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Chapter 9: Barth

Barth opened his eyes as soon as he heard the scream, it wasn’t his voice, nor even Finn’s.

The voice had belonged to Abbandon.

“Goddamnit Barth! You can’t even protect yourself and you call yourself my leader? For shame!”

Barth looked up.

“Finn! You’re….” Barth stopped talking when he saw the multiple gashes on Finn’s chest and face and the blood dripping onto the floor.

"What are you looking at… Barth…” Finn managed to get out.

Barth looked at Finn as though he hadn’t ever seen him properly. Abbandon was on the ground, and the reason he was alive was because of what he had considered to be the most useless member of his team. Finn gasped and then sank to his knees.

“Finn!” Barth yelled and yanked at his arm to find that he had regained control of it. He managed to grab Finn before he hit the floor and gave Finn a check over.

Finn’s eyes were closed, and from Barth could tell, his breathing was shallow.

“He.. That kid..”

Barth looked up to see Abbandon limping away with two deep gashes in his chest. Barth looked down at Finn’s hands to see he had disengaged his jutte to their two bladed forms.

You hated that form. Why use it to save me?

Abbandon groaned and stumbled a bit.

“You wait right there!” Barth yelled.

Abbandon looked back, eyes burning with hatred.

“You better tend to the kid, he’s not gonna live at this rate, and anyways, since I managed to down both of you, this is my win, Bartholomew Varega.”

Barth could only watch as Abbandon stumbled back into the shadows where he came from and looked there for a few more seconds.

“Barth…”

Finn’s voice brought Barth back to where he was and he looked at the boy, Finn’s eyes were barely open and his chest was slowly rising and falling.

Barth nodded once.

“Barth… listen… under my bed… there’s a second jutte… bury that… with my body… please…” Finn barely got out.

Barth looked at Finn and shook his head.

“No, you’re gonna be okay, I’ll get Michael and Aria on the scroll, we’ll get you to the infirmary, you’re gonna be okay. Got it Finn! You’re gonna be okay!”

Finn coughed and more blood came out of his mouth.

Finn grinned, looking much like the boy he had been his entire life, except for the fact that he was completely battered.

“I’m… not an idiot… I know… I’m gonna die… just do this much for me… okay Barth…? Bury…. my jutte…. and this jutte…. with my body….”

Barth looked into Finn’s eyes and nodded realizing that Finn was for once, actually being serious.

“Thank you….”

And Bartholomew Varega was left looking into the green eyes which stared sightless into his team leader’s eyes.   

Barth closed Finn’s eyes using his hand and barely noticed as a golden hue covered his body and settled into his skin.

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