Chapter Thirty

~*I Feel Fine*~

The twinkling stars were not very comforting, Echo thought after she'd spent a long time staring up at them. She wondered if there was more work for her to do. Looking up at the sky that she might never see again was making her depressed.

Across the dirt and gravel covered way Echo could see Maddox still moving things around, ordering people about in that commanding voice of his. Somehow he had found himself in charge of moving foodstuffs into the bunker. Echo wasn't all that surprised. Maddox just fell into a leadership role naturally.

"Do you think we'll ever see the stars again?" Echo wondered aloud.

"Definitely," Lys said. Echo didn't know where he got his confidence from. Emma had said fifty or sixty years would be spent underground. She would be an old woman by then. She might not even be alive.

"We'll bust outta here with a hundred grandbabies all eager to get to work and rebuild. And we'll be so old we won't have to lift a finger."

"Grandbabies?" Echo questioned, raising an eyebrow at the boy. "Getting a little ahead of yourself, aren't you?"

"I don't think so," Lys grinned and kissed her neck, making her giggle. He loved it when she laughed. "I want a hundred of them!" Lys joked, "All with auburn hair and green eyes." He winked at her and she blushed furiously, but she liked that Lys was talking about having a future with her. She snuggled up against his arm comfortably.

"I guess if I'm with you, it won't be so bad." Echo said. Now it was Lys' turn to blush.

"You are a shameless flatterer," he chuckled. Smiling, Echo kissed him hard on the mouth, surprising him. He was grinning and moving to kiss her again when the sound of a car horn broke through the silence of the night.

The guards at the gate perked up and started yelling to one another, getting ready to meet whomever was coming down the road.

A black car was screeching down the gravel road, it's headlights the only thing really visible in the darkness of the night.

"Newcomers?" Lys wondered out loud.

"Probably," Echo agreed, watching with interest as the newcomers were greeted at the gate. Even Maddox and his crew were watching it.

The car swerved around the bend and the brakes screeched and it jerked to a stop in front of the gate.

"Jeez," Lys laughed, "They drive like Angel!"

Jack waved the gate open and the car lurched forward driving much faster than was safe down the road. Then the person slammed on the brakes again, stopping the car dead. Echo was curious to see what exactly was going on. The engine was still running when the car door opened and a long, brown leg swung out of the driver's seat.

"Holy shit..." Lys gaped.

Echo could hardly believe her eyes as the person climbed out of the car. Angel's beautiful face appeared out the door, and soon after Bambi exited as well.

Angel was looking off towards where Maddox was, and Echo could tell she was grinning. Angel hadn't seen Echo or Lys yet, but Echo shot up to her feet and started running towards her anyway. "Angel!" She screamed. "Bambi! You're alive!"

Angel jerked and swung around, and her smiled grew even wider. "Kiddo!" She greeted, "You didn't really think those coppers could get the best of us, did you?" She laughed as Echo threw her arms around the woman's neck and crushed her in a bear hug. Echo could feel tears gathering up in her eyes. She had thought the two women were goners for sure. That even if they escaped they would never make it to the shelters in time. It was like a mircale to see them again.

Echo released Angel and gave Bambi a similar hug. Lys even hugged the two women and greeted them like old friends, however briefly they had known each other.

"Angel?" Maddox's voice could be heard behind them. They all turned to see the man stalking towards them, looking angry.

"Maddox," Angel smile was soft as she saw the man approaching. Maddox didn't even give her time to finish her sentence. With a low growl he had swept the woman up in his arms and was kissing her furiously.

Echo felt her mouth fall open. She looked to Lys to see if he had known, but he looked just as surprised as she was. Bambi hid a small smile behind her mouth and was polite enough to avert her eyes while the couple kissed.

Echo had no idea that...Maddox and Angel! When did they become a couple?

"Well, that was unexpected." Angel gasped as Maddox finally released her.

"I thought you were dead!" Maddox snapped at her. "Damned woman! What the hell took you so long?"

Angel looked amused. "It's nice to see you, too, Maddox." She laughed and slapped his shoulder. "That was the best greeting I've ever gotten in my life."

Maddox seemed to not know whether to be flattered or furious, so he somehow managed to be both and launched into a stream of curses, waving his hand around but still looking deleriously happy while he did so.

Echo couldn't help but giggle at the two. Maddox had been more worried than he'd let on about the woman. If he'd cared about her so much then why did he let her go on a suicide mission?

As soon as the question popped into her head, Echo knew the answer. Maddox may have felt something for Angel, he may have wanted to keep her safe, but Maddox, like Angel, was a self-sacrificing kind of person. What he did and what Angel and Bambi did was for the best interests of the whole group. They really had been prepared to give up everything for the rest of them.

Echo felt a sudden wave of affection for the gruff man and the military women who had risked so much. "I'm so glad to see you guys here," she confessed. "Thank you," Now tears really were filling her eyes, "We never would have made it here if it weren't for you." She hastily wiped her face. Now was not the time for crying. Angel and Bambi were alive! She should have been cheering.

Angel grinned and ruffled her hair, and Bambi put a friendly hand on her back. "Don't cry, sweetie," the red-headed woman said comfortingly, "Everything will be okay."

Echo nodded, and this time she really felt it was true. She looked at Lys and smiled brightly at him. "You're right, we'll be okay." She may not see the sky again in her lifetime, but someone would. In fifty or sixty years, or however long it took to wait out the apocolypse, they would emerge from their shelters and rebuild.

"Let's get inside," Lys suggested, "It's getting cold out here."

With one last look up at the sky, Echo agreed. Lys smiled and pulled her in for one last kiss under the moonlight. His lips were cool and comforting on hers. Echo felt the electricity run down her spine again as they kissed. The world was ending, but she was here with people who loved her and cared about her, and despite everything, the future looked hopeful.



Author's Note: WOO HOO!! It's finished! Angel and Bambi are okay! Hurrah! I am so thrilled to have this finished.

You may be wondering 'Why would you end it there? What about what happens after this?' Well, what goes on in the lives of the Chosen in bunker #201-8 is another story altogether, and no, I don't plan on writing a sequel. I'll leave that up to your imagination.

A hundred million thanks to everyone who has read and kept up with this story through the years.

I love you all!

PS!! check out the poll on my profile page. Please vote, I'm interested to know what you think.