Jealousy Can Be Deadly
Disclaimer: I do not own Zoids or any of their characters. Only the character Lance Blackhart is mine. Just like to warn you that there is some content that may not be suitable for younger audiences. Nothing very dirty, but it's there. You have been forewarned. I know it's short, but I'm just wrapping things up. There may be a sequel sometime in the future.
Chapter 7: Epilogue
Brad grunted as he struggled to regain consciousness. He felt his strength slowly returning to him. The last few images of his battle with Lance Blackhart still lingered in his consciousness. His eyes finally fluttered open and began to focus on the figures standing around the bed he was laying on.
Naomi smiled down at him. "Hey there, tiger. Glad to see you're finally awake."
"You really had us worried for a while, Brad," Dr. Toros told him. "It's just lucky you only suffered minor injuries during your fight—especially after just getting out of the hospital."
Brad groaned and rubbed his eyes. "Where am I anyway?"
"Back at the Toros Base, of course," Leena answered. "You've been out for a few days now. We weren't sure whether or not to take you back to the hospital."
Brad gave a weak chuckle. "I've had more than enough of that place—believe me."
"Looks like you don't have to worry about that Lance Blackhart anymore," Bit told him. "There was nothing left of the Saber Tiger. The police said that no one could have survived."
Brad sighed. He couldn't say he was sorry that Lance Blackhart was dead. He was just glad it was over. "That's a relief," he muttered. Brad tried to sit up, but a sharp pain in his ribs stopped him.
"I wouldn't try moving around too much for at least a few more days, Brad," Dr. Toros spoke up as Brad lay back down. "You took a good beating in your battle and you still haven't fully recovered. Just rest for a while, and we'll see how you're feeling in a few days."
Brad smiled weakly. "Thanks, Doc."
"Don't be too upset, Brad. I'm sure you'll bounce back in no time," Leon said. "We'll let you get some more rest."
The others all filed out of Brad's room—except for Naomi. "I'll stay and watch over you for a while, Brad," she told him.
Brad smiled at her. "You OK?" he asked.
She nodded. "I'm fine now that I know you'll be alright. I was so afraid of losing you."
Brad raised a hand and placed it on her check. "Don't you worry so much about me. Everything will be fine now."
Naomi returned his smile and placed her hand on top of his. "It looks like we can finally be together. I know I can't pay you as much as Dr. Toros, but I'm sure you'll be happy. Leon's decided his ready to return to the Blitz Team. It will just be me and you—together."
Brad hesitated and looked away from her. He loved Naomi, and he would be more than happy to join her team. But after everything that he had been through with the Blitz Team, he couldn't imagine leaving them. They were his friends, and the pay was good.
Naomi frowned at Brad's silent hesitation. "What's wrong, Brad? Don't you want to be on my team? Don't you want to stay with me?" she asked him.
Brad turned his gaze back to meet her eyes. He winced inwardly at the sadness he saw there. "Of course I want to be with you, Naomi. I love you, and nothing will ever change that. It's just that…well…"
"You're reluctant to leave your friends on the Blitz Team, right?" Naomi finished.
Brad nodded slowly. Suddenly, an idea struck him. He smiled slyly, causing a look of confusion to cross Naomi's face.
"Just what are you thinking about, Brad? Why are you smiling?" she asked him.
Without taking his eyes off of hers, he said, "Have you ever considered joining the Blitz Team?"
Naomi blinked and dropped his hand. "Me? Join the Blitz Team? Did you hit your head or something?" she asked wide-eyed with disbelief.
Brad chuckled. "I'm serious, Naomi. Why don't you join the Blitz Team? You'll make a lot more money than you do now, and you'll earn even more points since you'll be in Class S. I don't think it's that unreasonable. Combining our two teams will make us even stronger. With two extra warriors, we wouldn't be in as much trouble if one or two or our zoids became damaged. What do you have to lose?"
Naomi thought about it for a few minutes. It was true that she could earn more money and points in Class S, but she would also lose the points she had accumulated up to that point in time. Then again, she could probably make up for it quickly. Besides, she could stay with Brad. She smiled back at him.
"Maybe you're right, Brad. I've been on my own for too long. I'll talk it over with Doc and see what he thinks. I'd love to join your team."
She leaned down and kissed him warmly. Brad wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly against his chest. When the kiss ended, their eyes locked on each other.
"Marry me, Naomi Fluegal," he whispered.
She smiled warmly. "Of course I will, Brad Hunter. I would be honored to be your wife," she whispered back.
They kissed again, and Naomi snuggled against Brad's chest as they both fell into a deep sleep.
Later that same day Bit was in the hanger giving Liger Zero a thorough equipment check. Leon had cornered him earlier and lectured him about his relationship with Leena. Even though Leon trusted Bit, he had still wanted to make sure that Bit would take care of his younger sister. Leon did say he was happy for them though. Bit sat down on Liger Zero's back and sighed.
"Is everyone going to give me a hard time because I'm with Leena now?" he wondered aloud.
"They're just too used to us fighting. They'll get over it," a voice answered him.
Bit was so startled he nearly fell off of his zoid.
Leena laughed as she walked over to Bit and the Liger. "Relax, Bit. It's just me."
Bit chuckled sheepishly and climbed down from Liger's back. "Sorry, Leena. I wasn't expecting you to come in here," he explained. "So what's up?"
"Leon told me that he had talked to you. He says he's happy that we're together. I just hope he didn't scare you too much or anything," Leena said.
Bit shrugged. "Nah, he didn't threaten me or anything. Leon's a great guy, and he knows I would never do anything to hurt you. I'm not too worried."
He smiled at her, and Leena walked up to him and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Even if he did threaten you, I would never let Leon or anyone else stand between us," she whispered.
They kissed for a moment, then Bit pulled away so he could look into her eyes. "Hey, Leena. There's something I've been wanting to ask you."
Leena's pulse quickened. "Oh? And what did you want to ask me, Bit?"
Bit stepped back and pulled a small box out of his pocket. He knelt in front of Leena and opened the box—revealing the most beautiful amethyst ring Leena had ever seen.
"Leena Toros, will you marry me?" he asked as he slipped the ring on her finger.
Tears of joy filled Leena's eyes. "I thought you'd never ask. I promise I'll make you a good wife, Bit," she told him.
Bit rose and pulled her into a tight embrace. "I love you, Leena," he whispered.
"I love you, too," she whispered back.
Naomi talked with Dr. Toros about joining the Blitz Team early the next day. Dr. Toros was thrilled and said she would be more than welcome on the team. As soon as Brad was able to walk around, he and Naomi drove to Romeo City so he could buy her an engagement ring. They decided on a lovely ruby ring that was also at a reasonable price. That same night the Blitz Team had a meeting where Doc announced that Leon and Naomi would be joining their team. The others were glad to have more warriors on their team. More zoid warriors meant more prize money. Plus they would be able to see their friends more often.
Brad and Naomi announced their engagement to the others.
"That's great, guys. You deserve to be together," Leon said.
"Yeah, congratulations," Jamie added.
"What a coincidence," Bit spoke up. "Leena and I are engaged, too."
The others turned to them in surprise. "You and Leena! I never thought I'd live to hear that!" Jaime exclaimed.
Leena giggled. "I know. Neither did we at first."
"Well I'm sure you two will do just fine. I'm really happy for both of you," Dr. Toros told them.
Leena smiled. "Thanks, Dad." The others offered well wishes as well.
In about a month's time, Brad and Naomi were finally married. Bit and Leena tied the knot shortly afterwards. It was the start of new beginnings for the Blitz Team. Bit and Leena started making plans for their new future together. Brad and Naomi were relieved that Lance Blackhart was finally gone for good. Naomi never had any more nightmares about her rape. Brad was just as protective of her as ever—especially when Naomi became pregnant with twins. He looked forward to starting a family with his new wife. At last, he could be with the woman he had grown to love so much, and he would soon be a proud father as well. Yes, the future certainly looked bright.