The Reboot @ki58ran
Stepping Stone

Disclaimer- I own nothing over the characters, these belong to DC and my story is only my owning.

A/N: I am not against any of the characters because of Actors/actresses who played their respective roles In the show

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So as I said about the special chapter, here it is! This is my biggest (yet!). I wanted 25th one to be a special one, so I tried my best and that was one of the reason, it got delayed. So I hope you like it.

And also, as some of you might have noticied by know, One of my friend has made a poster for this story. If you didn't please look it out.

So some of you might have some doubts about somethings in this chapter, please feel free to ask them in review section (please do mention your name, so it'll be helpful to reply at particular)

So, let's go into the chapter now!

CHAPTER 25- STEPPING STONE

"What???? Barry?.. How can that be possible?" Caitlin shouted.

"Caitlin, this isn't the time to joke... are you getting cold feet?" Felicity asked seriously.

"It's you, not me who's joking... and cold feet, I don't even know what's happening here" Caitlin answered.

"What is wrong with you?" Felicity asked and Caitlin could here panic in her voice.

"There's nothing wrong with me" Caitlin replied immediately.

"I should have known it... Damn it Cisco" Felicity cursed.

"Cisco? Cisco's back to central city?" Caitlin asked.

"Oh Lord!" Felicity mumbled "Damn you Cisco... You had to give Caitlin the Rocket Fuel yesterday of all the days" Felicity shouted and started to walk past and back.

"Wait, I don't understand... Rocket Fuel? Isn't that the alcohol we developed for Barry?.. and no I didn't taste any of that" Caitlin replied.

"Oh no, you did" Felicity said.

"No, I went to meet Barry yesterday night to talk to him about... about" Caitlin stopped. She couldn't remember anything else.

"Let me tell you, what happened yesterday... After the end of the rehearsal dinner, Barry was taken back to Joe's place and we were about to go when Cisco came to us with a new version of Rocket Fuel. It was a gift from him to Barry. He asked you to give him during your honeymoon... But you were in your own swing and drank it" Felicity said angrily. Caitlin tried remembering about last night, but she couldn't..

"Caitlin, do you love Barry?" Felicity asked desperately.

"Of course I do" Caitlin replied.

"Then don't think about what happened... Think about what's going to happen... The alcohol just messed around your brain... This is the day you've been waiting for a long time" She said taking Caitlin's hand. Caitlin remained silent. May be Felicity was right, the alcohol was the reason, she can't remember what happened.

"Let's go" Caitlin said and Felicity cheered up.

"Don't worry, the alcohol effects will wear out soon" Felicity said. They both went out of the bedroom.

"There you are!" Cecile said smiling and hugged her.

"C'mon, Let's get you ready...we're Getting late" She exclaimed.

.

Real world:

10 mins earlier:

Caitlin was busy talking while Barry was finishing up preparing the coffee. Caitlin saw something lurking around the couch. She swept forward to see what it was. She saw a unusual creature getting to jump on Barry. Caitlin jumped between them and the creature immediately attached to Caitlin. She fell down immediately.

Barry turned around after listening to the thumping sound. He saw Caitlin lying on floor with the creature attached to her.

"Cait!!!" Barry shouted and ran to her. He tried to lift off the creature, but it wasn't even moving a bit. And then suddenly a tranq dart hit Barry on the side of his neck. He looked towards the open window. All he could see before he got unconscious was just a man and woman across the building.

Ten minutes later,( due to him being a speedster), the effects of Tranq dart burned out quickly. Barry groaned waking up. He started remembering what happened. He quickly looked for Caitlin. He found her lying on the ground next to him. He immediately picked up his phone and called Felicity.

"Barry? What's wrong?" Felicity said yawning.

"It's Cait... She's been attacked with some creature" He panicked. Felicity who was on the bed, jumped suddenly.

"I'm going to run with her to the Labs and then come pick you up" He shouted. He picked up Caitlin and ran to Star labs. He placed her on the bed and ran back and forth with Felicity.

Felicity gasped looking at it.

"What is it?" Felicity asked.

"I don't know... One minute I was in the kitchen preparing coffee for us and another minute, I see her lying on the floor with this and I was hit with a tranq dart" Barry said. Both were in panic mode.

"Alex... Bring Alex here... this doesn't look anything like human.. she might know what this thing is" Felicity said and Barry ran away. Felicity picked up her phone and called Kara's number.

"Hey Felicity, what's up?" Kara said. She was having her ice cream and watching TV.

"It's Caitlin... she was attacked with some kind of creature" Felicity said with tears.

"Where are you?" Kara asked jumping up from her couch.

"Star Labs... Barry's gone to bring Alex" She replied. Kara jumped from her window and started flying towards Central City.

Alex was about to enter her bedroom to go sleep when suddenly there was a gust of wind and by the time she could process about it, she was in star labs.

"Barry?" Alex gasped.

"Alex, Help me!" Barry said. Alex saw the tension in his face. She looked forward to see Caitlin on the bed.

"Oh God!" Alex said.

"Do you know what it is?" Felicity asked who was standing near the bed. Felicity had connected Caitlin to the oxygen and started monitoring her conditions.

"Black Mercy!" Alex and a new voice said at the same time. All three of them turned around to see Kara walking towards them.

"How the hell..?" Kara shouted. Alex cut her.

"We don't know that Kara" Alex responded.

"Guys please, this isn't the time for that" Barry shouted "Please tell me you know how to remove it" Alex could see the tears in Barry's eyes.

"There is only one way to remove it Barry... Only Caitlin can" Alex said. Both Barry and Felicity looked puzzled.

"Black Mercy is an alien parasite that makes its host dream of their perfect fantasy world while it feeds off of them" Alex explained.

"So you're telling that, Caitlin is in her fantasy world and slowly dying off?" Barry asked. Alex nodded to it. Barry put his hands to his face.

"No...No...No" Barry yelled "We gotta remove it... She cannot die...die"

"Barry..." Kara came to console him but Barry pushed her off.

"Why will Caitlin reject her own fantasy land?... No, there has to be a way to make her come out!!" Barry cried and reached to Alex. "Please Alex... Please... I can't lose her"

"Barry, there's only one way... But if we can project one's consciousness inside of her dream, they have to convince her to reject it" Alex said.

"Please do it" Barry cried.

"Barry, it's not that simple... Caitlin's not going to remember anything of the outside world... I've been through this... It puts her in her own paradise" Kara said coming to her "If you go inside, it's going to affect you as well.. you can die if you fail to make her realise"

"I don't care whatever happens... Caitlin is not going to die! I'm not leaving her like this" Barry yelled.

"Alex, what do you need to setup" Felicity asked and they both ran to Cisco's lab.

Barry sat beside Caitlin holding her hand.

"I'm coming Cait... Hang on in there" Barry murmured.

Kara stood at a distance watching over them.

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Caitlin's Dream:

Caitlin was getting ready with the help of Felicity and Cecile when Kara entered the room.

"Wow Caitlin, you look very good" Kara said reaching her.

"Kara" Caitlin said and suddenly glimpses of Kara kissing Barry came to her. She groaned at it. "You look good as well" She said. Kara left with Cecile outside of the room

"What happened?" Felicity asked

"Nothing" She lied.

"I saw you groan.. so tell me" Felicity asked.

"I saw Kara kiss Barry" Caitlin said.

"Oh good, the alcohol effects are wearing down now" Felicity said. Caitlin looked puzzled.

"Yeah, Kara and Barry did date for a while couple of years earlier.. until, he realised that you were the one" Felicity said waving her hands.

"So, She's okay with it?" Caitlin asked.

"Of course, They both are cool about it" Felicity said and Caitlin relaxed a bit. After Caitlin was ready, Felicity had gone to join the ceremony. Caitlin was alone at the room next to the aisle when Prof.Stein came up to her.

"Look at you... How wonderful you are!" He said.

"Thank you!" She said but frowned.

"Thinking about Ronald?" He asked understanding. She quietly nodded.

"I know how hard it is to lose a wonderful person like Ronald" He said. Caitlin's eyes started to dwell up.

"No, No... You shouldn't be crying. Not today especially" He said brushing off her tears.

"Am I dishonouring him by moving on?" She asked. This was the one thing that was always in her mind and was constantly battling her for the answer.

"As someone who shared a body with Ronald, I can tell you that all he ever wanted was you to be safe. I don't think anyone else other than Mr.Allen would keep you happy and safe." He assured and Caitlin gave a weak smile "And I'm quite sure he's out there somewhere watching over you and feeling happy"

"A part of me will always love Ronnie" She said.

"I know that" He said nodding.

"Thank You Professor..I needed it" She said and he smiled.

"So shall we?" He asked forwarding his hand. She smiled and gave her hand.

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Real World :

Alex and Felicity finished setting up the machine. Felicity had asked Kara to help them to carry on them to the med bay and setup a bed for Barry as well.

Barry took this opportunity and went to Alex.

"Alex, I need a favour" He said and Alex looked to him.

"Name it" Alex said.

"I know about Felicity and you know about Kara... If they think I'm in trouble when I'm plugged in to that thing, they are going to pull me out, whether I've saved Caitlin or not... I need you to stop them from doing that... I either come back with Caitlin or I don't" He said. Alex could see the fear of losing someone in his eyes.

"Barry, are you sure? What about Kara?" She asked.

"Alex, I know what you're thinking.. but I can't lose Caitlin... She lost Ronnie because of me, and yet she never blamed me for that. I already abandoned her once when she needed me the most" Barry said with tears in his eyes. He started remembering the time during Savitar, when he was so hung up on Iris that he stopped caring about Caitlin. He knew she was constantly battling with her dual personality. "She's been with me all these years no matter what...There is no Barry Allen without Caitlin Snow" He said determinately.

"After all, she sacrificed everything for me. I owe it to her" He said crying. Alex nodded her head.

"Thank You!" He said and they both met Kara and Felicity who came back with the equipment. They setup everything.

He walked to Kara, where she was ready to cry out. She immediately swung into his arms and cried out. "Barry, Please promise me you will come back no matter what happens inside"

"Can't make promises on things which I'm not sure about" He said. Kara looked up "I owe this to her.. I'm going to try my best" Kara could see the pain in his eyes. She nodded slowly and moved forward to kiss him. They stayed kissing for a while. He slowly swept back.

He turned to Alex and nodded his head. She repeated it.

He went to Felicity. "You are going to bring her back" She said confidently.

"I'm not sure if she's going to trust me" He said.

"If there's anyone who can bring her back... It's only you!" Felicity said "She's going to listen to you.. talk with this" She said pointing at his heart.

"I hope she does!" He said and hugged her. "If this goes wrong, I want you to take care of Joe, Jessie and Cisco. Tell them that I'll always love them... I love all of you guys"

"You are coming back with her!" She said and dragged him down to kiss on his forehead.

He turned to Alex. She understood and started the process. He laid on the bed, got attached with all the health monitors. With one glance towards Kara, he attached the VR to him. His consciousness was now transferred to Caitlin's dream.

Kara was not able to control her emotions and ran outside. Alex and Felicity looked at each other. Alex wanted to go after her sister but she made a promise to Barry and right now that was more important.

"Felicity, mind if you go after Kara? I need to be here monitoring" Alex said and Felicity nodded and walked off to Kara.

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Caitlin's Dream:

The wedding procession had begun. It was a very private ceremony, just how Caitlin always wished.

Barry already had taken up his position up front and to his side, Ray was standing as the magistrate.

Jessie and Oliver who were the Bridesmaid and Groomsmen respectively entered with hand-in-hand. They took their place. Then came the Maid of honour and the best man, entering together- Felicity and Cisco walking down the aisle. They took their positions.

Prof.Stein and Caitlin came walking down the aisle together. Barry saw Caitlin and smiled at her. Caitlin looked at Barry who was all smiles. All the memories flashed right in front of her eyes. She remembered the first time she met him when lightning hit him and he was bought to the STAR Labs. She remembered how Cisco and her looked after him. He was that one person who could understand her feelings all the time. He was her best friend, mentor, boy friend, Soulmate and finally about to be her husband. She could not have wished for anything more than this. All her dreams were coming closer as she walked towards Barry.

When they got to the alter, Prof.Stein lifted the veil and kissed Caitlin's forehead and said "We both are happy for you" referring to Ronnie. She smiled back. He handed her hand to Barry and moved back to his position. This was the happiest moment of her life. Barry standing across her ready to get married. He was looking at her with all the love she always wanted to see in his green eyes that always attracted her. She started crying with happiness. Barry moved forward to brush them off but Caitlin stopped him smiling at him. He understood that these were due to the happiness. She brushed off and looked at Barry smiling.She was minutes away from a stepping stone in her life

"Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to join this woman and this man in holy matrimony" Ray said in his magistrate voice. Caitlin turned to see the family that she had made all these years. There were only a few of them but the man standing across her was the only one she needed the most.

"If anyone here has just any cause why these two should not be married... Speak now or forever hold pea.." Ray was cut off.

"Caitlin!!" A new voice shouted. Everyone turned around towards the door to see the real Barry standing there.

Barry's eyes were fixed on Caitlin. He was surprised to see that Caitlin's paradise was she getting married to him.

Oliver looked at the Barry who looked tired and eyes clenched with tears.

"Who are you?" Oliver was the first one to speak up. He slowly started coming down towards him. Kara slowly joined him from the crowd.

"Oliver?" Barry said finally noticing him. He started walking towards him. He knew it wasn't the real Oliver, but seeing him brought all the memories to him.

"Answer me, who the hell are you?" Oliver growled taking a gun out and pointing at Barry.

Caitlin who was at the altar slowly removed her hands from the dream Barry. She started to move towards Barry.

"Imposter!!" Cisco yelled from the alter.

"Cait, This isn't real... No one here is real" Barry said looking over.

"Yeah, tell that to your pipeline Mates" Oliver shouted and before Barry could tell anything, Harry Wells had gone back of him and knocked him out with a vase.

.

Real World:

Barry's body suddenly started fluctuating for a while.

Felicity and Kara returned at the same time.

"What is going on?" Kara asked Alex, who was checking on him.

"He's going into a shock" Alex replied. Kara was about to come and suddenly Barry's body stabilized again.

"It's okay... He's fine now" Alex assured her.

"But why is it happening?" Kara and Felicity both asked at the same time.

"I'm not sure, his body and consciousness might be fighting back to get in control or something happened with Barry inside" She said.

Kara just covered her face with hands and dropped down to floor crying. Alex moved to her trying to console her.

It was early in the morning when Felicity decided it was time Joe and Jessie needed to know.

"Why the hell didn't you guys stop him from going inside of that?" A terrified Jessie came in shouting. Joe who had come some time earlier was made to know all what happened. He got very angry at Barry initially, but he knew, why Barry took this step. He knew how important Barry and Caitlin are to each other.

"Jess..Jessie.." Joe took her trying to keep her calm. "He'll be alright, they both will be alright" Joe was trying to build her confidence. But deep down, he was as much terrified as everyone. But he had to be strong, to support them. Jessie began crying so Joe had taken her out of the place to calm her down.

.

Caitlin's Dream:

Barry groaned waking up due to the hit on the back of his head. He slowly opened up his eyes to see that he was locked up in the pipeline of Star labs.

"Caitlin, I know you're seeing this... Please listen to me. We don't have much time" He yelled seeing through the cameras. He knew that they would be watching over him.

Suddenly the blast door opened and Barry saw Oliver standing along with Sara and Cisco.

"Oliver, I don't have any time for your interrogation" Barry said. He was worried about the time running out. "Caitlin, please listen" He was cut off.

"Nice try Eobard, you cannot fool us" Cisco said. At this Caitlin came in along with the dream Barry hands in hands. Barry stood in front of Caitlin guarding her.

"Cisco, I'm not Thawne... I'm Barry...Caitlin, this isn't real." Barry pleaded.

"You're not going to ruin my life Thawne.. not this time, not any more" Barry growled.

"Cait, Listen to me. Remember what happened yesterday.. we were talking and then suddenly black mercy got attached to you.. this isn't real" Barry cried.

"Enough of this... Barry, there is only one thing we can do now" Oliver turned towards the dream Barry. "Let me handle things my way" He said and Barry nodded understanding what Oliver meant.

"Felicity, do it!" Oliver said in his Comms.

"Caitlin listen, I'm sorry I abandoned you when you needed me the most.. Please Cait, you know this isn't real... Remember the times, we spent with each other, catching bad guys, helping people.. I know our lives are not perfect and I'm alive because of you. There is no Barry Allen without Caitlin Snow.. please we need to go back" Barry cried and started to bang the doors. Suddenly a green coloured poisonous gas started pumping into his chamber.

Caitlin outside who was looking over it, tried to process things when all of them came to her.

"Caitlin, Don't think of him. You know about Thawne, He's just trying to mess with you" The Dream Barry said.

.

Real World:

Barry's body began to fluctuate again and this time it was severe.

"No..No.. No" Alex said trying to make him stable. His heart rate was going down.

"We need to pull him out!!" Kara yelled and started to walk to him when Alex stopped her.

"No Kara!" Alex stopped her from going near Barry.

"What are you doing Alex?" Kara shouted trying to make her move.

"I made a promise to Barry that no matter what.. I'm not going to let any of you try to pull him off" Alex said.

"Alex, Barry's going to die!" Kara shouted. Felicity came forward as well.

"If you believe in him... Please don't" Alex begged.

"But Alex" Kara was cut off by Alex hugging her.

"He'll come back...He'll come back" Alex said slowly patting Kara's back. She kept on crying and Felicity started crying and backed herself to the wall.

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Caitlin's dream:

Barry who was locked up in pipeline was choking to death due to the poisonous gas. He fell down immediately.

"Cait... Please... I am sorry..." Barry choked.

"You have everything here you ever wanted" Oliver said coming to Caitlin.

"Let's get back, we don't need to be here" The Dream Barry said and slowly started to turn Caitlin out.

And then suddenly there was a thud sound. Everything started shaking up.

"What's going on?" Oliver asked through Comms.

"There's a singularity opening up outside of Labs" Felicity yelled through the speakers. " We need to leave, everything's going to be destroyed"

Everyone started panicking.

"Please Caitlin.. please" Barry begged.

"Don't believe him Caitlin, I'm Barry, your Barry..the one you have always loved." The Dream Barry said taking her hands into his.

The singularity started ripping off everything. The earthquake's intensity started to increase. Even the pipelines started to shake.

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Real World:

Along with Barry's body, even Caitlin's body slowly started to flatline.

Alex and Felicity were trying their best to stabilise them.

"Alex! Barry's body isn't responding.. we need to do CPR" Felicity yelled. Alex immediately shifted from Caitlin to Barry and started giving him CPR. Kara dropped to floor seeing the visual. Joe and Jessie returned and were trying their best to console themselves along with Kara.

Caitlin's life was slowly going off as well.

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Dream World:

"Cait...I know life isn't perfect. I know you made many sacrifices and lost so much in your life. I wish you get to live with all you want... Even if you did live, this wouldn't be it because this isn't real..Deep down you know it Cait..you know it...I can't promise you a life without pain and loss...because pain is a part of life.. it's what makes us who we are.. You remember us Caitlin.. you do please... we are a family..Cisco, Joe, Jessie, Felicity.. they all need you.. and I need my Caitlin back... I can't choose this for you Cait.. you have to do it.. Please come back to us " Barry cried out his heart.

"Please believe me...I Love..You Caitlin" Barry cried for the last time and dropped off totally unconscious.

Caitlin standing there with tears slowly said "I.. Believe You Barry". She moved ahead and unlocked the pipeline and ran to the unconscious Barry. She took him to his arms and shook him to wake him up. He was slowly gaining consciousness. Everyone outside started calling for Caitlin. She just looked at them said "I wish...I want so much for all of this to be true... To live here with you... But this isn't real" The Dream Barry came to her. "You all will be always in my heart forever... All of you" She cried looking at all of them. " Barry's right... My Barry is right" She looked to the real Barry who was slowly gaining consciousness. "I have to go" She said looking to the Dream Barry and suddenly his eyes changed to black.

"We will never let you leave" He shouted and started dragging Caitlin out.

" Barry...Barry" She cried looking towards the Barry who was struggling to get up.

"Caitlin!!!!" Barry yelled and got up and used all of his energy to jump on to catch her. He punched up the dream Barry making him lose the grip on Caitlin. All the others started coming forward to attack Barry.

The singularity ripped off all the roof of the building and started sucking everyone out.

Real Barry ducked himself on Caitlin to make sure no one reached her. Oliver kicked him and drove him apart from Caitlin. The singularity went on increasing and the gravity started to change pushing off everyone's balance.

The dream Barry took Caitlin and was about to get sucked off when real Barry with all his power dragged Caitlin towards him. He took Caitlin's face in his hands, kissed her lips. And then there was a bright light which blinded everyone.

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Real World:

Barry suddenly opened his eyes and threw away the equipment connected to him. He instantly looked to Caitlin who was still attached to the black mercy. He saw Kara standing near him.

"You pulled me out?... How could you" he shouted to Kara. He turned to Alex "I asked you to stop them!" Barry was very furious and was moving towards Alex and Kara caught him and started dragging him back.

"She was about to come home...She was about to come back... Why did you pull me out???" He shouted furiously.

"Barry!! We didn't... She didn't let us" Kara shouted.

"Then how did I come back??" Barry enraged. Kara was trying to bring to calm Barry when

"Barry... Barry, you did it !! You convinced her!!" Felicity said moving towards Caitlin. Everyone turned around to see that the Black Mercy slowly started coming off of Caitlin. It got off the bed and instantly died.

Caitlin woke up and took off the oxygen mask. She got up and looked at Barry. Kara seeing Caitlin waking up relaxed a bit. Barry ran to Caitlin and she swept in to his arms. She closed her eyes. Barry kissed her forehead. They both stayed in each other arms crying.

Kara started crying watching them. She paced out and Alex ran to find her.

Joe and Jessie relaxed seeing Barry and Caitlin safe and hugging each other.

Felicity moved towards Jessie and took her to a hug. "So, are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"Yeah...Maybe all he was needed was just a push" Jessie whispered.

Felicity looked at Barry and Caitlin. She thought to herself that even though Barry is in relationship with Kara, deep down, he was in love with Caitlin. She felt like this incident might be a stepping stone towards Barry's and Caitlin's relationship.

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So, that's the chapter... I wrote this with a lot of hope that you guys will like it. Please feel free to review and ask your doubts and suggestions. If you have any doubts regarding my selection of characters that appeared in and why some of them didn't, please free to ask and I'll surely answer them.

Thanks for reading!

Let's meet in the next one!

1. Where it all started 1403 0 1 2. The Hard Choices 1480 0 0 3. The New Reality 644 0 0 4. Moving Ahead 689 0 0 5. Kadima 920 0 0 6. The Cube 633 0 0 7. Sister 451 0 0 8. Lena 1493 0 0 9. Lena Part 2 680 0 0 10. Fund 492 0 0 11. Bondings 565 0 0 12. MrsBones 537 0 0 13. Break In at the DEO 529 0 0 14. We're Even 640 0 0 15. STAR West 620 0 0 16. Too Soon 705 0 0 17. Keep Guessing 567 0 0 18. One Down 1172 0 0 19. Game Time 984 0 0 20. The Revelation 865 0 0 21. The Million Dollar Question 788 0 0 22. A Day Off 791 0 0 23. Getting back to Normal 1055 0 0 24. Tough Call 1167 0 0 25. Stepping Stone 2919 0 0 26. Gone, Gone, Gone 1102 0 0 27. Miss You 1531 0 0 28. Invisible String 966 0 0 29. A Bad Day 1030 0 0 30. Great Possibilities 810 0 0 31. Future Awaits 976 0 0 32. All Smiles 741 0 0 33. Meant to be? 818 0 0 34. Prophecies 686 0 0 35. Dreams 899 0 0 36. Lexie 649 0 0 37. Portrait Of Hope 1136 0 0 38. Ignition 890 0 0 39. Their War Here 1850 0 0 40. Gods Among Us 1936 0 0 41. Last Daughter's Mettle 2786 0 0 42. Death Of Scarlet Speedster 1516 0 0 43. No One's The Same 791 0 0 44. Look Around 1199 0 0 45. The Correct Place 957 0 0 46. Righting The Wrongs 666 0 0