Hey guys! I know this took a lot longer than I'd originally promised, but here it is (finally)!

I'd like to thank everyone who submitted a song. Although I ended up using one of my own songs, I've recorded all the entries and will probably be using a few of the songs you guys suggested in the soundtrack for The Boy with the Emerald Eyes. Once I release that, the people whose songs I used will be getting a prize :) More info on that later, though!

I hope you enjoy it! Please leave criticism (constructive only, please! No flames!) and lemme know what you thought of it! The characters are a little OOC (so don't send me messages ranting about how OOC they are, because I am aware!) and it's set in an alternate type of universe, although it's very similar to the one in the books. Before reading this, I recommend you listen to the song a few times, then play it while you read. It's called Stay (In My Arms) by Nevertheless, and the lyrics have been included below the disclaimer.

Special thanks (and a hug, and virtual cookies!) go out to burningimpossiblybright, my amazing pre-reader for this fic! Thanks for the confidence boost and all your help :P

Disclaimer: Steph's discovered that it really is a small world after all…

Steph: *Speechless*
Are you serious? You've read the Darkest Powers series?

Cousin: Yupp! It's one of my favorites! (Cousin is American. Notice the lack of U's in that word.)

Steph: And you said you read the fanfics too?
*Bites lip worriedly in case he does*

Cousin: Yupp! Do you? Who's your fav author? Mine's this chick who goes by sch_94! I've read everything she's written… ever heard of her?

Steph: *Eyes widen in horror because she's written a few lemons for her stories and her cousin is obviously talking about her because that it her penname (obviously) and because Christina is sitting right next to her and a relatively intelligent person might have made the connection*
No… but whoever she is, I'm sure she doesn't own DP or the characters or any of the media she used in her works, which are purely fictional of course…

Cousin: *Raises eyebrow*
Okay then…
Must be a Canadian thing.

Note: Christina, do you see how bad my disclaimers suck without you? Do you?

Stay (In My Arms) - Nevertheless

Say they let you down
I've been there
I have felt it, too
You are not alone
Don't worry
I'll never let them talk to you that way again

You can
Stay in my arms
Until the morning comes
I'll sing this song for you
Stay, until the morning comes again

You can
Stay in my arms
Until the morning comes
Until this storm is through
Stay, until the morning comes again
I'll be by your side

People are the same
We're broken, we're broken
Full of hurtful words
They don't see you like
I see you
Because if they did
They'd know how much you're worth

You can
Stay in my arms
Until the morning comes
I'll sing this song for you
Stay, until the morning comes again

You can
Stay in my arms
Until the morning comes
Until this storm is through
Stay, until the morning comes again

And I'll be your safest place
I'll be your face out in the crowd
And I'll hold your heart in mine
Because you're here
It's alright now

You can
Stay in my arms
Until the morning comes
I'll sing this song for you
Stay, until the morning comes again

You can
Stay in my arms
Until the morning comes
Until this storm is through
Stay, until the morning comes again

You can
Stay in my arms
Until the morning comes
I'll sing this song for you
Stay, until the morning comes again

You can
Stay in my arms
Until the morning comes
Until this storm is through
Stay, until the morning comes again

I'll be by your side
Stay in my arms

I could hear her crying through the walls, her muffled sobs piercing through the silence of the house. This wasn't the first time I'd heard her crying in her sleep, but something about this time was different – her cries sounded desperate and feral, as if every broken sob shattered her heart on its way out. I wanted to go wake her up; I wanted to shake her awake and whisper comforting words until she calmed down. I needed to wake her up, or the sound of her crying was going to echo endlessly inside my head until it drove me insane. I couldn't just sit here and do nothing.

I couldn't wake her up.

I'd begged and I'd pleaded, but she told me I was never to wake her up, ever. She needed to have these dreams, she said, so even though it killed me to just sit in my room and listen to her cry, I really had no other option.

In the two and a half years I'd known Chloe Saunders, I'd only learned one thing about the reason behind her dreams: she was broken, just like me – like all of us, really… even the ones who wouldn't even admit it to themselves. We were all haunted by our pasts in one way or another, and try as we might to avoid or outrun our demons, they always seemed to catch up eventually…

We were all supernaturals, living together in an old house in the middle of nowhere – a 'safehouse'. We were all on the run from a Cabal – a sort of supernatural Mafia (except in the Cabal's case, they were more focused on the bottom line than anything else). Each of us had something they wanted: a power, a talent – whatever it was, it was either extremely useful or extremely detrimental to them, which was why they hunted us. The safehouse was a secret place where we could hide from the Cabals for extended periods of time. My father – well, adoptive father, technically – found Chloe when she was 15 and brought her to the safehouse because the Cabal had somehow – according to him – brutally murdered every single member of her family.

Chloe had been really reserved when he brought her here. She'd been quiet – she'd hardly spoken three words to anyone for the first couple of days. My brother Simon and I had done our best to try and get her to open up about what had happened to her, but she flat out refused to talk about it whenever we approached the subject. She was given the only free room – the one directly next to mine on the top floor – and we'd decided that we wouldn't push it when it came to Chloe; she'd talk to us when she was ready.

It was harder for Simon to abide by those rules. I wasn't exactly a people person, but he was. He was always curious and loved to meet new people, and it didn't help much that – even I had to admit - Chloe was one of the prettiest girls we'd ever met. She was beautiful; with blond hair, blue eyes, and a petite stature, she seemed like the type of girl who'd have more friends than she could count. She downplayed it, though – dressing in plain t-shirts and jeans and tying back her hair most days.

I couldn't understand it, no matter how hard I tried.

I couldn't understand her.

Everything changed once darkness fell on her first day. She cried that first night, and the sound of it scared the crap outta me, because… well, how do you comfort someone who's lost it all? How can you tell them it's all going to be alright when you know that it isn't? When they know it isn't?

I made a mistake that night: after two hours of listening to her cry through the paper-thin wall between our rooms, I'd knocked on her door. When she'd opened it, she'd looked both surprised and guilty. She stood there silently, half hidden behind the door. She waited for me to say something, but I hadn't exactly thought about what I was going to say when she opened the door… "You were, um… I thought something was wrong," I mumbled, unsure of what to say.

She smiled – a tired, weary smile that revealed just how exhausted she was – and said, "you're the werewolf kid, aren't you? Derek, right?"

"Umm… yeah, I guess."

She laughed quietly, then opened the door, revealing the chaos that lay inside her room. "You tired?" she asked.

"No, but-"

"Wanna come in? That is, if you don't have something better to do…" I shook my head and followed her inside, leaving hours later when the first rays of sunlight peeked through the curtains.

That was when it all began. Now, almost two and a half years later, I still fought the same instinct every night. While we talked that first night, she'd made me promise never to wake her up ever again. She never explained further – just told me the bare minimum: she needed to have these dreams.

So every night was spent like this: lying awake, listening to her sobbing quietly in her sleep and whispering things into her pillow that I could never make out. Every night was spent listening, waiting, and praying for the moment when she'd unlock the door and call my name, telling me that the worst was over and that she wanted me to come talk to her for a few hours before she fell asleep again. Every day was spent watching her go through the motions of living, of trying to pretend nothing was wrong. She was a good actress – to others, she seemed normal and well adjusted, content with her life… I knew better.

She was broken beyond repair.

I was so madly in love with her it was pathetic.

I waited for the sound of her footsteps on the hardwood floor, but it never came. I stared at the clock, watching minutes tick by, then hours, but the sound never came. The crying never stopped, and by five in the morning, I was convinced it wouldn't stop unless I woke her up.

Enough is enough! I'll take her anger as long as she wakes up.

I got out of bed and threw on a t-shirt before tip-toeing out the door and into the hallway, making my way to the bathroom to get a bobby pin before returning to the stretch of hallway outside her door. It took me almost 15 minutes, but I managed to get her door open eventually, cursing myself for not paying better attention when Dad had been teaching us how to pick locks. I pushed the door open inch by inch, hoping that would be enough to keep it from creaking. Once there was enough room, I slipped in, gently pushing the door closed behind me. Chloe was on her bed, and her blanket was lying in a heap on the ground, having been kicked off while she tossed and turned. It was completely dark in the room, but the moonlight streaming in through the open window illuminated her face. I could see her lips moving – she was mumbling something incoherent, her arms clenched into fists at her sides. I'd never seen here like that: so vulnerable. Sure, she was quiet, but she could never be mistaken for weak or meek – there was something about her presence that seemed to radiate strength.

I snapped out of it, crossing the room to her bed. I felt like a creep - being in her room while she slept – but there was really no other way. "Chloe?" I whispered. She didn't respond, only continued to mumble. "Chloe?" I tried again, louder this time, still receiving no responses. I swore under my breath and sat down on the very edge of the bed, leaning over so that I could reach her without being too close. I tapped her arm lightly, then shook her gently when she didn't answer. Her eyes shot open and she darted up, her eyes wild and unfocused. She backed up and shrank against the wall, not recognizing me with sleep still clouding her thoughts. To calm her down, I moved back, holding my hands up to show her that I meant no harm. "Chloe? It's me – it's Derek," I whispered tentatively.

It took a while, but she recognized me eventually. "Derek?" she said slowly. I nodded, then stopped; she was trembling violently, as if she'd just come inside to escape from sub-zero temperatures.

"You were having a really bad nightmare, Chloe. Do you remember? I was gunna wait until you told me to come in, but you sounded so scared, and I-"

She grabbed my hand, her tiny fingers so cold that I felt goose bumps shoot up my arms immediately. "Stay with me tonight…" she stared up into my eyes, looking so broken, so desperate that I found myself whispering, "okay," before I knew what was going on. She relaxed then, her shoulders lowering. She pulled the covers to the side and patted the pillow next to her, still holding my hand all the while.

It took me a moment to figure out what she wanted. Oh God! She wants me to sleep next to her? I froze, one part of me screaming things like, 'not yours! She's not yours! This is WRONG!' while another part – the part that fantasized about her returning my feelings, the part that craved her company and loved everything about her from her scent t the way she crinkled her nose when she was confused – wanted nothing more than to crawl under the covers and curl up next to her.

My more logical side won; I couldn't do it. I couldn't do that to Simon, who'd confessed that he thought she may be 'the one' – and I couldn't take advantage of her like that. Sure, I'd been on her bed before, and I'd spent the night in her room, but there was something completely different and intimate about being next to her under the covers…

"Chloe, I-"

"Please Derek?" she whispered. Her eyes were wide and alert, the moonlight washing over her face and making them shine – a bright light in a dark room.

"I can't," I said, praying she'd be satisfied with my excuse and not request an explaination. No such luck. She crinkled her nose and placed a hand on my cheek, sitting up on her knees so that our eyes were level.

"Why not?"

I covered her hand with mine, letting it linger over hers for a few infinite moments. She sat back, folding her legs underneath her again, thinking I was changing my mind. Then, I gently pulled it off, placing in just above her knee. I let go of both her hands and stood, crossing the room to the pull-out couch. "I'll sleep here. It's… easier," I said, immediately regretting my choice of words.

"Easier… right." She clenched her fists, then turned to face the wall. She was too late, though – I'd already seen her eyes filling with tears.

Shit. Now look what you did, genius! You made her cry!

"N-not easier… I meant less awk—I mean, I take up a lot of room, and I wouldn't want to… hog your bed or anything," I finished lamely, feeling like the world's biggest idiot.

"No, you were right before," she said, her voice eerily calm. "It's easier that way, isn't it? Because when you purposely put distance between us, it's easier to pretend there's nothing there, right?"

Holy shit.

"I – I don't know what you're talking about," I mumbled, trying as hard as I could to look confused, shocked, and surprised.

She locked her gaze with mine from across the room, not bothering to hide the tears this time. "Just… stop. Please. I'm not an idiot, Derek; enough bullshit, okay?" She got off of her bed and stood, coming to stand in front of me. She wiped her cheeks with her hand and stared up into my eyes, studying my face. "You don't get it, do you? I'm me, and you're you, and this thing we have between us…" she paused, her voice softer now. "This thing we've always had between us… it's not going to go away just because you want it to; because you tell it to!"

I could feel my carefully constructed resolve crumbling, but I knew that no matter how much I wanted to come clean – to tell her she was right and hold her in my arms and kiss her until we were both short of breath – I couldn't do it.

I ripped my gaze away, concentrating on a stain on the hardwood floor instead. "Simon would-"

"Simon? Is that what you're worried about? You think his feelings will get hurt? Trust me, it's just a crush for him, nothing more."

"No, no! I'm not worried about anything, okay? All I'm saying is I don't feel comfortable-" I stopped and ran a hand over my face, frustrated by my conflicting thoughts. I wanted to tell her everything, but I felt the need to stay loyal to my brother at the same time. Tell her, she's already admitted it to you! No, you can't! Do it! No! It was like there was a heated debate going on inside my head, and I didn't know which side I wanted to be on yet.

"Derek?" her voice cut through my inner turmoil. Her arms were crossed and her eyes were still glowing, even though she'd long moved out of the path of the light coming in through the window. There was sadness there now, though, in place of whatever had been there before… "It's fine – I get it. I made a mistake. No big deal, alright?"

I stared at her, a little bit amazed. How could she put herself out there like that – risk it all – and react so calmly when it didn't work out? Where did she find the strength? I envied her for it.

If I was being honest with myself, I was also a little bit disappointed that she'd given up so quickly, but… whatever.

I nodded, feeling like the world's biggest prick. She returned to her bed, but I just stood there, unsure of what to do. Does she still want me to stay? Should I-? I put my hand on the doorknob, deciding a hasty escape would probably be the best course of action.

"Don't," she said, sitting up. "Please don't go… just pretend I never said anything, alright? It was just the sleep deprivation talking."

"Are you sure?" I asked, amazed that she could still want me around after what had just transpired between us.

"Yeah," she whispered. "I don't wanna be alone tonight."

I nodded and sat down on her bed, making sure I kept a few feet between us. "Is this okay?" I asked.


We sat in silence for a while, until I couldn't take it anymore.

"You wanna talk about it?" I ventured.

"No." And that was it; no explanation, no 'maybe later'… nothing. Even the way she'd said 'no' – her tone of voice – was devoid of any emotion.

"Chloe, you were shaking. This obviously wasn't some ordinary nightmare," I rationalized.

"I don't want to talk about it, okay?" she snapped.

I stood. "No, it's not okay! Do you have any idea—Chloe, it's been two years! Two years! You won't even tell me what your freaking nightmares are about! Do you have any idea what it's like, listening to you cry in your sleep every night? To sit there in the dark every night listening to that and not being able to do anything about it because you made me swear never to wake you up?"

"You could've always asked your dad to move you to a new room, Derek. Nobody's stopping you." She crossed her arms and turned away until she was facing the wall.

I ran a hand through my hair, pushing it out of my eyes. "I don't want to switch rooms, Chloe! I want to help you, but you're not letting me!"

"You are helping," she mumbled.

"No, I'm not! I'm just a distraction, something to take the edge off for a while… I can't be that anymore, Chloe. I won't. I wanna help you get through this, not shield you from it."

She stared at me, speechless. I could see the indecision written all over her face, and the fact that she was still having trouble trusting me caused something inside me to snap. I turned and strode over to the door. I turned the handle, but just as I was about to step out, she called me back. "Wait!"

I closed the door and turned to face her, arms crossed in a 'this better be good!' kind of way.

She let out a shaky breath them focused her attention on the pattern adorning the discarded comforter. "Did your dad ever tell you the story of how he found me?" she asked, her voice barely a whisper. I sat down on the edge of her bed and shook my head slowly, realizing that she was finally going to tell me her story after years of silence.

"Your dad found out about a Cabal clean-up crew being sent to a house in Buffalo," she began, enunciating every syllable as if she was afraid that I couldn't keep up. Her voice was a cold monotone, and her eyes were unfocused, as if she was a hundred miles away, reliving it all. "They'd already sent the hit-men, you see."

My eyes widened in horror, but I remained silent.

"I came home from a sleepover to find their bodies laid out side-by-side in the living room: Mom, Dad, Aunt Lauren…" She paused, closing her eyes for a moment before continuing. "I don't know what happened after that. I might've passed out, but I don't remember… all I remember is trying to dial 9-1-1, but the phone was disconnected and I couldn't find my cell and everything went cold and then I opened my eyes and your dad was waking me up, telling me I had to pack quickly because we had to escape…"

She looked up at me, the tears streaming endlessly down the length of her face. "And I couldn't think straight, but I knew I had to tell him—I told him I'd only go with him if he burned down the house with the bodies inside so I couldn't—so I wouldn't-"

She was falling apart in front of my eyes – the girl who'd always looked so strong to me and the people around her – and I had no idea what to do. Did I comfort her? Did I try to calm her down? I hesitated for a few seconds, unsure of what to do. A few seconds later, when she tried to speak again, I wordlessly pulled her into a hug. I wasn't sure if that was the right thing to do at the time, but she buried her face in my shirt, and I could feel her sobs rocking her entire body. I felt so guilty knowing I'd forced her to relive it – to remember the most horrible day of her life – but at the same time, I knew it was necessary – that with my help, she'd taken a huge step towards moving on and accepting what had happened to her and her family. She trusted me with her story, and she would no longer be suffering in silence.

I didn't whisper meaningless words – what does 'there, there,' mean, anyway? - I just held her as she cried and tightened my arms around her, letting her know that I was there. It all made sense now: the nightmares, the silence, the unwillingness to talk about what had happened – she blamed herself for the deaths of her loved ones. She believed that by saying no to the Cabal, she'd involuntarily signed her family's death warrants. And the nightmares… By allowing herself to relive the horror every night, she believed she was doing penance for her sins and getting what she deserved. The worst part was I'd been enabling her all along - letting her torture herself daily as I listened, oblivious to what was going on in her head a mere five feet away…

"What did you dream about tonight?" I whispered, remembering how much more desperate and agonized she'd sounded.

She pulled away, sinking backwards onto her calves. "Umm…" she wiped her cheeks, "sorry about that. I don't know what made me explode like that…"

I nodded, waiting. "Your dream?" I repeated.

"Oh… I, uh… is it really that important?" she asked, obviously embarrassed. I cocked an eyebrow at her, staying silent. She sighed, leaning against the wall. "I always dream about them, you know, but tonight… I dreamed that I raised them, and they were angry with me. They told me it was all my fault , and then they came after me, and I couldn't get away-"

Her face was growing redder as she spoke, and I could tell she was struggling to downplay what she'd seen.

I shook my head. "It is NOT your fault, do you hear me? AND, your parents would never say that! Why would you believe, even for a second, that they would? And why would you let yourself suffer like that night after night?"

She shrugged.

I locked eyes with her. "Never again, Chloe. We're gunna find a way to stop these nightmares forever, okay? I'm not gunna let you do this to yourself anymore."

She glanced downward at my hand, which had grabbed hers while I'd been talking – subconsciously, of course. She smiled for a second, biting her bottom lip subtly. She laughed quietly, but there were still tears clouding her eyes. "Is this an 'intervention'?" she asked, obviously amused by my words and my actions.

"Damn straight," I growled, averting my gaze to the spot on the wall she'd found so interesting only moments before.

She shook her head. "It's not going to work, Derek. Even if you wake me up every time I start having a nightmare, it's still not going to work. I'm still going to see their faces every time I close my eyes, and I'm still going to hear them tell me it's all my fault… it'll never end. Ever."

I squeezed her hand, hoping I hadn't hurt her in the process. "Yes it will. We will figure this out, Chloe. I promise."

"How? How are you gunna figure out how to stop my nightmares when you can't even figure out how you feel about me?" she demanded, studying our intertwined hands again. She pulled hers back after a while, and I felt the absence of her hand immediately… it felt like something was missing – something that I wanted back.

"I saw that," she said, sounding like a mom who'd caught their kid with their hand in the cookie jar or something. There was confidence in her red-rimmed eyes, and her strength had returned. "I know you felt that too, Derek… how about we make a deal? If you come clean and stay with me tonight, I'll do whatever you ask when it comes to getting rid of my nightmares."

I just sat there for a couple of seconds. What does she expect me to say? 'Yeah, I'm in love with you, let's go research nightmares!' or 'Not interested. Sorry! Good luck with that!'?

And then it hit me: she'd been pretending to be disappointed before, but in reality, something about my expression had tipped her off about my true feelings. She already knew how I felt… she was just waiting for my confirmation of what she already knew.

I hadn't fooled her at all.

"You already know how I feel about you, Chloe… obviously." I shot her a knowing look, then shifted my position and laid against the wall next to her, closing my eyes. "But there's Simon, and there's everything else we have to worry about, and we're living in hiding – together - which will get really awkward if it doesn't-"

I felt her hand on my cheek and her breath on my ear. "You're really bad with words," she whispered.

And then we kissed, and it was like nothing mattered any more. She was still broken, and I wasn't supposed to be the one kissing her, and she was freezing, and I was exhausted, and she knew I'd been lying all along, but being there with her – kissing her – made it all seem insignificant somehow, like none of it mattered anymore. Kissing her made me feel invincible, like nothing and no one could hurt me as long as she was okay.

We were both messed up because of our pasts, but it didn't matter. She had nightmares that haunted her relentlessly, but we would find a way to get through them. My brother was harbouring a crush on her, but it didn't matter – we could get through it all. We would get through it all.

She broke the kiss and settled into my lap, her heart racing when I wrapped my arms around her. She seemed content, relaxing as she leaned her head back against my chest. "This is where I wanna be when I wake up from a nightmare," she whispered. "Right here."

I knew right then that where she was – safe in my arms – was where she would stay.

Stay in my arms.

There it is guys! Hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to leave your thoughts about it! I have some ideas about expansion, but that's really up to you guys and how many reviews this baby gets ;)

What I'm trying to say is… REVIEW!