Author's Note: This is just a little story I dug up on my computer from a long time ago. It's not the best, but I wanted to write an angsty little Jack/Flora piece with the final battle and this is what happened. I had another story about "What if Jack's party didn't defeat the Silver Dragon?" featuring Jack, Ganz, Flora, Flau, Genius and Ridley, but I can't find it, so I'll have to re-do it. I have typed a chapter or two of a multi-chapter RS fic, so perhaps I'll post that once I have a bit more editing/planning done.

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[Winter Sleep]

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Breathe, Flora. Breathe.

This can't be happening. This isn't supposed to happen. Not here, not now.

Calm yourself, Flora.

Life. Please, Lady Etherea, give him life. Just for a little longer. Just one last time. Just for one last goodbye.

But you want more than just one last goodbye, don't you?

I can't lose him. I can't lose him. I can't! I won't! He's too precious to let slip away! I will save him. I'd do something, anything, to give him life again. To feel his breath upon my cheek, even for just a moment.

Poor child. You have deluded yourself into believing you can save him. Poor, poor girl.

There was only one thing to do- Light of Life, the technique my father passed down to me in the hopes that I would be able to use it as much as he had- in the hopes that I could save the people I cherished. Had I truly believed that I could save someone who was already dead?

There is one way.

It was tempting. It was crazy, insane, psychotic, unreasonable, illogical, inexplicable, suicidal. But it was what I wanted to do. It was what I would do. Anything for the one you love, right?

It's simple, really. All you have to do is take-

-his sword. Yes, that was how I would do it. It was lying there ever so conveniently. All it would take would be a single flick of the wrist and then this would all be over. It would all end.

Yes, my dear. That's right. All your agony would vanish.

The hilt felt foreign in my feeble palms. The blood dripped down my wrist, staining the white of my dress. But those things did not matter anymore. For once we reunite, he will not care about my dress, or my hair, or all the reasons why I am seeing him so soon. For it will already have been done.

The clock is ticking, my dear. The hourglass waits for no one. Quicken your pace, girl.

I raised the blade high, high enough for all to see. High enough for everyone to see, so that maybe, just maybe, someone could stop me from doing something I knew would be the biggest mistake of my life.

It is too late to stop you now.

And as I brought the blade down to impale me…I felt nothing. No pain, no sting, no burst of golden light to blind me before our reunion. There was nothing. Only a strange warmth that wrapped around my hands, gripping them fiercely. I knew that warmth. I knew that sensation of heat that flows through your very being, even though you don't know why. It was him.

No! No, no! No, no, no, no, no!

"Flora", he cooed, his voice but a faint whisper, "what do you think you're doing?" The sword fell from my grasp. Hot tears dripped from my brown eyes, the ones he had loved so much.

"Jack?" I echoed. It was not that I had nothing to say, rather, I had too many unanswered questions. Why did you come to this tower? Why did you believe you could kill the silver dragon? Why did you sacrifice yourself for me? Why did you almost leave me? Why did you come back? Why did you stop me?

He reached upwards and wiped the droplets from my face. He wrapped his arms around me as I sat shellshocked. And he laughed. "You idiot," he spoke, "what did you think that would accomplish?"

I leaned backwards from his embrace and smacked him once. Twice. Three times. And he just kept laughing. "How can you be laughing right now?" I screeched, more tears falling to the ground beneath me. "You almost died! What makes you think my misery is so laughable?"

His face stiffened a bit. "It's not that I think you almost dying for me is funny, Flora. What's funny is that you were willing to do the same thing for me, but you still couldn't understand why I wouldn't for you." I reeled backwards, hands scraping across the gravel. It seemed so simple. In an instant, every question that had once gone unanswered was crystal clear.

Why did he come to this tower?

To protect the one he loves.

Why did he believe he could kill the silver dragon?

Because the one he loved was by his side.

Why did he sacrifice himself for me?

Because he wanted me to be safe, no matter the cost.

Why did he almost leave me?

Because he gave his life for his lover.

Why did he come back?

Because he had someone waiting for him on the other side.

Why did he stop me?

Because he loves me.