Chapter LV: A Family Reunited
LES: Last chapter. It looks as though I didn't break the chapter record, nor did I go under it. But, hell, I MATCHED it! I tell you what, I'm kind of sad to see the end of this story. It is, in effect, my masterpiece. (starts sobbing uncontrollably)
Muse: Than make a sequel, dummy.
LES: A sequel? Hmm...
Jak: No! No sequels! I can't take your crap anymore!
Everyone in the Jak universe: NO SEQUELS!
LES: O.o Wow... I've never seen them so united before...
The next morning was an absolutely beautiful Spargain morning. It was still too early for it to be really hot. Keira smiled warmly to herself. All her troubles seemed to melt away when she was being held by Jak after a long night of passion. She could feel his strong arms wrapped loosely around her naked upper body with his bare chest pressed against hers.
She looked up into her lover's face, expecting to see those deep, blue eyes looking back at her. But she didn't see them. In fact, it amused her to find that Jak was still asleep.
It did give her the time she need to think about things in general. She still could hardly believe that they were engaged. Jak's proposal seemed like a dream, as did the night before. But it was real, Keira was sure of that.
And she pondered Jak's last name, and what it could mean for the both of them. As Jak had put it, he was royalty. It completely blew her mind that the man she had loved since she was very young, a man who had lived the life of a country bumpkin, prisoner, rebel, and outcast, had once been a Prince! Keira laughed quietly to herself. Jak was one man who had lived on all sides of the tracks.
What would happen if Haven or Spargus found out that Jak was the sole heir to their thrones? Well... Haven wouldn't care. They hated Jak and didn't welcome the thought of a single man having all the power in their society. But Spargus was a different matter all together. From the sounds of the mourning City last night, to what Jak had told her, Damas, his father, had been a deeply respected King and ruler of Spargus, and there were men who would've died for him... like Jak. If they ever found out that Jak was Damas' son, he would definitely be pressured to take the throne and crown that, in all respects, belonged to him.
Suddenly, she felt Jak's grip tighten on her upper body. She looked up at him and smiled when she saw that he was now awake.
Jak smiled a slow and lazy smile that reminded Keira of a younger Jak. She nearly melted into his embrace. "Morning." He said simply.
The she-elf stretched briefly and the couple shifted slightly until both were comfortable again. "Morning, Jak." She said with a smile.
Jak pulled the she-elf closer to himself, wanting to keep her as close as possible. "I love you, Keira." He breathed, pressing his lips to hers, remembering the love and passion of the night before.
When Jak pulled away, Keira smiled back at him. "I love you, too." She said, running her hands over Jak's back. She could still feel the knotted scars that covered his back... scars that would probably never fade... scars he would carry for as long as he lived.
Jak sighed as the she-elf traced a livid scar with her fingers. "Somehow, I thought they would disappear when Erol was dead and my revenge complete." He paused. "I was wrong. I guess I will be forced to carry Erol's scars forever."
"I've told you before..." Keira said. "You can't blame yourself for that. And besides, I love you, all of you... scars and all."
Jak smiled. "Thank you, Keira. You have no idea how much that means to his part demon/part angel freak." He kissed her again, moving his upper body until it was draped over hers as he continued to kiss her.
"You evil tease." Keira hissed when he pulled away.
Jak laughed. "Would you prefer I do this?" He grinned evilly as he moved so he hovered over her body, and he continued to, not only continue their lip-lock, but he planted kisses up and down the column of her throat.
"Yes..." Keira breathed. "I like this much better."
Sunlight began to stream through the window, illuminating the small room and the she-elf, through her love-haze that fogged her brain, noticed how bright it was. She playfully pushed her new fiancee off her. "What?" Jak asked.
"What time is it?" Keira asked.
Jak looked out the small window and at the Wasteland sun, which was just beginning to show through the window. "Seven o'clock?" He estimated.
"Oh no!" Keira sat up swiftly, not even bothering to grab at the sheets that fell off her chest. "Come on, Jak, you lazy bum, we've got to go!"
Jak sat up too and wrapped his arms around the she-elf, holding her in place from behind. "Go where? We've got nothing to do. Stay here with me."
"No!" Keira protested as he tried to nibble on the edge of her ear. "We have to get up!"
"No we don't. Stay with me."
"I've got a surprise for you." Keira said suddenly.
Jak stopped trying to pleasure her to look in her face. "A surprise?"
"And all you have to do is get up and get dressed."
Jak considered this offer for a few seconds. Not a lot to think about, really. "Fine." He said, pretending that it wasn't that big of a deal. Both elves got up from the bed they now shared and began to dress, Jak occasionally gave Keira advice on how to desert in the desert environment. After all, Keira wasn't used to the head yet. But, with time, she would, just as Jak had.
Finally, both were clothed in appropriate desert appeal, and they left the room, hand-in-hand, glancing lovingly at each other from time to time.
Daxter was already awake, which in itself was rather unusual. He looked up at the couple as they entered and grinned boyishly as he sensed the invisible connection between the two lovers. "Hey, you two crazy love-birds! How was the night?"
"It was great." Jak said off-handedly.
"Come on, Jak!" Keira insisted. "We've got to go!" She went out the door without Jak.
Daxter stared at the door that Keira had just exited through. "You two ain't eloping, are you?" He asked.
"Nah. Keira wouldn't have it." Jak said. "She's insisting on a traditional wedding."
"So..." Daxter paused. "Did it finally happen?"
"Did Keira give it up to you?" Daxter asked. "Have you two finally lost your virginity?"
"Dax!" Jak hissed. "I did not lose my virginity last night!"
There was a slight pause as Daxter stared at his buddy. "There's no way you can tell me that when you two practically scream 'lovers'!" Daxter yelled.
Jak laughed. "No, I lost my virginity ages ago." Jak said. "Last night was just good, old-fashioned love-making."
"Bye, Dax, I have to go." Jak said quickly, running out the door to join his waiting fiancee. He would never keep Keira waiting for long... he wouldn't keep his future bride waiting...
Almost as soon as he was outside, Keira grabbed him by the arm. "Come on!" She urged.
"What's the rush?" Jak asked, laughing, and allowing himself to be pulled off down the dusty streets. Finally, Keira pulled the slightly confused elf into a hotel. "Keira? You do know that I have a house here in Spargus. We don't need a hotel."
Keira rolled her eyes. "Jak!" She drawled. "Stop it, you big dork!" It was almost like they were children again, what with the innocent calling of names. But, at least it wasn't like when they were fighting. Jak had been called a 'Freak' more times than he could count, but he had never been too bothered by it. He was a freak, it was just simple as that. But when Keira had called him a freak... that one hurt more than all the other times combined. Jak shoved those thoughts aside as Keira spoke again. "Now, can you give your insatiable appetite a rest? There's someone that you have to meet!"
"Who?" Jak asked as Keira pulled him down the hall, counting rooms, until she came to a certain one. She stopped in front of the door and knocked. After a second, the door opened and Keira pulled Jak into the room.
At first, the only thing Jak saw was a normal-looking hotel room, then he noticed a woman that stood by the window. She turned around and Jak gasped. He looked at Keira. "Your friend, Carla?" He asked. "But... I've met her before."
It was, indeed, Carla. The same woman who took Keira in three years ago when she had nowhere else to go. She was a woman in her early thirties. She had ocean-blue eyes and blonde hair with just a few hints of gray that were the evidence of the years of pain that had aged her beyond her normal span.
"Keira? Jak?" She asked, having known Jak on a superficial level, and mostly knowing him as Keira's boyfriend.
"Carla..." Keira began. "I'm sorry for what I'm about to do." Jak stared at his fiancee, confused. "What you told me long ago, you told me in confidence. But... all secrets must now be revealed."
Suddenly, Carla's facial expression changed from confusion to a mixture of fear and anger. "Keira, don't!" She ordered.
"Jak..." Keira plowed on. "Meet Queen Anastasia Mar, the former queen of Haven City and King Damas'... wife."
Time seemed to stop in the small hotel room. Nobody in the room even breathed. Jak was in shock, very much like when he finally discovered that his father was Damas. But if Carla, now only to be known as Anastasia, had been Damas' wife... than that could only mean that the woman that stood before him was his...
"Mother." Jak whispered, barely audible. He could see it now. Eyes that he got from his mother... Anastasia's eyes were exactly the same shade as his own.
Anastasia stared at Jak. "What did you say?" She asked quietly.
"I... I called you Mother." Jak stuttered, completely unsure of himself.
Anastasia stared at Jak. "No, your not my little boy. He should be seven years old now... if... if he's still alive."
Jak opened his mouth to say something, but his voice had failed him again. He couldn't get anything out. So, Keira stepped forward to plead his case in his place. "It's a long story, Anastasia, one involving time travel. But Jak is your long-lost son."
Jak seemed to get his voice back again, and he pulled out the Seal of Mar that Damas had given him. Anastasia recognized it instantly. "Damas was my father." He said in a rather subdued voice, as if his voice would give out on him any second. "Before he died he gave me this Seal and told me to find his son." He then pulled out the mostly identical Seal that his younger self had given him. Anastasia recognized that one too. "This is the Seal that belongs to me... to forever remind me that I am a Prince with no past."
But Anastasia was still sceptically. "Anyone could have given you that Seal."
"Ana..." Keira began, but Jak stopped her.
He took a single step towards her, humming a tune... a lullaby. Anastasia froze. Then, Jak began to sing quietly the words that went with the tune.
"From the time when I was young
I prayed for a child to call my own."
Both Anastasia and Keira stared at Jak, both with very different thoughts. This song reminded Keira of Jak's lament last night... so full of sorrow.
Jak continued his song:
"But now that the day has come to me
I wish it wasn't so..."
Anastasia joined in, singing the sorrowful lullaby with tears in her eyes, eyes that looked so much like Jak's.
"It's not that I don't love you
My precious baby boy
But what the Fates have planned for you
It rips my heart in two
How could the Fates be so cruel
To take my little boy?"
Tears began to flow down Anastasia's cheeks. "I sang that song once... only once. Soon after my son's second birthday. It happened so long after the Soothsayer told me the Prophecy that destined my son's fate... how he would lead a life filled with pain, anger, and sorrow... to fill a greater destiny. No one else ever heard the song... only my son. Not even Damas heard a word of it." She paused, more tears falling down her face. "I don't know how it's possible, but you must be my son! You must be my little Mar..." Suddenly, she embraced Jak.
Jak, who had never known a mother besides Daxter's mother, was unsure how to handle the situation. But he embraced his long-lost mother, regardless. "And my name is 'Jak', Mother." Jak said. "Damas wished it."
Keira watched as reunited Mother and Son embraced and smiled to herself. Jak had given her his love and so much more. She had given him her own love and his family back. She knew that, for Jak especially, that the situation would be difficult to cope with for a while. She also knew that challenges lay ahead of them. She knew that even loving marriages could be riddled with misfortune.
But as she looked at the man she loved, her light, her love, her Champion, her fiancee, all those worries drifted away.
Anastasia and Jak pulled out of each other's embrace. Jak looked over at Keira. "Thank you for bringing me here." He said, and meant it. He moved over to her, taking her in his arms, and kissed her.
Keira sighed as his firm lips moved over hers and she complimented his motions. The War of the Champions was finally over and the years ahead contained only mysteries. But she didn't care. Come what may. She knew that she could face anything, she could live through anything, as long as Jak Mar, her real-life Prince Charming, was at her side.
So... childhood friends turn into teenage lovers and transform into engaged adult couple. Of all the transformations one could undergo, love is the most beautiful and powerful of all.
Jak pulled away slowly, smiling sexily. "I love you, Keira, with all my heart."
Keira smiled back. "I love you too, Jak."
And they sealed this vow with a kiss, giving each other a wordless vow of everlasting love.
LES: Ain't it appropriate for this romantic saga to end with love? After all, it did begin so long ago with the same emotion. First off, I'd like to say that working on these two stories has been an absolute pleasure. And I'd like to thank all my fans who kept encouraging me to post even though I was plagued with computer problems. It does seem truly sad to have to end this story, in my view, my greatest work. I've never put the amount of time and effort that went into these two stories that I've put into my other stories. Back To You and War Of The Champions are truly the sum of my writing skills so far. And I hope you've enjoyed reading them as much as I've enjoyed writing them. Thank you all so much! But... remember... stories never truly end. All you do is reach the end of one chapter and turn to the next. Yep, and the next chapter is coming soon! Please stay tuned for the slightly less epic sequel to War Of The Champions: 'The Deepest Wounds' This, of course, refers to the saying that 'the deepest wounds are of the heart.' Hmm... doesn't sound like a 'happy' tale, does it?