A/N: Here it is. The final chapter. The end is here. I want to thank everyone who reviewed for making this a very successful first fic. So, thank you all so, so much. I am truly grateful for all of your feedback. Much love. – Krisian
LotRseer3350 – Like Faith or Drusila? Interesting choice of characters there.
schizomaniax – A slinky named Mr. Shinkers? Fun! Hey, if you want to keep Pyro, go ahead. I'm not stopping you. Oh my Bessie! I remember that commercial! It freaked me out, too! Ugh!
funyun – Yes, DTG stuff would be descriptions, and I've already got yours. So many questions! Never fear! You shall get your answers!
morph – Is 'huggles' a word? Oh well, if it wasn't, it is now. You're from Canada, eh? Sorry, couldn't resist, eh? [Urk! There I go again!] Ooh, tickle torture! ::maniac giggles::
Zanna Avons – Hmm angst… lets see… angst is basicallya dark story about a character's emotional suffering. Viola.
Lady Moon3 – Ok, now I'm worried about you. Urk.
Hoshii-chan – You and your conscience! Stop feeling sorry for Davis already! He's a big boy – he'll get over it.
Lily Bengal – No, Owen is dead and needs to stay that way. You and Seer [or Anya… I haven't decided yet] need to consult about torture methods. XD
Steffi – Wow. I'm flattered. You just like making Dorian glare at you, don't you? XD
elven-emma – Yay! Another member of the DTG! Huzzah! Hm… Helen in the DTG would be interesting.
Fritz Will Get You – Hey, I'll take that chocolate. I can give it to Skinner. [Yeah, right. Hehehe!] Erm… who's Arrele?
"Erm… Mister Skinner, can I ask you something?"
Skinner stopped in mid-step, and turned around slowly. "Is this going to be a personal question, Davis? Because, in case you don't remember, I don't like you very much." Skinner knew it wasn't a very tactful thing to say, but he had been annoyed with Davis before he'd lost his memory, and now he was supremely annoyed with him. Davis constantly tried to pal around with Skinner, seeking advice or something of the sort. Apparently, Davis figured that the fact that both he and Skinner were invisible was enough grounds for friendship – was he ever wrong.
Davis was taken aback by Skinner's remark. He had no knowledge of why Skinner disliked him so much, but that was the norm for him as of late. It was not easy to try to live a life with no knowledge of who he was, or how he came to be invisible, much less why everyone on the ship despised him so much. No one would offer an explanation to any of it. They would simply usher him away and tell him they would talk about it later. After a moment, Davis shrugged. At least Skinner was blunt about it. No excuses. It was obvious – he didn't like Davis, and didn't want him around. "All right," Davis said at length. "Perhaps I'll ask another time." He turned to go and ran smack into a hall table, dumping its contents onto the floor. "Oops," he said nervously. "I suppose I should pick that up, huh?"
The gentleman thief merely sighed and turned away, muttering, "Good Lord, the Nautilus is doomed." He left Davis to fumble with the things on the floor and continued down the hall until he reached the infirmary. He peeked in before entering. Cabrilyn appeared to be asleep, but with the bandages over her eyes, there was no way to be certain. Very quietly, so as not to disturb her if she was sleeping, he moved to the bed next to hers and sat down. There was a soft crinkling noise and Skinner quickly stood, he'd sat on something – a piece of paper. He scooped it up. It was Cabrilyn's sketch of Tom sitting on that very bed, rifle in hand. Skinner wasn't sure what to make of this discovery.
"You never stuck around long enough for me to draw one of you."
Skinner jumped slightly, dropping the drawing. Cabrilyn hadn't even stirred before she spoke.
Cabrilyn chuckled at Skinner's startled gasp. She hauled herself up to a sit. "So, to what do I owe the honor of this visit?" She did not turn to look at Skinner; she merely stared strait ahead as if she were not sure where Skinner was standing.
"I just wanted to see how you were," Skinner replied. "So, how are you?"
"I could be better… much better." She scoffed. "I kept having dreams, nightmares really, about Owen and that operating room, and…" Her voice trailed off. She was quiet for a moment and, very gingerly she touched a hand to her bandaged eyes. "And the pain." She turned in Skinner's general direction. "What happened?"
"Yes, to Owen," Cabrilyn replied. "What happened to him?"
"Owen… well," Skinner was not entirely prepared to answer this question to Cabrilyn. "He… he died. The ceiling fell on him…"
"The ceiling?" Cabrilyn did not sound entirely convinced. "Skinner…"
"What?" Skinner said defensively. "He's dead. That's that."
There was an uncertain silence between the two. Skinner could tell Cabrilyn was thinking – trying to figure out what it was he wasn't telling her. Suddenly, it clicked to her. "My God," she breathed. "You killed him, didn't you?" The shocked silence that followed was answer enough for Cabrilyn. "Skinner… look, you shouldn't feel bad. Owen deserved what he got…"
"He might have, but I was right there," Skinner said. "Right in his face. I saw the life just leave him, and it was my doing…"
"Skinner," Cabrilyn interrupted. "Stop. You did what you had to do. There's no other way of putting it," she paused before making her next statement. "I owe you my life…" She laughed inwardly. Now she knew how Tom felt, except Skinner had killed for her. He had not simply knocked Owen out and left him be – he'd killed.
"Look, Cabrilyn, I…" Skinner began.
"Oh, beg pardon."
Skinner turned around. Jekyll was standing at the foot of Cabrilyn's bed. Skinner sighed.
"Am I interrupting?" Jekyll asked, ever the gentleman.
"No, not at all," Skinner said dryly, seating himself on the empty bed again.
The doctor raised an eyebrow at Skinner and then went back to business. "I think we can take those bandages off now," he said.
Cabrilyn smiled. "Good. For once, I'd be nice to be looking at this infirmary."
Jekyll chuckled. "You certainly spend a lot of time in here, don't you?" He bent over her and carefully undid the bandages, removing layer upon layer of gauze.
When he was through, Cabrilyn sat in silence for a long moment, her eyes unblinking, unmoving. "Well?" She said. "Aren't you going to finish?"
"I… I am finished," Jekyll replied. He shot a worried look at Skinner.
Cabrilyn went suddenly quiet. "Then…" she said, her voice barley audible. "Then, why can't I see you?"
Tom was en route to the infirmary to see Cabrilyn when he ran into Jekyll and Skinner. Jekyll had a saddened look on his face, and what kind of look Skinner had on his face was anyone's guess. "Doctor?" Tom questioned. "What happened?"
"She's blind," Jekyll said, casting a glance in the direction of the infirmary. "I did all I could, but Owen has done his damage. She's lost her sight."
"Again," Skinner added bitterly.
Tom raised his eyebrows at Skinner's remark. "How's she takin' it?" He asked Jekyll.
"She wishes to be alone for the moment," the doctor replied. "I don't blame her."
"Ironic, isn't it?" Tom said. "She's right back where she started."
"Indeed," Jekyll replied. "Fate can be a very unpredictable thing."
Cabrilyn was running through the gamut of emotions. Denial had come and gone, as had anger. Now, realization and despair had set in. She was blind. There was no changing that now, especially with Owen dead. He had taken his secret to restoring her sight to his grave. Now she felt worthless. She was of no use to the League any more, and she couldn't fid any reason that they would keep her around. They would probably just take her back to London and leave her. She wanted to stay, with every fiber of her being, but she would just get in the way. She was worthless.
She wanted out of the infirmary. Being alone with her thoughts was not the best of things. Groping about blindly, she found the bedpost and hauled herself up. She painstakingly made her way across the room to where she thought the door would be. She was nearly there when her foot came across a chair, she stumbled and tried to regain her footing, but to no avail. She fell. Cabrilyn braced herself for the hard hit of the wooden floor, instead, she found herself stopped by a pair of arms. Someone had caught her.
"Take it easy, you," that unmistakable Cockney accent said. Skinner pulled Cabrilyn to her feet. "You aught to be more careful."
Cabrilyn sighed, a small smile playing on her lips. "How is it that every time I fall, you're there to catch me?"
Skinner issued a slightly awkward chuckle, but said noting. He couldn't help but be drawn to Cabrilyn's eyes – milky-blue, sightless. She bore two fine scars on her face, running from the outside of each eye to her temples. Permanent reminders of just how much Owen knew what he was doing, and how scary a thought that was. Only then did Skinner realize he didn't know what color Cabrilyn's eyes had been before she went blind. How come he had never looked? He couldn't even remember if they had been light or dark in color. He was kind of upset with himself about that, and rather curious as to why he suddenly cared what color her eyes were. "Where did you think you were headed anyway?" He said, in attempt to divert his thoughts in another direction.
"Anywhere but here," Cabrilyn replied sourly.
Skinner raised an eyebrow. "Might I suggest getting some fresh air, then? I just heard a rumor we'll be taking good ol' Sanderson Reed back to London, and we'll be diving soon," Skinner said. He located Cabrilyn's coat and helped her into it.
"Back to London?" Cabrilyn questioned. She had been hoping that they wouldn't head strait back there. She didn't want to have to leave right away.
"Yes. We're going to leave him with the proper authorities. That would be Sawyer's idea. A bit unsporting, I think." Skinner shrugged. "Shall we?" Cabrilyn hesitated – she did not like having to rely on someone else for a task as simple as walking. After a moment, she held out her hand and soon found Skinner's arm. The gentleman thief guided her up to the Nautilus' deck and out into the bitter cold of the Swedish climate.
The wind blew softly – just enough to make it feel so much colder than it already was. Cabrilyn hugged her coat around her. She felt something wet and cold on her cheek. "Is it snowing?" She asked.
Skinner looked up, only to catch a snowflake right in the eye. He grumbled and blinked it away. "A little," he replied. "I still don't like snow. I think I've been scarred for life."
"Scarred?" Cabrilyn chuckled. There was a hint of bitterness in her voice.
Skinner cringed. "Sorry. I didn't…"
"No, I know you didn't," Cabrilyn replied softly. "It's just… you're probably going to leave me in London aren't you?"
"Why would we do something like that?" Skinner asked. The question had caught him off guard just as much as Cabrilyn's worried, almost helpless, tone.
Cabrilyn sighed. "I'm no good to any of you now. I'm just a poor, blind, helpless…"
"Now, hold on," Skinner interrupted. "Blind or not, you're still a member of this League. We won't just dump you somewhere. Besides, I…" he paused and bit his lower lip. "I don't want you to go."
"I don't want to go either," Cabrilyn replied. Another snowflake alighted on her cheek and melted against the warmth of her skin. Skinner reached up and, very gently, wiped it away.
Cabrilyn tuned her sightless eyes toward him and chuckled bemusedly.
"What?" Skinner asked. He saw nothing funny.
"I was just amused that only a couple of weeks ago, we annoyed each other so bad, and now here we are…" the rest of her sentence trailed off as Skinner pulled her into his embrace.
"I know," he said. "Fate can be a very unpredictable thing."
The Nautilus was now en route to London. Tom walked leisurely down the halls. Reed was in captivity, and would soon be in the hands of the proper authorities. As far as he was concerned, all was right with the world. That was, until he came around the corner to find Cabrilyn and Skinner walking arm-in-arm, close enough to suggest there was something more between them than simple friendship. Tom sighed inwardly. So far, he was zero for two. Mina had Jekyll, and now, Cabrilyn had Skinner.
As he watched them disappear around the corner, for some odd reason, he remembered what Skinner had told him in the alley what seemed like forever ago, "…you'll get other chances. You're young, good-looking and, well, you're normal…" He would get other chances – he knew that. Besides, the Nautilus would be docked in London for, who knew how long? Perhaps he would find someone. With a sigh of resignation, Tom turned and headed the opposite direction, running smack into something he couldn't see.
"Damn it Davis," Tom grumbled. "Put some clothes on." Davis muttered something about being terribly sorry and that he wouldn't do it again. Tom sighed and thrust his hands into his pockets.
As if one invisible man wasn't trouble enough.THE END
A/N: Y'know this is the first story I've ever completed? Well, I hope you all liked it. I'll begin work on the DTG after a short hiatus. Again, thank you all for reading this!