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~:: Lighting The Darkest Hour ::~

The following is a the third installment in our story-format version of our role-players group's Epic roleplay, which was started at the end of 2005. This is a compilation of the works of several authors. The players who play Bloodwynd, La Luna, Tuetonic Knight, Hidden Demise, VuDu DawL and Azazela all collaborated and this epic battle was played out in our forums. The entire group did a great job. It has now been converted from present tense role-play format, into story format, for posting, and for the enjoyment of our readers. This was a group effort, and could not have been done without everyone's participation! The whole cast worked very hard on this, and I am very proud to present to you "The Darkest Hour." If you haven't already, you will want to read the previous parts, Prologue - The Darkest Hour and The Darkest Hour.

"My God…Armageddon…”

My name is Carlos Rodriquez, I am a simple reporter from the Paragon City News. I was on assignment today covering the opening of a museum in Talos Island. As I was getting reaction from the crowd, strange events began to occur. The sky turned pitch black, at one o'clock in the afternoon, no less. A strange blood red moon appeared in the sky and the strangest of all these occurrences, a dragon bigger than the fabled Hamidon has appeared over the city and it appears to be laughing.

I can't help but think of Revelations in the Bible. Chapter 12 verse 8 and 9 said it best.

"Behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven crowns. 12:4 His tail drew one third of the stars of the sky, and threw them to the earth."

Looks like I am witnessing the end of the world. So with that being said, I am going to try and make a record of these events in case we somehow all live through this.

The dragon appears to be clutching some small item in its claws. It is hard to see from this distance, but the item is glowing. I have never seen anything like this before, for that matter, I really don't think that anyone has ever seen anything like this before.

Next to the dragon is what appears to be some kind of portal into someplace I am glad that I am not in at this moment. Wait...something just flew through the portal. The thing was moving so fast I couldn't make out what it was. "

"From the pits of Hell, I summon thee. From the skies of Earth, I summon thee,” the Dark Lord thundered, as he hovered in the darkened sky.

DawL stood, transfixed, as four figures leapt through the portal, where three had entered. She reached out to the glowing form of her sister, but the mage stayed her with his touch.

"No, Miss DawL, you must not touch her. We must reunite their bodies and souls. I will reverse the stasis, and reverse the spell I used solidify their souls into a corporeal form, and you can then perform your ritual of resurrection." Turning to the four he instructed them to hover over their bodies. As he chanted, each one began to fade into translucency, and it appeared they became weaker. "NOW, MISS DAWL!"

DawL focused all of her strength, and summoned her powers of resurrection, first upon her sister. The translucent form appeared to fade into nothingness, as a column of bright swirling light surrounded her fallen body, lifting it high into the air. As she landed on her feet, she crumpled, weak, but looking up at her sister with tears in her eyes.

Azazela choked back a sob, "I thought I'd lost my humanity."

"Not this day, my sister." She bathed the room in a soft green glow, and directed adrenalin producing energy at her sister. Turning to La Luna, she began the task of resurrecting her. As Luna's still form animated, and rose amid the glow to stand again, she looked at DawL with fear in her eyes.

"We have to hurry! Bloodwynd is up there, fighting that...that....THING."

DawL turned to Az. "Are you strong enough? Please resurrect your son, as soon as you are able."

Hitting Luna with a bolt of green energy, DawL surrounded them with blue glow, and Luna began to gain strength quickly. Luna turned to the body of Conrad, the Tuetonic Knight, and raised her hands, beginning her resurrection spell. Az stood over Demise, and raised him as well. She then bathed the room in the cool blue energy, and shot a bolt of energy at her son, to raise his adrenalin levels also.

"I know this has been rough, but we can't stop here. We have to get out of his place! We must find Bloodwynd and help him,” Demise said, urgently.

DawL turned to Keres, only to find him gone. Startled, she looked around the cavern, when suddenly she was blinded by a brilliant flash of light. As her eyes refocused, she saw the door leading back out to Paragon City, right in front of her, and Keres at her side. She hugged him, kissing him quickly, and focused upon La Luna, teleporting her to them. Keres teleported TK, and Luna grabbed Az, while DawL brought Demise to them, and lastly, Keres summoned the mage. Within a few seconds, they were all running through the door, out under the sky, which was dark and lowering.

Lightning flashed across the horizon, as they all rushed towards the direction of sounds of a great battle. Terrified people were fleeing in the opposite direction. A huge explosion rocked the earth, causing the flying heroes to tumble from the sky. Keres rushed to the fallen DawL, lifting her in his arms, and carried her onward. TK stood, brushing the dust from the impact from his armor, and grabbed Luna by the hand, as she struggled to her feet, and pulled her along with him. Demise summoned all his strength to lift his mother, setting her on her feet, as she bathed them in healing energy. They all rush forward, scanning the area for any sign of Bloodwynd.

La Luna, driven onward by her love for him, found him first. She rushed to his side, and cradled him in her arms. As the others approached, they heard her wail.

"Please hang on my love. Dawl and Az are both here, they can resurrect you...PLEASE!"

As DawL reached Luna, Bloodwynd breathed a few last words, and as Luna answered him, his mortal form took his last breath. La Luna cried out in grief, throwing herself onto his still form.

"No ... no ... no ... this can't be happening! DawL, help me, please! Do something! Don't let him die like this!"

DawL summoned every bit of her power, as a brilliant column of blinding, swirling light surrounded the still form of Bloodwynd, yet the fallen angel did not rise. Azazela cast her power of resurrection upon him, to no avail. La Luna, stricken with grief, tried a resurrection spell, only to get the same result.

La Luna fell to the ground, sobbing, babbling incoherently. Tears flowed copiously down DawL's face as she felt completely impotent as she was unable to help her friend.

"WHY ISN'T IT WORKING? Don't leave me Blood, please! I can't live without you!"

Azazela moved closer to her sister, and spied a glowing object on the ground, near Bloodwynd's lifeless form. Reaching to pick it up, she found the amulet, now fused into one single piece, once again. She rushed over and pressed it into DawL's hand.

Azazela whispered hoarsely to DawL. "You know, we never die. Beings like us, if we are destroyed, we are merely taken from our material form, and bound over in another plane of existence, until that last day, when the humans will stand in judgment over us. If the Evil One was going to use the Amulet to return our father from those bonds, then perhaps we can use it to return Bloodwynd back to this plane of existence."

DawL turned to her younger sister, and in one lucid moment, realized that the one she always thought of as being no more than a child had finally come into her own. Hugging her sister tightly, she pulled her in close as Az bowed down to bend her ear close to DawL's face, to hear her whisper.

"We cannot do this alone, and I believe we will need the permission of the Creator. For that which He has bound, I will not presume to unbind."

"You are the one of a vow. Perhaps He will incline his ear to hearken to your pleas. Ask this of Him."

With tears stained cheeks, DawL dropped to her knees, raising her face and hands skyward.

DawL cried loudly. "I know you don't owe me anything. I realize have no right to ask this... but... he was our friend.... our compatriot...you know I would never asked for anything for myself... but... I will ask for this one thing... allow Bloodwynd to be restored to his place here on earth, with us.... "

The wind picked up, and the sky rumbled with the angry sound of thunder, as Keres stood at DawL's side, joined by Az, Demise, TK, and even the mage, who had by now caught up with them. Luna was still holding Bloodwynd in her arms, sobbing hysterically. DawL opened her eyes, looking up at the dark, billowing clouds, as she awaited an answer from the only One with the power to grant her request...

Thumping her tiny fist on her chest, she cried out "Don't you do this to me! Breathe dammit! Breathe...."

When he made no movement, Luna wrapped her arms around him tighter and rocked his still body gently as she sobbed. She didn't hear Az and Dawl's conversation...It was as if everything seemed to stop around her and her sole focus was on the man in her arms.... It couldn't be....it just....he just couldn't be gone...

He'd wake up.... he was just sleeping....he would be ok...just give him a few minutes to rest...Her fingers stroked down his cheek...over his jaw and then along the softness of his lips...Yes....he would wake up soon.

Back at the house, Wilhelm, Fleur and Lumiere noticed the deafening sound vibrating through Talos. And even with Fleur rushing to change clothes, telling Lumi to stay put....her pregnant twin was already out the door moving towards the sounds.

Residents all ran screaming in the opposite direction as the three of them were like salmon, trying to get upstream. Through the mass panicking crowd, all three of them saw the large crater in the ground...

Standing beside it they saw some familiar faces.....Dawl and Keres stood next to Az along with another young man none of them knew, and finally a tall blonde haired man in silver armor...

"CONRAD!" Lumiere shouted, moving forward to him, watching as he turned in her direction looking for the source of who shouted his name. He immediately sheathed his sword and jogged to her, wrapping her into his arms. "Oh my God, Conrad I was so worried about you. Thank God you are all right!"

Lumi clung to his shoulders and kissed him with everything she was worth, she was so glad he was back and in one piece. He smiled brushing the hair from her eyes and then gazed down at her belly.

"I've missed you.....look at you...you look beautiful....not to mention ready to give birth almost. How long was I gone?"

Wilhelm clasped his brothers shoulder with a warm smile, relieved he was back and un-harmed. He was about to say something when Fleur's tone stopped him cold...

"Oh, Jesus...."

Fleur moved past Conrad, seeing Luna kneeling on the ground rocking back and forth. She took several steps toward her and finally saw what she was holding...It was Blood, and he wasn't moving.

"Oh no ..." she breathed. She knew exactly what Luna must be going through, having just lived it herself. She raced forward, her heart constricting as she fell to her knees beside her older sister....

"Lu? Lu honey, it's Fleur."

Luna mumbled something, just rocking Bloodwynd back and forth with unseeing eyes... Fleur wrapped her arms around her sister, and softly told her that she was going to get her home...Suddenly Luna shoved her away with such force, Fleur tumbled backward. Snarling at her younger sibling, she shouted, "Leave me alone! I'm not going anywhere!"

Lumiere gasped as she stepped forward into the circle of friends that had gathered there. Wilhelm helping Fleur up to stand...quickly asking if she was injured.... the look of shock on her face told him she was more surprised than hurt.

As the police arrived to do crowd control, so did the EMT's to take Bloodwynd's body, and that was when everything erupted. Luna lashed out at anyone who tried to take him from her. Punching one poor EMT, she repeatedly told them that he wasn't dead. Lumiere's blue eyes widened, never having seen her older sister in such a state...as Conrad stepped forward and pried her hands off Bloodwynd's shirt, holding her back. Finally Demise and Wilhelm had to step in and help them as she screeched and writhed, trying to get free....Fleur covered her hand over her mouth to hold back a cry, as tears streamed down Dawl's face...

The EMT that Luna had slugged was talking to a police officer who approached the group. He stood back and watched as Conrad, Wilhelm and Demise struggled to hold the flailing woman. Luna caught Demise unexpectedly with a solid kick to his knee...and as he release his hold she bit down on Wilhelm's arm, causing him to reel back from surprise. Lifting her foot she brought it down on Conrad's, hearing his growl of pain before she drove her elbow into his armored ribs.

"Luna! Stop it!" Lumiere yelled at her only to have Conrad throw out his arm keeping her at bay.

"Don't Lumi...she isnt herself and I doubt she would recognize you at the moment."

Fleur moved around the other side of Wilhelm as Luna scrambled to get to the ambulance. Grasping her sisters arm, she plead with her as Luna turned and struck Fleur so hard across the face, it snapped her head back.

"I've seen enough," the officer said, as he removed his tazer and hit Luna with it. Her lithe frame jerked and then collapsed as Fleur wiped the blood from her lip. The metallic taste was still in her mouth as Wilhelm came up to her, tipping her head back to assess the damage.

The officer removed the electrodes and looked up at the group.

"I take it you two are related? You gotta be, you look too much alike. I'm taking her to Talos Memorial Hospital to get a psych eval. I'm not gonna press charges against the hit she gave to Juan, I know its grief related. If one of you wants to come-"

"I'll go" Fleur said from within the circle of Wilhelm's arms.

"Fleur.... we'll go with you" Lumiere said from someplace behind her.

"It's okay. Go back to the house with Conrad. You two haven't seen each other in weeks. I'll handle this."

She looked up at Wilhelm, love and sadness mirrored in her eyes.

"Go with them, mon cher. You're not fully healed and you could use the rest."

"What about you?"

"I'll be ok." She told him softly as she started toward the officer where he was loading Luna into the police car.

"Fleur, wait!" Lumiere called out and started toward her.

"I SAID I would handle it, Lumi!" Fleur snapped and then reigned in her panic...

"I'm sorry...look just...take Wilhelm and go back to the house with Conrad....."

About an hour later, Fleur paced the waiting room......She was spending way too much time in here, she thought to herself.

She closed her eyes for a moment...silently asking her father for help. Begging him to do something, to send Blood back to Luna.... Finally the doctor came out and escorted her back into the psychiatric ward...

Her sister sat in the corner of a padded room, straight jacket in place.... her long black hair mostly covering her face as she leaned her head against the wall...

Watching quietly as the police and EMTs put Luna's limp form on a gurney, and loaded her into a waiting ambulance, tears flowed copiously down DawL's face. She looked over at Keres, and realized that it could just as easily have been her, lying there, if anything had happened to him. Once Luna was safely ensconced in the ambulance, enroute to the hospital, the EMTs returned to remove Bloodwynd's body. The first one greeted DawL, and quietly asked her - as she had taken a position kneeling at Bloodwynd's head - if she was a family member.

"I am the mother of his twins, so I suppose the answer to that would be yes," the half-demoness answered quietly.

"I know this is a bad time, but we need to know if you have a preference as to which funeral home..." His soft voice trailed as he looked at them with a compassion that only someone who had dedicated his life to picking up the pieces of others' misfortunes could truly demonstrate.

Squatting next to her, he slid his arms around DawL's shoulder, as he lowered his voice to almost a whisper. "I am very sorry."

DawL sobbed quietly. "Would you mind giving me a few moments, with him, first?"

"Sure." He stood and nodded to the group assembled around an empty gurney, and they followed him back to the other side of the waiting ambulance.

DawL again turned her face heavenward, still crying hard.

Quietly, she spoke, "Look, I know I am far from perfect. But I have done my level best to show Your love, and give unto others. I was sent to this place, away from my home and my mother to fulfill prophecy, and I obeyed without protest or complaint. You know I have, many times, given my all. I know You don't make deals, and I wouldn't presume to ask, but I am begging You, please grant me this one petition. Please restore him to us, this day." She lowered her head as her body wracked with sobs.

Suddenly, the ground trembled, and above them, the dark angry clouds began to roll as if tossed on a tempestuous maelstrom. As they whirl violently, they began to part above the small group of heroes - DawL, Keres, at her side, and TK, Lumi, Az, and Demise, huddled nearby. A brilliant wave of pure light washed down onto them, as DawL turned her face upward.

A beautiful voice boomed, seeming to come from everywhere.

"My child, my child, have I ever turned My face from you?"

DawL shook her head, slowly.

"Do you understand what it is that you ask of Me, in this regard? The prophecy has now been fulfilled. However, altering the outcome will eventually have consequences, which you may not be fully prepared to shoulder. Are you willing to accept those consequences?" Unable to speak, she nodded her head.

"Very well, DeLara. I will grant this, your petition. Remember, that you will be the one to bear the consequence of your request, just as you have done as the result of bearing the twins. Your decisions forge a path in this life that will not be an easy one. However, I have given your Guardian to protect you. And you have Keres to stand ready, at your side. Lean upon them, and you will draw the strength to shoulder that which will befall you. No force upon this mortal plain is greater than love, my child. Of all the powers given in this realm, it alone cannot be defeated. Remember that, my small one."

The light which flooded down from above filled all of them with a warmth like nothing they had ever felt before, as the all watched, transfixed, as the body of Bloodwynd began to glow from within. The amulet, still clutched within DawL's tiny hand, began to glow, and then flashed with brilliance greater than lightning, as the ground beneath them all began to tremble. A huge ball of light descended, coming to rest just above the broken form laying before them, as it took the form of a man. Suddenly, a clap of thunder rocked the plaza, and they all fell back from the force as a simultaneous white hot flash exploded around them.

Azazela was the first to regain her footing, as her eyes struggled to refocus, temporarily blinded by the brilliance. She groped her way forward, finding the small form of her sister collapsed over the body of Bloodwynd, still stunned from the blast of energy.

A hoarse, pained moan came from nearby, and Az turned her head, searching for the source of the apparent agony.

"Get...off...me.... please.... my.... chest.... I... think.... ribs... broken.... please...."

Azazela realized the voice was coming from BLOODWYND, as she violently yanked DawL backwards by her horns, literally lifting the diminutive one to her feet, shaking her back to consciousness.

Azazela hissed through clenched teeth, "HEAL! HEAL! HEAL!"

DawL snapped back to awareness, and released her energy in rapid bursts of a warm, green aura. Focusing, she directed blasts of that pure energy directly to Bloodwynd's broken body. Azazela joined her, as the entire area was lit up in a pool of continuous green glow.

Bloodwynd groaned loudly. "Ooooohh, I.... hurt... in so much... PAIN.... "

"Shhhh.... be still! Don't try to move,” Dawl urged him, gently.

"Where...is.... unnnnghh... Ohhh...where... is... my.... Luna?"

Azazela answered him. "She is being cared for. She was just overcome with grief. I will summon her...." She turned, and stepped towards where Demise and TK were struggling to get to their feet, next to the still unconscious Lumi.

The hospital attendants were standing around Luna, as Fleur looked on. The doctor entered the room, with nurse on his heels, a huge syringe drawn, full of a powerful sedative. Luna's glazed eyes fill with tears, as she looked up at the small crowd gathered around her, but she made no move to resist. Just as the nurse began to expose the skin on her hip and uncapped the needle, a flash of brilliant white light filled the room, and Luna was gone.

The air rumbled, then with a burst of brilliant white light, Luna materialized before them, and unceremoniously fell onto her face, as the wall upon which she was leaning was left behind at the hospital. Az leapt to her side, healing her and shooting her full of a burst of mind clearing power, as Demise and TK struggled with the buckles on the back of the straightjacket. Luna made no move to struggle, her form limp and her eyes glassy, as she slumped into Az's arms. Az lifted her tiny body into her arms, and carried her quietly over to where Bloodwynd laid.

Luna turned her face, unwilling to face the lifeless body, willing the previous image of his still form out of her mind. She closed her eyes tightly, and began to sob hysterically.

The elation he felt from finally seeing Lumi, and seeing her nearly ready to pop only acted to hide and push his feelings of loss and failure from his mind. He had to force himself not to injure the officer who tazed Luna, after all they had gone through so far to have her hurt in that way after it all seemed so close to an end. But he knew it had to happen, as he stared at Bloodwynd, constant mocking voices in his head reveling in the act that he failed. He tried to hide it with a straight-lipped determination that would have done any of his ancestors proud. Finding a large chunk of rubble he draped his cape on it, motioning for Lumi to sit.

"Can't have you on your feet, one so lovely as yourself shouldn't see this."

He couldn't tell if he'd put the humorous undertone on it, like he had so often with other statements.

"God I missed you... I'm sorry... Leaving deserting you when you probably needed me most. But I love you... I'm just sorry it took this long to get back to you."

He hugged her gently, kissing her forehead and running his hand through her hair. He saw Wilhelm walking towards them, for some reason he wasn't moving as quickly as he was, but that point just didn't register in Conrad's mind, for as soon as he comes close enough he hugs him, hearing a small cry from Lumi in the process.

"Don't Lumi, for this I can endure."

Wilhelm smiled, holding his brother at an arms length, noting the singe and scrape marks on his armor.

"You look like you've been through hell Conrad."

He smiled, about to laugh but suddenly noticing how one of Wilhelm's arms quickly moved to hold his chest, a small wince of pain evident on his face.

"I'll explain later Conrad... You won't believe it when I tell you."

"As I don't think you'll believe my story."

The three paused, hearing the sobbing cries from Dawl and the various sirens as Luna is taken to the hospital.

"I failed. I went in there to help, was summarily outclassed by everything that was thrown against us. They pulled me through it and now look what happens, can't even save..."

He stopped, sinking to the ground on his knees, head in his hands.

"Where is the justice in that? I honestly wonder sometimes if there is something up there that moves us around like pawns for his own amusement."

Wilhelm cringed slightly at that. While he and his brother were never exactly devout followers, they had never spoken so callously towards it, knowing what their ancestors had fought for, no matter how wrong it seemed now.

"Hey, Conrad, no need to talk like that, I can tell you through experience, it's not like that I sa--"

"What you know could fill a thimble in a sea of truth."

He rose from his knees, staring at Wilhelm with a fire in his eyes that hadn't been there for years, actually causing the younger brother to take a step back in fear.

"There is no justice, there is no greater good, it's just us and the people around us who try to get by day by day in a world full of corruption, evil, and demons. How anyone could take that man over there, how anyone could put another through the pain and torment that woman is feeling right now, how anyone could look past the good that scrapper over there has done and take him from those who consider him father and friend... Well I for one refuse... I won't..."

He stopped for a moment, years of ingrained truth, knowledge and belief coming hard against the wall of reason he had constructed his whole life. The corner stone of that wall being that everything happened for a reason, being firmly kicked and dislodged by what he could only see as an outcome that had no reason whatsoever. He still couldn't bring himself to utter the words that would renounce all that he had held for so long but still they seemed to be on the tip of his tongue.

"I just can't believe in something--"

He stopped, staring at the sky as the clouds began to tremble, boil, and roll like the surf. The ground trembling beneath them, Conrad's hand went to Lumi's shoulder to steady her as the white light spilled from the once darkened sky. An immeasurable fear builds in Conrad as he stared at the sky, suddenly finding himself on one knee with head bowed as he had done before his father.

"Vater unser im Himmel
Geheiligt werde Dein Name.
Dein Reich komme.
Dein Wille geschehe, wie im Himmel, so auf Erden..."

They were thrown back by the force of the explosion. Twisting slightly in the air he did his best to catch Lumi and make sure she didn't land wrongly on the ground, thankfully finding a patch of grass and a small sapling that didn't seem to be imbedded with rubble and re-bar from the concrete around them.

"Gott in Himmel I shall never doubt you again."

Wilhelm stood shakily, gritting his teeth through pain as he rubbed his chest through the shirt.

"Schiessen, popped a stitch."

Conrad didn't even think about that one before he sat in front of Lumi, checking her breathing, her eyes fluttering open slightly as he waited for her to come back out of it. Another flash of light caught his attention as he saw Luna trussed up like a thanksgiving turkey on the ground.

"C'mon Wilhelm, we gotta get her outta that thing"

They fumbled with the straps, the look on her face making it all the harder. Conrad couldn't even look over to Bloodwynd but the words and voice he heard nearly chilled him to the bone. He turned his head slowly, looking at Bloodwynd lying there, and alive... At least, in the medical sense, but he knew he was probably wishing otherwise in the physical. He noticed Lumi walking up to the circle, tears in her eyes and he hugged her closely as they watched the fainted Luna, and Bloodwynd. Wilhelm stood, looking around.

"Oh- Scheiße, Fleur"

He burst through the hospital doors, the various nurses and orderlies stopping mid-stride and staring. He could see the wide eyes of the desk nurse, the one who argued with him when he was here, as her hand went to the phone, no doubt ringing security. He took the long lobby in a few strides, staring at her intently.

"Judging by the way you trussed up my sister-in-law, you had her in the psych ward. I want directions there right now and so help me if you try to stop me like you did last time I will bring truth to my promise."

She stammered slightly, her hand hovering over the buttons before hanging up the phone.

"5th Floor, take the elevator... But they have guards up there, you'll never get in." He smiled slightly, cocking his head as he stared at her.

"Right... I'll call them and tell them you're on the way up."

He walked into the elevator, taking it to the 5th floor and walking out. Going through a door he was met with a large wire gate, with two burly and familiar looking gentlemen and a short doctor staring through at him with un-concealed anger.

"MR. KNIGHT, you fought to get out of our custody and now fight to gain entrance, I'm afraid I can't help you this time."

He stared down the doctor, causing him to look away and walk down the hall. Walking up to the gate he looked sadly at the guard who sported a small bruise on his jaw.

"I'll take down the gate if I have to. I'm here to get a young woman, black hair, purple tips. I'll get her and leave, that's all."

"Well, we don't want to have to go through that again Mr. Knight."

A look of puzzlement, then recognition appeared on the guards face, as he stared at him.

"Oh hell, your that Hero aren't you? That German prince with the goody two shoes brother?"

He shrugged, a small smirk on his face.

"You saved my sister from the Thorns... I owe you."

He unlocked the gate ushering him in, and told him she was in the waiting room, third door on the left. He charged down the hall, the thuds of his combat boots echoing, the doctor turning in alarm and cowering into the corner as he ran past. He flung open the door, jolting Fleur upright in the chair, the pile of tissues around her rustling in the breeze.

"C'mon, let's go... NOW"

"Wilhelm I'm staying with Luna, I told you to wait...."

"No time to explain."

He picked her up, threw her over his shoulder, and ran on adrenalin, not even feeling the burning in his chest.

"What the hell do you think your doing Wilhelm, where are you taking me?"

"Bringing you to the site of a miracle."

Slowly her eyes began to flutter open, the grogginess still clinging to her senses but feeling a very warm body cradling hers. Confusion and joy rivaled to be the dominant emotion as she looked into Blood's smiling face...

"Am I dreaming? If I'm dreaming I don't want to wake up.... ever."

Bloodwynd pressed a soft kiss to her lips as his smile deepened.

"You aren't dreaming Angel....I'm here and I'm ok."

"Oh God, Oh thank God!"

She twisted, throwing her arms around his shoulders as he cradled the back of her head.... His eyes filled with gratitude as they found Dawl's, giving her a smile filled with warmth. Blinking back the tears, Dawl nodded her head ever so slightly to him. The silent communication went un-noticed by the others as Keres wrapped Dawl tighter against him.

Lumiere stepped up to Dawl's side, looking at her and Az and dropping her voice so Luna and Bloodwynd didn't hear.

"I don't know how you did it, or what the cost to you will be, but please know that I will always be here for you. I think I speak for Conrad too when I say that we love you dearly, anytime you need us, for whatever reason do not hesitate to call."

Conrad moved to her side, his hand resting over her shoulder as he nodded to Dawl.

"She does speak for us both. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help to you in there, but I had-"

"For one still so young you were an amazing help and we could not have made it through without you, Tuetonic. You've done so much more than you realize." Dawl said, kindly before looking around the vast area. Things began to settle down. The people of Talos once again milled back to the scene, wanting to see what had happened.

From a few feet away Wilhelm returned, holding Fleur's hand and pulling her up over the debris....Seeing her sister hugging and kissing a very much alive Bloodwynd, she breathed a sigh of relief.

"We should get moving," Keres informed the small circle as more and more people began to crowd around the area.

"He's right.... I'm surprised this place isn't teeming with reporters." Dawl muttered quietly.

Keres and Tuetonic Knight stepped forward offering Bloodwynd their help in standing...Luna first wrapped Az in a tight hug, and then, still teary-eyed, hugged Dawl fiercely.

"Thank you...thank you so much for everything. You are the most wonderful friend anyone could ask for!"

She hugged the shorter woman back just as tightly.

"Ahhh, you are more than welcome. You two are good together.....besides, I already have my Maid of Honor dress, so there is gonna be a wedding this weekend!"

Luna laughed softly, taking Bloodwynd's hand and smiling up at him.

"Now that I have my groom back. Yes there is going to be a wedding this weekend. Come on, let me get you home so you can rest. We've been through Hell lately."

The End

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