A/N: "Yay! The last chapter!" (breaks open a bottle of champagne) "Have fun reading this. I'm kind of sad the story's over, but it's been begging for an ending for such a long time. Got a few surprises in here. Also, the song Dawn sings at the end is "To be Loved By You" by Wynona Judd, and I think you'll recognize it from "Eclipse", the first Dawn and Klaus story I wrote. Hugs to you all who review!
The day of the wedding dawned cool and bright. Everyone decided to do the wedding outside during the morning to keep it from being uncomfortably hot. Dawn eyed the clouds rolling in from the west with some trepidation. Would it rain them out?
She examined herself in the mirror. She liked this dress much better than the one John had picked out. It fit her comfortably and made her look slimmer despite the baby belly that was poking out. Her veil did not cover her face because she found that bothersome. Her bouquet was a mixture of red roses and white daisies. Hanne had a white lacy dress on also, but it didn't look as much like a wedding dress. Jaegar and Klaus wore matching suits. Everyone could definitely tell that they were a family. Ann was going to be the maid of honor, Jaegar, the ring-bearer, and Hanne, the flower-girl.
Dawn took a deep breath as she stood in front of the mirror. She hoped that things were going to get back to normal, or at least what passed for normal around here. Klaus's sword rested in the corner of the bedroom of their new house. It glinted in the morning sunlight that was trying to overcome the ominous clouds.
"I guess I'd better get out there," Dawn mumbled.
She did not notice the figure sitting cross-legged on the bed, nor the other figure leaning against the back of a chair as she left.
"She looks Heavenly," John commented.
Gabriel folded his arms.
"Yes, she does. You do realize that you're going to have to behave yourself if you want a second chance, right?"
John looked guiltily at the floor.
"Yes," he mumbled.
"Are you sure you covered your tracks well enough?" Gabriel asked him.
"Yes, I did," John said sourly, "Klaus will never find out that Lady Van Tassel buried all that gold beside where his tree was. The only thing they know is that they got the money from an unnamed source. Pity they didn't find it BEFORE the Hessian came back to life. I think it would have proven quite useful."
It had taken him forever to dig the gold out even with his newfound powers. On top of that, he'd had Gabriel chiding him to work harder and to work faster. Along with Gabriel, Hanne had also been there, chewing him out for having bothered the couple earlier. The woman's Irish accent became hard to decipher when she talked so fast.
What had compelled him to change? It wasn't sure. Maybe it was seeing Dawn nearly die as she was transported back to the surface. Maybe it was his conscience finally kicking in when he thought of her potentially bereaved husband and her two heartbroken children that were waiting above. Maybe it was the part of him that still wanted to be good. He had not been a godly man since he left seminary school. He would never be a man of the Word again for what he'd done. But he wanted to do something, for the guilt was overwhelming.
In his own twisted way, he would always love Dawn.
As he'd watched her in front of the mirror, he'd seen the two souls in one body. The spirit of the baby girl, bright, white, and pure rested inside her womb. She'd be born happy and healthy if nothing interfered with it. He vowed he would not let anyone else hurt Dawn and Klaus the way he had.
"Well," Gabriel said, "let's not just sit here and mope over a lost cause. We have a wedding to attend to, my student."
John sighed and got up from the bed, being careful to smooth out the imprint he'd made.
"Let's go," he said resignedly, trying to conjure up some genuine happiness.
"I do," Dawn said affectionately.
"Excellent. I know pronounce you man and wife, even though that was probably the case before you got here," the preacher said, "you may kiss the bride."
Dawn's breath caught in her throat.
This is silly. I've kissed him thousands of times and it still feels like the first time, she thought. Just as their lips met, a thunderstorm broke loose over everyone, showering them. The women, squealing and shouting, ran inside. Dawn and Klaus ignored the rain completely even though the preacher left, too. Hanne and Jaegar danced in circles in the rain.
When the two lovers finally came up for air, they were laughing.
"Let's go," Dawn said, her stomach rumbling, "I didn't eat anything this morning and I'm starving for some cake."
At the mention of cake, Jaegar and Hanne eagerly went with them.
The party lasted into the wee hours of the morning. Ichabod and Katrina carried the children to bed as the guests became tipsy off of cake and champagne. Dawn's iPod was playing cheerfully, plugged into the speakers and sitting on the mantle of the fireplace. No one even noticed that the guests of honor were gone and the gifts with them.
Dawn cuddled up with Klaus in their new bed. The German man was the picture of contentment: he was smiling ear to ear.
"What a day," Dawn mumbled, stretching out beside him, "what a year, what a lifetime."
"If anyone had told me where I'd be this time eight years ago, I would have laughed my head off, then called the psych ward to come and get them. And you know what? It doesn't seem like it's been eight years."
"No, it does not," he agreed.
Outside, the summer crickets were playing their own music. Fireflies flashed their yellow-green glow as they drifted on the breeze. Dawn's mind drifted back to the clearing so long ago...it had been a night like this.
"Let the mountains rise,
I will climb them all,
when my body's weak,
I will not fall,
call my name,
I'll find a way to get through...
there's nothing that I won't do..."
She paused to look into Klaus's electric blue eyes, the ones that still sent chills down her spine...
"To be loved by you."