CHAPTER THIRTEEN
THE STRUGGLE WITHIN

     The week seemed to move tremendously slow, but at long last, September the seventh arrived. April had made plans with Mrs. Ember the morning prior to visit Lance early for his birthday.
April stood at their front door, ringing the doorbell once then waiting a good while before knocking, yet no one came to answer. She checked her cell phone for missed calls or texts but there were no notifications from Lance or his mother. April sighed and held both his card and present in one hand then knocked loudly one more time and waited, but still no one came. Rather than give up, April tried calling Lance on the phone, but there was still no reply. As a last attempt she called Mrs. Ember’s cell phone, and after a few rings she answered.
     “Hi, Mrs. Ember. Sorry to call, I just came with Lance’s present and you guys didn’t seem to be home,” April explained.
     “I’m so sorry, it all just happened so fast I haven’t had time to call anyone until just a few minutes ago,” Mrs. Ember apologized with just a slight quiver to her voice.
     “Wait…what’s wrong?” April asked, suddenly feeling very anxious.
     “Well you know Lance had been struggling a bit ever since the first episode he had. The doctor said he probably just had the flu and it was the fever getting to him, but this morning he went…” she paused a moment, calming herself before going on. “He had a seizure and collapsed. There wasn’t anything I could do for him. I did everything I was told, but now they’re wondering if it wasn’t a reaction to the medication he was on,” she said. April could hear her trying her best to keep from crying.
     “I don’t even know what to say,” April admitted in astonishment. “I-is he okay now? What are they doing?” she asked.
     “He woke up during the ride over in the ambulance. They’re going to run a few tests but I won’t know anything for a few hours,” she explained.
     “All right…” April said softly. “Which hospital is he at?”
     “We’re at the one just off of Ferris street. It’s about an hour’s drive from where we live.”
     “Okay. Call me as soon as you know what’s going on,” April requested and Mrs. Ember agreed. “Thank you for filling me in. Bye for now.”
     “Absolutely. Thank you, April. Bye-bye,” she replied and they ended the call.
     April slowly walked back home in disbelief, but she quickly set her mind that it was all going to be okay.
     Meanwhile, Scott was going over the latest plans for his web comic with his friend Jason. They were only just introducing the newest character, Frostbite, into the series.
     “I’ve noticed we’ve actually got some people aside from our friends following the comic now. Maybe by this time next year, Comic Book Hero will be a hit?” Jason commented as he looked over Scott’s newest storyboards.
     “Who says we have to wait a year to take off? Maybe we could go to a comic convention and spread the word. We could hand out business cards and everything.”
     “Have you ever even been to a convention?” Jason asked and Scott looked off in another direction.
     “Well, no. But there’s a first time for everything,” he said optimistically.
     “What about transportation? I mean, all of the big cons are in places like L.A. or Chicago, and I don’t think your parents are going to spring for that. Not to mention hotel costs and all,” Jason said, thinking realistically.
     “Hey, you just make us up some business cards and I’ll handle the rest!” Scott insisted.
     “Whatever you say,” Jason shrugged.
     “Anyway, I’ve got to work on a special picture of King. Today is a friend of mine’s birthday and I thought he might like it,” Scott said as he pulled out a blank sheet of paper.
     At the same time Scott was working on a gift for Demitri, Crystal was busy at home with her own little project of making chocolate cupcakes to celebrate the special occasion. She had more than one of her siblings come in and ask what she was up to, and she quickly brushed it off by saying she was making cupcakes just because she felt like it. This reply, of course, led to a few of her delightful treats being eaten immediately after the frosting had been put on, but she set aside five of the best looking cakes to take with her to Mainframe.
     April went the rest of her day without hearing a word from Mrs. Ember, but by nightfall her concerns were replaced with the giddy excitement of giving Demitri his presents, then came the fear of maybe choosing poor gifts.
     They all met at Mainframe, April arriving first with Scott almost immediately after. Crystal then arrived with her tray of cute cupcakes and the three waited for Matthew and Demitri.
     “Wow. Demitri is almost always here first--OH, you had better not be invisible right now!” Scott yelled out as if Demitri were there to hear him.
     “Those cupcakes look really good, Crystal,” April said, paying little mind to Scott’s nervous search for Demitri.
     “Thank you! I made enough that we could all have one,” she replied happily.
     The teleport lit up from behind them and Demitri walked in, dressed in a black suit and tie rather than the usual hero uniform.
     “Oh, sorry guys! I try to get here before anyone else but I had kind of a late night,” he apologized.
     “We can tell,” April remarked as she looked over his suit with slightly raised eyebrows.
     “We got you presents!” Scott suddenly burst out, holding up the illustration he drew of Demitri dressed in armor, looking ready for battle.
     “Oh, these are for me?” Demitri said humbly. “Thanks, guys. You didn’t have to,” he said with a pleased smile.
     “We wanted to!” Crystal said and Matthew suddenly entered the room.
     “Honey, I’m home!” he called as he walked in.“Whoa, cupcakes,” he remarked as he reached for one from Crystal’s tray but she yanked it away.
     “Demitri gets first pick!” she scolded, then offered the cupcakes to Demitri.
     “Haha, thank you,” he said, taking the one closest to him. “Mmmm, ohh, these are good!” he said after his very first bite. “Where did you get them?”
     “I made them!” she said while Matthew snagged one off of the tray for himself.
     “These are excellent. You will have to make these for everyone again when we celebrate the next birthday,” Demitri said before taking another bite. He then took the illustration from Scott with the hand he had free. “Did you draw this?” he asked, quite impressed by Scott’s work.
     “Mmhm,” Scott gave a nod.
     “Impressive. Thank you,” Demitri said. Once he was finished with his cupcake April handed him what she had bought. He began opening the card first, while Matthew glanced back and forth.
     “Uh, just so we’re clear, I didn’t get you anything,” Matthew commented and Demitri glanced up with a smile.
     “That’s all right,” he assured him, just starting to pull the card out from its envelope.
     “Well, you know, I just figured my presence was gift enough,” Matthew added and Demitri grinned and shook his head.
     “Oh wow,” Demitri remarked as he pulled the card open and it got bigger and bigger.
     “Whoa! Now that’s a card!” Scott said. Demitri read it over and smiled, then he began opening the presents. “Coffee!” he exclaimed as he finished. “Thank you so much.”
     “You’re welcome. Happy birthday!” April said.
     “Yeah, happy birthday!” the others added, then joined in eating cupcakes and talking over their days. April decided not to mention anything about Lance since she didn’t want to be a downer. When their evening wrapped up, Matthew was the first to go, followed by Scott and Crystal. Demitri got things all set for taking April home and she departed.
     At last it was time for Demitri to go, but before he so much as shut off the lights he was unexpectedly hit with a pounding headache and a strange tingling sensation through his body. He clutched his hands over the sides of his head and dropped to the floor as his vision blacked out. His vision continued to fade in and out through blurs, the large room he sat in waning into a small white room with what looked to be light blue curtains and a small television where Mainframe’s monitor should have been. His headache pounded through it all until he finally gave a scream and squeezed his eyes shut. When the headache suddenly stopped he opened his eyes again, but now they had a pale green luster instead of a rich and brilliant brown. Though he still sat in Mainframe and the visions of the other room were gone, he looked around nervously as if he had no idea where he was. He got up slowly, shaking nervously and gasping all the while.
     “…Where…?” he quivered in a whisper between his breaths of air, then put his fingertips against his mouth as if he couldn’t believe the sound he heard. Confused, afraid, but worst of all, alone. He was panicked and unsure what to do, but his worries quickly left with the sudden strike of another horrendous headache, and once he opened his eyes again they had returned to their former brilliance. He held his forehead as he tried to recall what had just happened but he was unable. Soon even the memory of his prior headache had gone, and he came to think that he had only spaced out while setting Mainframe to take him home.
     On the following morning, April got a call from Mrs. Ember regarding Lance. He seemed to be doing better, but they were still uncertain what was causing the episodes. He would have to stay in the hospital until they knew more. All the tests they had run came back negative, and actually implied that he was in great health. Still, it only troubled his mother more with not knowing how to help him.
     In the evening the group met up, in uniform and ready to take on a mission. This time it wasn’t long before Demitri found something, but he gave the group a solemn look before explaining what this mission would entail.
     “Guys, we’re talking about the serious stuff. It’s a gang that, as I speak, is holding up a hotel. There are at least three men, most likely a driver or two outside. They’re armed and they’re ready to take a life if that gets them their money,” Demitri explained bluntly. “Are you ready? And does anyone want to stay here?” he asked and a couple of them looked a little nervous, but they remained standing.
     “I’m ready,” Matthew said first and walked straight into the teleport. He turned back to face the rest of his team as he waited to see who would join him.
     “I’ll go,” Scott said and stepped in.
     “I’m coming too, then,” April determined and joined them, then Crystal gave a nod.
     “I’ll try my best!” she said and ran into the teleport.
     “Okay guys,” Demitri began as he stepped in with them and put his helmet on. “Scott, the second we’re there I want you to use a smoke bomb wherever you see the most hostages. Matthew, you use your force fields to protect those people. When the smoke shoots out the bad guys might start firing. Crystal, heat their guns up as hot as you can, and April, you give me the best boost you can muster so I can make sure we’re all hidden,” Demitri commanded, his hand hovering just over the button that would launch them into the midst of the holdup. “Got it?”
     “Yes sir!” his team answered positively.
     “Then let’s go, heroes,” he said and pressed down on the button.
     Demitri had them covered immediately, hiding them from the view of the people present and the three men holding the place up.
     “LET’S GO!” the gang leader shouted, pointing his gun at the hotel clerk to make her hurry and get the money. The other men stood with their guns toward the small crowd of guests, though their fingers stayed off the triggers.
     As soon as Scott got his bearings, he tossed a ball that ignited in midair, gushing out smoke and catching the eyes of the entire gang. Matthew already had the crowd covered, but there wasn’t much he could do for the clerk or his team. The gang leader shot into the air when he saw the smoke quickly filling space. Those who had started to run suddenly ducked low to the ground behind the smokescreen. The gang men were looking frantically for any sign of police or guards.
     April felt her heart racing but stayed focused on her team. She was gripping Demitri’s hand tightly and trying to concentrate on increasing his abilities. She could feel her powers coursing through her, and Demitri could feel them flowing into him.
     Crystal was focused primarily on the leader’s gun.
     “GIVE IT TO ME!!” the leader screamed at the clerk, then reached across the counter and ripped the bag she had been filling out of her hand. As he pulled the bag toward himself, he pointed his gun directly at her head, but a sudden scorching heat caused him to drop both his gun and the money. He swiftly tried to pick the bag back up but Demitri kicked him to the side, inadvertently revealing himself. April gasped loudly, but Crystal suddenly burned the gang members’ hands as they turned to see Demitri, causing both of them to drop their guns.
     The leader grabbed Demitri by the leg and tried pulling him down but Scott ran in and tackled him while Demitri shrouded the team again and proceeded to handcuff the man while he struggled with Scott.
     At that point the clerk dropped down out of sight, hiding behind the counter and using her trembling hands to try and make a phone call, though authorities had already been informed by another and that was how Demitri and his team knew to show up.
     The other two gang members started toward the door in a panic. Matthew released his force field and grabbed one of the men while Crystal hurried to gather up the guns and get them as far away from the riot as possible.
     Just as one of the gang members made it to the exit, another burst in through the front door and Matthew released the guy he was holding to create a force field around the entrance to keep them out. Crystal hurried back by Scott and Demitri but froze in place when she saw the new intruder.
     “What is going on here!?” the man yelled with a gun held high. Demitri, seeing Matthew’s force field guarding them, unveiled himself and slowly began to walk forward. The man stood wide-eyed only a moment but didn’t hesitate to start shooting. When his two bullets were both blocked and dropped with a ting against the tiled floor, the man turned around to run. When he turned, he saw the lights from police cars closing in.
     “Frostbite, burn his gun!” Demitri ordered and Crystal, with a pounding heart and rush of adrenalin, immediately ran forward while focused on increasing the heat of his gun. The man who had just entered ran back outside, but dropped his blazing hot gun on the way. The other men placed their hands in the air, and as the door closed one more gunshot was heard, but this time it was fired by cops.
     Demitri and Scott still had the lead criminal cuffed and pinned, but Demitri knew the cops would be running in at any moment and their smokescreen had already mostly dissipated. He could feel a slight headache but brushed it off as over-exertion and unveiled the whole team. “Valor, make sure the receptionist is okay,” Demitri commanded and Scott stood up and jumped behind the counter to see the clerk. “Force, Hope, Frostbite!” Demitri called over and they dropped what they were doing to respond.
     “Here!” April replied, readily awaiting orders.
     “You guys teleport back to Mainframe. I’ll handle the rest,” he commanded and they obeyed.
     “Are you okay?” Scott asked the frightened clerk and she nodded.
     “I-I think so! Am I really seeing you?” she asked in shock.
     “Let me help you up,” Scott offered with his hand extended.
     “How is she?” Demitri asked, still holding the criminal down.
     “She’s not hurt!” Scott replied as he pulled her up off the ground. She brushed her hands across her face and through her short blonde hair, trying to keep from breaking down despite all that just happened to her.
     “All right. Let’s go!” Demitri ordered as the cops banged in through the front door.
     “Freeze!” they shouted, but Scott and Demitri immediately teleported away. The cops looked around frantically and rushed to apprehend the criminal that was trying to scurry away.
     None of these things would trouble the small band of heroes, though. They were all at Mainframe cheering with congratulations to one another while giving high-fives on a job well done.
     “Amazing job back there, guys. What did you think?” Demitri asked among the smiling faces.
     “It was awesome!” Scott and Crystal cheered at the same time.
     “I think I handled things pretty well, if I do say so myself,” Matthew bragged as he went ahead and pulled off his armor.
     “Well, how about we celebrate tomorrow night? We could go in for an extra round of bowling. I’ll even treat you all to some ice cream! I think after a job like that we deserve a little break,” Demitri said. Crystal and Scott seemed especially happy about the idea.
     April noticed Demitri rubbing at his temples a little and felt somewhat worried. “You okay?” she asked him with concern.
     “Yeah, yeah! I’m fine. Just a little headache is all,” Demitri assured her.
     The team continued to talk and celebrate a bit more before they parted ways. With Matthew, Scott and Crystal gone, April waited just a bit longer before going, wanting to make sure Demitri was all right. She removed her helmet and delayed removing the rest of her armor until she could be certain he was well.
     “Okay, Scott’s gone now. I’ll set the teleport to take you home and I’ll see you tomorrow night!” he said and she hesitantly touched his arm.
     “Wait,” she requested and he stopped. “Are you sure you’re okay?” she asked again, looking him straight in the eye.
     “I’m-” he started to answer but a headache much like the previous night’s came over him suddenly and he dropped his head, grasping it in both hands. “Urgh--!” he groaned.
     “Demitri!” she gasped as he fell to the floor. This time the headache didn’t last as long and didn’t get quite as bad, but he still reacted violently to it. “What’s wrong? Demitri!!” April cried but he couldn’t reply until it left him. He opened his eyes and glanced around in confusion.
     “Here again…” he said as he started to stand, all signs of pain gone.
     “Are you okay? What happened?” April asked and he became very alert, as if he didn’t know she was standing by him.
     “…April?” he asked in bafflement, then turned away. “I get it…” he said and she stared at him, unsure what to do or say. “Hah, this is all just a dream. A continuing dream. That’s why none of it feels real. That’s why you’re here,” he said, turning back to look at her.
     “What are you talking about?” she asked and he stepped closer.
     “This is my dream, and that must mean you feel differently about me, and I’m actually somebody important,” he continued, saying things she didn’t understand and beginning to scare her into stepping back, while he continued to slowly move in closer. “It’s…weird being taller than you,” he admitted and she held her hands out to tell him to halt.
     “Stop! Okay, you’re freaking me out! What are you talking about?” she demanded. He didn’t stop however, he took her by the wrists and pulled her close to him, but she tried to push away. “Stop it! Let go!” she yelled as he tried to wrap his arms around and hold her, then finally she gave him one hard push in the stomach and pulled her arms back, staring at him with disbelief. “I said stop it!” she scolded. He stood looking down at her with what she could now see were pale green eyes. She stood frozen, unsure how to react.
     “You…don’t feel any differently here, do you?” he said sadly.“I’m…sorry...” he apologized as he looked down at the floor. “I made an assumption… But I guess not even my dreams could make that birthday wish come true.”
     “I’m going home,” she said, rather upset. She pushed her way past him and set the portal for her house.
Demitri suddenly snapped out of it and saw April heading out. He shook his head and rubbed his eyes. “April!” he called out and she looked at him only to shake her head.
     “I’m going to stay home tomorrow. You can go bowling without me,” she told him, then left right then. Demitri clutched at his head as his memories of what had happened faded out till he only recalled her sudden departure and statement that she would not be joining them.
What…did I do? he pondered to himself in earnest with the strangest tingling of regret.
     The evening that followed had everyone excited. Everyone except Demitri and April.
     “All right. Are you all ready to go?” Demitri asked the group, trying to stay positive.
     “Yeah but shouldn’t we wait for April?” Scott asked.
     “April’s not going to make it tonight,” Demitri replied and Scott looked disappointed.
     “Aw, no worries,” Matthew said as he swung his arm around Scott. “With Demitri and Crystal on a team we’d actually have a fair game! I mean winning is great and all, but beating April over and over does start to get dull after a while,” he said, trying to sound optimistic.
     “That’s mean!” Crystal exclaimed.
     “Come on, guys. We don’t have all night. The alley does close eventually!” Demitri said and led the way. They walked down the sidewalk in the cool evening’s ever-so-slight breeze. Once they were all inside and had their lanes rented out, everyone aside from Demitri had a great time. Demitri could feel a headache start, but something was different this time, and it faded before it could really get bad. His thoughts suddenly felt mixed, like the thoughts of two different people.
      Crystal got a nice spare on her round, then Scott came close but missed by a pin. After their turns they went back to get some candy, and Matthew took the moment as an opportunity.
     Demitri picked up his bowling ball and tried to focus on the game, rather than his worries, but a part of him felt like he wasn’t really there. It was as if he was now detached from the world around him, until Matthew suddenly spoke up.
     “So when are you going to tell me what happened between you and April?” Matthew asked just before the ball left Demitri’s hand, causing all his focus to be cut off and the ball to go directly to the gutter. Matthew crossed his arms and smirked while Demitri stared at the pins, which were still standing in all the lanes. “Oooh, did I hit a nerve?” Matthew teased.
     Demitri suddenly held his arm out towards the lane then swung it to the side as the pins from every single lane suddenly collapsed, creating a loud roar that not only caught the attention of Scott and Crystal, but the man working behind the counter, though he missed what happened.
     “Whoa! What did you just do!?” Matthew exclaimed but Demitri didn’t answer. He simply turned to his left and started walking toward the door. “Hey!” Matthew yelled, but Demitri just kept walking. Scott and Crystal got up from the candy machines and ran toward Matthew.
     “What happened?” Scott asked Matthew and he stopped to look back at Crystal and Scott.
     “I dunno, he just snapped, but then he… Ah, come on! Let’s go stop him,” Matthew instructed and they headed out the door after him. They ran out to see Demitri walking down the middle of the street. No cars were present, but it certainly didn’t seem like the wisest way to travel. Matthew ran out to the street with Scott and Crystal behind him, looking out at Demitri, who was at most a hundred feet away.
     “Demitri!” Matthew yelled and Demitri stopped, but didn’t turn around. “What are you doing? Get off the road! I hope you know you’ve dragged all of us out here in the middle of the street!” Matthew shouted, then noticed the orange streetlights start to bend and creak. He and the others looked left and right, watching the lights bend down toward the road until the glass suddenly burst and sparks flew out. Demitri slowly turned around, his eyes now glowing a pale green that slowly became more intense. Matthew turned his head just slightly while peering forward, focusing on Demitri’s eyes. “Guys…” he started to say, slowly putting his arms out to tell Crystal and Scott to get behind him. “I don’t think that’s Demitri,” he said and Demitri suddenly thrust a hand forward, as a powerful gust of wind and shattered glass came hurtling toward them. Matthew immediately blocked with a force field while Crystal screamed and Scott instinctively tried to block, then stared in shock. “Guys, go to Mainframe and get whatever you can to tie him down!” Matthew commanded and Crystal nodded nervously.
     “What about you!?” Scott asked.
     “I’ll hold him off. Now GO!” Matthew ordered, just before another attack was sent hurling toward him. Scott and Crystal teleported away, then rushed over to the wall to see what they could find.
     “Okay, grab the cuffs and I’ll get the rope!” Scott said as he reached for the rope on the wall.
     “Scott, what’s going on?” Crystal asked as she grabbed handcuffs.
     “I don’t know, but the sooner we can get him back to Mainframe, the better!” Scott said as he rushed to set the teleport, then got inside its light. Crystal ran in with him and the two teleported back, but stood in the alley, which was behind Demitri. “Okay, let’s run out and cuff him!” Scott said and traded her the long and heavy rope for the handcuffs.
     “Scott, I can’t carry this!” Crystal said but he was already running out on the road. “Scott!”
Matthew caught sight of Scott running in from behind and created a shield just big enough to cover himself as he charged at Demitri. Demitri held both arms out then pulled them together as if a body of water were around him, and just as a body of water would push forward in a wave, a mass of energy engulfed the area before him with enough force to push Matthew backwards and to the ground. Scott made his move right then, clasping the handcuffs on one of Demitri’s wrists, but being pushed a great distance backwards before he could pull it to the other. Crystal ran in unguarded when she saw Scott thrown back, trying to help him to his feet while Demitri turned his attention back to Matthew.
     “We can’t stop him,” Scott gasped between heavy breaths.
     “We can! We just need help!” Crystal assured him, then his eyes darted back and forth as an idea came to him. He whipped out his cell phone and made a call, hoping for the life of him that she would answer.
     Meanwhile, April rolled over to the side of her bed and lazily grabbed her cell phone, feeling a complete drain after a long day of over thinking and regretting.
     “Hello?” she answered in a groggy voice that made her sound as though she had just woken up.
     “April! Go to Mainframe and come to the bowling alley RIGHT NOW!” Scott yelled and she sat up.
     “What?” she questioned in perplexity.
     “There’s no time! Just hurry! Matthew might not last much longer!” Scott screamed in urgency and she grabbed her C-Cuff.
     “Okay, I’m coming! Give me just a minute!” she said, then heard his phone hang up. She rushed to throw her hero uniform on just so she would be in something aside from her nightgown, then teleported to Mainframe. When there she didn’t bother with her armor, but she did hope this wasn’t some horrible joke since she had the rest of her costume on.
     Scott and Crystal had gone back to get the rope. Then, each holding one end, they charged at Demitri while yelling to try and get his attention. Demitri began to turn, then pushed them back with a wave of his hand. Matthew jumped up off the ground and wrapped both arms around him from behind, but Demitri broke free with little struggle and pushed Matthew to the ground again.
     “I’m tired. I just want it to end,” Demitri said as he rubbed at his forehead.
     April ran around from the alleyway as a cold chill blew through the air. There she saw Demitri standing, broken glass scattered about him. Her other comrades were laying there on the street beneath him, unable to fight and unable to move. Their faces were scuffed from the continuous struggle.
     “It’s useless, really. I’m going to end this dream. This nightmare,” Demitri said as he held his hand up toward the sky.
     “No!” came April’s voice loud and clear from behind him. He turned around slowly, lowering his hand and staring at her with astonishment. “What are you doing!?” she shrieked and he remained frozen. Matthew, Scott and Crystal could feel a release from the pressure he had over them, but none of them moved. They waited to see if April could get through to him, but Matthew watched cautiously, ready to intervene if necessary.
     “April…” Demitri quietly said as she walked closer to him.
     “Just what has gotten into you?” she asked, staring at his eyes, though they slowly lost their glow.
     “I just want it to be over,” he said with a look of exhaustion.
     “You want what to be over?” she inquired further.
     “The nightmares, the headaches, the pain. I just want to go back to before all this happened. When I could just drop by the café and see you, have ice cream, not worry about the trip home,” he answered.
     “You can still do all of that. And we can figure out what’s causing your headaches. Maybe it’s just another stage of your powers developing,” she said gently.
     “Powers? My powers? I wake up every day in the hospital. I have no real power. I couldn’t even save my dad. The one time he was counting on me, and I got too scared to do anything,” he said almost tearfully.
     “Your dad…?” she questioned while Matthew thought over what he was saying, unable to make sense of it.
     “Tell me. What happened?” she probed further.
     “I’ve told you before, April. It was wrong of me to blame the doctors, though. They did everything they could. It was my fault for not calling an ambulance sooner,” he said and her eyes widened.
     “Lance?” she said and he looked at her pitifully.
     “Do you think when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll be able to go home?” he asked and smiled sheepishly. “I don’t…have good dreams while in this hospital,” he commented while looking at Matthew, who pretended to be knocked out.
     “Listen to me, Lance,” April said and he looked back at her. “This isn’t a dream. You need to focus on going back to that hospital.”
     “Why?” he asked, seeming to grow tired.
     “Because when you wake up in the morning I’m going to come visit you,” April assured him and he smiled.
     “You’re the only good part of this nightmare. Just like real life,” he said shyly. “Thank you. I could never say it to you in person, but you made the difference for me after I lost my dad. You were the only person besides my mom who ever even cared. That’s… why I always liked you,” he said, and shut his eyes. Then Demitri suddenly groaned as he opened them, his brilliant brown eyes now revealed. “Ah, man…I spaced ou-” he stopped as he suddenly noticed April standing right in front of him. “April?” he said as Matthew got off the ground. “Guys?” he said as he looked around. “What happened here?” he asked, seeing the torn up streetlights and scattered glass.
     “The end!” Scott said, sitting up and placing the rope he and Crystal had been holding down on the street.
     “The end of a very interesting night, you mean,” Crystal remarked as she also sat up.
     “You’re back to normal!” Matthew exclaimed and Demitri gave him a funny look. “Come on, I think we should get going,” Matthew urged the others.
     “Wait, why am I handcuffed?” Demitri asked, holding his C-Cuff up and seeing the handcuffs dangle from his wrist.
     “It’s a long story. We’ll explain at Mainframe!” Scott said and the team agreed to teleport back and explain a very interesting story, though even they weren’t sure they completely understood.

 

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