Katarina returned to her room in her home in Noxus, and sat down on her bed. She sighed. Coming back with no artifact would earn her a prod from a specific someone, and that whole encounter with Garen really put her at a dilemma. Little did she know, she was being watched the whole time, and that observer made his presence known as Katarina lay back on her bed.
"I see you've returned," a voice said. Katarina sat up and and sighed. Talk about the devil.
"I know you're there, Talon. Might as well show your sorry face," Katarina jested. Talon came out of the shadows and crossed his arms in front of his chest.
"The artifact?" Talon asked.
"Gone," Katarina responded.
"So, you actually FAILED this time, didn't you?"
"Oh, shut up. You'd have failed too."
"And why is that?"
"I had help."
"From the Might of Demacia."
"How'd you know that?" Katarina looked bewildered. Talon scoffed. This girl just really irked him, and if it wasn't for his respect for General Du Couteau, he would have assassinated her already.
"I was there," Talon said cooly, then he walked over to the window and looking down at the Noxian marketplace.
"Listen, I didn't-"
"I saw what I saw, Katarina. You're getting soft," Talon said as he turned around and faced Katarina. She was standing up now.
"Why don't you mind your own business and stay here like a good dog?" Katarina protested.
"Don't call me that."
"I can call you a dog all I want. That's what you are, after all!"
Talon's eyebrow twitched and he quickly stepped up to Katarina and pointed a blade to her neck. "I said, don't call me that."
Katarina vanished and appeared behind Talon, her own dagger pointed at his neck, "I said, I can call you whatever I want."
"**** you..." Talon hissed as he retracted his blade. Katarina looked triumphantly at Talon, who turned around and walked over to the door. "By the way, there's going to be another match tomorrow. The Might of Demacia is going to be there. I see you two have gotten close."
"That's false," Katarina responded calmly.
"I saw that kiss."
"I was cutting his neck while he did that."
"Didn't see you push away."
"Ugh. Just go away."
"Fine," Talon said before he headed out of Katarina's room.
"And mind your own business!" Katalina shouted as Talon left. She sighed and locked her door room, then lay back down on her bed. Her mind raced with thoughts of what would happen when she faced Garen again the next day. She left him even when she agreed to follow him and stay with him, and Katarina felt like he's on a rampage, but she knew the Might of Demacia well enough to know that he won't let his emotions get the better of him.
"Hey, Ashe..." Tryndamere whispered.
"What...?" Ashe whispered back.
"How long do you think this is going to keep up...?"
"I don't know..."
The two were watching Garen as he was sharpening his sword.
"He's been at it for half the day... I know he's got a match later tonight but he's going overboard..." Tryndamere said. He thought for a while then looked at Ashe, "He usually listens to you. Why don't you talk him out of it...?"
"I'll try..." Ashe approached Garen and touched his shoulder. Garen was oblivious to Ashe's touch but she kept trying. Ashe kneeled down beside Garen and looked at his face. "Garen, dear... Why don't you take a break?"
"..." Garen was silent.
"I'm sure your sword is as sharp as it'll ever be, so maybe it's time to stop now?"
Garen stopped sharpening his blade then looked at Ashe, "...Sorry."
"What's the matter? You look down, honey."
"No, no. I'm fine. Thanks for your consideration," Garen mentioned, before he put away his materials and put his sword on his back.
Ashe smirked as she took a good look at Garen's face, "I know that look. It's a woman, isn't it?"
"Is it the Sinister Blade?"
"I thought so. Well, she'll be at your match tonight. You'll see her again," Ashe said, patting Garen's chin upward, "So cheer up!"
"Thank you," Garen said as he smiled at Ashe.
"Great, great! Now that this issue is settled, let's grab a bite to eat! Garen's got a big night and we can't let him be hungry!"
The three went inside to the gathering hall and started to eat, and Garen listened in as Tryndamere shared stories of his adventures when he wasn't married to Ashe. He talked about fighting this massive polar bear that wore armor and all that, and how his "spin2win" tactic won him the day. Garen listened intently, as he fought Cho'Gath which he could imagine to be as hard as fighting a polar bear wearing armor, and soon opened up to Ashe and Tryndamere about his whole fight with Cho'Gath and Katarina, and how they spent the night in a cave system in the Ironspike Mountains. He made mention about how she also ditched him when she said she agreed to stay with him. Ashe and Tryndamere then concluded that Garen was troubled by emotion, and his performance might be affected in that night's match. A few minutes after the trio finished eating, blue rings of light appeared around Garen. Tryndamere clasped Garen's shoulder and Ashe gave him a hug, just like they did a few months ago when Garen went off to a battle when he first started living in Freljord.
Garen closed his eyes and he heard the flush that the teleportation spell made, indicating that he was now in the Field of Justice. Normally, many thoughts ran through his mind about what he should do, but this time, there was just one. Just one memory. The one memory when Katarina abandoned him in the caves. Man, he got infuriated as he soon as he remembered that, and he took a deep breath before opening his eyes. He looked at his teammates. In front of him, in a circle, stood Jax, Miss Fortune, Nautilus, and Katarina. Upon eye contact with Katarina, Garen bought a Doran's Blade and immediately headed out to the bottom lane. He greeted his other teammates, but Garen did not utter a single word to Katarina. She furrowed her brows before going off to the top lane. Once again, Annie followed Garen, and they hid in the bushes waiting for the enemies to come close. Minions spawned and a few seconds later, the minions were duking it out in front of the bush Annie and Garen were hiding in. Annie went out and started killing some minions, but Garen stayed in the bushes. He just mooched off the minions with experience and finally their enemy showed up. Talon, looking as shady as ever, suddenly unleashed a volley of blades in a cone formation and killed the minions that were acting as fodder for Annie. She started retreating back to the tower, and Garen stayed in the bushes. Soon, Annie drove Talon into the bushes and Garen came out spinning with his sword, dealing damage to Talon. He heard the assassin curse under his breath as he retreated, and when Garen let up, he turned around and fired another volley of blades at Garen, who responded with a deft swing of his sword towards his temple. Talon leaned backwards and he threw a kick to Garen's shin followed by a swift stab to the shoulder, which made the big champion retreat.
The battle progressed, and a few kills later, Garen had his complete build ready and he started to push the bottom lane. As he pushed past the inner turret, Garen couldn't help but feel quite odd that he had met no resistance so far besides Talon. Something was up, and it was not good.
There was a 4v5 battle going on at the middle lane, and Jax was dealing intense damage to the enemy team. However, with a taste of his own medicine from Master Yi, and support from Sona and Morgana made Yi an indestructable machine. Talon kept Katarina busy, and Annie summoned Tibbers to fight with Nautilus. The battle was intense, but Yi darted to and from, from champion to champion and got a Quadra Kill. Katarina lay down on the ground, propped up by her elbows, and looked at the enemy team. They all returned to base to get better equipment, but Talon stayed and started walking to Katarina while he flipped his blades to and fro between his hands. He then sat down on Katarina's stomach and pointed one of his blades at her neck.
"I've been dying for a match that we're on opposite sides. Only in the Fields of Justice can I kill you without getting in trouble," Talon said, pressing lightly on Katarina's neck with his blade.
"**** you..." Katarina responded. She was too damaged to resist, so she just watched and glared at Talon.
"But you know, I'd like you to suffer a bit more since you've been giving me a real hard time lately," Talon said and slashed the side of Katarina's neck. The wound was not deep enough to be fatal, but it hurt a lot. Katarina yelled out in pain, and Talon grabbed Katarina's neck and started choking her. Katarina clutched Talon's arm and tried to get it off, her legs kicked around as she struggled to get Talon off. "Hahahaha! Cry out in pain! Come now! I want you to yell for help before I stab you again!" Katarina clenched her teeth and a few tears started falling from her eyes, and Talon stabbed her shoulder and continuously pulled and pushed the blade in and out of the wound. The pain was unbearable. "Too bad the Might of Demacia isn't-" Talon started, but before he could finish, he was hit hard by something very broad at the side of his head, and he went flying a few feet away from Katarina.
Garen stood there, looking like a baseball batter that just struck a homerun with his sword, and he immediately silenced Talon with Decisive Strike. He ran to Katarina soon after, "Katarina... Hang in there, I'll be back in a second," he said. Garen stood up and whacked Talon again with his sword, but Talon avoided it and threw three blades at Garen's legs. Two on one leg, and one on the other. Garen stabbed his sword in the ground and slowly regained his balance, then charged straight into Talon. The two disarmed each other at the same time, and they started exchanging fists as Katarina watched on. She watched as Garen pummeled Talon with his heavy punches, but Talon ultimately defeated him with his superior speed and technique in hand-to-hand combat. An assassin always had to be lethal even without a weapon, and Talon displayed just that in his fist fight with Garen. Finally, Talon's punch landed straight onto Garen's jaw, and Garen staggered backwards. Katarina reached out to Garen as her eyes were clouded with her tears, and Talon stomped on Garen's head. Katarina closed her eyes, and suddenly felt a violent tug on her hair. Talon lifted her by her hair and took out one disk-shaped blade and placed it on Katarina's throat.
"Looks like it's the end for you... for now," Talon said with malice, but before he could slice Katarina's throat, he felt as if he started losing his balance. He felt something warm flowing down his head, and he could see blood as it splattered down on Katarina's face.
"Looks like the assassin... has been assassinated," Garen said as he just casted Demacian Justice on Talon, a mighty sword landing straight down to his head and killed Talon.
Katarina fell to the ground simultaneously with Talon, and Garen scooped her up in his arms, "I'll get you home, Katarina," he said.
"But I abandoned you... why are you saving me...?" Katarina weakly asked.
"You may abandon me all you can, but I won't abandon you because I am a man," Garen responded as he passed the broken remains of the outer turret. "Hell, the only time I'd abandon you is when I die before you do."
Katarina closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around Garen's neck. She was really touched at that sentence, and she was thinking, perhaps it was okay to open up to Garen? Katarina was never one for love and that kind of sort, in fact, she thought it was pretty dumb. But perhaps, just to appease and acknowledge his hard work at pursuing her heart, Katarina decided to soften up for Garen. Garen looked at Katarina's face, and saw that she was smiling. Garen felt empowered and he started walking at a fairly normal pace. As Garen reached the Inhibitor Turret, he saw his teammates rushing past him and Katarina. When their teammates passed them, Katarina kissed Garen's cheek and made herself comfortable in his arms, and when they reached the base, Garen was going to put her down but Katarina clung onto his neck.
"Don't leave," she whispered.
"Alright," Garen responded. He watched as Katarina's wounds heal. This green aura surrounded them and eventually, Katarina was able to stand up by herself. Garen's wounds also healed, and the two stared at each other for a while. Garen's arm found itself wrapping around Katarina's waist, and Katarina placed her hands on Garen's chest. Garen's finger traced over the scar over Katarina's eyes, and as she closed her eyes, Garen neared his face to Katarina's. Katarina opened her eyes again and she prepared to be kissed, but suddenly Jax recalled right beside them and he dropped his lamp upon visual contact.
"Whoa... am I interrupting?" he asked. Garen and Katarina quickly let go of each other, and faced Jax with a flustered look on their faces. Garen started stuttering and Katarina just stabbed Garen's chest. Garen fell over and plucked the dagger out of his chest as his wound started to heal. Jax just stared at the two, before picking his lamp back up again. "Umm... Well... if you two aren't doing anything... we really need to push. We've taken down one Nexus Turret," he said, before teleporting to a minion over at the enemy base.
Garen and Katarina looked at each other then darted their eyes away in embarrassment, but Katarina beckoned to Garen with a smile.
"Let's go," Katarina said. Garen took her hand and they started running to the enemy base. As their team's and the other team's champions fought it out near the nexus, Katarina took the opportunity to unleash multiple daggers and hit every single champion, then Garen used Demacian Justice as he eliminated Sona, then spun around into the cluster of enemies.
"Penta Kill! Ace!" the female announcer blared over the Field of Justice as Garen finished spinning. The whole team started taking down the turret and finally the nexus, and they all rejoiced and gave Garen a few pats on the shoulder. Annie even offered to let share Tibbers with Garen, but Garen refused. He knew she'd want Tibbers back in less than an dropped his sword and ran to Katarina, and he hugged her tightly and lifted her up in the air, then spun around, but not at "Judgement" speed. All the champions looked on at Garen's celebration, and Talon found it especially interesting that Katarina wasn't in her usual self... She wasn't the Katarina he knew. Katarina's hair flowed gracefully as Garen spun with her, and when Garen put her down, she flicked her wrist and a dagger appeared in her hand. Garen had a "I-know-what-happens-next" look, but Katarina dropped the dagger and poked Garen's forehead instead.
"Don't let it get to your head," Katarina advised. Garen smiled and hugged her again, then all the champions started warping out of the Fields of Justice. Once everyone else had teleported out of the Fields of Justice, Garen and Katarina stayed back, and the two held each other's hands and leaned forward for a kiss, then pulled away. "It's not that I'm falling for you... I just like you a lot, that's all," Katarina said in defense of her former self, who would never participate in events such as kissing or holding hands.
"Will I see you soon?" Garen asked as the blue rings around Katarina and himself started closing in on their bodies.
"Maybe. Instead of waiting around for me, why not visit Noxus? You'll be under my protection and since you're not affiliated with Demacia anymore, you should be able to wriggle your sorry face out of any trouble you get into without me."
"Noxus, huh? Why don't we visit Demacia together? I'm not welcome there, neither are you, so I think that's fair."
"I'll think about it."
"How will I know what you've decided, though? I'm living with-" Garen cut himself off as he started to give out his whereabouts. He knew Katarina was from Noxus, and she just might spill information to her comrades and that would lead to trouble in Freljord. The last thing he wanted was to bring trouble to Ashe and Tryndamere's footsteps.
"You're living with?" Katarina inquired.
"...With no home. I'm wandering around Valoran, so I don't know how you'll be able to reach me."
"Fine then, it'll be Demacia. I'll meet you at the Marshes of Kaladoun, then we can walk to Demacia together."
"Alright," Garen said, then Katarina closed her eyes as she started finalizing the last preparation for the teleportation spell. Garen saw that she was about to teleport, then he quickly said, "I love you."
Did she seriously just hear the Might of Demacia declare his love to her? It's not like it's news to Katarina, but she didn't expect him to be so straightforward. Then again, he is still a soldier and commander at heart, so it should be a given.
Katarina opened her eyes in disbelief, but when she did, she was already in her room in Noxus.