Scott strode the corridors of the agency, greeting various people along the way. He glanced into one of the rooms, checking in on the two witches who were currently half-way through a game of chess. They glanced up at him, and gave him a quick, curt nod.
"You guys settling in okay?"
"Yeah," Akilina sighed, "just about. Listen...thanks, Scott. For everything. I...I know I did..."
"It's okay," he replied, waving a hand through the air. "And it's not me you have to thank, it's..."
"Tomos, I know," Lann interrupted. "And we have, all of us. Trust me. We...you know he's got us going through a kind of rehabilitation program?"
Scott chuckled. "Yeah, I know. How's that going?"
Akilina pouted. "Fine, sort of. It's just...finding out why we...we did what we did...and, well, trying to sort it..."
Scott nodded. There was one thing that had been drilled into the heads of all those who had come into the agency since Erebus' death; hatred and anger solved nothing. Now, they were trying to find ways they could co-exist with humans, and for the majority, it was proving difficult. They had grown to despise those who had no supernatural blood in them, and to rid them of that would take a long time.
But they were getting there.
"How's she doing?" Akilina asked, lifting her head and gazing at Scott. He was surprised to see she looked genuinely worried, and though he knew it would be even longer before the bond between the two girls was fixed, he was glad to see hints of it coming through already.
"Not sure," he mumbled in reply. "I'm going to check on her now. Want to come?"
"No," Akilina sighed, shaking her head. "I don't think she'd want to see me."
Scott said a quick goodbye before he left the room and continued down the corridor. As he rounded a corner, someone bounded out of a nearby room. He only saw a quick shape before a pair of arms were thrown around his waist and he found himself in a hug.
"Scott!" she squealed, and he peeled her off, turning to face the nymph.
"Shayla," he sighed. "What's up?"
"Just wanted to say hi," she chirped, falling into step beside him. She'd said her apologies already, straight after the battle, but Scott still felt on edge around her. Still, an odd change had come over her. She'd been less seductive and more girl-like over the past few days. She bounced along, grinning at him. "You going to see your girlfriend, Scottie?"
He rolled his eyes, unsure if he liked this new annoying little sister persona Shayla had adopted over the mind controlling nymph he had seen before. "How is Varuna doing?"
One thing he would never get used to, with any nymph, was how quick their faces changed. Shayla's became suddenly serious, as they both stopped walking. Scott glanced out the window to see Richmond talking to a woman with long, dark brown hair and a heart shaped face. Crutches stood beside them, and he couldn't help but smile as Richmond helped her to stand.
It was only after the battle that he found out Erebus had somehow confined the woman to be in her wolf state, permanently. With a little help from the others, they managed to release her.
Now, she and Richmond were free to explore the world in their human bodies for as long as they liked, and he'd not seen Richmond change since he'd come to the agency.
"As well as any son can do, after they kill their own father," she sighed, rubbing her neck. "He will recover, though. He's stronger than you think, Scott."
"It was Erebus who thought he was weak, not me." Finally, they turned the corner and found themselves near the medical room. Shayla glanced at the door, before taking a step back.
"I should go see him, actually. He hasn't been eating...I'm hoping he'll have something if I cook it for him?"
"It's worth a try," Scott muttered, detecting the question. He shrugged. "Just take care of him, Shayla."
"I will," she promised, before disappearing from his sight, returning to the demon. Scott entered the medical room, greeting those who were still there, days after the fight. The Doc had been tending to the wounded from both sides, with the help of other demons, vampires and even a few were-creatures who had been on Erebus' side. Even now, they bickered and argued with the original agency members, but even this had died out over the last few days.
Those that refused to change had either been locked up downstairs, or sent over to the other worlds with the rest.
The Doc fell into step beside Scott, filling him in on some of the people stuck in the room.
Eventually, he questioned Scott on the burial of the dead.
"Kemble's funeral will take place in a few days," Scott sighed.
"There was nothing you could do, boy," the Doc whispered, putting a hand on his shoulder. "Tomos has written a list of the dead – he was considering holding a mass funeral, once we have tended to the living. What do you think?"
"It may be a good idea. How is Crimson?"
"See for yourself," the Doc chuckled, gesturing to the back of the room, where the last bed had its curtains drawn. The Doc fell back, darting to the bed where a demon lay, groaning as he clutched his stomach. Scott pulled back the curtains and stepped in, greeting Cliff as he did so. The werewolf smiled at him and stood, allowing Scott to take the chair.
"Hey," Crimson whispered, her voice dry. "How you doing, hero?"
Scott chuckled, sitting down and taking her hand. "What happened to funny-man?"
"Well, you're not a comedian anymore, are you?" she sighed, tilting her head to get a better look at him. "Christ, Scott, you look worse than me."
He shrugged. "They'll fade."
She reached up a hand, weakly pressing it against his cheek. Scott closed his eyes, feeling her fingers stroke the bruises that stretched across his face. He forced himself to smile. "You should see the rest of me."
Her hand dropped. "Cheeky," she laughed, before breaking into a fit of coughing. Scott reached over to her bedside table, handing her a glass of water.
"I'll come back, later," Cliff muttered, before ducking out of the space.
Scott returned his attention to the shape-shifter. "I owe you my life, Crimson."
"Nah, you don't," she replied. "Just see...see killing Erebus as you having paid me back, yeah?"
"I didn't kill him."
"No, but you got the others to. How are they coping, anyway?"
"They're...adjusting," he muttered. "I think it'll work out, Crimson, you know?"
"Sure I do, funny-man."
"Thought I was hero, now?"
She shrugged, then winced. Crimson managed to get herself sitting up, and she reached forward, once again stroking the side of Scott's face. "You've come a long way, Scott, but I'll always remember that God awful gig you did."
He scoffed. "You weren't there for the gig, I could have been great on stage for all you know."
"Sure," she sighed. "Sure, but you weren't, were you?"
He felt himself blush. "All right, no. I wasn't great. But...hell, I had a higher calling, Crimson. I'm more than a comedian now. Aren't I?"
She laughed, shaking her head as she leant towards him, resting her forehead against his. She smiled, as their eyes locked. "A higher calling, Jesus, I preferred it when you weren't all arrogant."
"Lucky I got you to keep me grounded, hey?"
"Yeah," she whispered. "I guess you are."
She leant in, planting her lips on his. His hand rose and grasped, gently, the back of her head, pulling her gently in. They remained kissing until the curtains were opened, at which point the Doc scolded Scott, saying Crimson needed to rest. When Scott turned around, he found himself facing every other face in the room, grinning at him before they burst into applause.
"Get used to it, funny-man," Crimson chuckled, "you're a hero now, after all."
THE END A/N: So, that's it, Fallen Leaves is finished. Firstly, a huge thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this, even more to those who have reviewed. If you have any critique, please dish it out. I'll hopefully come back to edit this one day, and any feedback would be hugely valuable for that. In the meantime, please let me know what you thought of the ending, or of the story as a whole. All decent length reviews will be returned.
And, please, check out the poll on my profile page; it'll help me decide what to write next, so please have a look. Cheers and, again, thank you.
A/N: So, that's it, Fallen Leaves is finished. Firstly, a huge thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read this, even more to those who have reviewed. If you have any critique, please dish it out. I'll hopefully come back to edit this one day, and any feedback would be hugely valuable for that. In the meantime, please let me know what you thought of the ending, or of the story as a whole. All decent length reviews will be returned.