You know how I said in the author's notes last chapter that I couldn't write fight scenes?

I get around that by putting an epic chapter break in between! \o/

When she regained consciousness, her whole body was in pain and she could hardly move. Her eyes fluttered open, and she found herself in the middle of the war-torn battlefield, watching pillars of smoke and fire rising up into the sky. She tried to sit up, but a sharp pain in her stomach caused her to lie back down. Looking at her hands, she saw them stained in blood, crimson marks running all the way down the sleeves of her arms. Wincing with a hand on her stomach, she sat up despite the pain and saw the horrible sight before her; a number of soldiers lay dead at her feet, sword slashes marring their bodies and red trails of blood pooling around them. She looked down at her stomach, where a large gash ran across it from one side to the other, blood oozing out of it. Her mind went foggy as she tried to remember what happened; the last thing she remembered was falling unconscious after saving Nine from the soldiers, but everything afterwards was a blur.

"Heh… looks like you finally returned to your old self, hey?" a faint male voice called out to her, a smirk evident in his tone. Her eyes followed the source of the voice, and she saw a man with a mop of dirty blond hair sitting up against a wall, his uniform similarly torn and bloodied.

"Nine…" Queen murmured, a faint smile spreading across her face. She crawled over to him, each movement sending sharp pains throughout her body until she finally collapsed at his side. She held out a shaking hand towards him, and he took it, gripping it tightly in his own bloodied hand. She cringed when she saw his right shoulder, stained in crimson and blood running down his arm and his jacket. She gingerly touched the wound, pulling back when she saw him wincing in pain. She held out her hand, struggling to cast a Cure spell but only a weak light left her hand. No, how can I be out of magic at a time like this? she cried mentally.

"Don't worry about it…" He coughed, giving her a weak smile. "It's just a scratch…"

She eyed the wound more properly again, which looked suspiciously like it was made by a saber.

"Was I the one… who did this to you?" she whispered.

"You weren't acting like yourself… it's not your fault. Besides…" He pointed to the wound on her stomach. "I should be apologising to you for that… I'm worried… I might have made the wound too deep."

Tears started to pool in her eyes as she struggled to come to terms with what had happened; she didn't remember killing all of those soldiers, and she didn't remember hurting Nine either; all she knew was that the slashes marking their bodies were not her usual calculated strikes. A pair of arms held her tightly around the waist, pulling her into an embrace. She found herself in Nine's lap, his forehead resting on top of her head.

"Queen, I'm so glad… that you're okay," he whispered quietly to her, planting kisses on her head. "I was so afraid… that I had lost you."

"Nine…" She leaned against his good shoulder, taking in his warm embrace as tears fell down her cheeks. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry… I can't remember what I did… but I'm sorry for hurting you… I'm sorry for worrying you…"

She sobbed apologies into his shoulder as he gently stroked her hair, leaning down with more kisses on top of her head.

"Nine, it hurts… so much…" she cried, hand clinging to his shirt, the pain in her stomach stinging as she continued to cry. He wiped her tears away, tightening his hold and stroking her cheek. She closed her eyes, leaning contently into his embrace. She felt a warm sensation flow through her body, gradually easing away the pain. She opened her eyes and saw Nine's hand on her stomach, a white light swirling around it. He grunted, his breathing ragged as the warm light disappeared.

"Sorry… looks like I don't have enough magic to heal it up completely," he said, hand still resting on her stomach.

"You idiot," she sobbed, lightly hitting his chest. "You shouldn't have wasted the last of your magic on me…"

He gave her a weak chuckle, repositioning his chin on her head again. "I'll be fine… I told ya it was just a scratch, didn't I?"

She knew that he was lying; just trying to put on a brave face for show. She should have yelled at him; berated him for ever leaving her side in the first place, but they were both tired, exhausted and in pain. And it wasn't that she didn't have the strength to argue with him; it was that she chose not to argue with him this time. And although she had wished for the circumstances to be different, for now she was content just staying in Nine's embrace for the moment.

She cupped his face in her hand, running her palm over his cheek, fingers tracing the outline of his jaw. He caught her hand, caressing her fingers lightly and kissing her fingertips. He guided her hand along his body, allowing her to feel his chest; feel the steady rise and fall of his breathing, feel the gentle thumping of his heart in his chest.

"It's so warm…" she whispered, smiling to herself.

He smiled back at her, letting out a light chuckle. He suddenly froze at an approaching sound, feeling his blood run cold. He looked down at Queen in his arms, and he saw tears beginning to pool in her eyes again; it seemed she understood too, so he tightened his grip on her hand.

"Let's go home," he murmured, kissing her fingertips, and she answered with only a small nod of her head, a forced smile spreading across her face through her tears.

The sound of gunshots filled the air, and all fell silent.

I'm afraid that I might have made Nine and Queen too OOC in the ending. :| I'm not sure, haha.

Thank you to everyone who has followed this story from the start, and a big thank you to everyone who has reviewed this story as well. I can't thank you all enough!

I look forward to seeing you all again for more Nine/Queen stories, because I can't get enough of this pairing. :3 So please, let me know what you thought about the end of this story!