A Kiss Goodbye

Kitana's POV

The sickly wormhole, once the seeming diameter of the sun, was now barely large enough to step through. I gazed upon it, feeling a blur of emotions. I was ready to return to Outworld and finish the mission I started months ago, especially now that Mother and Jade had joined me: But another part of me felt saddened. I had grown close to the forces of Light here on Earth… Liu especially, and I felt a bit depressed about having to leave them. But it was time: I had a lot of work to do, and it wouldn't tend itself.

Liu Kang had come with us all to the highest point just outside of the city where the portal was opened. I found myself drawing a deep breath as we got closer. Ready or not, it was time for me to begin my new life… or rather, to resume my old life; the life I was meant to have as Edenia's princess. I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder, and I looked over to see my mother smiling at me.

"It looks like it is time for us to begin anew." she said. I smiled.

"I know… it's going to be hard, but I'm ready." I said. Mother nodded, and then turned back to Liu Kang.

"I cannot thank you enough for what you have done for us, young Champion."

"It is an honor to be of help to you Madam." Liu humbly replied, bowing. "I wish you and your people all the best of luck."

"As to you." Mother said. She turned back around and headed through the portal first, and Jade stepped forward next.

"Well, you ready to head back into the madness?" she jokingly asked. I laughed slightly.

"Now that Kahn is dead I'm ready for anything. I'll meet you in minute." I paused, looking towards Liu. "I have a few things to say first."

Jade flashed me a suspicious smirk. "Ooh, well alright. I'll leave you two to your final business." and with that, she pulled her mask up about her nose and jumped into the gateway.

And now it was just Liu and I.

He slowly approached me, a somewhat somber smile playing on his face.

"Well… I guess this is it then." he said.

"It's like you told me before: This isn't goodbye. We'll see each other again soon."

Liu's smile grew, and he reached for my hand. "I'd like that."

Unable to hold back anymore, I reached forward and embraced him, and he returned the gesture. For a while we just stood that way silently, just holding onto one another. This brought the most pain to my heart: I had grown so close to Liu in the time we've fought together, and leaving him was much more difficult than I ever imagined. I… I love him; for the first time in my long, weary life, I could honestly say that I loved someone. And that was the most precious thing he gave me; even more than allowing me my freedom.

"Thank you." I murmured, still holding him close. "Thank you so much Liu… for everything." Slowly Liu let go of me, looking into my eyes.

"I should thank you Kitana… for making me feel normal." he said. I looked at him in slight bewilderment, so he continued. "Ever since I won the tournament, this… generic burden to save the world was placed on me. Everyone expected me to be a hero, but you actually looked at me like just a normal man. I can tell you anything… my fears, my doubts, and you don't belittle me for it. That's more than anyone's done for me in a while."

I couldn't help but smile. All this time I had thought of how much I owed Liu for all he's done for me; in killing Shao Kahn and all the personal good he's done. I never thought that maybe I had impacted his life for the better as well. Slowly we released each other, and I pulled my mask over my face.

"Well, it's been quite an experience." I started. "But I have work to do. Hopefully the next time we meet won't be on the battlefield." Liu nodded towards me, and I slowly turned to enter the gateway.

"Kitana wait!" Liu swiftly said. He suddenly spun me back around towards him, pulling me close. "I can't let you leave before I do this."

Suddenly he pulled my mask down and abruptly pressed his lips to mine. I stood there in shock for a moment, and then my arms wrapped around his neck.

Our first kiss; it had to be the most pure and genuine action I had ever received from anyone. I could feel my heart thudding in my chest as his mouth gently melded into mine. Everything we had felt for one another came out at that moment: We knew we loved each other, even if we couldn't say it.

After a moment we slowly withdrew, and I backed away. Smiling, I pulled my mask back up and turned towards the portal. Before I stepped through, I looked back at Liu one last time. He smiled.

"Don't forget about me." he quietly said.

"As if I ever could." I answered. Keeping my eyes on him, I slowly entered the swirling vortex. When it closed behind me, I let out a sigh. I was going to miss him so much. I didn't have time to dwell on it though.

It was time for my new life to begin.