"Can you pull the trigger…on your own brother?"
Rosette stopped running down the hall as she thought about Chrno's words. Could she really pull the trigger on Joshua…or…not?
She looked up at the high ceiling that the inside of Pandemonium had. She knew where her brother was, she knew that just down this hallway was the final battle for her lost family. And she prayed that she'd be able to get him back.
"I won't be able to kill him…" Rosette mumbled. "But maybe I can…just…" She sighed and looked behind her for a moment before running again.
Leaving Chrno behind to fight off those demons had been hard for her, especially after witnessing Satella give her life in order to be reunited with her true older sister…but she wasn't going to waver now, not now that she was so close to her goal.
Rosette stopped running as she came upon two huge double-doors. She took a few quick deep breaths and pushed the doors open. Sitting on a high backed chair on the other side of the large room was a white winged Joshua. His horns out. It was seeing this changed boy that she decided the answer to Chrno's question.
I can! If he really won't return to his original self, then, with my own hands…I will take his life. Forgive me, brother.
Joshua looked up at his elder sister as she entered the room. He stood as she approached him, as he rose, she stopped.
Rosette took another breath and said, "Joshua."
He stared at her confusingly, like he was trying to remember something he'd forgotten. "You're that girl from before…"
She simply nodded, though everything inside her wanted to scream, "I'm your sister! It's me, Rosette!" Instead, she said, "Yes, I am. My name is Rosette."
Joshua smiled like he had the last time they encountered each other. "I remember your name, the same as my sister's if I remember correctly."
"Yes, it is."
"Would you join me then?"
"Yes. I think if we look together, we could find--"
"Joshua, look at me!" Rosette suddenly yelled.
Joshua seemed even more confused this time, his wings dissolved away as his smile faded. "What's wrong?"
She took a few more steps towards him before she stopped yet again. "Don't you recognize me? This is our second meeting, and yet…"
After a moment of silence, he smiled again and stepped directly in front of her. "Ah, yes. Aion has shown me…and I have slowly remembered you, my sister. You're a kind and gentle sister, as I remember." He placed one hand on her cheek. "Forgive me for not noticing this sooner."
Tears brimmed the edges of Rosette's eyes as he said this. "Joshua… You remember?"
"Good." She looked up at her younger brother but saw nothing but the demon he'd become. "Now, please, you have to get rid of those horns."
He stared down at her with hardened eyes, not happy in the least with her statement. "What?"
"You heard me. This isn't going--"
"You want me to go back to being that useless, invalid boy?!" He stepped back from Rosette with a scowl implanted on his face.
"That's not it at all, Joshua!" She took a step towards him, mentally checking the gun holster attached to her waist for the special gun Father Remington had given her and Chrno. "It's just that, the one who is in constant pain now, the one who is always being a step behind, is Chrno! Our friend, Chrno!"
Joshua shook his head, either he didn't understand or he didn't care. Either way, though, he wasn't giving up those horns. "No, that's not why you want me to get rid of the horns! You-You are not my sister! You're not the gentle, kind girl I grew to know!"
He pulled out a gun from his own holster attached to the back of his waist. "You're not my sister!" He pointed it directly at Rosette. "So you should die for trying to impersonate her!"
"Wait, Joshua, you don't understand!"
"I understand enough!" He pulled the trigger and she moved immediately.
Rosette jumped at a pillar in the middle of the room and leaned against it as she pulled out her own gun. She pointed it at her younger brother, knowing that now what the time she had told herself would be when she needed to pull the trigger. The time to take her brother's life.
She kept her arm steady as she and Joshua kept their guns pointed at each other. For a moment, it seemed like neither would pull the trigger - and Rosette was actually reconsidering her self made promise - but she aimed a bit higher than his head and pulled the trigger. The area of ceiling that had been hit with the Holy bullet collapsed around Joshua.
If I can't shoot him, I'll crush him. She thought as she closed her eyes, waiting to hear the sound of the debris falling to the ground.
Rosette opened her eyes to see the gun still pointed at her and one of Joshua's hands in the air with the debris around him froze midair. He stopped time as he had before.
"J-Joshua?" She lowered her gun a bit, a thought that she might not be able to kill him after all crossed her mind. Not because she couldn't pull the trigger on him, but because he could stop the bullet before it reached him.
Joshua smirked and pulled the trigger again, hitting her right arm. She screamed in pain and dropped the gun as her shooting arm became useless. He chuckled and dropped his own gun as he approached her. He knew that a gun would be pointless against an invalid opponent, he was to do something else instead.
He knelt down in front of her after she fell down to her knees, holding the part of her arm that was bleeding. "You still think you're my sister?"
Rosette looked up at him through foggy eyes. The pain shooting through her arm was messing with her vision and she couldn't see straight. "Joshua, please, don't do this. You know who I am, I know you do."
He looked at her blankly, the smirk gone his face. He still didn't recognize her, he still didn't understand what she meant. "You are…" He glanced over as the doors opened again and Chrno stepped through. He pulled a large knife out of his pocket and rammed it through her abdomen. "…not my sister."
"Rosette!" Chrno screamed as he picked up Joshua by the back of his throat and threw him across the room. He looked as Rosette was pulling the knife out of her stomach with her one good arm. "Rosette!"
She shook her head. "I'll be fine. Go…do what I couldn't!" She screamed through her teeth as she managed to pull the knife out of her stomach.
Chrno nodded and turned around to face Joshua as he stood back up. "You really don't know us then."
Joshua sighed and picked up his gun again. "Of course I don't. She claimed to be my sister, but she wasn't. I don't know what you'll claim to be, but I can't risk keeping you alive."
No, it's the other way around! Chrno dodged the bullet Joshua shot and flew directly at him, plunging his hand directly through his old friend's chest. "You bastard, you're not her brother!"
As Chrno pulled back from Joshua as he dropped down to his knees. His eyes widened slightly as all the memories of his childhood with Chrno and Rosette came flooding back to him. Tears began to stain his cheeks as he said, "I'm…sorry…Rosette…" He fell forward, dead, in a puddle of blood from the wound Chrno inflicted.
Chrno, who had been in his true form this whole time, growled at the corpse in anger. But he turned around when he heard labored breathing behind him. The breathing soon turned to a fit of terrible coughs. He ran over to where Rosette lay and cradled her against his chest.
"Rosette…?" Chrno placed one hand on her pale cheek; she was freezing.
Rosette looked up at Chrno, her eyes blank. "C-Chrno…"
Chrno forced a smile. "It's good to see you're still conscience."
Rosette didn't smile though, she tried to look down at her stomach – which was completely numb – but Chrno turned her face towards him. "Chrno…how b-bad am I?"
Chrno didn't want to look because he already knew, but did anyway. She was losing so much blood by the second – and because of their contract, Chrno was feeling it too.
Chrno's face dropped, he tried to put on a reassuring smile, but just couldn't. Instead, tears started running down his face involuntarily. "Y-You'll be…j-just fine."
Rosette saw through the fake smile and started crying too. "Chrno! I don't w-wanna die!"
"Y-You won't, Rosette!" Chrno was using all his strength to tell this lie to her and keep himself supported up so that he could hold her. And he knew she didn't believe him, he was never good at lying to her.
Rosette took off the pocket watch and held it against Chrno's chest and he grabbed her hand to hold it there. "I don't w-want you to…die t-too. Our contract…is o-over."
Even though Chrno suddenly felt all his strength come back with the break of their contract, he couldn't help but to start sobbing now. "N-No! I don't want this to end! Rosette, w-what're you—"
"I love you…Chrno…" Rosette's body became limp, her hand slipped from Chrno's, dropping the pocket watch.
"Rosette…?" Chrno shook her a little. "C-Come on Rosette this isn't funny! …Don't leave me!" He shook her more as a rack of sobs shook him. "ROSETTE!!!!"