They stood opposite each other, the таблица between them. They could hear the others moving around outside, but neither looked away.
“You have to go back,” she сказал(-а) at last.
“Not without you.”
“You know I can't! My duty is to them, to these people, to this mission. And Ты can't stay. Your огонь is no match for the challenge, the magic, that lies ahead.”
His fist pounded on the таблица and she jumped, surprised at him. He had always been еще suave, еще wild, than heated though she knew it was there.
“Damnit Bec! Why?! Why, for once, can't Ты just think of yourself?”
He moved around the таблица and the tears in his eyes suddenly brought her own.
“I Любовь Ты Becca. I'm not going to loose you. You're mine. Just mine.”
He cupped her cheeks and placed a gentle Kiss to her lips.
“Bec...” He kissed her again. “My Rebecca.”
She looked at him, sad and reserved. She knew еще than the others. She knew he couldn't come. But she also know she'd have to deal with that later.
“I'm going to stay,” he whispered.
And, to his surprise, all she did was nod.
“Just what do Ты plan to do?”
She turned to face him. Her deep brown eyes were resigned and her face gave nothing away. But she was trembling from head to toe.
“What I should have done the first time.”
He came closer and took her in his arms. Her eyes closed briefly and took in his scent. Strong, steady, she could hear his сердце beating. If she was right, he had already caught on to her meaning. But she allowed the luxury of his arms around her for the moment.
“There has to be another way.”
She shook her head slowly, meaningfully.
“There is no other way. It has to be done like this.”
“What will happen afterwards? To you? To us? Does it even matter still?”
“Oh Alek. I'm doing this because of you. For us.” She gave a small smile. “I'm sacrificial.”
“Don't say that! Tara...I Любовь you!”
Tears fell from her eyes. It took her a минута before she could look at him. He kissed her, sad but passionate. She responded to it before pulling away.
“Oh Alek...I Любовь Ты too!”
“I...accept the terms, m'lady.”
Her сердце beat speed up at the sound of his voice. She slowly turned her head and her eyes flew to his. She could see the raw determination in his eyes and on his face.
“You disagree with the terms?” her superior asked.
“Yeah I do.
He grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet. секунды later, his arms surrounded her. She melted into him, knowing it could very well be the last time.
“You do understand that this is punishment for the lives she has now ruined, correct?”
“Yeah. But what of the reward for the lives she has perfected? Ты don't seem to understand. Devin isn't yours to command anymore.”
An amused smile fell to her lips as she looked at the avian-human hybrid before her.
“No. See, she's my angel. I Любовь her. And Ты can't have her.”
Devin looked up at him.
“I Любовь Ты too Fang.”
His face softened when he looked down at her.
“But the terms are fair. Fang, Ты can not help me here. It goes as according to the Oracle's prophecy.”
“I'm sorry my love. Even the highest of us cannot change what is to come. I must accept. или everything I love, everything Ты love, could disappear. Like it were nothing.”
“Terror no! Ты can't!”
“I have no choice, love.”
“But what about-”
“Blade. I am tied up enough as it is. I have no choice at all.” His gaze softened and he stepped closer. He spoke, voice softening. “But Ты know I would throw everything into chaos without another thought if Ты asked me to.”
Tears streamed down her face and she nodded.
“I know. I...”
Her voice broke and he pulled her close. After a minute, she could look at him without crying. And, for the first time ever, she saw tears in his icy gaze.
“You really do have to go, don't you?”
He nodded solemnly.
“Even if it breaks me. You, Blade Howard, are strong. So incredibly strong. Ты know where Ты stand, how to survive. We both know that.”
“You're strong too.”
“No. I'm only strong for you, because of you.”
Silence fell between them for a moment.
“Won't Ты come back?”
“That all depends sweetheart. Now, no еще questions. Just listen.”
He waited a минута till he had her full attention.
“I Любовь you, Blade Howard.”
“I Любовь you, Terror.”
“It was prophesied. I can't control it.”
“How long till Ты come back?”
“Only the Oracle knows. That's why we have to leave now. Before we loose track of it.”
“Don't be gone too long?”
He stood, facing her.
“I won't stay longer than I have too. I promise.”
She nodded. She may have been created, changed, to adapt, but he could see she was about to break. She was strong, but she had a сердце too. She was still human in spirit.
“Take care of Jay. Любовь him for me. My shadow squad will protect Ты and Jason. They won't leave you, but Ты will know when they are close by.”
She nodded again. He pulled her in and wiped her tears. She hugged him tightly and kissed him hard. He kissed her back, his own tears now falling. Reluctantly, he pulled away.
“I Любовь Ты Phoebe. Never forget that.”
“I Любовь Dylan. Come back soon.”
“Nothing will stop me.”
He gave her another Kiss before moving away. Kneeling, he сказал(-а) goodbye to a crying Jason before standing and following the others.
“Please be safe,” she whispered.
“Where are Ты even going?”
“The Old Land, Becca calls it. It's where we'll find the Oracle.”
“Please don't go. Stay here. Stay with me.”
Her tears silenced her. She heard someone step up, probably Devin by the gentle steps. She felt a hand on her shoulder.
“Scott, if she stays, then we all fail.”
“I don't care! She can't go! I won't let her!”
“So Ты sentence the rest of us to death because Ты want her stay? Ты have our death on your hands.”
“I could handle it...”
“Cat couldn't. She knows very well what she's risking. If Ты keep her here, Ты will break her.”
He fell silent. He knew it was true; Cat wouldn't be able to live with their deaths on his head, knowing she could have done something. She was strong, but she wasn't rock.
“C-can I say goodbye?”
Cat stepped into his arms and forced the tears away. He placed a Kiss to her lips, gentle and loving, as Devin сказал(-а) it wouldn't be goodbye; just a 'till I see Ты again.
“I Любовь you, Cat. Come back real soon, okay.”
“I Любовь Ты Scott. Don't Ты dare die while I'm away.”
“I'd come back from the dead for you.”
She stood on the deck, Dusk at her side.
“We're doing the right thing...?”
“You and I know that.”
“Then why is it so hard to watch them say their byes?”
“Because we could come back with bad news for one of them.”
She nodded then turned to him.
“Why do Ты seem so calm about this?”
“I don't have anyone to loose.”
“Dawn and I have never been close.”
“Okay I'll make Ты a deal. If Ты die, I'll be your ceremonial partner and bawl my eyes out. And Ты do the same if I die.”
He gave a small laugh as he took her outstretched hand.
“You got a deal. By the way, they'd all miss you.”
“No. They'd all be relieved.”
“Why's that Erin? Why would they be relieved their little super-active speedstress is dead?”
She gave him a smile, one accepting and a little sad.
“Easy Dusk. Because it wasn't them.”