Pain and Pleasure CH10

Well, I suppose that I have to do the obligatory "last chapter" speech…

I enjoyed writing this fic more than I could ever say. It was delightful to lead these four characters on their adventure. But the thing that made it worth it is all of my readers and reviewers.

Thank-you, everyone, who reviewed! You are what kept me writing late into the night! And I dedicate this fic to everyone who enjoyed reading it. I am sorry to let this fic go… I may have to write a oneshot about the aftermath to ease its passing into the realm of completion. Or perhaps an epilogue…? Yes, yes, indeed, I shall consider it…

Well, I suppose I should let you read the last chapter. Thank-you, everyone, and have a wonderful week!



Toren fell backwards, dead before he hit the ground.

Angel's eyes suddenly cleared, the deadness and emptiness fleeing them as quickly as if it had never been there. Fear filled them to the brim. Her eyes shone brightly with it.

"I've killed him…"

She spoke for the first time. Her frail, delicate voice seemed to match her small frame.

She slowly reached forward and wrapped her fingers around the dagger's hilt. She pulled it out of Toren's body with a sickening grinding sound.

She raised it up to her wrist, prepared to slash it from one side to the other.

Link dashed forward, snapped out of his trance. "Angel, no!"

He knocked the dagger out of her hands with one sweep of his arm. He embraced her, pulling her small body close to his. She instinctively leaned into his warmth. He caressed her hair briefly before pulling away, staring into her empty eyes. She met his stare.

"Angel, that was not necessary."

Angel looked-down, ashamed, as if being scolded.

"I am sorry."

He embraced her again. "Do not do it again. Do you understand?"

She nodded. "Yes. I will not do it again." Her voice was frail and weak, but slowly became stronger. "I will not."

He grabbed her gently by the hand and pulled her to her feet.

Roy glanced around. "Come on. We have to get out of here before the guards wake up."

Marth and Roy started off at a walk, Link and Angel quickly behind them. Suddenly, some sort of panicked instinct awoke inside of them. First, it was Roy; he broke into a run down the stone hallways. The other three quickly followed behind him, finding an odd sort of pleasure in running.

They dashed through the mansion, winding through the hallways, using every bit of memory they had of the small amount of the mansion they had seen. Bricks and cobblestones flew past them in a blur, and everything seemed to be one mass of dark color. They eventually found their way instinctively to the front door.

Marth and Roy pushed the door open, the light from the outside nearly blinding them. They stood for a second in the doorframe, shielding their eyes from it.

They blinked at the scene in front of them.

Slowly, Link spoke. "It's winter," he commented. The group was silent.

"Winter…" Marth finally said, bitterly. "Selling season."

Marth seized the necklace around his neck, tearing it off, and threw the ruby pendant into the snow. Roy did the same.

The realization hit the four of them at once: they were free! Completely free! They could finally call the world they were stepping out into, their world. They were finally free.

"We are free," Roy breathed. "Free of Toren and the shackles that once bound us."

As the realization fully dawned on them, the four of them walked on through the snow, leaving everything behind… their pain, their anger, the bindings that once held them prisoner…

…And they never looked back.