Parting is such sweet sorrow, is it not? Hello and goodbye everyone. This is the final chapter to Shattering Glass. I just wanted to thank you all for your patience and support, it's been amazing and I really hope you've enjoyed the story. If you still have questions, please just message me or even visit my tumblr which is tardisbluewarlock. And of course, a farewell review would be lovely. I hope you enjoy the final chapter, and thank you again so much. It's been a real pleasure.
Bill, Rosen, Cameron, and Nina ran throughout the city of alphas, past the wounded being rushed to the hospitals and the families tearfully united.
Red Flag had been building this town in the middle of mountains for a year, constructing houses, hospitals, theaters, anything alphas could ever need. The city lay in the center of the mountains, only the abilities of alphas with control over the weather keeping the weather as warm as a summer's day and the oxygen levels rich in the once barren valley. A paradise that no human could find.
But the group of alphas paid little mind to the scenery, only one person on their minds.
"How are we supposed to find him? What if he's not even here?" Nina sobbed, tears falling down her cheeks in both fear and frustration.
Cameron leaned over and kissed the top of her head, holding the other alpha tightly. "We'll find him, we have to find him…"
The team turned at the soft, feminine, voice behind them. A tall pale girl was looking at them apprehensively, covered in a blanket. Her hair was long and light brown, eyes a beautiful hazel. "Sorry, you wouldn't be looking for Gary, would you?"
Rosen gasped and walked towards her in astonishment. "How did you know? Where did you meet him? Have you seen him?'
"He spoke a lot of you, and I could see your desperation and fear. See, I can see emotions…so I guess I figured you might be the team. Are you Doctor Rosen?'
"Yes my dear, I am." He calmed his hysteria. "Have you seen him?"
"I'm sorry, I haven't. The last time I saw him was in Binghamton a couple weeks ago, but I think I can help you find him."
"As I said, I can see emotions, and once I get to know a person…I don't know, I can't explain it…" Rosen nodded at her encouragingly and she continued. " Once I know a person I can feel their signature, and I can track down Gary looking for it."
"You could do it? You could find him?" Bill approached the girl uncertainly.
"I think I could….I can at least try."
"What's your name sweetheart?" Doctor Rosen asked, looking up at her curiously.
"Lily." She replied quietly.
He smiled at her. "Lead the way."
She nodded, looking at each member of the team before taking a deep breath and closing her eyes. Focusing on the thought of Gary, she remembered him. The dark black of his hair, the pale white of his skin. How bright his blue eyes were when he thought of his family.
She opened her eyes and focused on the color blue, and sure enough, from the din of emotions that raced through the air, seen only to her, she found him. A faint blue signature uniquely his own. Feelings of pain, confusion, and above all hope flooded into her.
He was searching for them too.
"This way." Lily murmured, making her way through the crowds of people around her, trying to ignore the emotions that swarmed in and out of her vision, focusing on him.
Cameron and Nina looked at each other for a moment, unsure whether to feel exhilarated or fearful, but raced after her nonetheless. Bill and Rosen followed suit, hearts heavy but growing lighter with every step.
The group burst through the hospital doors, around them alphas injured in the fighting and long held patients filled every open space, doctors on fast forward as they attempted to get everyone treated and where they needed to be.
Screams of anguish hurt their hearts as families watched their family members die, and cries of fear as their loved ones were torn away from their arms and into the waiting surgery rooms as men and women attempted to save as many lives as they could.
The emotions in the building were too much for Lily and she collapsed momentarily to the floor, clutching her throbbing head.
"He's here." She gasped, a pale hand pointing to the other side of the room.
"Are you alright?" Doctor Rosen asked worriedly, checking her over for wounds.
"I'm fine, I just need a moment to adjust. Go to him, he's trying to find you." Lily gave him a reassuring smile, watching as the group made their way through the masses of people to find their lost friend.
"Gary!" Rosen cried, spinning around, seeing nothing but the flurry of white coats and the bloody figures they carried.
"Gary!" Bill tried to shove people aside as he scanned all the faces around him, trying to find a familiar one.
A weak voice pulled at his attention and the dark skinned alpha turned around.
He lay on a stretcher, covered with a foil emergency blanket to keep him warm. Blood dripped from his dark hair and his skin was terribly pale, almost as white as the sheets he lay on. An oxygen mask covered his nose and math.
But when the eyes met his, a brilliant electric blue foggy with anesthetic, Bill knew.
"…Gary?" The alpha choked, ignoring the tears that spilled down his still dirty face. "Gary!" He said more certainly, trying the name on his lips like a taste he had long forgotten.
Bill raced to his side, unsure of what to do. Wanting more than anything to embrace him but too afraid to hurt him. Instead he took his friends weak hand in his own and squeezed.
"It's me, Gary. It's me, Bill."
The blue eyes met his own, and a small smile spread on his pale lips. "You…you're here."
He let out a short laugh. "Yes. I'm here. We're all here." Bill looked up at the team, looking around for Gary. "Guys." His voice broke, and they turned to him through the people filling the room. " I found him."
Nina walked through the mass of people, and it was as though everything was put in slow motion. The sounds of the hospital were drowned out by the loud beating of her heart. She watched wide eyed as Cameron raced ahead of her, approaching Bill and Doctor Rosen who looked down at a figure on a stretcher.
"Oh God," she whispered and tore through the people as though blind. "Please…"
"Nina." A familiar voice came from the figure on the bed, his eyes meeting her own and Nina covered her mouth as she sobbed.
"I'm sorry, do you know him?" A doctor in a white lab coat touched Rosen's shoulder, and the old man turned to look at him, eyes filled with tears.
"Yes, yes, we know him. His name is Gary Bell."
"Perfect. I'm afraid though that I need to pull him into surgery, he's broken some ribs and we're afraid they may have pierced his lungs. Stay here and we'll inform you of any developments, ok?"
Doctor Rosen looked down at the autistic boy on the stretcher, the ragged breathing tearing his heart. He nodded, but before the doctor left, he grabbed his arm.
"Please, please make sure he's alright. We can't lose him again."
The young physician looked at him in understanding and gave him a small reassuring smile before turning back to his patient.
A group of doctors began rolling the stretcher away and they could hear Gary's strangled cries as he was pulled away from his friends. Cameron raced alongside them, pulling off the blue armband he wore and putting it on Gary's wrist. "We'll be right here; you're going to be ok. I promise." The alpha swore, doctors pulling him back as the doors snapped shut before him.
Cameron looked back at his friends, Bill still in shock over what happened. Nina had sunken to the floor; sobbing to herself, black hair in a disarray. A nurse walked over and pulled her in an embrace and the beautiful woman cried out in the stranger's arms, struggling to breath.
Rosen's eyes were closed as he stood in the middle of the hallway. He's going to be ok. He's going to be ok.
Nurses brought them chairs and bade them to sit, bringing water and checking them, stitching up the wounds they hadn't even realized they'd received in the battle. A change of clothes came next, brought in by Skylar who had prepared suitcases with their things beforehand.
At her side was her beautiful blonde haired daughter, their hands clasped tightly.
Now clean, healed, and hydrated, the team waited. Every second lasted a century, every breath making painfully aware the emptiness in their chests.
The sun had set when Rosen looked up to see the same doctor walking toward them, a clipboard in his hands.
"Is he...is he ok?" Bill asked, Nina closed her eyes and Cameron held her tighter.
Looking at the four of them, he nodded with a smile. "He's going to make a full recovery."
They laughed out loud, embracing each other, and Rosen approached the doctor, shaking his hands. "How is he?"
"His legs were shattered in the blast, so he'll be in a wheelchair for at least two months, but after some rehab he should be fine. We repaired the broken ribs and the scars, his lungs were thankfully not as damaged as we'd previously assessed. It'll be a long recovery, but Mr. Bell should be fine."
"Thank you, thank you so much."
"Just doing my job. Would you like to see him? He's in room 101 and he'll remain there until we're sure he's stable. Week max. Let me show you the way."
When they walked into the room he was asleep, still under from the anesthetic they had put on him. He wore a white hospital shirt, sheets pulled to his waist. Tubes left through his nose and came from his wrists, but otherwise you'd have thought he was perfectly healthy.
But the bruises on his arms and face, the dark circles under his closed eyes, the gauntness of his face told a different story.
What things has he been through for the price of being born different? What things has he seen, what things has he heard, what things has he felt all because he was himself and no one else? Rosen thought as he pulled up a chair and sat by Gary's bedside, the boy's breathing the most comforting thing. Because the steady rise and fall of his chest meant that in this moment, he was alive. In this moment he was safe. In this moment, they could finally be there to protect him.
Gary is warm. He is warm and comfortable, things he hasn't felt in a long time. Today he hasn't woken to screams, how strange. The alpha opens his eyes, and fear grips him as he sees a white ceiling and fluorescent lights. His heart beats faster. A beeping noise, what is it? It beeps faster and faster and faster, won't it be quiet? Then suddenly, a warm voice and a warm hand on his own.
"It's alright Gary. You're safe. You're in a hospital."
A familiar voice. Bill's. Gary smiles, how nice of his delusions to inform him of his whereabouts. The soft mattress beneath him shifts. Someone else has sat on it.
A warm hand caresses his face, and someone leans over and kisses him gently on the forehead. Hair tickles his nose as the figure bends over him. Hair that smells like strawberries and shampoo. Nina.
The wrinkled hand that grasps his own, Doctor Rosen.
A low laugh. Cameron.
The pieces of the jigsaw begin to fit together, slowly, but surely.
Broken memories become whole, begin to connect. All alone in a cell, sleeping. Suddenly an alarm flooding the room, and the bright white lights went out, instead a flashing red keeping him from complete darkness. Screams echo outside, rising on unsteady feet. The cell door unlocking with a click. Uncertainty and fear. Walking out the door, figures running past him (on wobbly feet, oftentimes falling down). He follows them. Then a boom and a crash, screams rippling through the halls. The ceiling collapses and pain as he is dragged under, a cry of pain when something smashes his legs. Then warm hands pulling him from the rubble, holding him tight. Lifting him onto a plane until away away away they go, far away. His heart still beats fasts, and he's placed on a stretcher. Then he can see them, the signals. They race around him, embrace him. They've missed him. He reached arm to touch them, to stroke them, because he's missed them too. Opens the nearest one, one that is a bright red and not to far away. A newsfeed. A reporter is talking about a terrorist attack on a government facility. He sees the videos, a great gray building collapsing in the center, planes hovering over and cyclones falling from the sky. He watched the signals until he feels the plane fall, landing somewhere unknown. Hands roll him from the plane and he's pulled quickly in a hospital, someone looks over him. Gives him a blanket, and he is warm. A mask is put over his face. He can breathe easier now.
Then a familiar voice. He murmurs their name because he misses him even though he knows he can't be here. But suddenly Bill is there, his face swimming in his vision. He was so tired. More people come. Nina. Rosen. Bill. Cameron who gives him back his armband and he can feel it on his wrist now.
Nina. Rosen. Bill. Cameron.
"Rachel." He mutters, opening his eyes.
"Gary!" Nina looks down at him and Doctor Rosen is squeezes his hand.
"Where's Rachel?" Gary asks, looking around.
Bill and Cameron look at each other, but in the end it's Doctor Rosen who speaks.
"Rachel is in a comma, Gary. But she's going to be fine. Now how are—"
"I want to see her." The boy attempts to get up but he can't, hands keeping him down anyways.
"You can't go see her now Gary, you're still sick."
He nods and finally looks up at them. Doctor Rosen is seated at his right. He has more wrinkles now, Gary notes. Cameron and Bill stand next to the bed, looking down at him. They have cuts on their faces, so does Nina, but she's sitting on his left side.
They are all here. This isn't a dream.
"You came." Gary says to them-his voice sounds strange to his ears.
"Of course we did." Bill smiles down at him. "We missed you, partner."
"Yes, partners save each other. Which is why I need to go see Rachel."
"I'm her partner too so I need to go wake her up. I need to see her." Gary attempts to get up again, only he can't.
But Doctor Rosen understands, he always does, and the old man leaves the room. He comes back with a doctor in a long white coat and Gary stiffens.
"Hello Gary. I'm Doctor Grayson. How are you feeling?"
"I'm feeling fine, but I need to go see Rachel because she's not feeling fine like me."
"Alright, but we're going to push you in the wheelchair, ok? She's in the room next to yours."
Bill and Cameron approach him and Gary feels their strong arms lift him into the wheelchair. Both his legs are heavily bandaged—he can't move them. Pain shoots through his body when he sits, but it passes, leaving only a throbbing head ache.
But he needs to see Rachel.
Nina wheels him out into the white hallway. She turns him sharply and Bill opens the door.
Then he sees her.
She's asleep, her brown hair spread over the white pillow. Her skin is the color of caramel, just like he remembers. He's missed her. Nina wheels him closer and Gary just looks at Rachel.
"Rachel? Rachel, its Gary."
No reply. Why doesn't she answer him?
He leans over in his wheelchair and grabs her hand, holding it tightly. "Rachel I'm home. You need to wake up now."
Behind them Nina is crying softly, face buried in Cameron's chest.
"Rachel I'm here. You need to wake up. I'm here Rachel, I'm home."
He stays by her side for two days, leaving only when they need to care of him. Holds her hand and tell her stories, about what's happening. But still she doesn't wake.
Then one afternoon, when the sun is high in the sky and its rays shine in through the window, she finally does. Nina and Cameron are playing checkers, and Bill is laughing as Nina beats Cameron with ease. Doctor Rosen is playing with Skylar's daughter and Skylar herself is playing with something in the corner. Every couple of seconds Gary knows they look at him, he can feel their eyes on him, be it Bill's, Nina's, Cameron's, or Rosen's. As though they are worried he'll disappear.
He's holding Rachel's hand when Gary feels her fingers tighten around his pale ones.
The others run to her bedside, the game on the table long forgotten as they look over her.
"What happened, Gary?" Doctor Rosen asks, looking at the autistic boy.
"She squeezed my fingers, see? And now ,ouch, she's holding on tightly."
Cameron laughs aloud as he sees the intertwined fingers, but then suddenly a voice comes from the still figure.
"Rachel! I'm here Rachel."
"Doctor!" Bill shouts and nurses follow Dr. Grayson as he rushes into the room, checking her vitals.
Then her dark brown eyes open, hesitant at first, blinking against the light. But then they are open, finally open.
"Rachel…" Bill whispers, kneeling at her side.
She smiles. "Everyone's here." Rachel whispers, looking at all the faces around her. Her family is with her-Bill, Cameron, Nina, Rosen, Skylar. And Gary he's here. As though he's never left.
"Everyone's here, everyone's safe."
It's been two months. Both Gary and Rachel were released from the hospital after two weeks, the doctors happy to say they'll make a full recovery. Gary is learning to walk again, but he spends most of his time in the wheel chair. But he's getting better. There are days when he goes without it, those days when he isn't so weak. Everyone is regaining strength, the scars are finally beginning to fade, the bruises are finally gone. Even in their minds, the memories aren't so sharp. But still Gary wakes up in the middle of the night, screaming, and he's come to doing the same in the mornings. Doctor Rosen says it's ok, it's the way he copes with things. But when the team wakes up in the middle of night to the sound of their friend yelling, it brings back memories of things that they wished could be long forgotten.
They live on the same street. Bill, Gary, and Rachel live in one house. They each have their own bedroom and bathroom, so it's ok. Skylar and her daughter live with Doctor Rosen and his daughter, Danny. The two were reunited soon after Rachel had woken in the hospital. Cameron and Nina now have their own house, just across the street. Bill hasn't seen his wife in a very long time. She thinks he's dead, or that's at least what the government released. Agent Bill Harken was killed in the terrorist attack on the Binghamton facility, as well as Doctor Lee Rosen, Nina Thouroux, and Rachel Pirzad. Gary Bell was killed in a burglary that killed both him and his mom.
Sometimes Bill cries because he can't see his wife, Gary sees this even if Bill let's no one else. But he still has hope that he'll see her again after everything has relaxed, because still the country is abuzz with the terrorist attack that killed thousands of prisoners in the area that no one ever spoke about. Gary cries too, about his mother. He cries because he hadn't the chance to thank her. Hadn't had the chance to say goodbye.
The fight for equality still remains sharp in their hearts, but for now they'd lie low. They'd heal. Then, when the world was ready, Red Flag would unleash its next attack. Except it won't be violent, no. They'll start to find alphas, bring them here, and when everyone was sure, the alphas will let themselves be known to the world. It was Tiana's idea. She's now one of the heads of Red Flag, she still visits them. They're family has become larger. Gwen, Zachary, Hazel, Tiana, Belinda, Shane, they've all entered each other's hearts. It's strange for many of them, to have people who love them, and it'll take getting used to. But it's not a bad change, not bad at all.
He's in a meadow. Soft grass cradles him and he's wearing his favorite blue shirt. The sun is warm. A tall man and another with dark skin toss a baseball nearby. A woman with dark hair and a graying old doctor sit down laughing at them. He turns his head. A woman with coffee colored skin is finding shapes in the fluffy clouds above them. She points to a rabbit with a pink white tail to their left. A heart passing high above them. The signals are so beautiful. They swirl above him lazily, they too are enjoying this spring day. The air is sweet and the bells of laughter frequent. A woman with short blonde hair approaches them. Cookies. He reaches for one….
And he takes it.
It's chocolate chip, and two girls, one with long brown hair, one with short brown hair take one as well, sitting next to him and pointing out shapes he hasn't seen before. Two other men join in the game of baseball; a girl with highlights watches them with the doctor and the older lady. A woman with blonde hair makes a soft breeze, and all the little white dandelions explode, their translucent petals flying up into the sky, clinging to his hair.
The lab is gone now, there is only light. The darkness is gone now only light.