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I awake in Blumiere’s arms.  It’s almost dusk and my legs ache.  “Blumiere?”  I ask.  “What are you…?”

“My sweet!  Oh thank goodness your alive, Timpani!”  He says back in a rush.

“What happened?  Why…?”

“Someone, or something tried to poison you last night!  I just had enough time to pick you up and run from the invader!”

“Who was it?”

“I could not see it.  It was either too small to be seen or it turned invisible.  It tried to poison your legs.  I should have wrapped you more carefully so your legs weren’t exposed!”

“Blumiere,”  I say.  But he’s still rambling on.  “Blumiere!”

“Timpani?”

“My legs hurt very much.  Please try not to touch them.”

“Will it help if I put you down?”  He walks over to the tree and begins to set me down against it.

“No.  Don’t,”  I say.  “Hold me more.”

He picks me back up.  I groan.

“Oh Timpani… I wish I could do something!”

“You can,”  I say through gritted teeth.  “Be here for me.”

“Yes, yes.  I’m here.”  I feel weaker now.  Like my life is being drained out of me.

Blumiere sees my face turning white like my dress.  “T-Timpani!  Don’t leave me!  Not again!”  He starts to cry.

But then, the pain goes away.  I sigh and tip my head back in relief.

“Noo!!  Timpani!”

“I’m okay, Blumiere.  No need to worry.  The pain has faded.”

“Oh…”  He’s so happy he can’t speak.  All of the sudden, Blumiere puts his gentle hand on the back of my head and pulls me in.  We kiss.  I put my arms around his neck.  We stay like that for a few seconds, then pull away.

“Blumiere!”  I say, surprised.

“I-I-I’m so sorry, Lady Timpani,” he replies.

“No, not about the kiss.  I remember now!  Everything!”

“Wha... me too!  It just came to me!”

“Mario… I know now!”

“As do I… and now I wish I don’t remember.”

Blumiere remembers all the evil he has done.  But I comfort him.

“It is okay.  That is over.  We have the future now.  Together,”  I say softly.

“Yes, yes,”  he replies.

“But how am I not a Pixl anymore?  Did someone transform me back into a human?”

“I believe it is fate, dear Timpani.  Fate.  It has brought us here, and it is what transformed you back.  We must use this opportunity not to rewrite the past, but write a new future.”

“Yes,”  I say.  That’s all I can say?

“I intend to find the intruder that poisoned you, Timpani.”

“No.  No, Blumiere.  Do not give into that hatred.”

He hesitates.  “Oh, yes.  I’m sorry.”

“Like you said, we must write a future.  Let us explore this place more.”

“Do you want to have me put you down?”

“I… I do not.  Please hold me.”

And we walk across the river together.  We come across a sign that says, “Welcome to Dockside!”

Dockside?  “Could Dockside be like Flipside and Flopside, Blumiere?”

“Possibly.  We will find out soon, dear.”  And he takes me into the city of Dockside.

                                                                                                                                  Next chapter   -->

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