First like always, reviewers's responses.
Naval Ace : Thanks! I shall keep that advice well for future fics.
Keeperofthescarf: Don't worry, mistakes happens everyday, so I don't mind. And don't worry; I think you'll like the last part of the fic!
Aya-Angel of Mars: I'm sorry, but I simply can't think of anything else I could add. This would result in a wait even bigger than for this chapter. I simply can't do it. On a side-note, I was able to think of a few moments for Colin and Lash. Nothing big, but I'm sure you'll appreciate.
Author's notes: I finally found the time and ideas to kick myself for finishing this. School takes a good chunk of time and some homework are taking even more time. But I'll finally conclude this, after the long wait. I don't know if you'll like it, since some of my goods scenes were lost on a computer incident.
By the way, if there's any Max's fans reading this, I apologize in advance. You'll see why...
So, enjoy the last chapter.
Disclaimer: I don't own Advance Wars
Normally, at 6 in the morning, the base was usually quiet. Guards would change shifts, and the activity was slowly starting.
However, making sure that Rachel wasn't trying to grab some reports before leaving was a task a lot harder than what Jake and Lash had in mind.
After practically pushing her to the car, and made sure they didn't forgot anything, Jake took the driver's seat, after listening to Rachel's pleas of not letting Lash drive.
30 minutes later, they arrived.
The beach was calm and beautiful. The sand's pale color, combined with the clean sea's water, making it beautiful and soothing to just look at it. Vegetation, which was a little away from the sand, was growing in a true natural way, indicating that people didn't come here often. Much farther away, a hill could be seen, but it was a little too far away to go se it by foot.
Since they arrived first, they began to set up what they brought. Jake, helped by Rachel, set up the speakers, and made sure the music could be heard perfectly, without any disturbance. Lash was setting up a barbecue she built herself. Rachel was panicking at the idea of Lash cooking the food, with her personalized barbecue, but Jake was able to calm her down.
No sooner than they finished, the others CO arrived. Sensei, Grimm, Sonja and Kanbei were the first of them, and Grimm, who wanted to take care of the food, made sure he brought enough food for day, counting even himself.
Sasha, Colin, Olaf and Grit arrived after them. After apologizing for taking so long to arrive, since he followed at first Olaf's directions, he had to listen once again Olaf talking, for being "disrespectful" to his leader.
Drake, Javier, Jess and Eagle were next. Judging by the loud confrontation between Eagle and Jess, they had argued which road they had to take, and Drake simply took the road he knew was the good, after another unsuccessful attempt to make them stop.
Lastly, Andy, Max, Sami, Nell and Hachi arrived. They were the farthest from the beach, but Nell's luck made them found a shortcut, explaining why they arrived much sooner than anticipated.
The party could finally start.
Everyone was already dispersed, talking in groups about what happened recently. Hachi and Sensei talked about the good old time and Grimm was trying once again to make Colin become a true man. Sami was currently trying to bring Eagle in the water, whom the later was just trying to get away at all cost from it. Sasha, after greeting the persons she didn't knew, was deciding if beating up Max was a good idea for a comment made a second ago.
Jake and Andy were talking near the speakers.
"So, you're Andy? Nice to meet you." Jake started.
"And you're Jake. Max and Sami told me much about you." Andy answered.
"I take it you heard about your clone..." Jake said, a little uncomfortable.
"Yeah... But at least, I'm happy to know he died peacefully." Andy responded, a hint of sadness in his voice.
"I heard you were little too cheerful on the battlefield. I always wondered why."
"Well, it's true that I'm a little overexcited in battle. But then, how should I act in front of the soldiers I send? Quiet and gloomy, making them nervous before the battle or optimist and a little confident? The soldiers know well that they could die on the battlefield, but it's no reason to damp their spirit even more. And always grieving for them after each battle won't help win the war. Sure, I'm sad to see them die, but I'm sure each of them would kick me where it hurt for letting it interfere with future battle." Andy explained.
"Wow, I guess I never thought about it that way... And now that you mention it, I always act calm on the battlefield, whoever the foe is."
"You see? No use getting depressed hen you must win a battle."
"Now I see why they call you the mechanical ninja."
"Hehe, that nickname even made it to Omega Land? I am that popular?" Andy asked, a little uncomfortable.
"Yup. And... Hey, what's happening over here?" Jake asked, curious.
Apparently, Max also managed to upset Rachel, and both girl wanted to beat him up. But being civilized, they challenged him at a volleyball game, and Max was searching for a partner.
However, both girls had an evil grin behind Max, ideas flowing in their head.
"Err... Should we help him?" Jake asked, a little nervous from the scene.
"Well... You know Sasha and Rachel way better than me, so they shouldn't harm you, at least..." Andy answered, not daring to touch that matter with a ten foot pole.
"Good point. Wish me luck."
Jake resigned to a least help his friend start the game. Judging by the looks Sasha and Rachel had, the game would be short.
Max thanked him, unaware of the grins the girls had, and all four of them headed for the volleyball's net which had been set up earlier.
Meanwhile, Colin managed to escape from Grimm, and wondered what his sister was doing, and why was she grinning that much.
Finding Lash looking cheerfully at them, he headed towards her to get some answers.
"Hey Lash, what is going on here?"
Lash turned to face Colin, still having her cheerful smile.
"Hey, rich boy, how are you going? I didn't saw you when you arrived. Where were you?" Lash asked, as happy as always.
"Grimm caught me, and I just escaped him a while ago. But what is my sister doing here?" Colin asked, a little nervous.
The smile Sasha had meant trouble.
"Well... Max managed to piss off both Sasha and Rachel, and wanted to take him out in a game. Jake is helping Max since he's his friend, and also because he could escape the girls's wrath." She answered, cheerfully as ever.
"Wrath? What are you talking a..."
Sasha found the opportunity to send the ball flying directly towards Max, or rather his head. He found himself a second later on the sand, feeling much pain. Judging by the smiles Rachel and Sasha had, it was far from over for Max.
"Ouch... That gotta hurt," Colin said, knowing how angry his sister would be sometimes.
"Don't pity him, he deserved it. Come on, cheer them on too!" Lash said, trying to make Colin do so.
"What? But won't..." Colin started.
"Come on, rich boy, it's your sister, so I'm sure Max will understand. Beside, you gotta keep your sister happy, right?" Lash said, playfully.
"Well... Err... Good work, sis!" Colin shouted, a little embarrassed.
Sasha turned towards him, giving him a smile, before turning towards Max, who gulped when he saw the look Sasha was giving him.
Unfortunately for him, he missed the shot Rachel made towards him.
"Yeah! Go girls, show him what you're made of! Come on, rich boy, don't stop now!"
Lash was enjoying herself like when she was in her lab, while Colin, looking sheepishly at Max, cheered on his sister, pushed to do so by Lash.
As Jake guessed, the game didn't last long.
The girls, satisfied, left Max in a dazed state, from all the hits he took. Jake left shortly after, and just looked for now at Sami and Eagle. She finally managed to send him in the water, and she made sure he stayed in, making Eagle resign from escaping his fate.
Sasha approched Jake, wanting to talk a little with him.
"Hello Jake, Thanks again for giving me and Rachel the chance to play."
The boys who were near Max earlier had the same idea as Andy, and girls wouldn't have been able to "punish" Max if Jake hadn't arrived.
"Err... It was nothing, really." Jake answered nervously, sparing a glance at Max.
"So, by the way, have you finally asked Rachel out yet?" She asked, a little curious.
"Well... Still not. But I think I'll try this evening." Jake answered, a little nervous for talking about this with her.
"Really? Where?" Sasha wondered. Jake surely had something planned.
"Do you see over there?" Jake pointed out to Sasha.
"Isn't that the..."
"Well, I wish you good luck for it then." Sasha said, before going elsewhere.
After she made sure nobody could hear her, she let out a sigh.
"You better succeed, or else you'll make me regret letting you go..." She muttered, silently.
The party was a lot of fun for everyone, except a little less fun for Max, who learned that pissing off a girl is always a bad idea. Everything was smooth, except a little incident from Lash's barbecue. "What's wrong with having a little more fire than normal?" She said for her defense, having a unique definition of "little".
Everyone was now saying goodbye before leaving.
"So, rich boy, how's life going for you these days?" Lash asked, a little curious.
"Well, nothing much has happened since we brought peace, so the days are as quiet as they can." Colin answered.
"How boring. Will you come visit? Fun stuff is always happening there, so you wouldn't get bored."
"Well... I suppose I could. I'm sure Sasha can take care of things by herself."
Lash looked around, and after making sure no one was looking at them, gave a small kiss on Colin's cheek, before running away.
"Well then, see you soon, rich boy!" Lash shouted, waving at him before heading for her car.
"I... Well... Err..."
Colin, as red as a tomato right now, just decided to head back to the car he was taking.
A few minutes later...
"Hey, Rachel, do you mind if I take a little detour before heading back to the base?"
Jake was driving, Rachel was next to him, and Lash was sleeping on the back seat, drained by the party.
"Huh? What for?" Rachel asked, curious.
"I would like to show you something before we go back." He answered.
"Well, sure then. But what is it?" She asked, even more curious.
"It's a surprise." Jake answered, hiding a grin from Rachel.
Jake stopped the car on the side of the road, near a hill. Nature was quickly restored to the hill, giving it back his former beauty. Since Lash was still sleeping, he let her do so. After taking some minutes to climb the hill, they arrived to the top.
"Here, look." Jake said.
Rachel finally got a good view from the plains below the hill.
"Wow..." Rachel said, not finding any words to describe what she was looking at.
The plains had recovered quickly from the last war. Almost everywhere, from the hill, you could see flowers blossoming, covering almost all of the plains. The hill itself had a good share of flowers, too. And the sunset added even more beauty to the picture.
"Jake... It's... It is beautiful. I never saw something like this before... But... why did you bring me here now?" Rachel asked, amazed from the view.
"Well... There's something I wanted to tell you, since a good time now..."
Rachel couldn't have been ever more puzzled in her life than now.
"I'll just get straight to the point, if you don't mind. Rachel, I love you."
Jake's mind finally stopped holding his breath. He finally said it! But how would she react?
One look was enough to see that Rachel was already flushed up from the declaration.
"Jake... I... But I'm not... I..."
Rachel was at a loss for words. Her mind was filled with thoughts, and even more questions.
Jake, acting on an impulse, walked in front of Rachel, He placed his hands on her shoulders, making her look at him in his eyes, too shy to speak. He then kissed her.
She didn't resist, not that she would, mind you. Jake's mind was shouting his joy, guess what for. Rachel mind's detonated like fireworks, and, unsure of her a moment ago, started kissing him back.
Needing to breathe, Jake broke the kiss gently, and looked in her eyes, his hands now on her back.
"Jake... I... I love you too..." Rachel finally said, after a while. She rested her head on his chest, stunned by the spur of the moment.
Heading back to the car, holding each other, Rachel started to talk:
"Still, Jake, I wonder what you see in me..." She said, curious.
"Come on, Rachel. Stop putting yourself down. You already know the answer." Jake answered, gently.
Just before the reached the end of the hill, Rachel made Jake stop for a moment.
"Why...?" Jake started.
"Please...Just hold me for a moment." Rachel asked.
And he did so. Jake put his arms around her, holding her close. Jake, her eyes closed, put again her head on his chest, thinking.
He always took care of her, whatever happened, even during the war. When she wasn't sure of a plan, he has persuaded her that it was good, and that nothing was wrong with it. When she panicked, viewing the numbers of the enemies, he calmed her down. When, on that last battle, she was afraid and was even crying a little, he comforted her and gave her his trust in her abilities.
Why she never saw herself that she loved him, she didn't know. But she was going to make sure to get back the time she lost for that.
Author's notes: Well, I hope you've liked it. I'm sorry again for such the long wait.
I don't know if I'll write again in the Advance Wars section. I have absolutely no idea right now, and I have another fic to finish. I would like to thank everyone who reviewed. You helped me boost my confidence for the first chapter of my first fic.
So, farewell, and r/r.