Fragmented Sky

Demesne

a part of Fragmented Sky, by The_Queen.

None

The_Queen holds sovereignty over Demesne, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
2,063 readers have been here.
6,081 readers have visited this universe since The_Queen created it. Ninja Bunny are listed as curators.

Setting

Default Location for Fragmented Sky

Demesne

None

Minimap

Demesne is a part of Fragmented Sky.

20 Characters Here

Echo King [324] "My existence was a mistake."
Mara LaFleur [323] "Sometimes I can't help but wonder if the dream will end and we'll wake up to something even stranger."
Sen Chinmoku [107]
Yasu Komatsu [107] "Love grants the right to become human."
Yui [10] "Every broken bone is proof that I have lived."
Akali Rothenstein [10] "I just think differently from others, is that so wrong?"
Lucas [9]
Irelia Snowbridge [8] "What is lost can not be broken"
Zane Hecate [7] "The cost of freedom is always worth the price."
Chika Rou [4] "We have to do what we can to survive."

Start Character Here »


Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




A talk with Echo finished, hopefully now the little former spitfire understood that no matter what happened, what she said or did, there would always be one person in the world at least that believes in her and will think well of her. No matter what, she would have someone that loved her through good and bad. Flo wasn't going to let any villains into her head ever again. "You look happy." Sana's smile was almost teasing as the two went out of the East Tower back towards the North Tower, where residents lived. "I told her as much as I could. I only hope she took in half of what I said." Echo was worth everything, and the sooner she understood that about herself the better.

Unfortunately there was a limit to how much she could do in this weak and frail body. "Let's get you back to your room." Sana told her gently, returning the oxygen tank to make it more comfortable for the pinkette to handle. "What happened to you?" Flo asked her partner with a grin. "You used to be so scared of everything." Sana blinked, staring at her. "Look at the state of affairs right now, Flo." For some reason the tame horse seemed almost upset. "Director Wei is gone, Doll is gone... things have never ever been this bad. If I let my social anxiety take control, then what kind of Agent am I?" The type of Agent that doesn't take on missions due to having a partner that couldn't return to her side just yet, Flo almost quipped.

Everyone was going about the place doing their best to make up for the loss. Flo knew for a fact that Pandora would be training all through each and every night in her effort to make up the gap. Would it be enough? Flo didn't know and only hoped that her cousin wouldn't overdo it and break herself the same way Director LaFleur once did. Samurai and Amy were taking Nell 2.0 on a walk, teaching him all sorts of things about bugs and animals, helping the child understand why peace was so important. Would Nell 2.0 become better than his father did? They could only watch him with vigilance and hoped that nothing would go wrong.

Flo was helped onto her bed with a groan of effort. "It's okay, I have you now." Mare shot her a thumbs up. "Now get some rest, okay?" Flo nodded, knowing she didn't have a choice as she continued to cough. "Stupid Messiah... Echo already saved my lungs." Echo worked so hard to save them, it was sad that in the end it was all for naught. Was the dream of freedom truly impossible? Other demons had their freedom in Paris. They had to think of something, find something, anything, to make it work. "I'll save her." She whispered. She would rescue her love, her sister, her best friend. "I said get some rest, stop doing maniacal thinking." Sana sighed, crossing her arms as she watched Flo obediently close her amethyst eyes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




"This will be your room," Christopher opened the door in his flat. They had a seperate one from Pandora and Pray after having gotten married and it no longer seemed appropriate to be rooming together. It was a simple room, with a bed and a desk pushed against the wall underneath the window. "Shadow said he and Calciferous would bring your things up." Oh, she still had those? It was the same size as her room in her flat with Gwen and then Loki. "I believe this belongs to you," he lifted up a familiar briefcase. Inside were Echo's daggers, having been upgraded by Alex Drake. "I don't want them." Echo replied simply as Christopher placed the briefcase on the desk. "You're going to need them, it isn't going to be pretty out there." He warned, turning around.

Echo was sitting on the bare mattress, his jacket still around her shoulders. She swung her legs, staring at the ground. A knock on the door broke up the monotony, Christopher sighing as he went to answer it. Shadow and Cal had arrived with her belongings, lining the boxes up against the wall. Another knock sounded, harsh whispers passed in the hall before a familiar figure entered. "Echo," Melody's voice was bright. Shadow and Cal had left quickly, not so much as saying hello. "Why are you here?" Echo asked, not exactly happy to see her sister. "What do you mean? I came to check on you," Echo flinched away when Melody reached out to touch her. "You don't care about me, you have no faith in me." Christopher cleared his throat, warning her not to act out.

"Of course I have faith in you," Melody replied, her voice strained. "We all thought you had run away because of Loki-" Echo stood up on the mattress, looking her sister in the eyes. "Cress sent me on an important mission." She had gained valuable intel because of her under cover operation. Not that any of them knew it at the time. They had assumed that Echo was rebelling and running away. "But you don't care, do you? You were probably happy that I was gone, you were just glad that it wasn't someone else, someone you actually cared about like your precious Flame or Sonata!" Melody stepped back, tears springing to her eyes. "Echo, that's enough-" Christopher grabbed her wrist, pulling her off of the mattress.

"You don't love me! I've just been a burden to you this whole time, I'm a burden to everyone! None of you actually care about what happens to me! Otherwise you would have come looking for me! I was gone for years and you never once thought to look for me!" Melody was sobbing now, "We thought you were dead! We couldn't find any trace of you!" She hiccuped, "I wanted to look for you, but they told me not to!" She was lying, she was lying, she was a dirty liar! "I hate you! Don't talk to me-" her cheek stung as she fell to the ground. "I said enough," Christopher's hand was where her head had once been. "You've hurt your sister's feelings apologize." Apologize? "No. I'm done apologizing to everyone." Her TB buzzed in warning, it seemed to sense her agitation.

"Echo," Christopher's voice was stern. "I'm tired of being bossed around by all of you-" Melody's arms encircled her. Echo stiffened, this was not what she had expected. She wanted Melody to yell at her, to profess how much she didn't care. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry you've felt this way for so long."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




The Tower Society was clearly in a bad state. As Cress sat quietly in what used to be Wei's office, she sighed. What could they do now? Someone needed to take a stand and lead humanity to victory, even with losing Doll, even with losing Wei and Shiro and everyone else. She glanced sadly at her contract mark, wondering what to do. "Keron would probably be telling me to buck up and fight my hardest." She said with a sad smile. "Ellie... she would tell me not to get emotional, and come up with some grand master plan..." She sniffled, rubbing at her eyes. "And Shiro would cheer me on, patting my back to keep going forward..." The three of them were the three closest people in her life. But now, one by one, they all went away and left Cress alone in London.

Surely she couldn't be the only one feeling sad though. Christopher lost his wife and partner, and now would have to raise Sonata alone, until they could somehow kill Baron Messiah. But Messiah was just so strong, so powerful, they weren't prepared for an extermination of Messiah just yet. Sonata would have to be motherless because there was just no way to bring Doll back for the time being. "I guess I should do this." Cress looked at the list of Team Members, updating the registry by adding Christopher and Echo as a new pair, and placing them in Team Holmes. Holmes was supposed to be a small elite team, and right now with losing Doll, they needed new firepower. Hopefully Echo would be able to fill in the hole for now. "Sorry, Echo." Cress said quietly to herself, knowing how the demon hated having to fight. "But this is the best bet for saving Doll..."

She brewed some tea, limping slightly thanks to her mechanical leg. After she lost her leg in the Third Impact's first few months, Ellen worked so hard to give her a new way to walk, first using advanced exoskeleton technology, and then with an actual fully mechanical leg she could walk on. "We need something to cheer everyone up." Cress said to herself as she glanced at the Calendar. "A way to get everyone's mind off of the current problems..." They were all working too hard and too stressed out now. By distracting themselves, it would hopefully refresh everyone's minds to help give them the will to keep fighting. "We're not getting new intakes, so we might as well invest in those we already have." People weren't signing up to join anymore, and their numbers were at an all time low.

Even so, Cress wasn't going to give up. She suddenly grinned, a twinkle in her fiery eyes as she realized what to do. "I'll arrange a talent show!" She decided with aplomb. "A chance for everyone to show off some unique skill or ability they have!" It would inspire teamwork and creativity and provide a fun night of entertainment for all the Tower Agents willing to participate.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Christopher knocked softly on the door, Melody had insisted on staying, even if Echo continued to pester her to leave. She unpacked the room, trying to organize everything and make the space look familiar. "Mel, I think it's about time you go." Christopher said as he entered. Melody was trying to line the books up, the thick volumes of Harry Potter the most reachable, since Echo was mighty short and the book shelf was tall. "Alright, let me know if there's anything I can do to help." She left, knowing that it would probably be a bit before she got to see Echo again. "Try to come see me soon, okay Team Holmes?" Echo threw a pillow at her head. "Just get out already!" The youngest King yelled at the middle sister, who dodged the pillow easily and tossed it right back at her sister.

"Echo," Christopher warned. She turned away, grumbling to herself as Melody let herself out. "I made dinner," he tried with a sigh. "I heard you like fish fingers and custard." Echo looked up from the pillow. "Not hungry," she turned away. "Echo," he sighed, "I don't like food anymore." Echo mumbled, but Christopher wasn't having any of this. He grabbed her wrist, pulling her off of the bed and into the dining room. There were only two places set. "Where is Sonata?" Echo asked as he forced her into a seat. "Shouldn't you be taking care of her?" Christopher took the seat across from her. "She's in the nursery, Wei was monitoring her since she can't control her ability just yet, but with him gone, none of us are sure what to do."

Echo looked at the food set down in front of her. "Does Doll make you cook for her?" She asked, not picking up her fork. "No, I used to cook for my siblings and I. Now eat," his answers were always short and to the point. Echo picked up a fork, but something beside the window caught her eye. She vacated the spot, going to look outside. "There's a bird," it tapped against the glass, as though trying to come inside. "There's lots of birds, squirrels too. Now come eat," Echo shook her head. "It's carrying something," it had paper in its mouth. Christopher sighed and rose, his eyes widening when he saw the bird. It was quite large, bigger than any magpie either of them had seen and the paper was a scroll. "Bloody hell, move away." She took a step back as he flung the pane open, the bird dropping the letter inside and turning to dust.

"What was that? Why did it do that!" She watched the bird go as Christopher slammed the window shut and picked up the scroll. "It's not important, I have to go to Cress. Stay here, eat your supper, that's a command." She stiffened, her contract burning. "I hate you!" She yelled as he left, picking up her fork and eating the fish sticks. She felt sick to her stomach from it, the ketchup reminding her distinctly of blood, but she finished her dinner and chugged down three cups of water to keep it down. Christopher returned soon after with a different piece of paper, a flier. "It looks like there's going to be a talent show, we're expected to perform."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Cress stood tall and proud as she spread her arms in front of everyone at the morning assembly. For some reason after losing so much, she was only even more peppy and excited to start the day. "Some of you have already been informed, but consider this the formal announcement! We will have the first London Branch Tower Society Talent Show, starting tomorrow afternoon! All pairs can use today to prepare, there will be no active missions today"! There was a fire in her eyes that Flo could do nothing but be proud of. She was already an agent when the transfer was made to have the Winter sisters join their ranks. Both Crescent and Ellen were undeniably useful in what they offered. Now, Cerss climbed the ranks to be the acting Director in Wei's absence.

"Naturally, there will be a prize at the end for the pair with the most votes. For second and third place, don't worry, you'll all have prizes too." Where did they get the funding for rewards? Naturally, Princess Charlotte was more than happy to give a private donation from the royal family's coffers. Flo looked over to Echo, a faint blush on her cheeks. "I'm excited to see what you and Chris have to offer." She said with a somewhat competitive grin. Sana had a slightly worried frown. "Echo's crystals are really impressive, do we have a way to compete?" She asked and the pinkette smiled, nodding at her. "My time powers and your metal bending can combine together to look really impressive. We should put our heads together to think of something."

Already the people were getting a bit excited. Naturally at first they were curious and dubious, wondering just what could possibly be done to change the tides. Now though, the assembly hall was buzzing with activity. "Looks like that's what we needed." Samurai pat Cress on the shoulder. "Now they're looking lively again." Already pairs were splitting off, trying to think of what to do. "We might need more of a prize pool." Cress muttered to herself, hand on her chin. "A participation prize so everyone feels like a winner." They didn't want anyone to be disappointed if they didn't make it in the top three for the prizes after all.

"Hopefully this will boost everyone's Synchro Rating too." Charlotte wore a big smile as she, as always, looked beautiful as ever in her dresses. She and Doll always enjoyed dressing up fancy but with Doll gone, it was up to Princess Charlotte to keep style alive in the halls of the Tower Society. "Although Doll and Chris can't do it anymore, there are still a few pairs that could reach 100 if they worked hard enough." Flo and Sana, ever since getting back together, were surging in Synchro Rating, competing for the highest reaches. Flame and Melody were looking good as well, and naturally Silence and Pray were very high up there. "If Addison's notes aren't lies, getting a pair to 100 will be the key to our victory. "

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




"Stop squirming," Christopher's voice was the same as the bark of a wolf. Echo ceased mkoving, afraid that he might hit her again. It had only been once, but that was enough, the threat of it looming over her. "Just let me finish," he sighed, gathering her hair in a knot behind her to tie the ribbon into. "There," he rose with a sigh, sounding more like a tired old man than a twenty year old demon hunter. "Why do I have to wear this stupid thing?" Echo asked, pawing at it while she stood in front of the mirror. "Doll believes in looking your best no matter the occasion," Echo was not going to be the one to point out that his wife was probably dead as it was a moot point. She was not going to be the one to rain down on his parade. "Now come, the meeting will be starting soon."

They went to the elevator to the recreational room, a new area that had been added at Melody's insistance. She was the head of the recreational baord and was responsible for making sure that the demons did not grow restless and that the humans were equally entertained. Echo was quick to find the spot of pink hair among the normal colored heads and followed the vibrant locks. "Good, you're here." Echo seated herself beside her friend, her legs too short to reach the ground from the height of the chair. Behind her, Christopher spotted Melody and Flame who waved him over. "How is she?" Melody asked softly before the meeting could begin. "Unruly, she didn't want to take a bath or get dressed this morning." Flame couldn't help but laugh at Christopher's lamenting. "You knew she wouldn't be easy to tame." Christopher shook his head, "you would think she isn't four hundred years old considering the way she is carrying on."

Melody gave Christopher a pointed look, her lips pinched. "You have to realize that she is only four years old now. Plus the trauma, I think Echo's allowed to be the child she never got to be." Melody scolded while Christopher sat back in his seat, Cress took to the stage, announcing with vim and vigor that there would be a talent show. Almost instantly, the Tower Society Members predictably swelled up. Samuari praised Cress for her quick thinking, that an event like this was something that could lift all of their spirits and was much needed when everything felt lost. "We have nothing to offer," Echo shrugged. "I hate him," she did not want to work together with him, he was the one that was making her live instead of allowing her to die the way she wanted to.

But to Echo's surprise, Christopher rose to add their name to the roster. He had mentioned it last night, that he would sign them up despite Echo's protests. Still, despite their mutual dislike for one another, their synchro rate was steadily hovering in the mid fifties. "Echo," Christopher was calling her from the other side of the room. "We have work to do, come on." Echo rose, scowling. "Cress said no missions today!" She glanced back at Flo, "I have to go, he's calling me." She waved in goodbye, Christopher leading her outside of the building, the frigid snow biting into her skin. "Where are we going?" Echo complained loudly as he led her to a car. "You'll see," they drove what felt like a city over before the car finally came to a halt.

Christopher led Echo silently up a set of rickety steps to a shady looking apartment building. They entered and walked another three floors before Christopher opened the door. "Do you remember how to play?" He asked, the key turning in the lock. He opened the door to a room, oddly luxurious despite its location. Echo looked around at the wall, covered in instruments. Sitting on a plush white carpet was a grand piano. She threw off her shoes, running over to roll around on the furry decoration. Christopher watched her as her tail thwapped to and fro happily and he made a note to buy her one for her room. "This one is about your size," he plucked the violin off of the wall.

Echo sat up as he placed it at her feet. "Try to keep up," Christopher rolled up his sleeves and sat the bench in front of the piano, lifting up the lid to reveal ivory colored keys. He played slowly at first, allowing Echo to tune her violin. Then, he began to spit out notes, one after the other, up and down, the demon struggling to keep up. She had never heard music like this before and she stopped to listen. It was angry and sad, Beheren's melody made for a harpsicord, played on a piano. It was sorrowful, full of pain that made it hard for Echo to breathe. Christopher played with a fervor she had never seen from him. He played with a heart she didn't know he had and when he was done she could do nothing but fall to her knees, as though the music had been suspending her in some sort of trance.

"What was that?" Echo asked, not having realized that she was crying.

"That was someone's heart."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




As everyone dispersed, Flo was quiet as she wondered just what she would do for the talent show. She did have quite a few talents, but most of them weren't particularly impressive to show for a talent show. "Anything musical?" Sana asked, making a query. "Music tends to go well in human talent shows at least." Flo wondered if she was particularly musically minded. "I never learned to sing." She murmured. Because of her condition, they didn't want her stressing out her lungs trying to sing after all. "It doesn't have to be singing." Sana glanced about the room as she fished out some books to borrow from the shelf. They were back in their shared flat of course, the two rooming together. Unlike Echo, Sana didn't mind the breathing machine's constant vibrating.

"Oh, what's that?" Sana pointed over to a corner. Flo wheeled herself over to peer at it. "Oh, that's my old harp, back when I was newly hatched..." Her eyes grew somewhat misty as she recalled the old days when everything was happier, simpler. But now Shiro was gone and there wasn't much hope to save her, not with her being taken to Hell. "That really... brings me back to the old days." The Tower Society so foolishly believed that they had beaten the Third Impact. No one expected it to continue going on, even for years later. "Were you good? Did Echo have an instrument?" Sana asked, looking cheerfully at it. "No, I wasn't good." She made a wistful smile, remembering her clumsy plucking of the strings. "Echo had a violin. She was better at it than I was at my harp." They used to play in a band together, the gifts inspired by how the two babies loved the jingle eggs.

Sana sat herself down, thinking. "Okay, so music's off the table. Is there anything else you're good at?" She asked, making herself home on the velvet carpet. "Why don't we focus on you? Do you have any other skills?" Sana blushed, looking down, twiddling her thumbs. "U-um, nothing family friendly. Mom, um, she really wanted one of her daughters to take after her, um, and Amelia didn't want to..." Flo remembered Amelia talking about her tenuous relationship with her prostitute mother. "Yeah, I don't suggest you do that." Sana was too timid and innocent, she was better off not using her body to wile boys.

Flo knew that Cress was encouraging pairs to not use their powers, and instead find different talents not related to being demons or Agents, but what options did these two have? "What if we tried to tell good jokes?" Harris had been good at jokes, right? "What's brown and sticky?" Sana asked with a shy giggle. "A stick. Yes, I don't think that's an option either." Flo glanced at Sana's bracelet and then her amethyst eyes lit up with excitement. "I think I found us an idea."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




"We're going to play this piece," Christopher leafed through a shief of sheet music, pulling out a brightly colored paper. He handed it to Echo, whose eyes widened. "I can't play this!" She protested, throwing it back to him. "Why not?" He asked with a sigh, knowing that he would be met with protests. "That's Bach, Bach is a pianist, not a violinist." Echo crossed her arms with a huff. "Fine, you pick the piece then." Christopher decided, perhaps allowing Echo a bit of control would help her. She rifled through the sheet music, throwing papers around so that they rained like snow. Christopher watched as she pulled yet another book out, at last nodding her head, seeming content. "This one," He reached over to take the paper from her, "Rachminov? Are you sure?" He questioned, quirking a brow. It was a sophisticated, mature piece. Vocalise. "Yes," Echo picked up her violin.

She tuned it for a moment, then began to play. The room filled with the sound of a weeping violin, it started out slowly at first, the sound mournful. Christopher reached for the keys, playing along hesitantly with the sheet music. "Are you sure this one?" Echo opened one eye. "Why?" She asked, she stopped playing. "You don't want something a little... happier?" He leaned forward, "this is for the talent show, not a funeral." The wind seemed to have been blown out of her. "I don't want to play anymore," Echo decided, placing the violin down. Unlike everything else, she was gentle. You could tell this was something she cared about, unlike the sheet music. "How about you just play Rachminov then?" Christopher asked, close to snapping again. "I don't want to," she began picking up sheets of music before the draft in the room could spread them further.

Suddenly Echo dropped everything and ran to the violin. "What are you doing?" She didn't answer, she simply began to play. Christopher reached for the keys once more, then stopped, watching. Her body language had changed, she stood up straighter, her eyes were closed, she held the violin close, but not too tightly, her grip fluttering between the bow and the strings. "Paper, I need paper." Echo placed her violin down gently on the bench and ran to find a spare sheet, looking for a pen. Christopher produced one, holding it out for the tiny demon who began to furiously write. "What is this?" Christopher knelt down on the floor where she was currently bundled, scribbling, then erasing. She reached for her violin, played a note, then wrote it down.

"You said that Behren wrote his heart down right?" Echo asked, a strange glint in her eyes. "Well, this is my heart." She continued to scribble, then rose when she thought it finished. "It's two minutes long, how long does each act have?" She inquired as she placed the sheet music against a stand. "Ninety seconds," Christopher replied, watching her the way a curious cat did a bird. "Then we'll have to play fast," Echo determined. She turned towards Christopher and grinned a wild, perhaps maniacal grin. "Try to keep up," her form changed once mokre. Christopher turned towards the piano, pausing only to jot down notes. It was wild the song, wild like her heart.

It rose in waves and creschendos, it ebbed and flowed softly, then became a violent, upbeat tune. It wasn't like any classical music Christopher had ever heard and perhaps that was the point. When their two minutes were up, both players were panting. "Allow me to make some adjustements," he reached for the paper with his pen, making notations, writing down scribbles for his own benefit. "What do you think?" Echo asked, pacing the floor. "I think we can make this work."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Sana wasn't sure if she wanted to be excited or be nervous at the way Flo was staring at her so intently, a spark in her eyes as a clear idea was coming into view. "Wh-what's your plan?" She asked, gulping some water down to try and quell her anxiety. It was a habit Pray got her to try, to drink whenever she felt anxious in order to train her mind to not let heself lose control like before. She hadn't frozen up to her fear ever since Pray made the suggestion. She kept up combat training with Samurai every week too, so even though she and Flo hadn't been together, the mild horse wasn't not rusty in the slightest. "How good are you with your hands?" Flo asked as she wheeled over to the light switch. "U-um, good enough to fight with?" Sana blinked, confused.

All of a sudden the lights were flickered off. In that instant Sana felt two objects being thrown at her. By either instinct or reaction, she was able to catch them both. From the impact of catching them, the objects began to glow a neon pink color in the effervescent darkness. "Glow sticks?" Sana asked, holding them up. "Wave them around, juggle them. See what'll happen." Flo ordered so Sana decided she would do that. It was then she realized there was metal inside of them. As Sana almost dropped one, she floated it back up using her bracelet. More glow sticks were thrown at her, and some were frozen in place thanks to Flo's ability, remaining still as it hung in the air.

"What we lack in performance training, we can make up for it with our powers." Flo said with a grin, turning the light back on. "We might not get first place, but at least we'll look cool." Something like that was perfect for them, Sana couldn't help but agree. "A-and my stagefright?" She asked, trembling again. Sana's social anxiety would make it near impossible for her to be a good performer, no matter how much she improved. "Well obviously, when we do a light show, we have to turn the lights off." Flo said in a plain tone, as if it were very obvious. "So, well, no one will see your face. Isn't it obvious?"

Most pairs were getting their ideas ready by now. Naturally they still needed to submit their ideas to Cress's office so that the necessary supplies for the show would be set up, as well as the arrangements as well. "Here's our submission." Flo handed the papers in for Cress, who smiled. "Thank you. I'm surprised you convinced Sana to participate with you." Sana blushed and stared at her hands as they firmly gripped the handles of the wheelchair. "You didn't know? She's secretly an attention hog that loves the stage." Flo teased, making Sana blush even more, her cheeks becoming redder than cherries.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




"I want to take you somewhere," Christopher carefully stored the sheet music in his bag "Come on," Echo rose, stuffing her feet back into her snow boots and following him outside, into the rickety staircase and down the steps to street level. The car was warm inside, the heat blowing directly onto her. "Where are we going?" Echo inquired, curious as a mouse. They drove in silence, Christopher ignoring her inquiry, but it became obvious soon enough. They stopped in front of a music store, Echo looking up into the window at the fancy instruments. "In here," he beckoned, leading her inside. "I can't afford any of these," she scowled, looking at the price. A thousand pounds for an instrument was something that Echo could not fork over. "I'll pay," Christopher replied, "just pick whichever one you like." Echo turned towwards the instruments.

"Whichever one I like?" She echoed, picking up one such violin. She did not like the feel of it, onto the next. Echo went through several, testing their strings, holding them against her, until, at last, she had found one that she thought suited her needs. It was white, with music notes carved into it. The strings were the color of gold and the winding in black. It was elegant, the sound reminding Echo of rain hitting the windows. "I want this one," Christopher did not so much as blink as they were rang up. They headed back towards the car, Echo clutching her new violin case as though it were a precious child. "I expect you'll be using it often," she nodded, her fingers itching to play it. "Here, guard this." He handed her their song, the one they would perform for the talent show. Her stomach fluttered with nerves, it wasn't as though it were today, but they would practice all the same.

They returned to the Tower Society and went to tell Cress of their act, finding that Sana and Flo were just leaving. "Oh good, you'll be signing up," Echo smiled, but there was mischief in it. "I hope you're prepared to lose to us," she grinned that fanged grin of her's. "Echo," Christopher cleared his throat in warning. She flinched and stepped towards him, "I'll see you at dinner." They stepped into Cress's office, the acting head of the Tower Society on the phone. "Oh good, it's you two." She smiled, gesturing to the chairs. She noted the case in Echo's hands. "Doing a spot of shopping?" She asked, leaning forward. "We know what our act is going to be," she strode forward, Christopher delivering the paper work. "I hope you have a piano hiding somewhere," he muttered. Cress nodded, her smile vibrant. "I'll make sure to arrange it. I've just finished inviting the rest of London to come and watch. I'm hoping it'll brighten their spirits as well," and bolster their enlistment.

"Ready for dinner?" Christopher asked as they left, they would be taking it downstairs tonight. "No," Echo scowled, her sour mood quick to return. "I'm not giving to kill you over curry, come on." He dragged her to the dining hall, which was buzzing with excitement. The talent show was what they needed, something to rally their spirits and show off their better sides. It was no wonder that just about everyone had signed up to perform, except for menial staff and those who preferred to gossip then to perform. "I want to sit with Flo," Echo said as soon as they entered, still clutching her case. She had delicately placed the sheet music inside, not wanting to lose it. "Fine, find us a table, I'll get the food."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




The curtains rose as Cress Winter stood on the stage. For some reason everyone was excited even though it was just a simple talent show. "I hope after this, we becomes less of an organization, and more like something we could call family." Cress spoke, addressing the crowd as they were all sitting, waiting for the show to start. "I won't bore you all with some lame speech. Let's just get the show on the road! Don't forget to cast your top three votes in the ballot box after the show!" She walked to the side then, grinning from ear to ear. She was really trying her best to help everyone maintain their hopes and dreams as the world kept trying to take it away. Without hope, they couldn't win. Without hope, they couldn't survive and thrive.

According to the random order, Ariel and Lana were first. "First for tonight's show is a little mermaid and her mirror hopping friend. Everyone, please clap for Ariel and Lana as they show you what they have!" The curtains parted as Ariel and Lana stepped out, giving a bow. "I-I'm a little nervous!" Ariel exclaimed, giggling. "Don't be." Lana's grin was full of pride. "Do it just like how I taught you." So as the rap music started, both Ariel and Lana began to break dance, their limbs flying across the stage. Ariel was doing surprisingly well for someone who had been taught this in only twenty-four hours. As they finished and struck their poses, the applause was tremulous. "Who would've thought they had it in them? Thank you, Ariel and Lana!" Cress clapped and the curtains closed.

There were many shows. After Ariel and Lana, Leo and Juria (well, mostly Leo with Juria attached to him) performed a full conversation with each other speaking two different languages. The third show was a showcase of Wicked throwing little coins in the air as fast as she could, and Miranda shooting each one, creating little fireworks with her perfect aim. Everyone was getting in on the event and having fun. "It's almost time." Sana gulped, looking at the guest list. "Let's get moving then." Participants sat in the crowd until the group before them was starting. Then they were given time to return to their seats after their performance. Sana wheeled Flo out of their row and up the slope (the stage used to have stairs but then Wei had them add a slope to make it accessible) and Flo patted her partner's head. "Just do your best." The pinkette said with a comforting smile.

"Our eighth performance today is Sana and Flo!" Cress introduced them as the curtains opened. "Keep your eyes peeled, you don't want to be in the dark for this one!" The lights on the stage all dimmed as per the stage orders and Flo cracked out the glow sticks. Together they did a light show, juggling and dancing with the glow sticks, mesmerizing the audience. Flo even had lights installed in her wheelchair to make the effect even more impressive. Once their ninety seconds was up and the lights went back up, they bowed to the applause.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo sat down next to Flourspar's wheelchair. She was glad to have her friend back, but could recognize that things were different between them. Flo liked people, she was bubbly, as much as she tried to deny it, an extrovert. Echo on the other hand, hated everyone. Christopher took a seat next to her, keeping a careful eye on his demon, who had tried to escape the talent show this morning by pretending to throw up in the toilet. He had seen right through it of course and had made her get dressed and ready. She was wearing a nice outfit, one Doll had made for her. Something that made Echo look more like a cute little toy than a fierce demon. Christopher had tamed her hair as well, pulling it into neat pigtails and braiding it down the sides of her head. Echo scowled when she had looked at her reflection and had tried to undo them, but he had simply commanded her to sit as he made her look presentable.

"You're now a high ranking agent of the Tower Society. You need to look the part. No more leggings with holes and shirts from the lost and found." He scolded and Echo knew he was right, even if she hated it. Like or not, being partnered with the Hope of Humanity made her, in turn, the Hope of Humanity. For the first time in her life, Echo wished Doll were here now. She would tell Christopher to leave her alone, or perhaps she would make the situation worse, but at least Echo would not be contracted to her sister's stupid, human husband. "What are you doing?" She asked as he took what looked to be a pen out of the fridge. "Insulin," Echo blanched. "Are you gonna die?" Was this a Flo situation all over again? Christopher shook his head. "Not as long as I have this." Echo glanced at him warily and watched as he stabbed himself in the thigh.

They went downstairs afterwards, the two of them quiet the entire way, Echo at least, not scowling. She took her place next to Flo and fiddled with one of her braids. The talent show began when the lights lowered and the people began to hush as Cress took the stage, her new prosthetic leg balanced by Alex Drake. She had only allowed him to modify the one her sister had made, not replace it completely. Echo's head throbbed as strobe lights came on and Ariel and Lana took to the stage. Their skills were impressive, especially considering they had just learned them. "Good luck," Echo whispered when it was Flo and Sana's turn. "Break a leg, but not literally since you already can't walk." Echo watched them go, the lights dimming completely. It was a whirling dervish of color and sound. It was almost a sensory overload for the demon, who already hated technology. Everyone seemed impressed, some even standing as they applauded. "You were both great," Echo smiled as they returned, attempting to be friendly despite her racing pulse and sweating palms.

"Next up are Christopher and Echo!" She knew she wasn't received well by other demons, that Echo was the trouble maker, the crazy one that everyone whispered about when she passed. Her heart raced as Christopher led her to the stage, where a white piano had been rolled out. She fumbled with the music stand for a moment, cursing to herself as she put in the ear piece so that she could hear the piano. Echo glanced at Christopher, who nodded. She took in a deep breath and pressed her bow against the violin, the first notes coming out soft and sweet. The notes became more erratic, going faster and faster, Christopher's fingers flying in order to keep up.

When it was done, both were breathing hard. Echo fell to her knees, looking up at the lights, feeling blinded by the lights. Was there clapping? Echo didn't know. Christopher came to stand by her side, a small smile on his face.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




With a warm smile, Flo invited Echo to sit next to her chair. "You look pretty." Flo said to her sister, grinning a little at Echo's outfit. Still, there was something the pinkette preferred about Echo dressing up in clothes she herself preferred, even if they were raggedy and ripped. Was she too soft on Echo? Maybe the strict disciplinarian called Christopher would be better for her. She and Sana were dressed in simple black dresses lined with white stripes that glowed in the dark, to better fit their performance that was to come. "Go easy on her, she likes to be a bit wild." She told Chris, sticking her tongue out at him slightly. Sana nudged her and began taking the handles once it was time for the two of them to get on.

After the show of lights and sound, Sana took them back, looking somewhere between embarrassed and pleased. "See, you're secretly a natural, aren't you?" Sana blushed even deeper, turning away. "N-no, that w-was t-terrifying..."[/color] Flo put a hand on her partner's chest, feeling the rapid beating of the heart. "Sounds like excitement to me." Was Sana coming out of her shell? It would be nice if she would, but Flo would let Sana improve at her own pace. Little by little, she would get there. "Thanks, Echo." Flo said at Echo's praise. "You do your best too, okay?" She was excited to see what Echo and Christopher had up their sleeves after all. As they went and Cress began introducing them, a piano and a violin were set up and prepared for them.

Memories of a long time ago continued to resurface and Flo thought once again of the old harp sitting in her room, just waiting to be played. It was evident that Echo continued practicing the violin, but Flo had left the harp behind long ago, keeping it only as a memento of the past. "If only Shiro mama could see it..." Shiro no doubt would have broken into tears of joy watching Echo play the violin. Shiro was as close to a mother figure as the two ever had the pleasure to have, and now she was gone. Flo made a silent promise to get Shiro back, no matter what it took. She believed in her heart that the happy little puppy nursemaid was alive. "You were excellent, Echo." Flo told her sister as she returned. "I guess keeping up with practice pays off..."

Once all the scheduled shows came to an end, everyone was invited to cast their votes for their top three placements. There was a nervous energy buzzing in the air as the ballots were counted. Naturally, one could not vote for themselves. "It's time to announce the top three." Crescent bore a grin as she gripped the microphone. "Coming in third place is Mare and Fluorspar with their light show! The pair will receive a room upgrade to the next floor, with their pick of white side of the North Tower to have their window facing!" She glanced at her paper and nodded. "Second Place comes to Mason and Polaire! Who knew crystal sword juggling would be such a hit? They'll receive brand new custom fit raid armor, and a pay raise to boot!" Now it was time for last and best. To the sound of a drumroll Cress revealed the winner of the talent show. "Is it any surprise that the musical serenade of Christopher and Echo won the most hearts tonight? They'll receive a lifetime supply of food from all participating restaurants, a room upgrade, and a pay raise!" Naturally, everyone would be receiving a golden medal as thanks for taking part in the show, since everyone was a winner for doing their best.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo shook her head, "I feel like a stuffed toy," she growled, tugging at the collar of her dress. Why did she have to dress so fancy? Everyone else seemed to be in costumes fitting their act. Polaire wore a dress that glinted in the light and made her look like a disco ball. Flo and Sana wore matching striped dresses, that Echo was sure had some trick to them. "Stop pulling at it," Christopher guided her hands away as though she were still a child wearing socks on her hands so as not to scratch her face. Flo asked Christopher to go easy on Echo, as her former human, perhaps thinking that she had some pull. "It was your lack of discipline that made her like this," it wasn't a scold, per say, but the point was certainly loud and clear. Christopher would discipline Echo the way he saw fit and not the other way around.

Echo rose, able to hear the roar of applause in her ears. She handed off the violin and bow to the sound-stage manager and stumbled down the steps, Christopher catching her so that she did not fall. She took her seat beside Flourspar once more, Christopher on her other side. He seemed happy about something, but what, Echo could not tell. She blushed when Flo told her she was excellent. Echo shook her head, "There are others.... who are better," she mumbled. Still, it was easy to tell that Echo was pleased with the praise, as one who rarely received it. She swung her legs a little bit, going quiet as the next act came on stage. "I've been practicing for a long time," she whispered. All of those days in isolation, waiting for a match. Echo had practiced the violin everyday. She had thrown herself into studying musical theory, devouring just about any book she could get her hands on. It was before her memories had returned, when she still had a lisp and smiled shyly at just about everyone.

Now she mostly scowled.

The talent show ended with a standing ovation, it seemed that everyone had enjoyed themselves. "I'll be right back," Christopher checked his TB, going off. "Come back before they announce the winners!" Echo called before she cast her own vote. For Mare and Flo, of course. Who would Echo be if she didn't vote for her friend and her partner? "I guess I'll cast Christopher's for him too," Echo decided, putting in another vote for Mara and Flo. He was none too pleased when he returned, only to discover that Echo had taken the liberty of voting for him. "I didn't know when you would come back," she shrugged, finding no fallacy in her logic. He sighed, shaking his head, but he did not argue further. They took their seats once more, Echo swinging her legs as Cress took the stage.

She nudged Flo when it was announced that she had gotten third place. "I knew you could do it," Echo teased, knowing that Flo would make the top three. She waited to hear second place, certain that Lana and Ariel would take the top spot. Imagine her surprise when Cress announced her own and Christopher's name. "What?" Echo said dumbly, blinking. "That can't be right," Christopher grasped her arm, tugging her up. "Cress doesn't make mistakes," he replied simply, tugging Echo along with him. They walked onto the stage, presented with a meddle and trophy. Her expression was one of disbelief the entire time. A pay raise? That seemed... strange.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




The rewards were most definitely strange, but in hindsight it wasn't really a surprise either. "You did... great, everyone... agrees." Flo told Echo with a pat on the arm. She and Sana were happy enough to have earned third place. "Enjoy your new raise?" Echo would be able to buy more books, if she still liked to devour books as if they were food. The pinkette winced, her chest burning in pain. "Let's call it a night, okay?" Sana told her from behind. "I think you overdid it a little." Flo nodded, grimacing as she tried to smile at Echo. "We'll talk more... later... okay?" Even talking a little made her breathless. "Goodnight, Echo. Chris, be.... nicer to her, she's a lady, not a brute."

After Sana helped her onto her bed, Flo collapsed, panting and curling unconsciously as she tried to suck air into her poor lungs that simply did not want to breathe. Sana frowned at her worriedly after handing her her puffer. "If there anything I can do?" She asked, already starting up the machine. "G-get me... into pajamas..." Sana blushed a little as she helped change Flo out of the specially made black dress and into more comfortable sleepwear. "I'll put our bronze trophy on the stand." Sana grinned, seeming almost proud of herself for doing so well. Flo wasn't doing quite so well though. "L-let's get some rest..." Hopefully she could beat the clock and get to sleep before her transformation began, because it was very hard to sleep when you're in pain.

As she closed her eyes a bright light only made it harder. "Rowena?" Flo whispered, glancing at the soul piece shard on her bracelet. It was glowing, it was shaking. What was happening, something like this never happened before. "Wh-what's wrong?" She held it, wondering what to do. Was her spider suffering? Or was something else going on? "Urggh." She clutched her chest as it continued to hurt and send stabbing pains down her abdomen. Wei wasn't around anymore, who else was there for her to ask about this? Wasn't there only one person left?

Flo stared down her mother in the restricted section of the East Tower where Baroness Impati was imprisoned forever for her crimes against humanity. "Mother." Flo grit her teeth, pink wings flaring behind her. "What happened to Rowena? What's going on?" Impati, still laying on her bed of roses, looked over with a smile. "Ah, so it's finally activated." She grinned coolly. "Baroness Rowena was once the Baroness of Lies. Her counterpart was the Baroness of Truth, Anthra." Anthra was one of the demons working for Queen Kitra in Paris. Wasn't she defending Cascade Bau right now? "What does that mean?" Flo asked. Unfortunately, Addison was the only one in the Tower Society left who could tell her.

The smile was full of danger. "Well, I imagine someone like Rowena made a vow that only she was allowed to kill Anthra. This means Anthra is in danger right now." Cascade Bau was in danger? "Messiah's making his move." If Messiah won against Queen Kitra's faction and took over Paris, the only hope left for reconciliation between the races would vanish. "Th-then I have to go protect it." She would wake up Sana and they would go over to help fight, as a favor to Queen Kitra. "Do check on little Pandora." Impati told her coldly. "The little thing could use some encouragement." With Occasus embedded within her, she was no doubt alone and scared right now. It was Flo's fault she was here, trapped in another timeline, possessed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




"Have a goodnight," she waved to Flo, watching her go. Christopher was talking to Cress, no doubt working out the logistics of everything. Echo stood on her own beside the stage, staring up at the lights that looked like stars if she squinted her eyes. "Good job tonight," someone taller stopped in her shadow, Echo looking down from the ceiling to see who it was. Calciferous stood in front of her, his tail swishing. Echo stepped back with a growl, "Go away," she turned around, trying to find out where Christopher had gone. "What? Still mad at me?" He asked, cocking a hip. "Just leave me alone," Echo pushed past him. "She's too young for you!" A demon called from the sidelines, laughing. "Cal's a pedophile!" The call seemed to stick, suddenly the others in the room had turned to make fun of him. Cal, flustered, stumbled over his words.

Echo slipped away, finding Christopher still speaking to Cress, their tones hushed, but urgent. "Let's go, I'm tired." Echo tugged on Christopher's sleeve. "One minute Echo, go stand over there." He pointed to the table lined with snacks, where Melody was standing with Flame, laughing about something. "No," Echo replied, not wanting to have to deal with her big sister. Christopher sighed, "It's fine," Cress smiled, it was clear, she too, was tired. "You two should head upstairs, tomorrow you've gotta move to your new room." Echo wasn't excited about it, she didn't want to move after she had just settled in a different one. "Goodnight," Cress waved as the duo walked away towards the elevator.

"Tomorrow we'll start training," Christopher said as they rode up. "I don't want to," Echo replied simply, clutching her violin case against her. "The Tower Society needs us," Christopher replied, Echo didn't have a choice here. "I don't want to fight anymore," her tail had wrapped itself around her thigh so tightly that it was turning blue. "You're the only able bodied Baroness the Tower Society has. As far as abilities go, you're ranked on top. We all saw what you could do in the blizzard, we need that fighting power." The elevator jolted to a stop, the door opening. The lights in their hallway flickered strangely, but Chris either didn't notice or didn't mind. Echo swallowed hard, a feeling of unease overcoming her.

"Don't open the door," she whispered, her entire body stiff. "What do you mean?" Christopher asked, unsheathing his sword. "There's something wrong," as though on cue, the door opened on its own, the lights in the apartment off, but Echo had left them on, on purpose. "Echo, shed some light." She nodded, a diamond chipping, a small light floating into the room. It illuminated everything it touched, stopping just for a moment to focus on a set of eyes and a smiling mouth. "Show yourself!" Christopher yelled, holding his sword tightly. Echo's wings snapped out, the tiny demon clutching her violin case even harder against her chest, as though the demon inside might steal it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Flo could hear the muffled screaming as she walked to the hallway. As a demon, she felt stronger, she felt stable. But the truth was she was very unstable. Her broken shattered soul piece cold only last so long, and Sana was her only life line. If the demon's paradise was in danger, so was Echo's hope of freedom. She had to make sure Paris did not fall to Messiah's faction's side. Rowena continued to glow on her wrist, the shard's tip aiming no doubt to Paris. "Pan..." The pinkette put a solemn hand on the glass. Little Pan was whimpering, eyes wide open, as she fought against Baroness Occasus's control. "What if I did something?" There had to be something she could do. Sadly, it wouldn't make the little Pandora human again, but it could at least do something else.

She used her TB to bypass the security authentication. Due to being the daughter of the last Director, Flo's biometrics were still registered for full clearance. Luckily for her Wei hadn't gotten around to changing that just yet. "Here..." The red soul piece was burning with hot energy, embedded in Pan's wrist where it stabbed through. Flo gently put her hand on Pandora herself, putting her to sleep. She then froze the soul piece in time, isolating it from the rest of her body. Pandora was trying to resist Occasus's control this whole time. But if she stopped fighting, the painful transformation would be over and she would be a proper demon. Flo personally oversaw Pan's transformation, stopping Occasus's influence in her tracks as it tried to break through, freezing the entire room in time so no time passed and the midnight moon remained high in the sky.

Pandora looked up at her in confusion and surprise. "Occasus should be under control now." Flo said, giving her a little wave. "For now you should remain yourself." The child looked at her hands, then turned to touch the fiery wing burning through her shirt, the red eyes and the heart shaped tail on her back. "I-I'm a demon now." Pan whispered. "I'm not human anymore." Flo took her hand and clapsed it in her own. "You're the new Baroness Occasus. I can make sure the old one doesn't wake up." Vaswald could command ice, and Occasus was the master of fire. Together, they could combine and become their original form once again, the Herald of Destruction, Orbus Coelus. Did the sisters even want to turn back? Or were they now enjoying their own individuality?

Flo broke the clasps, freeing Pan from the chains. It was her fault Pan was stuck in this timeline as a demon now. "Pan, if you stay here, they're just going to use you. You'll be the fourth Baron-class demon under the Tower Society's control." She had to get Pan to Paris. Flo also needed to hurry up and protect Queen Kitra before it was too late. "I-I want to stay." Pan whimpered. "With you." It was clear the love was still in her eyes. "It's not true love. You'll understand when you grow up." Flo said calmly. "Now come with me, I'm going to take you to Paradise."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




"Echo-" Christopher warned, keeping a hand out, as though to protect her. "I know," they could hear footsteps coming from within the dark room. "On my command, you're going to light the room up," he whispered, but Echo knew that the demon could hear, that it was waiting. "One...." her heart pounded in her throat and she swallowed hard, she could hear it thrumming in her ears. "Two..." Her hands were clammy, she had never felt nervous to fight before. "Three!" A diamond chipped, the ligh illuminating the room so brightly, it could be seen two miles away in the sky. Christopher leaped, the sound of sword meeting body echoing in her ears. The light began to dim, there was blood on his sword, blood on the furniture. Echo fell to her knees, trembling at the sight of it.

The demon laughed, coughing, it was still alive. "You might have killed me, but there are more coming. Dozens more, we will have your head-" it spluttered as his sword struck through its face and it turned into naught but a soul piece. Echo looked away as he picked it up and placed it in one of the blue velvet bags. The blood disappeared as the body disintegrated into nothing. Echo was still trembling as he knelt beside her, offering a hand up. She looked up into his face, his eyes flickering with something between sadness and attempting to shove his feelings away. "I don't need your help," she pushed him, reaching for her dropped instrument case and getting back to her feet. She could feel it though, an attack coming on.

Her breathing came out in ragged breaths as she fell in her room, stumbling into the bed. Her hands curled around the bedsheets as she screamed, flahses of the dungeon beneath the Seylum household flickering behind her eyes. The door opened, she didn't hear it though, stuck in a fever dream, trying to resist as hands grabbed her, pinning her close and hugging her arms around her. She screamed and thrashed, attempting to escape, her throat raw. Her yelling turned into coughing, then into soft whimpers as the hour grew late and she was finally herself again. The medicine the Tower Society had concocted was no longer working, she could see the visions again, of that basement, of those people. When Echo came around at last, her eyes began to focus on the surroundings in front of her.

Christopher was sitting on the floor with her, holding her, his grip tight. "Let go of me," she spoke softly, her voice hoarse. "Are you done?" He asked, his inflection strange. "Y-yes," she coughed and he released her, handing her water. Echo chugged it, nearly choking. "Slow down," how long had it been? She didn't know. She was tired, her strength nearly sapped from her, she trembled as she stood, nearly falling. He reached out to catch her, the tiny demon easy to lift onto the bed. "Get some sleep," was all he said as he left, turning on the nightlight and flicking the light off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




It was afternoon when Flo returned from Paris, Little Pan still on her back. It seemed like a mess, but they did all they could. She didn't intend on actually fighting, she just needed to swing things back in Queen Kitra's favor is all. By removing the witch Zinnia from the equation and helping the mages save her, that was all she needed to do. "Why didn't you keep me there?" Pan asked, looking up as Flo flew through the sky. "It's too dangerous right now. Cascade Bau will be abandoned, even if they win here they can't defend it anymore." Flo saw the shattered barrier, the dead Sphinx. It wasn't worth trying to keep the Fortress anymore. If Kitra was smart, she would order everyone to retreat safely to Paris and consolidate her defenses there. "As much as I hate, you're safest with us here for now."

Sana was waiting for them at the Oxford Campus gates, waving to them. "Transform back to human!" She commanded and Flo returned to her base form. "You worried me there you almost hit your time limit!" Flo coughed weakly as Sana helped her into the wheelchair and put the breathing tubes into her nose again, turning the oxygen tank on. "I-I had to. Th-there was a lot to do." She helped the mages break into the fortress, guiding Yulissa straight to where Messiah and Kitra were fighting. "A-and I did as you asked, Cress." Cress looked at her with hope in her eyes. "Was there... any hope?" She asked, looking at Pan in particular. Pan frowned, wriggling weakly. "She gave up, I could sense it." The new Baroness admitted with a mewl. "But she's trying to fight again. Ellen Winter is doing her best." Cress smiled, wiping a tear from her face before anyone could see it. "Do your best, sis." She whispered, looking towards Paris. "I'm counting on you."

Flo still remembered that little Chinese witch, clinging to her heels, begging her to save Zinnia from Messiah. That was the plan from the beginning, but it was still a little funny. "Am I ever that desperate?" She asked herself aloud. Sana looked at her in confusion. "What?" The shyster tilted her head. "No, nothing." Turning her attention to Cress, Flo gestured at the child sitting on her lap. "At least for now, you won't enslave her, okay?" Cress sighed, nodding. "I wouldn't try to pair her up anyways. She probably barely knows how to use her powers." Knowing Pan though, with some training, she would be able to quickly learn. "U-um, thank you, Director Winter." Pan said meekly. That made Cress blush a bit. "No, no, I'm no Director, I'm just a Director-stand-in until Wei comes back safe."

"He's alive, but I couldn't get to him." Flo said apologetically. She handed Pan to Cress to bring back to her room. They could decide later what they wanted to do with the new Baron. For now, Flo had a message for Echo, since it was clear Echo was worrying all this time. After knocking on the room and being let in by Chris, Sana and Flo entered. "It's over, Echo." The pinkette told her calmly. "Zinnia's safe, and Paradise is protected for now." No doubt the strange lights around London would fade away soon enough.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Christopher did not come to wake her in the morning, instead, he let her sleep. She had been up late last night and was exhausted. He could tell when she hadn't woken up at the knocking at the door. "One minute," he rose, placing his holo pad down. He had been reading the paper and drinking coffee, the lights over the city having yet to fade from the attack the night before. The flat was clean, not a whiff of the scuffle the night prior remaining. He had already turned in the soul piece and had spoken to Cress about what had happened, they were going to up security once more, they were not certain if the attack was just to make a statement, or to attack Echo specifically. "I thought it might be you," he answered as he opened up the door, allowing Sana to wheel Flo into the flat. "I expected a visit eventually."

He closed the door behind them and pointed towards Echo's door. He would begin packing his belongings, since they were being given a flat upgrade. Echo awoke when the door burst open, she sat upright sleepily, rubbing at her eyes. "What's over?" Echo asked, reaching over to turn off the machine beside her bed, she was still being fed at night by it, since she was eating again, but only very little. Echo looked at Flo in confusion, then, slowly, it began to dawn on her. "You-you went to the fight?" Of course Echo knew about it, she had been inside of the meeting room when Kitra brought the topic up. Echo hadn't even known that Flo was aware of it. Zinnia was safe then? Which meant that Blithe would keep protecting Paris? Echo slouched in relief, laughing as her head hit the pillow. It would only be a matter of time before she was back there.

Echo slid off of the mattress. No doubt Ida and the others had been there too, they had all been there, fighting to protect Paris, the demon paradise. "Thank you for helping them," she whispered, knowing that it must have hurt her to have to fly that far, that fast. "There's going to be a lot more fighting. Did you see Doll?" Had she been at the battle? Was anyone able to recover her? Could Christopher take her back and release Echo from their contract and the Tower Society could finally kill her? Of course, there was a fat chance of that happening, but Echo could hope. She slid off of the mattress, nearly stumbling. There were bruises on her legs, mostly from falling, but it didn't look good for her human partner. There came a light knock from the door, "I hate to break up the party, but Echo has appointments we need to get to."

Echo glared, "I'm not going." Christopher shook his head, "It doesn't matter what you want." He disappeared so that she could have some privacy to get dressed. Echo pulled her clothes off right there, in front of their guests and threw her nightgown at the bed. "I hate him," for a moment she had forgotten that he was there as she pulled something at random out of the closet and tried to run a brush through her unruly hair.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




"Sorry it took so long." Flo smiled, fatigue clear on her face as she grinned at Christopher. They were both human agents with disabilities, though one had a few more complications than just her condition. The two had some semblance of understanding with each other. "Yeah. Rowena made sure I knew what was happening." She rubbed her wrist, glancing down at the shard that once belonged to her spider friend and second love. Her heart pined for her, but she knew she was long gone. Not even Lachesis could bring her back anymore. "It was really stressful." Sana admitted, wiping her brow. "But Flo insisted that I let her go." She made sure to get permission from Cress first, that's why they didn't receive any punishment for the flight.

Zinnia would no longer be a slave of Baron Messiah, much to everyone's pleasure but him, naturally. "The mages are protecting her now. I hope soon Queen Kitra will let Blithe return to her master's side." Zinnia, while in captivity in Castle Seylum, was set free once and only for one day. She was ordered to go to Constantina and save Zinnia from dying by poison. This was, naturally, a very long time ago and she barely remembered the incident. Naturally Echo was going to ask about Doll. "I couldn't find her. I'm sure Messiah kept her out of sight." Her eyes drifted guiltily towards Chris's door. No doubt he wanted his beloved back and safe in his arms. Flo would go check on Sonata later, if Terra would let her in, since Terra was the new nursery demon ever since Shiro vanished. "I'm sorry..." The pinkette hung her head in shame. She couldn't do everything she wanted to. Not even Shiro was in sight for her to rescue. "I didn't have enough energy to stay any longer." It was hard enough just getting there and back, let alone actually trying to fight.

"You did your best, Flo!" Sana pat her back anxiously. "So please don't beat yourself up about it!" Chris interrupted them then, because Echo had meetings she had to attend. Not that Echo would ever want to go to those meetings. For a man who lost his wife he was, as always, stoic and in control of his emotions. Did he blame himself for what happened? For not being strong enough to save the girl he loved? "You're rebellious as always, Echo." Flo sported a small, weak smile, as she coughed, trying to not faint. Truthfully, the pinkette hadn't had any sleep at all. She was barely holding herself up now.

"H-here, let me help." Flo reached for the brush, threading the bristles gently through Echo's hair. She had never done this before, but if they ever did have a chance of becoming roommates, she would happily have brushed Echo's hair. "I'm going to use the bathroom." Sana disappeared to pee after getting Chris's permission. Now it was just Flo and Echo, a human and a demon. "Do you miss being partners?" Flo asked quietly, as she ran her fingers through Echo's hair. "Or is it better now that we're both demons?" As demons, there was a false hope that they could find freedom together. In truth, only Echo would live to see it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




Echo was growing frustrated at her inability to brush her own hair, she growled in frustration at hereslf and turned, blanching when she realized that Flo and Sana were still there. Echo was not disappointed that Doll had not been found, in fact, she was more upset by the fact that Shiro was not rescued. It was fine though, it just meant that Echo would save her, herself later on. "I have to be," she whispered, clutching her brush against her chest. "Or else he might think he's winning," she relented, handing Flo the brush and moving closer so that her former partner could brush her hair for her. She felt incompitent, having broken down only yesterday and was now barely even able to brush her hair. Frustrated and defeated did not begin to describe how she was feeling at the moment. Flo was so useful, Flo was able to fight on her own now, she didn't need Echo anymore; she had Sana.

"Of course I miss it!" Echo quipped, her feeling coming to the surface. "I hate everyone else, Loki left me all alone, Gwenyth abandoned me, and now I'm stuck with dumb Doll's husband!" There was more than that, but if Flo remembered how Echo expressed her emotions, she would realize that Echo was saying just how much she truly missed being partners. "Everything is just going horribly wrong." Her eyes stung as tears threatened to surface and Echo bit down on her lip to keep from crying in full. "This world is rubbish," she had an exit strategy, but her bloody contract would not allow her to to harm herself on purpose. "I can't fight anymore without seizing up, my body barely listens to me, and my hair keeps changing colors." She dug her nails into her arm, feeling as though she was going to explode.

"I wish Rowena had let us stay dead!" It was clear she meant it, the demon still in mental distress. Even if Elliot had done his best to rehabilitate her, Echo was still suffering. There was no time to allow her to recover, there was a war that needed to be fought, people that needed to be saved. Her only hope was either dying, or being too injured to fight. Maybe she could get her hands on some of that poison that had wrecked her insides? Then she could live in a state between wakefulness and sleep, where she did not know if she was dead or alive. Echo had not been afraid the entire time, she could barely even recall what it was like. Of course, maybe then the Angeals would take her again and she could convince them to let her stay with them instead of sending her back.

"Thanks Flo," Echo whispered, her chest tightening as her hair was finally in place. She reached over, taking Flo's hand in her two. "If I could find a way to fix your soul piece... would you want me to?" She asked softly. "Then we could... then we could escape together!" Of course, she did not mean to say that so loudly, although she already knew that Christopher was outside of the door, listening. He was probably standing there, waiting for a moment to break in once more and drag Echo away so that she did not have time to say goodbye, as she did not know when she would get to see Flo again. These days, it felt as though they were two ships passing in the night.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by Spidermoon
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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




The dam finally broke and Flo was quiet, working on Echo's hair as she allowed Echo the chance to finally let her emotions out. Echo had been holding it in this whole time, all of her pain, her anger, her resentment, Flo wanted her to release it all and hopefully feel better for it afterwards. There wasn't much the pinkette could do for her dear friend anymore, but she still had a responsibility to her, if only imagined. Such was friendship, Flo couldn't leave her alone again. "We really made the best team." Flo said softly, tenderly giving the final touches to Echo's hair, finally taming that unruly mess. She closed her eyes, remembering how simple things were back then, before everything went wrong. "Those were probably my happiest days." Working together with Echo, plotting to free her from the Tower Society, those really were the days.

In the end, all of Echo's partners left her one way or another. Flo became a demon, Wolfe went off and got himself killed by the vampires, Gwen was taken by the vampires, Olivia proved to be too afraid to keep fighting and resigned. Now she had Christopher, and sadly to say, the two didn't really match well at all. "Because they didn't give you enough time to recover." Flo murmured, deciding to give Echo a hug from behind. "They forced you to fight before your body was ready for it." If Flo threatened Cress somehow, she knew she could convince her to let Echo off the hook and put all of the burden onto her own small shoulders. Flo was strong, she could do the work of two Barons, couldn't she? "Maybe not Wei, but I know I can make Cress give you a break."

It was an obvious and uncomfortable truth that Flo didn't really want to confront. Echo was suicidal, she wanted to die. The pinkette could see it very clearly in the demon's eyes. Flo herself had eyes like that once upon a time, even if she pretended otherwise. After losing her father and Pandora, she really did want to die in the line of duty, so that she could be remembered as a hero. "I'll find a way." Her chest burned with pain and passion. "I'll free you, no matter what it takes." She would protect Paris with her life, she would do anything for Echo's freedom.

Then Echo made an offer, one dangerously close to the one Echo made a long time ago revolving around blood and a chicken bone. Echo wanted to save her, for both of their sakes. "If something like that is possible... then I'd be more than happy to escape with you." Flo said quietly. "But try not to get tricked again like last time, okay?" She gave Echo a teasing tap on the arm, coughing dizzily. She really needed to get some sleep, she had spent all night and day going between London and Paris.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

#, as written by The_Queen
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❝Why do I always end up destroying everything I've ever loved?❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#EE3B3B ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #FFCCCC

|| The Death of a Bachelor || Panic! At the Disco ||




They had been the best team, hadn't they? Echo had been happy too, having a partner that didn't punish her for being unruly or making her do things she didn't want to. "Don't bother, Cress will just say the same thing, that's all she does, she's like Wei's clone or something. It's creepy," Cress had already told her, they were too shorthanded for Echo to have any time off. It was the same reason they had ben pushing her so hard to get back into the field. They had never intended to keep her off duty, they were always going to make her fight. It was always a lie, Echo knew. Then Cress had made her go to Paris, she had allowed Echo to taste freedom with the warning that it was something she was never going to be granted. "Thanks Flo, but I don't think that'll happen." Her only hope was to die or be injured beyond repair. Preferably the former rather then the latter.

"I don't want you to die," if Flo left her, she would be Echo's last tie to this world. If Flo died, Echo didn't know what she would do. Go crazy, perhaps; or at least crazier than she already was. "I'm not gonna get tricked this time," her hands balled into fists. A knock came from the door again, it seemed it was time for them to part ways. "I have to go, try to get some sleep, okay?" Echo asked as the door opened, Christopher and Sana were both there, no doubt they had been listening in to the private conversation. "And thanks... for.... you know," she was too embarrassed to admit that she had needed help brushing her hair. She watched Sana and Flo leave, her hands relaxing once they were gone. "Come on, you slept late enough. We've got things to do," Christopher said, waving her through the door.

"What about breakfast?" Echo whined, her stomach growling. "Here," he reached into his pocket and took out a granola bar, Christopher always kept snacks on him in case his blood sugar dropped. Now that Doll wasn't here to warn him, he was astutely monitoring it himself. She munched on the bar as they walked to the lift, leaving crumbs along the way like a child on her way to the witch's house made of candy. They went to the East Tower, the last place Echo was expecting to go. "I thought you said we were training today?" She asked, freezing just outside of the doors where two armed Tower Agents stood guard. "We are," he pushed the double doors open, ushering Echo into the wing. She walked tensely, her footsteps filled with dread.

Each passing moment made her heart race and her palms sweat. She closed her eyes and swallowed hard as they entered through a doorway. "Hello Echo," Elliot's voice rang in her ears. Her eyes snapped open, Elliot and Cress were both there, wearing lab coats. "Would you mind sitting on the table?" Elliot had been promoted to the Head of Demonology at the Tower Society and since Echo was his patient, he needed to tend to her. Echo froze up in the doorway, shaking her head. Christopher lifted her easily and placed her down. "It's alright, no one is going to hurt you." His voice attempted to soothe, "remember what we spoke about? Anchor yourself, what are things you know right now?"

"That I'm in the East Tower, that there's a table under me, that I'm wearing a blue dress." Her breaths came out in quick, shallow gasps. She hated the East Tower, she had horrible memories of this place. Cress opened up the window for some fresh air, the chill in the air making Echo shiver. "It's going to be okay," Cress assured her, patting her knee. "We know what happened last night, we just want to help make you better." They could still see it in her, of course, the undisguised desire to die.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Echo King Character Portrait: Mara LaFleur

0.00 INK

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❝Memories of a falling flower, quick, collect the petals, collect the petals!❞

ɗιαƖσgυє cσƖσя:#FF7BC1 ♙ тнσυgнт cσƖσя #4ba348

|| The Ballad of Mona Lisa|| Panic! At the Disco ||




Queen Kitra sat down, panting weakly. This was as close to death as she had ever been, if it hadn't been for the mages showing up at the last second she surely would have died. Cascade Bau had fallen to Baron Messiah's hands, and those who couldn't escape on time were put on display and massacred as a mockery of the peace she established in Paris, a mockery of the paradise she wanted to give everyone. "It's not healing." Kitra muttered, gazing at her chest in the mirror. "Was it Iflet's blade he was using?" Baron Messiah dealt her a powerful blow, and not even hementios from Silas Arvis were enough to close the wound. She winced in pain as she finished dressing herself, shaking her head.

Her base was quiet as she descended down the stairs. Lilim glanced at her, full of guilt. "I'm sorry, sis." Lilim whispered. "I can't heal that, it's not working." Kitra shook her head, she knew it wasn't her sister's fault. "You should go home to Cambion. I'm sure he's making a great pumpkin pie right about now." Cambion was taking care of Hell in the meantime, but Kitra had planned for him to eventually come and join her in Hell. The last of Lucifer's three children were supposed stick together after all. "We're all in mourning. I can't show weakness." It hurt to move but Kitra hid it well, not letting her people worry over her. They needed to believe that she was strong, that she was untouchable. With the terror of Baron Messiah one day attacking Paris an eventual reality, they needed to have faith that she was strong enough, even if that faith was a lie. "I won't let our peace be denied. I'll find a way, to my last breath..." Lilim clung to her arm, large breasts bouncing. "Please don't talk like that! It's scary, sis! You're not going to die! Celty would cry!"

Kitra pat her sister's head. "Don't worry, I'll do whatever I can to return to her." She glanced around the room at the surviving Generals. Ida was rubbing at her one horn, the other one had been torn off in the fighting. Frey looked pathetic as he clung to the broken shattered remains of his lantern. Blithe frowned, glancing up at her, unrest clear in her eyes. It was quite obvious Blithe wanted, now more than ever, to return to Magnolia. Gambit was back, now in a child's body, grinning at them as if he had never gone anywhere. According to Blithe, this child would one day be known as the Rainbow Witch. "Everyone will be moving up a rank." Kitra said softly. "Since Zeal is dead... and he was the First General..." Kitra blinked, feeling despair in her heart. How many more friends would she have to see die?

"Queen Kitra? Is something the matter?" Ida asked, glancing at her. Kitra cleared her throat, shaking her head. "I'm fine. For now it appears that we're safe, so why don't you all go home for now and visit your families." Zeal died without getting to see his little brother again, but Frey could return to his village, Blithe could go and check on Zinnia, they could all settle their business before returning to Paris. "That way you won't have any regrets for the next fight." Blithe seemed the most excited by the news. She had been stuck in Paris for far too long now.