Pain, Love, and Shame

Part Six

You could have ran, you know. It's why I came to you and said what I said. I wanted to give you a chance. You deserved it, though I wouldn't say it to your face. You'd really messed up, but you still deserved a chance to run, even though doing so would mean the end of everything we fought so hard for.

If you had run, he would have chased you. You could have eluded him, with Kid, and lived a life running from him, but you would never stop running, and you couldn't take the others with you, and it would undo everything I have tried to do. But of course, you know that, don't you.

Indeed there is more to you than I would have guessed. I gave you the chance to ruin everything and ensure your survival, but you didn't. I suppose I should have given you more credit than that. You were always intelligent, and though I refused to admit it, you were my equal, yet I found myself worrying that you wouldn't figure it out, but you did. I'm proud of you.

You stood before the face of death and did not waver. You risked everything you had on a leap of faith: That I would protect you, and the children, from whatever darkness would come for you tonight.

As I look upon your crumpled form now, I wish I could have done more to earn that faith. The flames are stalking you now, like a pack of coyotes stalking a fresh carcass, and you do not move. You cannot move. You cannot speak, you cannot act, you can do nothing to prevent what is coming for you, though by the faint sound of the short gasps of breath emanating from you body, I can see that you are at least alive to experience it.

I'm sorry.

I wanted to come and save you, but I had my own duties to follow. I had to send young men to their deaths against a foe far greater than they ever realized. I sent a group of them after him, to distract him for a moment, and to get an idea of how powerful he truly was. They knew that they rushed to their doom. I know that because I could see it in their eyes. They ran, with their swords held high, screaming terrible cries of war and pain as he cut them down, but it kept him from leaving with her, it weakened him, even the slightest bit. It gave me time.

The rest, though, were doing what you would have wanted them to do. The fire had already spread though the house, but they rushed in and took the children to safety, nonetheless. All of them. You'd have been happy to see that they were safe.

Yet I was not among them, either. I was in the shadows, watching it all happen, and waiting for my chance to strike, and then it came.

He ran, with Kid in his arms, after the attack, with the harlequin following him. The forest was dark, and there was no way for him to see me there, within the tree tops, waiting for him.

I watched as he passed by, furious that you hadn't given him what he came for. Had he known how important that little girl he held in his hands would be, he would have been satisfied.

"Coward! Killer in the darkness." I said from the trees, trying to sound menacing and hellsent. I saw the harlequin react as I spoke. She heard my voice clearly, and though I wasn't sure how, I could tell that she knew who I was. All the better.

"Monsieur Lynx, vee must flee! Quickly!" She said, with fear overwhelming her. "Zees eez a foe vee cannot face now!" She said, knowing what I had done, because a part of her had endured it.

"What? I will do nothing of the sort! Go and hide if you wish, but I will be frightened by no man." He said angrily, turning his attention away from me and toward his companion, completely unaware of what she really was to him.

I decided this was when I'd make myself known. I leapt from the trees, still hidden in the shadows, and allowing the red glow from my eyes to be the only illumination. I stared at him, and her, for what seemed like the longest time. I watched them decide what their next move would be.

Lynx seemed to be formulating a plan, but the harlequin; there was something about her that shook me to my soul. I could see it in her face and in her eyes. Behind all of the make-up and that accent, she was familiar. A demonic distortion of a face I once loved.

"You should listen to your friend. Leave the girl and go……" I said, trying to make this as painless as possible, though I should have known he would have none of that.

"Hmph. You frighten only her. You'll have to do a lot more to get under my skin." He said, tossing the unconscious child aside like a piece of trash. I growled inwardly, wanting to flay his flesh in ways only the devil could imagine.

"What a coincidence, 'Getting under your skin' was exactly what I had in mind." I tried to sound even more menacing, but it was getting harder and harder. I couldn't kill him, but it would be nothing for him to kill me. Still, I took out my scythe as if none of it mattered at all.

"Very well, fool, if that is how you wish to play." Lynx said, letting his arrogance, and his scythe, show, though I could hardly blame him. This would have been a difficult battle, even if I didn't have to hold back.

Before I could reply, he lunged, ready to land a death blow early. I certainly wasn't going to let that happen, and parried the blow rather easily. After facing weakling after weakling in that ambush, he half expected me to be as easily conquered. I let it be known that I wasn't going to be beaten as easily, as I spoke a weak shadow spell to force him back. He was surprised, it wasn't hard to tell.

"A mage. Very interesting. I should have known. You seem to be quite well practiced to summon forth a spell so easily, though I must admit, have skills in the dark arts myself." Lynx said, though I did not know what he was trying to accomplish. I knew of his skills, at least I thought I did. "I've never had to do this before. I'm not even sure I have to now, but I'd like to see how you'd react, oh great Magus." He said as he began chanting. He'd figured me out. The creature of FATE was certainly linked very closely to its master, though there was little time to ponder the situation. He chanted and chanted, growing louder and more demonic. It was difficult to make out what he said, though the last two words were very clear: Forever Zero.

I cannot say it was entirely unexpected, though I certainly didn't expect him to use his best spell so early in the battle, nor did I expect it to hurt so much, even through my barrier. But after the spell faded, there I was, forced to one knee, with only one option that would level the playing field, though I was greatly worried that it might just level something else entirely.

I had begun my chant as soon as I realized just what he was doing. I knew it would take a lot of energy out of me, but it was my only option, I just hoped it wouldn't kill him.

I raised my hand to the sky and hoards of dark energy began to swarm around me. This was it. I could feel my life crawling out to the ends of my fingers, just barely maintaining consciousness. I pointed towards the two of them and released all the energy I had gathered on one massive attack. I could see the look on their faces, the pain, the suffering, the agony. Dark Matter had that effect on people.

The spell faded and the two of them were on the ground. I could see their chests heave; they were still alive, for the moment.

I was relieved, to say the least. I had taken a great risk, and now I was barely able myself, to take the Kid to safety.

I made my way past their almost lifeless bodies and marveled in my victory, at least until I saw her face, wrecked with pain. The harlequin, the mystic. I saw HER in her face and it was almost too much to bear. It was her! I couldn't explain it, nor did I want to, but it was HER.

I couldn't look at her anymore. I quickly made my way to where Lynx had discarded Kid and attempted to leave, but I could not, not without a final confrontation.

"….Prophet." She said, aimlessly, grabbing my attention immediately. She remembered, but only what I had allowed her to see when I had come back to her those years ago.

"Indeed, though who are you, that is the question, is it not?" I said, as collected as I could, hoping the harlequin could give me some insight, though in this state, I doubted it. Her body was stilled racked with pain, and it hurt me so to see her this way, even if she was only part of the woman I had once loved. She looked to the ground to her right, to see me collecting the child with utmost care. Though the harlequin proved to be very intriguing, Kid was my one objective, my one prize.

"Vat are you doing here, Monsieur?" She asked, weakly getting to her feet, her accent hiding once again what had sounded so familiar just moments before.

"I cannot say. At least, not to you, not now." I said, wanting to say something. I knew what she was, what this creature hid within her, and I wanted to free it, but I knew I couldn't.

"Oui. J'comprendre le predicament you are in. Eet is very strange to see you here, though I must say, I am not surprised. Il est tres bien voir tu encore. I hope…someday…vee can…."

"We will, I promise." I interrupted as I knew what she wanted, because I wanted it to. "You'd better go and take him somewhere safe. In your weakened condition, I'm not sure you can fend off the rest of my soldiers." I knew exactly what she represented. I knew who she was and what she was meant to do, but I never though that she would be…..

"Indeed, Monsieur……" She said, saddened that I was sending her away. I could see it in her eyes, the questions she had and I wanted to answer them, but if I did, the future would be in jeopardy, and I was not going to sacrifice everything that I had worked for, almost died for, to appease some simple emotion within me. There would be another time, and another place. "Very well. Until vee meet again, Adieu…." She said, with a loving tone that I had missed so, leaving me to the towering blaze before me and questions that could only be answered by the creature running into the shadows behind me.

Everything had gone right, yet it felt so wrong. Kid was here safe and the other children were too, but it still didn't feel right.

I regained myself as quickly as I could and ran back toward the orphanage.

I was met there by one of my captains. He told me the children were out, but you were still inside. They said they couldn't get to you because of the fire, but I knew of no flames that could hold me down. I ran in, to salvage that one last piece of the puzzle.

And that's when I found you. Broken, alone, awaiting death with a silent fear. I knelt next to you, searching for a sign of life. Your faint breath gave me a little hope, though it pained me greatly to see you in that state. You had always been so full of life, and now you were in danger of losing it all.

The flames began stalking you, and I knew then what needed to be done. You had served your purpose here and were now needed elsewhere. I raised my hands and began to chant. The shadows crawled about the room, even with the swarm of light and glowed from the flames. A dark hole in space opened up below you and took you away from all the pain and all the suffering.

Goodbye, Lucca. We shall meet again.

Well, that was surely interesting. I'm sorry the fight scene was kind of boring, but I never thoughta fight between Lynx and Magus would last long, no matter who won, and I was really anxious to work in the harle stuff. Anyway, I hope you like it. I'm sorry my story shot to the top of the first page with no real update. I HAD posted a chapter 6, but I hated it just a hour or so after I posted it so I got rid of it. To those of you who had the displeasure ofreadingit, I apologize and hope this appeases you. If Harle's french and accent seem poor or confusing, I'm sorry. If you NEED a translation of what I was (poorly) having her say, go ahead and ask. Anyway, read and review and hopefully this chapter is as strong as the rest. I'm done here, GO SOX, GO PATS!

Dark Creation