Chapter 33: Broken Promises
Time seemed to slow down for Sebastian. An almost too familiar burning and biting pain in his chest. The same place which had still been scarred from being burned by Gabrielle’s father. One hand instantly went to his injury while he crumpled.
His snake collapsed on itself and became simply a giant puddle. Sebastian hit the ground at the same moment as an explosion rocked the city. He blinked in the direction of the abandoned building his family was in. It was in flames.
“You said… That you wouldn’t hurt them!” Sebastian needed to get up, he knew that he did. He had to get up and fight. Yet, his chest was burnt more than it had been before and the pain was pushing him to his limit.
The water, Sebastian remembered how his uncle had helped him to heal with a bucket of water. Sebastian could heal using the puddle of what used to be his Hydrus.
Gabrielle knew about the healing as well, she stalked over and grabbed Sebastian by his shoulder pulling him away from the puddle. If he couldn’t touch it, he couldn’t use it to heal. As much pain as he was in he could barely breathe let alone stand up and walk.
“You can’t heal yourself now, and I said that I wouldn’t hurt them, I said nothing about my army” Sebastian’s head was swimming but he was aware enough to know he had been tricked. If he had told his uncle he would have seen the flaw in his plan.
“You tricked me… But remember what I said to you the last time we faced each other” despite the pain that it caused him Sebastian got back on his feet. He may be injured, but he would not give up just yet.
“I said that you better not expect me to leave you alive and uncaptured” he still had two water bracelets from weeks ago around his wrist. He flicked the water towards Gabrielle and wrapped it around her hands. Encasing them in water and freezing it.
Now she was linked to him by the ice and she couldn’t use her hands for making lightning. It was one thing he had noticed, she relied a lot on her hands to shape her power.
“Ha, all I have to do is wait for you to pass out from your wound, you can’t keep me here if you’re unconscious!” she had a point, but Sebastian was hoping it wouldn’t reach that point.
He looked back over to the burning apartment building and took a deep breath in. He woke up the moisture in the air above the building and caused it to rain. Putting out the fire, and hopefully helping Shaft and Darcy who were no doubt fighting back there.
“That’s all I can do to help, but I have faith that my family will be alright” Shaft was more than capable of protecting everyone. Air was diverse and deadly. She would be able to take down any number of Peacemakers.
“They won’t be able to fight off my entire army! You couldn’t even fight me! How do you expect them to cope? Especially since you yourself are about to be out of the fight for good!” She kicked out with one of her legs, letting her boot clad foot slide across the ground. Creating friction.
The ice between them melted the moment the lightning created by the friction hit it. The force knocked Sebastian off his feet where he landed with a thud on his stomach in the dirt.
Blackness. The sensation of cold and then warm again. Sebastian blinked up at Gabrielle who stood above him, she held one shining white hand up in the air and Sebastian heard the crackle of the lightning strike that would end his life.
Except it didn’t.
A strong gust of wind slammed into Gabrielle and knocked her away from Sebastian. The lightning strike missed him and left a smoking scorch mark mere inches from his face.
“Didn’t I already say you’re not dying on my watch Blue?” Shaft! Oh Sebastian had never been happier to hear her sass. If she was here, everyone else must be safe. He wanted to help her fight, but it seemed as if he wasn’t going to be getting up after being knocked down this time.
The air Elemental planted herself between Sebastian and Gabrielle. Her gray eyes were more serious than Sebastian had ever seen them as she regarded the lightning Elemental. Gabrielle glared at Shaft from where she was standing brushing dirt off her pants.
“There is no honour, in someone who would attack a fallen opponent” Gabrielle shook her head and the air around her began to crackle. Sebastian was able to get onto his knees but his arms shook as they held him off the ground. Sweat ran down his face.
“Get out of my way, you are not who I want to kill, but I will if you don’t move aside!” Gabrielle wouldn’t hesitate, this Sebastian knew. She would hurt Shaft to get to him.
“Shaft… Don’t be a fool, get out of the way!” he had come here alone so that his family wouldn’t get hurt and that included Shaft. If she put herself between him and Gabrielle she would be hurt.
“Your uncle didn’t teach me to be a coward in the face of danger Blue!” the wind picked up as Shaft gathered power. She deflected two blasts of lightning, the air redirecting them away where they could do no harm.
Sebastian struggled into a kneeling position, one hand still on his throbbing chest and the other on the ground. His shirt was burnt where the lightning had hit. Skin was peeling off where the burn was the most severe. Still, he was not ready to give up.
“Ahh!” a bolt had snuck past Shaft’s defences and narrowly missed her. This was becoming dangerous; Sebastian had come here alone to prevent his family being hurt anymore. He had to do something before this became a fight that Shaft couldn’t win.
Uncle I said that I would show mercy if the opportunity arose, but if I don’t do something Shaft and I will both die. I’m sorry. He reached inside Gabrielle with his power and found the water that flows inside every being’s blood. He created ice that would kill her given time as it froze her from the inside.
It was time for the light to be put out. Still, it took time to work its way through her body, and time was not on Sebastian’s side.
He’d almost been in a standing position, a very hunched over standing position. Until one lightning strike exploded near Shaft’s feet and sent her flying backwards.
Sebastian saw her fall and instinctively tried to catch her. When the smoke cleared he was on the ground and he hadn’t made it in time. Shaft’s head hit the ground first and she was knocked out. Putting her out of the fight at least for the moment.
Shit. Getting up had been hard before, it was practically impossible now. His vision flickered with every throb of pain and he was so damn tired. The only thing giving him strength was that Gabrielle would die sooner rather than later.
“Pathetic, you aren’t even trying anymore!” Gabrielle was standing over him again. She kicked him in his side until he rolled onto his back, it hurt, oh the Elements be damned every breath was like inhaling fire.
He stared up at her golden eyes and the smirk on her face as she looked down at him. He used to love her, but he didn’t think the person that he loved was there anymore.
“Gabrielle, I hated you for what you did to me, but I think I understand why now” if he could stall her maybe he could find the strength to keep fighting. Maybe Shaft would wake up if he could just distract Gabrielle for long enough.
“You hurt other people, because you know that if you stop for a moment you’ll feel the sorrow and regret of never knowing your father” Sebastian had spent days and days figuring out what Gabrielle’s motives for following her father’s footsteps were. He had come to realize that she was very much like himself.
“I believed for a long time, that if I let people get close to me they would get hurt” he’d done his very best since his parent’s died to push everyone away, justifying it by believing they would be in danger if they bonded with him.
“It took a long time, for me to realize that the only person I was really protecting was myself” he’d become almost completely numb. Refusing to allow himself to feel, in case it hurt too much.
“If I let people in, then all of the guilt and pain from what happened to my parents would come flooding back, and I would do anything if it meant not having to deal with it” his insides had become twisted and dark. He just couldn’t see it underneath his denial.
“I…” Gabrielle finally seemed to show some emotion, he could see the whirlwind of conflicting emotions. Unfortunately, being conflicted wouldn’t be enough to spare her.
The birds stopped singing and the city noises seemed to fade. The ground seemed to ripple, and shadowy hands reached out from the earth to grab onto Gabrielle.
She screamed and tried to blast them away but lightning didn’t hurt them. They fastened onto her arms and legs holding her in place, Sebastian knew Darcy must be somewhere nearby for this to be happening. Why weren’t they staying safely away from here?
“Darcy take Shaft and get out of here! It’s not safe!” like a figure seen suddenly out of the fog Darcy appeared. It was as if Sebastian had blinked and suddenly he was there. He didn’t even look at Sebastian as he faced Gabrielle.
“You were the one who hurt my sister” he said only that but it seemed to echo within the area. Repeating over and over in whispers around Gabrielle. She shook with fear, the memory of last time she had faced the shadow Elemental obviously fresh in her mind.
“keep her there if you can, I have something in place that should finish this” he could see it starting to work. One leg had frost growing up it as the ice solidified. Creeping its way up her body.
“Are you alright Sebastian?” the concern in Darcy’s eyes made Sebastian feel bad that the child would worry about him. He took a breath in and held it as he stood up. Refusing to let any of his pain stop him from at least appearing okay.
Gabrielle looked down at her legs which were slowly being consumed in frost and then back up at Sebastian. The anger in her eyes told him that she knew it was his doing.
The ground underneath him rumbled and Sebastian lurched to grab onto something. Out of the earth came Daniel, who Sebastian was happy to see but at the same time, he wished his uncle would rest.
“Uncle! Get away from here! As far away as you can! You’re sick and it’s not safe!” Daniel limped over to Sebastian and put one hand on Sebastian’s shoulder. He felt steadier on his feet, despite the blazing pain coming from his injury.
He noticed the green cracks were running along his uncle’s arms now. His head and neck were still clear at least. For now.
“You know how stubborn Earth Elementals are boy, I was never going to leave you to finish the war I started by yourself” Sebastian was glad to see a bit of his uncle’s usual attitude shining through. He felt like they had a better chance if they fought together. Earth and Water, supporting each other