Author's note: And that's the end of this story. Not a particularly great one, but oh well. The main reason I did it, truthfully, was so that I wouldn't be killing Faizal "off-panel," so to speak. I knew I was going to kill him - I'd decided that a long time ago - but I'd originally planned to just have it mentioned, not shown. But I decided that I should try to give more characters deaths that mean something. So I came up with this story, shitty though it was. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it at least a little bit.

Faizal's body was left in the middle of the town he'd been leaving in; David placed it when no one was looking. They all felt bad that they wouldn't be at his funeral, but they didn't see any way around it. So instead, after spending a couple hours being debriefed by Zelda's mother, they returned to the airport.

"Are you sure you guys have to go so soon?" Zelda asked.

"Sorry," Kevin said. "We've got to get back to our lives."

"Yeah, I'd love to stay, but I can't," David said. "I'm going to make it a point to come back, though. Soon."

"Same here," Stephen agreed.

"Well, it's been nice meeting you all," Zelda said. "I'm sorry things didn't work out how you wanted."

"Yeah," Lindsay said.

"Are you going to be OK?" Zelda asked Lindsay.

"Yeah," Lindsay nodded. "I'll be fine. I mean, it's not like I was actually in love with Faizal. I could've fallen for him, if he'd stayed in America with me. But he left, and whatever we could've had went with him."

"All right. You have my email, so keep in touch, OK?"

"I will," Lindsay smiled and gave Zelda a hug before boarding the plane.

"Greece isn't that far from Israel," Rika said, "so I might come back soon. If I do, I'll look you up, and you can show me around."

"Only if you promise not to make me think I'm about to die," Zelda replied.

"No promises," Rika said with a laugh. They hugged, and Rika got on the plane.

"It was nice meeting you," Kevin said. He holds his hand out.

"Oh, come here," Zelda said. She pulled him into a hug. He blushed, then boarded the plane hurriedly.

"Thanks for helping us out," David said as he gave her a quick hug. "I doubt we would've even survived without you."

"I was glad to help. And you guys helped me, too. Now I know that I don't want to be shot at."

"Ha! A great epiphany!" David got on the plane.

"Well, uh, bye," Stephen said awkwardly. He gently hugged her.

"Have a safe flight," Zelda replied.

Stephen got on the plane, and Zelda walked back into the airport, where her mother was waiting for her. "You've seen your friends off?" her mother asked.

"Yes. I'm going to miss them."

"I'm sure you'll chat with them online."

"Yeah, but it's not the same. They're the first real friends I've ever had, and I only got to know them for a couple days. It's not fair."

"Well, you know how to make more friends," her mother said.

"Yeah, yeah. By talking to people. That's easy for you to do – you always know exactly what to say. I'd probably just embarrass myself."

Her mother sighed. "Come on, let's get home."

On the plane, Lindsay sat looking out the window. "You're sure you're going to be OK?" Rika asked. "If you want, I can go back to America with you, then have the plane fly me back after you're dropped off."

"Don't do that," Lindsay said. "That would be stupid. We'll drop you off in Athens. I'll be fine. Like I told Zelda, me and Faizal didn't really have anything. And after two years, anything we did have was long dead. I'm just sad for what could have been."

"Not to speak ill of the dead," David said, "but I still have no idea what you saw in him."

"I hate to agree with Dave," Rika said, "but . . . I kinda agree with Dave."

Lindsay smiled sadly. "Yeah, I know. It's not something I can really explain, either. But we shared memories. I don't think it's easy not to feel close to someone after that. But there was never really a chance that it would work out between us. He couldn't let go of his anger. He clung to it. He said he could never leave Palestine, but that was a lie. He stayed in Palestine because he wanted to fight. It was his way of lashing out at the world. If he'd been able to let go of his anger, it might have worked out between us. But he couldn't do it, and it got him killed."

"Poor guy," Rika shook her head.

"So what are you going to do now?" Kevin asked Lindsay.

"What do you mean?" Lindsay asked.

"Well, I mean . . . I don't know. What are you going to do?"

"I'm going to go home and continue living my life. What else would I do?"

"Not going to, like, use your powers for good or whatever?"

Lindsay shrugged. "If you mean become a superhero, then no, of course not. That's not the life I want to live."

"Oh. I want to live that life."

"Then do it," David said. "Go on that superhero message board and see if anyone would be interested in joining you."

"Ah, I can't," Kevin moped. "My mom wouldn't let me leave Boston, and there's just not that much supercrime there."

"Yeah, and you'll be starting university soon, right?" Stephen asked. "There's probably a lot you'll need to do to get ready for that."

"Yeah, I guess so," Kevin sulked.

"Maybe your studies can help you be a more effective superhero," David said.

"Yeah. Yeah, I guess you're right," Kevin said. He was cheered up. "I need to work my mind out a lot more so I can contain explosions without passing out."

"At least you could do that much," David told him. "I wasn't much use in that fight. Flying's awesome, but on its own, it's not a very offensive power. That's why I don't go superheroing much."

"Hey, guys?" Lindsay said. "If you don't mind, I think I'm just going to try to sleep for a bit."

"OK," Rika said. "Message me when you get home, OK?"

"Sure," Lindsay nodded. Then she closed her eyes.

She dreamed of Faizal, but she didn't dream about being him.

Several months later

Lindsay read the news reports about the fighting between Israel and Gaza, and she sighed. If conflict was what the mystery group wanted, they sure got it. It was tough to tell how things might have gone if he'd lived. He had spent the past two years trying to keep his people mostly in line, but things escalated after his death. The Palestinians blamed Israel for it, and no one could convince them otherwise.

Lindsay closed the browser on her phone; she didn't need reminders of Faizal. She'd been trying to forget him. She silently cursed Stephen for sending her the link to the article. Like she wasn't aware of what was going on over there, and like she wanted to care. She didn't want to care. She wanted to focus on the fact that she was going to be going to college. She was going to study to be a teacher. And she was going to be the best teacher ever.

The thought passed through her mind that she could always volunteer to teach in Gaza. She angrily pushed that thought away. She kept telling herself that it was none of her business. And an American woman living in Gaza would probably be in a lot of danger, and no one would want her there. There was no good reason to do it, and a lot of great reasons not to.

She buried her face in her pillow as she knew she was going to have to do it.

Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. She wouldn't be far from Rika, so they'd be able to hang out once in a while. Maybe she could talk David and Stephen into moving to Israel, and she could hang out with them, too. And there was always Zelda. And with her telepathy, it wasn't like she'd be in that much real danger. She'd be able to sense when anyone wanted to hurt her, and then force them to leave her alone. And she'd still have to get her teaching degree, so she might change her mind in the next couple years anyway.

"Stupid psychic bond," she mumbled. "If Faizal wasn't dead, I'd be tempted to kill him myself."