A Leaf In The Stream Of Destruction

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Au where Panto and Bart get to say goodbye.

The Boy that Panto had been talking about for days - the prophecy boy - had fixed things with a simple wave of his hand. The towering pile of bodies Bart had created vanished in a blink, leaving only the remains of the final battle between Panto and Silas' families. Guiltily, she looked away as Francis waved his hand again and the bloody scene vanished, people woke up and all the anger between the warring families was seemingly gone.

"No more fighting," Francis said firmly, appearing behind her suddenly. "They weren't meant to be enemies but my parents kept shouting and I was scared. So, this happened. But no more."

"I think all I'm good at is fighting," Bart replied, watching the families hug and reunite. Her eyes drifted to Panto who was pulling a girl with the same pink hair into a hug whilst Silas watched fondly. He was happy at least

"Do you really want to go back to Blackwing?" Francis asked. "That place... it's cruel. They tried to steal me away. I was in the big sleep but I heard the shouts and the gunfire. Dirk used to tell me stories about how he was scared of them and how much he hated it there."

"We all hated it there," Bart said, "it's so boring. And Mr Priest he was not a good man. No one there is good. Maybe there is no good in the world."

Francis touched her arm gently. "Then stay in my world. I can make it good for you."

"I was never meant for a fairy tale," Bart answered. "I'm a Holistic Assassin. Or a weapon.  Holistic people belong in Blackwing."

"Bart-"

"Bartine!" A different voice interrupted Francis, as Panto ran over, smiling. "It worked! Peace has been achieved in Wendimoor; I told you we would get a happily ever after."

Bart looked down at his clean shirt, with no trace of the bullets that had stolen his smile hours ago, and promptly burst into tears. She flung herself forward into his arms and curled into his - thankfully - unhurt chest. She was an assassin, she had seen countless people die, many at her own hand, but never a friend. Never someone who didn't deserve it. It was her fault he died, just like it was her fault Ken was at Blackwing. The universe wanted her to be alone, it seemed.

"Bartine... this is good news? Tell me dear friend, why are you crying?"

"They don't remember what happened," Francis explained to her. "I don't want anyone to have nightmares; I know how bad they are."

Bart wrapped her arms around Panto and clung to her friend - her only friend it seemed - tightly. She had cost Panto not just his life, but Silas too, in her mission to escape her fate as a walking weapon. Holding onto him was enough to know she still had someone. (Apart from Ken, Bart hadn't been hugged since she was thirteen years old.)

"It's my fault. I didn't follow the universe. I could have helped, I could have stopped this. I'm so sorry." Her words came out muffled but Panto seemed to understand. He stroked her matted hair and whispered words of gentle comfort she didn't hear or understand. It helped her calm down a little but not enough that she stopped shaking. Or that the awful swirling feeling in her stomach went away.

"I forgive you Bartine, whatever it is I forgive you," Panto reassured her, in his typical gentleman fashion, "look where we are. Happily ever after, like we planned."

She pulled away from the hug, wiping her blood stained face with the back of her sleeve. "I messed up. I'm not meant to be happy."

"Bartine, you helped me find my beloved again. You are a good person, I believe that truly." Panto wiped her eyes, smudging blood onto his fingertips. "You have no reason to leave Wendimoor."

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