I really do love you.

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She threw Oswald to the ground harshly, along with the knife. Oswald's crippled leg seemed to be paving the way towards further injury. I winched as he hit the ground, worried that he may still be in pain from where I shot him.

"What do you want, Barbara?" I asked. "Like you've said- you already have it all. You don't need to kill Oswald."

"Oh?" she exclaimed. "Are you suggesting I kill you, instead? Yeah, I would love to blow that big brain of yours... You know what?" She turned to grin at Oswald. Not turning her head back around to look at me, she raised the gun in her hand to my head.

"Maybe you don't need to die, Penguin. Maybe you just need to know what pain I can inflict on you and the rest of this city. I rule."

I kept trying to think of ways to escape my own death. Barbara was definitely planning on shooting me- to hurt Oswald.

"Barbara," I started, "you don't have to do this. You control Gotham, okay? Not Oswald, not me."

Then she looked at me. Her eyes welled up, her face turned red...

"How can I ensure that I'll truly be in control if you idiots are-" She was interrupted by the surprising, horrific sound of her own screaming.

Oswald had stabbed her in the leg with the knife she'd dropped previously. He quickly looked up at me, his eyes pleading, "Grab the gun. Now."

I did. I snatched the pistol out of her hands and immediately pointed it between her blue eyes.

"You don't deserve power, Kean," I whispered.

Without even thinking, I pulled the damn trigger. Her blood splattered the area around her, including the top of Oswald's head- he was still on the floor.

Despite the situation (and the disgusting parts of it), Os smiled lightly and looked down.

"You scared me, Ed."

"Did you not want me to kill her?"

"No, I mean- yeah- it's just... I thought she was going to kill you first. We finally got here, this point together, and I thought you were going to be taken away from me..."

"Ozzie," I whispered, smiling, "I will always be here for you- with you. I regret hurting you, and never want you to experience pain like that again. Please know... I really would do anything for you."

We were both covered in blood. We were slightly separated by a gory corpse. But physical lifelessness in between us couldn't stop the feeling I had- I'd never felt more alive. My heart was racing, my skin was burning- and it couldn't have been better.

I helped Oswald back to his feet, pulled him away from the blood puddles, and hugged him tightly. I embraced him as if he was being taken away- I can never let that happen. He was here, with me, and I hoped it'd stay like that forever.

"Say something," Oswald said. A pang jabbed in my heart. Say something.

"I love you," I said quietly. "I really do love you."

yOOOOOOO I FINALLY FINISHED I GUESS LMAO so many people were complaining about me not updating- I'm really bad about that, with all of my stories. Sorry this last chapter sucks tho. I rushed and got partial writer's block. Oof. Comment suggestions for whatever tf ig lol. Feedback is lit. Bi bi for now 👋

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