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ELLIOTT The blood fell out of her abdomen and her mouth. Gabrielle's eyes were bloodshot, watching her death with her own eyes while staring at the eyes of her murderer. The aims she had, the revenge she was yet to take, the precious face of her dead son and everyone who couldn't stay by her side. Gabrielle's life flashed in front of her eyes. Gabrielle lost her balance. She fell back upon her own pool of blood on the floor, life slowly escaping her. When Elliott and everyone else realised what had happened in seconds, Asami was long gone. Only her hood was left behind. And underneath the hood, were burnt ashes. They stood frozen in their place, distraught in disbelief. No one caught up. No one believed their eyes. No one could save Gabrielle. They cried out, running towards Gabrielle's lifeless body. George fell in front of her, shaking her, trying to get her to wake up. He was crying out loud. "No... no.. wake up.. no!" George yelled, "CALL AN AMBULANCE! PLEASE!" "She's.. breathing," Isis said, rock-still and shaken, holding her hands over her mouth. "Wake up! Please! Open your eyes!" George yelled and shouted for an ambulance or a car. But there's was no help, no way. Gabrielle's eyes squinted open, her eyeballs dilated and her breath running out. Elliott reached out and tightly clutched her hand, burying his forehead on her palms. "Gabrielle! I'm sorry, I'm sorry I couldn't protect you. I'm a failure. I said I had your back... how could I-" All of a sudden, Gabrielle's voice croaked out in soft whispers as her eyes focused on George's face. "Is... there anything.. you can do expect being.. sorry?" She said, running out of breath. "Yes," George said, "just hold on a little longer. Please, I love you." Gabrielle's lips curve to a broken smile and she closed her eyes again, letting go of herself. She wasn't planning on holding on. "I.. will... leave it to you then," the words escaped from Gabrielle's bloodied lips as she took her last breath. And soon, any sign of movement in her body stopped. Her hands didn't tremble, her lips didn't quiver, her heart didn't beat. Quiet. Death was cruel but it was a beautiful thing. But for most, it was peaceful Painful tears rolled down the eyes of the ones who survived and they cried in silence. Gabrielle rested.. in peace as the sky slowly lit up with the sunrise. ~ The memorial started at 9, that day. Except for Elliott and the rest of them, no one came. The one thing that was common between them was that no one would care for their deaths except themselves. Gabrielle's body was closed in a casket placed in front of them as they mourned and cried. But deep down they knew crying wouldn't change the reality. They knew that Gabrielle would've hated to see them cry and would've started pushing them to do something productive. She was too strong-willed that others failed to keep up. She made the others want to be better to match her pace. She was an angry, fierce and wonderful woman. Elliott stood with his head shook down as Gabrielle was getting buried. He was staring at the black hood in his hand that was left behind by Asami. Gabrielle's exorcism had resulted in her turning to ashes and instead, Gabrielle had ended up dead. They ended up ending themselves. He closed his eyes shut and squinted till the tears left his eyes. He couldn't even look at her dead body being buried without feeling remorseful. George had turned numb to his emotions. Fred and Jack stood beside him to handle him while Isis, Meraki and Nish stood close to each other. Isis buried her head on Nish's shoulders, crying silently. Garry had returned that morning with swollen legs and exhilarating breath which meant he had faced something bizarre as well. But when he heard about Gabrielle's demise, he refused to talk. He had turned silent as well, just like everyone else. No one spoke a word. No one moved. Because there was nothing left to say. There was no purpose for them to talk or look at each other. The reason they were stuck together till that time was Phoenix and now she was gone. Why was it required? It didn't even matter anymore... Once the memorial ended, everyone parted ways and walked their own ways. Glendell, license, money, fame, it seemed like nothing mattered anymore. It was just the grief and trauma that they were left with. It was just the attachment that was broken the day she died. ~ Elliott forcefully struggled to keep his eyes open. He didn't want to sleep because he was aware of the nightmares that would see him in his dreams. A week had passed since the day Gabrielle died. But Elliott's life had stopped. He was already feeling suffocated in his four walls with his windows shut tight. Neither his team nor Isis, Meraki and Nish kept any contact with each other. He had come to know that the girls had lost their powers and everything was back to normal. No one even glanced at each other in school or on the streets. As Elliott lied awake, he knew he wouldn't see those cold eyes and malicious grins of the girl that haunted his mind anymore but he was still shaken. Since that day she turned to ashes, the murders in the city had stopped. He started panting, feeling breathless all of a sudden. He got out of bed and pushed open his windows to see the sky filled with stars and a full moon. He let out a cloud of breath as the harsh wind brushed across his face. He walked back and lay in his bed, finally letting his eyes left. As soon as he closed his eyes, he envisioned himself falling. Everything around him was monochrome and full of unstoppable whispers. Then, like reels or the display of someone's last moments in front of their eyes, he started helplessly watching numerous memories in his dream. Dreams that had no relation to him. Dreams that had no meaning to it. He saw a tall woman holding a sharp broken glass piece and standing in front of a child. She crouched down and started carving something on the child's forearm. The wound cut deep to carve a permanent scar on her skin but the girl child didn't even blink an eye. She lied on the wooden slate with her eyes open wide as the mark was getting carved. Suddenly, her face turned to the side and her eyes met Elliott's eyes. Then, the child's lips curved into a crooked smile. Her lips started moving silently. "Are you...?" The child said. Elliott's eyes snap open to the dull morning light. He sat up. His body was calm but his mind was all over the place. The symbol that he had seen in his dream was clear in his mind, so was the child's cold futile eyes... He leapt out of his bed in realisation, startled. He looked out of his window at the unnaturally bright sky and sunshine and the strange chirping of morning birds. It was 6 in the morning and the dream he had seen wasn't even of his parents. The voices in his head that always bothered him never left. Everything pointed to one thing. No one might believe him but if they think about it, they had no evidence not to believe it. In a minute, he left his apartment running. The story was far from over yet. ~ He seeped into the alley of Spring Market and reached the building back door which got him to the basement. He carefully shut the door behind him and crouched down to get hold of the basement doorknob but instead, he felt a lock under his hand. The basement was locked for the first time in years. Distraught, he fell back on the floor. Was the dream that they built together.. gone? Did the days they spent with Gabrielle on their sides mean nothing? Not everything that happens, happens for the best. But if you want the best, you've got to take a step forward. Elliott fished out his phone and hastily typed out a message and immediately sent them to everyone. "She's alive," he wrote.
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