I have no excuse for the lateness of this last chapter, but I beg your forgiveness...
I Need You For Hope
Draco rubbed his tired eyes as he made his way to Severus' office, having been summoned by the Potions Master. There had been no explanation with the summons, so the blond had no idea why Severus wanted to speak with him at the moment. It could have something to do with Graduation, which would take place tomorrow, but Draco doubted it. He had a sinking suspicion this meeting had something to do with a certain Gryffindor currently laid out in St. Mungo's. Draco was almost afraid to go in to hear whatever it was Severus wanted to speak to him about.
The last time he'd seen Harry, it was clear the Gryffindor was on his way to physically recovering, and though Draco had made progress with Harry concerning the emotions they held for each other, he hadn't left Harry that night feeling all was right with the Gryffindor. It wasn't entirely unexpected. He never deluded himself into thinking Harry would immediately be cured from his dark depressing want of dying, but he had seen hope in Harry's eyes and felt the Gryffindor's longing. Harry had taken comfort in his arms without complaint, and Draco could tell it was something he enjoyed and needed. But still, Draco had left without a promise from Harry that the stupid idiot would stop wanting to die. Draco hadn't wanted to leave him that night, but Severus would not allow him to stay.
Tugging his mind back to the present, Draco was given permission to enter almost as soon as he knocked. Upon entering, Severus' blank expression did not put Draco's mind at ease. "Harry?" he immediately asked.
"Patience, Draco. Have a seat."
Draco did as was told. If only to speed along this conversation.
"You haven't been sleeping," Severus spoke softly, eyes scanning the blond. "You've seen for yourself Harry will live…"
"He's not going to die from his injuries, that's true… What did you need?"
Severus raised a brow at the tired and impatient demand before standing and opening the top drawer of his desk. Draco watched curiously as Severus pulled out a wand. The blond straightened up, immediately recognizing the holly wand as he'd had it pointed in his face enough times in the past. "Why do you have that?"
Severus didn't answer until he rounded the desk to stand in front of Draco. He fingered the wand as he studied Draco. "Your mother and I thought you should know… Harry has chosen your mother over the Weasleys to be his caretaker."
Finally Severus saw something of Draco's old self. The boy leaned back, crossed his arms and smirked. "Of course he did. Finally mature enough to know who's better than who."
Severus barely managed to keep from rolling his eyes. But then again, Draco was right… after what Molly had said. But Severus wasn't going tell him what had been said at this particular time. And then Draco's smile disappeared and he leaned forward to drop his face in his hands.
"Severus… do you think—he's so stubborn. He may never give up wanting the darkness…"
"He's making the attempt," Severus replied as he held out the wand to Draco, tapping his blond head with it to get his attention. "Harry wants you to keep his wand. Specifically asked for it to be given to you for safekeeping, Draco."
Draco stared at the wand, in a state of shock. "But…"
"Your father made sure he realized what this act would mean to you. Harry was very firm in his resolve for you to have it." Severus did smile then when Draco snatched the wand out of his hands to cradle it possessively, staring at it in awe. The blond knew the full implications of Harry's actions.
"Um…" Draco had to clear his throat in order to keep from blubbering like an idiot. Harry giving him this… Certainly it held the message that Harry completely trusted him. And the blond was also going to take this as a declaration of love, as sappy as that sounded. Harry must have known this was how he would see it. He hadn't exactly been very subtle about his intentions with the Gryffindor the last time he'd seen him. And Harry's actions seemed to reciprocate his feelings without actually having said anything. "I need to see him. Right now."
"You will wait, Draco."
"But, Sev," he whined.
"You will be accompanying Granger and Weasley to St. Mungo's tomorrow after Graduation. Not a moment before."
"I want to see him alone. Please, Severus."
But Severus shook his head. "Harry needs rest. After yesterday… tomorrow you may see him. And since school will be over, you'll have more than enough time after to spend with the idiot. Not another word, Draco. The decision has been made. And don't even think about sneaking out to see him before tomorrow."
Soon Draco was thrust out of the office, still cradling the wand in his hands. He was positively bubbling over with thick emotions and hardly noticed the ejection from Severus' office.
Harry gritted his teeth as he took another step without assistance. Beads of sweat had appeared soon after he'd taken his first step and were now running down his face, neck, and down the back of his neck. It had only been fifteen minutes since he decided to get out of bed and try walking on his own without a physical therapist. Narcissa had conceded after a twenty-minute argument but by this time she was fiercely frowning and Harry knew any minute now he would hear a demand for him to return to bed. And also knew, once her patience had run out, he would have no choice but to do what she said unless he wanted to be cast immobile and returned to bed by her wand. Lucius Malfoy was there as well- Harry still wasn't used to his presence- but he didn't look concerned at all. He actually looked amused, leaning there against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest, watching Harry battle it out with the remainder of his pain, trying to get the hang of walking again.
"That's enough," Narcissa said, suddenly by his side with his elbow in her hand. "You will return to your bed." Harry didn't have the strength to argue with her or to try and make it back to bed on his own. "Besides, your friends will be here soon. You don't want to be too tired for them, do you?"
"Is Draco coming?"
The words, excitedly spoken, were out of his mouth before he could stop them and he quickly turned a spectacular shade of red when he caught Lucius Malfoy's smirk.
"Severus passed over your wand to our son last night," Malfoy said as Harry tried to hide under the blanket. "I dare say he'll be here. Severus mentioned Draco seemed particularly… shocked to have received it and impatient to return."
Harry didn't reply to that and again wondered why Malfoy was there. Surely it wasn't for any type of support… He knew the man had been a spy and all but that didn't automatically put Harry at ease. It was easier with Narcissa, as he hadn't much of an interaction with her in the past as he had with Lucius.
"When will they be here?" he asked the witch.
"Soon," she answered with a smile.
"Could I have some time to myself before they get there?"
Narcissa stood from the bedside chair. "Anything you want, Harry." He smiled back at her as she brushed his hair away from his forehead. No he'd never get tired of her doing that. He watched Narcissa move over to her husband, who held out his arm for her, and they quickly left him alone.
Harry settled down and looked to the ceiling but wasn't really seeing anything. He smiled softly thinking about what Draco's face would have looked like when Severus handed him his wand. Harry had plenty of time after Severus left yesterday to think about the decision. Of course he'd worried about going too far. Insecurities had bubbled up within him. He wasn't sorry for making that decision… but he'd been worried over Draco's reaction. Harry did understand how Draco would take it. A wizard's wand was a precious thing and it meant a great deal of trust to allow another wizard to keep it. And this being he and Draco… the blond must know Harry gave it to him with more than just trust. It meant Harry was giving him power over his life as well. Harry had decided to let the blond save him. But would the blond be ready for such a thing? Was he?
Either way the matter was out of his hand now since he'd already gone and told Severus to give Draco his wand. Besides… Draco already had him thinking about the future and he was really looking forward to going on a long trip and seeing the world. Even now Harry couldn't deny the excitement and impatience he felt at having to wait for the blond and his friends. But he was also nervous and wary. Not really knowing what to say to his best friends whom he'd been ostracizing… being an absolute bastard to them. The worry he must have provoked. Is it all really worth the worry? Should you even care?
Harry groaned and pushed away the silky voice that always accompanied the void. He didn't want that anymore. That voice. The blackness he'd been using as a tool. He didn't want it anymore. It wasn't real. Harry gingerly sat up and moved until his feet were on the cold floor. Gathering strength, he pushed up to a standing position, feeling slightly better that he wasn't shaking from the exertion as he normally would. The time spent walking around earlier must have helped. Slowly he crossed the room to the bathroom and was glad the pain was keeping him from thinking more on that voice that had not gone away completely.
When he stepped from the bathroom minutes later, Harry had to lean against the doorway for a moment. He closed his eyes and took a calming breath. He was back to shaking again and unshed tears stung his eyes. The tears were from the fear of losing himself again. He didn't really want to die anymore. The shaking came from the stress his body had taken and he mentally chastised himself for not calling help to get to the bathroom.
Strong arms were suddenly around him, catching him before he slid to the ground in a helpless heap. Without opening his eyes, Harry knew who had him. Draco's scent was unmistakable. He felt the blond wrap an arm around his waist and begin to maneuver him back to the bed. Opening his eyes Harry glanced at him, surprised and wary to see Draco had drawn a blank face.
"You don't have to keep it," he murmured softly. "Give it back to Severus if you want."
Draco didn't respond immediately. He was too busy trying to get over the picture Harry had made when he walked into the room. The Gryffindor had been standing there shaking with a haunted and pained look on his face. Draco wished it were from pain, but he knew it had been Harry's abyss. He would rather Harry be in pain than going back to thinking all was lost. But now Harry was sitting on the edge of the bed, staring up at him and his eyes were once again clear; cheeks burning and his gaze was shy. Draco felt a smile bloom on his face.
"I'm not giving up your wand to anyone but you."
Harry fingered the top button of Draco's shirt as his gaze drifted from the blond's eyes to his smirking lips. Someone banged on the door.
"Oi, Malfoy! You've had enough time alone with our best friend!"
"What? He's already had the chance to see Harry once before. We haven't seen him in weeks!"
Harry laughed and pulled away from the blond who turned to glare at the door. "I detest Weasley."
"Didn't seem that way to me when you three were having lunch in the kitchen that one time."
Draco's attention snapped back to him. "You were there?"
Harry nodded. "Rather cross with Hermione for telling you that naked Great Hall story."
"Did you happen to hear the rope and gag plan?"
Harry blushed and looked away from the feral grinning Slytherin. "Maybe you should let them in now."
But Draco didn't move away. Instead he bent down and pressed his mouth against Harry's. The Gryffindor's breath hitched when Draco's tongue slid by his lips and a hand roamed under his t-shirt, fingers flirting with Harry's sensitive sides, over his abs, chest… Draco grinned against the mouth that moaned wantonly from his touches. Then Harry draped an arm around his neck to pull him closer. To pull Draco on top of him as he lay back against the mattress. It was hard to resist when Harry angled his head to the side in order to take the kiss deeper, thrusting his tongue into the Slytherin's mouth, stroking every inch of the hot cavern. Draco's lids flickered and closed against the bliss rolling through him as he carefully climbed over Harry, never pressing his weight down against the body that was not yet quite healed. But Harry must have wanted full contact, and somehow managed to roll them over until he was settled quite nicely over the Slytherin. Draco found this suitable, rushed his fingers into the wild black hair and pulled Harry's lips back down to his in a ferocious kiss that Harry eagerly reciprocated.
This is the position they were found in when a Healer opened the door, intent on bringing Harry a pain potion. There were several others out in the hall waiting for entrance that was able to look in to see what was happening.
"Looks to me like he's healed," Severus muttered in a disapproving tone. Narcissa placed a hand over her mouth to stifle her laughter. Ron gaped, Hermione smiled widely, and Lucius Malfoy averted his attention to the wall facing the opened door.
"What is the meaning of this!" the Healer yelped as she rushed in. "This is a hospital, not a hotel!"
When Harry tried to quickly extricate himself from Draco's arms, the blond held on tightly, knowing the Gryffindor would probably end up hurting himself. Carefully, he shifted Harry into a sitting position at the head of the bed before regretfully pulling away.
Harry had to endure a few minutes of the Healer chastising him about strenuous activity- in which Draco smirked- while she ran tests and administered a lighter dose of pain medication.
"We don't want you to become hooked on the pain potions, Mr. Potter. So you'll be given it less frequently and with less potency. And that will be easier done since you are being released tomorrow."
"Really?" he asked excitedly.
"Yes. But I expect you to continue with your therapy at home and you will also need to hire a physical therapist to visit you until you can use your legs again as you once did."
Lucius spoke up then. "We've already taken the liberty of hiring the best physical therapist for you, Potter."
"You didn't have-"
"Yes. We did," the wizard said, the tone of his voice barely changing.
"Very good then," the Healer smiled after her tests were done. "I'll come back and check on you in a few hours. And don't," she paused to give Harry and Draco a stern look, though it was clear she was amused, "let me catch you in such a position again."
After that, Severus, Narcissa, and Lucius left to give Harry time with his friends.
"Oi, ferret. You bugger off too!"
"I'm not going anywhere, weasel. And you can't make me."
Draco and Ron stood on each side of the bed glaring at each other and continued to bicker, while Hermione stood at the end. She and Harry shared a look and rolled their eyes. After a second they burst out laughing. Hermione sobered very soon after and ran around, pushed Draco out of the way, and embraced her friend.
"Oh, Harry! It's been so long since I've heard you laugh!"
Harry buried his face in her hair and embraced her as tight as he could. "Mione, I'm… I'm sorry. I was lost."
"But you know where you are now?"
"And you want to stay here, don't you?"
Harry opened his eyes and shifted a bit so that her hair wasn't obscuring his view from a fuming blond who was at the moment still fighting with Ron, both having moved to the end of the bed were they were standing toe to toe snarling at each other. He smiled against Hermione's head. "Yeah."
"Draco! There is no need for you to dress me like I'm an invalid!" Harry exclaimed the next day.
"Earth to Harry! You are an invalid!"
Harry scowled at him. Draco smirked and moved closer until St. Mungo's disappeared and all he could see and smell was the blond. "Relax, Harry. I'll make it good for you."
Harry thought it perfectly reasonable that he should choke on his next breath. He stood there, mute and frozen as Draco gripped the hem of his old t-shirt and slowly pulled it up, skimming fingertips over Harry's sides as he did so and instructing Harry to raise his arms slowly. Harry did so as if in a daze, eyes on nothing but Draco's face, seeing nothing but gray eyes darkening as they trained on his chest and then lower to his abs where a dark sprinkling of hair trailed down pass the band of his pajama pants. He shivered uncontrollably when Draco sucked in a trembling breath.
When Harry's shirt was off, Draco dropped it to the bed before pressing a palm against the brunet's stomach. "This may not have been one of my better ideas," Draco whispered hoarsely.
"Think it's brilliant," Harry whispered, his own voice gone low and wanton. Their eyes met and Harry shifted forward. He was not against more contact. In fact, Harry was sure he needed it more than ever.
"Draco Malfoy! Just what do you think you are doing?!"
If he weren't so hot and bothered at the moment, Harry would have found it hilarious at how quickly Draco jumped away, nearly across the room from him at the sound of Narcissa's disapproving tone.
"He needed help with his clothes," Draco remarked in a small voice, twitching his robes to cover the front of his pants and studiously avoiding his mother's harsh gaze. When Narcissa's frown turned on Harry, his blush heightened and he hurried to turn away from her. The front of his pants not any better and he didn't have robes on to hide it.
"That is why Severus is here. You will wait outside with me."
Draco swept his gaze up and down Harry's body as he followed his mother out, and Harry cursed the Slytherin for leaving him in this state in front of Severus, who walked in soon after looking as if he knew what had just gone on. Harry spent a few silent moments trying to think of things that would make his arousal disappear before he finally faced Severus.
"I'm alright. I don't need help," he murmured, turning away from that piercing dark gaze to pick up the soft green cashmere sweater Narcissa had brought him along with nice tailored black slacks. "Only a little stiff."
"Sit down before you fall down."
Harry huffed but did what he was told. Severus only mildly helped him with his clothes. Giving Harry enough independence to feel as if he'd done most of the work on his own. He'd only needed help with getting his arms through the sweater as stretching too far caused his spine to tingle in a very painful way. But he was proud to have been able to put his black slacks on without any help at all, and beamed at Severus when he did so. The Potions Master returned his smile, which nearly knocked Harry over in shock.
Severus then rolled his eyes at seeing his reaction. "Harry, I know you. And I know Draco. Please try and not put yourself back here before the end of the night. Take it easy, whatever you end up doing."
Harry's eyes dropped to the ground and a slow smile grew on his face as Severus returned to the door, announcing to the two waiting beyond that Harry was decent.
"Now then," Narcissa began when she and Draco returned. "Are you ready to go?"
"Are we going to your manor?"
Narcissa smiled softly. "No, Harry. I thought you would be more comfortable in a smaller place and so we have purchased a quaint little cottage for you."
"Y-you bought me a house?" he sputtered.
Narcissa smiled and waved his shock away. "Only a quaint little thing. I promise."
"Is this your definition of quaint?" he asked incredulously after being transported by side along Apparition with Draco to land in front of a two story house that was three times as wide as the Dursley's house. "How big is Malfoy Manor if you think this is quaint?"
"Are you not pleased with it?" Narcissa asked, both she and Draco looking at him in worry. "We can find another home for you. It would be no trouble at all, dear."
"No!" Harry said quickly, wishing he'd kept his mouth shut. "No, this is fine. Really. I was just… surprised. It's lovely here."
And that was true. The sun was out, the birds were chirping, the sky was a beautiful blue. In front of the 'quaint' cottage was a large yard. Flowerbeds underneath each window. It was a house of white stone and a thatched roof and looking around, Harry saw only green fields surrounding the place as far as the eye could see.
"What do you want to do first?" Draco asked as soon as they stepped into a furnished foyer made of nothing but warm rich cherry wood.
"Could use a lie down."
"Of course, Harry," Narcissa said, giving Harry and Draco a look over. "Draco can show you to your room. I will return home, but I'll be back in the evening, boys."
"Okay. Thanks, Narcissa."
Narcissa smiled and brushed the fringe out of his eyes before fondly pressing her thumb against Draco's chin.
"Mother," Draco grumbled.
Narcissa smiled brightly when Harry snickered. "You two behave!" she exclaimed before Apparating away. As soon as she was gone, Harry leaned against Draco heavily and grimaced. Draco wrapped an arm around his waist and peered into his face, worried.
"Come on. Your room is on this level. We made sure to find a place with bedrooms upstairs and down. This way you don't have to walk up and down the stairs until you're better."
"Geez, Draco. You went all out, didn't you?"
"Mother did it all. She wouldn't let me do anything in regards to your comforts. She's really taken with you," Draco murmured as he helped Harry down the hall. They turned a corner and Harry saw four doors on each side of this hall. "These rooms can be turned into anything you want."
Harry said nothing as they bypassed all the rooms and stopped outside the last door on the right. When Draco opened the door, Harry only saw the bed across the room and began limping to it with Draco's help. The silence was heavily charged as they neared the bed and as Draco helped the brunet sit down, Harry quickly attached his arms around Draco's neck so that the blond had to bend over as Harry sat.
Draco stared at the top of Harry's bent head, waiting for his neck to be released so that he could stand up properly, but Harry seemed to be frozen. "Err… Harry? This isn't exactly the most comfortable position for me to be in. Have you fallen asleep?"
Harry chuckled and finally raised his head; lips automatically seeking Draco's and the blond realized Harry had been faking most of the fatigue and pain. "Let's pick up where we left off, shall we?" he whispered, tugging until Draco got the hint and lay Harry down before crawling over him.
"I don't want to hurt you," Draco whispered even as his hands traveled reverently down the front of Harry's sweater.
"You wont," Harry murmured and pulled Draco down for another heated kiss, gasping into the blond's hot mouth when Draco relaxed and pressed down, sliding his arousal over Harry's
"If it's too much, tell me to stop," Draco demanded minutes later when they resurfaced for air.
"I will," Harry promised, though he had no intentions of making Draco stop, even if he were in pain. He needed Draco. He wanted so bad to make love with the blond. He could have literally been on fire and he wouldn't have said stop for anything.
Draco vanished their clothes soon after and the room quickly filled with their pants, and in Harry's case, wanton moans as the blond began to kiss him all over while finger fucking him, slowly stretching him and being so fucking gentle that it was driving Harry insane.
"Draco, I'm not a fucking broken egg!" he shouted.
Dark gray eyes rose to his and a smirk lifted Draco's swollen lips. "Yes, you are. Be patient."
"I don't want to be patient! I want you to fuck me! Right now!"
Draco shuddered as he pulled his fingers away and slid up the trembling body. "Are you going to be this impatient when I let you fuck me?"
The brunet gasped from both the words and the feel of Draco's engorged cock lining up at his entrance. "You're going to let me fuck you?"
"Not right now. But when you're all better… I'm looking forward to it, even though I've never let anyone… Merlin, I need to be inside you now."
Harry nodded quickly and swallowed the hard lump that had formed in his throat. "Please," he moaned as his hand entangled in the blond's gorgeous locks.
Draco swept him into a ferocious kiss and swallowed his cry of pain as he thrust inside of him. Harry was trembling; his eyes squeezed shut so as not to allow a single tear to escape his eyes. Draco remained still after fully sheathing himself inside Harry, and spent the following moments kissing Harry's lips, and then his jaw and down his neck and doing his best not to press down completely against Harry.
Even through the pain of that initial thrust, Harry marveled at how it felt to have Draco inside of him. To have Draco over him, kissing his face, touching his hair, restraining from thrusting in without control as Harry could feel he wanted to. Could see it in the way Draco's muscles were tense and quivering over him. That was an extremely erotic sight as well.
"Okay," he breathed after taking a deep breath. "You can move."
"Are you sure?"
Harry smiled, liking how uneven Draco's voice was. "Yes. Move."
Draco pulled back slightly and slid a hand against Harry's leaking erection. Twin moans filled the room when Harry arched into the touch, pulling Draco deeper inside. "Tell me if this hurts," Draco said before taking one of Harry's legs, lifting it to rest over his broad shoulder.
"Merlin, you fucking liar!" Draco hissed as he pulled back and then slammed into the body beneath him; repeating the action over and over again. As Harry was assaulted with both pain and pleasure, he thought watching the blond lose control was almost as good as feeling it.
All thought suddenly vanished when Draco's hand wrapped around his leaking cock. "Fuck, I'm not gong to last," the blond gasped and started sliding his hand up and down the brunet's shaft in sync with his thrusts, his dark eyes riveted onto brilliant green.
It wasn't long before bright white lights began to dance in Harry's vision and he cried out with Draco's name tumbling pass his lips in whimpers as the blond brought him to an explosive orgasm. His muscles squeezing Draco so tightly that the blond was forced to follow soon after with a few more hard thrusts, Harry's name shouted in the musky air around them.
Draco lingered over Harry long enough to catch his breath and kiss him before carefully dropping Harry's leg back to the bed and easing off his new lover to lie side by side in a sated daze.
"Fiji," Harry whispered after some time he could talk again without his voice wavering.
Draco lifted his face off Harry's shoulder to look him in the eye. "Hmm?"
"I want to go to Fiji first."
"Fiji… but I'll bake!"
Harry snickered. "You could use a tan."
"Malfoys don't tan, Harry. We fry, burn, peel, and end up looking like angry Weasleys for weeks on end."
"I want to go to Fiji."
"Fiji," Draco mumbled before turning and pressing against Harry's side, burying his face against Harry's shoulder again. "Fine. We'll go to fucking Fiji first."
Harry had a contented smile on his face as he drifted off to sleep.
After nearly two months of staying in the cottage and working with a physical therapist, Harry was finally back in top form. He and Draco immediately set off on their trip and traveled for a year straight without returning to Britain. And during all that time, Harry never asked for his wand. He never needed it for anything.
At the beginning, Harry would catch Draco giving him these long intense glares as if the blond believed Harry were in the process of planning his demise again, and one time when they were Greece, Harry had accidentally broken a glass when Draco was out. Harry crouched down in order to clean up the mess by hand since he didn't have his wand to vanish the mess, and Draco had returned just as Harry picked up a long glass shard. The blood drained from Draco's face and he rushed forward and basically attacked Harry. Nearly breaking the brunet's fingers in order to make Harry drop the glass before throwing the Gryffindor against the wall, snarling in his face. Half way through that row, Harry had calmed down. He took a good look at Draco's face and seeing the fear in those gray eyes… Harry finally took it for fact. Draco would never leave him, never tire of him. Draco was his and the blond was forever worried he'd come back to find Harry had killed himself. Once Harry realized this, he had thrown his arms around Draco and promised he would never leave.
The silky voice of the abyss never came back after that. Harry never really thought about the darkness again either. How could he when he was constantly surrounded by so much light and love and support? He was living his life with the person meant to be beside him. He was living and it was wonderful. It had its ups and downs sure, but Harry had his friends, Draco, and Draco's parents with him. And though there were equal parts ups and downs, Harry wouldn't have traded it for anything in the world.
The week after they returned to Britain from their travels, Draco proposed. Harry didn't even hesitate to say yes. In fact he screamed it from the top of his lungs and jumped Draco right in front of his parents and Severus.
"Was it necessary to scream?" Lucius muttered to Severus and Narcissa. But the other two were smiling. Harry hadn't hesitated and this gave them the reassurance that Harry no longer thought about the void. He no longer wanted to die. They knew him well enough to know that if Harry had any lingering doubts about his life, he would not have agreed to marry Draco. And Draco knew this too, which is why he'd never looked so happy and relieved.
As the elder wizards and witch departed to give the couple privacy, they heard Draco ask where Harry wanted to go on their honeymoon.
Harry laughed and responded with, "Fiji."
"No way, Potter! I peeled for weeks!"
A/N: So that's the end and I have no idea why it took me so long to get to it. I'm fairly pleased with this ending. I don't find it overly sappy, but it's not angsty either, which is what i was trying to avoid. And it leaves enough open for the imagination to conjure up what thier lives could be like after.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed this chapter :D
Happy New Years!