The last chapter.

It's hard to believe that it's been 6 months already, but after all, all good things must come to an end. I'm intensely proud of how it's developed, grown, and turned out, but now it's time for me to move on. (For those of you who want to follow my writing further, I plan on doing some one-shots before I start a new uber-fic. If you're the kind that doesn't discriminate against the type of fanfic as long as it's good, you're welcome to come along for the ride.)

I'd like to thank each of my reviewers for hanging in there, especially the ones who were with me from the start.

Many thanks go out to: Abby/Angie, Dreamingofflyingaway, Tallemera Rane, hiddeninshadows, Shatterglass, Siriusblack1007, Kim, Angel, Mermaid Ninja, Arwen.pirate, Dalmationgirl, Fackie99, Fugitive, Lone Wolfdog, PippinPirate, Clever Fox Child, Morgri, Janna Hawkins, Dekujama, Treasure-planetgurl, Queen Sarabi, Purplepeopleeater, Sk8rgirl69.

These wonderful people all took the time to review at least once for my story- that's a lot! They've weathered all my delays and postponements, whether it was my injured leg, my Florida field trip, my suspension from ffn, finals and midterms, or just plain writer's block. They've supported me through the infamous anonymous attacks, and I want to thank EVERY ONE OF YOU, from the bottom of my heart!

Now…I'm sure I'll be hearing a clamorous petition for a sequel. My personal opinion is to stay away from that- it sort of makes Skye a Mary-Sue. However, once I've settled in for the summer what with my job and homework, and after a few decent non- TP related one-shots, I was thinking of doing some little stories. Maybe some background type things- Jim's problems school, what's up w/ Skye's parents, when Skye first realized she had feelings for Jim…that sort of stuff. (And perhaps a nice fluffy something for ya'…if you ask reallll nice ;-D )

But as for this story, I'm glad to say it gave me something to do every week, at least. I'm gonna miss it.

This scene is set to the other original song in the movie, written by that amazing musical genius John Rzeznik. Pardon the formatting. Song lyrics are enclosed by these things since asterisks don't show up. Enjoy, and thank you to all!

It's good to see the sun and feel this place,

This place I never thought would feel like home.

Sarah Hawkins could not find her son.

She had received word from Montressor Spaceport that the ship her son had joined would dock today. She'd gotten passage to Crescentia, and now was scanning the bustling ports, looking for Jim and Skye. They were nowhere in sight.

She felt a hand on her shoulder that turned her to face its owner.


And, much to her surprise, Jim enveloped her in a hug.

It went unnoticed by nearly all on that particular dock- a small act of kindheartedness, momentous to those involved, but somehow trivial on the grand scheme. But it was wonderful. Jim was home.

And, maybe more importantly, Jim felt home.

And I ran forever, far away, and I

I always thought I'd end up here alone.

Sarah looked into her son's eyes, and saw, looking back, who she knew was the real Jim. The same Jim she had seen so many years ago, the happy boy with the new pet.

A pink blob swirled in front of her, chirruping happily.

Sarah smiled. Jim really was the same person underneath the tough exterior he seemed to have shed. Doppler was right- nothing like a few character building months in space.

Skye moved through the crowd to catch up with the two. She was glad to see such a happy reunion of mother and son and also hugged Sarah. When she stepped back and took Jim's hand, Sarah's eyes smiled. She knew this was bound to happen some day. It was a bit later than she had expected, of course, but it made sense that this journey was where it happened.

It was probably for the best, too.

Another form- this one metallic and noisy, began to chatter aimlessly as he introduced himself to Mrs. Hawkins. Sarah, although charmed by BEN's amiable attitude, was hoping there were no more hitchhikers.

And somehow the world has changed and I've come home

To give you back the things they took from you.

Skye nudged Jim gently in the ribs, and nodded towards his mother. When BEN (finally) finished talking, Jim reached into his pocket and pulled out a single shining object. Sarah saw, and gasped.


A few months later, the ribbon was cut, officially opening the newly rebuilt Benbow Inn.

And I feel you now, I'm not alone,

I'll always know where you are.

When I see myself I always know where you are

Where you are

The grand opening party was conveniently planned- Jim and Skye were expected to be home for the monthly break from the Interstellar Academy. BEN had prepared a gorgeous cake (he apparently had a vintage baking program logged away- Flint loved a good penne alle vodka) to celebrate and was serving it to the guests.

Among these were the new Doppler family- Amelia and Delbert, their triplet girls, and the one boy, who looked like his father. (When asked how they could produce such a large family in such short time, Delbert replied "Large litters," and Amelia said, "Short gestation periods." These are in fact both true, especially among Caninus/Felinicus cross-breeds.)

And I've found something that was always there

Sometimes its gotta hurt before you feel

The party was going strong. The food was fantastic, the music was lively, and the regular patrons there as guests were dancing merrily. Skye had been home for some time now, and Jim was expected any minute.

When the door banged open, two robo-cops framing the door.

Everything stopped...

...and the cops parted to reveal their escorted guest- Jim, in his Academy attire.

Everyone cheered.

Jim shook hands with the cops, who saluted and joined the party. Morph formed a shiny medal, pinning himself to Jim's overcoat in decoration.

And now I'm strong and I won't kneel,

Except to thank who's watching over me.

Jim had adjusted well to the Academy. He had numerous friends there, healthy grades, and joined the solar surfing team. Although he needed work on many formal aspects of sailing and taking commands from superiors, he was bright and eager to learn as much as he could, already skilled in many aspects.

Sarah suspected this had much to do with Silver's teachings.

She didn't know it, but there was just as much thanks to her as well- nurturing love and support goes a long way.

And somehow I feel so strong and I've begun

To be the one I never thought I'd be

Jim made his rounds- accepting congratulations from many, giving to others, such as the Dopplers. He owed many thanks to them as well, even beyond Amelia's recommendation and Delbert's scientific aid. Old friends were the best for retelling stories, and the story of Jim's adventures on the RLS Legacy were that much more exciting and fun when told with them joining in.

And I feel you now, I'm not alone,

I'll always know where you are

When I see myself I always know where you are

Where you are

BEN pulled Jim into the dancing. They added to the colorful fray with expertly managed, though outdated, robotic moves on BEN's part, and classic dancing by Jim, learned from experience and at the Academy. Everyone was laughing and having such a good time, even the Dopplers' children (watched by Morph), that it was difficult to believe that they had ever been otherwise.

However, once Jim was settled in to the party, his eyes scanned around for another familiar face.

Now it's all so clear, and I believe

That everything's been opened up to me.

It took him a moment to locate her. Although they attended the same school, many aspects contributed to their separate schedules in such a large academy, and he hadn't seen her for a while. He wasn't even sure what she would be wearing- she had been able to wear pants at the Academy...but would she keep them here?

Glancing back to the opening kitchen door, he saw the all too familiar curvy figure ease her way around to the gleaming bar counters and refill the glasses of patrons, with a muted grace of its own that could never be matched.

Jim smirked- she never quit, not even at their own party. Her selflessness and persistence were only a few of the qualities he admired about her. Even her faults- like the barely noticeable jealousy she let slip when other girls flirted with him- were just parts of what he liked about her. She was a unique combination, an adventure unto herself.

He loved it.

And I feel you now, I'm not alone, I always know

I always know where you are

She almost didn't see him, but she felt his gaze locked on her actions. Looking up from her task, she glanced him on the other side of the room, smiling in that infuriatingly adorable teasing way. She set down the pitcher and paused for just a moment, returning the smile.

Then she ran to meet him. She was wearing her Academy suit- pants and all. No one minded.

Their greeting was a subtle one, merely a hug- neither was comfortable in such crowded surroundings.

Skye wanted to show Jim something anyway. She took him by the wrist and led him not outside to the arbor, but upstairs.

When I see myself I always know where you are

Skye's room faced the docking ports outside that had stood there as long as either could remember, and these could be seen easily when the window was open, as it was now. Inside, a glass casing of several medals glinted, a well-kept solar surfer leaned against a corner, an empty pistol charge lay on the dresser, and numerous pairs of pants hung in the closet- including that first pair from the voyage.

But Skye and Jim couldn't see any of this from where they were.

They were on the roof.

When I feel the sun I always know where you are

A particular favorite design Skye had come up with herself, the roof outside her window, facing the sparkling Etherium, was nearly flat. It was at the perfect angle to lay back and watch the stars, or to sit and think.

Skye pointed up into the inky blackness at a series of the puncture points that were the stars. Jim leaned his head close to hers to see just what she had to show him. At first he saw nothing special, but as the misty clouds of Montressor drifted by, he could just make it out...

Jim grinned in surprise. When those puffs of clouds swept in at the right angle and if you squinted just a little bit, the stars formed the outline of a familiar grinning face. The face's right eye flashed, the star glowing yellow, then red, then back again.

It was a wonderful gift of sorts- a reminder of the man who would be carried in Jim's heart forever.

And it was from the woman who carried Jim's heart, and always had, whether or not he knew it.

When I see myself I always know where you are

Skye looked to Jim to see what he thought. The look of wonder and appreciation on his face...that was the best part of it. Or it was...until his arm slid around her back, nestling her against his side. Maybe that was the best part.

"...Well?" Skye asked.

"I love it," he replied.

"I knew it. When I found it earlier this evening I thought-"

"I wasn't talking about the stars," Jim cut her off.

There was a pause, then he murmured, "Thank you."

"For what, if not the star thing?"


Skye wanted to say something to that...but there was nothing to say. Sometimes, she thought, it's better to speak up, but with those you're most comfortable with- you're beyond words. She knew what Jim meant, how he felt, and he knew the same about her.

Which was why it was no surprise at all when he kissed her.

And it was no surprise that she just as easily kissed him back.

High above their heads, detached, the stars of the Etherium twinkled, each one a promise of future.

Where you are