The Forgotten Portrait:

Epilogue: The Lament of the Blue Rose

She loves me. She loves me not.

It all began with her—Eve—continually and almost fervently, dedicatedly coming in front of the portrait of himself each time she could do so, perhaps even safe to say most everyday…or well, more accurately perhaps, there should have been quotation marks on that word—'himself'—though he too did embody 'The Forgotten Portrait'—embodied him and perhaps all he did not wish to admit or show to the innocent child who was perhaps braver than his own self, stronger though in her youth and innocence, could not help but want to protect. His fears, doubts, desperation, and all else… and born from a promise he could not keep plus strong emotions that should not have perhaps been there… And… though she had lost all memory of the said promise, perhaps for her own good to a point, it seemed that her heart remembered and he couldn't help but feel the desire to grant her what she seemed to wish.

Day after day after day… It grew stronger, stronger and stronger until in a sense, he finally caved, coming to a silent agreement of a bet with his nicer alter ego though it was actually mostly his doing, given that Garry was well... sleeping for all of eternity though he had an idea of what the man would have said if he actually could do anything… But no… He was the master of this world now.

She loves me. She loves me not.

The lights flickered on and off as she passed the painting of 'The Fabricated World,' enchanting her to come back into the gallery, luring her in with the use of her latent memories and curiosity.

Though, of course enticing her in did have its set of requirements that induced a short sleep and his memory lapse for until the point in which he saw the portrait showing her picking up her beautiful red rose, making him smile in a gentle manner though there was a hint of mischief in them, recalling how she had eluded his grasp once before when she was much younger, refusing to come with him. Come back to play, little one?~ Though, he knew he would have to get going so that the others in the gallery didn't do any permanent damage to his prize.

And with that in mind, he set off to find her, however ironic it was she would have stumbled to the room his portrait was in, and was in quite the situation to say the least. And, consequently, he had to get a little… violent before pulling her out of the room and into his company. And when it was ascertained she was fine, she had gone on to ask for his name, his eyes growing wide for a moment—perhaps a brief lapse, thinking of what exactly to tell her given what he was and decided to settle for pointing at himself and saying, 'Garry,' so that he technically did not lie, having deliberately excluded the words 'I am.'

The appearance was of her precious friend's and perhaps to a point, her love… The memories and the feelings too though there was a darker note about him. But needless to say, he planned to lead her out of here and come back with her—the bet between him and him—though, he had to make sure she did not stumble upon the other portrait so round about they went, given how twisted this gallery became.

She loves me. She loves me not.

The other inhabitants were becoming increasingly annoying the more he and Eve walked about, some perhaps still holding loyalty to Mary to a point. And so, at certain points in time, he did have to use more of his abilities as new master of 'The Fabricated World' when she would not notice… that time she passed out for example, to make a safe place for her to sleep, the door entangled with a vine strewn with blue roses. It was now unfortunate though that one of the other paintings had gotten them separated and… not really having an option given she would suspect things to a point, he was left to look for something to break the damned thing whilst emphasizing she needed to wait here before leaving for the door, the right obviously leading to a place he would rather she not see.

Unfortunately, he had met a few 'setbacks'… though fighting them off was easy enough, their blood—or in this case, red paint—smearing part of his coat.. The other him would have been screaming…probably. He had to pause though when he felt her coming closer to him, a part of him mentally calling for her to turn back else they wouldn't be able to pretend nothing was amiss. And, maybe, she would have… if not for the fact that it seemed something was preventing her from really turning back and regardless…

Ah. Damnit.

He had to settle for destroying the one in his way without much anything else. And then, it had come to this. 'We both could have happily lived in this sweet fantasy ❤…'

He made her cry… it was odd that he should find some amusement and pleasure in it though perhaps, there were several things wrong with him enough to explain why he would actually do so. Though now, as they talked for the most part, her asking why if in the end, he was tricking her, had actually kept her company, him having to mention the gallery's rule—an exchange of existence—perhaps leaving her to interpret it in her own way though he was being a little mean, upset as he was that he lost the little bet with him.

Garry's existence in the outside world for Mary's. But that function had never been fulfilled. So, it had been his chance to get out with her in exchange for him. But, in the end, she wanted Garry, not him—however surprised he was when she held his wrist when he was about to exchange his own rose to grant her, her wish, in her gaze, the question of why he was doing it, understanding of the consequences shining in her crimson eyes except he only smirked… Because… in the end… despite the fact that he can be twisted, distorted by this gallery, all else, and whatnot, the fact remained that he was born from him and what he wished was nothing more than her happiness, despite the methods he used to achieve that purpose… trying to keep her in the gallery when she was nine, then bringing her back in here…

She loves me. She l—

'You need not worry about me' He said, placing his rose in Garry's palm and taking the withered one in symbolic exchange, turning towards her with an almost gentle smile, his form slowly withering away in a flurry of blue petals after a while, returning to 'The Forgotten Portrait' and watching over the two as they made their way out.

'That's odd…' 'Garry…' A voice echoed from within the depths of the darkness, the other in her company shrugging though fascinated as well

in the end though, they had to leave, though occasionally returned, perhaps out of habit now more than anything else.

Tick tock, tick tock, how much time had passed?

The displays come and go and in the end, even Guertana's works were soon up for grabs, to be auctioned off

'I apologize, both of you, but the paintings will soon have to find new homes'

Ah, how sad. He wouldn't be able to see her anymore.

'Garry…' silence... 'We'll do something about it, so don't worry Eve.'

What?... tick tock, tick tock…

Two sets of hands, one larger than the other, 'And…. Heave!... Whew… That took a bit of effort, huh?'

And a strange pull, drawing him in and causing him to open his eyes, his consciousness faintly

How strange… He could see her right in front of him, facing her with a smile.

Slowly it dawned on him and smiled.

Finally home.

A/N: Finally done! And, in case anyone was wondering, this fic was mostly inspired by the doujin, 'The Blue Labyrinth King.' I'm still waiting for the next releases... In any case, i realize there wasn't really much romance in this fic, despite the tag in retrospect and I kind of regret that. In any case, I'll be writing a sequel though I'm debating on whether to post it here.