Deryn's first thoughts were, "Wh-where a-am I?" then, "W-what's going on?" and finally, "Am I KISSING ALEK?!?!" Her eyes snapped open and she pulled away from Alek shocked at what she did now. Her head pounded, but she managed to get out, "Wh-what were you DOING Alek?"
Alek leaned back looking shocked, as he saw Deryn wince from her pounding ribs and head, but managed to compose himself and reply, "Y-you're alive, Dyl- erm, what's your true name?"
Deryn stared at him, unable to process that Alek knew who she really was, answering, "Deryn, and how did you know that I'm a barking girl?!"
Alek blushed, whispering, "Y-you were hurt so I-"
Alek broke off blushing furiously as Deryn understood what had happened and replied in her girl voice, "So you know, and hate me, at this point that you've seen what I've kept from you all these months," Deryn sighed and hung her head, "I-I... I'm sorry Alek, but I thought that because I was a commoner I wouldn't matter to you, just like Lilit didn't matter either. Now I see that I am wrong. How can I ask for your forgiveness now that I've lied to you for so long? I can't because I've hurt you far beyond betrayal."
Deryn felt tears run down her cheeks, so she turned away, ashamed at showing Alek her weakness when he was about to say goodbye. She heard Alek take a deep breath and she braced herself for the answer, as Alek whispered, "I know that you've upset me, Deryn, far beyond than what you thought you've hurt me. Even now I am ready to say that I am leaving you, that you would never see me again, but what load of good would that do? First, I would be left without a friend, a comrade that understood me in full of how I felt about this stupid war. I would be all alone again, just like I was before, not knowing what I was supposed to do with my letter being half-useless, and Volger criticizing my every move. I don't want that happening to me again now that I have a wonderful friend standing here, female or not, liar or not, ready to understand my pain.
"Secondly, I can understand how you've felt about this whole situation having to hide at every opportunity from everyone so that you could stay on the Leviathan, your dream of flying. If someone would find out, you would be easily dumped off the Leviathan, and your dream would be broken. Then I came along, telling you my secrets and in return keeping yours. You wanted to keep me here, seeing that I fit right along with the crew, along with the machines on your godless Darwinist fabrications. I ignored your cry for me to stay with you, and continued on with my half-doomed plan to plead with the Holy Father for him to let me take the throne. Imagine how you felt in that time when you asked for me to stay, and got shot down in the process of doing so, with the added tint of me leaving you forever, ignoring the obvious signs that I should stay on the Leviathan. I guess I'm also guilty in the process of this lie, not letting you explain, and say that I was leaving without any further notice. I can't imagine how you felt in that timeframe, betrayed and letdown that you tried to keep me and in response was disappointed in the process; by me. So I am also sorry for not letting you explain your secret in full, at that time. I am just as guilty as you are, for not telling me, and I for not letting you.
Alek stopped and exhaled, relaxing that he got his train of though out of what he thought at the time. Mulling over what Alek had said, Deryn understood that Alek was sorry for a guilt that he wasn't capable of because she provoked the secret farther from his mind by being cruel and letting him go plead with the Holy Father. Wiping away her tears Deryn turned around and replied, "No, I am still the one to blame for all of this because in the end, I let you think that I wanted you to pursue your goal, and make you think that I didn't want you to stay on the Leviathan. So I am the one to blame for all of this mess we've gotten into," Deryn sighed and wiped away a tear that managed to leak its way out, "I must turn myself in to pay for my actions,"
Alek blinked once and shook his head thinking, "Deryn wouldn't think of doing that! It's her dream! She can't let her dream be broken because of my stupid blunder! I can't let her, but if I say that I am going to go claim my throne again we could argue for ages unless..."
Alek grinned and put an arm around Deryn leaning in to whisper in her ear, "Let's call it a draw, shall we? We could argue about this for ages and what would we gain from this? Just empty broken feeling for each other. And how would we benefit from that? A closed argument that's all. I will not have you going and turning yourself in to let your hard earned dream of flying, go. And I will not have me going away to plead with the pope just to find out that he doesn't like me and that I was fighting a lost war here. So call it a draw shall we?"
Deryn smiled and laughed a tinkling laugh, "Alright, I guess I can let my resentment go on this issue."
Alek beamed and hugged Deryn, as she slightly stiffened but relaxed after a while. When Alek pulled back he murmured, "I'll still have to get used to the fact that you're a barking girl with feelings for me, you know. But I think I'll get over it soon enough after hearing the boffin call you 'Deryn',"
Deryn blushed and exclaimed, "WHAT?! The boffin knows I'm a barking girl?! What if she tells someone?"
Alek chuckled and calmed Deryn down, "Don't worry, Dr. Barlowe wouldn't dream of telling anyone your secret. After all you are an important variable in her plan, whatever that means," Alek clapped Deryn's back, "And don't worry about Volger, I've already spoken with him and I guess that he was-" Alek broke off blushing as if he was clubbed over the head but after a while resumed, "I guess he was dating the boffin for quite a while now so I don't think that he would betray her plans." Alek blushed again as Deryn screeched surprise until Alek clamped a hand over her mouth to stop her hysteria.
Once Deryn calmed down she looked pale and clutched her side but still managed, "I-I...I didn't... know that... they were going... out,"
Alek looked worried but answered, "Well I guess they were but we didn't know that. Small world, eh?"
"Yeah... too... barking... small," replied Deryn breathing hard.
"Are you okay Deryn? You look very pale to me. Should I go get someone?" fret Alek.
Deryn managed a grin and breathed, "No... just my...side... acting...up," she paused catching her breath, "I'm fine, Alek, really."
"Oh," Alek sighed, "Well thank providence for that. But you need to rest up Deryn, we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow! We're landing in Japan, if you've forgotten," Alek paused for a moment looking at Deryn impishly and a little guilty at her, "But before I go..."
Deryn felt Alek press his lips onto hers and she and Deryn felt her whole body shudder with happiness now that she and Alek were one, as Alek kissed her passionately, right before she passed falling on the bed.