My first story in years, tell me what you think and how I could make this better. This is just a drabble about what Jerome might have been thinking after killing Thunder and Lector and leaving Weed.

Disclaimer: I do not own anything, as much as I would love to.

Jerome ran through the snow, still feeling the ache in his back from where Weed had thrown him into a tree and the ache in his heart as Weeds voice, heartbroken and betrayed, echoed across the mountainside. The smell of the drying blood that stained the fur of his muzzle and neck red seemed to be all he could smell now and the shepherd knew he would need to wash as soon as possible.

Jerome knew that most of the others, primarily Kyoshiro and Hiro, would understand why he had killed Thunder and Lector. But Weed, being the kind and compassionate young dog that he was, would not, could not understand why he felt it had been necessary to end the lives of the assassin brothers. Jerome honestly hoped he never understood.

When Jerome finally felt the need to rest after running for what seemed like hours, he took the time to wash the blood from his fur, rubbing his bloodied muzzle and neck into the snow since there wasn't a water source nearby. After eating a mouthful of snow to wet his throat and help clear the taste of dog blood from his mouth, his thoughts turned to Weed as he stared back in the direction he had come from.

'Weed, I do not regret killing Thunder and Lector. My only regret was that I had to go against your orders and hurt you in the way I did in order to protect you. I hope that you can one day forgive my actions though I hope you will never have to understand them.

Weed, you saved my life and gave me a reason to keep living when I would have gladly died along with the rest of my team and my friend, the one the dogs of Ohu called Kaibutsu. You have become more than just my leader; you have become the one dearest to me of all my new nakama.'

You asked me to teach you how to fight; I can only hope everything I've taught you will be enough for you to survive against Hougen and his forces. I know that Kyoshiro, Hiro, Tesshin, Ken, Kagetora, Rocket and GB will do all in their power to protect you and make sure you survive to meet your father. Grow strong my young leader and do not lose heart for while the path you walk will be difficult and dangerous, I know it is the only path one such as yourself could ever walk.'

Jerome raised his head towards the north and made a decision. Weed may be upset with him, but that would not stop Jerome from helping him and right now, what his leader needed was allies and he had a fair idea of where to start.

'Weed, be careful and stand strong, help is coming.'