Epilogue

Quina had never held Red's hand before. She had pulled him to his feet before, she had been pulled to her feet. They had touched hands in many ways; in combat, in daily life, she had stroked his hand. But they had never simply held one another's hand, palm to palm. It felt strangely intimate, even more than Red's heart beating beneath her ear as she leaned against his chest. His free hand was stroking the back of her hand holding his and her free hand was resting on his cheek as they sat together.

Red leaned his face against the small, cool hand on his cheek as he gently stroked her hand in his. It was raining outside and the small shed they were hiding in smelled like fish and had a leak in the roof that was dripping water steadily onto his foot no matter where he moved it to. But at least the rest of it was relatively dry and with the downpour the way it was, they would likely be safe the rest of the night. The fisherman was not going to decide on a random search of his net shed that night.

Quina was falling asleep on his shoulder – he could feel her breathing becoming slow, deep and steady – and he moved his hand from stroking hers to rest on her belly. It was beginning to swell and he was waiting eagerly to feel the first kicks of their child. His child. Quina had already felt things and the expression of almost-panic and amazement she had worn had actually made him laugh, which had startled her even more, then affronted her. She had glared at him impudently and pointed at her stomach accusingly. But he was not able to feel the movements yet. She still had several months to go, which was a good thing all things considered.

They were still on the run after the fighters' revolt. They had hidden in garbage piles – both of their colorings making it impossible for them to try and mingle for too long – until Red had managed to steal some clothes and cloth to cover themselves up. They had escaped from the city as lepers, though Red had had a difficult time keeping Quina from striking out at every person who looked at them in disgust and at the guards who had barred their way at one point.

They had kept up this disguise of lepers for several months now, never staying in one place for too long. Their master was probably not looking for them anymore, but they had no way to know. This shed was one of the nicer shelters they had had for a night in that time, though the meal they had scrounged from the fish unfit for the market that the fisherman had discarded him was among the worst so far. Red had been very selective in what he would allow Quina to eat – something that annoyed her to no end as it took a long time and she was hungry – but he did not want to take any chances with her health or the health of their baby.

Quina shifted a little in her sleep and her hand reflexively squeezed his. Red squeezed it back, even though she couldn't feel it and laid her hand from his cheek onto her stomach. They were fugitives, living in heather and fish sheds, unable to show their faces as they lived in a land that hated them for their skin color, both trained as killers, but he was happy as long as he was with her. And she had not run off on her own, but had stayed with him and been his wife, so he could only assume that she was happy with him. She still did not speak to him in words, but communicated with how she moved.

His eyelids growing heavy, Red laid his head on Quina's. They were going to find somewhere where no one would bother them, somewhere their enemies would never find them, and they were going to live a happy life together. He would build her a house and no one would ever bother them. Everything would be wonderful. As he listened to her breathing lulling him to sleep, he felt the smallest of movements from within her womb and he smiled. They were going to be all right.


A/N: Omigosh, it's the end!

Well, a huge "thank you" to everyone who's been sticking by me this whole month! The Red Mouse, ValSilph and violinrunner, you all rock my socks! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Anyway, hope this gave you all the warm fuzzies in your heart as you were reading it that it gave me as I was writing it. It's not a perfect happy ending, but it's close enough for these guys, so I guess it should be for us to.

Well, until next time!