AN: IMPORTANT! Now comes the time when we all say goodbye to something familiar. But as the old saying goes, when one door shuts, another one opens. I hope you all enjoy the chapter. I know it is a little short, but I wrote everything that I wanted to into it. I only wonder now if any of you have searched through the old chapters to try and find clues as to what will happen in the third story. The third story will be up with a week or two, which will give me enough time to edit the chapter. I wanted to wait a week to see if any more people decide to submit a story before I send the first chapter to the winner. I'll probably wait a few days to a week after that before I post it online. I hope you all can wait that long!
Now, without further ado, I give you the last chapter of Silver and Gold. I hope it is everything that you expected.
"Everything and everyone is more connected than we realize. So there is no pat ending, no neat finale, no single final image."
Sara Pezzini; Witchblade
Silver and Gold
Chapter 18: The End or Just the Beginning?
It was still glowing. It still shone brightly, lighting up the entire cavern. Lor opened her eyes to gaze around her. Dozens of people surrounded her, some she didn't know and one that she did.
Her father stood in front of her, his arm wrapped tightly around a woman's waist. The woman smiled at her, breaking away from her father. The woman looked familiar, a wisp of a ghost in her memory. "Mother?" she whispered.
The woman nodded, her auburn hair bobbing. "There is always a time, my child, when the Guardian meets her past," she answered, gesturing to the people at her right, "and her future, women who have yet to be born," she continued, gesturing at the women to her left.
Lor looked at them all, taking in the way they looked, their foreign style of dress. The women to her left wore little clothing, fabric made mostly of animal skins. The women to her right wore strange clothing that seemed odd to her. Some wore shirts that stopped at their midriff, rings hanging from their belly buttons. Her gaze halted on one woman standing close to her father, a woman whose eyes beckoned to her.
Aeryn touched her cheek lightly, drawing Lor's attention back to her. "You also meet what is most important to you," she said, "in your present."
She moved aside, revealing to Lor the man standing behind her.
"Jack," she whispered.
"Fathers, lovers, husbands," Aeryn began. "All our Protectors. Men who risk their lives to protect us, men who love us unconditionally."
"I have been told this before."
Aeryn smiled. "Yes, my daughter, you have. But it is now your time to know."
Lor stared at her in confusion. "Know what?"
"The truth, child, the truth. As you know, you are a Guardian of the ultimate treasure, the map branded on your back as a child, and your lover the Protector of you. It is a circle. A circle of being, of time, of the past, present, and future.
"One woman born into each generation with the map upon their backs. One child born to one Guardian."
"I know all this," Lor replied, shaking her head. "But I've had these dreams where something tells me I'm not the one. I don't understand."
Aeryn smiled again. "Yes, my darling. All Guardians have this dream. Legends among our people tell of a Chosen. One woman who will bear the treasure, the gift. She will be the one who will defeat it, who will win the right to rule it. She will be the one who will not succumb to its desires, who will ignore its urges and be strong of will.
"The Chosen will come, my child. It has not chosen you. Your life is protected by it, not sacrificed for it."
"What are you talking about? What is it?"
"A mystery, wrapped in a riddle, and cloaked in a conundrum."
"Yer a lot o' help," Lor muttered.
"Think not of what it is Lor, nor of your future. Envelope your present, accept it, and live only for it," Aeryn kissed Lor's forehead lightly and then stepped back, wrapping her fingers through Timothy's.
Jack walked forward slowly, pulling her to him and kissing her gently. "Yer bleedin'," he whispered when he pulled away. Lor stared at him, confused.
A pain ripped through her shoulder, causing her to gasp. She looked down, watching as blood began to seep through her white shirt. She squeezed her eyes shut, gritting her teeth to bite back the pain.
Lor's eyes snapped open, pain shooting through her arm. She shifted uncomfortably, moving her arm slightly in the woolen sling. She turned her head slightly, staring into the sleeping face of Jack. His left arm was wrapped loosely around her waist, holding her to him. She laughed quietly as a small snore filtered through his half open mouth.
Lor moved again slightly, becoming extremely uncomfortable on the soft bed. She scooted to her right slightly, sliding out from underneath Jack's arm and standing up off of the bed. She looked down at him for a moment and then turned away from him, leaving the cabin and walking up to the top deck.
She made her way slowly up the stairs to the helm, dizziness grabbing hold of her. Lor stumbled slightly, slamming her side into the wooden railing. She cursed under her breath, closing her eyes to contain her slight pain.
"Easy lass," a grizzled voice said softly in her ear. "Don't wanna break the stitches, now do ya? It's only been a week; ya shouldn't even be outta bed. If the Cap'n knew . . ."
"I feel fine, Mr. Gibbs. Jus' a lit'le dizzy, s'all."
"You shouldn't be movin' around. AnaMaria'd have a fit if she knew you were."
Lor smiled weakly. "I know. I jus' wanted ta watch the sun rise. Been so long," she paused, rubbing her eyes. "'Sides, strange dreams're keepin' me awake. I'll take the helm, Mr. Gibbs. Ya c'n watch from the Crow's Nest if ya absolutely 'ave ta."
Gibbs stared at her for a moment, considering her words and trying to decide if he should do as she asked. His instincts told him she wasn't ready to be up and about, that she was still too weak. But another part of him told him to let her, that no matter what he said, she would fight him on it. She was so much like Jack in that way. No wonder he loved her so much.
He sighed. "Alright, lass. But I'll be watchin' from the Nest if ya need somethin'. Okay?"
Lor offered him a sincere smile. "Thanks. I promise I'll be fine."
"Ya better be lass or else the Cap'n'll kill me."
She laughed. "Aye, Mr. Gibbs, that he would," Lor replied taking her place at the helm, resting one hand lightly on the wheel.
Lor stood silently at the helm, her left arm hanging in the sling, the sun rising slowly in the distance. A bruise had formed along her cheek from where Mason had punched her over a week ago. Her shoulder was painful, but bearable. It was definitely not as painful as she had felt before.
Tyler and Sarah helped out on the ship as much as they could, at least from what Lor had been told, seeing as she had been on forced bed rest for the last week. Sarah helped out in the kitchen, offering what help she could with the cooking and cleaning. For someone who had grown up in a pampered life, she certainly knew how to make fine food (even if it was just stew) and how to make something clean just the way Jack would want it.
Tyler helped with the sails. He spent most of his time in the Crow's Nest, having keen eyes to watch the seas. He helped where he could, knowing little of a sailor's life and only bits of how to run a ship. He stayed clear of things that he did not know how to do, and worked on things that he did. Lor smiled. Her cousin was a smart boy. If he had gotten in anyone's way, he could have been injured.
The wind played with her short hair and she closed her eyes, allowing its gentle fingers to caress her skin. A hand touched hers, covering her hand as it rested on the wheel, his fingers entwining with hers. She smiled, resting her head against his chest. "Good morning."
"Shouldn't ya be in bed?" Jack asked, wrapping his free arm around her waist, careful of her wounds.
"Couldn't sleep anymore."
"No. Answers," she replied, turning around in his arm, releasing the wheel. Lor gazed up into his eyes, loving what she saw there.
She could see in his eyes his compassion, his hope, and even if he wouldn't admit it, his love for her. "I remember you telling me something once, Jack, when we were sleeping. Say it to me one more time."
Jack's eyebrows furrowed. "Say what?"
"Tell me one more time that you'll live lost in my eyes."
Jack smiled. He pulled her closer and kissed her softly. When he pulled away, he gazed down into her golden eyes. She was right; he could live forever in her eyes. They had a way of drawing one in and holding them there, enveloping them in a haze of warmth.
Lor's eyes widened when he whispered, "I love you."
He kissed her again, only this time pouring all of his passion into it. He pulled away, kissing her lightly on the tip of her nose. "And if ya tell anyone, I'll deny it completely," he said, a grin crossing his face.
Lor laughed, reaching up with her good arm and pulling his head down to meet hers. She kissed him, knowing that their lives would be all right from then on.
Muscle re-grows. Skin reforms. A twitch crosses a newly re-made body. Fingers clench tightly, and then release their hold on their invisible prize. Lips form a sneer as the dusty smell reaches the re-grown nose. Sunken eyes clench tightly and then shoot open, sight forming slowly in the reconnecting retinas. The earth shudders slightly, as a scream erupts from the folds of an unused mouth. History was to repeat itself.
He was alive.
AN: Don't forget! I will wait about one week for anymore submissions for my contest to win the preview of the first chapter for the third story in the Sui Generis arc before announcing the winner and giving them their prize! For all of you still interested in entering, I hope you do! Send all submissions to Pirategyrl at
Dawnie-7: I hope you liked it! It was so much fun to write!
NazgulGirl: No more fight. Sorry. At least not for right now. Wait until the next story. Much more fighting! Yay!
Mystic Fish: I guess I should answer your questions, whether they were asked in hyperness or not. The name Silver and Gold came from the letter that Jack left for Lor in the last chapter of Sui Generis. And I quote "Remember, love, that not all treasure is silver and gold." Almost the exact line from the movie. I was having difficulty deciding on a name for this story, and a friend suggested this title, so I used it! Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed it!
Tefsparrow: Well, you didn't have to wait too long for this chapter. And you'll find out if Tyler an' Sarah become pirates in the next story. All will be explained then. And, you thought the last chapter was evil? How was this one? Bwahahahahahahaha!