((A/N: Lol sorry to keep everyone waiting like this. I had a few issues to take care of. And another fic to start. And I needed to think about what I want to happen now.
I've been thinking, and was quite shocked to realise that the end of APH is nearing. I've been writing it since the end of January and it's 71 pages long now (including this chapter). It feels really weird to know that the story actually ends o.0
Either way, I'm very glad you liked your chapter, DasGrauen . I didn't know hybrids were your favourites, so I think that was just a lucky guess.
This last chapter is dedicated to Peya Luna, because she (assuming she's female btw.. I don't quite know for sure XD ) is very patient with me and often guesses without knowing what I'm planning to do. But I bet she didn't see that coming :p ))
El'is opened her eyes slowly. The lids felt heavy, before she realised she was very tired. The last thing she remember was lots of cold, that seemed to creep into her very soul and tried to freeze her. And a voice that kept saying hang on. Something was covering her nose and lips, but as her groggy mind slowly became clearer, she realised they must have been giving her oxygen.
That also explained the beeping noise she kept hearing. Her heart was being monitored as well. But why? Had her situation been so bad? Apparently. She looked around slowly. She wasn't in her own room. She expected she was at the medical centre, or whatever the Yautja equivalent of a hospital was. There was a single door opposite her bed. Two chairs sat in a corner and a nightstand was positioned next to the bed.
On that stood a large bouquet of flowers El'is had never seen. Light purple in colour, they looked very exotic, with their large petals and the smaller flowers that grew out of their hearts. She noticed it had a card. She sat up slowly. That caused movement. She heard a small excited series of clicks coming from the window, before heavy footsteps resounded.
"You're awake!" Vi'can exclaimed, only just keeping himself from hugging her flat. Instead, he took her hand in both of his, looking at her. Her hair was a mess and her skin was still pale. But she was beautiful all the same. Her blue eyes slowly turned towards him and locked into his. He didn't quite understand the frown, until he realised she couldn't understand what he was saying. He picked the glasses up from the nightstand and handed them to her.
"What happened? What are you doing here?" she asked as she put them on. She didn't retract her hand from his though. That had to be a good sign, the youngster hoped.
"The hybrid broke through the ice, and made you fall in too," Vi'can said. "I pulled you out, but the cold had already got to you then. The doctors said that if we had been seconds later with getting you warmed up again…"
He let the sentence linger, looking away to try and hide the worry he felt resurfacing. He had never been more anxious in his life than he had been at that moment. But she survived. She was right there with him. He squeezed her hand lightly, and was quite surprised when it was squeezed back. He looked back, feeling the knot in his stomach grow. It was this part of the conversation he had been fearing, but it was better to do it now than later. Once others found out she was awake, he reckoned he would hardly be able to be alone with her.
She was looking at him expectantly, and a bit nervous. She probably didn't know what to say. He realised that the look in her eyes could also be described as fear. Fear for what?
"I've been a fool," he started softly. "You… I… The kiss… I couldn't handle it. My family is usually quite strict about the people I interact with. Especially in that area. I tried to push it all away, figuring that if I didn't see or hear you, these emotions would go away. But they didn't. And when I realised you were hurt…"
He gazed into her eyes, the blue orbs that always demanded his attention. He could never look away from those. He swallowed. What if she rejected him? He knew she had the right to, after how he had been treating her.
"I realised… I love you," he brought out, finding his throat suddenly dry. Her eyes widened. For a moment he thought she was going to slap him. He was even more shocked when he saw water heap up in those blue orbs before starting to run down her cheeks. Had he insulted her? Upset her? What had he done wrong? Then she smiled at him, and he was even more confused.
"Humans also cry happy tears," El'is said, unable to stop herself from chuckling at his confused face. She turned more serious then though. "When you ran out on me, I thought you had decided it wasn't worth it. And that you gave up on me. I was angry with you for quite a while. Then sad. I missed you. You see.. I love you too."
Vi'can looked at her for a moment. He just stared, trying to find any trace that what she said was a lie. But it wasn't. She meant it. He leaned in slowly, his mandibles opening and stroking against her cheeks as he kissed her. Kissing her felt wonderful, despite it being far from how Yautja usually kissed. He slowly wrapped his arms around her, holding her to him. He felt her arms slide around his neck as she pressed her body to him.
"I knew it!" a happily excited voice came from the doorway. Both blushing crimson, El'is and Vi'can turned to see M'rid looking at them with a big grin on his face. "Oh I'm sorry, did I interrupt?"
He chuckled, pulling a seat over and sitting down on the other side of the bed.
"Seriously though, you might not want to do that. The council's on its way," he said, looking at his friends. "F'gath told them about your genes. They haven't made a public statement yet."
"Relax," M'rid said good-heartedly. "It's not like they'll make you a Bad Blood. You killed the hybrid! Sure, you have a few genes of it, but that doesn't make you that abomination."
His face darkened a little then and he looked away as if being bitten by his own words. It was then that El'is realised that he must feel hurt that she didn't trust him enough to tell him. She reached out and gently placed her free hand on M'rids. Her other hand was still being held by Vi'can.
"I'm sorry," she said softly. "I didn't want anyone to know actually, not since I found out it wasn't a good thing. F'gath knows because he knows under what conditions I was born. And Vi'can knew because I blurted it out to him before I knew that it was seen as an abomination. And thus with it, me too."
M'rid frowned a moment before looking back at her. He sighed, then patted her hand and put on a smile. She doubted she had ever seen M'rid really angry, or upset for long.
"I can understand why," he admitted. He looked like he was about to continue, but then footsteps resounded from the hallway. Both youngsters - adult males, El'is reminded herself - let go of her hands and stood up, facing the door.
Moments later, the council came in one by one, wearing their official robes. With them was F'gath. She gave him a small smile as she watched relief wash over his face upon noticing her awake. He nodded briefly to the M'rid and Vi'can, getting a nod in return. He outranked them still by far, but he respected them. And if the way he had seen Vi'can hold El'is after pulling her out of the water had been any indication, he reckoned he would see a lot more of him.
"You're awake. Good," one of the council members. "We've learned you kept some vital information from us. We have not yet judged or decided what the consequences of that will be. We want to know why you kept it a secret first."
El'is sat up a bit more, glad that she was wearing pj's under the blanket.
"I was already having a hard enough time to prove myself as it was," she told them bluntly. "I didn't want to face more prejudices than was necessary, and have you judge me by a few DNA-particles rather than by who I am and what I've accomplished."
She saw N'ter grin. She kept herself from grinning back. She knew he approved of an in-your-face attitude. She didn't do it for his approval though. She wanted to be honest, and wanted to stop them from making a fuss over it. She was herself, no matter what genes she possessed.
"Be that as it may, you should have told us. F'gath also," the council member said sharply.
"Why? So you could try to prove me a failure before I was even given the chance to prove myself?" El'is interrupted. "I have proven myself, and I've taken down a hybrid in the process. Yes, I nearly got killed in the process, but I've survived. I've made my kill and earned my mark. What do a few genes matter after that?"
She saw most of the people in the room look quite shocked. The council wasn't used to being addressed like this. It was respectless. But El'is didn't quite care right now. They had to earn her respect before she showed it to them. So far, they had been nothing but difficult towards her, N'ter excluded. It was that Yautja that spoke up on her behalf.
"She is right," he said carefully, facing the rest of the council as he took up a place between his son and El'is. "She's earned her mark and she stopped the abomination from spreading. She's earned her place in our society. I for one, support her."
El'is tried to push her heart out of her throat and calm herself down. She disliked the fact that they could read her so easily because she was warm-blooded. She smiled at N'ter gratefully though, happy that he took an official stand with her. The council looked at one another. Another member moved to stand next to N'ter. Then another, and another. It didn't take all that long before the council had been divided into two groups. The majority stood on El'is side though.
The one that had kept speaking growled lowly before straightening himself.
"The council has spoken. The human has been accepted," he forced out, though he was clearly displeased with the fact.
El'is broke into a huge smile, looking from one to the other. Life would finally be as it should now. She could start hunting for trophies now, and hang them in her own trophy-room. She could hunt with F'gath, M'rid and Vi'can. Vi'can... She looked at him and smiled warmly, getting a similar smile back. She could be with Vi'can.
El'is carefully climbed down the ladder. Once on the ground, she pressed a button, the ladder folding itself, much like Yautja spears did. She looked up. On the wall in front of her, a familiar skull was hanging. It had no eyes, but showed mandibles and a double mouth. Dreadlocks spread from it's face.
Next to it, a smooth skull decorated the wall. It was black in colour and had it's second mouth extended. Her first kills. She smiled proudly. An arm was wrapped around her shoulders. She put her hand on the hand holding her and looked sideways, into Vi'cans face.
"It's a nice start," M'rid commented on her other side. "You've got a lot of work to do though, before you can call yourself a decent hunter."
He laughed as El'is playfully punched his shoulder.
"Well, you won't have that skull," Vi'can said, pointing to the hybrid. "There's only been two. And those that killed them both live under this room. Heck, you can't even say you're dating one of them."
He chuckled before bending his face towards El'is, stroking her cheek with one of his mandibles tenderly. El'is smiled at him and wrapped an arm around his waist, leaning into him.
"None of you will ever fill your trophy-rooms if you keep babbling and cuddling," a voice said behind them. El'is turned and smiled at the one who had made all this possible. He was holding her mask, she noticed.
"Are you ready?" he asked, holding it out to her.
"I'm ready for everything," El'is said, leaving Vi'cans arm and taking her mask. She had never been happier.
((A/N: sequel anyone?
I thank you all for being such fantastic readers and reviewers. Your words have meant the world to me, and have made me find inspiration for the next chapter more than once.))