A/N: Hey, thanks for all the comments. I do wish to point out, however, that at no point did I say that the previous chapter was the final one o_~
So, without further ado: the real final chapter! Enjoy.
"I know…but not near as beautiful as you." The two figures sat watching the sun set over the sparkling amber sea. The first figure blushed.
"Oh, quiet, you." The two stared at each other for several minutes. The silence was finally broken by the second one.
"This moment couldn't be more perfect." He smiled.
"Yeah." The first one nodded. The gentle evening breeze played with their fur. The first one smiled. "I love you, Blaze."
"I love you, too…Azmaria."
I was startled awake by a loud THUMP. I looked around, trying to find the source. Isabel and I were staying at the Pokemon Center overnight, just as we had the last two nights. Sam would be arriving tomorrow.
I noticed some movement on the far side of the lobby, where we slept. Moving silently, I hopped off the round couch I was sleeping on and walked slowly across the room. I stopped a few feet from the door, just as it opened.
"You're not planning on leaving, are you?" The figure in the doorway froze and slowly turned to face me.
"Blaze…I have to go. I…I just have to go! I can't stay here." It was Christine.
"Christine, you're still recovering. Nothing could be so important that you need to-"
"But, Blaze! I need to go, please! It's for…personal reasons." I gave her a look. She sighed. "I need to find out more about Beyond. If I stay here, they may try to get me again, or worse, one of you! Please, this is for everyone's sake!" She looked at me with big, round eyes.
It was my turn to sigh, defeated. " …fine, but if you think you're going alone then you're insane."
"You mean you're coming with?" I nodded. Christine hesitated for a moment. "Alright…but give me a moment to say goodbye." She walked over to the Isabel, who had fallen asleep on the couch with Shadow and Rose in her lap. I saw Christine watch them all sadly for a moment. She murmured her goodbyes and licked the faces of her kits, the returned to me.
"Alright, let's go." she said without looking me in the face. This was hard for her. She had my sympathies. We left the Pokemon Center, ultimately leaving this life behind us for good.
"Are you regretting your decision?" I asked her as we traveled down the very road I had run down just a few days ago.
"…no." I sensed some hesitation in her voice. It was to be understood, though. She was worried about Shadow and Rose. It couldn't have been easy to leave them all with only a goodbye. But, she thought it was what was best, so there was no stopping her now.
As we mulled it over, my admiration of Christine increased. This was an incredibly brave and thoughtful choice for her. She was still not in the best conditions to be traveling, though. The antidote completely flushed out the toxin, so she had healed quickly, but she still would never be perfect. The toxin had ravaged her internal organs; some to the point of no return. She had barely escaped with irreversible damage to her liver, lungs, and er…*ahem*…female organs. Life would b a quite a bit harder, and she'd probably never be able to have children again. But, even with this in mind, she's lucky. It could have been much worse. It almost was.
Soon I began to hear the sound of rushing water. I smiled, remembering stopping here on my way to Sunpalm.
"Wait." I said. Christine stopped and turned to me.
"What is it?"
I grinned. "Follow me, for just a moment." I turned and headed off the road, into a small, barely noticeable path through a patch of trees. We followed the winding path for a few minutes, the sounds of water gradually getting louder.
"Where are we going?" I heard Christine ask.
"Here." I answered, stepping out of the patch of trees and onto a precipice overlooking the waterfall.
My secret, secluded spot.
From where we were standing, we could see a big field of flowers stretching out all around us. The sun was just dipping below the horizon, shining its golden reflection into the rolling surf. A gentle autumn breeze was blowing, carrying the smell of flowers and apples from the trees above us. Overall, the effect was amazing.
"Ooh…it's beautiful." Christine remarked in awe, her eyes wide open.
"I know." I nodded, "…but not near as beautiful as you."
Christine blushed. "Oh, quiet, you." I gazed deeply into her eyes. Though she was marveling at the scene, her face was unreadable. Her own gaze eventually met mine. We stared at each other for several minutes.
"This moment couldn't be more perfect." I smiled at her.
"Yeah…" she sounded unsure. The wind blew gently, ruffling her fur and sending a shower of pink flower petals raining down around us. The picture was all too perfect. She was so beautiful…
"I love you, Christine." I smiled at her again. I could've sworn I saw tears welling in her eyes. But…were they happy tears?
"Blaze, I…I just don't feel the same way." She hung her head.
"W-what?" I asked, dumbstruck. I didn't understand. She had said the exact same thing to me, hadn't she?
Christine turned her back to me. She was crying softly. "Blaze, I'm sorry. I…I only said those things because Eddie was gone. There was just a hole…and you were there, and I…" She sniffed. "P-please don't hate me."
Oh. I walked in front of her and wiped the tears from her face. "Christine, I could never hate you. I understand completely." After all, the same had happened to me, once upon a time.
Christine nodded. "You don't have to come with still, if you don't want to anymore."
"No, Christine." I shook my head. "You're not getting rid of me that easily. Besides, that's not the reason I wanted to come."
She still looked unconvinced. "So…you're okay with coming along? Even if I don't feel the same way about you?"
"There's still hope, right?" Christine nodded. I grinned. "Then I can wait…with a smile." This got the same reaction from Christine. It was the first genuine, happy smile I had seen from her in a while. She sniffed, lifting her head up.
"Thank you, Blaze." She kissed the side of my face, then turned to walk back down the path.
It was a start.