Author's Note: Finally, here it is, the last chapter to my second FanFiction.net fic. Thank you so much to the people who've read and/or reviewed this story.

Disclaimer: Refer to the Chapter One

Story Title: Path to Sanctuary

Chapter Title: Sanctuary

Sanctuary Base, Location: Secret

Takeru stirred, he opened his eyes slowly. He was confused and disoriented. Where was he? What happened? He looked around his surroundings.
He was on a bed in an unpainted room with composite-alloy walls and several pieces of medical equipment. It took him a moment to realize that the medical equipment was attached to him. 'Why would medical equipment be attached to me?' he thought at first.
Then, he remembered. The White Wolf, the Princess, Kandoorit, he and his brother fighting Kandoorit. He suddenly became more alert. Was he on a Kandoorit ship? Was he a prisoner?
He looked closely at the readouts on the medical equipment. He relaxed slightly, the readouts were displayed in Ambloni characters not Kandoorit. Then, he frowned.
Why would he be in an Ambloni medical bay? Hadn't he and his brother chosen to remain behind to buy the White Wolf's escape module time to power up? Did the crew of the White Wolf come back for him and his brother? Where was his brother? What happened to the Kandoorit?
His mind kept on asking question after question. But he couldn't come up with any answers. He felt someone moving at his side. He turned his head and saw Princess Hikari, sleeping by his bedside.
"Hi. . .ka. . .ri?" he mumbled.
The Princess' eyes opened suddenly, as if she had been waiting for him to wake up. And, from the looks of it, she probably had.
"TAKERU! You're awake!" the Princess yelped joyously. She was about to hug Takeru, but stopped when she remembered that Takeru was hurt.
"Wha-what. . ." he mumbled, confused.
The Princess smiled, tears of joy in her eyes. "I've been waiting for you to wake up. You really had me worried, you big dope."
"How? What? Where?" Takeru said, still confused.
"Do you remember what happened before. . ." she trailed off, smile disappearing. "Before you were left behind?"
"I-I remember fighting Kandoorit." Takeru said. His face contorted in a frown as he tried to remember. "I remember the shuttle module detaching then. . .nothing."
"You shouldn't have done that." The Princess said. "It turned out to be a useless gesture."
"Huh?"
"After you got left behind the White Wolf's module tried to escape, but the Kandoorit ship just caught up with us and tractor beamed us again."
Takeru frowned. "Then how. . ."
"We were lucky." Continued the Princess. " Turns out that the Palace Bunker suspected that we were being tracked. They managed to contact a Nason patrol which came to our aid."
Hikari frowned. "You didn't need to sacrifice yourselves. The Nason would have just found us and freed us. There was no reason for you & your brother to get left behind, to get hurt."
Takeru let that sink in for a moment then replied: "We needed to do it. If we didn't, we'd probably heve been aboard that Kandoorit ship and en route to Kandoorit High Command before the Nason could've found us."
"Don't give me that!" the Princess snapped. "You know what I went through when you bolted out that door? When we broke of the module without you?"
A slight look of guilt passed Takeru's face. Seeing this, the Princess softened her expression and said: "Sorry, I was being selfish. But I don't ever wanna have people throw their lives away for me again. I'm sick of that."
"Duty be damned!" said the Princess. "I'm just sick of that. Sick of people getting killed or hurt because they think it's their duty to do so. I hate that."
Hikari looked at him. "And look at how much you and your brother were hurt."
Takeru looked at himself. He looked again at the tubes and wires attached to his body. He turned to the Princess. "When will I get out of this?" he asked.
"The doctor said you could get out of bed in a few days. Your brother will need about a week."
"Where is my brother?" Takeru asked.
"Yamato's in another room." Hikari answered. "He woke up a few hours ago, but he still keeps on slipping back to unconsciousness."
Takeru's face frowned in concern. The Princess reassured him. "Don't worry. The doctor says he's fine. You Dbrojan are made of tough stuff."
Takeru nodded, but he was still concerned for his brother. He turned to the Princess. "Where are we?"
"Sanctuary." Hikari said, she smiled. "Yup, Takeru. You did it, you got us here."
Takeru just stared at her for a moment. Then, for the first time in a long while, he laughed. "We were prepared to give our lives for our duty and we still come out alive." He shook his head. "Luck must like us, a lot."
The Princess shook her head. "You dope." Was all she said she leaned over and put her lips on Takeru's. Takeru's eyes bulged in surprise, he had not expected that.
At first, the kiss was simple and gentle. But then the Princess got more passionate. Takeru wasn't really sure what was going on, but he didn't push Hikari away. The Princess suddenly pulled back, blushing in embarrassment.
"Hikari. . . wha-what?" Takeru stuttered.
The Princess looked away for a moment. The she turned back. "Takeru, over the time we spent together I've gotten to know you. I've gotten to see the kind, caring Dbrojan behind the sad, empty one. And well, I've. . . " she paused. "I've fallen for you Takeru. I love you."
Takeru was silent for a moment, stunned. "Hikari," he began. "I'm not that sure about my feelings for you, yet. But it's starting to feel pretty close to what I felt for Katherine."
He continued. "Thank you so much for helping me get my head out of my ass. I'm really grateful for that. But. . ." he paused. "I don't think we can be together."
"Why?" the Princess asked, hurt.
"Because you're an Ambloni Imperial Princess, I'm just a simple Dbrojan freelancer. What will your family say about that?"
"Ah, screw 'em!" Hikari said. "Besides, we repealed the law against class-only marriages and betrothals decades ago. I can love who I want to and not care about what others think."
"Yes," Takeru said. "But I'm still a freelancer. After this is over, I'll have to leave with Koushiro and the others. He is my employer, and it's my duty to work for him."
The Princess smiled. "If you leave you'll be abandoning your duty."
"Huh?" Takeru was perplexed.
"My father, the Emperor, was impressed with what you and your group did for me, my brother, and the others. He was so impressed, in fact, that he hired Koushiro and his team to be the Ambloni Imperial Family's personal privateer group under the direct command of the Ambloni Imperial Family. In fact," she smiled. "There's your new uniform."
Hikari pointed at a table. Takeru looked, on the table he saw a Dbrojan coolant suit made in the shape of a uniform. On the uniform was a special ensign. "You'll be with us, with me, for a long time."
Takeru nodded. "I'm still not sure how I feel about you though."
The Princess just leaned over and kissed him again. She pulled back and asked: "Still not sure?"
"No," Takeru said. "But I'm thinking about it."
The Princess smiled and kissed him on the cheek. She stood up and started toward the door. She smiled at him. "Let me know when you decide."
She stepped out of the room, but just as the door started to close Takeru called out: "Hikari! I've decided."
The door opened again and Hikari peeked in. "Yes?"
"I'll give it a shot." Takeru said, the Princess beamed. "Get some rest." She said as she stepped back out of the room. Takeru smiled. "I'll definitely give it a shot."

THE END

Author's Note: WAHOO!!! I've completed my second story on FF.net, a feat for a slow typer like me. I thank the reviewers for their encouragement. Well, that's it for now. I'm taking a break from writing Anime/Digimon fics for now since I plan to write a few cartoon fics. I'm just out of ideas for Digimon fics, though I might write a sequel to this one if my idea for it completely materializes.

MARAMING SALAMAT, MGA READERS! (That's Filipino for "Many thanks, readers!")