AN: Obviously, I don't own any of the characters or the world of Epic. I found the ending a little bit disappointing so I hope those of you that were also hoping for more like this. Please leave a review, they will help me to keep this going in a good direction!

The first year of college had been bittersweet. M.K. had loved the challenge of her courses and the excitement of telling her father that she decided to major in conservation biology. Yet behind her studies, new friends, parties, and all the life changes that came with that first year of freedom, she felt a longing for a world that lay hidden deep in the forest adjoined to her father's house.

She had spent many sleepless nights reliving the short adventure from the past summer, her chest tightening as she thought about the last few moments of her time with the Leafmen; the way his lips felt against hers before she was torn away. Part of her had thought about changing her college plans and go to the much closer community college rather than the state university. Yet, deep down she knew she couldn't. Her mother had always stressed how important it was to not change your life for a man and she knew that she was right, but it didn't make it an easy decision.

"I wish you were still here, mom," she whispered to the picture she kept with her, hugging it to her chest before packing it into her bag.

"Ready?" her father asked as he stumbled into the room, his red hair sticking out in weird angles.

"Yeah, I think so," she said, giving the small dorm room a quick look over before moving towards the door. "Let's get home."

Nod was pacing nervously on a large branch on the edge of the forest. It was one of the best views of M.K.'s house, allowing him to peek into her father's study and watch the large machines that he had heard them call computers. For the past year he had come to the same spot, staring at the screens and waiting for the rare moments when M.K. would appear and start talking with her father.

He wished more than anything he could leap down from his branch and join in on the conversation, but he knew that he shouldn't. It was impossible. He was a Leafmen, sworn to protect the queen and the forest from the dark forces that sought destruction. There was little time to be with any girl, let alone a stomper. Ronin was right when he told him that he had to let her go.

Then why are you here? his mind treacherously asked. Why keep coming? She's gone. She's forgotten you and moved on with her life.

He knew that it was probably true, but part of him still hoped that it wasn't. He wanted more than anything that her words of coming back by summer were true and that she hadn't forgotten him. He certainly hadn't forgotten her.

"Even if she hasn't, that doesn't mean that this will ever work," he said to himself as he stared in the window. "You're a Leafmen, she's a stomper. There's just no –"

His words died as a loud thud came from the house, followed by the vibrant laughter that caused his heart to flutter. "M.K."

She appeared in the window, her eyes sparkling as she started talking to her father in animated tones. He wished he was the one she was talking to, her smile growing as she grew more and more excited. "But it can't be," he said softly, forcing himself to turn away. "She lives in a different world with a different life. You aren't a part of it."

Giving a long whistle, he kept his eyes to the forest as he watched his bird zip towards him. Mounting his ride, he glanced back one last time at the one girl he couldn't get out of his mind. "Goodbye, M.K," he whispered, ignoring the tightness in his chest as he flew away.