bigtomato and Rad Amber: Welcome to the final chapter, new readers!

Tsukkii: Well, in this chapter Ellis won't be like that anymore, sorry. It's a "Consequences of a night"-chapter after all.

yaya: Sure, Ellis might be a little more honest about her feelings in the show, but I still think what she did in the last chapter was... extraordinary. Yeah, Ricardo, Jody and L.A. would be nice, but I don't have time to write another story right now. Well, maybe another time.

Kiros Razer: Nice character study. As you can see in my FFs, I'm more a fan of Ellis starting their true relationship... yet in quite different ways. But maybe next time Nadie will have the honor, who knows?

Spikesagitta: Decision made. I'd say they both have changed a bit, but not as much as in the last chapter.

Thanks for all the comments! Maybe I'll write another one, although I don't have any plans right now... still, have fun with this chapter!

--

A changed relationship

When Ellis awoke, the bed next to her was empty. At first, still half-asleep, she didn't realize what that meant, because it was normal for her to wake up alone in a bed. But then she remembered the night before. And Nadie's absence hit her. She opened her eyes and looked around frantically. No, Nadie wouldn't leave her, never! She had been there for Ellis since they had met! It would take more than just Ellis' strange behavior last night to scare her away... wouldn't it?

But the red-haired girl was just sitting in her chair. She was already fully dressed, hiding most of her body from Ellis' gaze again. She was staring out of the window, not looking into Ellis' direction, although Ellis was sure that she was aware of her being awake. Her face was bare of all emotions. It seemed like she just didn't... want to look at Ellis.

„Nadie?"

Ellis' voice had been quiet, carefully searching for a sign of Nadie being alright. But the girl continued to stare outside. Ellis felt a short, hot knife of guilt inside of her chest. This was her doing.

„Nadie? Are you... ok?"

No reaction. Still, now that she took a better look on Nadie's face... it didn't seem like the girl had fled the world because of an overwhelming pain. Ellis knew this kind of face very well. She had worn it for years. And Nadie's eyes were alive... she might be lost in thoughts or simply too angry at Ellis to answer her, but she was still HERE. That thought comforted Ellis, although she was still worried about Nadie's strange... cold... behavior.

„Nadie, you are scaring me" Ellis exclaimed a little louder, but then her voice became quiet again. „Please say something... anything!"

She waited some more painfully silent moments, but just as she thought that Nadie wouldn't respond again, the girl said something. Her voice was blank... not really cold, more like if Nadie didn't want to show any feelings right now.

„You were very different" Nadie told her, still not looking at her. Somehow this made her voice sound worse... uninterested, simply stating a fact. „Last night."

Ellis didn't reply. These words made her sad... now she was sure that she HAD hurt Nadie. But the girl was talking to her, and she didn't want her to stop. Everything was better than silence.

„And it wasn't because of your powers" Nadie continued. „It was your own free will. Wasn't it, Ellis?"

„I just wanted to help you, Nadie" Ellis muttered. She lowered her head. How naive she had been! She had thought that making Nadie confess her love for her would make both of them happy. When Nadie had thanked her last night, Ellis had been sure that the girl had forgiven her the... extraordinary treatment Ellis had put her through. But now something new was between them... something colder.

Out of the tail of her eyes she caught Nadie shooting a glance at her, but when she looked up, the girl was already staring out of the window again. „You DID help me, Ellis... somehow." A short pause. „You were right, hiding my feelings deep inside wasn't a good thing to do. But the way how you helped me..." She broke off.

„But you would have avoided me otherwise" Ellis claimed, trying not to sound accusing. The last thing she wanted was offending Nadie and ending their talk. „You just would have changed the topic or left the room."

Nadie closed her eyes and lowered her head. „Maybe you are right" she admitted. Nothing more.

Ellis pushed her blanket away and sat up, turning around her body until she was looking directly into Nadie's direction. „Nadie, I don't like you being so offhand with me" she said. „Please just tell me what's wrong. Are you mad at me? Do you want us..." She broke off, realizing what she had been about to say. She swallowed and finished the sentence, sounding much more vulnerable. „Do you want us to split up?"

That was a frightening thought. Last night Ellis hadn't been afraid... because the night was her domain. The night was a time of privacy... intimacy. The world and other people weren't important at night... just she and Nadie were. And she was very good at sensing Nadie's feelings and needs... or so she had thought. But now it was daytime... Nadie's domain. And now Nadie was reflecting, how Ellis had changed their relationship to the world around them. How Ellis had changed HER. Ellis wasn't one to think about consequences. She had always been relying on Nadie for that. But now she had hurt Nadie while trying to help her... and the consequences, which came to her mind now, were frightening.

Nadie sighed, her eyes still closed. She folded her arms in front of her chest. „No, Ellis" she calmed the blonde girl down. „I don't want us to split up. I told you that I love you... and I mean it. I won't leave you after telling you this."

„But why are you so... so unapproachable then, Nadie?" Ellis asked the other girl. Her voice sounded desperate in her own ears, and she felt her eyes getting wet. „This isn't how love should be... it's so lonely... and cold."

Nadie turned around along with the chair. She crossed her legs and opened her eyes, facing Ellis. Her eyes were strong again, not full of sadness and fear like yesterday... but she had never looked at Ellis THAT way. It was a stern look. A look for wrongdoers. Ellis shrinked involuntarily.

„You only know the pretty side of love, Ellis" she lectured the other girl. „Maybe I should have told you before, but I didn't think it was necessary. Love is not just about kissing and laughing. Love sometimes also means pain, struggle and hurt... and time. Time to rebuild the mutual trust between two people. Sometimes these things can make the love even stronger... but sometimes they are enough to destroy the love."

„No!" Ellis burst out, crossing her hands in front of her chest. It was aching... aching like when the professor had been shot. Not actually hurting yet, but promising upcoming loneliness... and pain. „Please, Nadie! Just tell me, what I need to do to regain your trust! I'll do it!"

Nadie's glance became a little more understanding... or pitying? „Ellis, it isn't like that... I guess, I have to tell you, WHY your actions shocked me THAT much." She sighed and looked up to the ceiling. „I think when we met Miguel, I told you that I've been working in restaurants and inns in my youth, right?" When Ellis nodded, she continued. Her face was very serious now: „Well, but you don't know why. I had to find work, because my parents were killed in a bandit attack on my village. I was 11 years old back then."

Ellis heart cramped. „Nadie..."

„I told you to listen, Ellis" Nadie interrupted sternly. There seemed to be hardly any sadness in her voice. Either she was hiding it... or she was resigned to these events. „It wasn't such a bad time... I had to work, yes, but I had enough money to make a living. And most of the guests weren't TOO rude... well, until that day..." Nadie's lips tightened for a moment. „They were a small gang... the moment they came in my boss knew they meant trouble. Guns, bad manners, willing to get drunk... She told me to be extra careful. And I was. I tried to stay away from them while not being unfriendly... unfortunately I seemed to be to their liking. I was still very young... 14 I think... and my uniform was made to accentuate female features, although I didn't really have those back then. Well, to make things short, they got quite drunk, and they started making dirty jokes... and grabbing my bottom."

Until now Ellis had just felt sorry for Nadie... Ellis herself hadn't had a nice childhood, but at least there had been the professor, although he hadn't shown any affection for her for quite some time... but Nadie had had no one. And unlike Ellis she had continued living. Nadie had been strong... the feature about her Ellis admired most. But when Ellis heard about these... dirty men, she got angry. The thought of them TOUCHING Nadie, when she didn't want to be touched, debasing Nadie's strength and pride, made Ellis' blood boil. How DARED...?

Nadie didn't seem to enjoy the memory either, her mouth was a bitter line. But she was too caught up in it to notice Ellis' change of mood... or the rising temperature around the girl. „Then a man walked in" Nadie continued. „He was obviously a stranger, and a special one... the way he looked around, how he seemed to analyze each person in the room with a single glance... it was the most intense gaze I had ever seen. For a moment there was a deep silence, then he went to the bar and everyone started talking again... quieter though. The gang didn't seem to like him. They paid and left the inn immediately. I was thankful for that, even if the man was scary."

Nadie's look became harder. Ellis could tell that the climax of the story was near. „When worktime was over, I left the inn" Nadie told her. „I wasn't living there, but my flat wasn't that far away. It was a quiet town, there had never been a reason to worry about walking home at night alone before. But... the gang hadn't left town, like I had thought. They had been waiting for me. Suddenly I was dragged into a side road and pressed against a wall. When I heard them laugh, I immediately knew it was them."

Ellis put her hand on her chest and clenched it, nearly ripping the fabric of her dress. Her eyes were wet again, but she forced herself to remain silent. Whatever Nadie wanted her to hear, Ellis deserved it.

„I wasn't totally helpless" Nadie announced, but her voice wasn't as calm as she wanted it to sound. „When they forced me around, I kicked and I hit something very precious to men... but even with one down, there were still three of them. They were drunk, so I was able to land one or two more hits, but then they forced me to the ground... and suddenly a knife appeared next to my head." A quiet wail escaped Ellis' throat, but Nadie didn't hear it. Her grip around her own arms tightened involuntarily. „They told me that they wouldn't kill me, as long as I didn't scream. They told me that I might even enjoy it... after all they were quite experienced." She clenched her teeth for a moment. „Their breath smelled awful. And in the darkness they looked even more terrifying than before. All I wanted was to get away as far as possible, but I was helpless... they had pinned me to the ground, my arms and legs in tight grips. And then one of them... forced my legs apart... and lowered himself down on me."

Ellis was shocked. She hadn't known about rape before. The professor hadn't had a reason to teach her the facts of life, and the old woman, who had told Nadie to protect Ellis, had only given her some basic warnings about men... but she now she understood these warnings! She was still too naive to know, what these men would have exactly done to Nadie... she knew much about romantic love, but the only things about sex she actually knew were the glimpses of sexual attraction she had been feeling in the weeks before, especially last night. But she knew from Nadie's story that the men would have done SOMETHING to Nadie that she would have hated. They would have forced this independent and strong girl to obey them. And it was still bothering her today, as she could see in Nadie's tense posture. Ellis even felt... dirty, as she imagined a drunk, brawny man lowering himself down on a younger Nadie, whatever he would have done. She covered her mouth with her hand to prevent her sobs from escaping.

Nadie threw her a quick look. She relaxed a bit. „I'm not sure if you know what these men would have done to me... and I don't think you SHOULD know. Let's just say it would have made me feel awful... for a long time. But they had no time to do it. Suddenly the man above me was shot in the head. Right in front of my eyes. I didn't even realize the other men were killed too in the following seconds, all I could see was this dead guy falling on me, covering my face in blood." Nade made a short pause, watching Ellis' tears. „The next thing I know is this strange man freeing me from the corpse... he was a bounty hunter, who had been looking for this gang. I was scared to death... he simply put his gun away and waited until I had calmed down a little. He told me that he had been hunting these men for a while... that they were robbers and murderers. I was still shaky and frightened, but he brought me back to the inn." Nadie closed her eyes, but when she opened them, her gaze was softer than before. „When he came back to the inn on the next day, I asked him to teach me handling a gun. He seemed to be impressed that I had recovered so fast. I told him that there was no one to protect me, and after some bargaining he taught me the basics before he left. A short time later I left the inn too... and two or three years later I was a bounty hunter... hunting men like those of this gang."

Nadie stopped. For a short time there was no noise in the room except Ellis' sobs. Nadie seemed to wait for Ellis to say something, but it was hard. She would have never thought...

„I did the same!" Ellis suddenly exclaimed. She lowered her head, still trying to fight the tears. „Oh Nadie, I did the same thing... like those men! I pinned you down and grabbed your hands, forcing you to listen to me..." She broke off. She had hurt Nadie so much, waking these memories. Oh, if she had just known...

She somehow heard the steps, but she didn't realize what they meant. Her mind was clouded by shame and regret. So when Nadie sat down next to her, pressed Ellis' head on her chest and laid her head on Ellis' hair, Ellis was completely confused. Wasn't Nadie angry at her for waking these memories?

„You are not like these men, Ellis" Nadie told her. Her voice wasn't as gentle or amused as usual, when she spoke with Ellis, but Ellis calmed down nonetheless. All that mattered was that Nadie wasn't angry... although she didn't know why. „You could never be like them. You wanted to HELP me... you just used the same methods as them. That's why I wanted to break free so desperately... and at least partially why I was so relucant to tell you about my feelings. Your behavior unconsciously reminded me of these men."

„Oh god, Nadie, I'm so sorry!" Ellis burst out, hugging the other girl back. She started crying again, although not as hard as before. „I brought back all this pain to you..."

„No, Ellis, that's not true" Nadie assured her, caressing Ellis' hair. „I told you, they didn't have time to hurt me... not really... and I got over it long ago. It's just..." She stopped running her fingers through Ellis' hair. „... you did something I would have never expected of you. Used... methods... I thought you couldn't even imagine. That's what scared me much more than the memories of these men... that's what I was still scared of when you woke up today. You are such a gentle, innocent girl, Ellis, often acting like a child... but not last night. Last night you acted like an adult. Like a whole different person."

Ellis pressed her head tighter against Nadie's chest. „That's not true" she whispered. „I didn't act like an adult... I acted like a child. I thought if I just made you realize your feelings, everything would be fine again."

„You are right" Nadie agreed. She sounded thoughtful. „You were thinking like a child, but acting like an adult." She shoved Ellis away from her gently, but kept her hands on the girl's shoulders. She smiled reassuringly. „I'm not mad at you, Ellis... you just should be more careful with important things and topics like that next time. You are growing up now, but you still don't know many things about adults. Although..." Suddenly her smile changed into a grin. „... you didn't sound sad ALL the time yesterday. Sometimes you seemed to be... excited."

Ellis lowered her head. „I'm sorry" she mumbled. „I don't know what happened... maybe you were right and my powers got out of control. I couldn't think of anything else but your lips and how they would feel on mine, and my body grew hot and I could sense so much more things than before..."

„Shh, shh, Ellis" Nadie interrupted her, sounding definitely amused now. „That weren't your powers... it was you growing up, like I said. These things were an emotion adults experience sometimes... lust." Nadie grinned again. „It seems that you are attracted to my body too, not just my personality. I should feel honored, I guess. When you were thinking of my lips, you wanted to kiss me."

„K-kiss?" Ellis asked, opening her eyes wide. „But... when you want to kiss someone, you should think about the eyes, about the hair and about gentle hands..." Ellis blushed. „Not about lips and... skin."

Nadie chuckled. „This is only for kisses in crappy romance novels, Ellis" she told the other girl, finally letting go of Ellis' shoulders. „Real kisses can be very different... and especially when you lust after someone, then you often think of your partner in a... primal way. It's completely natural. Mostly when that happens, your body wants more than just a romantic kiss..." Nadie grinned again, especially cheeky this time. „And it seems you like to be on top." Ellis felt quite confused and uneasy in this moment, and Nadie seemed to have mercy on her. She stopped teasing, took Ellis' hands in her own ones and became serious again. „Would you look at that?" she said, maybe speaking to herself. „Just an hour ago I was still scared that you could awake as a different person than you are now... and now you are so irresistably cute again, Ellis."

„Cute?" Ellis asked, being disappointed. Was that all she was for Nadie? Did Nadie just love her because Ellis was... cute?

„Yes, cute" Nadie said. Then she put her hand on Ellis' cheek. „Or beautiful... or funny... or elegant... say what you want to be, Ellis." She looked deeply into Ellis' eyes. „Because I'm so hopelessly in love with you that I'd say anything you want to hear."

Ellis blushed again. It was like she had thought... at night she had been in total control, of the actions and the words... and now in daylight Nadie was the dominant one. „So... everything is alright?" she asked shyly. „Between us?"

Nadie pulled her hand back. „Well..." she began. „I would be glad, if we could forget about last night, Ellis."

„Oh" Ellis made. Her happiness changed into sadness in a second. So it HAD been too much... Nadie didn't want their relationship to change... even if she loved her. She should have known. Nadie loved to be free. „I understand."

Nadie noticed her change of mood of course. She laid her hand on Ellis', smiling. „Not everything of course" she put Ellis' mind at rest. „I could never forget what I said to you... I just want more time... to get to know you better, Ellis. The whole you, not just the cute girl. The aggressive you, the wise you, the naughty you... I want to make sure that I love each facet of you..." Her eyes twinkled. „...when we share a bed again."

A wave of relief warmed Ellis' body. She smiled at Nadie... a true, honest smile. „So you won't be mad... if I want to kiss you sometime?"

Nadie wagged a finger and told her in a fake stern voice: „What did I say about getting to know each other better, Ellis?" When Ellis flinched, she laughed and cupped Ellis' cheeks in her hands. She moved her head forward, her forehead touching Ellis'. „I'm just kidding. Of course I would like you to kiss me again... although the night wasn't all too pleasant, your kiss was incredible, Ellis. Just don't do it right in public, if you can manage... people can be strange about these things."

„Ok."

There was a moment of silence between them, comfortable silence this time. Then Ellis felt a similar feeling to the one Nadie had described... lust? Her senses became sharper, or no... focused on Nadie, intensifying the sensations of their skin touching and Nadie's strong, exciting smell. She felt her heart beating faster. Although her eyes were closed right now, she could see Nadie's slightly parted lips in her mind. They seemed to call her name. The urge wasn't as strong as last night, but it was definitely the same kind of emotion.

„Nadie?" she breathed. „We are alone right now."

She could practically FEEL Nadie grinning. „So it seems", the redhead answered.

Nadie didn't make it easy for her. „You said we could kiss, when we are alone."

Nadie pulled her head back, looking into Ellis' eyes, her hands still staying on Ellis' cheeks. „Do you want to kiss me again, you naughty witch?" she asked teasingly. Her voice sounded calm, but Ellis thought she could hear a slight undertone of eagerness it it.

Ellis pouted. „Don't call me that" she chided Nadie. Then she became serious. Her hands found Nadie's, squeezing them. „No, Nadie... I want YOU to kiss ME. If you want to."

Nadie raised an eyebrow and pulled her hands back. „Last night you were a little more... imperious" she told the other girl, still smiling.

„I know" Ellis muttered. „Nadie... I think I owe you this kiss... because of that unpleasant memory."

Nadie grimaced. „Well... I guess I could use a new nice memory to wash that one away" she said. She put her hands on Ellis' shoulders and pulled the other girl closer, until their faces nearly touched each other. Her eyes were glowing. Just looking at them caused Ellis' body to become hotter... and Nadie's hoarse voice wasn't helping. „But it would have to be a... REALLY nice memory."

„I'll do my best" Ellis whispered, closing her eyes and pursing her lips.

She didn't know what to expect, but since she had been the dominant one last night, she expected Nadie's lips to be as aggressive and wild as hers had been, trying to fulfill the passion inside of her frantically. But as Nadie's lips touched hers, it was a painfully slow process, starting as the touch of a butterfly's wings and slowly adding pressure. Ellis moaned in protest, Nadie was driving her crazy, but the girl didn't care. She continued to massage Ellis' lips thoroughly, taking her time to explore each millimeter of her skin. And then, suddenly, the passion inside of Ellis vanished. This was a whole different art of kissing, full of tenderness and love, not of fire and passion... and it wasn't worse than her kiss last night. Not at all. While her kiss had filled her whole body with heat and pleasure, Nadie's loving kiss seemed to make her feelings for Nadie grow, making her feel lightheaded and taking her into a realm of white bliss. She felt like her soul was touching Nadie's, dancing with her.

When Nadie finally wanted to end the kiss, Ellis didn't agree. She pushed her tongue against Nadie's lips, pleading for entrance, which seemed to surprise Nadie a bit. But then her own tongue greeted Ellis' and they playfully tried to find a way into the other's mouth. Ellis felt like she was flying. Even now this kiss wasn't as passionate as hers last night... it was nearly a ritual of merging two parted beings into one again. Their movements were still slow, enjoying each touch to the fullest, reaching new heavens with each movement of the lips and tongues. Ellis hardly noticed that she was running out of breath.

Suddenly Nadie pushed her away and both of them started panting heavily. Respect... and amusement... and desire were visible in Nadie's eyes, while they were both trying not to die from breathlessness.

„I thought this... was MY kiss, Ellis" Nadie said, still inhaling air. Her lips tried to form a grin. „But in the end... you were quite forceful."

„It was a... wonderful kiss, Nadie... But it was our second first kiss" Ellis told her, slowly getting her breathing under control. She smiled back. „I wanted it to be something special."

Nadie pulled her in a hug again, as tender as her kiss had been. „It was, Ellis" she whispered. „It was definitely special. I love you."

Warmth filled Ellis body, different from the one she had felt last night... a soothing, gentle warmth, not the flames of passion. She hugged Nadie back, smiling like she never had before. „I love you too, Nadie" she answered the girl. „I'm so happy!"

Ellis didn't know how long they kept up this embrace, and she didn't really care. But as with the kiss it was Nadie, who ended it. „Come on", she told Ellis, rubbing her nose against the nose of the blonde girl playfully. „I'd love to continue this as much as you do, but I don't wanna rush things... how about we go and eat some tacos and leave town then?... I want to feel the wind in my hair again."

Ellis beamed with joy. She saluted. „Yes sir!" She was glad that the rest of their life wouldn't change... as she had told Roberto and Nina, she loved to see the freedom in Nadie's eyes. She was sure now, that their love would grow stronger, as Nadie had said. And that, one day, they would both... want to share more than a kiss. And whom of them would be „on top" then... well, who could say?

--

That was a long chapter! But now this story is finished too. What do you think?