Pantheria: Origins Final Chapter A/N THANK YOU to my darling wifey Nikki. The wonderful woman that finished this fic for me. Lottie and the plot may be mine and Arkady might be Marvel's but this chapter and the last was written by Nikki with my permission. Thank you Wifey x "Arkady?" her soft voice was filled with panic. He turned to her, "Yes?" Her hands were over her stomach, "I think I'm pregnant." His eyes widened, "...What?" She bit her lip and repeated, "I think I'm pregnant." "Why? How?" He blinked in shock. The entire idea of being a father was a completely foreign one to him, especially now. She looked at him, her eyes wide and panicked, "I just realized it's almost been two months." His glass made a soft *clink* as it fell to the table. His eyes were wide. "Two months." She nodded. "Two months?" She nodded again, moving closer, "Do we have enough money for a doctor?" He blinked and moved away, grasping the box their shared stash was in and counting. He nodded slowly, "But just once..." "We need to know." He nodded again, grabbed her coat and handed it to her, and they left. - "Yes, you are in fact pregnant" the doctor, an older, Russian man, told Lottie as he moved around. He asked the usual questions, and though he gave the two odd looks on occasion, Lottie still clutched Arkady's hand for comfort. When the doctor left them, Arkady got her into her coat, "We must go. Trust me." She nodded and raced out with him, and by the time they'd returned home, she was in a full-blown panic. "A baby, Arkady. A baby. How are we going to take care of a baby? We have no money!" He went under the bed, producing a knife and putting it up his sleeve. He looked to her, "Calm down...I will be home later." She was too in shock to argue; simply sinking down onto the bed and placing her hand over her stomach. - When Arkady returned, she was asleep and once again, they barely had enough money to make it another month. He wanted to wake her; to tell her the love she felt for him was not worth the life they lead. As he moved toward her, he had the sinking feeling being apart would not help either of them or their child. Softly, he rested his hands over her stomach and closed his eyes. - By their count, it was eight months. She was round with pregnancy, glowing and beautiful, and both were overjoyed. He'd even stopped drinking in order to make sure she had more than enough food so their child could be strong. When she went into labor, it was sudden and unexpected, and even if they were happy, they still had nothing. He went out and stole an old fruit crate to serve as a cradle, returning with enough time to witness their baby's birth. Lottie had been in hours of labor, so when the baby came, it was a relief. "Luka..." The baby's cries weren't very loud, but he was a beautiful baby. They cleaned him, and wrapped him up, and Lottie held him for a bit before letting him lay in the fruit crate to rest. Very early on, they knew there was something wrong. Their baby was born with a weak heart, and spent his first and last days in the fruit crate that served as his bed. Both were devastated, though a measure of comfort came with the knowledge he'd died peacefully, and loved by both his parents who'd stayed by his side since his birth. After his burial, however, things changed between them. "I'm joining the army" he said one day, at random, between sips of vodka. She looked at him, "You're not serious." "I am. They could make use of me, and it would finally get us money." She shook her head, "I don't want to lose you for money. You've never trusted people, why start now?" "Because I'm being sent to Siberia tomorrow." She looked at him and his eyes met hers. She blinked and whispered, "So...is this...goodbye?" "No. I will be back. This is just me letting you know that I will do what it takes..." "I love you, Arkady. You know that." He reached across the table, took her hand and kissed it, "And I, you. I will be gone when you wake...I apologize." She nodded slowly. She knew if he'd told her earlier, he would've risked being talked out of it. - "Did you hear? They caught that one murderer...turns out it was that Rossovich man" one drunk slurred to another in Russian. Lottie sat up and blinked, listening intently. "They have leads on the other one." Lottie rose from the bar and tossed a little money down. The two drunks went silent, as if their vodka-addled brains really comprehended what they subconsciously knew. The bar was nearly silent except for the sound of her boot heels on the floor and the wind tearing the snow off the icy earth outside. She knew the only thing she really had left was to go back to England. She pulled up the collar of her coat as she stepped outside. Briefly, the wind carried her whisper, and in vain, she wished it would reach Arkady. "Do svidaniya." Fin