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You'll See

By Starsong Lightwing


All by myself
I don't need anyone at all
I know I'll survive
I know I'll stay alive
I'll stand on my own
I don't need anyone this time
It will be mine
No one can take it from me
You'll see

Her jeans were wearing through at the knees. The cap holding most of her golden hair was frayed and dirty. The shirt she wore was a little too big for her and stained in places.

Her black jacket was new, thick, and comfortable, however. It was her latest triumph. Nipped it off a park bench while someone was off rough housing with his friends. The shoes, too, were stolen, but they were already beginning to wear. Milantha seemed to be doing a lot of running, these days.

It wasn't that she ever got caught in the act. The teenager was a quick learner, and after watching some of the other street waifs that drifted the streets for a while, she'd managed to get down the basics. She'd even managed to get a few lessons in exchange for helping con a shopkeeper out of some food.

No, it wasn't her victims she ran from. It was her 'neighbors'. The streets weren't safe for a girl at night. Especially since some of the older boys were starting to band together, and becoming general terrors for anyone who got in their way. Everyone ran to stay out of it, and Milantha was no exception.

Until now.

I will not be anyone's victim. Ever again.

She sat on top of a stack of crates in a back alley, the cold stone wall of a building on one side of her, leaning back on another, higher stack, and stared up through the space between the buildings at the night sky. Her wide blue eyes sought out the two brightest stars from the sliver of diamond-flecked midnight that she could see. She'd wondered, when she first started talking to the stars, if it was a sign of insanity. She didn't care. She couldn't be alone, she needed her mom and dad.

Milantha felt cold as the doctor came in. "The tests results are in," he began. "It doesn't look like the venom's done any permanent damage to her nervous system. The odds are good that she'll be able to walk again."

Mrs Lightwing gave a small cry and hugged her daughter tightly. Milantha wasn't quite so enthused as she watched the doctor's face.

"How long?"

"I don't know. It's going to take a lot of physical therapy. It's not going to be pleasant at all, and there's no telling how complete a recovery you'll make..."

He'd been right. It wasn't pleasant. It went far beyond unpleasant, in fact, touching on the realm of unbearably painful, at times.

"Come on, baby, you can do it. Walk."


"I know it hurts, Mil, but you can do it!" He touched the chain of her necklace. "You made it this far. You're not going to let that thing keep you down, are you?"

Milantha grimaced and started moving again. "No."

"That's my girl..."

Milantha stared at the twin points of light. Bet you're not so proud of that now, are you, Daddy? And if you are, you won't be for long. She opened her mouth to tell them, try to explain, maybe. Say goodbye. Something.

She shut it again, after a moment. Tell them or not, they're gonna know, wherever they're watching from. Might as well say it to their face.

She turned away and faced out in the alley, pulling her stolen jacket tighter around her body. As it turned out, she didn't have to wait much longer. She shrank back in a reflex as a shadow appeared, sillouhetted against the street beyond. It didn't matter, he knew she was there. "Come out."

Milantha took a deep breath and glanced skyward one more time, then hopped off her seat and tried to look confident as she walked toward him. "I'm ready." I'm sorry, Momma, Daddy. But I can't live like this any longer. The Brotherhood's my only choice. I'm taking control of my life, and if I have to do it alone, then that's how it has to be. Please understand. Goodbye.


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