I DO NOT own Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs or Sei Jushi Bismarck, they are owned by their respective animation companies.
The Price of Peace: Epilogue
"I'm glad you're now officially part of our family now, Chihiro," Amanda says hugging the smiling girl.
"Thank you for convincing my parents to allow this, Lady Amanda," Chihiro replies as she moves back from the embrace.
"Saber had just as much pull as I did. He actually I think made the most convincing argument. Just remember to be careful not to make your parents grandparents too soon, okay?" Amanda says grinning at the blush creeping onto the new bride's cheeks. "Now, go see about Dylan before his sisters harass him too badly and ruin his good mood."
"Yes, ma'am," Chihiro replies and rushes off to find Dylan.
"What did you say to her to make her blush so, Amanda?" Fireball asks walking up behind her.
"I told her not to make you a grandfather just yet," Amanda quips.
Fireball blushes and laughs. "You don't think..." he stops, seeing the look from Amanda and laughs.
"What's so funny?" April asks curious, as she comes over to the pair.
"Taking bets on how soon you'll become a grandmother," Amanda replies.
"Hopefully not anytime soon," April replies.
"Saber has talked some with Dylan, so perhaps they will be a little cautious," Amanda says.
"Aye, and I told him if he makes us grandparents again in less than a year, he won't be alive to be an heir to anything," Saber says walking up to the group.
"You didn't?" Fireball asks in disbelief, while trying not to laugh.
"I did. I tried to talk with him rationally, but he would quickly change the subject, so I resorted to threatening the lad," Saber replies nonchalantly.
"He knows you'd do it too," April says sounding amused.
"I knew all of you were like family, never did I imagine that we would all actually end up as such," General Eagle says with a smile as he walks up to the group.
"Aye, sir. I don't think any of us actually thought about being at this point all those years ago," Saber states quietly.
"Yeah, I didn't think any of us would actually live this long as reckless as we were," Colt says walking up to the group.
"It's not for lack of trying on the part of the Outriders that we're still here," April adds.
"Aye, a lot of good luck on our part," Saber adds.
"And skill," Fireball quips. "You have to admit, we were and still are the best at what we do."
"I think the new elite are almost past us, Fireball. But that is as it should be. They have to learn from our mistakes," Saber states. "And it is our responsibility to teach them."
"From what I've seen you have done well with that," General Eagle states. "As you have in handling delicate situations that have come up," he adds nodding to indicate they should walk alone to talk a little more.
"I assume you're referring to Jarre?" Saber asks, following the general away from the group.
The general nods. "It has been a constant source of discontent among the council at Cavalry Command for years. We had suspicions that King Jared had been engaged in unbecoming activity, but when he died, we had hoped things would improve. Obviously that was not the case. Until we could prove that they had done something illegal, we didn't have any recourse. Adrien was the one to turn the tables on their reign."
"His mistake was one of believing he was above the law, even when caught," Saber replies. "The fact that the person he was caught with happened to be my daughter was purely circumstantial. Even his own father could not condone what he did, when shown the video of what led up to the events."
"How is she doing? I've not seen her since the ceremony," the general asks.
"Eryn is well. She married Seth von Rohr nearly three months ago in a double wedding ceremony with Moria and Wil. She seemed to not feel well today, but I'm sure that will pass before too long," Saber adds with a hint of amusement.
"So perhaps it is all of the excitement?" Eagle asks.
"Perhaps," Saber states.
"Ah, you believe there's more to it?" he asks.
"Aye, mainly the adjustments to making a life of their own. Seth is good to her, and since his mother has let up about him having a mistress, they both seemed to have adjusted well."
"His mother was insisting on him keeping a mistress?" the general asks in disbelief.
Saber nods. "And Seth told her that he did not wish one," Saber replies. "She berated Eryn and said some rather nasty things from what I have been told. Seth did not like the way his mother spoke of Eryn and told her that it was his decision to not have a mistress. He told her basically it was not her concern how they chose to live now. They decided together to keep on the young woman that his mother had hired to help with housekeeping duties. She is now married and is due any time to have a child. Her husband is also in service to Eryn and Seth. They seem to have workers that respect them, so I feel they will continue to do well. Moria and Wil are also well and have settled into life together. They live on a smaller estate adjoining some land that Colt and Robin own to the south of here."
"That just leaves Samantha, doesn't it?"
"Aye. But she is as good as married."
"But she's so young."
"She and Edon have been betrothed for several years. They have agreed to not speak of getting married until after they have both finished school. They could then decide whether to be handfasted first, or just outright married. We would allow it to be their decision," Saber says as they slowly mingle into the group.
They talk a while longer before everyone heads their separate ways for the evening. Saber and Amanda are in the kitchen talking with Marianna when Seth and Eryn come in.
"How are you feeling, Love?" Saber asks seeing that Eryn looks tired. "I heard from Samantha that you were sick earlier."
"I'm okay, father. Actually a little hungry," Eryn replies with a small smile.
Saber laughs, "Get used to it, Love. You're going to feel that way for the next several months."
"You know?" Eryn asks hesitantly.
"I suspected, you just outright gave it away," Saber replies amused.
"You're not mad?"
"No. You're married, Love. It's fine," he replies.
"But I heard you tell Dylan-" Eryn starts to say.
"He is a bit younger than you, as is Chihiro. Honestly, if she winds up pregnant, we will make the best of it. But you don't think I'm going to tell either one of them that, do you?" Eryn laughs and shakes her head. "They don't need any encouragement," he adds.
"That is true," Eryn replies as she takes a snack offered to her by Marianna.
"Are you going to share your news with the others before you leave?" Saber asks.
Eryn looks to Seth who nods.
"Perhaps tomorrow at the afternoon meal? That way everyone will be together," Amanda suggests.
"Aye, perhaps that would be the easiest," Eryn replies.
"Have you told Seth's parents yet?" Amanda asks.
"Not presently, ma'am," Seth replies. "I was thinking of going to see them when we leave here to share the news, if Eryn is feeling up to it, that is."
"Aye. I should be fine to travel. Mother fought in a war when she was pregnant with Moria and I," Eryn replies.
"I wouldn't exactly use your mother as a role model of how to act when pregnant, Love," Saber says amused, getting a glare from Amanda.
"Why not? I think we turned out fine," Eryn retorts with a smirk.
"Because I'm not sure if Seth would survive the amount of worry I felt when she was placing the lot of you in danger," he replies seriously.
The smile quickly fades from Eryns countenance and she nods. "I hadn't thought of it like that," she replies quietly.
"Eryn, I'm sorry if I upset you, it wasn't my intent. I just don't want you being quite as reckless as we were, because you don't have to be, all right?" Saber says coming over and gently placing a hand on her shoulder. "I am hopeful that none of you ever have to face such decisions," he adds quietly.
"It's okay. I'd never actually thought about it from this perspective before," Eryn replies honestly.
"Why did you go out again?" Seth asks looking between Saber and Amanda. "Weren't there others that could have fought in your stead?"
"Not at that time," Saber replies. "I was going out because they needed me to help in the Bismarck, but my vision wasn't reliable, so Amanda went with me and served as my eyes."
"So how did you end up being the one to kill those two men?" Seth asks intrigued.
"It just happened that way," Amanda states with a sigh. "Sometimes you have to make decisions that will haunt you for life. But, had I not decided the way I did, I don't think we would be here now, so I do not regret it."
"I pray that neither Eryn nor myself or our child ever have to make such a decision," Seth says quietly.
Eryn finishes her snack and they all retire to their rooms for the evening.
The next afternoon, everyone has gathered for the mid-afternoon meal and are chatting amongst themselves. Eryn and Moria come out just as the meal is being served, both looking a little less than perky. "Hey, you two look sick, what did you eat, so we can make sure not to?" Dylan asks in a teasing tone.
"Dylan, leave us alone," Moria says on her way past him. "Or I might just throw up on you next time," she adds with a smirk.
"You're throwing up?" Chihiro asks quietly.
"Aye, it happens," Eryn replies.
"Yeah, when you find out you're pregnant," Moria mutters.
"Pregnant?" Dylan and Chihiro exclaim together, causing the other conversations to cease and everyone turn in their direction.
Eryn sighs. "Not exactly the way I wanted to announce it," she says and smiles weakly at the crowd around them as Seth comes up beside her.
"Aye. I know what you mean," Moria adds as Will takes her hand.
"So which one of you is pregnant?" Dylan asks.
"They both are," Saber replies with a chuckle.
"And close together, at that," Amanda adds as she places a hand gently on each girl's shoulder. "They are due within two weeks of each other," she states, obviously amused.
"Does that mean that you both could have twins, since you are twins?" Samantha asks curiously.
Both girls get a look of horror on their face and several other people start laughing.
"I'm not quite sure that's how it works, Love," Amanda replies. "Twins just sort of happen. Just because they are twins, it doesn't guarantee that they will have twins," she states, causing the girls to sigh in relief.
Everyone starts offering congratulatory remarks and chatting with the two couples as Saber and Amanda quietly slip away from the crowd. Amanda guides Saber around some miscellaneous toys that are scattered along the grounds as he holds her arm gently and they walk in silence enjoying the warmth of the afternoon. Eventually, they wind up outside the old barn and go inside and sit down. Neither one really speaking at first.
"You can't see at all, can you?" Amanda finally asks, almost dreading the reply.
"No. I'm back in darkness, Love," he replies barely audible. "I don't think it's coming back this time either, it's been almost two days."
"I thought you were acting a little off," she says with a sigh. "We've known the possibility was there," Amanda replies, her voice breaking slightly. She looks around and laughs.
"What?" he asks, casting her a mildly curious look.
"You realize where we are?" she asks.
"Somewhere out in the outer fields. If I remember correctly this is one of our old hideouts," Saber replies hesitantly.
"Aye. It's where I found you after I pissed you off a few weeks after we met. After the whole thing with Sean."
Saber chuckles. "It's pretty much the same date as it was then, isn't it?" he asks.
"Aye. Close to the day we met. Ironic that we wound up here."
Saber? Amanda?" a male voice calls out from close by.
Saber sighs. "I guess the general noticed our absence," he says with a hint of disappointment. "Do you mind showing him in, Love?" he asks quietly.
"Sure," she replies quietly and heads out the door. A few minutes later she returns with the general in tow. "Evidently, he's the only one looking for us," Amanda states as they come in and sits beside Saber.
He takes her hand and the general watches them closely for a minute before speaking. "Have I interrupted something?" he asks looking between the couple before him.
"We just wanted some peace, sir," Saber replies quietly.
"Why do you sound like something is wrong? I thought you would be happy that your daughters are both pregnant."
"My vision is gone, sir," Saber replies. "We knew it would happen eventually, and ironically it was this date that started my eventual life with Amanda."
"It's been nearly twenty-five years since you lost the bulk of your vision, and yet you are now the head of Cavalry Command. Something that at the time I never would have imagined," General Eagle says to Saber.
"I honestly thought that I had lost everything then," Saber admits quietly. "And yet I think it was when I was actually able to see the most clearly. I would not change anything I have for this. I love Amanda and the children dearly. I cannot imagine my life without them."
Commander Eagle chuckles. "And back then you fought me over hiring her."
"That I did," Saber says with a smile. "I remember thinking after her first few weeks with me that one of us was going to end up dead, and at that point, I wasn't sure which of us it would be. She was unlike any woman I had ever known. She was not afraid to tell me that I was trying to do something beyond my ability, or that I needed to stop wallowing in self pity. I both hated and admired that in her. I still do at times," he says with a small smile.
"I remember the time she went off on you. It left you rather confused, didn't it?" he asks.
"Aye. It was the morning after Sean first attacked me," Amanda replies.
"I felt guilty that it happened, and I actually was afraid she would leave. By then, I didn't want her to. I had become accustomed to her being around and didn't want to have to learn someone else's mannerisms over again," Saber adds.
"By then I think you started feeling something for her, Saber, even if you weren't ready to admit it," the general says quietly.
Saber shrugs. "Perhaps. But it was after we had our blow-up and then met later here that I think things actually began to noticeably change between us."
"What did happen between you? You've never actually told me," he asks.
Saber sighs in thought and Amanda takes his hand and squeezes it gently in a show of support. "I hit bottom," he states simply. "She had given me confidence and I felt like my old self again. Then I went to do something so simple, to get water, I think; and fell, nearly making everything worse, including hitting my head again, and I lost it. I wept. All of the frustration, doubts, fears, everything came out then. Everything that I had tried to push past came out and she was the one there to see it." General Eagle gasps at such an admission and Saber takes a breath before continuing. "But instead of telling me to get over it, she came over and just put her arms around me and let me be. I remember her telling me that it was normal to feel like I did, but that I can move past it and that she wouldn't leave until I forced her to. We then stayed like that for a long time...but I think it was then that something changed between us, even though neither of us acted on it for quite a while later," Saber finishes.
"And I will remain here," Amanda says quietly. "We just don't want the children to know just yet. We will tell them eventually, but I don't think we should ruin their happy time. We want them to enjoy their time with each other."
"With Amanda's help, I think I can continue my duties with Cavalry Command a while longer. But before long, April will most likely take over, and by then she'll be ready to, I think. She has learned a lot these last few years, and I will be nearby, as will you, if she wants advice."
The general releases a breath he was unaware he was holding and shakes his head. "You have paid a heavy price in the name of peace, Saber. Perhaps this will be temporary, as it has in the past," he states hopeful.
"We all have, sir. We all have our demons to deal with, ," Saber replies. "Amanda still occasionally has nightmares on occasion, as I'm sure the others do, but don't speak of. None of us move as well as we once did, and some of that is from the physical abuse we put on ourselves being young and reckless. I just hope that those that are serving now, don't have to sacrifice what we have."
"I feel that if they do, they are better prepared for it. We have taught them everything we can. We have improved the technology, the rest is up to them, Saber," Amanda says quietly. "As long as people live, there will always be conflict."
"We probably should be heading back. I don't think anyone has noted our absence yet, since no one has called. I just happen to see you both walk off and was curious," the general states as he stands up and stretches.
"Aye, I suppose we should head back. I don't want to upset the children," Amanda says as she stands and offers a hand to Saber and pulls him up.
"I'll go on ahead. You two come along shortly. I'll tell them you went walking if anyone says anything. That I saw you when I went wandering," General Eagle says. Amanda and Saber nod and he heads off towards the back of the main house.
Saber steadying himself and then pulls Amanda into an embrace after he hears the general leave and sighs, his head against her shoulder.
"Are you all right?" Amanda asks.
"Aye, I just wanted you close for a minute. I am grateful everyday that I wake that you and I met. And just talking about things now reminded me of why. I am sorry that you have paid a heavy price just for knowing me, Amanda," he says. Amanda goes to reply and he places a finger gently on her lips. "However, without you, I wouldn't have our children or grandchildren. None of which I would trade for anything. I just thought I should tell you that."
Amanda smiles and kisses him briefly before turning towards the door and guiding him to it. "We'd better get back. I don't want to be the brunt of their teasing for having disappeared unannounced for a couple of hours."
"Aye. Let's go," Saber says with a small smile.
Amanda chuckles and they continue making their way back towards the house. "Oh and for the record, I have no regrets either," she says and they talk as they come back up to their friends and family, joining in on the various conversations.