Well this is the last chapter... sad I know but it has to end some time.

Chapter 23

Rachel's POV

I opened my mouth to speak but tears fell instead of words. I cried into my hands and my shoulders started shaking in sobs. I couldn't help this emotional outburst. I felt Patton's hand on my shoulder and I looked up at him. Even though he probably hates my guts now I could see he still cares about me – but probably only because I'm his commander.

"Shh." He whispered pulling me into a hug. I sobbed into his shoulders for a while before I felt him flinch. I pulled back and looked at him in concern.

"Are you alright?" I asked. He didn't respond. I traced my fingers over his chest and pushed lightly. "Does it hurt?"

He nodded slightly as he tried to keep a straight face, but I could tell he was in pain. He did have a reputation to hold up but I couldn't help but giggle slightly at his macho man attempt.

"You know that's the first time in ages that I've seen you smile." He stated softly. "I forgot how pretty it was."

I blushed slightly at his comment. I guess – I hope – he still has some sort of feelings towards me after all.

"And all it took was to see me in pain."

My face fell.

"If anything ever happened to you I wouldn't know what to do!" I exclaimed, my voice shaking. He didn't reply so I continued. "You didn't have to come to save me you know."

"But then who else would've?" He asked.

"I could save myself. I had Numbuh 234 there… we could've thought of an escape plan ourselves."

"I highly doubt that."

"Look just because I'm your commander doesn't mean you have to protect me 24/7!"

"I didn't just save you because you were my commander!" He snapped, his voice rising in volume causing me to take a step back.

"Well then why did you?"

He didn't reply and looked away. I took a deep sigh. I guess all hope of getting back together seemed lost now.

I broke the silence. "Father's right about one thing though… I'm a coward."

His eyebrows rose.

"No you're not." He said. "We had to run away or Father would've killed us all."

I shook my head but he continued. "Rachel, you may be Supreme Commander, but you know you're also human. You're allowed to make mistakes and making mistakes doesn't make you a coward. Running away from them does."

"But you see? That's what I do." I said. "I run away… to try and avoid pain I run away but it always catches up."

"Then don't avoid it. Face it."

I contemplated this for a while. I was scared of losing him so I ran away, but it made it worse. Instead of talking it over with him I forced myself upon him. I am a coward. But not anymore.

I could see Patton was waiting for me to say something so I took a deep breath and started to speak.

"I-I'm sorry I've been such a jerk, I'm sorry I didn't trust you enough and I'm majorly sorry I used you." I said a little bit too fast, but as sincere as possible. "If I could turn back time I wouldn't have done all those things. I understand if you hate me but I just want you to know how sorry I am and how I'll always still love you."

He pressed his finger against my lips.

"You're rambling again." He said with a smirk.

"Where have I heard the before." I asked sarcastically smirking right back.

"And I'm sorry I complexed the situation even further." He said sincerely. "But the truth is Rachel, no matter how hard I try not to, I'll always love you too." My expression softened as tears formed in the corners of my eyes. He caressed my cheek softly. "So I guess we can start over?"

I smiled. "I'd like that."

He grabbed my head and our lips intertwined in a passionate kiss, one I have missed dearly.

"GET A ROOM!" I heard a small voice shout.

We broke apart to see a group of cadets looking grossed out not that far away from us with Fanny standing behind them. I gave her a grin and she merely smiled back. I rushed towards her, pushing through the cadets and gave her big bear hug.

"What are you doing?!" She shrieked, trying to push me away. I loosened my grip but my arms were still around her. We exchanged a small smile, our code for making up.

"How's you and Hoagie?" I asked, feeling a bit guilty. To my surprise she smiled.

"We've talked a few things over and we're fine." She replied.

I grinned and my whole guilty feeling washed away. I felt two hands on my shoulders and I turned my head to see Patton looking down on me. We smiled at each other for a brief second before Fanny interrupted.

"Okay Romeo, you need to get back inside the base to rest." She ordered.

"Yes ma'am." Patton replied with a little salute. He turned to me. "So I guess I'll see you later?"

"Yeah. I need to get back to headquarters anyway." I replied. "I'll call you."

He kissed me on the nose and then Fanny dragged him back inside the base, waving a small goodbye.

I smiled greatly at how my life is back on track, how I won back my boyfriend, made up with my friends and how I can command in peace once again – well as far as peaceful goes for a Supreme Commander.