Authors note- *cries* This is officially the last chapter. *cries again* I think this is my favorite chapter because it pretty much sums up everything. Sometimes letting go is harder than you think. (This chapter takes place a few years later) By the way, check out my newest story if you want to. Yes, it includes Ice Age. Actually, it's a crossover between Ice Age and The Lion King. So, please read it, your reviews are always appreciated.
I guess you could say a lot of things have changed these past few years. Little Peaches is all grown up. She had moved on in life, leaving her heard for another. Yup you guessed it. She found a perfectly good mate and it was her time to go. It was not easy to say goodbye for Manny and Ellie. You could tell by the look in their eyes. The sadness. The sorrow. But they didn't expect her to stay with them forever. They had to learn to let go.
Dakota looks at her cubs now, and she realizes their no longer cubs. Fully grown, strong, and confident. She knew their separation was soon to come. It seems like just yesterday she was teaching them to hunt.
"Okay, boys. The most important thing there is when it comes to hunting is patience." Dakota explained. Oliver and Todd had their eyes locked on a rabbit a couple yards away "When your ready to make your attack always remember-"
Todd roared which made the rabbit perk up. It took off running with Todd right on his tail.
"-to keep quiet" she finished her sentence, narrowing her eyes
Todd trotted back over to them with the dead rabbit in his mouth. He had a rather proud smirk on his face which made Oliver huff.
"What a showoff…" Oliver sighed "Who am I kidding? Todd really is a better hunter than I am"
"Nonsense. You just need more practice." She quickly scanned the open field and spotted Sid.
"Dakota? Oliver? Todd? Where are you guys?" He called
Dakota smirked "Alright. Here is your moment of glory. Your target: Sid"
Oliver giggled and nodded. He crouched low to the ground, following her orders. Without making a sound, he began running towards his pray. Dakota grinned as he pounced onto Sid, pinning him to the ground.
"Spare me!" Sid pleaded. But when he opened his eyes, he realized it was just Oliver. He faked a chuckle "I thought you were really going to eat me for a second"
Oliver smirked "I don't eat junk food" Like father like son
Oliver and Todd were hunting together when a strange sent filled their noses. They looked around and saw two female sabers- probably sisters. They were sharpening their claws on a tree. That is, until they realized they were being watched. At first, they looked at them with great caution. But as the silent seconds pasted, they managed to greet them with a friendly "Hello"
* * *
Dakota was sunbathing with Diego close next to her. It was late in the day and the sun was extremely warm.
"Whatcha doing?" Oliver asked
"Sunbathing" She replied, her eyes still closed
"Oh. Having fun?"
"Oh. How much fun?"
She opened her eyes and sighed "Alright. You have my attention. What's up?"
"We have a serious question to ask you guys"
Diego and Dakota looked at each other confused at first. But then they noticed the female sabers in the background and they knew where this was going.
"They have a pack settled not far away and they offered for us to go with them" Todd explained
"If you let us go, we promise to visit" Oliver said, trying to sweeten up the deal
Dakota frowned at first, trying to hold back the tears. Crying was not in her vocabulary. She forced a smiled and spoke slowly "I want you to be happy. If you want to go with them… I'm not going to stop you"
Diego looked at her in shock for a moment. She was just going to give them up? But then he remembered her situation. Oliver and Todd wanted the same thing Dakota wanted: Independence and freedom. He knew she was doing the right thing and he nodded in agreement.
The sabers smiled and began to walk away. But they forgot to do one last thing. Oliver and Todd embraced with their mother one last time. "Take care of yourselves" Dakota said. They grinned and nodded
Oliver turned to Diego "Make sure she stays out of trouble"
"Dakota staying out of trouble? Yeah right" Diego teased
She smirked. No matter how many years pass, Dakota will always be Dakota.
And with that, they left. They approached the females, smiles appearing instantly on their faces. Dakota watched them until they were out of sight. She watched them until they were completely gone.
* * *
Later that night, Diego could hear his mate quietly sobbing to herself. It took Dakota a second or two to even realize he was next to her. She quickly stopped crying and looked away.
"I'm not crying." She mumbled "I just have… allergies. I think I'm allergic to Sid"
"You miss them" Diego stated the obvious
"No. I should be happy they left. Did you see how trilled they looked? Just give them a few females and their hypnotized"
He chuckled "You should be proud. If I do say so myself, you raised them very well"
"We raised them very well" she corrected him "I just… feel so alone now"
"You are not alone. You have me… and I will always be by your side."
She grinned and licked him on the cheek "You always know how to make me feel better you big softy"
"I'm only a softy around you. I think it's some kind of female hypnosis." He looked around to make sure no one was listening "Just don't tell anyone"
"Your secrets safe with me, Diego"
Dakota nuzzled up against him, taking in as much comfort as possible. As much as she hated to admit it, her job was done. She and Diego successfully raised Oliver and Todd from cubs into independent adults. It was hard to say goodbye. They didn't expect it to be easy. But they had to learn to accept it. They had to learn to let go.