I could apologize for the late update, and I do, but you guys are probably tired of hearing it. Please just believe when I say I am very swamped with school work and life in general now that I'm in final year of highschool, so fan fiction has really been pushed on the back burner for a while. However, you know I hate to leave stuff unfinished so I've slowly been plucking away at this. Thank you so so much to everyone who reviewed and anyone who is still reading! In case anyone forgot, last chapter Levina escaped Damian and Greg's apartment room and that's right where we pick up for this chapter :) Without further ado, the next chappie!

Chapter Fifteen – Seeing Clearly

(Levina's POV)

I keep running, past the elevator, right to the stairs. I can't stop the propelling of my legs and the throbbing of my heart, not now. A loud noise echoes into the stairwell as I slam the solid door open and I rush forward to begin padding down the steps. One by one, my feet prance over the metal, barely grazing the surface. My movements are so fluid that you'd think I've descended ten thousand staircases in my lifetime. I jump the last three steps and land hard on my hands and knees. An ache of pain instantly swells in my joints but I push myself up off the cold concrete and shove through a nearby door to exit the building.

The first thing I notice outside are the dreadful lights. When all I want to do is disappear into the night and escape this place, they stream down on me from the light posts and surrounding shops. The light in this city is haunting- the way it chases out the darkness of the alleys and follows you home through the slits of your curtains. The air is cool though, and it cleanses the tears from my eyes, chilling the liquid away as I run down the sidewalk. I can feel the rough surface of the sidewalk scratching against my feet and I finally clue in that my sandals are still in Damian's apartment. But I can't stop running, so I let myself keep going, enduring every uncomfortable step. Anything that takes me farther from that apartment building.

I keep going, and I slowly realize what I'm hoping to find. I'm so scared and upset that I'm running for the warm embrace of my father's arms. If only I could feel him holding me right now, I would know I'm safe from all of this. He wouldn't let me be heart anymore, and he wouldn't let Damian or Greg near me. He wouldn't have big arms technically, but they would feel big to me, because he is my father and that makes his arms as unmovable as mountains around me. I could sob into his soundproof chest and somehow feel the rhythm of his heart, calming my own with it. That's what I'm running to, although I'll never make it.

At last, my adrenaline runs thin and I return to reality. I gasp for air to slow my exhausted heart and flag down a cab from the edge of the curb. Once it halts in front of me I collect my bearings and slip into the backseat. Upon sinking into the seat, my calves instantaneously begin to burn and ache.

"Where can I take you?" the cab driver asks me, his voice dim to my mind.

"Home," I whisper hoarsely. I click my seatbelt into place and curl myself tightly against the window. I stare blankly out it without a drop of expression etched on my face.

"Pardon me, ma'am?"

"Route 66," I tell him, "take it east. You'll know when you're there."

The ride to Radiator Springs is a static period. All I do is gaze out the window, watching the earliest morning light unfold before my very eyes. And while I never look away, it still feels as though one moment is dark and then suddenly it is light. Just like how one day my father was alive, and the next he was gone. Some things you simply can't control, no matter how hard you try.

I hope Mom will understand that, I think to myself as I climb out of the cab. I ask the driver to wait at edge of town and I'll return to pay him twofold. He doesn't object and I walk down the main street with ease in my step. I walk past the familiar buildings one at a time and my body relaxes to a normal state. The town is dead silent, yet I feel safer than I ever have. You only have one real home in your lifetime, and this is mine. While I didn't choose it, I realize that a little part of me is embedded in the tiny town of Radiator Springs.

I approach the driveway of the Cozy Cone. From behind the lobby I hear the sound of a slamming car door. Promptly, a blue Porsche pulls out and drives in my direction before coming to an abrupt stop. I stand absolutely still, observing every detail of my mother as she steps out of the vehicle and gazes at me from the distance. We both stay where we are, starkly still and stuck in the silence that seems to reach miles between us. Now, with all my focus set on her, I see more than I did before. Or rather, I finally see myself. The shape of her nose and the curve of her upper lip are subtly identical to mine. Perhaps these features have always existed; I just never took the time to notice. Yet somehow I think the real reason I'm finally seeing them is because I've let go of my fierce determination to prove myself as solely the daughter of Lightning McQueen.

My mother takes one hesitant step towards me and suddenly the swirling emotions erupt from me. The tears glaze my eyes in seconds, but not before I see Mom start rushing over to me. I close my eyelids while the tears swell and soon the warmth of her embrace cloaks me. Her arms aren't thick with muscle or tanned with July sun, but they're there, and they're all the comfort I need.

There will be one last chapter to finish up this story although the update may be slow again. Originally I had a sequel planned for this story but all future plans are kind of indefinite until my life slows down. That goes for my Doc story as well which I will unfortunately have to call a second hiatus on :( Anyways, any reviews would be greatly appreciated and thank you to those still following any of my work!