Bittersweet Destiny

Chapter 33: Bittersweet Symphony.

Final Chapter

By Carla Fox.

Hi everyone! This is IT, the "it." I thought I was never going to write the end, the final chapter. I know I didn't give it away in chapter 32, but to be honest, after reading the whole thing again, I realized it was the right time to end it, and to end it good. More author's notes at the end, but I just wanted to let you know that this is the end I wanted. It has everything I dreamed of. Maybe to end it now looks sudden to you (as sudden as 4 years writing a fic can be, hehehe), but I am quite happy with it, a little proud actually. I just hope (pray actually) that you like it as much as I did writing it (I totally ended up crying at the end!)

So, here it is... the last chapter of my Bittersweet Destiny fanfiction (please, when you review, PLEASE NO FLAMES, and I mean it, because I am quite oversensitive over my baby fic ending, and scared to hell of getting bad reviews cries If you don't like it, just... keep it to yourself, please.)

Now, with the end... Enjoy! (and hopefully, cry with me at the end... but good tears!)

She walked barefoot, concentrating on the feel of the soft grass of her backyard against her feet. The day was warm, with a few white clouds here and there. She sighed, watching the almost peaceful clear blue sky, but then the silence was broken harshly when the all too familiar sound of the protoculture engines of a squad of veritechs crossed the sky, leaving white traces on the blue canvas. She smiled sadly.

"Hey you," said Rick walking near her, following her gaze. His eyes weren't as sharp as they used to be, neither was hers, but they both knew that it was the Skull Squad, commanded by Dana Sterling and followed by Sarah and Lizzy. Some gray hairs and wrinkles marked Rick and Lisa's features, showing more than age in them. Lisa looked at him and he knew what she was thinking.

"Another year…" he murmured knowing too well that this anniversary was not exactly something to remember gladly.

"Yes," said Lisa and she nuzzled against his neck. Even with the passing of the years, the sensation was still there, the fear and the regrets. She couldn't help it. A life was a life.

"There was nothing you could do…you know that," said Rick pulling her closer, smelling the fresh smell of her hair. He wished he could turn back time and take this weight from her shoulders, but it was her choice to dismiss them, to go alone and take matters into her own hands. He could only do then what he could do now, hold her, like ever year on this day. Rick learned the hard way over the time that he could not save everyone from pain sometimes. Not even their own.

"I know…" she murmured, not wanting to talk. He understood. Rick gave her a strong hug, kissed her on the lips softly and left her alone with her own memories.

Ben was born safe and sound, bringing with him happiness, joy and dirty diapers. Rick was in awe; he couldn't believe this little person was actually a part him. The first time he held him in his arms was the first time he cried in many, many years of pure joy. Sarah was next to him, getting on the tip of her toes trying to get a look at her baby brother.

"Let me see!!" she said and Rick got onto his knees and softly put Ben in her arms.

"Hold his head," he said repeating what the nurse told him earlier.

"Why? Does it come off?" asked Sarah worriedly and Rick looked at her. Honestly, he didn't know.

"Just…be careful," repeated Rick, trying to hide his own ignorance about it.

Sarah looked at the small baby in her arms; it was awesome for her. He looked like a doll, all wrinkly and moving around.

"He looks like a fish!" she commented laughing.

"Don't say that! He's beautiful," said Rick looking at his son squirming, ready to cry. Sarah, by instinct, rocked him slowly and the baby calmed down. She smiled at him.

"Hi! I am your sister, BIG sister, nice to meet you. Do what I say, and we will be fine," she said to him and the baby grabbed her hair tightly. Rick laughed.

"I think he has his own thoughts about that," said Rick as he tried to free her hair from the tiny fists.

"We will work it out," Sarah commented gladly and then gave the baby back to her father, because her arms were getting numb. Rick took the small baby boy and stood up, watching as Lisa was slept soundly, all sweaty and awfully tired, but looking peaceful.

"I am going to tell Dana and Sean…be right back," said Sarah giving a proud look to her mother and leaving the room. Rick watched her go jumping happily and he was glad that she took the arrival of the baby in such a good way. Rick sat down in a chair and carefully nuzzled the bold and tiny Ben in his arms, looking at him.

"Well, that was your sister. I recommend you get along with her. She seems dangerous sometimes, but she is a good girl, and I know she was longing for a brother, so I think you will have her wrapped around your little finger. I am your father and I have a tendency of screwing things up, especially with your mother over there… but I do my best and we love each other, so don't let the shouting scare you, it's all foreplay…" Rick said to the baby and he opened his eyes for the first time. Rick's heart skipped a beat with emotion when he saw that the boy had his eyes, just like Sarah did. "Ok, stop making me cry because I'll look like a wimp, and I am not! What else… I promise to do my best with you, but as Sarah can tell you – and she will – I am new at this and sadly, you don't come with a manual... and I did look around!" Rick joked and took the tiny fist in his hands, amazed at how little and perfect his fingers were. "I am going to let you in on a little secret… as much as I love to fly, and as proud of your sister as I am with her joy of planes… I do hope you will like to have your feet on the ground. Well, of course you can do as you wish as you become older, but… I don't know, I wouldn't mind if you become a little more like your mother, and not like me. I am not a bad person, but… I'm a confused man, reckless sometimes, stupid most of the time… and your sister is just like that… and it is sad, because I know she is going to have a hard life being that way. That's why I hope you become more calm, not as complicated as I am. I just hope for the best for you, little Ben," he said and kissed the little head, and Ben moved his arms and touched Rick's face.

Rick rocked him back and forth softly, talking to him about life, telling him stories and Ben made small baby burbling sounds like he was answering him back. Lisa smiled softly with her eyes closed, listening to every word they shared.

The months passed by quickly and suddenly Ben was 7 months old, already trying to do things for himself. Sarah, as Rick foresaw, become Ben's love and joy and vice versa. The girl was all over the baby all the time, helping with him, playing with him and the baby cried his lungs out every time she was away. Rick helped Lisa as much as he could, taking turns changing and feeding the little guy so she could have a full night sleep. Their friends became attached to the baby and became a surrogate family. Dana, as the oldest, took babysitting lessons so she could take care of Ben and Lizzy once in a while. Sean was glad there was another "man" in the group. They enjoyed their family life for the first time in a long time, with no more tears, except for feeding and changing.

One Sunday morning at lunch they were all together in the Hunter's place. It was a small house, but they managed to get everybody comfortable. As the barbecue was getting ready, adults chatted, kids played videogames, and babies – Lizzy and Ben – were playing and chewing toys gladly. A knock on the door took Lisa out her conversation.

"Yes?" she asked while opening the door and stood still when she realized who it was.

"Lisa," murmured the young woman, clearly pale, black waves in her hair and a worried expression on her face. Behind her was a man, holding her by the shoulders tenderly, with an equally worried expression on his face.

"Jo…Michael?!" said Lisa feeling so glad to see her old friends at her door. They hugged abruptly, but Jo and Michael with a sense of sadness that made it a sad hug, a desperate one.

"Oh Lisa, I am so glad you are all right," said Jo trying to hold back her tears. Lisa looked at her worriedly and then looked from her to Michael, wondering why they seemed so worried.

"What happened?" she asked becoming a little frightened.

Jo and Michael looked at each other, feeling a pinch of guilt and sadness in them. They didn't know what else to do.

"Lisa… Jake took Peter away from us," said Michael and Jo looked at the floor, feeling like her world was crashing at her feet.

Lisa stood frozen on her feet. She never saw that coming. Jake was almost forgotten in the back of her mind. Rick walked up behind her, wondering what was holding her up and saw her old friends and their sad expressions. He opened the door and helped them in, both parents feeling drained of energy. The news ran fast, and Sammie took the kids away quickly, trying not to scare them. When they were all settled on the couch and some well needed coffee was placed in front of them, they recalled the story.

"Things were fine; we were living our lives normally, when one day Peter didn't come home from the school. I left earlier, I never thought…" said Jo with tears in her eyes. Michael held her hand, calming her, "… we looked everywhere, but nothing. It was like he disappeared from the earth. Then at night, when we returned, there was an envelope under the door… and inside, there was this," she said and took a wrinkled dark brown envelope out of her pocket, and inside, a gold chain with a small half heart in it. Lisa shook from head to toe looking at it.

"That's my mother's chain," said Lisa trembling and taking the piece in her hands. She hadn't seen it in years. "I… I lost it… when Jake took me," she explained, turning it around and reading the inscription Elizabeth Hayes on the back of it. That's why Michael and Jo knew it was Jake.

"We haven't had any news, Lisa… nothing, just the note and chain. We didn't know what else to do. You are our only clue to finding our son," said Michael with a quivering voice, somehow asking forgiveness for bothering her.

"Michael, it's not your fault, it's nobody fault," said Rick to him, trying to calm them down. He just couldn't imagine what it would be like to have their children taken away from him. "We will find a way to get Peter back," promised Rick to the man and Michael thanked him.

"That son of a bitch!" said Roy standing up and pacing from one place to the other angrily.

"Calm down Roy, you aren't helping," said Miriya. Roy stopped and rested against the wall, arms crossed over his chest.

"But how… if this is all we have, were can we begin looking?" asked Max, taking the chain from Lisa's hand. She was somber, not saying a word.

"We need to find more information," Kim answered him. "We need you to recall every detail of the past days."

They all talked for hours, getting as much information as they could. Lisa was in deep silence most of the time, feeling the guilt eating her up.

It was useless. The hours passed by and they couldn't even find a way to begin. Vanessa watched Rob, who was as silent as Lisa in his corner thinking about things.

"Are you all right?" the woman with glasses asked softly to her husband. He looked at her with deep green eyes, looking extremely sad.

"I am fine baby, how are you?" he asked touching her cheek with his hand.

"I'm fine," she answered covering his hand with her own and feeling safe and secure with his warmth. "I'm just saddened by all this… I can't stop worrying about Lisa. She looked like she could lose it any second," she said, looking at the woman sitting on the couch sitting as still as a statue.

Rob looked at Lisa and the guilt hit him in the guts. He wondered what to do. He looked from Lisa to Vanessa who was worried for her friend. He knew what the right thing to do was, but he didn't want to do it, he couldn't. He would lose everything he had for sure.

"I… I am so sorry," he murmured to his wife. Vanessa looked at him asking a silent question. Rob trembled in anticipation and his world collapsed around him. He already lost everything, because everything he had was based on a lie, a terrible one at that. He couldn't keep silent anymore. Rob came close to Vanessa and kissed her hard and passionately in his corner of the room away from everybody, saying goodbye, though she didn't understand.

"I know where he is," said Rob with a deep voice, letting go of Vanessa's hand. Everybody turned around and looked at him standing in the center of the room.

"What?" asked Kim not understanding a thing.

"I know where he is… Jake. I've always known," he confessed, looking at the floor. Everybody was speechless, not understanding what he was telling them.

"What are you saying?" murmured Vanessa coming closer to him, touching his shoulder. He moved away from her, ashamed at her gesture of affection and worry for him.

"What I said, damn it! I know where Jake is… I know it, I've always known. Maybe not exactly but I have an idea. He usually contacts me when he needs something. I haven't seen him in years, but I do have an idea as to where he might be," he said, angry at himself and at the world.

"What the hell are you talking about? He contacts you? Why?!" demanded Roy coming next to him and Rob just looked at the floor.

"He is my brother," he said, unable to look his friends in the eye. This was the first time Lisa reacted and stood up from her spot. Roy was taken aback with his declaration.

Silence fell upon them. Nobody knew what to do, how to react. Violence and anger were probably the natural reactions, but the man in the center of the room was their friend. Some of them trusted him more than others, but at the end of the day, he was their friend, the man who shared good times with them, who helped them when they needed help. Vanessa felt as though she were living in a nightmare. She didn't know what to say or to think.

"He… he is probably in the southwest section of Monument City. There is one of our old facilities there. My… our family was one of the army contractors a while back, before the firestorm. Since then my brother took the family company in his hands and began working in secret for the RDF, developing bio-armaments and he became richer than before. He got power, and he loved it. He felt invincible… he had the fate of millions in his hands," Rob explained.

"Why me?" spoke Lisa for the first time since Jo and Michael's arrival.

"Your encounter with him was not coincidence. In his search for power, he became obsessed with the idea of controlling the RDF. You were - and still are - one of the most powerful forces inside the RDF who could fix things in a way that could bring peace for all of us. Peace doesn't use guns, Lisa… you were a future obstacle for him and everybody else," he said, unable to make eye contact with her anymore.

"Who's everybody else?" asked Max harshly to him. Rob couldn't stop smirking a little.

"Do you honestly think he tracked her down on his own? There are more people involved in this besides us and him. How do you think Jake managed to do so much and Gloval was powerless to stop him? With all the friends and influence Gloval had, it was still no match for Jake and the rest. And how do you think she was held down for so long? If it wasn't for Roy's outbursts when she was kidnapped the first time, none of this would've happened. That was one thing Jake didn't plan on and he was mad for it. In his mind, Lisa had always been a loner. He never expected… this… so many people, so much life. His end goal is death. We… we all became a problem for him."

"Stop the crap and tell us who is in this with him!" said Claudia, beginning to lose what little patience she had.

"Who do you think had enough power to hold down, track, spy and give inside classified information to Jake while keeping it from Gloval, Claudia? Who?" asked Rob angrily, looking at her for the obvious answer. When no one could reply, he sighed and answered his own question. "Maistroff."

Shock was what they all felt. Vanessa stepped away from her husband, feeling cold inside. The man she loved with all her heart, the man who she opened her deepest feelings to, needed and trusted, lied to her for years. Vanessa felt like her whole life was a sad joke.

"But he… he demoted her to Lieutenant. If he wanted her to die, he would've kicked her out of the RDF," said Kim in disbelief and walking slowly to hold Vanessa, who looked as though she was going to faint.

"He had to. For one thing, if he kicked her out of the service, his resentment for her and other people would be too obvious, and people would get suspicious. And if I know my brother, he stopped him for doing so. Maistroff is not exactly the smartest person around, but he can be dangerous enough," he explained easily, like he had this speech prepared for years. "Maistroff gave information and pushed things enough so Jake got curious about Lisa."

"But Maistroff was a friend of my father's…" Lisa added.

"Friends in those high levels of power are something unthinkable. You are like your father in a lot of ways, but a better, wiser version. Maistroff could manage Admiral Hayes by preying on his weaknesses… but not you. He needed you out of the picture, plain and simple," explained Rob, without looking at her. He couldn't look at her.

Rick held Lisa's hand and stood next to her in silence. When she turned towards him, he looked at her in the eye unable to do or say anything. This was too much.

"Things got … carried away…" continued Rob after a moment. "Jake never considered that his attraction for you would be so strong. He found a remarkable adversary in you, a woman on the same level as him."

"Why Peter? Why did he take Peter?" asked Jo, understanding only half of what he was saying.

"I am not sure, but it was probably because Sarah and the others were too obvious as targets. This is all a game for him."

"Why are you telling us all this now?" asked Miriya with an ice cold expression. She never fully trusted him, and now she knew why.

"Why do you think? I am not so different from you or him," he said looking at Michael. "You grew up without a family, well... I did too. I was lonely, and all I knew was how to trick people, to take what I wanted when I wanted. I never felt anything more than a moment of excitement, the joy of cruelty. I got involved in this to help him reach her," he said looking at Lisa. "It was a game for me, to be a double agent to get information for him, to play according to his rules. It was fun. Pure fun. I… I got involved with Vanessa because of this…" said Rob feeling his own guts shrinking, just imagining the pain he was causing her, "… but things changed, and I didn't see it coming."

"Do you want us to believe that?" asked Roy feeling anger growing inside him. All he wanted to do was to beat the crap out of him.

"Believe whatever you want Roy… just consider that after doing this, I lost everything" he said matter of factly.

Silence filled the room like a death cap. They all felt chilled inside, like in the end of a dark play. There was no anger, just pain - deep soulless pain. Lisa looked at everyone in slow motion, having a feeling of closure. This was it, the end of everything, the moment to finally put an end to all this. Rick looked at her and knew what she was thinking.

"Go away," murmured Vanessa as Kim held her. Everybody turned around to look at her. "Go…" she said a little more strongly this time, looking at Rob. He looked at her, somehow deep down hoping she'd forgive him immediately with that huge heart of hers, but that wasn't real. Rob looked at the floor and bit his lower lip, feeling the tears filling his eyes. He knew this was the end of their relationship and his family. It was over, but it was the right thing to do. He couldn't let a child die, let a child pay for his silent happiness.

"I am sorry," he murmured and without looking at anyone he moved to the door. Roy tried to stop him, but Claudia stopped him. It was not the time. It was obvious that everything was said and that Vanessa was destroyed.

Everybody was gone. Sammy and Kim took Vanessa home with Lizzy and said they'd stay to keep an eye on her. Lisa stood holding herself, looking out the window. Her children, unaware of everything, were sleeping peacefully. She was hidden in the dark of the night in the lightless living room.

"I know what you're thinking," said Rick, sitting on the couch in silence, not looking at her.

"That's what usually happens when you know someone as well as you know me," she answered, still looking outside.

"You can't go alone. I'm going with you," he said standing up and walking near her.

"You know that's not an option, Rick," she said as he slipped his warm arms around her.

"No, don't do this… please," he begged her, trying to lose himself in their peaceful illusion.

"What would you do if you were me, Rick… honestly?" she said turning around in his arms and facing him. The street lights played strange shadows on his face. He sighed, knowing the answer, but not speaking it aloud.

"Then…" said Lisa, "… what makes you so different from me?" She tried to smile at him. He just looked at her with big, sad, blue puppy eyes.

"I can't live without you," he said feeling on the edge of tears.

"Yes you can. You have to," she said putting her arms around his neck. "I think life showed us the sad reality that we can move on without each other. It would be hard and we'd be soulless maybe, but we can, and you must… we have two children who need you to be there. And not just surviving, but living," she said, crying with the crushing cruelty of reality bearing down on her.

"They need you too," Rick replied weakly, trying to hold onto his childish illusion and searching for another way.

"But this is my fight, not yours, not Roy's or anybody else's, and especially not our children's," she said resting her forehead on his. He closed his eyes and smelled her perfume, so unique, so her.

"Why is it I can save so many people, but I couldn't save you from this?" he asked softly. She smiled at him lovingly.

"Because you are my flyboy hero…" she joked softly, "and you did save me Rick. You gave me a life, you have given me your love, you forced me to feel and enjoy and cry… you gave me children and for that, you will keep a part of me alive in them for years to come," Lisa kissed him on the lips sweetly for a long time.

"No, you aren't going," said Rick holding onto her like life itself. She said nothing, just held him, smelling his scent.

"I can promise you one thing," she said making him look into her eyes. "I'll do everything in my power to survive and come back to you, I swear that," Lisa spoke with so much intensity in her voice that Rick believed every word of it.

"All right, I'll wait for you," he said and kissed her with all his might, just in case.

Lisa walked to the crib where her son was soundly asleep. With the months he became more like Rick physically; same hair, same eyes, but he was a quiet baby, not like Sarah who was a little fireball from the second she could make a sound. Ben was curious, quiet and observant. He had an air about him that was peaceful. Lisa gently took him in her arms and sat in the rocking chair.

"There you are, little one... the only calm one in this house of crazy people!" she murmured softly smiling at him. He frowned in his sleep and she giggled. "You know... there was a time, when I was younger, when I thought I was never going to be a mother. I thought I didn't have it in me, you know? The maternal type or the maternal instinct. I thought all I had was my job, but then, one small thing... a piece of paper came into my life and everything changed and here I am now... with you in my arms, the man I love in the other room, and my other child snoring like a bear in her room. I couldn't ask for anything more in life," Lisa said softly, looking at the little baby.

"Life my boy... life is a strange thing. You plan for it, you look forward to certain things, but you never know. Do people change? I really don't have a straight answer for that, but if I may answer with my experience, I'll say they don't. I'll say people never change their nature. They may grow into a different path, they could even turn doing bad actions into good but... deep down, and people have a unique characteristic that never changes. For example, your dad... he feels so many things about himself; that he is good, that he is confused, that he is all those things he said when I wasn't supposed to be listening when he talked to you after you were born... but what is his nature? He is a hero, he can't help it. That's why this situation is so hard for him, because mommy has to do something very difficult and he can't help her. He will try to be your hero too, and you will let him, and it will probably annoy you, but always remember that that is his true self. He is more than good... he can be lazy, too... and that's where I am going to need your help, Ben. Don't let him stand by; push him, encourage him, move him around... force him to move on if necessary. As for your sister, be her partner and her friend. I know she will protect you as well as I would. Listen to her, but always go with your own perspective on life, because if Sarah is anything like me, she will tend to overprotect you. Fight with her, make her be just your sister and not your mother, that's not her job. And for you, my love... be happy, be whatever you want to be, be careful and enjoy life. I know... I just know, you understand what I am saying, and you will remember me. Grow up strong and beautiful and make me and your dad and your sister, but especially yourself, proud," said Lisa with tears in her eyes and a broken voice. She sniffed softly trying not to wake Ben up, and she kissed his forehead before putting him back in his crib.

Then Lisa moved to Sarah's room. The place was a mess with planes, papers and videogames all around. The not so little girl was sleeping all over her bed, one arm over her head, legs all around the bed and a pillow on the floor. Lisa couldn't stop laughing at the view. She softly walked near her and sat on the bed, not disturbing her and moved her hair away from her forehead.

"Hey you... I'm coming to say a couple of things to you, just in case. You will probably not understand why I'm doing what I'm doing, but don't hate me, ok? I'm doing it just to save you, and your dad and Ben. If there is something I can't live with, it's any of you getting hurt. I just can't. If one day you become a mom, you will understand me. I am going to go and bring Peter back, and I promise I'll do my best to come back. But you never know... and in case I can't, I want you to know that I love you, so much it hurts sometimes. I am not a psychic but I do have the feeling that you and Sean will be... more than friends eventually. Be careful, my love. Don't be afraid to love. If there is something hard in this world, it's to let yourself love and be loved, because there aren't any guarantees, not in love, not in anything. Enjoy your life and don't make my mistakes. Try to put your life in balance and get a little of everything. Let yourself cry sometimes and laugh in others, let yourself be weak and be strong, learn to trust, even when life kicks you over and over again. Be true to yourself… and fly my girl... fly as high as you can. I'll always be close to you," finished Lisa, and Sarah snored in response. She laughed and got closer to her hair and kissed her head lovingly.

Lisa walked outside the bedroom and found Rick in the same spot she was before, next to the window looking outside. She sighed, took a big breath and came close to him, putting her arms around him and cuddling into his back.

"I love you," she said with a quivering voice.

"I know. I love you too," he said with a deep voice, not turning around.

"You do understand, right?" she said, feeling frightened and scared and wanting nothing more than to let him take this away from her, but she couldn't.

"I do," Rick answered and turned around. His eyes shone in the dark. He grabbed the back of her neck and without waiting crushed his lips on hers, demanding entrance. It was a wanton kiss, demanding, desperate; a silent prayer for her to stay. But he knew better. The life of an innocent was on the line. It had to be done.

"When you come back," he murmured sexily against her parted lips when they broke the kiss for air, "when you come back to me, we are going on vacation, just the two of us... and we are going to have sex until we can't walk again, you hear me?" he said and she laughed, feeling relieved for the first time since that day became a nightmare.

"Yes, Mr. Hayes," she said crushing into another passionate kiss. She broke it, turned around and left before she couldn't do it anymore.

Rick looked at the closed door for a long time and closed his eyes, feeling the taste of her in his mouth. "See you soon, Mrs. Hunter."

Lisa walked outside and in the shadows, a figure was waiting for her. She stood still until the person came closer.

"I think you will need this," said the woman as she handed Lisa a gun. Lisa looked at it for a second, then took it in her hands.

"Mir... I..." said Lisa but Miriya stopped her.

"There's no need. I knew this was going to happen. Go. Go and face your demon, then come back to us," said Miriya, struggling to hold in her own emotions.

"I will," answered Lisa gratefully and began walking away.

"You know," said Miriya before Lisa was out of reach, "if you are going to do this, do it completely. This evil must be destroyed," said the Zentraedi woman with the experience of a warrior in her voice. Lisa looked at her and nodded, knowing this was a war, and she was going to fight it, whatever it took and whatever happened.

It didn't take much for Lisa to find out the location. She knew he was waiting. It was all part of his manipulative plan. She opened the door of the old warehouse and walked inside the devil's mouth.

The place was huge, several corridors covered in dust, with almost no light in them. It was a creepy look, and she thought for a moment about how scared Peter was somewhere in there. She didn't bother trying to go unnoticed. She knew he was watching her anyway. She walked around for more than an hour, and realized she was lost. The place was like a labyrinth of concrete.

"Are you tired yet?" said a deep male voice in the air. Lisa turned around quickly but nobody was there.

"I will never get tired, so keep playing, I'll find my way to the end," replied Lisa challenging him.

"How sweet, and what makes you think the hybrid will live that long?" said Jake's voice from a speaker.

"Let him go. This is between you and me, and I swear to God, we will finish this now!" she commanded standing up straight, using her best officer tone and posture.

"Feisty, are we?"

"Every day until I die," said Lisa to the voice.

"Fine, the boy is useless anyway," said Jake and then cut the communication. Lisa stood there, waiting for something to happen, and then she heard a sniffing sound.

"Hello?" said the crying voice of a boy coming closer to her.

"Peter?" said Lisa trying to focus her vision in the dark hallways.

"Aunt Lisa?" asked the boy and then began running to her. Lisa knelt on the floor and Peter almost fell in his haste to hug her. She held him close to her, thanking God he was fine. Even with the poor light, she checked on him. Some bruises here and there, probably from the actual kidnapping.

"He broke my glasses," commented the little boy looking at the pieces in his bloody hands.

"It's nothing, we will get you a new pair. Peter, listen to me, carefully," said Lisa realizing she needed to take him out of the facility before the final confrontation. She couldn't get out, but she had to find a way to free him. "I need you to get out of here. 3 miles away, going north you will find a sign, a sign that has some numbers, ok? Look for number 42, and dig right down by it. I hid a cell phone there. Press number one and you will get Rick's phone. Call him. Don't call the police, because they may be involved in this. Just call Rick, he will pick you up."

"But what about you?" said Peter but Lisa strongly nodded a no.

"No, don't worry about me, I'll be fine. Go and get out of here. Your parents are worried sick, they need to know you are fine," she ordered strongly. The boy nodded in agreement.

"We are done, show him the way out," said Lisa standing up and looking at the ceiling where the speakers were.

"As you wish," said Jake and Peter jumped in fear.

Pale lights began lighting one of the hallways, showing the way. Lisa looked around, not trusting Jake.

"I'll go with him. I promise I will not run away, but I want to make sure he gets out," Lisa commented sharply.

"And why should I listen to you?" he said.

"Because unlike you, my word means something," Lisa replied angrily.

"Fine, go," said the smirking voice.

Lisa walked with Peter until they found the main door, which was open. Lisa knelt down in front of Peter again and smiled at him.

"You are going to be fine. Tell Sarah that I love her, alright?" she said giving the boy a hug. He hugged her back, and even with his blurry vision, without his glasses, he knew she was sad. He agreed and walked slowly to the door, he turned around and Lisa waved good bye at him. As soon as the boy put a foot outside, the metallic door closed hard, leaving him out and Lisa locked in.

She was alone and her heart pumped hard against her chest. She swallowed hard and began following the lights of the corridors. Slowly she found her way farther inside the dusty building and then, after half an hour, she found a big rusty metal door.

"Password?" said the voice of Jake coming from a speaker.

"Son of a bitch?" answered Lisa raising an eyebrow. He smirked at her and let the door open.

She crossed the threshold and inside was a room with thousands of TV monitors around. The place was dark and the only light came from the monitor screens.

"What the hell?" she said walking around and watching different well known areas: the bridge of the base where she used to work before maternity leave and the camera showed the officers doing their normal job; on another screen was a view of her house, and she saw Rick in the living room, holding Ben and Sarah next to him crying. Lisa's heart skipped a beat…she hated seeing her family in pain. On other screens were different places, both military and civilian. Lisa didn't think someone could have so many resources without being noticed.

"This is just a piece of what I can do," said the voice of Jake again, but this time from behind her. Controlling her fear, she turned around and looked at him directly in those hateful eyes. They were finally face to face.

"You look old," she said nonchalantly. And he was. The years turned him into a bitter man with blatant age lines and creases on his face, dry skin and hollow green eyes that had a spark of insanity in them. His dirty blond hair and all his good looks were gone due to years of obsession.

"The years didn't pass in vain my dear," he said and tried to touch her hair, but she pushed his hand away.

"I look quite well, thank you very much. It's probably because I still have my soul," Lisa replied, stepping back a little. "Let's cut to the chase, shall we? What the hell do you want?"

"What I've always wanted... you," he said stepping closer to her like a predator.

"Explain that, because during all these years I've been wondering what the hell it means... what do you want, eh? To rape me? Kill me? Move in with me? I think it should be one of the first two, because the third is not going to happen," she said walking around him. He frowned in annoyance.

"You don't fear me, not like before," he said as a statement and not a question.

"I am not... that's what usually happens when you don't give a damn about living or dying anymore," Lisa fired back at him.

"What about those bastard children of yours? What will they do without their mommy?" And this time he walked around her.

"They are going to be fine. Look at that," she said pointing at the screen that showed her home. "They have their father. They will be fine. He will protect them. They have a dozen people who are willing to give their lives for them. That's love, you son of a bitch, you will never have that! You can kill me. C'mon, DO IT!" she said coming closer to him, invading his personal space. "DO IT! You can kill me and I don't give a damn, because you are never, EVER going to have me, do you hear me?"

Jake grabbed her arm hard, pulling her closer to him in a menacing way. "Are you sure? Because I can take you right now, and you will be mine," but Lisa laughed bitterly.

"Aren't you a sad sight? Go ahead, get your way and every time you touch me or hit me, I will remember better times with Rick and your hateful hands will be forgotten, because my body remembers him, not you," and then she spit on him.

Jake was taken aback and released her. He cleaned his face with his sleeve and looked at her, livid.

"When are you going to realize that I don't even hate you? I don't feel anything for you anymore... until you took Peter, I almost forgot about you! That's what you are Jake, a mistake of my past but I am not willing to pay for it anymore. It's enough! So... here I am..." she said opening her arms wide leaving herself vulnerable to him, "... do it! Kill me! But whatever you do, you can't win... because I overestimated you long ago," she finished.

Jake was pallid. She was not afraid. His whole excitement came from her fear. Her family, her loved ones, was her weaknesses, but somehow her trust in her people made them her strength now. She was truly not afraid to die and her hateful words were small slaps on his face and slashes on his ego. This was not going the way he planned it.

"NO!" he said and slapped her on the cheek. Lisa fell to the ground and felt the taste of her own blood, but got up as soon as she could to face him again.

"That's all you can do, big man? Hit a woman? You fucking coward. You have always been one, a coward, a shadow of a man... what is it? Can't deal with me anymore?" Lisa said to the man who looked at her with huge eyes.

"SHUT UP!" he said and hit her again. She fell again and looked at him from the floor, smirking at him.

"That's it... kill me or hit me and let me go... but we are finishing this right now," she said with a freezing calm voice, calm enough to send chills down his spine.

Losing whatever bit of sanity he had left, Jake jumped over her, but Lisa rolled onto her back fast enough to evade him. She stood up and took the chance to kick him while he was on the floor. She broke his nose, but it wasn't enough damage to take him out. Jake stood up and even though he was dizzy, he clumsily ran to her. She took the chance to give him a high kick with her leg which connected, causing blood to bubble from his broken mouth.

"You bitch!" he screamed and grabbed her hair and pushed her down painfully. While she was down he kicked her in her ribs and Lisa felt how one of them cracked causing a chilling pain. She found a way to dodge him and stood up as fast as she could.

"This is what you want? To kill me? Why the fuck didn't you do it when you kidnapped me in the first place!" she shouted at him. Jake breathed from his mouth, blood coming out of his mouth and nose, giving him the look of the monster he was.

"I wanted you to be with me, not to kill you. You were the most appealing woman I ever met, but now... now... you are nothing like you used to be," he said to her. They began to hunt each other.

"I will take that as a compliment," she smirked back at him, holding her sore torso. Lisa pushed the awful pain she felt to the back her mind. She was sick of all this and she wanted it to end, one way or the other.

"That bastard changed you! This is his fault!" Jake said, out of his mind.

"Rick? C'mon... he showed me another path, but this here, this is all me."

"I'll kill him," he threatened one more time, trying to break down her spirit.

"He's a big boy. I'm sure he can take you down," Lisa smirked back. Jake couldn't take it anymore and launched himself at her, but this time Lisa couldn't escape his reach. He hit her over and over, but at one point he went down and she took the opportunity to knee him in the balls. This was enough to make him cry in pain and stumble away from her. Losing his mind, he grabbed a metal bar which supported a line of the monitors, making them crash onto the floor, causing a small electrical explosion and leaving even less light to see around. Lisa backed away a little trying to focus her eyes in the dim light, but he found his way behind her and hit her in the back with the bar. Lisa fell on the floor and the gun she had tucked in her pants flew away from her.

She knew it was the end. She was not going home. Without the gun, her last chance was gone. Even though the darkness gave her some hiding space, she was doomed. Feeling the blood oozing from over her left eyebrow, she moved touching the floor around her, trying to reach the gun.

"Oh... Marco? Polo?" said Jake walking and turning around once in a while at the smallest sound. "I was not going to kill you Lisa... well, I think I was, but not like this... not this... sadistic, inelegant way. Why did you change my rules? Why don't you understand that I AM the one in charge? This is my game," he said too close to Lisa now. She closed her eyes and thought of Rick. She knew this kind of end was a possibility; she breathed hard and tried to calm her mind. She had a full life, she repeated to herself and her children were safe. She didn't regret anything... well, maybe just meeting the psycho who was going to kill her.

The steps got closer and closer to her. She stayed quietly under a table, waiting for the inevitable, her heart pumping so fast she could hear the blood running in her veins.

Then it happened.

A light and a thunderous sound passed right above her. The bright white light of a gunshot and the horrible sound of the powder exploding froze her in her place. Then all she heard was a scream and the weight of a big man hitting the floor hard. She didn't dare to open her eyes, wondering if she was still alive.

Silence fell upon the room. She slowly opened her eyes and all she could see was the bright light of monitors making shadows on the walls giving it a gloomy view.

"Lisa, are you ok?" said an unknown voice through the sound of the shot still ringing in her ears.

"Yes, who are you?" she asked, scared at the sudden change of events.

"It's me," said the man coming closer to her, so she could see him with the monitor lights.

"Rob," Lisa murmured, not believing her eyes.

"You're not ok, you're bleeding everywhere," the young man said with concern, looking at her.

"I'm fine... but what... how?" she asked, forgetting for a second where she was.

"I followed you. After last night I thought I needed to do something to get my family back... I guess killing my brother would be enough for Vanessa to forgive me," he said trying to sound funny.

"Kill him... where is he?" Lisa asked, coming back to reality.

"Take this," he said and gave her the gun she lost. She charged it just in case and they walked around the damaged room looking for Jake.

A few feet away, there he was, lying still on his back. There was a gunshot on his left side that was bleeding profusely, but he was still alive. Both Lisa and Rob pointed their weapons at him. He gave a deathly laugh, drowning in his own blood.

"I must admit, I didn't see that coming... brother," he murmured with a trembling voice.

"You asked for it Jake... I told you to stay away from my family... and everybody close to them," Rob answered, not feeling any regret.

"Well, it was you or me... I was going after your daughter in a few years anyway... what a knockout she will be," Jake answered, laughing cruelly, and then coughed up fluids and blood. Rob held his gun strongly in his hand and looked at him with disgust.

"Why all of this... why couldn't you just let this go?" asked Lisa trying to put some logic in this whole chaotic situation.

"Because that was the game. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose," he answered to Lisa, looking at her with the same lust with which he always looked at her. She felt like throwing up. "I almost won... but now you got the jackpot, just be glad I didn't do what I wanted to do to that bastard daughter of yours. She was going to be a nice desert for me..."

Lisa and Rob looked at each other for some time, eyes locked on each other, weighing their next move. They both looked at the dying form of Jake, laughing at them, at life, at everything good and sane in the world... always laughing, always in control.

"Tell me something," asked Lisa one more time to Jake, "was it worth it?"

Jake smiled at her, blood coming out of his mouth and replied, "Every second of it."

A second gunshot was heard in the room, but this time, all sound died after it, including the static and the monitor's lights which slowly faded out.

Lisa shuddered at the feel of the change in the weather, and her now cold foot on the grass. She came back to her reality. It was all done. It was all over. Time healed all their wounds eventually, and that was for the best. When she returned home, it was a rebirth for all of them. Jo and Michael got Peter back, and they moved to Macross City where Lisa found a job for Michael in Research and Development inside the RDF. Once Jake was dead, Rob came clean with the whole situation, taking down Maistroff and everybody else involved in it. Lisa's entire story became public, and she got not just her rank back, but in a few years she got what was her right: she became the youngest Admiral of the Fleet.

The children grew up healthy and happy. Teenage years brought some of them closer and took others apart. When Dana saw Peter for the first time they recognized each other, but didn't say anything until they became more than 16 years old. Then fate did its part and after the consideration of their parents, they officially became a couple at 17 and decided to get married when Peter turned 20, but wouldn't have children until they were much older.

Rick was thrilled that his son had a very on the ground passion in his life: the piano. Ben inherited Lisa's talent for music, and from the time he was two, received piano lessons. He was a natural and Rick didn't miss even one of his son's lessons or concerts in his life. Ben never changed, and neither did Sarah, who grew up into a beautiful and very thin girl, resembling her maternal grandmother as she got older. Her choice in life was obvious, becoming one of the youngest pilots in the RDF, under the direct supervision of Roy Fokker. Under Roy's wing, Sarah Hunter became famous and even more reckless than her father, which Rick always said was payback for his earlier attitude and Lisa laughed at him. Truth be told, Rick feared every time his girl was in the air. That was why he was so happy when Ben decided on law for his career choice, even though he always kept the piano as a passionate hobby. With his looks and his methodical way, he became the one of the most respected JAG officers in the RDF, plus his looks and charm only added to his success. But Ben was always in love with Lizzy and she loved him too. Out of all the children, those two were the healthier in Claudia's opinion. They grew their childish friendship into a tender teenage friendship and a steaming romance when they grew old enough. Sadly, it was not the same for Sean and Sarah. After their childhood, the teenagers couldn't find a way to turn their friendship in something more without hurting each other. Sean became popular and overconfident and Sarah concentrated on her studies and piloting, but they were always in touch until Sarah realized she was in love with him when she turned 17. But love is easier for some more than others. When Sarah came clean with Sean about her feelings, he dismissed her cruelly, deeply hurting the girl's spirit. Beloved and everything, Sean also grew apart from his parents, going out on his own as soon as he got into the RDF.

"That's life," thought Lisa finally looking for her shoes and getting ready to go into the living room. She walked into the living room and looked to an old picture of them all, taken on one of her birthdays, and she smiled. Everybody in the picture smiled happily, even Sean who was in one of the far away corners opposite Sarah. Lisa smirked to herself, knowing exactly why Sean was so afraid to love. It was not an easy thing. Then her eyes fell on Vanessa and Rob and she sighed contently. For his part in the whole affair, Rob had been demoted and given very restricted duties far away from Macross City for a few years. It could have been a lot worse for Rob, and the convening officer made it abundantly clear that only Lisa's kind words on his behalf had spared him a worse fate. When he returned to Macross City, Vanessa allowed Rob back into her life, after she made sure everybody in the group, including Miriya, wanted him back. He worked very hard to find his way back into the group and to earn back everybody's trust, but it was worth it. He was one of them.

The same hadn't been so for Maistroff. With Rob's cooperation and various records retrieved from Jake's lair, there was more than enough evidence to convict him of a number of offences, including treason, kidnapping, conspiracy and attempted murder. The judge in charge of Maistroff's court martial had been harsh in his criticism of the former General when reading the guilty verdict to the court. The sentence for treason was death, a mandatory sentence and one that was usually never commuted, and the judge didn't seem to be in the mood to do any favors for Maistroff until once again, Lisa spoke. She argued that death was too easy a punishment for someone who had once been so powerful. She argued, and the judge had to agree, that a more severe punishment, and deterrent for others who thought about abusing their rank and power, would be to strip Maistroff of everything that he had gained through his crimes and sentence him to life imprisonment, where he would receive no respect and wield no power.

And if Rick and Maistroff were the only two who noticed Lisa's satisfied smirk as Maistroff was led away in handcuffs by two burly MPs, it didn't matter.

Everybody else was happy, as happy as people can be when they really live life. With some good days and others not so good, they always got together, always fought for their friendships. Now, the children were no longer children but young adults making their own ways into the world. She was glad Sarah and Ben were always there for each other, even when Sarah forced him during one RDF festival to dance to rock and roll music with her so they could win a contest. Lisa laughed remembering how much they all cheered for them, and Ben was as embarrassed as he could get, but they won anyway.

"Are you ready?" asked Rick coming behind her, glad to see her spirit back in her. She smiled at him.

"Yes, I am," she said taking that last photo frame and putting it inside one of the moving boxes. She closed it, taped it and it was done. The house was empty, ready for another adventure.

"Do you think we'll be fine out in space again? It's been a long time since we've been out there," he asked, holding her in his arms.

"As long as we're together, I think so," she said turning around and kissing him.

"Do you think we have time for a quickie?" asked Rick playfully and she slapped him on the arm.

"Let's go... we can christen our new bed on the SDF-3 tonight," Lisa said with a wink.

They all decided on their own to go with the Hunters on this new adventure. Max and Miriya; Vanessa and Rob; Kim and Sammie, who stayed single but had more than enough men to date in this life and the other; Jo and Michael, Peter and Dana, Ben, Lizzy, Sarah and Claudia and Roy. The only one who declined the offer was Sean, certain that his life was on Earth. Claudia and Roy were very sad to leave their son on Earth, but it was his choice. They always said that they spoiled him really rotten.

Everything was packed, and everybody was aboard the ship. Lisa stood in her place on the command deck of the SDF-3 and looked at her favorite picture on her desk. It was an old one, with the original bridge of the SDF-1 and Admiral Gloval in the middle. She smiled at him and looked upward to where she knew he was watching, her personal guardian angel as she liked to call him since he passed away, to help her in this new task. Rick walked next to her, feeling uncomfortable in his Admiral's uniform.

"This thing is too tight!" he said trying to open a button. Lisa laughed at him.

"You need to dress according to your rank, Admiral Hayes," she joked at him. Since he decided to become an Admiral as well, they changed their regular Mr. Hayes and Mrs. Hunter codename to Admiral Hayes for him and Admiral Hunter for her.

"You look so damn sexy in that uniform and I look like a potato," Rick complained.

"Better for me, that way those nasty petty officers won't look at you as much," she said trying to hide the jealousy in her voice. Rick smirked; he loved the fact that after so many years she still got jealous over him.

"C'mon Admiral Hunter, go and do your speech. We need to launch this thing today," he said, and as soon as she walked past him he smacked her butt making her jump in surprise.

The speech was done. The formal and non-formal goodbyes were done as well. The only thing Lisa was sad about was the fact that her best friends were terribly sad for leaving their black sheep on Earth. Somehow they'd always hoped that he'd change his mind. Sean kissed his mother and hugged his father, feeling sad, and not liking the feeling either. Everybody was aboard. It was time to go.
"We are passing lunar orbit Admiral, and ready for the jump," informed the first officer. Lisa acknowledged the information with a nod.

"I want everything double-checked, Fist Officer," commanded Lisa feeling nervous. Rick was on other side of the ship, and that was a very far way away. She looked around and realized her crew looked as scared and inexperienced as she and the girls looked the first time they launched the SDF-1. She smiled a little at the memory.

"Ma'am! We have something on the radar," said one of the officers. Lisa got up and walked next to her.

"Threat assessment: friend or enemy?" Lisa asked and then began reading the radar on her own.

"I don't know, ma'am; he is getting closer to us though. I'll try to make contact," said the girl getting worried. She took a big breath and made the necessary connections. "Approaching aircraft, identify yourself..." said the girl into the mic. Seconds ticked by with no response.

"Again," commanded Lisa, hoping it was one of their own. The last thing she wanted to do was have an enemy attack so close to home.

"Approaching aircraft, identify yourself or we will be forced to fire at you," said the girl, perspiring. Some sounds came from the speakers, like static, then a familiar voice was heard.

"IT'S ME FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!!" said the terrified voice of Sean Fokker, piloting a prototype veritech that he had 'borrowed'.

"SEAN?!" said Lisa taking the mic from the officer, almost pushing her to the deck. "What the hell are you doing? We're ready to make the jump!"

"I am going with ya, let me in, ok? And give me lots of room to land; I don't know how to do that! Bring someone here to help me, Lisa!!" said Sean getting more and more scared by the minute. Lisa rolled her eyes, making a mental note to give him a month of detention as soon as he landed.

"Jessica, send Dana to get him before he crashes into the ship," Lisa commanded and then added, "and inform the Fokkers and my daughter that young Mr. Fokker is arriving."

Dana launched her veritech and gave Sean instructions to slow this velocity before he crashed against one of the sides of the SDF-3. Swearing like a sailor, the girl did her best to grab and hold onto the veritech, which was in fighter mode, with her own Guardian mode aircraft. Slowly they got into the south east hangar.

Everybody ran as fast as they could to the hanger to see with their own eyes the unusual scene. Sarah's heart raced a thousand times faster both in fear and wonder. Claudia and Roy ran as fast as they could and they all arrived the moment Dana landed safely with Sean's VF in the arms of her own VF. Everybody else arrived a moment later, including Lisa and Rick.

"Score a hundred for me!!!!!!!!" said Dana jumping from her VF, far too happy with her amazing maneuver. She jumped and let the technicians deal with how to free the other VF. Lisa began walking angrily to Sean's VF but Rick stopped her. Sarah was already running to him.

"What the hell do you think you're doing? You're not a pilot!!" she shouted at the top of her lungs when the handsome face of Sean appeared from above the VF, grinning from ear to ear.

"Like it was so hard," said Sean jumping from the VF. All the officers watched him in awe and he waved at them like a beauty queen.


"Gosh Stick, tone it down, your voice is killing me!" he complained like nothing had happened. Sarah was furious.

"Killing you? I WILL SHOW YOU WHAT KILLING IS!!" she said and jumped on him. Everybody stood still, although Ben already ready to go and probably save Sean from a once in a lifetime ass kicking... a well deserved, but unnecessary ass kicking anyway. It was not necessary. Sean caught Sarah's fist with his hand and forced it down.

"I can stop you now, you know?" he said making sure he was twisting her wrist enough so she couldn't throw it again. It was painful for her, but it was the only way to be sure she wouldn't get free.

"Let me go you, you... chicken!" she said in pain.

"Chicken? What are we? Twelve?" he asked her releasing her hand. She held it and looked at him angrily and ashamed, they were sure giving everyone a show.

"Why the fuck are you here? You don't want to be here," she asked him angrily but not so loud.

"I would get bored on Earth. No one to talk to; you are taking Peter with you, so who is going to help me with my inventions?" Sean answered with his huge ego.

"Yeah right, like you don't have enough bimbos to play with," she murmured under her breath. Sean got closer so he could hear.

"Who said anything about bimbos? Unless you think Peter is a bimbo, which is quite disturbing I might add," and he rolled his eyes making a disgusted face.

"Go home," murmured Sarah feeling her blood running fast in her veins again. Sean got closer to her.

"I am home," he said looking at her with his blue eyes dark with passion.

"You hate me," she said stepping back a little, still holding her sore wrist with the other hand.

"Why do you think I came here?" he asked stepping closer again, looking at her with so much intensity that she blushed.

"Y...Y...Your parents?" she said dumbly and Sean gave her his winning, arrogant smile.

"Nope... try again..."

"The food?" she said, feeling how her temperature went higher and higher as he got closer to her.

"All depends, Stick. Can I eat you, or would that be too Hannibal Lecter for you?" he said just inches away from her.

"Yikes," was all she could murmur before Sean crushed his lips against hers. She was so shocked at first that she didn't even close her eyes and stayed still with his lips pressing on hers. But Sean was an expert kisser – unlike her – and he put one hand on her back and the other on her neck. Softly he moved his mouth over hers, relaxing her. Sarah closed her eyes and opened her mouth a little, not quite ready for the invasion of his tongue, making her knees weak and almost falling. Good thing he was holding her.

The kiss went on and on until she felt out of breath. Her eyes were cloudy, she was flushed and breathing heavily. Sean looked at her like that and enjoyed the view, she was completely out of her place. He bit his lower lip in triumph. Softly, they came back to reality and began listening to the sound of a lot of people cheering strongly for them, including Lisa and Claudia who were jumping like teenagers and Roy and Rick hugging each other. Sarah turned completely red and looked to the floor, while Sean smiled proudly and kept a hand on her, just in case.

"Well!" said Lisa aloud after a moment, making sure everybody was listening to her. "We are ready to do the jump, so go to your stations and wait for instructions, are we clear?" she asked strongly. Everybody turned towards her, saluted and shouted a, "Yes, Ma'am." She smiled proudly.

"And you," she said to Sean who looked at her with big puppy eyes. "You are confined to quarters for a week until I decide what I am going to do with you," she said pointing a finger at him.

"Ask Sarah, I am pretty sure she can come up with one or two interesting ideas, when she comes back from dream land, that is... you know, I have that affect on girls," Sean grinned from ear to ear, and Lisa smacked the back of his head like she used to do when he was a boy.

Lisa walked away, sharing a secret smile with Rick. Roy then pushed Rick towards the other side of the ship and joked with him about grandchildren and how proud he was to be alive to witness his own son flying a VF. Dana and Lizzy went closer to Sarah and hugged her, but both murmured into her ear to make sure to test Sean for VD before she let him into her pants. Sarah turned even redder.

Lisa walked onto her bridge one more time, breathing a lot more relaxed. Somehow, everything was fine now, maybe not perfect, but for damn sure, it was fine. And that was enough for her.

"First Officer," she said sitting in her chair, her crew ready to take her orders. "Begin the space fold...


'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life

Trying to make ends meet

You're a slave to money then you die

I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down

You know the one that takes you to the places

where all the veins meet yeah

No change, I can't change

I can't change, I can't change

But I'm here in my mind

I am here in my mind

But I'm a million different people

from one day to the next

I can't change my mind

No, no, no, no, no, no, no,no,no,no,no

Well I never pray

But tonight I'm on my knees yeah

I need to hear some sounds that recognize the pain in me, yeah

I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now

But the airways are clean and there's nobody singing to me now

No change, I can't change

I can't change, I can't change

But I'm here in my mind

I am here in my mind

And I'm a million different people

from one day to the next

I can't change my mind

No, no, no, no, no, no, no

I can't change

I can't change it

'Cause it's a bittersweet symphony, this life

Trying to make ends meet

Trying to find some money then you die

I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down

You know the one that takes you to the places

where all the veins meet yeah

You know I can't change, I can't change

I can't change, I can't change

But I'm here in my mind

I am here in my mind

And I'm a million different people

from one day to the next

I can't change my mind

No, no, no, no, no

I can't change my mind

no, no, no, no, no,

I can't change

Can't change my body,

no, no, no

I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down

I'll take you down the only road I've ever been down

Been down

Ever been down

Ever been down

Ever been down

Ever been down

That you've ever been down

That you've ever been down

The End

For my friends Jo and GPPR who have always believed in me and in this fanfic, and for Dwparsnip, for being such a good friend and such a patient beta.

For all the Robotech fans out there. Never let you inner child go away.

Author's Note:

Oh My God, I can't believe I wrote those two little words! First I want to say sorry for the delay. I am pretty sure you didn't think I was going to do this, to write one big final chapter. To be honest, until this morning, I wasn't sure either. But those who know me, know I've been trying to write more of BD, but just can't. HUGE author's block. Somehow everything was getting slower, and I was getting tired. It's been four years doing this, after all.

But now it's done. I can't believe it! And I am happy with it, I wrote every little thing I wanted to. Maybe it is bad to say, but I am proud of what I did. Maybe it's not the best fanfic in the history, but it is mine; I did it, and I am damn proud of it. I just hope you enjoyed it as much as I did writing it. This IS my first baby. I want to thank each and every one of you who have been by my side, thank you, for your reviews, emails, words and good wishes. You all have been my fuel over the years to keep me going on. You don't know how important you – the reader – are for me.

Thank you all, for being part of this adventure.



LONG LIVE FANFICS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!