Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Green Rider books or anything contained within them. In this case, I only own the OC.

Author's Note: Since I've taken down my Avatar fic for revision, I've decided to put this one up. It's a bit risky, since I've only written two chapters so far. Thus, updates may be a bit long in coming between chapters. Still, please don't turn away because of that! Please! This idea came to me over the summer. I forget what sparked it, but I liked the idea. It's actually a cross-over with an anime, but I'm not going to tell you which, for it might ruin later surprises. You'll get major hints along the way, so those who watch the anime will know what it is. I'll tell you now: You might think that it doesn't fit at first, but when the "secret" is revealed, I'll be sure to explain the how's of the situation. Also, I don't believe Garth's "Rider talent" is specified in the books, so I'll be giving him one later on. If anyone knows/is able to find out what it is, please tell me. I try to make my fics as accurate as possible considering major points (and some minor ones too).

Spoiler Warning! This takes place right after High King's Tomb.


Out of Blackveil Forest

The sun rose over the choppy sea, painting the water bloody red and sending nervous murmurs through Grandmother's retainers. The old woman made no move to calm them. Their fear would keep them close to her, protected from the beasts of Blackveil. When she rose from her seat on a broad black stone, her granddaughter Lala followed suit, shuffling beside her as she led the small expedition on down the beaten road that paralleled the ocean.

"Grandmother!" one of her retainers gasped after a few minutes. "What is that?"

The man pointed at a dull object grounded on the shore. Its shape mimicked that of a boat, though its angles were sharper and it was made of metal with no mast to speak of. Grandmother approached the object, seemingly without fear. In truth, her heart pounded in her chest. This object did not belong. It was newly beached, for the sand around it had not quite settled back to its proper place. Boot prints, half refilled with gritty black sand, led from the side of the boat off into Blackveil.

"What is it, Grandmother?" another of the retainers asked in a hushed whisper.

Grandmother scowled. She would not admit that she did not know. Instead she straightened her back from inspecting the footprints. "It doesn't belong here," she replied, "but it is none of our concern. The Sleepers will deal with it when they awaken." The old woman followed the shallow prints with her eyes as they vanished into the woods, adding mentally, If Blackveil doesn't deal with it first.

Alton D'yer strode slowly through the morning light, nervously turning the letter in his hands over and over. It had taken several drafts before he finally was able to write what he wanted to say to Karigan, but now he second-guessed himself. Would she accept his apology? Was their friendship ruined for good? Before he could give in to his worries and tear up the letter to start again, a strong hand snatched it from his grasp.

"I'll take that, thank you," Garth said with a grin. "Is there anything else you want to add to your report?"

Alton's eyes followed the letter as Garth tucked it into his breast pocket. Once it was out of sight, he focused on his fellow Green Rider. "Er, no."

The large man before him nodded. "Alright. If that's it, then I'll –"

Before he could finish his sentence, shouts of alarm and warning sounded from the area around the breach. The two Riders exchanged startled looks before running toward the commotion.

"Lord D'yer!" a soldier called as the two approached. "There's something moving in the forest. Coming this way!"

Garth drew his sword as Alton bit his lip. "Can you tell what it is?" the D'yer asked.

"It appears to be human, Sir, but we can't be certain. It could be a trick of the light."

"Or it could be Mornhavon the Black," Garth growled.

Someone up on the wall shouted, "There it is! Ready!"

Bow strings were pulled taught. Alton slid his own saber from its sheath, stepping so that he could get a good look through the breach. It took him a moment to make out the shadow moving within shadows, a hunched figure wrapped in a tattered cloak. Icy winter wind cut through the air, forcing the figure to pause and raise an arm to protect its head against the onslaught.

The wind tore off the cloak's hood, revealing golden blonde hair half-fallen from what might have once been a tight bun. The figure lifted its head, fiercely green eyes gazing forward to the breach in the D'yer Wall. The arm lowered and Alton heard a nearby soldier gasp sharply.

"It's just a girl," the man stated with an amazed tone, the point of his arrow beginning to drop.

"Stay on guard," Alton replied, tightening his grip on his sword. "Appearances can be greatly deceiving."

On the wall above them, archers trained their arrows on the young woman. Her eyes flicked from one sharp point to the next with a distant expression. She seemed almost at peace, somehow, as if she welcomed an arrow to the heart. The girl closed her eyes, drawing in a deep breath. When she opened them, she stepped forward.

Alton held out a hand. "Stop! Come no closer!" The girl hesitated for a moment, mid-step, but continued on. Alton gritted his teeth. "Halt!" The tension in the air was nearly tangible.

"Come one, kid. Listen to him," Garth murmured, slightly startling Alton. "Do as he says."

Alton glanced at his fellow Rider, who stared at the girl as if he could make her listen and halt by will alone. Something in his gaze puzzled Alton, who asked, "What's wrong?"

"You don't feel that?" Garth breathed. "You don't hear that?"

Rider D'yer returned his attention to the young woman – still approaching – and listened. After a moment, he did hear something – a sound he had previously mistaken for his heartbeat. It became suddenly more pronounced with each step the girl took until Alton could clearly recognize it. Hoof beats. The sound of galloping horses underlain with the distant call of a horn.

As the disembodied sound rose to a crescendo, the girl suddenly halted and whirled, looking wildly around herself as if searching desperately for something. Alton's mouth became dry. "She can hear it too. But how? Why? This has never happened before."

Garth dropped his sword arm to his side, lifting his other hand to touch the winged horse brooch over his heart. "I don't know. All I know is that she's a Rider. I don't know how I know – I just do." He stepped toward the breach, saber ready just in case he was somehow mistaken. The sound of hoof beats throbbed in his head. "Who are you?" he called.

The young woman's head snapped around, wild green eyes focusing on him. He could see pain behind those emerald orbs – pain and fear and confusion. She spoke softly in a strange tongue, her tone almost pleading. The girl lifted her hands to her ears, closing her eyes and repeating the phrase in a strangled voice.

Before Garth could take a step closer, someone cried a warning from above. "Groundmites!"

Six of the beasts burst from the black forest behind the young woman. She gasped and turned, eyes wide as they took in the spiked mace descending upon her head. With startling reflexes, the girl ducked and rolled to one side, leaving the deadly weapon to slam into the ground where she had been standing but seconds before. The young woman scrambled to her feet, running headlong toward the breach in the wall as arrows hissed through the air around her.

As the girl clambered over the chunks of fallen wall, a bolt whizzed from a groundmite crossbow and imbedded itself in her left leg. She cried out in pain and fell, causing Garth's heart to miss a beat. The sound of hooves in his ears became nearly deafening as he rushed forward. A groundmite, however, got to her first, descending upon the girl with a jagged sword in hand.

Garth screamed a futile warning as the girl rolled to her back and lifted her arms defensively. Something bright shone momentarily in one of her hands before her frail form was lost beneath that of the groundmite.

Silence claimed the area around the breach, and Garth realized that the other groundmites were dead, impaled by well-aimed arrows before they could cross the wall. He stumbled to a halt, staring at the still form of the last groundmite. Was it dead? Was the girl dead?

The beast shifted and rolled – but not of its own power. Coughing, the girl dragged herself from beneath it, using a chunk of wall to heave herself to a half-standing position. Face twisted in pain, horror, and disgust, she tugged a knife from the groundmite's heart, holding it loosely in one hand as she limped the rest of the way across the gap in the wall.

Garth met her, waving back sword-wielding soldiers. "Are you alright, Rider?" he asked, reaching out to help her. He startled himself with the last word, but somehow it felt right.

The girl stared at him for a moment and then at the brooch pinned to his greatcoat. She mumbled something unintelligible; then her legs buckled and collapsed. Reacting quickly, Garth caught her in his thick arms before she hit the ground. As soon as she was in his grasp, the hoof beats cut off. The young woman blinked up at him several times before sighing and losing consciousness, a faint smile of relief on her lips.

Alton approached cautiously. "Garth?"

The large Rider could not tear his gaze from the young woman in his arms. Now that he was seeing her close up, his stomach twisted into knots. Deep circles rimmed her eyes and her pale skin – where it was visible beneath all the dirt – seemed rather sickly. There was no doubt that this young woman had not slept in a long while, and her diet did not seem to be much better, judging by how light and frail she felt in his arms. Her clothing beneath the cloak might have been blue at one time, but it was frayed and faded, hanging loosely over her skeletal frame.

After another prompting from his fellow Rider, Garth finally looked up. "She's one of us," he stated softly. "She reacted to the hoof beats – when they started and when they stopped. I don't know who she is or where she came from, but . . ." His voice trailed off and he rose, lifting her easily in his arms. "She needs medical attention. She's wounded, and it looks to me like she's malnourished as well."

"Garth, are you sure about this?" Alton asked as he trailed behind the giant of a man. "We don't know for certain that –"

"Then I'll take full responsibility if anything goes wrong," Garth interrupted him. "I know it's strange, Alton, but I just have this feeling. She's a Rider. We have to help her."

Alton grunted, not understanding his friend's seeming lapse in judgment. "What about your mission?"

Garth puzzled over this for a moment before grinning – though it was half a wince. "Winter's close. Travel can be difficult and slow. I can spare a day or two. When I leave, I'll take her to Sacor City with me. Captain Mapstone will know what to do."

"And what if she's not a Rider?" Alton asked softly. "You could be bringing the enemy right within reach of the king."

Garth looked down at the unconscious woman in his arms. "Yeah," he said softly. "I know."