Oban Star-Racers: ┬ęSav! The World Productions / Jetix Europe 2005. All rights reserved.

Author's Note: This story takes place after the end of the series. If you haven't seen the last episodes, beware! Major spoilers lie within! Also, this is a MollyxJordan fic, so if you don't like that pairing that's too bad. But if you're as big of a fan as I am, then you're in the right place! Hope you enjoy reading as much as I did writing!

Love Appears

The garden was a quiet and peaceful place with all kinds of places to explore. Eva sat in her favorite spot, a bench under a shady oak tree. She pulled out her textbooks and notepad, intent on studying for the upcoming geography test that week, but try as she might she couldn't seem to stay focused. She tapped her pencil, twirled it, chewed on it, and finally began doodling with it. The margins of her notebooks were already filled with so many abstract designs that they belonged in an art museum.

Crude renderings of alien creatures and star-racers were also present including some familiar faces that were now billions of light years away. There was Prince Aikka and his giant beetle G'dar flying behind Lord Furter's space galleon, both parties shooting a hailstorm of laser cannonballs and glowing arrows. Just below the battle scene was Muir's enormous bio-ship reaching out its tentacles for Sul who hovered along safely in his psychic force field. And in the top right corner was the Avatar's floating temple surrounded by nine orbiting modules.

Eva sighed. More memories of Oban were coming back now and with them a whole host of turbulent emotions. She turned to a blank sheet of paper and began writing down vocabulary words from her text-book, determined to push the past away. This test counted for thirty percent of her grade and Dad was promising her a trip to the beach if she passed.

She moved along through the chapter at a good pace until she came to a concept that stumped her. Deep in concentration she tapped the pencil and gnawed on a fingernail until the phantoms drifted back into her consciousness. There were Stan and Koji fixing the Whizzing Arrow from the last day's race with Don Wei yelling at them to work faster, Rick with his sunglasses and lightning bolt tattoos shaking his head at the bossy manager . . .

. . . and Jordan.

Out of all the things she missed about her short life as Molly the star-racer it was her partner she missed the most. Every day the gunner had been there to greet her in the morning, flew with her in the Whizzing Arrow and offered praise or comfort depending on the outcome. They faced the most thrilling victories and agonizing defeats together and through it all she felt herself growing closer to him. She had imagined things would continue that way when they returned to Earth together, but in the end he was the only member of the team that did not make it home. Their last moments together had made her realize how much he meant to her but by then it was too late. She could not keep him. He belonged to the galaxy now.

A lump choked her throat tightly.

Frustrated she slammed the book shut and slouched against the bench, deciding that studying was not an option today. Perhaps a break was what she needed. She would visit Mom and go back to work later with a fresh mind. Packing up her books she stood up and followed the path up to the sidewalk and towards her rocket-seat. Thankfully the cemetery was a few blocks down from the garden and only a ten minute ride. In some ways it was also a garden. Trees and flowers grew all around the burial plots, and many birds and butterflies made their homes there. Life springing up in a place for the dead; there was something deeply poetic about that.

Upon arriving there she saw that someone was already at Mom's grave. It was not unusual for Maya's older fans to come by and pay their respects by taking pictures and leaving flowers behind. From her place at the top of the stairs Eva could tell it was a young man, but he had no camera or flowers with him. He was just standing with his hands in his pants pockets looking at the headstone. At the sound of her footsteps he looked up at her.

She saw his face. Her heart stopped. It was the last person she expected to see on Earth.

He looked exactly as she remembered him. The tanned complexion and two-toned black and blond hair were the same as always. Only his clothes were different. Instead of the Earth team uniform he was wearing a bomber jacket over a T-shirt and jeans. To anyone else he would have looked like any other teenage boy, but Eva sensed an otherworldly aura about him. Although he was now the Avatar he was still human at heart, a transfigured demigod in mortal guise.

Jordan gazed back at her from his spot with his thick eyebrows lifted, apparently just as surprised to see her as she was to see him. She had no idea how long she stood at the top of the stairs just staring at him with that gob-smacked look on her face. All her memories and feelings were erupting at once and she had no idea what to do about it. Part of her wanted to burst into tears while another one wanted to jump up and down screaming.

Eva opened her mouth to speak, but at the same moment Jordan did too and both their words tumbled out over each other at once. Mixed in the babble she heard him call her 'Molly.' It had been months since anyone called her by that name. How many was it, exactly? Three? Three hundred? She barely remembered.

After another long moment of silence he gestured at the photo on the headstone. "I just met your mom." he said, making small talk to break the ice. "She's beautiful. You have her eyes."

Eva hoped the heat flowing into her face was not visible to him. Taking a deep breath she urged her legs forward one step at a time until she was right in front of him. That darn lump was back in her throat again. "I . . . I'm surprised to see you here." she managed to say. "Aren't you supposed to stay on Oban?"

"Not all the time." Jordan replied. "Every planet is linked to it. So long as I always go back it makes no difference where I am."

Eva looked down at the ground pretending a pebble on the path was extremely interesting. She didn't ask him why he had come to her mother's grave. She already knew the answer. "So . . . how long are you going to stay?"

Jordan shrugged. "Who knows? Until the Creators call me back, probably." He looked up at the tree branches overhead where sunlight was streaming through the leaves. Two sparrows were singing a duet. "Don't get me wrong, Oban is great. But I was getting so homesick that I just couldn't take it anymore."

Just when it seemed like this perfect moment would last forever, there was a loud squelching gurgle. Eva yelped and jumped back in shock. Mortified, Jordan put a hand over his noisy stomach and chuckled nervously. "Sorry about that. Even Avatars need food, you know."

She smiled and began to laugh. Soon they were both laughing together and it was just like old times again. "Well, then, Mister Avatar," she said afterward. "Why don't I treat you to dinner?"

He frowned. "Molly! I already told you, you don't owe me any-" She cut him off by placing a finger over his lips, bringing a surprised blush to his cheeks.

"Let me put it this way. I'm going to treat you to dinner, and I won't take no for an answer. Got it, gunner boy?" She ended with a playful wink.

Defeated, he smiled back at her. "Whatever you say, partner."

It amazed her how he had changed so much and yet not changed at all. But she had changed, too. She was no longer a helpless victim tormented by fate. She was now free to choose her own destiny and live for the future. Jordan had helped her do that. Now she had a chance to finally repay him for everything. It would never measure up to the sacrifice he made for her, but she had to try.

Her eyes moved to the headstone. There was her mother's image looking as brave and confident as she always had in life. What would Maya do if she were here? How would she handle a situation like this? She imagined her gentle hands stroking her hair. "Just say what's in your heart, Eva." she would whisper.

Well, Eva thought, here goes nothing. Forcing the lump in her throat down to her stomach, she straightened up as much as she could and took a deep breath. Jordan's face hovered directly above hers, illuminated by patches of sunlight. She felt very small and insignificant but somehow she managed to look him in the eye.

"Jordan," she began. "I've been thinking about you a lot lately . . . and about what you did. I never got a chance to thank you."

He shook his head. "You don't need to thank me, Molly."

"Yes, I do!" she said, emphatically clenching her fists. As she spoke, the truth of each word lent power to her voice. "What you did was the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life! No one's ever done anything like that for me! Saying 'thank you' is the least I can do!"

Embarrassed by the praise he scratched his head, blushing like an awkward teenager. How refreshing that even the Avatar himself could be flustered by simple compliments. "Well, um, it's really nothing. I just wanted for you to be happy."

"I am happy, Jordan. But you deserve to be happy, too." Feeling bolder she reached out and took his hand in hers. "Back then you said you loved me. Is that still true now?"

He answered without a moment's hesitation. "Of course!"

She smiled, her heart beating faster. "Then you won't mind if I do this." Gripping the front of his jacket she raised herself up on her toes and kissed him full on the mouth.

Jordan froze, afraid that he was hallucinating and that movement would break the spell, but no mirage could feel so incredibly real. Melting, he put his hands on her shoulders and leaned into her. If this all really was an illusion he wanted it to last.

Unlike their first kiss, which had been short and chaste, this one lasted for a good while. All their pent-up emotions and desires were finally released and poured out into each other. Although the young Avatar had to restrain himself from releasing too much power, it was still unlike anything Eva ever imagined. The closest thing she could compare it to was her first time piloting the Whizzing Arrow, an experience that was both terrifying and exhilarating.

When it was finally over she felt dizzy and breathless. As she leaned into his chest for support, he enfolded her in his arms. Nothing else existed anymore; it was just the two of them floating into eternity together. Even their hearts were beating in synch.

She sighed. "I wish we could stay like this forever."

"Be careful what you wish for." he whispered. "You just might get it."

The End