loudly, but in an inhuman way, as if the last breath and the deadly one of a Star could make. He betrayed helplessness, he was lost, but he still had one last thing to do and he felt tied to the ground each time he wanted to say it.

The words finally came out as a faint whisper when Owlette neared enough the rocks as if it was one last wish life had to give him; maybe his last wish, his death wish. "Help him, help me. I'm down there,"

She finally saw them, and swooping down, she asked. "Gekko?" She had an expression that made Connor's flowers grow at a slow pace, but the more appeared as Gekko turned to her with red, puffy eyes and with a shaky, broken voice said:

"I-I'm sorry, I t-tri-" But he didn't finish as he broke down, letting more tears fall from his green eyes and a loud cry escaped his lips.

He watched them exchange words and sit there together, holding each other to comfort and decrease the pain Connor could feel them going through right now. At some point he watched them lift his body and leave, taking the path in the forest and finally disappear from his sight.

With a blink, the whole place changed and he let out a long, raspy breath that was void of life. The water from the river was red, the forest was white and grey, and lastly, the sky was blue and full of stars. 

Taunting whistles and laughs came from the river with the sole purpose of making him turn around. When he did, he saw hands coming out from the shore, and voices that went along with them. "Come on, Connor, join us," They said in unison. "You belong here, you piece of shit,"

Connor stood there, his soul feeling as if it did truly belong there, but some weird force was telling him that he didn't. He made a step, as his soul was telling him, but at the same time stepped back, as the force told him to.

From the white forest behind him, something called out. "Blue, Blue!" He turned, his eyes white and round, and the Marigolds growing bigger. "Not there, not there!" The female voice said. "Here, with us! Here, with us!" The head of a ghostly white doe peered from the bushes, and other animals also did, within them a cat, an owl, a crow, a moth, and a bat. 

The voices in the river got louder and angrier, and he turned to them. "No, you belong here with us!

Connor finally gave up and stepped into the water, watching the hands drag him violently. They scratched his body and tore the flowers off, making the wound from his side start dripping with thick, dark blood. His eyes weren't white anymore, but they held a pink tint as they started to turn red. 

When his face was submerged, he saw the faces of many criminals in the world's history and from his life, including Bleeder and some of his men. Bleeder smiled and a dark liquid dripped from the border of his eyes. "You didn't make it out, motherfucker," But they were all scared away when a hand broke the water apart and pulled him out. 

As the flowers started to come back, his eyes started to close and his consciousness started to drift away. "Don't worry, I've got you," A male voice said. "I promised the Totems I would keep you safe, and I do not intend to break that promise,"

The last thing Connor felt was a coldness, the burnest cold he's ever felt, and the last thing he ever saw was round white eyes looking down at him.


"Fallen Stars?" Greg asked incredulously. "Why would you suggest that?"

"It just..." Connor avoided. "It just seems like it. Everything matches up with what people have told over the years,"

Greg laughed nervously. "Yeah but... but the tale has been in the mouth of everyone for years like you said, someone must have surely twisted it to their own accord at some point,"

"Well, I don't know," Riley scratched his arm. "He's been... um..." He cast Connor and him several looks, as if unsure he should say what Greg already knew what he wanted to say. Come on, just say it. He's been dead. "My point is, h-he might know more about it..."

"Can we not address that?" Connor bitterly said.  Riley fidgeted in his place as he looked at him apologizingly. Connor sighed and looked at Greg. "Yeah, but there's proof that there have been Stars once on Earth,"

Greg didn't take his eyes from Riley as he said. "The proof was rigged, everyone knows that," 

"Then how do you explain what's happening outside?" Silver suddenly said. "Besides, we see unbelievable shit happen all the time, what's different with the Stars and Fallen Stars?"

"I don't believe in a place or people that perfect," Greg said. "Nothing or no one can ever be that perfect,"

"That's bullshit, just know that," Silver said.

Greg turned to her and made two steps towards her spot. "Not because I think different from you my opinion is bullshit,"

"He said, as the sky above us is red and blue," Silver spat.

"Cut it out!" Federico yelled. "Whatever it is, we need to handle it. I can't think of any other person that can deal with this more than us," Greg watched him scratch his wrists, leaving a red spot behind. He bit his lip and quietly said. "Even if I don't like it, we need to take care of it,"

Greg sighed as he caressed his neck. "He's right," He sat on the ground for a moment. "We need to,"

"Are you hurting?" Connor asked worriedly.

"A little bit," Greg confessed. "Gosh, how can a six-year-old have that much strength?" Then he remembered the red silhouette over him as everything happened. As he was about to say something else, Federico said.

"I don't think it was Hope at all," When Riley and Connor looked at him, he put his hand on the air. "I don't think it was Hope but someone using him. His eyes weren't orange, they were red when I held him,"

"I didn't saw him when I was being choked," Greg agreed with him. "I think Federico is right, it might have been someone else using Hope," He looked at Connor. "Miss Masquerade has used you before, it's very likely someone did use Hope too,"

"Could be. Hope would never harm anyone," Connor said confidently. 

"You gotta explain the 'Hope' situation later, I still don't understand what happened," Amaya said. She shook her head. "Anyway, where should we start helping?"

Federico looked pensive for a few moments before he straightened. "The hospital might be a good starting point. You said these people were attacking at the hospital, right? It sounds like the most important place right now,"

"Right, there are injured and sick people in there that need more professional help than the rest of the city," Greg nodded at him. "Good idea,"

"Let's save the night, PJ Masks," Connor said.

"And let's protect the city, Diamond Masks," Silver added.

From his chestnut brown hair, Federico took a small hairpin made of pink diamond. He pressed the paw-shaped diamond in it and a neon pink light engulfed him quickly. In a matter of seconds, he landed in the center of the room, wearing his Foxwolf suit that consisted of a long white mane around his neck, tuft at the end of his long Maned Wolf's ears and a long, fluffy tail trailing behind him. 

He shook himself and said. "Sometimes the fur on my suit bothers me," 

Riley, casually grabbing his own hairpin and pressing the diamond, said. "Well, without it you wouldn't look as great as you do now," Then a violet neon light engulfed him just like it did with Federico.

Greg cracked a little side smile as Federico blushed and Riley landed in the center of the room with his Badgerclaw suit on. Badgerclaw pointed his small, round ears at him in a funny manner and Greg giggled. He approached him. "That was smooth," He murmured to him.

"Yeah, I don't know how I did it," Badgerclaw confessed, slightly blushing.

A flash of blue got everyone's attention as Connor transformed. Greg frowned when he watched Connor's light, instead of being one, being three of them; one white, other dark blue, and then his usual one. He trashed around the room, making everyone throw themselves into the floor to avoid being hit by them.

"Connor, be careful!" Greg yelled as he covered himself. When Connor finally stopped, Greg expected to see him as his usual self but instead, Connor wore a different suit this time. 

His ears were longer and had two white spots on the back of them, while instead of being over his suit like always, they were over his head and between his hair as if they were part of him. A leather navy and marine blue suit covered his body and behind him, a long fluffy tail extended and wore a long stripe that started at the tip and ended in the hood hanging from his back.

Greg sat up, gawking. "Wow," Was all he could say. 

"Damn, you look hot," Federico, as Foxwolf now, said. Greg frowned as he jerked his head towards him; Federico shrugged. "I'm not wrong though, am I? Besides, better say it out loud than keeping it to myself,"

"I guess," Greg slightly hissed. No taking more time to himself, he pressed his own bracelet and transformed into Gekko. He shivered when he was done; the electric feeling in his body would never go away, and he wasn't sure if he hated it or if he liked it. 

When he turned around, he watched Catboy approach the picture player, where a small video was being displayed and he could look at himself. He passed his hand through the new mask he had, but overall, the new scar he also gained. 

Gekko knew Catboy has been feeling insecure thanks to it so looking at him fondly, he said. "The new look suits you, Catboy,"

Catboy pressed his hand against his scar and the new mask harder, then looked at the ground. "That's not my name anymore. Catboy is dead."

Gekko blinked surprised. "O-Oh?" He wasn't expecting him to say that. Not at all. "Then what's um... what's your new name?"

Catboy watched the red and blue night sky through the windows in his room's door, where a storm unfold menacingly. He smiled sadly and looked at Gekko. "Lightning." He put his hood on. "Lightning Fur."

Owlette, who has been quiet this whole time, put a comforting hand on his shoulder. "Welcome, Lightning Fur,"

Gekko smiled at their interaction and then looked at Foxwolf, Badgerclaw, and Snowfox. "Are we all ready, then?" They all nodded, and when he looked at his own team, they nodded in agreement as well. "Then let's go,"

"Wait, we can't leave them here alone," Owlette added, pointing at Unità and Vita, now transformed into their hero selves, Black Ear and Cotton.

Gekko watched Lightning Fur look outside with a stormy look on his face. His chest moved up and down noticeably while one of his ears twitched. Gekko carefully approached him and when he put a hand on his shoulder, Lightning Fur jumped away. He hissed at him for a moment before taking note of his surroundings.

Lightning Fur blushed and then stood up, embarrassed. "S-Sorry, what did you say?"

Owlette and Gekko exchanged a worried stare before Gekko repeated Owlette's words. "That we can't leave Black Ear and Cotton alone,"

"Oh..." Lightning Fur said. He shook himself and then walked over to them. "I'll stay with them then, in case anything dares to break in here,"

"Alright," Gekko walked over to him and said, "Be careful," 

Lightning Fur nodded and Gekko, with Owlette and the Diamond Masks, rushed up to get the Owl Glider and Snowfox's rover.


"I think that's a nice spot to land on, Owlette," Gekko told her as she flew over the hospital with the Owl Glider. She nodded and swooped down, landing on an empty field near the hospital, hidden by other buildings. As he, Foxwolf and Badgerclaw unbuttoned their seatbelts, he said. "Let's split up, that way we can cover more ground,"

They nodded and while Badgerclaw followed Owlette, Foxwolf followed him. Through the comms, Snowfox's voice came by. "I'm already in the lobby, where are you all?"

"Just outside." Owlette's voice rang through. "We're taking the highest floors," 

"Then we're taking the middle floors. Snowfox take the lower ones as well," Gekko said.

"Copy that," Snowfox said.

Gekko ran inside the building through the emergency area, where everything was a mess. He looked at Foxwolf and asked. "Should we help?"

The pink-colored hero replied. "No. Snowfox has it covered," 

Gekko nodded and ran past all the mess with Foxwolf sprinting behind him. He spotted stairs at the end of Emergencies and signaled Foxwolf to follow him. While they hurried upstairs, Gekko said. "Keep an eye open in case you see more of those, er, evil people?"

"Fallen Stars," Foxwolf corrected.

Gekko rolled his eyes and said. "Whatever, just keep an eye open if you see them bothering patients and their families," He heard him agreed and they kept going up. On the way there, they stumbled upon one of the horsemen from before, and he looked at them surprised.

"Green Blaze, Lobizón Rosa!" He shook his head. "You shouldn't be here, we got this covered."

Gekko and Foxwolf exchanged a confused glare. Green Blaze? Lobizón Rosa? Foxwolf shrugged. Is he talking to us? Gekko said, "We just came to help,"

"It's too dangerous for living humans to be outside, you should go back," He said. "This is the job for the Keepers, and with that, I mean us," The horse he was riding neighed and stood on its hooves as if suddenly started. "What is it my Famine?"

Ahead, more red-outlined people appeared, wearing twisted smiles on their faces as they bothered patients at the end of the hallway. When the young man was about to lunch over them, a hand reached for him and he turned around. Gekko froze in place, not only of surprise, but of hate.

"Please, we need help! It's my son!"

Gekko hatefully looked at the man. Harold. Then he looked confused. Son? When he checked the room he came from, he watched a woman around Katrina's age with a boy in his early teen years agonizing in a bed. This motherfucker got another son besides Connor and Fidelite?

The horsemen looked back and forth between the evildoers and Harold, then sighing, he looked at Gekko. "Do you think you got this?" When Gekko nodded, he smiled. "Good," Then he launched for the others at the end of the hallway, starting a battle.

Gekko turned to Harold. "What do you need help on?" He asked, trying to swallow his anger. 

"And what the fuck are you?" Harold asked, looking up and down at him.

"Do you want the goddamn help or not?" He snapped. Harold took a step back when his suit glowed and he nodded, quietly. "That's what I thought," Gekko walked into the room with the man and Foxwolf behind him. "What happened?"

"Where's the doctor? I asked for a doctor, Harold," The woman said.

"Jasmine, there's no one here, they left us at our mercy," Harold said.

"Uh, Miss?" Gekko looked at her. "We can help you," He looked at himself. "Even if it doesn't seem like it, I swear,"

"That doesn't comfort me," Jasmine said, with a clear British accent. "But what gives. He's been agonizing for hours and I don't know what to do! There's no one around here who can diagnose him with anything!"

Foxwolf looked at Gekko. "There's gotta be somebody. Maybe if we take him downstairs?" 

Gekko looked hesitant but then nodded, taking the boy in his arms. The boy had messy brown and white hair, and his blue eyes held pain in them. Under his lips, his blotched hazel skin was stained with blood, as if he's been throwing up before. "Who are you?" The teen asked weakly.

"The name's Gekko. Stay calm, okay? I'm getting you some help," He ran carefully downstairs, checking the hallways every time he got to a new floor. "What's your name?"

"Bruno," The boy said. "Like my grandfather,"

Like Connor's grandfather. Gekko thought. "That's a really good name." He tried to distract him as he checked everywhere. "So Bruno, how old are you?"

"I'm fifteen..."

"Oh, those are the best years," He tried to cheer him up. Gekko finally spotted a doctor and ran towards her. "Help!" 

The woman, a blonde with chestnut brown eyes, looked at him as she held stuff in her arms. She dropped them as she saw the boy in his arms. "What's wrong with him?"

"We don't know, that's why we were looking for a doctor," Foxwolf said.

"Where is everyone, anyway? Aren't you supposed to be helping us?" Harold spat.

"I'm sorry. We've got our hands full," The woman said apologetically. 

Gekko turned to him. "Shut up, you're not helping." Between gritted teeth, he murmured. "Not like you were helping before, either," He turned to the doctor. "Can you help us, please?"

She nodded and quickly entered a nearby room. Bruno's parents stood near, while Gekko placed Bruno in a bed and Foxwolf watched. Foxwolf put his mouth beside his ear when Gekko stepped back from Bruno. "Should we wait or see if anyone else needs help?" 

Hooves echoed at the end of the hallway as he turned to see another horseman walking calmly around. "I think we're covered,"

"Wow," He suddenly heard the doctor said. He turned to see her face get paler, hands shaking slightly and as she looked at them, she worriedly asked. "Have you all been in contact with him?"

Gekko and Foxwolf exchanged a glare. Gekko replied. "Well... Y-Yeah... Why?"

She bit her lip and talked under her breath, then signaled them to follow. She turned to Bruno's parents, though. "I'll be right back," Locking the door behind her, she led Gekko and Foxwolf through the hallway until she reached a room with a crystal wall and a door. Gekko looked confused for a moment before he was pushed inside the door, and when he reacted, he turned to see the door get locked.

"Hey, you can't do that!" He yelled as he watched Federico being locked inside the room with the crystal wall.

"I'm sorry," She said, locking it. "But we've got our hands full of diseases, we don't need another one developing," And then she sprinted away. 

"Bitch!" Gekko yelled enraged. Then anxiety stroke him like lightning. Another disease? Between the small room and the doctor locking him without his consent, he started to feel breathless. Which disease? He tried to use his super strength to tear the door off, but it was of no use. "What?!" He quickly searched for a light switcher, and when he found it, he turned the lights on.

He fell to the ground. 

It was a containment room.

He swallowed hard. What do I have? He put himself against the wall and watched the room enclose him quickly. Leave me alone! I don't have anything! I'm perfectly fine! When everything was close enough, he grabbed his right arm and bit it strongly, right under the shoulder. 

"Gekko, do you copy?" 

He opened his eyes slowly and everything was in place. He slowly retired his teeth from his flesh and answered. "Y-Yeah?" He was slightly dizzy, and the bitten spot on his arm was burning a lot, let alone hurt. 

"There's gotta be a way to get out," Foxwolf said. 

He took a few deep breaths, and standing up, he walked to a nearby cart. He said. "I tried used my super strength, the door seems to be really heavy," As he grabbed bandages and other stuff to treat his wound, Foxwolf asked confusedly:

"You sure? You managed to tear it from the frame. I saw that,"

As he cleaned his wound, he looked up to see a small ray of light come through a small opening between the frame and the door. He touched his communicator and then covered his arm in bandages. "O-Oh... It seems like it. Didn't saw that" He pulled the bandages with his teeth hard and then tied them, holding them strong on his arm. 

"Keep trying, you might be successful with it," Foxwolf said.

Gekko moved his arm, which still hurt but not like before, and said. "Okay, I'll try," Rubbing his hands, he added. "If I don't make it, try to break the glass with your Bark and get help,"

Foxwolf sighed. "Okay,"

Gekko took a few steps back, and lightning his suit, he ran at full speed towards the door. Dust fell over his head and he noticed that the door was dislocated. Am I actually doing it? He thought to himself. Why didn't he noticed it before? 

"Come on, you're doing it!" Foxwolf's cheer came through. He took a deep breath and relaxed, then went back to the starting point. He concentrated on the door hardly. His suit glowed up slightly, and with his arms and legs tensing, he ran towards it once more. This time, dust fell all over the place as he landed over the door as it fell to the floor.

Foxwolf smiled as he pressed his hands against the glass wall. "You did it!"

Gekko sat, slightly confused, but said. "I did it..." He stood up and walked over to Foxwolf, pressing his hands where his was. "I'll get you out of here, don't worry," He observed the glass carefully, and as he planned how to break it, something made the lights flicker and the whole place tremble. He exchanged a worried glare with Foxwolf.

"What was that?" Foxwolf asked. The lights went out for a long minute again, only for everything to tremble roughly, this time bringing debris to the floor Gekko and Foxwolf were currently on. 

Gekko swallowed and then looked at Foxwolf in the eyes. "Wait here, I'll see what it is," He carefully stalked through the hallway, but didn't get far as something turned the whole place upside down. 

Lights fell from the ceiling, concrete collapsed and debris covered the whole place. Yells of horror came from the stairs and as Gekko stared, everything started to tremble, just for him to jump out of the way of a crowd of people running scared and covered in blood. "They are here! Run for your lives!" Someone yelled.

Gekko stood long enough to see a horsewoman trying to battle something at the end of it, only for her to be dragged away by huge jaws. Gekko gasped horrified and ran back to Foxwolf, only to find the glass wall broken. "Foxwolf?!" He called.

The room was all trashed and full of concrete, let alone pieces of glass. Gekko entered, only for a hand to grab his ankle. Under a still standing bed, Foxwolf laid with a pained expression on his face. "I tried hiding, b-but my leg..."

Gekko saw a huge piece of shattered glass into the Maned Wolf hero's leg, with a piece of concrete right under the knee. Gekko quickly threw it away and pulled the boy out of under the bed. "Can you stand up?" When the other shook his head, Gekko kneeled beside him. "Don't worry," 

He picked him up and carried him away from all the mess. Foxwolf, having his arms around his neck, asked. "What was that, anyway?"

"I don't know, I just saw-" He stopped dead on his tracks and both heroes swallowed.

Foxwolf finished his sentence. "A huge, deadly dog?"

Over them, a wolf-like canine the size of an elephant -or taller, Gekko couldn't tell- stood with its jaw open. It drooled blood, and between its fangs, Gekko spotted bones stuck in there. He swallowed. Human bones? He laughed nervously and backed away. "Nice doggy... you won't..." He swallowed. "You won't hurt us... r-right?"

The dog grunted and roared at them, ruffling all of Foxwolf's fur and changing the color on Gekko's suit. "Gekko, run, run!" Gekko turned and sprinted away, with the demonic dog trying to get towards them with difficulty. Gekko took advantage of that and entered the room he was previously in. The dog's head, being enormous, got stuck in the door frame, but little by little he started to get in.

Gekko put Foxwolf down and said. "If we combine my super strength and your Roar Bark, we can break this wall,"

Foxwolf nodded. "Okay, but how do we get down? This is a sixth-floor!"

The dog almost bit his fluffy tail, but Gekko pulled him closer. "Let me handle that," He looked at him. "You Bark and I'll use its force to launch myself and break the wall," Foxwolf nodded curtly. "Ready?"

Gekko set himself in front of Foxwolf, with his muscles tensed and his suit glowing. He heard Foxwolf take a deep breath and then a loud Bark, louder than the demonic dog's, sent him flying towards the wall. His fist was the first thing to touch it, and a hole was made. The pieces fell down to the street, but Gekko hung onto the border of the hole.

He climbed up, but the moment he did so, the dog entered trashing everything with its enormous jaws and sharp fangs. He pulled Foxwolf from his sane leg and then jumped down into the void. Both yelled as they fastly approached the ground, but didn't as claws gripped onto them.

Gekko smiled and admired the Owl Glider. "Owlette!"

"We were there when the dogs appeared, one escaped our grasp and followed people downstairs," She said through the comms. "We figured you had trouble with it,"

"Didn't you?" Foxwolf asked as he climbed up into the Owl Glider with Gekko, but his question was answered when both locked eyes with Badgerclaw. The hero, with his masks off, held bandages against his throat as blood poured violently. "What happened?!"

Gekko sat Foxwolf on his sit and he approached Badgerclaw -or Riley-. "Can I ask the same thing?" He said, pressing the bandages himself.

"As I said, we were there when the dogs appeared," Owlette said. "They tried to attack the NICU but Badgerclaw fought them off. He succeeded, but the one you encountered managed to injure him, badly,"

Gekko looked at him, who had a frightened expression. "You did a good job," He jerked his head towards Owlette. "Wasn't there anyone that could help?"

"Those things ate most of the doctors alive, including patients," Owlette said, a knot in her throat. "There were like five of them,"

"Where's the rest, then?" Gekko asked fearfully. Someone crossed his mind as Owlette cast him an apologizing stare. "Where's Snowfox?"

"Back at HQ," Riley rasped. As he did, more blood poured out and this time, Foxwolf used his tail to swipe it away. 

"Don't force yourself," Gekko told him softly. His tone changed as he demanded Owlette, "Take us there, quickly. Our jobs aren't done at all,"

"I know, that's what I'm doing," She said, speeding up with the Owl Glider.


They used the elevators to take Riley and Federico downstairs, as none of them were capable of doing it for themselves and everything they needed was in Connor's room. Gekko was the first one to step out with Federico, but his attention got drift away when he heard Lightning Fur deeply hissing. 

He looked at him, but then noticed Snowfox looking surprised and Romeo standing in the center of the room... with a younger version of himself? "What's the meaning of all of this?" He asked the older Romeo.

Romeo rolled his eyes and carelessly replied. "My stupid ass has done something, and when I say my stupid ass-" He grabbed the other Romeo by the arm and pulled him like a parent scolding their child. "I mean his ass. Get it? Because we're the same person, just different universes,"

The younger Romeo looked around confused, but pushed the older Romeo away, free from his grip. "I... I just don't know what happened,"

"Well, you can explain to us what you fucked up later. Right now, my teammates need help," Gekko said, removing his mask; not like he cared to do it in front of Romeo, he knew his identity since they were younger. 

Snowfox looked at the older Romeo pleadingly. "Don't you have something that can help us?"

Romeo sighed and then pulled out his transporter. "Yeah, give me a second," He used it and disappeared from the room, only for later to show up with a small box in his hand that resembled the voice-box from all those years ago. He tapped a button on its head and watched it go. "There. I created it after the whole Masks War thing,"

Greg watched the device remove the bandages from Riley and patch him up quickly. "What for?"

"I was gonna present it as a new device for Emergencies and stuff like that, so doctors wouldn't be running so short on staff," He slightly blushed. "I don't like seeing people injured, I can't stand it,"

"You were doing something for the good of people?" Amaya asked intrigued.

"It's not so hard to believe," Romeo said, then turned to his younger self. "So, what the heck did you do now?"

While watching the box now moving to Federico, Greg asked. "Why do you think he's responsible for all of this?"

"Only I'm capable of creating such a thing like this," Then he looked at his younger self. "Besides, it's no coincidence that his ass dropped from a portal in my study right when this started happening," He sighed. "Look, if there are problems in our universe and a portal it's opened, our universe will try to get what it's necessary from it to fix it, so he might be related to what's happening outside or he was the one to cause it."

"You... hold a good point," Greg agreed. He looked at younger Romeo. "Can you explain to us? Do you have a way to solve it?"

"I was just trying to get to someone in another universe, I didn't mean for any of this to happen," He explained. "I wasn't expecting the Anomaly to open in other universes back then,"

"How can such a stupid move break the balance between the living world and the afterlife in our universe?" Connor spat.

"Connor, let's calm down, he might have not done it intentionally," Greg said looking at Connor, who fluffed out of fury.

"Three months ago, the Anomaly opened in the afterlives of other universes, including your own, and two Stars found their way into my universe," He explained. "The Anomaly might have taken power from that place to open itself, and since it was opened in your afterlife..." Younger Romeo trailed off.

"It might have taken enough power from it to break the balance between the living world and the afterlife..." Amaya concluded. "That... actually makes a lot of sense,"

"B-But," Greg laughed incredulously. "Stars don't exist," The smile wore off his face. "They never existed,"

"Well, they seemed pretty real to me," Younger Romeo replied. "Someone claiming to be your father and a little girl called Candela were the ones to visit us,"

Connor jerked his head towards him. "Daniel and Candela?" He took a step further. "What else did they tell you?"

Greg felt anger building inside him. "That cannot be true! My father is dead, and whoever that little girl is, she might be as well! There's no way you saw them!"

"That little girl sometimes visits your little brother from my universe, I don't know what else to tell you," Romeo said, hesitatingly.

"Stars don't exist, and that's period!" Greg raged. Feeling overwhelmed by emotions, he stormed out and headed to Owlette's room, where no one would bother him with such nonsense as the City of Stars or Fallen Stars... or even bother him with his father's death.


Connor stood in the middle of the room, watching between the younger Romeo and the place where Greg stormed out. There was an awkward silence in the room, but he slowly walked towards the elevators and said. "I-I'll go after him," He looked at the two Romeos. "See if you can find a way to fix this mess,"

When he reached the top level, he saw Greg standing back to him over the PJ Rocket's controls, with his head hanging and little sobs coming from him. "What happened down there?" He asked softly. 

Greg looked at him from his peripheral vision, but then looked away once more. That solo look he cast him told Connor enough of the confusion Greg was going through, the fear he was feeling. He softly padded over to him. He knew Greg was conflicted, and that his father's death wasn't helping, so quietly he asked. "Do you truly don't believe in the afterlife?"

Greg, with a raspy voice, said. "What do you think...?"

Connor, brushing his tail up his back, answered. "I think... that thinking about your father hurts you," He calmly held hands with him. "And that thinking that he might be in a better place afterlife doesn't comfort you as it does to everybody else,"

Greg laughed hollowly. "It's weird, isn't it? That sole thought... that sole thought should comfort me, not make me hurt the way it does, but it... it doesn't work with me." He looked at Connor with red, puffy eyes. "Does that make me weird? Is it nonsense?"

"Of course not," Said Connor, putting his hand in his cheek. "I know how it feels to not want to think about something that just... that just brings painful memories. Having coping mechanisms isn't bad, Greg, because it's only that... a coping mechanism," He brushed away the tears with his thumb. "Everyone has that for different reasons, and sometimes only at some point in their lives, but in the end everyone does,"

"Do you?" Greg asked, finally looking at him in the eyes. "After all that happened in Milennia Town?"

"I've... Yeah, I've not been the same since all that happened," Connor confessed. "Especially not lately... not with all this happening," He sighed. -It's time someone knew...- He thought. "I've been on the City of Stars before, Greg... but I don't like talking about it. It's not something that satisfies me, not exactly..."

A small silence overpowered both of them, but after a little while, Greg finally broke it. "Did you see loved ones?"

Connor smiled sadly. "I've seen plenty," Then his smile faded away. "Sometimes I wish I didn't," He sighed. "Why do you hate the City of Stars so much?"

Greg closed his eyes shut. "I..." He swallowed. "I just don't get it... They are supposed to be perfect! But still... they took away from me everything that I loved, everything that made me happy." Gritting his teeth, his stare became dark and his next words came as a low growl. "They let me become a hero, but what for? I couldn't save my father, and they did nothing to stop it from happening!" 

Connor put a hand on his shoulder. "Some things are meant to happen,"

Greg, with troubled eyes, cried. "Was he meant to die, then? Were all the things that happened so far meant to happen?  Was I supposed to become Drakko? Was I supposed to watch my home get destroyed? Was Miss Masquerade supposed to torture you? Were you supposed to die? When he realized what he said, he swallowed hard and looked away. "I don't believe in the City of Stars not because I think it's a fairytale," He closed his eyes as tears fell down his cheeks. "I don't believe in them because I don't think they are as good as everyone sees them,"

Connor stood beside him, quiet as a winter night. He flattened his ears and then hugged Greg from behind. He didn't say anything, he just stood there and buried his face in the blonde's hair. His arms tightened around him and he felt Greg relax. 

The shorter boy turned unexpectedly and hugged him tighter. 

Connor smiled sadly and just kept there, quiet; Greg needed his support right now, and he was going to give it, and it didn't matter that outside was a deadly mess. Nothing mattered more than Greg's feelings right now.

Greg gazed up at him and asked. "Do you really believe they are Fallen Stars?" Connor nodded and Greg smiled. "Then so do I,"

Connor giggled with a warm feeling on his chest. "We should go,"

Greg laughed. "Totally,"

They started walking towards the door, but as they did, Connor's phone started ringing in his pocket. He confusedly attended, looking at Greg in the process, but after a little while, his expression changed to a horrified one.

"Mom?"