Jastin, formally known as Butterford, sat with his knees drawn, in a beautiful field of flowers. The field was located deep inside the Mystic Isles, every color of the rainbow appeared in a variety of species of flowers. Not only that, but it was the resting place for a woman named Sara. Without much knowledge of the deceased Tainted Ten member, everyone knew she liked collecting and pressing flowers in her book, which had been buried as a symbol of her.

Jastin didn't know much about Sara, aside from what Sofia had told him. Sara was an experiment raised in the Never Realm. She could not feel physically or emotionally. And, most importantly, she had traded her life for him after he was brutally murdered by one of the Tainted Ten members. Needless to say, he felt he should come here to pay his respects to her whenever he could.

Today, though he just wanted to be alone. Earlier today, something happened, something that most would be thrilled with, but all he had felt was dread and guilt. Why? Why was he feeling guilty when he should be celebrating with his friends. He didn't know and he felt worse because of it.

The blond sighed as the wind picked up, it was lukewarm and made him feel less alone. He had a feeling that something else was there, something familiar and distinct.

"You are lost."

That voice. Jastin turned his head and gasped. Standing beside him wither her arms crossed was Sara's transparent form. She looked just as he remembered, which made him stare in wonder. "Sara...?" Seeing her give him a single nod, he grew frantic, "Bu-But you're dead. How..." He lost his words, his mouth growing dry.

Sara shrugged, "This is my place of rest. It's beautiful, don't you think?"

Jastin, not knowing how to respond, nodded mutely.

Sara continued, "You're lost, why?" She cocked her head to the side as a way to show her curiosity. Jastin bit his lip and looked away, "It's nothing." He let out a dry chuckle, pushing his gloved hands through his hair, shaking his head as his eyes started to become misty. "It's so stupid, I feel like I'm being ridiculous. Why am I so worried?" As he moved, he felt the foreign weight in his right pocket and he froze. His heart seized for a second before he reached in and pulled out a beautiful golden band. He bit his lip staring at it. It was beautiful and everything he thought he could ever want. Yet looking at it left him feeling hollow and guilty.

"He proposed." Sara noted aloud, "And you're not happy?"

"I am happy, it's just..." He paused to get his thoughts straight. Sara never had feelings so how was he going to explain his own, when he didn't even know what he was feeling. Jastin sighed, "I should be happy. I want to be happy, but I can't bring myself too. I'm sorry I can't explain it better."

For a moment silence fell over them. Without Sara's input, Jastin wondered if she disappeared. He jumped when heard her speak after a minute of silence.

"You are afraid you're betraying Hopscotch, correct?"

How did she know?

Sara continued, her eyes averting his, as if afraid to meet his gaze. She almost looked ashamed, "You may not remember this, but when I traded my life for yours, you and I met. We said our greetings and goodbyes. As you began returning to the living world, I sent a piece of me with you, in a selfish attempt to feel life."

"I know." He said, offering her a gentle smile, "I don't know how to explain it, but I could always sense your presence within me."

"Are you upset?"

"Of course not. You saved my life, I'm happy to share my experiences with you." His smile grew faint as his attention drifted to the flowers around them, swaying gently in the caring breeze. "I just wish I wasn't so conflicted. I don't know what's wrong with me."

"You feel guilty," Sara noted, "You feel as though you are betraying Hopscotch."

"It's not just that," He sighed, "I keep comparing them. I shouldn't, it's not fair to Muscles. But every time something good happens between me and him, my mind wonders what would it be like if it was Hopscotch instead. I hate myself for doing that. It's so shallow. It's just that-"

"Hopscotch was your first love."

Hit the nail on the head. His eyes grew misty "Yeah..." He shivered, a pathetic whimper slipping from his throat. He sniffed and wiped his tears away with his glove.

"You feel responsible for his death."

More tears flowed.

"You're punishing yourself."

He broke down sobbing, curling into a ball, like a defenseless child. Sara watched him and remained quiet, allowing the guardian to cry.

After a few minutes, he started to pull himself together, sitting up and wiping his face dry. Sara stepped closer, "You shouldn't hurt yourself. If your positions were reversed, would you feel betrayed?"

"N-No, I wouldn't but-"

"Do you believe Hopscotch holds you responsible for his unfortunate passing?"

Jas shook his head, "No, he wouldn't."

"Then why do you-"

"Because he was the one to always protect me!" Jas snapped. Sara remained unphased. "He died saving me and I held him in my arms for his final moments. I was willing to sacrifice myself to save Sofia, and he threw himself in front of us to save my life! How can I forgive myself for his death?"

"Because you would have done the same for him, and he loves you."

"I know he did," Jastin cried, "I loved him too. I miss him so much, it hurts so bad."

"I know it does, but you will pull through it." Sara stared off into the field, "Do you know why I like flowers so much?"

"No, why?" He turned to her curiously. One of the things the living former Tainted Ten had spoken of was Sara's fascination with flowers. She had a book filled with pages of pressed flowers, a lot of which were very rare and beautiful.

"It's because no matter the conditions, they always found a way to bloom. Whether the area was too hot or too cold, too dry or too wet, they always found a way to grow. I always found them to be admirable in that sense, as no matter what happened, they fought to frow. I have seen your life, I know of your past. Such as what happened to your hands. You suffered a lot, yet you also found a way to bloom. If you were a flower, you would be incredibly beautiful."

Jas smiled weakly, despite himself, "You really think so?"

She nods, "Yes. The most beautiful flowers grow in adversity."

"You would have been a very beautiful flower too."

She glances at him," You really think so?"

"Yes," he chuckled a little, wiping his face again. "What was your favorite?"

"Fire Lillies. When I was small, a man came to my room with a fire lily. He realized I was meant to remain inside the Never Realm, and I suppose he felt sorry for me. I was intrigued by the unique vibrant colors. It was the first gift anyone had ever given me. I wanted to keep it forever. Sadly, the lily perished within a week due to not having any sunlight. The same man came to me again, this time with a book, and showed me how to press flowers in it to preserve them. I believe his name was Briggs. He said I reminded him of his daughter. He died when I escaped the Never Realm."

"I'm sorry."

"Don't be, I didn't care, I didn't know how to care." She turned to him, "I gave up my life for yours, not just because I wanted to die, but also because I knew you had much more to live for. You had friends, a lover, and people who cared deeply for you like a family. I was never meant to exist, but I suppose, resurrecting you was my purpose in a way, and now I can truly experience life through you." She turned to offer him a ghost of a smile, the corner of her lip turned upward just slightly, with her eyes becoming misty, "Life is truly an experience to behold. You shouldn't punish yourself for what had happened. You cannot change yesterday and you can't control tomorrow. You can only live in the now."

"You're right," he nodded, "I shouldn't dwell on the past." He smiled at her, "Thank you so much, I appreciate what you've done."

Sara nodded and cocked her head when he stood up and approached her. Jas engulfed her in a hug, his light magic coming through, allowing him to physically touch the spirit.

Sara blinked, unsure of how to respond. She could feel him around her, squeezing her in his arms. Never had she experienced this, though she has seen it happen between Requel and Ov-Nikolai. She's seen it happen between friends, lovers, family, and so on. Now she was experiencing it for the first time. Slowly, as if scared to do this wrong, she raised her arms and returned the embrace. It was warm and left her feeling something she's never experienced before. And she found she liked it.

All too soon the hug ended and Jas withdrew. He smiled at her and chuckled at how awkward their hug had been, "When's the last time anyone has ever hugged you?'

"No one has hugged me before," she admitted, almost shamefully, "I never knew how it felt." She smiled softly at him, "Thank you."

"No, thank you," he insisted, "If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't be here. I wish you had the chance to experience life."

"I'm a part of you now, so your experiences are my own as well. Besides, this will not be the last time we meet, my friend."

"It won't?"

Sara shook her head, "I believe not. I will be around, and if you need me again, you know where to look."Her eyes sparkled with her undescribed joy, "Live long and prosper, my friend."

He nodded, slipping the ring onto his finger, "I will, my friend."

"Thank you," Sara's voice became distant as her form faded, yet her presence was very strong. The wind picked up and Jas closed his eyes drawing in a deep breath of the heavenly flowers. The ring on his hand sparkled with the promise of a new life filled with new experiences of love, joy, fear, uncertainty, curiosity, passion, and so much more.

And he couldn't wait to start it.

The End.

AN: Special thanks to AquaTurquoise and a bit of a "retirement" gift. I told her about this idea and she sounded really excited. Thank you for letting me use your characters in this story and thanks for including my oc in your fic. Good luck and Happy Easter!