Disclaimer: I don't own Digimon

A/N: Wow, I got an overwhelming response of people who wanted this chapter to focus on Tera. That surprised me, I thought she annoyed you, or that's the feeling I got from past reviews.


"Hello again, HeeCarrie." The door clicked shut, trapping her for the next hour. His footsteps echoed hollowly as he sauntered across the polished wood floor, taking a seat in the expensive black leather chair that groaned under his weight. Kari stared at her feet, sitting in the soft red couch that was her seat for the next hour, while she spilled her emotions.

Yeah, right. That would be giving too much to this loser who couldn't even get her name right. If her brother couldn't get her to talk, this guy certainly wouldn't get the pleasure. Besides-

"HeeCarrie, are you listening?"

Kari snapped her eyes up at him. He had been talking? "Okay, you know what, my name is NOT HeeCarrie! So don't call me that! Kari, please, just Kari." Her fist tightened as she spoke. She really needed something to help her relax. "And no, I wasn't listening. I was actually doing a very good job of ignoring you."

The doctor was taken aback for a moment. Just a second before he had it covered up with his calm exterior, his pale green eyes that reminded her of squished peas, set to show no emotion. But for that one second, Kari had the upper hand.

Dr. Richards smiled calmly, his smooth, olive skin wrinkling around his lips as he smiled. "I'm sorry," he apologized, his tone slightly mocking. "Kari. I will try to remember that." She grimaced at him. "But you really shouldn't get so worked up over a silly thing like that."

'I'll show you worked up.' She only nodded politely.

"Good. Now, as you remember from the last session, I explained these sessions are just talking and expression. We can talk about your day or your interests, or if something is bothering you. I'm all ears."

Can you say BS? The urge for a major eye roll was very strong.

"What do you say, KARI?" He asked, overemphasizing her name.

What was with this guy? "That's great Dr. Richards," she replied, overly cheerful. "Golly, it's so nice to have someone to talk to." He smiled triumphantly, making her want to smack the grin right off his face. "Talking to a perfect stranger like you is just so much better than going to my brother, who I've known all my life, or someone in the house full of people I've lived with for the last six months!" she continued, the edge of her words completely blanketed by fake pep. His grin faltered and fell. "I can be just as big of an ass as you. But I've got more attitude."

He let out a deep breath, seething as he wrote something on the notepad he held in his hands. "Right. Well, Mr. Harrison and I will just have to have a talk."

"You do that!" she snapped.

He shifted in his seat, and the leather chair groaned like the cow it once was.

The rest of the hour was spent in silence.

"The score was 12 to 10, we were down by two! The other team was everywhere. Man, everyone was being blocked and I had two guys on me! Two!" He was nearly jumping up and down in his seat. "So I faked left to get the first guy off me, but the second guy was right there! He was huge! I thought I was doomed. So I kicked the ball between his massive legs and faked again to get around him. AND I SCORED!" He threw his arms in the air, a queer adrenaline rush coursing through him. "We won the championship, and I would have gone to the internationals, but I couldn't go."

"So your team didn't go?"

"They went, I didn't," he replied sadly, playing with the pair of goggles resting around his neck. Davis had sent them.

"Why not?"

"That game, the championship, it was the day before my parents died. I couldn't think about soccer after that."

"That's understandable." The black therapist adjusted the sunglasses at the top of his head and fiddled with the pen in his hand. "Was the death of your parents the reason you stopped playing?"

Tai furrowed his brow as he stared at the doctor. They had been talking about soccer, not...that. "No, it wasn't."

"Why then?"

"I dunno, too stressful, I guess. Every two weeks or so I was adjusting to living in a new house, while trying to keep up with school and take care of all my responsibilities."

"To the DigiDestined?"

Tai flinched. It felt weird talking to a non-DigiDestined about matters of the Digital World. "Yeah." He paused. "And to my sister."

"Oh yes, your sister." The doctor with the large fingers looked over his notes. "Hikari, right?" Tai nodded. "What type of responsibilities did you have to her? You talk so little of her, but what you do say signifies you really don't get along."

Tai stared at the casually dressed, tree sized doctor, who he could have mistaken for a football player. "We don't. Not anymore at least." He looked down at his hands. "Before my parents died, Kari was always the baby and I was her big brother, her protector. So when they died, I figured she'd need me. But she didn't come. We were both in pain. I was on medications for depression, she didn't want to bother me, I guess." He scratched his forehead as he swallowed, trying to maintain his composure. "She's grown up, or something, because she doesn't need me anymore."

"How does that make you feel?" The doctor's voice was deep, but soft.

"Fru-" His voice cracked, and he cleared his throat before he continued. "Frustrated."

"Well, buddy, our session's over, but I have two assignments for you." The doctor leaned forward, his chubby, dark, face kind. "Go home tonight and talk to your sister. Maybe you could connect with her again."

"And two?"

The doctor reached over and plucked a fluorescent green paper off of his desk.

"Look into this," he said, handing it to Tai.

Tai read the paper. 'AYSO (Arizona Youth Sports Organization) wants you. Soccer shoot outs Saturday and Sunday. Players sign up. BIG MONEY!'

"Thanks, Dr. Terisom." He stood up and walked out of the office. Gennai and Sora sat in the waiting room, but as his vision blurred, he rushed past his guardian and his girlfriend.


He ran out of the office building, feeling a blast of cold air hit him as he ran through the automatic doors. Tears fell freely down his face as he ran to Gennai's car. He paced back and forth for a moment, seething with anger and overwhelmed by pain until he lost it and slammed his fist into the surface of the car. He repeated the action until his hands were red and throbbing and there were three large dents in the car's hood. With a kick to the bumper he sank to the ground.

Sora walked up to the car and kept her face still as she eyed the dents on Gennai's car. She knelt down in front of Tai; setting aside the notebook she carried that held a log of all the food she ate. "Tai?" With his knees pulled to his chest and his hands over his face, Tai sobbed, ignoring his girlfriend who crouched in front of him. "Tai,what happened in there?" She reached out and touched his cheek.

"Why won't they let me forget? Why does everyone want to talk? I don't want to talk! I don't want to remember!"

"Remember what?" She pressed. He just threw himself to her, and sobbed into her shoulder.

She wrapped her arms around his neck, lightly hugging him and kissing the side of his head. "It's okay."

"Tera." She lifted her head slightly to see over the arm of the couch. Elijah sat in the doorway to the living room, his gray blue eyes fixed on her.

"What are you doing home?" she asked weakly. She shook slightly, her head throbbing. The thin blanket that covered her was not enough, but she couldn't get up.

"Gennai called me at school and told me that they took you to the hospital. You don't remember me being there when he picked you up?" He rolled into the room and stopped his chair by her.

"You were there?" He nodded. She reached out with a shaky hand and he took it in his big, cocoa-colored hand. She let out a ragged cough, and he winced under the pain he knew she felt. "E, I don't feel good."

"I know, Te." He gave her hand a light squeeze. "Are you cold?" She started to shake her head, but stopped and nodded. She was shaking too hard to deny it. "How come Gennai put you in here?"

"I wanted to watch TV, but I fell asleep, so I guess he turned it off," she replied, gesturing to the black screen of the wide screen TV. "I just woke up."

"I know, I've been in and out keeping an eye on you."

"How long was I asleep?"

"Well, Gennai went to go pick up everyone else from school. So, about three hours. And don't worry, Aaron will bring home your homework, but I don't want you doing it tonight, because you're not going back to school tomorrow."

"But E!"

"Don't you dare 'but E' me!" he snapped. "You collapsed in school. Don't start." She nodded, sweaty brown hair falling into her face. "Do you think you can get upstairs by yourself?" She shook her head and rested it on the arm of the couch, curling her body into a ball. "Alright, come here."

She lifted her head. "Huh?"

He held out his arms and with a nod of understanding on her part, helped her into his lap. Unsteadily, she rested her head against his chest and he wrapped an arm around her waist to keep her from falling as he wheeled himself to his room. He entered his wide room, with its poster covered walls. He laid her down on the bed and she climbed under the covers.

"Can I talk to you about something serious for a minute before everyone else gets home?" Her eyes drooped but she raised her head. "Unless you're too tired," he replied quickly. His calloused hands began to feel clammy; he had never been very good with one on one conversations with his sickly little stepsister, whom he loved beyond explanation.

"I'm fine," she said in a slowed, painful breath.

"Gennai says you're cutting," he blurted seriously. He instantly regretted it because of the 'deer in headlights' look she gave him. She pressed her lips together into a tight line, and stared at him with the large brown eyes that seemed so lost from fever. "Well, he thinks." he said, for lack of anything else.

"Eli, I'm not," she forced out, her voice completely genuine.

"But why does he think, then?" She pulled her arm from under the blankets and opened her palm to him. He took her hand and inspected it. A purpling cut appeared across her hand. "Where'd you get this Tera?"

"I can't tell you," she whispered regretfully. "But I didn't do it, Eli, I swear!" The emotion in her choking voice was loud and clear.

Eli sighed, Tera had never been known for her honesty, especially when it came to things like cutting herself and her depression. "Tera, you know if you start doing this again, Gennai will send you home. You're on your last chance, you know that!"

"Elijah, I didn't do anything. I haven't been cutting, I promise! Believe me, please." She sounded so desperate.

"Then tell me where you got it."

"I-" She debated to herself for a minute. "I can't, Eli."

He bit his lip and looked away from her, lost between disappointment in her and fear for her life. "Get some sleep okay?" She nodded, and he turned to wheel himself out.

"E?" He stopped and looked back. She had turned herself on her side, wrapped in a pile of blankets. "I don't want to be sick again this Christmas."

His heart wrenched as he looked at her. "There's nothing I can do, Te."

"Well..." She sighed. "Night, E."

"Night, Te." Elijah wheeled himself out of the room, and Tera closed her eyes, shaking and sweating under the blankets.

"KARI!" Natalie's voice echoed through the house. "PHONE!"

Kari jumped off her bed, tossing away the bulky math textbook she was working out of, and bounded down the stairs. Natalie, in her usual super model state, stood at the foot of the stairs, impatiently holding the cordless phone in one perfectly manicured hand.

"Thanks," she replied, taking the phone.

"It's a boy," Natalie teased lightly.

Kari felt her cheeks flush and watched Natalie chuckling as she left. Kari briefly debated going up to her room, but Sora and Taylor were up there. There was absolutely no privacy in the house. She settled for the living room and flopped down on the couch. She pressed the phone to her ear.


"Hi, Kari?" A male voice asked, uncertainly.

"This is she," Kari replied, not recognizing the voice.

"Hey! It's Zane, remember me? We met at the mall and I've called you a couple times." Her heart pounded. The pink haired guy from the mall. He was so hot! And he was a junior in high school.

And he was calling HER!

"Hey," she tried to sound casual. "What's up?"

"Not much. Me and Ry are just going to a party tonight. I was wondering if you'd like to come."

Me?! Her mind squealed. She, a little eighth grader, was being invited to a high school party. She was floored. "Tonight?" she replied, trying to sound relaxed despite her pounding heart. "What time?"

"From whenever I pick you up 'till whenever you and I are done having a good time." He sounded cheeky and his voice was bordering seductive. "Party ends at two, but we can still have fun."

Her heart began to pound faster. Gennai would never let her go. Curfew was twelve thirty at the latest. "I-I don't think I can. Sorry, Zane."

"Hey, it's okay," he sounded disappointed. "Well, I'm not leaving for another thirty minutes, so if you change your mind call me."

"Okay." Her heart sank. She'd just turned down a high school party.


"Bye." With a heavy sigh she clicked off the phone. This sucked. Back in Japan, her parents would have let her go. Her parents... She touched her cut up wrist. Maybe Tera wouldn't notice if-

"Kari." She looked up at the voice. Tai stood in the doorway watching her with sad eyes.

What did he want?

"What are you up to?" He asked casually, stuffing his hands into his pockets. He took a couple of steps into the room, but kept his distance.

"Just talking to a friend," she replied, holding up the black cordless phone.

"Cool." He looked around stiffly, uncomfortably. She just studied him from her seat on the forest green couch. His brown hair, as usual, went everywhere. That had not changed. But everything else had. His eyes, brown orbs which had once been warm and light and carefree, were dull and somber. The way he held himself; slumped, less proud. And those horrid goggles that sat around his neck, a constant reminder of their trials and failures seemed to weigh on him more than anything. This was not their proud leader or her big brother, the defeater of monsters and the stopper of nightmares. This was a torn, worn out, shell of a boy, that barely bordered on life. His, "How was your day?" broke her from her scrutiny of her 'onii-chan'.

What was all this about?

"Good. Went to school, didn't fail a math test, came home. You know. Same ol', same ol'," she shrugged. "You?" She asked, as a reflex action.

"Just fine. Just went to school," he shrugged. He took a deep breath. "Kari...I'm sorry."

She just stared at him like he was an idiot, increasing his awkwardness. "For what?"

"You know," he shifted his weight nervously. "For not really being there after...the incident. I mean, we kinda blew each other off. I just wanted to-"

The phone suddenly rang. 'Saved by the bell...' She gave an apologetic look to Tai, "Hold that thought." She pressed the phone to her ear. "Hello?"

"May I please speak to Sora Takenouchi?" A woman's voice asked.

"Yeah, hold on." Kari covered the receiver. "SORA!" Tai looked alarmed by the scream of his girlfriend's name.

The ginger haired girl's footsteps were heard coming down the stairs. She entered the living room dressed in a pair of overly baggy gray shorts and a white tank top.

"Those are my shorts," Tai commented, raising an eyebrow playfully.

She grinned and looked at Kari. "Did you call me?"


"Oh, thanks." She took the phone and pressed it to her ear. "Hello?"

Kari stared at Sora as she talked on the phone. The girl, a soon to be mother, did not look the part. Although she had gained some weight because of her pregnancy, she was skinny as a rail. Her reddish brown eyes, the most exotic color Kari had ever seen, still burned with the same life they always had. She had recovered well from the hell her life had been turned into, probably due to the guiding force of Tai, Gennai, and her newfound friend, Natalie.

"I'm fine...well, just a little sickness, but I thought that was normal...Oh, oh dear..." Her face paled as her eyes widened. "I...um, yeah, I understand....Thank you, I guess....I'll be in.....goodbye." She clicked off the phone and just stared blankly at it.

"What wrong?" Tai demanded.

"I-I-" She met his eyes. "I lost the baby."


"I-I'm..." She touched her stomach. "I had a miscarriage....I'm not having a baby. I lost it." Tai looked like he wanted to start jumping up and down, but instead he enveloped her in a tight hug. He held a small smile on his face as she half cried, half laughed into his shoulder. "Does it make me a bad person for being happy about this?"

"No, no you're not!" He snapped. "Oh god, I'm so relieved!" He stepped back and held her at arm's length. "We're gonna be okay, everything is gonna be okay!" He had completely forgotten about Kari.

"You wanna go tell Gennai?" Tai nodded and Sora tossed the phone back to Kari before they both left the room.

Kari just watched her brother go. "Right Tai, WE blew each other off."

The television blasted with sound and lit the otherwise dark room. She stepped into the room to find him sitting in his boxers and a shirt. Dark bags sat tucked under his eyes and his hair was more disheveled than ever.

"Tai?" He didn't look up, just continued to stare at the TV. "Tai, please talk to me....I need you." Her voice started to break. "Please, TK broke up with me today and I can't stop thinking about mom and dad, and it hurts-"

"Shut up, Kari." She never expected the hand that sent her reeling to the floor. Her cheek burned, evidence that it really had happened. He had hit her. Hard.

"Shut the hell up Kari! I don't want to be near you. Leave me the hell alone! I don't want to hear your goddamned problems!"

Her eyes burned as she clicked on the phone and typed in seven figures. "Hello? Zane? I can go to the party."

She shivered lightly as she stood on the darkened street corner, waiting. It was not as cold as it had been in Japan, but nights dropped down into the low 40's. She breathed into her hands, trying to warm them. She had to wait down at the end of the street because she had to sneak out. Gennai would never let her go.

Headlights blinded her as a car pulled up in front of her. Ryan stuck his head out the front passenger's window; his green hair gelled into hard spikes. "You know, if you're going to sell yourself, you should really find a busier corner. No one comes out here."

She laughed nervously as she climbed into the backseat. "Well, you two hobos are out here."

Zane turned around in the driver's seat. "Hey Kari," he smiled. "You look good tonight."

She felt her face flush. "Thanks. You too." He winked at her before turning around to drive.

Ryan pushed off his seat belt and climbed into the backseat. "What the hell are you doing?" Zane snapped, laughing.

"I'm gonna make out with Kari until we get to the party. You don't get all the fun with her." Kari felt her face blush again. Ryan just laughed and looped an arm around her shoulders. She relaxed slightly at the feeling. She liked Ryan. They had been friends since they met at the mall, before Zane had given her a thought. So, she did get discounts on his 'merchandise'. "So baby," he whispered in her ear. "Let's get a little more comfortable." His hand slowly began to creep up her blue jean covered leg. His lips softly touched her neck.

"Ryan, what are you on?" She heard herself ask. She gripped the seat under her uncomfortably.

He sat back chuckling. "It's part of my new stock. It is soooo nice!" He reached into his pocket and pulled out an Altoids package. "You wanna give it a test run?" Flipping open the package, she could see it filled with pills.

"Go ahead Kari," Zane called from the front seat. "We already tested it out. It's safe for human consumption." He gave her a thumbs up over his shoulder.

She grinned at Ryan, determined to put on a good show, despite her nervousness, and took a pill. "Come on, try two," he urged, running a hand through her hair. Taking two, she popped them both into her mouth and chased them down with a bottle of Zima (booze) Ryan offered. The bitter liquid was disgusting, but she didn't show it. She needed to be cool.

"How long until I feel it?" She asked, wary of how she would act. She wasn't the best at remembering her binges.

"Give it about ten minutes, tops," Ryan replied. She nodded and forced herself to relax, but couldn't. His hand was still on her thigh.

The car parked outside a quaint looking one-story home, with cars parked up and down the block. Music poured from inside, and random people were passed out or making out on the lawn. Ryan and Zane got out of the car and she followed them up to the house.

They entered without knocking and began to wade through the people that overflowed from the living room to the left of the foyer and hall. Random people making out, dancing, drinking and smoking. The music provided by a band in the living room played a cover of something familiar, but they were too loud to recognize.

"These guys do a really good job. This is a great cover of Korn!" Zane screamed as he walked over to a table with several cups lined across it. He took two.

"You can understand what they're singing?" Kari asked, taking one of the glasses from Zane.

Ryan grabbed a glass of something clear and yellow and laughed. "That's the E taking effect." He took a sip of his drink. "You'll be a little sensitive in hearing and your other senses." She took a sip of her drink, nodding in understanding. It was beer, but it was sweet and bitter and shocking to her system. She swallowed, but choked as she adjusted to the feeling. "The taste is a little more intense."

Zane noticed the distress on her face. "Relax, babe." He leaned over and forced his tongue into her mouth in a kiss. She lost herself in the feeling of his lips and taste, the bitter, sweet beer fresh in his mouth.

"Shouldn't you at least say hi to your host before you pick tonight's main course?" The voice was male, deep and relaxed, and cutting to her ears.

Zane pulled away, much to her own displeasure. She was met with the sight of a buff, bleach blonde hottie, ripped and dimpled. The classic movie star. "Hey Slick! Killer party," Zane greeted, his voice sounding more relaxed than moments before.

"Hey Zane," Slick greeted back. "Sup Ry?"

Ryan sipped his beer. "Nothing man, just chillin'. Renny here?" He adjusted his glasses over his black eyes.

"Out back, by the pool. She brought the string." Ryan grinned.

"Thanks dude." He started to walk away, but stopped. "Hey Zane. Don't forget me again, like last week. I don't want to walk home again." Zane laughed. Ryan disappeared into the crowd.

"So Zane," Slick started, one eyebrow cocked. "Who's this nice piece you got here?" He grabbed Kari's butt. She let out a squeak of surprise.

"Lay off, man," Zane ordered, coolly. He wrapped an arm around her waist protectively. "This is Kari, I brought her."

"Hmmm, I was wondering why I didn't remember inviting a pretty girl like her," he kissed her hand. "I'm Slick. This is my house. And if you'll excuse me, there's a keg somewhere that has my name on it. Have fun, get smashed." He walked off from the two and disappeared into the crowd of people.

By the time 2:30 rolled around, colors blended and became fuzzy before her eyes, fragrances doubled in strength, as did music. It pounded in her ears, the beat matching her raging heart. Zane had her dancing with him the majority of the night as they chugged beer and scarfed pizza.

Finally they took a break, Zane leading her out the back door to an indoor pool area. Slick certainly had money by the looks of it. It was warm, but not as hot as inside, and the crisp air sent shivers through their overheated and overwhelmed bodies. He led her to where Ryan sat pool side with a leggy Mexican girl, who was dressed in a red string bikini and blue cut off shorts, not normal winter clothes, but what did Kari know. Ryan's tongue seemed fully down the girl's throat while her hands were working their way up under his shirt. Zane sat down in a white lounge chair, pulling Kari down into his lap.

"Having fun?" he asked, pushing a sweaty brown lock of hair out of her face. She nodded and he smiled. "Great, now how about you start thanking me for bringing you." His lips found hers and she greatly accepted them.

"Hey, how long you been there for?" Ryan's voice broke their concentration on the kiss.

Zane looked up. "About five minutes, why?"

"You were so quiet," the girl replied, pushing long black hair out of her face. "We didn't even realize you were there."

"Like we were being so loud," Ryan joked.

"I dunno," Zane interjected. "One of you was moaning pretty loud. It sounded pretty girly, so I'm guessing it was you, Ry."

"Shut up, dickwad!" Ryan snapped.

Zane smirked. "Oh baby, I love it when you talk dirty." The three of them laughed.

"Hey," the girl finally acknowledged Kari. "Who're you?"

"I'm Kari," she replied confidently. "Zane brought me."

"Hey Kari, what's up? I'm Renny. What school you go to?"

"Alice Vail."

"Alice Vail, Junior Jail?" Renny laughed. "I went there! That place sucks! Ah damn, I hate that place! You in eighth grade?" Kari nodded. "Cool, happy graduating."

"Thanks," she mumbled, preoccupied with Zane's hands roaming her back and thighs. She wanted his lips on her again.

"So what's going on inside?" Ryan asked.

"Party's slowin'. Bands packin'. A lotta people are either zonked or leaving," Zane replied. "I'm slowin' myself. Your new stuff doesn't last as long."

"But it's a hell of a kick," Ry shrugged.

"You guys wanna get out of here? I gots da munchies!" Zane grinned.

"Yeah," Renny agreed. "Let's tell Slick we're going."

"How'd you get here?" Zane asked.

"Nora Topson brought me. But the whore left with her girlfriend an hour ago," she grumbled, irritated.

"Sucks for you, because I am NOT driving across town to take you home!" Zane retorted. "I've got other things to occupy my time." His lips found Kari's neck."Who said anything about taking me home?" She laughed. "I'm going to Ryan's. His parents are outta town and so are mine."

"Ew," Zane stuck out his tongue in disgust.

"Says you," Ryan chuckled. "If you want, I can go into great detail about what we do."

"Shut up, the both of you." Renny stood up abruptly. "Let's go." Ryan scrambled after her.

Zane kissed Kari on her neck once again. "When are your parents expecting you?"

"Um, whenever," she shrugged nervously. "They really don't care."

"That's cool," he replied standing up, forcing her out of his lap. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders as he led her through the sliding back door. "Slick!" He called when he spotted his blonde friend standing in the kitchen, chugging a beer with a bunch of jocks. He looked up from the bottle and walked over to the pair. "We're leaving man."

"Cool, thanks for coming." He glanced at Kari. "You were really hot tonight. Come by anytime." He pulled her into a sharp kiss and before she could react he pulled away. "She's nice, dude. Where'd ya get her?"

"You're an idiot." Zane slugged him in the arm as he laughed, "I really don't feel like sharing this time!" He waved to him. "Later man."

"Bye Zane, seeya tomorrow. Bring Kari!" They walked out the front door, shivering as their breath appeared in white clouds before them.

"What's he talking about, tomorrow?" She asked, anxious about where she was being asked to.

"Another party. Here at Slick's place. You wanna come?"

"Hell ya."

They found the car down the street. Renny and Ryan were already inside, fully into a make out session in the back. "You're up front with me." They got in, unnoticed by the pair in the back. They began to drive through the dark, nearly empty Tucson streets. It was almost shocking how few cars were out. Tucson was a fairly busy city.

They were approaching her neighborhood. Her heart pounded in her chest as Zane ran his hand over her leg. She did not want this night...err ...morning....whatever....to end.

But, alas, the car pulled to a stop outside Gennai's house. Zane leaned over and kissed her. "I had a really good time tonight. I'll pick you up same time tomorrow."

"Same place," she whispered back, voice husky. He leaned over again and she lost herself in his lips. It was a few minutes before they pulled away, but she was too numb to know who was the first. "Bye Kari."

"Bye Zane." She got out of the car, grimacing at the cold air that bit at her skin. The car pulled away from the curb and disappeared down the street as she slipped into her dark house. She ran up to her bedroom, as quietly as possible, and slipped in bed unnoticed by the occupants.

The nightlight off to one corner gave off a soft glow, illuminating the room just enough for Kari to make it to her bed. The air was still and silent aside from the soft breathing of the two other girls and herself. The room was warm, and the heater hummed somewhere in the house. Taylor was fast asleep, involved in a feverish dream. It figured, her calm nights hadn't lasted very long. Sora was asleep in the top bunk, above Kari. She could just imagine Sora's perfect dreams supplied by fantastic days with her brother. Not that she was bitter. And finally, the bunk above Taylor, sat empty. Since that night Tera had been so violently sick, so suddenly, the older girl had not slept in the room. That night, she and Aaron had shared the couch, and every night afterwards had been spent in her brother's room, she being too sick and too weak to make the trek up the stairs.

Kari quickly changed into her pajamas and slipped into her bed, sighing as the warm blankets enveloped her. Sleeping suddenly sounded like a very, very nice idea. So nice...

Okay this chapter was supposed to be much much longer, but the program I use to upload them wouldn't let me put anymore character's on. I know I didn't really reveal a damn thing in this chapter, but I'll explain more next chapter and then its switching focus to another character. I should have the next chapter out fairly quick. I have it all mapped out and its really really cool!

So what can you expect next chapter?

• What the hell is wrong with Tera.

• Matt and TK bonding.

• Kari severely hung over.

• Lots of hospitals and suicide attempts.

Oh by the way, when Ryan said 'E' to Kari, E is just a nickname for the drug ecstasy.And thanks again to my Beta Reader, Cherry Seraphym.

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