From: Foratog5 ( Subject: [PW!] Caring and Loving; That's Two Different Things! Newsgroups: Date: 2000/03/26 Somebody cared for me. Those words kept echoing in Marley's head as she gazed at Nick, who was carrying her out of the room. She was feeling an incredible amount of pain, and she couldn't cry or make a loud enough sound for anyone to hear. But whenever she looked at Nick, she felt safe. Wanted. Loved? "Sarah, go get someone," he said. Sarah nodded her head, and half-ran out onto the deck. "Are you alright?" asked Nick. All Marley could do was nod her head slowly. "Can you talk?" Marley tired to, but she could barely even make a noise. "Okay then." Nick looked down at her. She was now out cold. In the crowded halls of the second class deck of the S.S. Anne, Nick ran for help as he carried an unconsious Marley in his arms. He found Jessie, Hoku, and Griffin on the first class deck. Jessie was shocked, but Hoku and Griffin were angry. "What the hell happened here!" Griffin yelled. "I found her like this-" "What is your problem!?!" Hoku asked as she stepped into his face. Nick started to sweat bullets. He suddenly felt so weak, and fell to his knees as he continued to hold Marley. He tried to build up enough strength to stand, but some force was holding him down. He looked to his left, where Hoku was standing. Her right hand was praticaly in his face. Nick's eyes bulged as he saw the black ring that she was wearing. The dark jewel swirled into many different colors. A sharp pain in Nick's stomach made him bend over onto Marley. He felt like the weight of the world was pressurized on his head. He cried out in pain, but he didn't hear himself do so. His vision started to fade. The last thing he saw was Jessie, Hoku, and Griffin being pushed away by medical personel and police. Most of them concentrated on Marley, checking for a pulse. One nurse looked at Nick. He was now foaming at the mouth, and his pupils dilated and disappeared. She immediatly came to his attention as he fell to his side and went into a siezure. It only lasted for a few seconds, though. The mystical power that seemed to be doing this to him had left. Nick stood up and wiped the foam off his mouth. "What happened here?," asked one of the doctors. "I don't know... I think I was having a siezure, but-" "No! Who did this to her?," he asked as he pointed to Marley. "Uhm...she was attacked by this guy. About 6 foot 2, wearing a black robe. He's Team Rocket." The crowd that had gathered around them suddenly gasped in fear. The doctor picked up Marley. "We are goinging to have to take her to a room." He motioned to the rest of the medical team. "We'll need an IV, stat! Bring all of the ER equipment you can find!" Nick followed the doctor down the stairs and in a small hospital room. He laid Marley on the bed. The rest of the doctors and nurses scurried to hook Marley up to the equipment. "Is she going to be OK, doctor?," Nick asked. "We can't stay to keep watch on her. If something wrong happens, contact me." The medical team quickly left, turning the light out as they did. Now Nick was all alone with Marley as she slept in her hospital bed. She was hooked up to alot of machinery. She was breathing through a resporator. The florecent blue coloring of the IV that kept her alive shone on her bruised face. It was the only light in the room. Nick was very bored. The beep-beep-beep of Marley's heartrate on the machines was driving him nuts. His back ached from when Josh threw him into the wall. His hip was also acting up again. He tried to get comfortable in the chair that he was forced to sleep in that night, but it was impossible. This wasn't gonna be much fun for him. Then why was he here? Then, his conscience came into play... <Conscience> You need to figure out why you are here. This is dumb. You should be in a comfy warm bed. <Nick> Because the doctor told me to stay. <Conscience> But you felt obligated to stay, even if he would have said otherwise. <Nick> I know, I know. It bugs me. <Conscience> OK, let's go through a few things... <Nick> All right. <Conscience> Maybe you feel guilty for this? <Nick> That's stupid. I have no reason to feel guitly for this- <Conscience> OK, OK, settle tiger. Maybe you feel sorry for her? <Nick> Of course I do. But that ain't it. <Conscience> Hmm. Uh...I can't think of anything else. <Nick> This isn't working. <Conscience> Heh... Jeez, what was up with that Hoku girl? <Nick> Eh. <Conscience> You still like her? <Nick> No. <Conscience> Really? Wow. Usually a pretty face like that sticks with you. <Nick> Not when she insults me for saving an innocent person's life. <Conscience> So...I guess you're open for your next crush, eh? Hahaha <Nick> ... <Conscience> All right, all right, let's get back to figuring out this situation. <Nick> OK, maybe I... oh! I want to make sure that she is OK! <Conscience> No, that's not it. <Nick> No? Whatever. That's what I think it is. <Conscience> Stand up. <Nick> What? <Conscience> Go stand up, walk over to the bed, and look at her. Study her. <Nick> That's queir. <Conscience> Just do it. Believe me on this one. Nick slowly pushes himself out of the chair and walks over to the foot of the bed. This is so dumb, he thought to himself. Why do I want to look at her? She's a mess! Bruised eye, puffy lip, red cheeks, messed up hair... Nick squinted his eyes and concintrated more on her. He tried to look beyond the scars that Josh laid upon Marley. It was very hard to. It was almost disturbing to look at her. Random thoughts ran through Nick mind. How can Josh be so evil? How can he hurt a poor little girl like this? Why did he attack her? She had no part in the fight against Sarah and Nick. Now he's beating random girls. He has gone from a man on a certain mission to a common pervert after girls. You know, once you look past her bruises, she looks very pretty. An alarm went off in Nick's head. His conscience once again came into play... <Conscience> Haha, you love this girl! <Nick> Oh no...not again... <Conscience> Nick and ...uh... that girl, sitting in a tree- <Nick> No! I don't like her! Just cause I think she looks cute doesn't mean anything! <Conscience> Don't lie. If you see a pretty face, you like 'em. <Nick> OK, I'll admit that, she's cute. BUT, it doesn't mean I LOVE her. It's a whole different thing. <Conscience> I think you do.... <Nick> I don't- <Conscience> BECAUSE THAT IS WHY YOU ARE HERE! <Nick> No... He thought for a moment as he dug his face into the seat cushin. Maybe his conscience was right. Maybe he did love this girl. But that bothered Nick. He has always had crushes on girls all the time, sometimes as much as 10 at a time! This kinda made him feel wrong about love. Love was very confusing and phoney to him. Never had he found true love, and he thought he never would. You know, being afriad of dieing lonely and all that. Reality for him. But maybe he did love her. Sure, he just met her today, and she doesn't look very presentable to public. But there was something there...something that he never felt for a girl before. Maybe because she was so happy to see him when he rescued her. Nick suddenly heard a swoshing, gargling sound. He looked up, and found that Marley was coughing up blood through her mouth and into the resporator mask. He immediatly ran over and removed the mask. He franticly grabed for a towel. "Oh my god, are you OK?!?" Marley slowly opened her bloodshot eyes. The first thing she saw was Nick's face. Marley thought he looked so cute. His expression was very worriful. "Are you OK?!?" Of course she wasn't OK. She was coughing on her own blood, but Marley tried to talk. "Yes, thank you." Nick sat back down and said, "So, what's your name?" Marley's mind went blank for a minute. "Uh... Marley." "Marley," Nick thought to himself. "Cute name." "My name is Nick." "Nick," Marley thought to herself. "Cute name." They both wanted to say something, but what were they gonna say? They sat in silence as they both thought about each other. "He's like no one I've ever met before," Marley thought. "He's so nice to me, and he's only known me for such a small while. If I got to know him, who knows how he would treat me? He'd probably treat me better than Josh ever did." "Why do I like her?" Nick asked himself. "She's like no one I've met before. But I just got over my crush with Hoku. Now I'm in love with this Marley girl? I don't like this. But I like her. She's a beautiful girl." The silence was killing them both. Finally, Nick tried to start a conversation. "Do you know why Josh attacked you?" "He wanted...a ring he gave me." Nick thought about the ring Hoku was wearing, but shrugged it off. "Gave you?" Nick asked "Yes, why, uh, we were in love about 3 years ago." Marley was embarressed to say this. "Oh...I see." Niether one of them knew exactly why Josh needed this ring. * * * * * Josh was washing his face in the sink. He turned the faucet off, and grabed for a towel. While he dried his face off, a television turned itself on. A dark, shadowy figure was on the screen. "Do you have anything to report?" His voice was cold, and straight to the point. "I found the girl who I gave the ring to. She doesn't have it, BUT, I am certain that she has given it to someone recently. Must be someone who is on the ship." "How can you be sure of this?" "My Hypno scanned her brainwaves and memory. It has learned many things from this; I now know a few things that may be helpful. I do know that she has given someone the ring in the past few days, her name is Hoku Roberts. This girl has red hair. Unmistakable. I'll be able to spot her in a crowd." The man on the screen typed a few keys on his computer. "This Hoku girl doesn't have much of a history." "Yes," Josh acknowledged as he looked through a few print-outs. "She was born to a teenage girl, and she left her on a doorstep at the age of one month. She's an alchoholic due to her mother's drinking while she was pregnant. She's been a runaway for a while...and... the report ends there." The figure sat back in his chair. "Give me an example of what your Hypno has learned." "Well, the girl I gave the ring, I think I can easily break her mind. She feels very alone now; nobody cares for her. If I keep on this-" "Stop," the man interupted. "I don't care for this other girl. I'm conserned about the three siblings. They can put a dent in my opperations." "It's not three yet; only Nick and Sarah have found each other. I've read your report, so I'll try to keep the third sibling away from them." Josh paused. "I think my numerous attacks against Sarah were successful. She seems too dependant to Nick now, and that is a good thing." "Good. If Sarah is to realize her true powers-" "She won't. Remember, all three of them must be together, for them to use their special powers. The chances of Nick and Sarah finding their other sibiling is slim." The shadow figure sat back up in his chair. "So what will you do now? I suggest you go after Nick directly-" "No, his will-power is too great when it comes to himself. But if I hurt anyone he cares about," Josh started to snicker. "He'll collapse. Besides, I want that ring now. I need to weaken them now. I'll go after Hoku first." "OK, fill out your report and send it to the headquarters." "Understood," Josh said as he started to get dressed. "Giovanni out." The TV screen faded and displayed a red TR logo. "Dammit. I shouldn't have interupted the boss so many times." * * * * * "You need to get your sleep, Marley. You've been through a lot lately." Nick stayed awake for another half-hour, and watched her sleep. Then he went to sleep himself. They both dream about each other that night.