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Bad End

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Violet petals and blood filled the bathroom sink in the red room. Wilardo hunched over the sink, coughs racking his body. After the coughing fit subsided, he stumbled backwards, letting the bathroom wall support him until his strength returned. Wilardo glanced up at the mirror, slowly standing upright and turning on the faucet. He washed away the petals and blood, and made sure his face was clean. It was almost time for him to go to the dining hall for lunch, and he wanted to erase any trace of the sickness.

Wilardo was the second one to arrive at lunch, Ashe already seated at the large table. Ashe waved cheerfully at Wilardo, who gave a nod. Luckily, with his demeanor, nothing more would be expected of him. Soon, Sirius arrived, and Claire followed after. The four sat around the table, eating.

"No Noel today, huh?" Claire said, voicing the only thought Wilardo had had since arriving.

"No, he doesn't appear to be here," Sirius replied, a slight hint of disdain in his voice that made Wilardo's shoulders hunch, and his eyes narrow. The rest of the lunch passed in silence, and then the four dispersed. Wilardo walked to Noel's room, staring at the note on the purple door.

"Ah, Wilardo!" Ashe's voice made Wilardo jump, and then break into coughs. Ashe watched in confusion as Wilardo dashed into his room. "Huh..."

Wilardo didn't make it to the sink before blood and brilliant purple petals fell from his mouth. At least the whole room was red. Maybe no one would notice. Wilardo stood shakily, a few more petals falling into his hands as he walked towards his door. He made sure it was locked and then sunk to the floor. Wilardo wondered if this was a blessing or a curse. He did want to die, after all. Wilardo didn't know if he could die from this.

"Wilardo?" A strong, loud voice came through his door, along with knocking. "Are you in there?" The voice belonged to Claire. Wilardo didn't answer, hoping that she would go away. "Wilardo, answer the door!" She wasn't going to go away. Wilardo stood, wiping his mouth on his sleeve.

"What do you want?" Wilardo asked, opening the door slightly.

"Oh my god!" Claire exclaimed, much to Wilardo's confusion. "Is that... blood?" Damn. He must have still had blood around his mouth.

"It's nothing. Not your concern."

Claire pushed past Wilardo, into his room. She surveyed the bloody floor and scattered petals. Wilardo was quick to close and lock the door behind her before turning to face Claire. He looked downward, bangs falling into his line of sight. "Wilardo..."

"Why did you come here?" Wilardo asked, ignoring Claire's pointed gaze.

"Ashe said you were acting strangely so I thought I would check on you." Claire bent down, slowly picking up the scattered petals. "Wilardo, this is serious. Do you know who it is?"

"Was that a serious question?"

"Okay, so who is it?" When Wilardo didn't answer, Claire blew out a puff of air, putting the hand that wasn't holding bloody petals on her hip. "I'm just gonna start guessing. Is it Ashe?" Wilardo made a strangled, choking noise, something close to laughter. "Hey, I said I was gonna guess! There aren't many people here. Is it Sirius?"

"No." Wilardo finally glanced up at Claire. For such an earnest and trusting person, she was wearing an indiscernible expression.

"It's not me," Claire said. Not a question, but Wilardo nodded anyways. "So..."

"Can't you just leave it alone?"

"No!" Claire yelled louder than she meant to, and closed her eyes. "Sorry, I didn't mean to yell. Wilardo, you can't just ignore this, it'll kill you! I want to help!"

"I don't want your help," Wilardo said. Maybe it would kill him. Claire said that like it would be a bad thing. Dying was the reason Wilardo was in this mansion in the first place. Whether he died from a wish to the Witch's Heart or this sickness didn't really matter in the end.

"Well, are you going to deal with this?" Claire asked. Wilardo didn't respond. "I'm not going to let you die!" When Wilardo still remained silent, Claire grabbed the front of his hoodie, pulling him closer. Wilardo's eyes slid to meet hers. "Wil, please... I don't want you to die..."

Wilardo screwed his eyes shut. He murmured something that Claire couldn't hear, and then began coughing violently. Blood dripped onto Claire's hand.

"Wilardo!" Claire let go of Wilardo, and he fell to the floor, gasping for breath between coughs. "Wilardo?? What do I do?" Wilardo tried to respond, but was interrupted by a fit of coughing. Claire made a decision. "I'll be right back, okay?" Claire rushed out of his room. "I'm sorry, Wilardo!"

Wilardo wondered through a haze and his darkening vision how much blood he had lost. He couldn't breathe at all, petals blocking his airway. He didn't know how long it was before Claire returned. His coughing had subsided by then, but that wasn't a good sign. Wilardo glanced up at Claire from where he lay on the ground.

"Wilardo!" Claire rushed to his side, followed by someone else. "Oh my god, I don't think he's breathing!"

"Wilardo? Can you hear us?" Wilardo recognized that voice. Wilardo had told Claire not to tell him. Yet she had anyways. Well, she had betrayed the dead, so was it really all that bad? Wilardo exhaled his last breath. So he could die from this after all.

"Wil!" Claire hung her head, tears falling onto Wilardo's bloody face. Noel slowly wrapped his arms around the body, holding it close to his chest. Claire glanced up at Noel, seeing clear liquid pour from his eyes. She rested a hand on the boy's shoulder. "Noel..."

"I'm so sorry, Wil," Noel spoke softly. "I'm sorry I didn't know. I'm sorry I didn't love you."

In the end, Claire and Noel put Wilardo's body in his bed. Ashe, Sirius, Noel, and Claire all stood around the body for a short funeral. Noel and Claire left last, locking Wilado's door and sliding the key under it. Claire glanced at Noel, who met her eyes. Two pairs of bloodshot and red eyes stared at each other for a long time. Then, Noel and Claire walked hand in hand down the hall, away from Wilardo's locked door.