Burning Embers
Chapter Seven: Now Found (Epilogue)



Roger ran forward, his heart beating wildly in his chest as Big O lowered Dorothy and Michael to the ground in a large, metal hand. Ignoring Price, he went directly to Dorothy, her name passing his lips in a frantic whisper. She was sprawled on her stomach, the folds of her dress spread out in a fan, locks of bright hair falling over her closed eyes. He bent down carefully next to her. All this because she had been so brave. She had confronted Price on her own and had somehow worked with Big O to show the man something that had almost destroyed him. Roger pulled Dorothy into his arms, brushing her hair back with a gentle hand.

"Dorothy," He called, quietly, "Dorothy, wake up. Dorothy."

For a moment there was no response, and then she shifted slightly in his arms, her eyes fluttering slowly open. Dark eyes focused on his face and he smiled in relief.

"Dorothy." He said, again, and she blinked.

"Roger," She replied, and he felt a familiar sense of normalcy at the certain way she said his name. Everything was going to be all right.

"Dorothy, what happened? I couldn't see..."

"Big O." She said, her eyes traveling upward to the megadeuce. "It was Big O. He spoke to me, called to me when I was under Michael's computer program. He helped me escape and then he..." She suddenly trailed off, her eyes meeting Roger's again. "Where's Michael?"

Roger turned his head towards the man and she followed his gaze. The man was slumped over his knees, his eyes wide and staring, and he mumbled the same words over and over.

"Why? Why? Why?"

Dorothy sat up a little straighter in his arms, her eyes locking on Michael's face. "Because, " She said flatly, "Because you sought something that wasn't there."

Roger frowned. "What did you show him, Dorothy?"

"His life."

"His past life before amnesia?"

"No, the life he lives now. It is the only one worth remembering. Big O knew that, and he told us the only truth he has ever held."

Roger looked at her, confused. "And what is that?"

Dorothy only tilted her head at him, something unreadable in her gaze. It was a moment before he realized the answer.

Forget...

That was what Big O had told Price. Forget the half-remembered images of a past best forgotten. Forget, and live the life you have now, instead of wishing for an illusion. It was this life that really mattered, and Price had been unable to accept the fact that what he did now was important. The past was the past, and it was time to look for the future.

"He can't comprehend that the life he has before him is the real gift." Dorothy said, watching the weakened, child-like man who had thought everything lay within his past. "He doesn't understand that it is the future that needs him now."

Roger watched Price a moment more, suddenly wondering where Angel had gone to. It seemed she had disappeared the moment she knew her 'partner' had been unsuccessful. She would be back again, ready to hatch a new plan to find whatever truth she sought. But until then...

He looked down at the girl in his arms, wondering at her. An android with the heart of a human being. No wonder that even her father had never understood exactly how she worked. Surely there had never been anything like her before, and probably never would be again.

And he did appreciate her, despite what Price had said. It just wasn't easy for him to show it, but maybe, at this moment...

"Dorothy." He said, softly. She looked up at him, meeting his gaze with that quiet strength he had always found so appealing. "Price may not have needed you, Dorothy, but...

I do."

There was a brief moment of stillness and Roger thought his heart might stop if she didn't say something soon. But Dorothy surprised him once again, something he hoped she would put a limit on as his nerves would never be able to take it.

She smiled.

A beautiful, genuine smile. The smile of a real woman and a strong heart.

"Take me home, Roger Smith."

And once again, he knew, everything would be all right.


THE END.



* * * *

Okay, Okay, I hope I didn't disappoint anyone by the lack of mush. I didn't want them to kiss at the end because I felt that neither of them were likely to do that being so new to their feelings. I wanted to keep them both strong and plus, I knew that you could fill in the happy ending, etc.

I hope you all enjoyed this fic as I have really enjoyed writing it. Thanks for all your patience and your wonderful comments, this story would not have been possible without you. So go and live your lives for the future and I wish you the best of luck.

Sincerely,
twilight