I hear someone calling my name, "Jordy! Jordan, please! Stop thrashing, child!" The voice is far away, getting gradually closer.

"Mmph..." My eyes flutter open, "Wha? Wh-Where am I?" I begin to panic.

"Hospital. You were shot... In a coma for two weeks." My mom kisses my head and hands me my cell phone.

"Phew... I just had a terrible nightmare..." I hug her.

"Well, your friends are here now. Akihiko, Hitomi, Etsu, Kai, Hina, Luna... Even Dmitri came!" Mom beams.

"Uhm... Where... Uh... Where are we on the globe?" I blush, hating how I can't remember.

"Well we're in Nagoya, Japan... You saved Akihiko..." Mom holds my hand.

"But... We had that fight..." Tears begin to form in my eyes.

"Jordy... Uh..." Akihiko is holding something behind his back, "Sorry... Uhm... For everything..." He hands me an envelope, "Don't open it until you think the time is right."

"Hey, it's alright..." I smile weakly at him, "I don't need anything." I try to sit up, it hurts too much and I press the morphine button, "So, where's the bullet? I could turn it into a necklace or something."

Dmitri holds up a jar with a small metal object inside it, "Here..." He hands it to me gingerly.

"Ah... Thanks... Uh... How'd you find out about this?"

"Your mom spoke to my mom... My mom insisted I come to see you... I've been here for three days..." He smiles.

"Heh... Sorry..." I blush more.

"It wasn't any trouble... Uhm," He seems to be holding something back, "When you were dreaming... You were talking in your sleep... We all heard..."

"About...?" I inquire.

"The Bake-Neko and Neko-Mata... And, well... There's something you should know." He struggles to find the correct words.

"What is it? Will someone PLEASE tell me!" I insist.

"Ceilia was an ancestor-a real ancestor-of ours. Although, long ago the Emporer married his Bake-Neko, making Royalty and the Bake-Neko one in the same, and-" Dmitri continues.

"Oh no... No, no, no! It isn't true... It can't be!" I shake my head to clear my thoughts from the morphine.

"It is. Although eventually that royal family was eventually driven into hiding and later adapted to be, for the most part, fully human... They are still, to this day, Bake-Neko. The dream you had was very true, Jordan..."

"Dmitri, I'm really in no mood for joking, so please-" I begin.

"This isn't a joke, Jordan," Mother chimes in, "Ceilia is an ancestor on your father's side."

"Uhm... I... I don't know what to say... Uhm..." I am very shocked.

"We'll give you a bit of time to rest and take it all in, come along children." Mother stands to leave.

"Ah... Thanks... For telling me, I mean..." I speak up, avoinding the gazes of my astonished friends.

They all leave the room quietly, their heads down. The silence envelopes me. With a sigh, I pick up the letter from Akihiko.

The letter reads:

I've been keeping so much from you. I never told you any of my true feelings, I was too afraid. Now, though, I believe I am ready to tell you. If you're reading this, then you've decided that it's the 'right time'. I should also mention Dmitri... He's also in love with you. I've admired from a distance for so long... I really don't mind if you haven't got the same feelings for me. All I ever wanted was for you to be happy. Jordan, I'll give you the right to choose.
I love you.

I set the letter down and wipe the tears from my face. "Aki-!" My voice is hoarse; I cough and try again, "Akihiko!" I force myself to stand, "Thank you, Aki-!" I sob and tear the IV and other various attatchements off my body, "Akihiko!" I begin to walk slowly, only wanting to thank him. I reach the door when I realize the blood coming from my side. My gunshot wound has reopenned. There is a small pool of the deep red liquid forming on the floor. I collapse, "Akihiko!" I try to stand.

"Jordan!" Akihiko rushes to my side, "Jordan... Why did you-!"

"I... Akihiko, I... I wanted to thank you... For telling me the truth..." I force myself to stay concious.

Dmitri runs to my other side, "Live, damn it! Jordan!" He holds my hand.

"Nn... I love..." I feel blood rushing out of my mouth in a small trickle, "I can't... Ch-choose... Nn..." I vomit, "I love both of you..."

"Go get a doctor! Please! Akihiko, HURRY!" Dmitri pushes Akihiko up.

Hina sobs, clinging to Hitomi.

Kai is in shock, shiverring furiously, "L-live... Jordan..." She holds back tears that she has always been afraid to shed.

Etsu tries to calm Kai, Hina, and Hitomi, "Sh-shhh... She'll be fine... They know what they're doing-the doctors..."

"My baby! Someone save my baby! SAVE MY BABY!" My mother is franticly, helplessly, hysterically sobbing, "Please! She's all I've got left!" She falls to her knees.

"LIVE! Please Jordy!" Luna has never cried, and for the first time I see tears forming in her eyes.

"P-please... Nn... I promise that you'll remember me smiling... If you will all just smile for me..." I am barely concious.

"How can you make such a stupid promise!" Dmitri cries, "You're going to live! Damn it!"

Akihiko rushes back, "They're coming. Please, Jordan! Live!"

I force myself to stand once again, the hospital spins, "I'll... L-live... Nn..." I cover my moth just moments before a wave of bloody vomit comes up, Akihiko holds onto me so I am able to stand.

"Ma'am, please sit right here..." A calm nurse has rolled a gourney so it is just behind me, "Miss Minami...?"

I don't register who she is talking to, "I only wanted to... I only wanted to thank you all... Before I died..."

"Miss Minami!" The nurse said a little louder, "Please lie down!"

"Ah... Nn... Y-yes..." I fall back onto the gourney, hospital officials surround me, and I loose conciousness.

When I come to, I am in my own bed. There is what looks like a small, frail woman, sleeping beside my bed, "W-what happened...?" I ask, sitting up. I recognize the woman as my mother.

"You were unconcious... You had emergency surgery, and were put into a medically-induced coma. I only brought you home a week ago..." She smiles, holding back happy tears.

"How long... Uhm... How long has it been?"

"It's been three months... You're in school now... It's the beginning of winter..."

"We're in Nagoya still, right?" I smile, attempting to make a joke.

Mother laughs nervously, "Yes... We're in Nagoya."

"Phew. Thank Kami! Hey... Where's everyone else?"

"They haven't been in school at all. They've insisted on staying here so that they could see you when you woke up... I'll call them in." Mother stands and turns to leave. I see her wipe her arm across her face, leaving a black line of mascara and eye liner across her sleave, "Kids," She whispers out the door, "Kids... She's awake!"

"How is she?" Excited voices come from just outside my door.

"Come in and see her." Mother beckons to them.

Hitomi, Akihiko, Hina, Dmitri, Kai, Etsu, and Luna all rush into the room, tears of joy on their cheeks and brilliant smiles on their mouths.

"Hey guys! I missed you all!" I grin, fighting back my own happy tears.

"NEVER try to save my life again, Jordan. Let me try to save yours." Akihiko hugs me gently.

"He's right, Jordan, you shouldn't keep on trying to be the hero." Hitomi adds.

For the first time in quite a while, I begin laughing, "Thanks..."

Hina pushes through the others, "Gotcha something..." She places a stuffed bear, dressed as a Mexican taco, on my stomach.

"Wow... Uh... Thanks... It's awesome." I feel somewhat awkward.

"Consider it a gift from me, too. I forgot to buy you anything..." Kai grins.

"And the rest of us, too." Etsu laughs.

"Thanks, guys!"

For some time laughter is heard from my bedroom, echoing throughout the house.

Mother watches, baffled at our odd behaviours, "I'll never understand why teenagers act the way they do..." She shakes her head.

Her statement makes the rest of us laugh, and again we are absorbed in conversation.

I wish I could say that my story had a "Happily ever after," ending, but in truth it did not. I was still a teenager, and I still had quite a lot to experience-heartbreak and "True love," among others. I would eventually learn very much about my ancestor, Ceilia, and would be lead to her last resting place. There I would meet a very strange race of Bake-Neko, my distant-and not so distant-cousins.

Eventually, I would feel compelled to write about my ordeal-my dreams, my meeting of my cousins, my recovery, and my ancestors. I would begin the novel with: "When I said goodbye to him, I hadn't realized then that I was saying goodbye to my whole world..." I would not publish it until I had perfected every last word of it so it was one hundred percent truth.