The courtroom seemed emptier than usual when the judge asked Demi to take the stand.

Kesha's parents had smug faces as they looked around the room at the empty seats. Support for Demi appeared to be dwindling. They were winning.

"Demi can you state your whereabouts at the time of Miss Kesandra Cooper's disappearance?" The DA asked asked.

Demi looked him dead in the eye before she answered. She nodded her head.

"I was with the police, whom I called because I had reason to believe that her parents were abusing her." Demi stated.

Her eyes swivelled to Kesha's parents. They stared right back. The exchange was cold. There was no love there.

"What reason did you have for believing this?"

"She told me. I received texts from her in distress that day."

"Did Kesandra tell you of her plans to run away?"

"No, she did not." Demi confirmed.

"And did you plan to take Kesandra whether the police deemed in necessary or not?" The DA asked.

Demi was momentarily stumped. Of course her answer was yes, she wouldn't have left Kesha in that house. But the right answer was no.

"I don't think it would have come to that." She answered carefully.

"Please answer the question, Ms Lovato." The DA pushed.

"Yes," Demi sighed. "If I thought she was being abused. It would have been wrong to leave her in harms way."

Finally he dropped the point, his face giving nothing away. Demi felt sick.

The interrogation went on and on and on. She answered question after question, but didn't feel like she was actually getting anywhere. It was like the whole courtroom was against her.

"I have no further questions." The DA stated to the judge, turning away from Demi.

"The witness is excused." The judge waved Demi away.

Panic rose up fast and furious inside her. This was it. Now or never.

"Does defendant rest?" The judge asked the DA, who confirmed.

Demi prayed, clutching her hands together tightly.

The judge was speaking again, time was nearly up.

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am now going to read to you
the law that you must follow in deciding this case.
To prove the crime charged against the defendant, the prosecution
must prove-"

"Wait!" A voice yelled, the two huge courtroom doors creaking open. "I think you're forgetting someone."

Kesha stood tall and proud in the doorway. Behind her stood Demi's family and friends, along with Kesha's own friends. They held their hands down, smiling confidently at Demi.

Demi let out a breath at last. Perfect timing.

Kesha walked, hands on hips down the courtroom, followed by everyone she loved.

The look in her eyes was the same out that had been directed at Demi herself not that long ago. A look searching for blood. But this time it was aimed at the judge.

"Miss Cooper?" The judge asked in shock.

"What are you doing here?" The DA snapped, momentarily losing his cool.

Kesha's parents stood up, anger flowing through them. As Kesha strutted right past them, her mother's fingers reached out to clasp her.

"Kesha!" She yelled. Her voice was angry, but controlled. "Come her, baby. We've been so worried."

Kesha jolted away, continuing on her way to take the stand. Everybody was too shocked to stop her.

"No thank you, Mother. I believe I'm wanted in the witness stand." She said.

Then she stopped directly in front of the judge. She looked up at him, wide eyes.

"You do want to know the truth, don't you judge?" Kesha pouted her lips, head tilted to one side.

The judge opened and shut his mouth mutely and said nothing. Kesha took this as a yes and hopped up onto the stand. She was tiny, barely tall enough to be seen. But for the first time in her entire life, Kesha didn't feel small. She felt mighty.

"I, Kesandra Leonna Cooper, ran away of my own accord to get away from my mentally and physically abusive parents. I can confirm that I did text Demetria Devonne Lovato in a plea for help, but was afraid when the police came so I ran away. I was staying with Victoria *, a dance teacher who found me on the streets and took me in until she could find a family member to return me to. Demetria Lovato did not influence my mental health issues and worked hard to combat them with me. My mental health issues are in fact a result of my parents taking me away from Demi and her family, whom I felt safest with. I thereby state that the defences against Demetria Devonne Lovato should be dropped of all charges."

The room was silent as Kesha spoke. She looked around the courtroom. Some faces beaming, some furious. With a little curtsey, she smiled smugly at the DA.

"That is all," she said, hopping down from the stand.

Anxious chatter filled the room. The judge snapped back into action, calling for order. He beconned the police man over, who was standing by the door ready to take whoever was convicted away - he had assumed it would be Demi.

Kesha ignored all of this. She practically slipped over to where Demi wax siting, flinging herself onto Demi's lap. Demi held her tightly, hiding her face in Kesha's messy hair.

"You did great, baby girl." She whispered lovingly, stroking Kesha's hair. "But never call me Demetria again." She winked. Kesha giggled, looking up at Demi.

"Only if you never call me Kesandra." She teased, looking Demi squarely in the eye.

"Deal."

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