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 The Next Generation

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:20 pm

Beast Boy bowed his head. "Well, yeah, I'd... I'd do anything for her," he said in a quiet voice. "I'd die for her."

"Well, then I think you have your answer," Rose said with a smirk. "Now, what are you still doing out here? You should be sitting at her bedside and waiting for her to wake up, you big green doofus."

"Wha- oh, right, duh," Beast Boy responded, standing up in a hurry. "What am I doing out here. I'm such a goober sometimes. I gotta be in there with her. I'll go do that now, bye!" He started running off down the hall, only stopping once to turn back and say, "And... thanks, guys."

Rose breathed outwardly and yawned. "Well, I'd say that went well."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:25 pm

"Anytime Beast Boy. You'd do the same for us," Neal said with a nod of his head before Beast Boy ran off in order to be with Raven. It was such a strange line of work that they were in. Despite the horrors, the attacks, the betrayals, there always seemed to be some light at the end of the tunnel. After all of these problems, it may have been the one thing that caused Beast Boy to realize what he needed to do. They'd see how it played out, but the message was still a nice one.

"Very well," Neal said in response to Rose's words. "It's such strange work that we do. It has the lowest of lows and the highest of highs doesn't it?" Neal asked as he glanced over at Rose. "It's hard work, but it's always worth it with what we're able to accomplish right?" he asked as he looked right at her.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:20 pm

"Yeah... all worth it," Rose said, bowing her head with a small sigh. At least, she liked to think so, even if sometimes it didn't feel like it. Sure, they helped people, they saved lives, but in essence their own lives were lost in service of humanity, constantly on the line. And in some cases, it came with a high cost, a cost that was, at times, too high to bear.

They remained there at the hospital for quite some time waiting in earnest for more news on Tim. he was in the operating room for what seemed an eternity, but eventually they wheeled him out. He was stable, though still critical. He would be out of action for a very long time before recovering, with months of physical therapy ahead of him. Wonder Girl would be there by his side the entire time, at least.

The next day, it was finally time to return home. The Titans grouped up and began the flight back to San Francisco, though Beast Boy elected to remain behind with Raven in the hospital, until she was well enough to teleport them both back. It would probably be about a couple weeks before they returned. Until then, it would be just Cyborg, Neal, Rose, and Hot Spot back at the tower. At least things would be quiet. Well, there's be Starfire, Lori, and Joey, but they weren't active. So suck it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:32 pm

Neal gave a tiny nod as he heard Rose's answer. He had heard what she said, but he felt like he could also sense the doubt that came in her voice. It was the same voice that he had first heard when he had spoken to Rose about her old team, about how she doubted that any of them really wanted or cared about her. Neal wasn't sure what he could do to help the situation, so he merely reached out and took her hand into his own. He clutched it lightly, wanting her to know that he was there.

Thankfully, the rest of the day seemed to be good news. Tim was alright, and Beast Boy was going to stay with Raven until she fully recovered. That was only going to leave Four Titans at the tower, along with Joey, Starfire and Lori to keep them company. Hopefully they'd have just a nice week instead of a disaster like usual.

---

About a week later, Neal walked down to the living room after having a nice long shower from working out. Neal decided that he needed to keep training again, take a break from the language study that he had going on. Couldn't afford to lose that tight rear end right? Rose would probably never have forgiven him.

"Hey guys, was about to head off to the store, was just gonna see if any of you needed anything specific before I headed out," he asked as he looked around the room. The only ones in the room were Hot Spot, Cyborg, Starfire, and Lori.

Hot spot shook his head. "I have nothing specific that I need, just buy whatever you feel the necessities are," he said before going back and reading Frankenstein.

At that answer Neal just glanced over to the others. "What about you two? Need me to pick up anything for Lori while I'm out Starfire?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:43 pm

"No, thank you, Neal," Starfire responded with a smile. She was kneeling on the floor of the lounge now, playing with Lori, who was laughing and smiling. The young Tamaranean child was over a year old now, and looking more like her mothers every day. "We're all set."

"If you could pick up a few packages of baby back ribs and some burgers, that'd be cool," Cyborg said. "I'll grill us up a big cookout tonight. Oh, and we'll need barbecue sauce, cheese, condiments, buns, and... you know what, hold on, I'll make you up a list. Oh, some potato salad, chips, maybe some garlic bread..."

A few minutes later, he'd written out a small book (in terms of shopping lists) of things for Neal to buy. "There you go, should be everything. Feel free to take the T-car to transport everything if you need to."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:00 pm

"I'm not going to have any choice but to take the car," Neal remarked as he looked at the giant shopping list. "Looks like I might be a few hours longer than I suspected," he said with a small laugh before going in to give Cyborg a fist pound. "Alright, I'll be out for an hour or so. I'll catch you guys soon," Neal said with a small wave before heading downstairs towards the garage.

Hot Spot just got to the end of his chapter before placing down his bookmark. He glanced over and watched as Kory still continued to play with Lori. She was a cute girl, Hot Spot only wished that her mother could have been there to see how beautiful she looked. He closed the book before turning towards Cyborg. "Where is Rose?" he asked curiously. "I have yet to see her today,"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:10 pm

Cyborg glanced over and shrugged his shoulders. "Dunno, haven't seen her either. She's usually up in the gym early for a few hours in the morning to get a work out in, but she wasn't there went I went by on my way to breakfast. Especially considering her injuries, I'd assume she wants to keep her strength up. She's probably just sleeping in or something, though. I keep telling her not to push herself so hard with a broken arm and a limp foot, but sometimes that girl just doesn't listen."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:14 pm

"Ah, yes I forgot about her injuries. The wounds she received from Roy looked like it hurt. It's amazing that the man was still so talented despite having been out of the business for so long. He must have truly been amazing at his best," Hot Spot remarked to himself before turning and heading off to his own room.

---

About an hour or so later, Hot Spot moved from the kitchen to the living room once again. In his bag he held a bag of popcorn, one that instantly started to pop the moment that Hot Spot put his hands between it. The heat he generated from his hands was enough to cook the popcorn. He took a seat at the couch, grabbing the remote that no one was using before flipping on to the news. Nothing else of interest seemed to be on after all.

Within a minute, the popcorn was done and Hot Spot opened it before sending several pieces into his mouth.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:20 pm

"You will share that," Rose said, wandering into the room with a long yawn. After a week of recovery, her limp was much less noticeable and her arm had regained most of its normal function, though she still wasn't quite at a hundred percent. Today, she'd indeed slept in, after having worked herself so hard the past few days in spite of her injuries. Dressed in a T-shirt and sweat pants, she plopped herself down next to Hot Spot and reached over for a handful of popcorn. "Haven't eaten since yesterday."

"Well, look who's up," Cyborg said, with an amused smile. "Someone forget to set the alarm this morning?"

"Can it, Tin Man," she replied, munching on the popcorn. "I was tired today, what can I say?"

Starfire looked up and shifted her position on the floor. "Good morning, Rose. I hope you are feeling well today."

"I'll be fine," Rose assured, yawning again slightly. "Couple more days and I'll be a hundred percent."

From the floor, Lori slowly pushed herself up to a standing position, wobbling and pinwheeling her arms to remain balanced. She then walked, or rather stumbled, as all she was capable of so far, over to Rose, planting herself against her leg with a hug and looking up at her. "Rose!" the girl shouted, excitedly. She'd been walkign and talking for a couple months now, though her vocabulary was about five words.

Starfire laughed. "It seems she likes you."

"Well, I would hope so," Rose said, reaching down and picking Lori up, setting her down in her lap. "I am her aunt, after all. Coolest damn aunt on the planet, too."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:17 pm

Hot Spot glanced up for a moment as he heard a familiar voice. Rose came in to the room afterwards, only slightly limping. Clearly she was a fast healer, most people would take a few weeks to recover from such an injury. He hadn't known Rose for very long, but she was tough and he didn't know anyone that was willing to dispute that. "Please help yourself," Hot Spot said before passing over the bag to Rose. No sense in making her reach all the way over after all.

As the others went about greeting her, Hot Spot turned back to the television. He had the volume on low to start, but what he saw made his eyes widen. "Everyone, look at this," he said before adjusting the volume. The NEWS seemed to be focused on a local store, one that had been destroyed from the looks of it. It was still standing, but only just barely. Every shelf in the store had been turned over and it was clear that the windows had been shot through. A reported began to speak.

"I'm here in downtown San Francisco where a terrible shooting occurred only minutes ago. We have footage of the perpetrators, but the purpose of the attack was unknown as notihng was stolen or taken. Police currently suspect that local gangs may be involved in the shooting. Here is the footage now," the reporter said.

It was a camera that had been placed up in the corner. For about ten seconds everything seemed normal, until a large white van pulled out in a hurry and pulled up right in front of the store. The moment that it stopped the van doors opened, and five men moved in to position before unloading their bullets into the store. The shooting lasted only a short while, but the damage was still catastrophic. Those close by ran and screamed, trying to get as far away from the shooting as possible. The moment the firing stopped, the van pulled out and drove away before anyone could begin to chase them.

"It is sad to say that the amount of injuries is terrible, and there have been several confirmed casualties already in this blatant attack. The San Francisco police have already made a statement claiming to catch these criminals before they may strike again. The investigation is currently underway," the reporter finished.

The moment that she finished speaking though Hot Spot paused the television. "Do you all see what I see?" he asked in a very concerned tone of voice. In the background was an object that everyone in the tower was very familiar.

It was the T-car.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:23 pm

"Woah," Rose said, looking up at the television screen. What the hell had happened to that place? It looked like a bomb went off, not just a shooting. "Someone must have pissed off the wrong customer."

"I wonder why we didn't get an alert," Cyborg said, looking down at his arm panel. It was quiet. "I guess the police thought they could handle it themselves. No need to get involved then, if they don't need the help."

When Hot Spot pointed out the T-car, however, Starfire let out a gasp. "I think we may need to get involved anyway!"

Rose stared at the image. "What's... the T-car doing there?" She then suddenly realized something, glancing around the room. "And where's Neal?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:26 pm

Hot Spot didn't say anything for a moment as Rose asked about where Neal was. He was the only one missing, and thus the only one that could have taken the T-car to the store. As much as Hot Spot didn't want to say it, he knew that he had to. "Neal went to the store to buy a few things, he took the T-car with him," he said before turning towards the screen and standing up.

Neal could be hurt, so it only made sense that they needed to get involved. "We need to get to that store, right now"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:34 pm

Rose felt herself go numb when they confirmed that Neal had gone to the store, the same one that had been shot up. She held a hand over her stomach, thinking she was going to be sick for a moment, before taking off in a run, or more of a half run, half hobble. The reporter said there'd been casualties! What if Neal had been one of them? She wasn't just going to stay here and wait to find out, she was going there to find out herself.

"Hold on, wait for us!" Cyborg called, running after her.

The only one who remained behind was Starfire, who held Lori now closely and watched the television closely. She couldn't go flying off to a crime scene with a baby, after all. "X'hal protect you, Neal..."

They were at the store in record time, mostly because Rose had been driving. While Cyborg typically handled the vehicles, she'd got there first. When he told her to get out of the driver's seat and let him take it, her response had been somewhere along the lines of shoving something shiny up a dark place. That pretty much told Cyborg not to push her. Of course, Rose nearly got them all killed several times while racing a light before it turned red through an intersection, but amazingly they survived...

When they arrived, Rose screeched the back up vehicle to a halt and jumped out. She might be dressed in her pajamas, but she didn't care. She only wanted to find out what happened to Neal. Even when the police tried to stop her from rushing into the crime scene, she sprinted straight past them and beyond the caution tape.
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:42 pm

Hot Spot turned his head sharply as Rose got up and ran towards the car. She clearly wasn't going to wait, not that Hot Spot could really blame her on that one. Her husband was most likely in that store after all, if Hot Spot had a wife and she was anywhere near there he would have taken off running as well. "Don't worry Neal, we're coming," Hot Spot said before jumping up and heading back towards the car. They couldn't waste any more time here.

---

As they pulled up to the scene, the area had largely been cleared out. At first there had been several police cars blocking the road, but they moved as they saw the speeding car zipping towards them. Considering it was the Titans that stepped out, no one really thought to accuse them of speeding at this time.

As Rose ran forward several police officers were about to give chase. "Let her go," a familiar voice said. Officer Thompson walked up, the same man that the police had talked to when Neal was holding up the police station. "What on earth are the Titans doing here?" he asked curiously as he looked towards them. He was holding a donut in his hand, which he glanced down at. "No jokes, I had to buy breakfast quickly before getting out here.........so why are all of you here? We have this one covered"

"Madam you can't be here," a doctor said as he glanced up from the patient that he was looking at. The woman was in severe pain and had several cuts along her body. She had taken a beating in the attack, but it didn't look like any bullets hit her directly. "This is a police zone and I have other people to attend to"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:00 pm

"Well it' a good thing Beast Boy isn't here..." Cyborg said under his breath, a the mention of cops and donut jokes. He'd have had a field day with that one. Clearing his throat and raising his voice, he added, "Sir. One of our own was in there buying groceries during the attack. Yo know him as Fade... We're just here to find him and make sure he's alright."

Meanwhile Rose was looking around frantically for any sign of Neal. When the doctor interrupted her, she turned her attention to him. "I'm looking for someone," she said quickly. "He's about this tall, short brown hair, green eyes, in body built like a statue, and a small scar on his left cheek. He was in the store when... well he might have been hurt. Have seen anyone like that?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:11 pm

Thompson's eyes widened for a moment as he glanced back towards the destroyed store. "My god, he was in that?" he asked rhetorically. "God damn," he muttered under his breath before turning back towards Cyborg. "Alright, since this one's personal you guys feel free to do whatever you need to do. We have your back on this one," Thompson said with a small smile. "Good luck, I hope he's okay," he said before returning to a few of the other officers. He quickly began to explain the situation, within a minute everyone would know that the Titans needed to keep this area secure. Thompson held back who exactly they were looking for. If the Titans did find Fade, these news reporters would make it very clear to the world who he was.

Hot Spot glanced over at Cyborg. "Someone should start asking some questions, maybe some of the survivors can help us figure out who would launch an attack like this"

The doctor stopped and listened to Rose for a few moments as she explained who it was that she was looking for. "You knew him?" he asked a bit weakly. The concern in his voice was very apparent. He knew something. "He was taken to the hospital, he was the first one to go actually. Out of everyone hit in the attack, he was the one that took the most severe damage," he said before looking down at his female patient once again who hadn't been struck by a single bullet. "I'm not police officer, but from the looks of him it seemed like all those men were aiming for him" he said before pulling out a tiny card and handing it to Rose.

"That's the hospital where he's been taken to. They're probably trying to stabalize him now. With luck he's already in surgery. I'm sorry, I can't tell you anything else"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:19 pm

Rose flinched at the doctor's words. Neal had taken the most damage? The gunmen... were aiming for him? No, that couldn't be right, it couldn't be. He could be... Her stomach twisted into an uncomfortable knot at the thought. She gingerly took the card from him and looked down at the address. She knew how to get there. Without saying a word, she took off in another run, heading back to their vehicles. While the other Titans were busy securing the scene, she hopped in and took off.

"Wha- hey!" Cyborg yelled, as the vehicle lurched right by them. "What are you-!" But she was already gone.

Pulling into the hospital parking lot, she sped straight up to the entrance, screeching to a halt. She was out and running inside without wasting a second. When she reached the front counter, she pushed a few people out of her way to the front of the line. "Neal Anderson!" she yelled, her voice frantic. "Where is he! What room! Tell me he's alright!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:36 pm

Hot spot glanced up as Rose ran past them and straight into their vehicle. Despite being injured, Hot Spot wasn't certain if he had ever seen her go that fast before. Her worry was apparent, and it made Hot Spot wonder just what on earth she had found out. Odds are it wasn't anything good. If Neal was still here there was no way that she would take off, he must be at a hospital or something.

"She's going to be with her husband, where else would she go at a time like this?" Hot Spot said as he looked over towards Cyborg. "I only hope that he's alright, especially for her sake," Hot Spot added before watching the car disappear down the road. "If you want I'll start questioning some of the survivors. I'm sure they more than anyone want these people caught"

The nurse's gaze shot up as Rose pulled several people out of line in order to get to her. As Rose made her demands, she just stared in confusion for a moment before glancing down. This woman had a wedding ring on her finger, and given the several patients that they had just received it could only mean one thing. The nurse flipped through several pages, trying to find the correct information.

"Neal Anderson is currently in emergency surgery. He lost a great deal of blood and the doctors are trying to save his life as we speak. Out of everyone that came though, he seemed the most injured. He's a strong man," the nurse said before looking up towards Rose. "Head to D ward, that's where the doctors will be. You can't go in to see him, but you can wait there until you receive any further information........I'm sorry, I can't do anything else for you" the nurse said and sounded sincerely sorry.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:41 pm

Rose was off and running again before the nurse even finished her sentence. Once she knew the proper ward, her only thought was getting up there to find out just how bad it was. The nurse said he was barely alive, that he was clinging to life and the doctors were trying to save him... but what if they couldn't save him? What if this really was the end? She tried to think of the last thing she said to him the night before, and she couldn't remember. It seemed so long ago all of a sudden. She just hoped that it had been that she loved him.

When she reached D Ward, Rose forced the doors open and slowed up her run a bit, looking around desperately for a doctor she could question. She spotted one a few seconds later and ran up to him. "Doctor! Neal Anderson, he's in surgery. How is he? Is he going to make it? You're going to help him, right? Please tell me he'll be alright!"
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:48 pm

The doctor jumped up in surprise as Rose suddenly approached him with several questions. At first he was going to say something about manners, but the name that she said stopped him from doing so. "Neal Anderson? You're here for him?" he asked before glancing back in the direction of the emergency room that Neal was currently in. The doctor was silent for several moments, debating on just what to tell Rose. "I want to tell you that things are looking good, but I'm afraid that they just are not," the doctor said as he looked directly at Rose.

"He was hit by multiple bullets coming from several different directions. The damage to his body is immense, and I just don't know if he'll be able to pull through. I'm not one of his doctors though, but I heard people talking," the doctor said before glancing towards the doorway once again. "When a doctor comes out of that room, he will tell you what you need to know. I hope that he's okay," the doctor said before heading off to a different room.

He hated leaving people like that, but that was just part of the job sometimes. People died, and other patients needed him.

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:55 pm

Well, the guy certainly didn't try to sugar coat it, flat out telling her that Neal was more likely to die than he was to pull through, basically. When he pushed past her to go deal with his other patients, Rose felt her legs go limp, as she fell to her knees. Catching her self with her hands, she stared at the floor for several moments, feeling her heart twist in a painful knot. What was going on? They'd survived world class assassins, alien powerhouses, heroes gone dark side, and yet he was going to be taken out by a few punks with guns?

"No!" she shouted, angrily punching the floor and pushing back to her feet. Her knuckles cracked on impact, but she ignored it; they'd heal by tomorrow. She held back her tears for now. There was no need to shed them when she knew that Neal would be alright. There was no way he'd let something like this stop him. It just wasn't going to happen. She started pacing back and forth quickly, waiting right outside the door that the doctor had mentioned. She'd stay there all fucking night if she had to.
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:01 am

It'd be about an hour before a doctor came back out of the room. His hands were covered in blood, evidence of that fact that he had been working on Neal. He stopped as he saw Rose sitting there, and looking extremely upset. He figured there could only be one reason why she was here. "You're here for Neal I'm guessing?" he asked before getting Rose's immediate response and questions. She wanted to know what was going on, and that was fair enough. He couldn't blame her for that.

"I don't really know what to say. We've stabilized him for the time being, but the damage is extremely severe," the Doctor said honestly as he looked at Rose. "To be honest with you it could go either way with him, it'll take out skill and a little bit of faith," he admitted as he crossed his arms. "He'll either recover, or he's going to die in this operation. I wish I could give you better news but we have to act now if we even have a chance to save his life," the doctor added.

"He's awake you know.......if you want to talk to him that might be the best thing for you. He's going to need all the support that he can get" the doctor said before patting Rose's shoulder. "I'm sure he wants to see you too"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:08 am

Rose swallowed the information hard. They kept telling her that it was bad, that Neal very well could die, that the chances weren't good for him. But they were wrong, they were all wrong. They had to be... Neal wouldn't be taken from her like this. Still, the information hit her strongly. She bowed her head and choked back any oncoming tears, not wanting to give in, not yet. She still had hope, after all, hope that Neal would be perfectly fine. But then, no, it was more than hope. She as sure of it.

Letting out a heavy breath, she gave the doctor a nod. "Yes, I will... thank you, Doctor. Just... please do everything you can for him." She swallowed again and then pushed the door open to find her husband. When she saw him lying there, weakly, injured, clinging to life, she felt her heart weigh down harder. She knew it was bad, but she wasn't prepared to see him like this. He barely looked alive.

"Neal..." she uttered, sitting at his bedside. She could barely get her words out now. "Neal, I..."
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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:15 am

"You have my word that I will, we'll work until he either stays alive or there's nothing more we can do for him. I promise that we aren't going to give up on him, not ever," the doctor said before watching Rose head in to the room. He knew that what she would see would be hard to take in. He doubted that anyone could ever really be prepared for seeing their loved one so close to death.

They all knew that death came for everyone, but was anyone ever really ready to die?

As Rose entered and began to speak to him, Neal's eyes slowly opened. It looked like he was squinting, like he could only open his eyes halfway with what strength that he had left. He watched her, listening as she struggled to speak and get the information through. He knew what she wanted to say though, and Neal gave a very weak smile. He pushed his arm forward weakly, motioning for Rose to take it.

"We're in this together right? You and I, that's what we agreed all those months ago on that strange planet right?" Neal said in a voice that was very clearly not his own. It's like every word had him gasping for air. "You pointed out that I had already told you my wedding vows......that was the day that I knew I couldn't lose you in my life Rose. I decided on that day that once we got home, I would ask for you to spend the rest of your life with me.........it's the best decision I ever made"

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PostSubject: Re: The Next Generation   Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:23 am

Rose nearly burst right out into tears the moment that Neal started talking. His voice... it sounded like he was already on Death's door, barely able to gasp out his words. Just hearing him like that made her insides cringe. When he twitched his arm, she quickly reached out with both hands to take his gently, while swallowing a hard lump in her throat. She gave him an affirmative nod, unable to keep her tears back anymore. They came quickly, raining down hr cheeks.

"Of course we are," Rose said, trying to smile. "Forever and always, we're in it together." She took a brief moment to compose herself enough to keep talking, lifting Neal's hand slowly and giving it a tender kiss. "And saying yes was the best decision I ever made. You're the best damn thing to ever happen to me, I never told you that. You probably already knew it... but I'm telling it to you now. I love you, I always will."
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The Next Generation
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