It Was Worth It

The wind grew more hostile, frostbite beginning to appear on his arms as Dark flew through the starless night sky. The Thief didn't seem to notice the cold. Determination burned within his heart. He would get there, no matter what. Nothing would stop him.

"Wait for me. I'll save you."

"Where's your cockiness now, Mousy?"

Dark looked up at him, ignoring the pain that seared throughout his spent body. "No matter how much you beat me, I won't help you. I won't be a part of you anymore, Krad. I'm my own. I won't help you."

The white-winged angel glared at his other half. What was wrong with him? Why wouldn't he just submit and combine their powers once more? Why was he enduring this pain, when he could end it any time? Why didn't he care?

Krad lifted the blood-soaked sword. It was time to stop playing around. He would end it now. There was no need to prolong this. He could just kill the Thief now and get on with his plan. If Dark wasn't going to help him, then there was no point in keeping him alive. He could destroy the humans without his help, though it would be a lot easier if Dark just became one with him once more.

Then he thought over what Dark had said. "No matter how much you beat me, I won't help you."

Krad smiled. Of course. The weakling wouldn't submit if Krad tortured him. He would only break when someone else he cared for was attacked.

"True, Dark. Very true. And very noble of you to be willing to sacrifice yourself for the lives of others. But would you be willing to sacrifice another?"

"What?"

Krad smiled. The gesture sent shivers down Dark's spine.

"I wonder if the Maiden would fare well in your place?"

"No!" Dark cried. He lunged for the blonde, but he was too late. Krad had already flown out through the open window.

The Phantom Thief shook away the memory. It would only bring him remorse and guilt. He should have kept his mouth shut. He shouldn't have said anything. He - No. It was too late for regret now. There was only time for action.

Dark caught sight of the balcony. He beat his wings harder, flying more swiftly. He would get there. He would save her.

As Dark landed on the balcony, fear and sadness gripped his heart. The balcony doors were wide open. Krad had made it here before him.

He rushed into the room. Krad loomed over a dark shape upon the floor. The corrupt angel looked up. "Ah. So glad you made it in time for the final blow. May this teach you a lesson not to refuse the requests of Krad White Wing."

With that, he lifted his black blade. And plunged it into the Maiden's heart.

Dark cried out in anguish. He threw himself at his other half, taking his weapon. He swung the sword, not even thinking about what he was doing. Blade met flesh.

Krad fell to the floor, not even a scream escaping his lips. There was no emotion within him as he died. Only a single thought: I didn't think he had the guts.

The sword fell from the Thief's hand, clattering on the ground. Then only silence.

Dark went to his love's side, cradling her with his arms. "Riku. Oh Riku . . ." he whispered. "It wasn't worth it. I should have given in. It wasn't worth your life. It wasn't worth it."

"It was worth it, Dark."

Dark looked down at the Sacred Maiden. "Riku. You're . . . You're alive."

"But not for long . . ."

Tears escaped the purple pools that were his eyes. He felt as though his heart was tearing apart.

"It wasn't worth it. It wasn't worth it."

"No, Dark," Riku replied. "It was worth it. You saved many lives. It's better to have one person die than to have all of humanity suffer. You did the right thing."

"But-"

Riku placed a finger upon his lips. Dark immediately fell silent.

She wiped away his tears. "You did the right thing, Dark. And I love you all the better for that."

She smiled and placed a kiss upon his lips. Then, with her last breathe she repeated, "It was worth it, Dark. . . It was worth it."