The screams of the other children sounded far away, even though she knew they couldn't be too far away. The rest of their ragtag group of terrified children was running towards her, but she didn't know how long she could hang on. She stared at the monster in disbelief, as the green stone turned red.
Was this supposed to be a bed?
She didn't know how long she lay there, everything ebbing away slowly. She was cold. So very, very cold. Vaguely, as if from very far away, she felt people crowding around her. There was screaming, and crying, and she heard someone say that there was nothing they could do about the wound, it was too deep.
She felt people grab her hands. She didn't know who they were. John and Rose were crying, and if she hadn't been bleeding to death, perhaps she would have tried to comfort them. As it was, she tried to speak, words bubbling in her chest, but instead of speech, blood spilled from her lips as she tried to speak and ended up gasping for air.
Why, Echidna? She had tried to help her, tried to save her along with the living denizens, and instead here she was, dying.
Someone flipped her over. There were many faces, some she was familiar with, some she had seen in dreams only, and some she had never seen but she knew all of them. Their facial expressions varied from shocked, to stunned, others hurt, some sad. Her chest hurt. And it wasn't because she'd just been stabbed there.
There was something warm dripping down her face. She wasn't sure if it was blood. It splashed onto the red stained stone, and she realized it was clear. Tears?
Was she crying?
Everything seemed so far away, but the last thing she saw was his face, before she finally slipped away on waves.
He was crying too.
The dream was a nasty way to wake up, in the middle of the night too. There were some memories from sburb she tried to block out forever. Dave's stunned face when the bullets tore through him. John ascending. Bec Noir howling like a wounded puppy when he died. His eyes. She could never forget his betrayed expression. This had always been a dream she'd had- she had lots of dreams, actually. Some had the guardians, some, things that never happened. But yet the reoccurring dream always had the same effect- she woke up, freezing cold. Crying. Like she was now.
But she just wiped away the tears. She was alive, she had people she loved and loved her back, she had friends that would last forever, and she had a future.
Dave was dead to the world. He had been since the baby was born- not theirs, John's and Rose's. They'd been staying over, which meant instead of them not getting any sleep, none of them got any sleep. Little Casey was a loud baby.
She didn't mind, though. The bubbly little girl was precious to her. Her own niece. Technically, Dave's as well, but Dave seemed rather awkward when he tried to deal with his twin sister's daughter. Especially after she threw up on him. Jade couldn't help but grin at the memory, and slid out from underneath the covers. She had something she wanted to do. Planting a quick kiss on his forehead, she snuck out of the room. She had to be quiet- she might be able to seep through a baby's wailing, but not the others. They needed to sleep.
The little girl was awake when she slipped into the nursery. John and Rose were passed out together in the guest room, leaving Jade and Casey awake, alone. The blonde little baby looked up as she closed the door behind her. She had amethyst eyes like her mother, intelligent, and yet capable of goofiness, like her father. She was perfect. And luckily for everyone else, she was quiet at the moment. There was a familiar looking, raggedy bunny in her crib, one she was clutching tightly as she cautiously approached the frilly crib-thingy.
Casey didn't protest, simply gurgled happily as her aunt picked her up. She buried her nose in the blonde curls that smelled like soap and baby powder as she cradled her against her chest, humming the lullaby she had always played on her flute, a thousand years, a lifetime ago.
"You're precious, you know that, Casey? You're surrounded by people who think you're the best thing in the world. No, the universe. No, existence! Even Dave, I promise. He's just not used to being around people that can see through his cool kid facade. Must be your mom's genes in you." She giggled at the thought, and smiled to herself as the baby cooed, unaware of everything they'd gone through.
"You're kind of a miracle! Besides Johns dad, none of us, not even our guardians, were born the normal way. You're the first! You're special. But you won't be the only one, we promise. Even though we're probably going to modify the DNA sequence so we can create other babies like you, but different, so they can grow up and have kids and what not! Without any weirdness going on!"
She paused for a moment and sighed. "Well, you may not understand a single thing I'm saying, but I like talking to you! And I have a feeling babies can understand a lot more than they let on! Like in that movie John showed me about the super smart babies. Maybe it's because I grew up with Bec, and he definitely knew a lot more than he let on.
"But, like I said, you won't be the only one. You'll have sisters and brothers and friends and family. And cousins." She lifted the girl above her head, laughing when the baby giggled. "Actually, you'll have your first cousin pretty soon! See that big bump under my shirt? That's another baby like you!" She gestured towards the swollen belly, and was pleased to see that her eyes looked down in recognition. She was a smart baby! Like mother, like daughter.
"And remember, we will always, always love you. And we'll be here for you for a long time, and you'll be there for your own babies. Promise."
She looked at the baby in her arms to find that Casey had drifted off to sleep. Oh well. Jade put her back into the pink woven mess of blankets, where she went back to cuddling her bunny. Soon, she'd be a toddler, and she'd be able to play with her cousin. It was just a matter of weeks now.
Slipping back into her room, she was surprised to find Dave sitting up in bed. Apparently, she'd been missed. "Were you off talking to the baby? You do know she can't understand you, right?"
"I don't believe that."
"You're a weird girl, Harley. Sometimes, I don't get you. Well, fuck it, I still love you anyway. How's junior doing? Still kicking? Was that why you woke up?"
"Nah. Nightmare again."
"Again?" He was frowning now, rubbing his eyes to push the curtain of sleep away for a few more minutes. "You should talk to Rose if they keep happening."
"I don't think it's a problem. I think we should talk to the trolls again. The world is about to start repopulating, and it'd be nice. They're not too far away." A small smile crosses your lips. "It's nice to have friends."
"Fine then. We'll contact them, but only after you pop the kid out. I don't want everyone freaking out about you having some weird mutation, and believe it or not I don't feel like explaining human reproduction to Terezi and the angry asshole she was dating." He leans in for a quick kiss and groans. "Jesus dick, that baby better be the coolest fucking kid on this planet or I will never hear the end of it from John and Rose."
"That's silly, Dave. And we really should! It's been almost two years." She disappeared under the covers with him, giggling, and even though their kissing ends at just kissing, Jade doesn't mind, just like she doesn't mind falling asleep in his arms.
The sun shone like an angry beast, a raging firestorm over the newly made horizon, pink and orange, coral making love to red, and although the trolls all flinch instinctively, you run out laughing, arms out, hair loose, twirling in the space that you and your friends have created, and it's over, it's finally fucking over and you can be happy and you can be free. The other peek out apprehensively, and then it hits all of you that it's finally over and you don't have to be scared anymore, because this is your prize and it's beautiful, even though it's only a small payback for what you have lost.
Some cry, some laugh, some dance- Karkat starts sobbing, just to have Terezi irritably slap him across the face and kiss him as it starts to rain for the first time. And you can see love blooming like the beautiful flowers- John grabs Rose around the waist and pulls her up into the sky, to crush his lips against hers , and for once she doesn't have anything snarky to say, so she kisses him back, shy like a schoolgirl with a crush. And she doesn't even bitch about getting wet in the rain because everyone is so goddamn happy.
You see love in everything, from the beautiful way Equius tosses Nepeta into the air, a love in the purest, most platonic sense, to Eridan grabbing Feferi's hand, and how you notice her blush but not protest. Sollux and Aradia dancing like children in a field. Kanaya hugging everyone, and smiling in Vriska's direction. Even Tavros gets in on the love, planting a shy kiss on Vriska's cheek, then Gamzee's.
All of you friends frolic about for a while, and after laughing and splashing about, you all collapse. It's too early in the morning for anything more than love and pure happiness, born only out of complete relief and pent up childishness. The sun is rising and you just stare because everything is beautiful, and it's the dawn of a new day, both literally and figuratively.
It doesn't matter or occur to anyone all the shit that they're going to have to do to get civilization going, although the last remnants of the game should help. And it's too early to think about sex or anything but love, so you just lay at the grass, looking at the clouds and the fading stars. Love is in the air.
You feel Dave's hand on yours- a simple gesture that speaks volumes. He's claimed you, with just that, and you'll wait until you can both say I love you. You squeeze it reassuringly. You'll be there, with him, no matter what happens now.
A day is starting, a game is over, the story had ended, but everything had just begun.
Do you guys have diabetes yet?
Sappy ending, yes, and yes, this is the end! You guys are amazing and I love you all! Thank you so much for the reviews!