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Fragile, Like A Butterfly's Wings

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        "Blumiere, do you ever think about the past?" 

        Lord Blumiere found himself moving his attention from the sky above to his beloved, Lady Timpani. The pair was at their favorite place once again: Sitting beneath a lone tree located within the midst of a seemingly endless field. It was here where neither of them had a single care in the world. The grass making up the lush, vast land swayed in the soft breeze. Above the couple, the tree’s verdant leaves rustled against one another, while its trunk was dappled by sunlight seeping through them. Up toward the heavens, clouds of cotton floated effortlessly as time slowly passed by. Yes, all was quiet, calm, and perfect as the two spent the day together… 

        However, the sound of Timpani’s question would break the pleasant silence. Blumiere did not mind though, for he was now attuned to his wife and her ever so lovely voice. 

        “Why do you ask, my dear?” The lord questioned, wondering what had piqued her curiosity. 

        “Oh, no particular reason, really,” Timpani replied while tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear. Once watching the sky and its soothing clouds, she drifted her gaze down to the field below. Suddenly, her mood shifted, her voice gaining an odd seriousness within her typically carefree tone. “I’ve just been thinking about things lately, like remembering certain… memories.” 

        Swiftly taking note of this contrast, Blumiere took off his top hat and placed it beside him. He then gently placed his head on Timpani’s shoulder, giving her a light nuzzle and interlocking one of his hands with hers as a sign of trust. “You can tell me more if you’d like, my lady,” he said. “I’m here to listen.” 

        Fortunately, despite her changing attitude, Timpani was willing to comply. “Well, it feels as if I’ve been distracted by them recently,” the lady began. “I suppose my mind just wants to ponder about some of my thoughts, but there’s a specific one that… stands out, so to speak.” 

        “Go on.” 

        “...I’m sure you’ll know what I mean if I say it’s a certain unforgettable adventure.” 

        “Unforgettable?” At first, Lord Blumiere became confused, not knowing what Timpani had meant, but his realization would be swift to come. The Dark Prognosticus, the Chaos Heart, the four Heroes of Light - Scenes flashed in his head as the memories returned to him. In fact, it was almost too much for him, but his resilient self would recover. Blumiere had stayed strong before, but right now, his wife was struggling to survive against her darkening thoughts. “Is something troubling you, Timpani?” He asked, his voice having hints of concern. 

        Lady Timpani closed her now dull, stone-gray eyes, feeling nothing but the tranquil breeze skim past her as she revealed her thoughts. “I still remember everything, Blumiere,” she confessed, her voice already beginning to fall apart. “I remember being a Pixl and journeying with Mario… I even remember meeting you as Count Bleck for the first time! You were so different from the person you are now… I still can’t believe everything managed to change for the better.” 

        A feeble chuckle escaped Timpani’s lips as her attempt to seem optimistic. However, this merely led her husband to suspect something more behind her happy facade. “Timpani, if it disturbs you too much, you don’t have to say any more.” 

        Unfortunately, to Blumiere’s despair, the lady declined, shaking her head as her response. Her eyes remained shut, avoiding the world as long as they could while Timpani continued. “Blumiere, do you ever wonder what would’ve happened if we didn’t get our happy ending? The prophecy foretold by the Dark Prognosticus could’ve never been reversed, and all worlds would’ve been lost forever…” 

        “Timpani," the lord pleaded, sensing her hope diminishing by the moment, “you don’t have to continue.” 

        “Super Dimentio could’ve taken control all for himself,” the lady replied, now deaf to Blumiere’s pleas. “Or the Heroes of Light could’ve been defeated by one of your minions.” 

        “Timpani.” 

        “The Pure Hearts could’ve never been restored.” 

        “Timpani.” 

        “Or perhaps I could’ve been left to die on the outskirts of Flipside, never to be found by Merlon and far too weakened to ever reunite with-” 

        Before she tormented herself any further, Lady Timpani found herself cut off with a kiss. She widened her eyes to see Blumiere’s mouth pressed right against hers. Although his eyes were closed, he cupped her cheek with the other one of his gloved hands, wanting to comfort his love during her plight. 

        Then, before she knew it, Timpani began to cry. Her gaze became blurred as pools of water formed within it. They spilled out, tears streaming down her face like waterfalls as she wept. She trembled as she reciprocated the kiss, melting into her husband’s gentle embrace and tightly clutching the hand she still held. 

        Once she felt alleviated enough, the lady slowly broke away from the lord, meeting his gaze for a second before toppling atop his body. “I’m sorry, Blumiere.” Timpani said, her voice weak and unsteady. “I just can’t stop thinking about how much of a miracle it was for things to end up this way.” 

        “It’s alright, my dear,” Lord Blumiere replied softly, wiping her tears away. “It’s alright to have those sorts of thoughts. In fact, to answer your question from earlier, I do think about the past. Very often, actually.” 

        “Really?” Lady Timpani sniffled, tilting her head up to her dearest with a look of both expectation and disbelief. 

        “Of course. There are days when I wonder how O’Chunks, Mimi, and Nastasia are doing, and nights when I stay up pondering about… what could’ve been different.” 

        “Are you referring to what your father did to the both of us?” 

        Lord Blumiere would become still in stoic silence before he would speak again. “The Tribe of Darkness was always so serious… But yes, that is what is what I mean. However, my beloved, I believe everything that occurred happened for a reason.” He ensured his wife’s attention was fully fixed upon his before continuing. “Timpani, our marriage prevented the end of all worlds at the sacrifice of departing all of our friends. Yes, we lost on some occasions, but have also won in others. Despite all odds, I reunited with you, the love of my life, and as long as I am with you, Timpani, nothing else matters. That chapter in our lives may have had a bittersweet ending, but with you by my side, I will forever be content with our happy ending.” 

        He then gave a small yet sweet smooch to Lady Timpani, a gift she did not expect to receive at all. She felt her cheeks begin to heat up and blush, and to conceal them, she pressed her flushed face against her husband’s chest. However, despite her expression being out of sight, Blumiere knew a cheerful grin was forming right atop of it. 

        “Looks like you really have changed, Blumiere,” Timpani said, turning her head to talk to him. “Or maybe I can call you ‘Lord Bleck?’” 

        Blumiere chuckled in a slightly playful tone. “I’d prefer to rather avoid that nickname, my dear, but I’ll allow it under one condition.” 

        “What’s that?”

        “I get to call you ‘Lady Tippi.’” 

        Upon hearing his response, Timpani had the perfect response in mind. She grabbed the lord’s top hat, still remaining where he had placed it to the side, and donned it back atop his head. “I think I can agree on those terms,” she replied, a mischievous yet joyful smile strewn across her face. 

        “Recovering already, I see.” Lord Blumiere could not stop himself from smiling back as her happiness spread to him. He then brought the lady close to him for a hug as she snuggled against him. “I’m glad I met you.” 

        “The same goes for you, my dear.” 

        “Although,” the lord said, seemingly having more to say, “I hope you don’t mind if I ask you but a simple question.” 

        “I’ve told you my fair share of questions for the day. Feel free to ask me anything you’d like.” 

        “Why must a human’s heart be so fragile?” 

        Lady Timpani gave out a small chuckle. “Why do you ask that?” 

        “I’m just curious that’s all,” Lord Blumiere said, returning her response. “Allow me to reword it: How fragile is your heart, mon amour?” 

        The lady pondered about her answer for just a short moment before conjuring the best one her mind had to offer. “As fragile as a butterfly’s wings, perhaps?” 

        The lord’s expression changed to one of pure glee as he rested his head against hers, his tone calm and passive. “A heart like that would be quite frail, but I am willing to spend the rest of life with it. I love you, Timpani.” 

        “I love you too, Blumiere.”