Most of this is basically a retelling of the Ferris Wheel scene. I added some bits and pieces in between to display some more emotional depth and to set the feeling for the ending of this one-shot what-if.

Cover art by 210793 from deviantart


His hot breath formed puffs in the cold air. Rain dripped down his bangs, into his brown eyes. Normally full of amused sparkle, they now carried a hard glance. His footsteps made wet sounds as he dashed along the streets, the blood in his ears roaring.

A mental image of Nine shot through his mind, and Twelve clenched his teeth, but he did not stop his running.

I'm sorry, Nine. But I can't leave her just like that!

He searched for cover beneath the trees lining the way, though he knew it was pointless; he had to come out eventually, and if they wanted to capture him – well, then they would. He hadn't betrayed Nine just to chicken out now.

An eerie, green glow caught his attention, and Twelve stopped in his tracks for a second. It was the Ferris Wheel from the video they'd been sent, standing still against the rain.

Somewhere in there is Lisa, Twelve thought to himself, the look in his eyes hardening even more. He picked up his pace and rushed up the stairs at the entrance, almost loosing his balance when he swept around a corner. Coming to a slithering halt, he glared over to the cabins, and his heart skipped a beat when he spotted Lisa's shadowy figure.

"Lisa..." Twelve breathed her name, then hurried towards her.

"Lisa!" he entered the cabin, stopping dead in his tracks when he saw the vest strapped to her torso – filled with countless small bombs.

"Twelve!" Lisa gasped, her voice trembling, and despite her relaxing slightly at his appearance, there was still cold sweat dripping from her forehead. "U-um... this... Th-the bombs..." She fumbled for words, helplessly shaking her wrists, cuffed behind her back at a metal bar. "U-um, what should I do?"

"Calm down, Lisa," Twelve placed his hands on her shoulders, trying to hide the terror in his voice. Suddenly, a jolt went through the Ferris Wheel, and the mechanics set in motion. The lights came on and slowly, the cabin lifted off the ground.

With a portentous beep, the timer on Lisa's chest went on, displaying discouraging eight minutes and thirty seconds.

Lisa gasped for air, the red light of the timer reflecting in her wide eyes, and Twelve muttered "Five," with a hateful voice. He clenched his teeth and hit the glass of the cabin with his fist, getting up on his trembling legs. "This is too much to be a joke," he growled, placing his fists at his sides. His furious eyes met Lisa's shaking one's, and with a calculating breath, Twelve sat down next to her.

"Wh-what should we do?" Lisa asked nervously as Twelve started checking the bombs.

"Hang on a sec," Twelve answered and pushed her forward slightly to examine her back. There were just as many bombs as at the front and Twelve drew a sharp breath.

This is ridiculous, he thought while desperately trying to keep a neutral expression. No one can disarm this many bombs in such a short amount of time!

Despite his efforts of hiding it, Lisa noticed the panic in Twelve's expression.

"Twelve?" she whispered his name, catching enough of a glimpse of his face to see the sweat breaking out on his front.

At the sound of her voice, Twelve gathered himself and worked up a smile towards the terrified girl.

"It's all right," he pat her shoulder. "Don't worry."

He reached for his bag and unpacked the utensils he had brought along: Pliers, a cutter and several other tools he would need to disarm the bombs. Despite his nervousness, his hands were steady, and Twelve moved to the first satchel to start the hopeless task.

The red cables of the bombs were intertwined, so even pulling the bomb out of the satchel required his full attention. With the cutter, he slit the paper surrounding the bomb so he could remove the fuses.

"Alright," he mumbled to himself as he took his pliers and cut the cables, then carefully placed the secured bomb next to him on the ground.

"That's one," he said and Lisa let out a sigh of relief. With her closed eyes, she couldn't see the flicker of terror in Twelve's expression when he read the timer.

Only six minutes and forty three seconds left? It took me this long to disarm a single bomb!? He eyed the rest of the satchels. Even if I am optimistic, I could barely finish half of them in the remaining time... No, I gotta get my act together! he interrupted his helpless thinking and moved on to the next bomb with a determined expression.

I should not think about that. All I have to do is disarm one bomb after another, Twelve tried to calm his nerves, but his stomach curled up and he felt sweat dripping down his neck.

With a pling, two other fuses fell to the ground, and Twelve brushed over his forehead. Without allowing himself to doubt his actions, he moved on to another satchel. His mind turned blank, the only sounds coming through to him being the soft knocking of the rain and the pleasing sound of pliers cutting through cables.

Lisa glanced down on the timer.

Five minutes and thirty eight seconds, she read and a scared whimper left her lips.

Twelve stopped his hands and glanced up. He saw the helplessness in Lisa's eyes, the dawning realization of her death. He wanted to say something, but what could he possibly say? Even he knew it was hopeless. He turned back to the bomb he was currently disarming, becoming painfully aware of how his fingers started shaking ever so slightly.

"I'm sorry," Lisa whispered. "I went out on my own... got caught... I'm always, always causing you two problems..." She held back another whimper, feeling how hot tears threatened to overwhelm her. Staring at Twelve, she noticed that there was no sparkle in his eyes, that his usual cheerfulness and positivity were nowhere to be found. Without her being able to fight it, the tears fell on to her cheeks and Lisa closed her eyes. "I'm sorry..."

Suddenly, two warm hands cupped her cheeks. Lisa opened her eyes astonished, facing Twelve's serious expression.

"You don't have to apologize anymore," he told her, squeezing her cheeks slightly. "It's okay. It's not your fault."

Another wave of tears built in her eyes, but Lisa fought the urge to cry out, her chin shaking. With another gentle squeeze, Twelve let go of her face and went back to the bombs, causing Lisa to smile despite her tears.

"I'm the one who should apologize," Twelve said without looking at her. "Nine was right. If I hadn't asked to bring you to the airport, this wouldn't have happened." He was dimly aware of the red numbers declaring a remaining time of barely three minutes, and Twelve bit his lip. "I shouldn't have given you a ride that time," he remembered the feeling of having her pressed against his back, a warmth he had never experienced before. "No, I know," he shook his head slightly. "I shouldn't have talked to you... I knew that it would turn out like this someday."

Twelve put away yet another bomb and cut the wires, his throat feeling thick and dry. He could not resist looking up at her face once again, his gaze meeting hers.

"But... I... I wanted to know more about you," he admitted sincerely. "From the moment I saw you, I knew you were special. It's your eyes, you know. And your voice."

Lisa gasped surprised, tears dwelling up hotly, but before Twelve could see them streaming down her face, she averted her head, looking up to the full moon high above them.

How did I... deserve to meet someone like him? she wondered. Things like this shouldn't happen just because I wish for them, should they? I'm not playing by the rules, after all.

Twelve took the chance to get back to the bombs, trying to quietly clear his throat, his ears burning. His mind was a complete mess, but the hands continued the automatic movement.

I can make it, he told himself, defying logic. Why shouldn't I? All I have to do is keep disarming them, one at a time. I fixed trickier situations than this.

For a while, it was quiet. Lisa's face lost more and more of the panic it had expressed before, and Twelve became more and more successful in fooling himself.

"Thank you," Lisa quietly said, the tone of her voice a lot calmer than before – so calm that Twelve jerked his head up in worry.

As Lisa turned her head to him, he saw what he had feared seeing: Resolve.

"I'm okay now," Lisa said. "Run away."

Twelve gasped, his eyes widening in shock. "Lisa..." he tried to speak up, but without giving him a chance to, Lisa said, "If you go by yourself, you can get away."

His heart beat heavy in his chest and Twelve tightened his fights. "I can't do that -"

"Nine is waiting for you," Lisa interrupted him calmly. She saw how Twelve twitched at the mention of Nine, only reinforcing her decision. "I know... Nine needs you. Don't you two have something you need to do? Isn't that what you came here for?"

Twelve stared up to Lisa, feeling how his eyes became hot. With a grunt, he leaned forward, his shaking fingers trying to disarm yet another bomb, but the timer, which already read two minutes stopped him from finishing the movement. He closed his eyes and bit his lip.

I can't. I just can't do it. It's impossible.

Lifting up his head, he caught Lisa's smile.

"It's okay, Twelve," she comforted him. "It's alright now."

"Lisa..." the boy whispered and placed a hand on her knee. "I am so sorry."

Lisa shook her head. "There is nothing to apologize for, Twelve. I am... really happy. That you came for me. But now, you have to go to Nine. He needs you more than I do. And you can help him more than me."

Each of her words pierced his heart, his vision blurred in sorrow. He helplessly squeezed her knee, his shoulders shivering. With a clenching of his teeth, Twelve leaned forward and cupped her face with his hands once again. Delving deep into her dark brown eyes, he froze, his bottom lip shivering nervously.

"Twelve..." Lisa mumbled and tried to smile wider, though the corners of her mouth were shivering. "Do you know what I thought when I was first saw you?"

Twelve perked up, his eyes becoming a tad more alert. "No. What did you think?" he managed to ask.

With a widening smile, Lisa whispered, "That smile is like the sun on a hot summer day."

Twelve's eyes softened, his brows shivering with upcoming tears. Quickly, he leaned forward, placing his lips on Lisa's cold one's, pressing himself as close to her as possible, wishing to become one with her and never letting her go. He felt how she melted against him, could almost hear her pleading thoughts of being saved, and never did he feels as useless as in that moment. For a second, he considered just holding her like that forever, but Lisa was already leaning back.

If only time stood still.

But the timer kept ticking, so Twelve broke free from her, sending her nothing but a pathetic takeoff of his smile. Then, he got up and opened the door of the cabin. The cold, wet air whipped him and took away the tears that dripped down his cheeks. After a calculating glance, he jumped down on the next cabin, clock-wise to go with the turn of the Ferris Wheel.

Lisa looked after him, still feeling the heat of his lips on hers.

"Twelve..." she whispered his name, the tears overwhelming her. She was aware of the timer on her chest, but she didn't bother looking at it – she knew there was not much time left. All the courage and resolve she had mustered up left her, just the way Twelve had, and she deflated, sobbing helplessly.

"Don't leave me," she cried quietly so that Twelve would not hear her. "Twelve..."

Twelve miscalculated the final jump, landing on his knees rather than his feet. The sharp pain shot through his leg, but Twelve didn't even bother. He stayed where he was, rigid, the rain tracing down the broken features of his face. He closed his eyes, recalling the color of Lisa's voice. A pale yellow, a color which he had never seen before – and a color he was sure he'd never see again.

He did not move when he heard the burst of the explosion behind him.


Author's note

Zankyou no Terror – why must you make me cry so hard? I hated the ending so much, goodness gracious, I felt like tearing something apart. Now, this isn't any better, right? But it was what I had been expecting. I was so sure it'd happen, I almost fell off my chair when Five called Twelve. I know the original part of this story is freaking short, but if I had only written this little half-page, the feelings wouldn't have been relayed properly. So I added some bits and pieces in between of what I thought they'd be thinking during this scene.

I'm pretty sure this needs a massive clean up someday again. But reading through it once was enough for now. Feel free to point out any errors you find and throw your criticism at me. I'm new to the fandom, so I sure as hell got Twelve's personality down wrong. But oh well. It's fanfiction, after all.

Until next time,

Ruska