So here we are - the last chapter of this tale. I actually prefer this version of the story to the first time I wrote it (so maybe my memory stick failure was a blessing) and I think I end it a little better this time around. Anyway we're back to Kara's POV (mostly) and it's just a case now of Kara and Lee sorting things out; finding out what's wrong with Kara and just who was Top Gun - so not too much to ram into this chapter... Anyway on with the show. Enjoy!!!

It Shouldn't Be Easy.

Chapter 9.

This time when she woke up Kara felt a little better. It wasn't followed by the anticipated disappointment because this time she knew she wasn't alone. She could feel him holding her hand; knowing it was him without having to look and she smiled internally as she realized he'd finally kept his promise to her. The conversation with the doctor came back to her and she shivered as she lay there; larger parts of what he'd said were now more memorable and she wished she could go back to a time when she couldn't remember them. She needed a distraction so she turned her head and saw Lee sitting at her bedside; asleep and looking very uncomfortable as he slept awkwardly in the chair. His fingers were wrapped around hers and she felt at peace for the first time in a long time. She squeezed his hand gently in hers and his eyes opened almost immediately; meeting hers with their usual intensity. "Hi," she whispered. "You stayed." The joy in her voice couldn't be mistaken as anything else by either of them.

He smiled as he heard the relief in her voice. "I did. I said I would… and I know I've said that before but there was no way I was going to leave this time." He squeezed her hand as he spoke and then paused and seemed to be deciding something. "I need to talk to you, Kara. I need to explain what happened… the last time. I know it's late and I should've told you why earlier but there never seemed to be a right time." He looked at her face expecting the same rejection he'd had before.

"I know, Lee… I heard you talking to Karl earlier." He stared at her as she spoke. "I'm so sorry I didn't give you a chance to explain when you first came back."

"You didn't do anything I didn't deserve."

"Yes I did. I should have let you talk to me."

He interrupted her. "And I should've left you a note; an explanation for why I went. I'm so sorry."

"I know."

"I never realized when I left that I wouldn't be back in a couple of hours. I thought I'd be able to make it up to you when I got back. I should have woken you before I went. I was planning on coming back." Kara squeezed his hand gently.

"Stop beating yourself up, Lee. You did what you thought was right at the time." She shifted on the bed a little; wincing again as pain spread through her body. "How are you?"

He laughed briefly. "Shouldn't I be asking you that?"

"Stop avoiding the question." Suddenly it was as if nothing had changed between them; all the pain and hurt of the last few weeks was gone – for her anyway. "Tell me, Lee."

"I feel let down I guess. I hate the fact she did it. What would've happened if I hadn't got there when I did? What if Zak hadn't called me?" Her thumb was brushing the back of his hand and it gave him some comfort and a slight distraction. "I shouldn't be laying this on you now."

"Don't be silly. I wouldn't want it any other way."

"I just feel a little selfish. Is there anything I can do for you?"

It was her turn to pause as she considered whether she could ask him. "Actually can you do me a favor?" She said softly.

He smiled at her; hoping he knew what she was going to ask. "Of course."

"Can you hold me?" she whispered. His hand tightened on hers and he got to his feet eagerly. She shuffled back on her bed; the pain a sharp spike through her as she moved so there was enough room for him to lie next to her. Fortunately he didn't seem to notice; or at least he didn't comment on it. Soon he was there and he had his arms wrapped around her body. She felt like she was home and she snuggled into him further; desperately ignoring the pain she was feeling; not all of it physical. He kissed the top of her head and brushed his hand down her back; feeling her body shake slightly in his arms.

"Do they know what happened? Why you blacked out?" Her throat dried and she closed her eyes in pain. She couldn't lie to him; she had to tell him. She nodded against his shoulder. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to."

"I want to… and I don't want to." She turned her head so she could meet his eyes. "I don't want you to hate me when I do; to think less of me."

"That couldn't happen, Kara."

"You haven't heard what I'm going to say yet. Don't make promises you may not be able to keep."

"I've finished doing that." His hand brushed the side of her cheek. "It won't happen." He repeated softly; bringing tears to her eyes. He sounded so certain and she wished she totally believed him.

She couldn't talk for several minutes and the room fell to silence as Lee let her take the time she needed. "I was pregnant." She finally whispered. "I didn't know, Lee. I had no idea." She added; in a rush to make sure he knew it was as much a surprise to her as it was to him.

"Pregnant?" His heart clenched as he realized what she was saying. He hadn't ever thought about being a father but the idea of it happening with Kara wasn't that appalling to him. Her words wound through his head again and this time he really heard them. "Was?" She shut her eyes as the pain of seeing him absorb what she'd told him became too much for her. He also felt the pain of his previous thoughts suddenly shattered and he tightened his hold on her again.

"I had a miscarriage." She could barely say the last word. His arms pulled her closer to him and again his lips brushed against her hair and stayed there; comforting her more than she thought it would. The tears came then and he held her in his arms; his hands brushing up and down her spine; the shaking of her body rattling the whole bed. After what seemed like forever the shaking stopped and he wondered if she was still awake. Her hand was moving on his chest though and he realized she hadn't fallen asleep.

"I thought… well I didn't think it could happen… I thought…" He couldn't say it because he knew it would sound like an accusation and that was the last thing she needed to hear. The last thing he wanted to say to her. Now wasn't the time to blame anyone; it wasn't anyone's fault. It was just a tragedy they were both sharing.

"Apparently it's not foolproof. I shouldn't have got pregnant but I did. I'm so sorry, Lee."

"You didn't do anything."

"I should've been looking after myself. If I had, maybe I wouldn't have lost it." Her fingers continued to brush his chest as she drew patterns on his shirt.

"Sometimes it's just not meant to happen." He regretted the words as soon he said them; feeling her flinch in his arms. "That came out wrong. I'm sorry. I want you to know that if you hadn't lost it, I would've been there for you, Kara. There for both of you. Maybe now just wasn't the right time. And I don't hate you. I wish I hadn't put you through the misery of the last few weeks; it's my fault you're here."

"It's not. Let's not start the blame game, Lee. Neither of us needs that. It won't change what's happened." And really she knew she was at fault more than anyone. She'd not taken care of herself since the break at all and that must be part of the reason for it happening; she knew it.

"I just wish things were different."

Her heart clenched when he said that and she knew they were edging into dangerous territory. She wasn't sure she felt strong enough to discuss that yet. "Is children something you've thought about?" Possibly not a better choice of conversation but it was the best she could do.

He was silent for a few minutes because it wasn't something he'd ever really thought about until she'd just asked. As he did he suddenly realized the extent of his feelings; he could've been a father. They could've had a child together. "I've not thought about it before but the idea doesn't sound so scary when I think about it now. Not if it was with you anyway." He looked down at her and saw him staring at her; tears refilling her eyes. "What about you?" he said; swallowing the lump that had formed in his throat.

"I never wanted children. I guess living with my mum and going through my childhood, the appeal was never there. I'm not sure if I know what being a good mother would even mean; or how to be one." Her words faded and she felt his eyes on her again; eyes she was unable to meet this time. Her voice was a whisper when she spoke again. "When the doctor told me about the miscarriage though it hit me; I didn't even know I could feel that way. I wished so strongly that I hadn't lost it; the thought of carrying your baby sounded pretty good." Her voice was barely audible but Lee heard every word and emotion it held.

He knew they both needed some time to regain control of their emotions so he changed the subject. "How long are they making you stay here? When will you be able to come back to class?"

"I think I'm going to be here for a couple of days. I'm not sure when I'll be back in class." She paused for a second. "Urghhh." She said suddenly.

"What?"

"I just realized that I'm going to have to face everyone when I get back. They're all going to ask me about what happened and speculate about it too."

"You don't have to tell them anything if you don't want to and you won't face it alone. You can do it with the second best pilot in the year… if you'll have me." He sounded so unsure of himself.

"Second best pilot?"

Lee smiled; not at all surprised she would focus of that part of what he'd said first. He'd expected nothing less. "You won; they posted the result just after you were taken to the Medical Center. Karl told me when we were first waiting to see you. He seemed quite proud of you; he's not the only one. I'm really proud of you. You deserved to win."

"I told you you'd be second best." There was a smirk on her face now and Lee knew it wouldn't have it any other way. He was also pleased he'd been able to distract her from her previous dark thoughts.

"You did." He paused and he knew he was going to have to ask her outright. "So about the other bit…?"

"Huh?"

"Me; facing them with you. Is that what you want?"

She stared at his face and saw the way he felt about her written across it so clearly. Still some doubt remained though and she had to check. "Do you?"

"More than anything." He whispered. His hand brushed her cheek before pulling her towards him so his mouth could meet hers in a gentle kiss. That was the initial plan anyway; of course that all changed as soon as his lips were on hers and it quickly built to something much more passionate than they should be doing in their current location. It was Kara that deepened it and Lee quickly responded. He loved her so much and he hoped she loved him as much.

She eventually pulled away from him slightly. "Does that answer your question?" She couldn't help but smile at the stunned expression on his face.

He kissed her again; holding her body against his so he could feel her; something he'd been missing since he'd left her. "I hope so." He finally said; his words hanging between them both as they lay side by side. "Because when I said you were mine and no one else's, I really meant it. Now and forever." His lips brushed against hers and Kara's heart was racing from what he'd just said so she took a couple of seconds to react to him. Soon they were both deeply involved in the kiss but Lee did pull away from her. "Get some rest, Kara. The sooner you do, the sooner we can get out of this place." He pulled her body against his and kissed the top of her head as she snuggled into him. "When you're released and you've recovered I've got some making up to do." He said softly. She shut her eyes; listening to his heart as it thudded evenly in his chest. "I'll be here when you wake up." He added; his hand brushing her back as she slowly fell asleep.

She smiled as he spoke because this time she believed him; this time she knew he'd still be there when she woke up. Just as she was about to fall asleep she realized her teacher from school had been right; nothing that's really worth it; should be easy. This definitely hadn't been easy.

THE END.

A/N: So there you go - what do you think? Do you like the end? I think there may be a sequel for this one - and once I've ascertained what I want to cover in it, I may start writing it sooner than I would've originally planned.

Also, I'm now rewriting the other story I had on the go (which may take a while to do but I have started and I'm actually quite enjoying doing it again) but having now planned it quite far passed what I had written it's taken a whole different angle than how I was originally going to write it so the end is now nowhere in sight and until I've got a majority of it written I won't post it (and by this I mean it written and it just need editing). Anyway, if inspiration strikes for a different story I'll post something else so keep on looking. Any ideas you want to shoot my way will be gratefully received - I seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment.

Thanks to everyone who reviewed this story (and any who choose to after reading this last chapter) - your reviews mean a great deal to me and help me with polishing the remaining chapters.