I stare at the sky, dark and too cloudy to see the stars. It's midnight and I can't sleep. Again. I'm not sure why I'm sitting on the roof. The wind is cold as it blows against my face.
I hear footsteps. I turn. Wally.
"Hey," he says. "I was looking for you."
"You found me," I reply dryly.
"Yeah," he says, more of a breath than a word. He sits down next to me.
"So…," he begins, drawing the word out. "Do you want to tell me what was really on your mind at dinner?"
"I did," I snap.
"No you, didn't," he says. "Not all of it. I know you were holding something back."
I don't say anything.
"Jinx," he says softly. "Jinx, I thought we weren't gonna do this anymore. No more pretending, remember?"
"Yeah," I say. He reaches for my hand, holds it in his, and it's enough to make me break down.
I breathe in, slow, deep, trying not to cry. "Remember that night I was sick and I… I woke up screaming?"
He nods. "Yeah," he says. "You don't know how much that scared me. I didn't know if there was anything I could say to you to possibly make it better."
"There wasn't," I reply. "You tried, though."
He intertwines his fingers with mine, and I think he might know exactly what I'm thinking. "What were you dreaming about?" he asks. Yeah. He does.
"The Hive," I answer. "See-More."
"What about him?" Wally asks.
There's a lump in my throat and I swallow, hard, but it doesn't go away.
"I think…" I begin, feeling my tongue catch on my teeth as I try to say this. "I think he…"
"Yeah?" Wally presses, gently, rubbing his thumb softly against the palm of my hand.
"I think he was in love with me," I finish.
Wally nods. Like he knew that's what I was going to say all along. I bet he did.
"And I think," I continue. "I think that might be why he… Why he killed himself. Not because I left but…" I turn my head away. "But because of you and me."
"Jinx, this isn't your fault," Wally says.
"You always say that," I reply, 'and I know you're right but sometimes I just feel like… Like I could have done something to stop it. Even though I know that I couldn't have. "
"You know," Wally begins quietly, "When I saw him at the base, it occurred to me that if I hadn't convinced you to leave, he wouldn't have killed himself."
I look back at him, and he looks about ready to cry.
"Wally," I say, "this isn't your fault."
"Yeah it is. Kind of," he says. "If I hadn't tried to help you… But I had to."
"And I had to go with you," I add. "I had to be with you."
"So did I," he says. There are tears in his eyes.
"Maybe… Maybe leaving was the only option I had," I say. "And maybe See-More would understand that. Maybe he'd just want me to be happy."
"I think so," Wally agrees. He looks at me
"Jinx, I knew I loved you the moment I met you," he says.
"Yeah, me too," I say.
"And sometimes… After everything that's happened…" he whispers, as one of those tears falls down his cheek. "Sometimes I feel guilty for falling in love with you.
I start to cry. "Well don't," I say. I reach out and dry the tear off his face. "'Cause you're the best thing that's ever happened to me."
He smiles, dries my tears. "You too," he says.
"I love you," Wally says.
"I love you," I say.
We lean in, slowly, and we kiss.
I think, maybe, this is all either of us ever really needed.
Some hearts they just get all the right breaks
Some hearts have the stars on their side
Some hearts they just have it so easy
And some hearts just get lucky sometimes
I can't believe I actually finished this.
I have been writing this story for three and a half years, which seems so crazy, and it seems so crazy for it to be finished. I promised myself a long time ago that when I finished writing this, I would read the entire story before I wrote my final author's notes. So I did. And what really stood out to me was how much my writing has improved. I was thirteen when I started writing this. And I'll be seventeen next month. And in that time, my writing has gotten so much better. There are parts of this story (like pretty much everything before chapter seven) that make me cringe because they're so bad, but at some point, I'm not really sure when, my writing started getting so much better. And I think I really have this story to thank for that. I would never be able to write as well as I can today if I hadn't been working on this.
I wasn't really sure how to end this story, until I realized that the last chapter shouldn't have anyone but Jinx and Wally in it. At the end of the day, this story is their love story. It's about their relationship. It's about the way they've saved each other, just by loving each other. That's what I was trying to get at with this ending.
So here's my plan for the future: I'll be writing the direct sequel to this as soon as possible. (So, really, this story isn't over. It's just, um, this was a good break point, I guess.) I'll also be writing a "spin-off" following Speedy and Cheshire. While I work on these two stories, I might write The Incredible Escapades of Lorena Marquez as a side project, since it's mostly plotless. I'm still interested in writing my crazy, crazy Robin story and my Young Justice story, but I'm planning to hold off on those for the time being. (Does everyone like this plan? It's not too late to suggest sometime else.)
By the way, would you guys want me to continue the song lyric thing in the direct sequel? In the spin-offs? And does anyone have a title idea for the direct sequel? 'Cause I got nothing.
Thank so much to my brother for editing and always letting me pitch ideas and listening when I talked about this story. I really appreciate your help and support. I hope you know that.
And lastly, I want to thank everyone who's ever read, reviewed, favorited or alerted this story. Thank you all so much for your support. You guys mean so much to me.
Title and lyrics from Some Hearts by Carrie Underwood.
Hinatalover445: Thank you so much! And thanks for your opinion on my story ideas.
Serena Lockhart: Thank you so much for the opinion! Um, I think I may have accidently misled you with the word "fluff". I meant that the story would be very light and happy, but I wasn't specifically referring to romance. I think Aqualad is a bit old for Lorena, since he's about eighteen and she's ten. I wasn't planning any romances for Lorena, but after I read your review, I started thinking about possibly pairing her with Mas or Menos… Or having them fight over her. Sorry for being unclear!
Melodine: I was hoping that would be a bit of a shocker, thanks. Thank you so much for your comment about how I write RobinxStarfire. I'm glad you like how I write them even though you aren't a fan of the couple. And thanks for the opinion about my story ideas.
CGBabydoll: Thank you so much! Yeah, it was supposed to be sort of unexpected and crazy. Yes, you can vote for as many as you want! And, just to be sure, by the first two, you meant the direct sequel and the SpeedyxCheshire story, right?
Little Miss Juliet: Thank you so much! I don't think you were rambling, by the way.
TealCrystalCAT: Thanks for the opinion on my ideas!
Kitsuru: Thanks you so much! I'm really glad to hear that you think everyone is in-character, that's my biggest worry about this story. And thanks for the opinion on my ideas.
Once again, I just want to thank you all so much for all your support over the last three years. I don't have words for how much it means to me.