so this is the last chapter! thank you all so much for your continuous love and support for this story. i had so much fun writing it. don't worry, i will post a new fic very soon! if you have any ideas/prompts, please send them my way! i'd love to hear what you guys want me to write.

anyway, enjoy this final installation. i know it's short, but i genuinely hope it's not too rushed and that i did a decent job. i haven't ended a story in a very long time, so this a rather big accomplishment for me.

thanks again!

-m


Chapter Five:

A couple of hours later, Kiara woke up to some kind of sound. At first, she thought that it was because of the thunder, only to realize what it actually was when she heard the moaning and thrashing coming from her companion's direction.

She sat up slowly, her heart clenching at the sight of JJ tossing back and forth, whimpering weakly, clearly caught in a nightmare. "... no," he breathed out. "Don't touch … h-her. D-Don't…"

Letting out a deep breath, Kiara placed a gentle hand on JJ's shoulder and began talking to him, her voice soft and gentle. "JJ. Hey, it's me, it's Kie. Listen to me, you're just having a bad dream. You're okay, you're safe, you're with me. Wake up, JJ. Please."

A few minutes later, JJ bolted upright, back rigid and straight, sweat dripping down his toned body. He started to tremble in fear and remembrance, his arm unconsciously traveling around his waist. "Kiara," he said quietly, and finally looked at her, tears flooding his blue eyes.

"I'm here," the girl assured him, lovingly rubbing his arms. "I'm always here. Talk to me."

"Rafe … h-he had you," JJ muttered, running a hand through his unruly locks. "He was gonna hurt you." A choked sob escaped him, and he brought his knees up to his chest. Though the motion pulled at his wounds, he couldn't care less. He wanted to feel the pain. "I-I couldn't stop him."

"Hey, you know that it wasn't real."

Unsure of what to do, Kiara pulled JJ into a tight hug, letting him rest his head against her chest while she stroked the back of his head. The teenager wasted no time in curling into her, their bodies fitting together like puzzle pieces. As he cried, Kiara continued trying to talk to him, trying hard not to let herself fall apart. It wouldn't do either of them good if they were both emotional wrecks, and right now, JJ needed her support more than she needed his.

"I'm right here, JJ," she whispered in his ear, feeling him shaking in his arms. It broke her heart to see him like this. "Just breathe. We're safe now, we're home. Rafe didn't hurt me. Thanks to you. Everything is okay."

"If I lost you, Kie, I…" JJ's voice died on him as he thought about the possibility of not having Kiara in his life. She was his saving grace, the person who kept him sane, who let her stay with him after a bad fight with his father, who was there for him every day no matter what. Who loved him regardless of his flaws and constant mistakes. Desperate to feel her next to him, he pulled her closer and held her as tight as he could, thankful that she let him.

"You didn't lose me," Kiara assured him, kissing his forehead gently. "You saved my life."

Poor JJ clearly didn't have it in him to reply.

The only thing Kiara could think to do to try and get him to understand was grip his chin and lean in, kissing him gently. She could tell that JJ was shocked, and when she pulled back, she smiled gently. "It's okay," she murmured. "I want to."

His entire body seemed to relax as she captured his mouth again, yet Kiara could taste his tears. They made her heart ache. Or they could have been hers, she thought briefly. She wasn't sure.

Kissing him was magical, she soon found out, regardless of the circumstances. JJ was so gentle with her. It was almost like he was afraid to break her. Even when she deepened their kiss in an attempt to tell him that she wanted more, he was still extremely careful. Kiara let him, understanding that he couldn't help it.

Even so, she loved the feeling of his lips on her own. He made her dizzy with lust, hungry for more. She wanted him. All of him.

"Kie," he whispered brokenly once she straddled him, hands roaming all over her beautiful body. For some reason, he was still trembling ever so slightly. Why was he so afraid?

"JJ, it's alright. Please, I want to do this."

Nodding weakly, the blond kissed her again while she took off her shirt. A few minutes, he heard himself gasp when she was finally inside of him. This was the greatest thing he'd ever felt in his shitty life. He couldn't get enough of her. In that moment, everything was worth it. His pain was worth it. His struggles were worth it. Kiara made all of that melt away. She made it all better.

By the time they finished, both of them were exhausted, but in the best way possible.

"Wow," Kiara breathed out, spooning against him, her head resting on his broad chest. One hand was gliding up and down his arm, while the other was on his stomach, memorizing the beautiful linework that were his abs. She was still trying to wrap her mind around what had just happened. Even though she had wanted to wait before they did anything, she was incredibly glad they did it. Honestly, she couldn't wait to do it again.

"Yeah," JJ agreed, and buried his face in her hair, inhaling her familiar scent. "Thank you."

"For what?"

"Just … for everything." Letting out a deep sigh, JJ pressed a quick kiss on his companion's lips when she looked at him, already in love with kissing her. "I know you've been saying that I saved you, but it's the complete opposite."

"Let's just call it a truce, okay?" Kiara said jokingly, grinning when JJ chuckled.

"Deal."

OBX

A week had passed since their rescue.

In that time, most of JJ's wounds were almost fully healed. It didn't hurt that much to move anymore, and the cuts all over his body were completely gone. The only thing that was still giving him a bit of trouble was that bullet graze, but it was on the mend.

Rafe never paid for what he did to him and Kiara. Even though Sarah tried to talk to him and his father, her bastard of a brother managed to convince Ward that none of it was true, and the matter was dropped. While JJ had been livid at the time, Kiara convinced him to just let it go.

The two of them decided to keep their relationship a secret from the others. Kiara was worried that it would just cause unnecessary tensions between the Pogues, specifically Pope, while JJ just didn't want to go through the hassle of dealing with their friends. They would at some point, but not now.

Despite their attempt to just put everything that had happened behind them, they still couldn't forget about it completely. Both had frequent nightmares. Sometimes, JJ would be the one to wake up late at night drenched in sweat and breathing heavily. Other times, it was Kiara. Whenever that happened, they were there for one another, helping each other get through it each time. Even though they were incredibly painful, the nightmares actually helped their love grow.

It was too hard for them to go on the H.M.S. Pogue with the others each time they were invited. All it did was remind them of what Rafe had done. Sooner or later, they knew they had to, but for now, they just couldn't. So, whenever the others went out for a ride, JJ and Kiara stayed home and hung out together, trying not to drown in the awful memories.

That was why Kiara was shocked when JJ suggested that they go out to the marsh alone one night, while they were in bed. John B. had graciously let them continue staying in his room for another month, for which they were very grateful. The boy didn't think much about them sharing it. He assumed that it was probably because of the trauma, not because Kiara and JJ were together.

"Why?" Kiara found herself asking after making sure that she heard JJ correctly. Surely he didn't want to go on a boat just yet. She certainly wasn't sure if she did.

"We need to get over this," JJ explained as he stroked her back gently. "I'm sure John B. will lend us the Pogue for the day."

A shiver crawled up Kiara's spine at the thought of going on a boat. Even though she knew that she would be totally safe, it reminded her too much of Rafe. Sudden images of JJ getting beaten up and a gun being pressed into her neck flashed before her, and she closed her eyes.

"Kie?"

"I'm fine. I just … Are you sure?"

Pressing a quick kiss to the top of her head, JJ interlocked their fingers together. "Yeah. I think we should do it. But we'll only go if you want to. I'll wait as long as you need."

Kiara was so thankful that JJ was willing to be patient with her. It meant the world. However, she realized that he was right. They did need to do this. They needed to get over this fear and go back to living their normal lives - whatever normal was, at least.

"No, no, let's do it," she decided, smiling when JJ's eyes brightened. "You're right."

There was so much happiness and love written on JJ's face, that Kiara couldn't resist crashing her lips against his own.

And that was how they found themselves in the middle of the marsh the next day. Their friends had no problem with letting them take the boat for as long as they needed, and even saw them off. At first, Kiara felt incredibly anxious and afraid. The last time they'd been on here, she'd been on the ground with JJ, telling him that he was bleeding. Now, she was standing in his arms, looking out into the water with tears filling her eyes.

"You okay?" the young man asked her. He, too, felt incredibly out of place here. A week and a half ago, he would have been laughing and whooping and acting like a maniac. But now, his body seemed to remember the pain Rafe had inflicted upon him. Every part of him seemed to ache.

"Yeah," Kiara replied as she looked up at him. His eyes seemed to have dulled now that they were here. "We got this," she said softly, and cupped his cheek with gentle fingers.

"Together, right?"

JJ smiled and kissed her, feeling all of his worries evaporating.

She was his home. She was his savior. And no matter what trouble came their way, JJ knew that Kiara would always be her saving grace.

No matter what.

The End