Author's Note: Thanks to all who reviewed, but especially Sabrina and Iara, you guys are great!

This chapter is dedicated to Cassie...without you, this chapter would never have been written...or at least not for a VERY long time!

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.

-Sophocles

Chapter Ten: In the End

"Hey, Beka!"

"Hey."

Dylan sighed. He had been hoping for a little more than that. "What's up?"

"Nothing."

"At all?"

"Nope."

He sighed again. "Rafe's doing well?"

"Yes."

"That's good. Do you think he'll stay this time?"

"No."

"Ummm...Beka?"

"Yeah?"

"Did you suddenly lose your vocabulary or is this a game to see how many times you can answer me with one word?"

Dylan watched as a ghost of a smile started to spread across her face. "Oh, don't go and ruin this with a smile now!" he said sarcastically as he sat down next to her. The two grew quiet; Dylan waiting for her to say something, and Beka apparently doing her best not to.

"Dylan..." Beka started, then stopped. He just sat there, waiting. "Dylan, Trance says Rafe will be up in a few days."

"That's good," Dylan agreed, knowing she would say more eventually.

"At least I saved him," Beka said softly. "He'll be fine and hopefully he won't go back on Flash."

"Well, he's got you to help him," Dylan told her.

Beka laughed bitterly. "Are you kidding me? A Flash addict trying to stop another Flash addict from taking Flash? We'd end up using it together. Two Valentines on Flash. How funny would that be? You guys would have a fun time with that, believe me, one is enough! More than enough!" Beka's voice was nearing hysteria with every sentence.

"I know, Beka, I know, I just meant-" Dylan tried to explain as she took a deep breath.

"I don't want him to die like my dad did!" she finished at a near yell, then turned away.

Dylan put a hand on her shoulder. "Beka, we won't let that happen. We can keep him here on the Andromeda."

"You can't keep a Valentine anywhere, Dylan, or have you forgotten?" Beka said harshly, turning to glare at him.

"That's right. Valentines run away from their problems." As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Dylan regretted them, and for a moment, he thought she would slap him. Instead, she looked down and said in a whisper,

"We do, don't we."

"Beka, I didn't mean that," he tried to assure her.

"Yes, you did, Dylan, and it's true," she said quietly.

"No, it's not, Beka! You didn't run away from Rafe, did you?" he pointed out.

"I only met up with Rafe because I was running away from you!" she shot back, and then her eyes went wide as she realized what she said. "I...I...um..."

"Beka...I talked with Rev while you were...taking a break," Dylan said gently. "And...he helped me realize something. I put you between a rock and a hard place during the Magog situation, and I'm sorry. This whole thing...it's my fault as much as it is yours. Maybe more."

"Dylan, I backed myself into that situation. I took Flash in the first place."

"And I asked you to choose between betraying me and saving your crew!" Dylan said, shooting her own words back at her.

"And I chose you, godammit! Why did I chose you? I've been with my crew longer, they're my family! You're all my family! How could you ask me to choose between one member of my family and the others, Dylan, how could you do it?!" she screamed at him. "I wanted to take Flash, Dylan, I needed to take Flash, it would have boosted my reaction time and let me save all of you, but then where would I have been? You would have kicked me out or been disappointed in me just like I used to be disappointed in my father and I would have been him all over again!" She stood up, either angry or embarrassed, and went to look out the window. "I...I don't want to become my father, Dylan. He took Flash, he betrayed my family, he betrayed me...I didn't want to betray you, Dylan...but it almost cost me my family..."

Dylan broke in. "Beka, by taking Flash, you would have betrayed all of us. Think about it, Beka. Harper or Rev or Trance wouldn't want you to take Flash, even to save their lives. I would rather die before seeing you like that again, Beka. When you're on Flash, you aren't the woman I know and you aren't the woman I've come to love." He had said love, hadn't he...

"Did...did you say...did you say love?" Beka asked hesitantly, turning slowly towards him, face down towards the floor.

"Yes, Beka." He had said love, and he realized it was true. "I do love you, and I always will, no matter what you do. You can leave, you can break all the promises in the world, you can take Flash, and I'll still love you. But part of loving you is trying to keep you from doing those things. And damn it, Beka, I do love you, and I'll try my hardest the keep you from getting hurt or from hurting yourself." He took her hands and pulled her down to sit beside him.

She looked so uncertain as she spoke, and refused to meet his eyes. "Dylan, I'm so sorry, I don't deserve this, I'm a ball and chain-"

Dylan sighed and kissed her to shut her up. After they broke apart, he cupped her chin and told her, "Don't say that. You deserve this more than anyone else I know. I love you."

Beka whispered, "I love you, too."

***********************************************************************

The end! Or is it? If you guys want an epilogue, it may be possible. MAY be. But I have to get a considerable amount of requests. Or one or two really desperate ones *grins*.