Author: Lexa (yatenshiweb.de)
Author's note: so, that's the last chapter... I posted it together with chappie four, because tomorrow I'm moving and wouldn't have been able to update anytime soon.
Argh. The last part got a bit...short. But I wanted to finish this story before I move no matter what, and my energy wasn't sufficient enough for more- please forgive me. I hope you like it despite this...
As I promised YumeTakato... a little fluff P
If it hadn't been for the leaden heaviness paralyzing my body, the invisible fire burning my skin, and the strange sensation of fluid filling my lungs, making it hard to breathe and to think, I'd have been able to keep Rosette from breaking the seal.
But I couldn't move at all, let alone that quickly. This was one of the closest brushes with death I've ever had. Actually, devils are supposed to have only one fatal weakness, an extreme lack of spiritual energy. And while I've experienced that as well, my energy level never dropped to a point were I was in danger of dying, my "small" form prevented me from that.
So, no matter how it might have seemed to a human's eye, the Epitaph didn't work like a poison but was rather depriving me of all spiritual energy I had. What looked like the effect of venom was instead the results of an acute need of energy.
In that state, even if we had managed to leave the convent's reach of influence, my body wouldn't have been able to regenerate again. So Rosette had probably found the only way to save my life.
If only it hadn't been for the sake of her lifetime.
Never before had she broken the seal without my agreement, so I hoped it wouldn't work at all. But unfortunately it did. I had no choice but change into my true form, because even miles beneath the convent and so far away from the Astral Line, the divine power managed to find me.
To be truthful, I was angry at her for ignoring my opinion like that. It's not pleasant to be forced to loose control like that. But like always, it felt so wonderful that for a moment I forgot everything around me in view of the bright, hot strength that surged through my body, making every single nerve tingle with energy until I couldn't hold it back any longer and felt my wings spread, my body grow, felt the golden light emanating from me. . . .
And as soon as the transformation was complete the pain vanished completely, my head was clear again since the fever was gone, and as I looked down on my shoulder the wound was slowly closing, the inflammation withdrawing.
Rosette stood in front of me, lifting her hand and gently touching the almost-gone injury. "Are you alright now?" she asked, her face torn between fear and hope, all these feelings so present on her features that my heart wrenched with affection.
"I think so," I murmured, taking in her eyes, red from former tears, her pale cheeks, her trembling lower lip, and didn't know what else to say.
For a long moment she simply stared before flinging herself at me, throwing her arms around my neck and burying her face on my throat, sobbing quietly.
The warm wetness on my neck made my arms involuntarily creep around her slim frame to reciprocate the embrace, even though I was completely clueless why she was crying. But I hate to see her cry more than anything else. It's so rare that Rosette shows her sadness. "Hey. What's wrong?" I couldn't help asking.
Holding onto me tightly, she tried to suppress her tears. Her voice was low, muffled by her face on my shoulder, this was one of the rare occasions where I was taller than her. "I. . . almost killed you. . . how could that happen? . . . If I had lost you. . ."
She didn't finish her sentence, and her pain cut through my heart. My conscience nags me when I think that I'd almost left her alone, alone to find Joshua, alone to face Aion.
Yet, as much as I enjoyed her warmth so close to me, I put my hands on her shoulders and gently pushed her away a bit. "Sorry for making you worry. But don't put yourself into danger like that! Please. . . . It's my fault that your life is getting shorter and shorter, so. . . ."
I almost had to smile at how predictable she is sometimes. As soon as I started speaking about my mistake of making her my Contractor, she got angry.
"Cut out that nonsense, Chrno! You almost died because of me, so it's only fair that I repay that!" she insisted thick-headedly.
"No," I disagreed. "It was my decision to protect you from that demon, and I knew about the risk I was taking."
"Then why don't you allow me the same choice?"
Her soft, mysterious words, spoken in a suddenly quiet voice, puzzled me. I didn't know what to reply, so I remained silent until she continued. "It's not your 'duty' to protect me, Chrno. We're not master and servant, we're friends. So you have to let me protect you as well!" And, quieter still. "What happened to Joshua was not your fault, so please, don't throw your life away so easily."
Her words struck a cord in me I hadn't even known I possessed. She'd seen through me, again. Obviously she's not the only predictable one. We know each other too well, and so she'd sensed what was bothering me deep within. "I. . . ." Of course it was my fault that Joshua got under Aion's control, I wanted to protest. My horns had driven him mad. Because of his connection to me, the white devil had found the Apostle so quickly. But I simply shook my head in denial, for I didn't trust my voice to stay steady.
"Chrno. . . ." Rosette growled, obviously she was getting impatient and into a fit of anger. But then she regained composure. "Even if you'd given into Aion's offer, you couldn't have saved Joshua. He'd planned your reaction from the beginning."
I guess she saw me flinch at her words, for she smiled a bit. She was right, of course, as if she'd read my thoughts.
"I'd almost given in then. . . ." I whispered. Since we were talking more sincerely than we'd done it for a long time, I decided to be truthful about that as well. The temptation of getting my powers back had been almost too much. The only thing keeping me from taking the white devil up on his offer was Rosette, reminding me through her presence, through her trust in me, that I was no longer what I'd once been.
Rosette nodded. "I'd guessed so." Was there anything I could tell her that she didn't know at all?! "But," she continued with a small smile. "I'm glad that you didn't give in, and stayed with me instead." Well, I couldn't help but smile as well, then I sighed. There was no need to argue anymore. She knew me, I knew her. What else was there to say?
"Alright. However, Rosette, promise me one thing too."
"If Aion should contact you again concerning Joshua, don't act without letting me know about it. Up to now, I was always able to help you in time, but. . . ." I trailed off, knowing that Rosette could guess what I wanted to say. For she was wrong about one thing. I don't protect her because I think it my duty, I protect her because I care for her, because I couldn't bear to loose her.
However, I didn't tell her. It'd make things far too complicated for the two of us, aside from the fact that an unknown fate is waiting for us. So I was, and will be, content in staying at her side, helping her fight Aion, and protecting her.
I think there was something else she wanted to tell me as well, for she opened her mouth to speak, but closed it again and simply hugged me.
For a long moment, we stood there in the dark cave illuminated by my light, embracing. Rosette's hair was as soft as it looked and had a pleasant scent to it that always reminds me of sunshine and wind, and I breathed in deeply. As tomboyish as she always acts, she possesses a unique, natural beauty, even more so when, for once, she isn't screaming and throwing with things.
My Rosette. . . .
After a while we parted and headed for the gate of the cave system, me being in my smaller form again.
Rosette hurried along the now dark passage, worried about what might have happened to Remington. He said that he'd follow, however he didn't came, so both of us were concerned.
But, fortunately, we hadn't come far until we noticed a yellow shine at the end of the passage, and when turning around a corner, we found the blonde Reverend walking toward us, lamp in hand and smiling, obviously unharmed, drawing a relieved sigh from both Rosette and me.
"So you reached your goal," he said with a pleased expression on his face, then turned to me. "Are you alright again?"
I nodded silently, not really wanting to reveal just what had cured me.
As Remington told us while we went back the way to the exit, the demon hadn't been much of a challenge after he'd pumped a handful of Sacreds into it's body.
Somewhere during his story, Rosette had started to lean against my shoulder, to my surprise, but I didn't mind at all and let my arm slip around her hip. If Remington noticed what was going on between us, he didn't show it and kept talking. However, after he was done, I felt the weight on my side increase until the girl suddenly collapsed in my arms. My cry of "Rosette?!" alarmed the Reverend, who'd been walking some steps in front of us due to the fact that the passage had become very narrow.
But as I eased her down on the floor worriedly, I discovered that my Contractor had simply fallen asleep on me. Remington smiled. "Well of course she'd be tired. She kept watch over you the whole night, and the fights have probably taken their toll as well. Just let her sleep, alright?"
Far from waking my precious Rosette, I nodded and picked her up and carried her the last miles before we finally reached the trapdoor at the end of the passage.
The Reverend, as a human able to touch the seal without burning his hand, knocked against the withered wood and, seconds later, the door opened to reveal Sister Kate and the Elder looking down on us.
Sister Kate's face darkened immediately as she noticed the unconscious Rosette, but Remington hurried to reassure her while climbing out of the gate before helping me bringing the sleeping girl up.
I felt the convent head's eyes on me the whole time. She didn't like me from the beginning, and I guessed that this event hadn't done much to confirm her trust in me. But after looking at me for some time, she nodded quietly. "I'm glad that you're alright."
She must've seen my surprised glance, but didn't react except for a small embarrassed cough. She closed the trapdoor before taking the lamp and starting to lead us out of the crypt.
In the hall I noticed that it was already broad daylight. We'd been in the caves for some hours at least. Longer than I'd thought.
"Would you please put Rosette to bed?" Sister Kate asked both me and Remington. Obviously her trust in me still didn't go very far. I didn't mind though. She'd voluntarily helped us, and that was more than I could really expect. "Thank you for your help," I replied, earning a very, very small approving glance. Then, with a distinguished bow, the head of the convent turned and headed off in direction of her office.
The Elder grinned. "I'm also glad to see you up and about, but that was to be expected, after all I'm a genius!" Deciding not to comment on his practically non-existent modesty, I thanked him with a smile, but I doubt he really noticed for a group of young nuns, chatting and carrying a basket of freshly washed underwear, passed the door, and the old man jumped away to maybe steal one or two underpants.
Smiling, the reverend shook his head. "Your thanks is lost to that perverted old man. Come on. Let's bring Rosette to bed. And you could use some sleep as well."
I simply nodded in reply, for all at once, I felt infinitely tired. Yawning, I followed Remington through the convent to Rosette's room.
After removing her shoes and cap, I didn't dare to undress her further because otherwise I'd risked a lot of bruises and bumps once she woke up to find that I'd done something 'indecent', I carefully put her to bed and tucked her in. Then I sat down on the chair next to her bed, intending to rest for only a moment before returning to my own bed, and watched her sleep. She looked so peaceful, relaxed, and simply. . . beautiful.
My precious Rosette. My dear. . . .
Remington, who came in after some minutes to see what was taking Chrno so long, found the red-eyed devil fast asleep on the chair next to Rosette's bed, his head resting on the edge of the pillow, only centimeters away from his Contractor's face, purple hair mixing with blond strands.
The Reverend couldn't help but smile. Different though they were, they looked cute together, the devil and the nun. Deciding that it was futile to try and wake Chrno to send him to his own bed, he gently picked the sleeping demon up and laid him down next to Rosette on the bed, covering the two of them with Rosette's blanket. He chuckled a little as the young girl instantly snuggled closer to her partner, making him turn to her.
"Sleep well you two," he whispered before silently leaving the room and the two people sleeping peacefully in it.
Sometime later that day, Rosette stirred and opened her eyes as she felt a unusual source of warmth on her side. Drowsily, she blinked, and it took her some moments to realize that Chrno was sleeping next to her, sharing her bed with her!
But actually she was far too fatigued to wonder about that fact. Chrno had to be exhausted as well. The night's events had worn both of them out completely. Pondering, she looked at him for a moment, before tilting her head and pressing a gentle kiss on his lips. For some moments she remained like that savoring the feel of Chrno's warm breath on her mouth. As she drew back, a small sigh escaped the sleeping devil, and Rosette smiled. "Now we're even," she whispered, before nuzzling his shoulder with her face and going back to sleep.
Thanks for keeping reading this story and all the nice reviews!!!!!
Unfortunately, I've got problems to finish stories... but I was determined to finish "Demon Fever"- and I did it! gives every reviewer a glass of champaign Kanpai, and thanks!!!! gives Ari Kitsune a big chocolate chip cookie thanks for your proof-reading!! If can do something for you, just tell me!!!