I Cannot Offer You Freedom

~*~

The night air was chill as it whipped around his slender frame, and he found himself wishing for the millionth time that he had a jacket. Well, when you're a prisoner, I guess you really don't need one, he thought bitterly and rubbed his arms.

A battered pack was slung over his shoulder and he now reached inside and yanked out his phone, pulling up the maps he had loaded onto it before leaving the STN-J. Just a few more blocks…

The whistling wind drove wisps of clouds across the moon that made the shadows on the wide street dance and writhe as if they were alive. Glancing around uneasily, Michael sped up his pace a little and kept his eyes forward.

A knot had formed in his gut as soon as he had taken those first few steps outside of Raven's Flat; a knot that consisted of his fear of death, and his will to live. But now, as the hospital loomed up stark and shadowed before him, he set his shoulders and calmed to roiling in his gut; what mattered here was Robin, and that was all.

Slowing down as he approached, he peered in through the wide glass doors and caught sight of the night reception nurse. With a gasp, he shrunk back even further into the darkness, then risked another look.

Ebony hair swinging down her back, the nurse stood and glanced around the waiting room surreptitiously. When she was satisfied that no one was hiding underneath any of the many couches or chairs, she turned and left the room, a cell phone dangling from her hand.

Michael snorted to himself. And he had thought that he was going to have a hard time getting in here.

Waiting a few more seconds to make sure the nurse did not come back, Michael yanked out his own phone again and double-checked Robin's room number. He had already hacked into the hospital's poorly guarded computers and fed a loop of the past five minutes to any of the cameras that might catch him on his way to room B190. That way, it would appear as if the hallways remained empty, allowing him and Robin to hopefully escape.

Slipping quietly into the sleeping hospital, the hacker stole across the waiting area and crept up the stairs on tip-toes, pack and phone clutched to his chest. His breathing was shallow and quiet, and at the slightest creaking of the building, or snoring of a patient he froze, eyes darting every which way.

Almost there!

***

She was floating, and darkness was all around her, cradling her, soothing her and taking away all her pain. Michael…Michael… But the dark did not like that word and it stole it from her lips the moment it escaped. Frantic now, Robin watched as Avi appeared before her once more, his corpse rotting and mutilated, dripping blood and dropping clods of flesh wherever he stepped.

He leered at her from a bloody mouth and held out his hand towards her. Looking down, she focused on the round object in her hand and jumped back when Michael's death-clouded eyes stared up at her. Avi buried his fingers deeper into the orange locks and brought the grisly object up before her face.

Mouth opening in a silent scream, Robin awoke to a light touch on her arm, and a soft calling of her name.

Frightened, she bolted upright and turned to the bedside. Michael knelt beside her bed, his fingers caressing her arm. With a strangled noise she shrank back, then reached out with a trembling hand and touched his cheek. "You're…you're alive. He didn't kill you."

Confused, Michael asked, "Who killed me?"

Shuddering, Robin leaned down and placed her arms about his neck. "Avi…he was in my dream…"

Making soothing noises, the hacker stroked her hair, ignoring the bulk of his cast, and hugged her close. "It's ok, I'm here and Avi's dead…Shh…"

After a few moments, the girl calmed a little, then pulled back and looked her lover straight in the eye. "He sacrificed himself to save me. He's dead now because of me."

Confused once more, this time by the change of topic, Michael's mind took a few moments to adjust. "What? No! No, Amon…he chose to come to you, and it's a good thing he did. It was the only thing he felt he could do, and it was better for him to die out there in a hunt then wasting away in the hospital."

"But he gave up his life to save me! His life!" She buried her head in his shoulder.

"I know, I know, it's a price that should never have to be paid, but what's done is done. Amon chose to give himself up so you could live; no one forced him to. He did what was right by him."

A few more long moments went by before Robin's voice reached the hacker's ears, muffled by his shoulder. "Why are you here anyway, Michael?"

"I came…I came to see you."

When the girl sat up, Michael caught the glimpse of fear that sparked in her emerald eyes. "Michael! Zaizen's going to have you killed if he finds out! You have to go back now! I'm fine!"

"No!" Michael exclaimed vehemently. "I can't! I want to be with you! Look," he took a deep breath. "Let's get away from here, go somewhere else! I told you before that I couldn't offer you freedom, but now…" he placed a hand under her chin and raised her head up to meet her eyes. " I can."

Tears filled her eyes at his words. "But not at the cost of your life!"

"That's why we have to leave!"

"Michael! They'll hunt us!"

"Maybe at first, but after a while, they'll be sure to give up! We can hide out until then. Look Robin, I know we can do this! You'll just have to trust me." His eyes were full of adoration and Robin only found herself sinking deeper into their depths as she watched the fascinating color shift that happened with the hacker's strong emotions.

Minutes passed as the two sat and stared into one another's eyes as if they were trying to see what lie hidden the very depths of their souls.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Robin turned away and glanced out her window, gazing at the cold stars shimmering overhead. "But…where? Where could we go?"

Smiling, the hacker rose and scooped the petite girl up in his arms. "Wherever we want," he whispered in her ear.

Feeling her response in the form of the light kiss that was placed on his cheek, Michael smiled, and together, the two walked out of the hospital and into their new life.

END

***

*heaves a huge sigh* Well folks, it's done. That's it. The end. I'm finished. *grins* And don't it feel good. Right now it is…11:04 at night and I am typing this on my laptop, but it's finished!!! ^_~

The ending…well, even to me it seems very vague and abrupt, but you know what? I think I kind of like it that way; it leaves it open to your interpretation. I think I filled in most of the MAJOR holes and solved the bigger problems. The rest is up to you and to…my sequel! (Which will be written as soon as I can get around to it- gomen, but I have at least six or so other fics I am working on at the moment, so whenever I get a spare moment, I'll start writing!)

This has been my most successful fic so far, and I wanted to take this space here to thank you all, for the final time, for all the wonderful reviews, comments, and suggestions. They have helped me so much, and have given me a lot more confidence in my writing. Combined with the other sites that I have this posted on, I have almost 250 reviews! Do you know how amazing that feels to an author, to know that their work is appreciated?! You guys have been the greatest, so…THANKS FOR STICKIN' WITH IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH!

Oh, the other thing I wanted to mention…my grammar and spelling. T.T Yes, I know they suck, and that has been the one thing that seemed to tick people off the most. (Besides me killing Amon. BTW: My friend Nightsailor almost rounded up a lynch mob to hunt me down when she found out I had killed her favorite character. ^.^;; Oh well, to each his own.) I'm very sorry for all the errors, and I know there are TONS of them, but at least you could still tell what I was trying to say! *making pathetic excuses*

So anyway, enough of my blabbing. Thanks again, you guys were great, and I hope to see you back here for the sequel!!!!

~SanoGirl