Bickslow knew this day would come. He knew there'd be a day when it returned but had been sure victory would be his when it did. His magnificent mind had calculated all possible entry points and damn well knew he could not be defeated this time.

Had he miscalculated? No, he had checked the calendar just that morning. The start of spring had begun, and his defences were well prepared. Was it possible it had gained intelligence? Unlikely, he had gotten Natsu to hit it pretty hard with a shoe during his last encounter with the monster.

How had it found its way in!

He couldn't wrap his mind around this crap-show. Nothing made sense, nothing, except BETRAYAL. Betrayal was the only suitable truth. It had to be! Who? Lucy, ahh, Lucy, she was weak when faced with supposed cuteness. His poor sweet wife - unable to see the evil lurking behind the polka dots.

Fool him once shame on it.

Fool him twice shame on him.

Fool him two-hundred and sixty-four times, shame on Lucy for letting the spawn of hell in.

Divorce seemed like the right choice.

May she live happily with the evil bas...

Bickslow found his internal monologue cut short, and his protective instincts kick in when his daughter burst excitedly into the room. With fierce determination, a delusional level of faith in his back and supreme skill, bickslow swept his daughter into his arms, dove behind the couch and constructed a flawless pillow fort around his little one, protecting her from the hidden demon.

She was safe. It wouldn't get her.

He'd figure a way out for both of them, and they'd be free of this house and the corrupted souls within forever.

Lucy had chosen her path! He thought bitterly, wiping away a single tear.

With a sad smile, he knelt before the pillow fort, staring into the innocent eyes of his daughter. He didn't know how to tell her the truth. How do you tell your child that their mother had succumbed to evil incarnate? That she was lost to them forever. He couldn't. Future Bickslow would have to deal with that conversation.

Muffled giggling pulled him from his thoughts, and he froze in horror as an army of tiny dotted demons emerged from his daughter's unclenched fist. It had been her all along. His precious sunflower had been the betrayer. He felt his heart shatter in his chest as the situation brought forth new light.

He knew what he had to do.

He had to leave, sacrifice them to the damned vengeful demons and make a life for himself somewhere new, without them.

His soul had already packed a bag and left.

It made sense for his physical self to do the same.

Cautiously he made for the door, but the demons got there first, staking a claim on his exquisite oak doorframe, thwarting his escape plan. Their soulless eyes watched him gleefully with anticipated torment.

Despair filled him, its cruel coldness pulling him into its eternal embrace. Was this it? He only had one attack measure against them in this room, but he didn't think Lucy would appreciate the type of decor a flamethrower would produce.

It was in this moment of destructive contemplation that a hero emerged

and bickslow princess-stereotyped his behind into blissful rescue.

The window.

Its heroic form hung before him in its curtained beauty, calling him to safety.

He wanted to grasp its strong frame, to throw himself through its inviting openness. Admittedly, he often cursed it for its failure to protect him from sunlight. That would change today now that Window-babe had begun its redemption arc, and together they would start this chapter anew.

There was only one thing that this glorious hunk of a window lacked, a weapon. Every good hero had one. Right? He would not be signing this rescue deal if his hero had no way to defend him. Everyone dismissed these tiny beasts as harmless. He knew better. They could rip your bones right out of your body if they wished, so no, he would not be moving without a commitment ﹙in the form of a weapon)to his safety.

If only to stop Bickslow's consistent ramble of internal monologue.

A gust of wind blew through the open window, gently lifting the bottom of the left-side curtain to reveal a sweet, sweet bottle of gingerbread air freshener he'd received last Christmas.

Bickslow shrugged.

That would do.

With a final glance at his beautiful, corrupted child, who was still happily contained in her pillow fort surrounded by spawns of hell, Bickslow released a terrifying war cry. Throwing the curtain aside, he grabbed the bottle off the windowsill and sprayed, freshening the wings off the closest demon- his last act of fatherly protection - before jumping out the window and dropping unattractively onto Lucy's outside reading nook.

He stood clumsily, thanking the stars for his wife's pillow obsession. He'd thank her too if she survived the demons' takeover. If he felt bad about the books he was currently damaging with his feet, it lasted only a moment, for his attention was on Window-babe.

The hero of his dreams had not survived the war. Amid his escape, the vile spotted beings had gathered on Window-babe's gorgeous glass, draining its soul.

He watched as its light gave out.

"Your sacrifice will not be in vain." Bickslow thought painfully,

placing a soft kiss on Window-babe's frame.

He allowed himself a minute to soak in the sorrow before taking in the open space around him. Freedom everywhere, he couldn't help but yelp for joy. He had made it out alive.

He failed to notice his fuming wife stomping towards him with their five-year-old in tow.

"What the hell Bic!" Lucy yelled, struggling to be heard, over her husband's victorious yelps of freedom. "Get off my freaking books!"

"My Love," Bickslow whispered mournfully, locking eyes with his wife. "It has returned with an army. Our baby has betrayed me and," he shivered, "they touched everything. I can no longer remain here." he spat out.

"Excuse me?" Lucy boomed, picking up her crumpled book, ready to knock her husband out if necessary. "You better get your weird behind back here, Bickslow."

A cold shiver shot down his spine at the venom in her voice, but he chose to ignore it. Freedom was his. "I will not make you choose sides!" He declared with dramatic flair. "You must set me free now. Please, understand, this is how it must be." He continued sadly, "Goodbye, my lady." Turning, he cooly adjusted his clothing, raised his fist in the air with a strong pump and strode off without looking back.

"They're freaking ladybugs, you idiot," Lucy muttered bitterly, watching as the love of her life fulfilled his - breakfast club ending scene - moment across their front garden.