Second to last chapter! Man, where did the time go?

Chapter 61

Cinder's first real thought as she opened her eyes was that she was surprised she'd awakened at all.

Her last thoughts before she'd passed out were a blur, but she could remember feeling as if they might be rather final. She was glad they hadn't been, but even so…

Pain was the first real thing to greet her as she became conscious of her body. Her left arm ached with an unfamiliar pain. Her right leg was much the same. It felt like her organs were on fire. Her vision was all wonky. There was something lodged in her throat.

She could feel her heartbeat going faster and faster – and hear it as well, she realized a moment later, from the device somewhere off to her left – and her breaths coming quicker. It hurt a great deal to swallow, and that was only made more apparent by the tubes that were lodged in her throat.

She refused to panic, however. Not after everything she'd been through. She'd survived. She'd survived, and she was going to heal. That was what she was in the hospital for, wasn't it?

Yet, no matter how much she tried to calm herself down, her heartbeat wouldn't slow. The monitor behind her continued to grow faster, and faster, sounding almost frantic. Cinder felt her breaths following along, and before she realized it, panic was overtaking her, and–

"Mrs. Goodwitch!" A doctor's voice suddenly pierced through the veil of her reverie. "Please, try and stay calm. You're in a safe place. We have people who know you coming right now."

It was all she could do to suck in a hoarse, painful breath. Her throat hurt, and not just because of the tubes. Her breaths felt weightier than they'd been when she'd last been awake, and now that she thought about it, she couldn't actually move her left arm.

She gazed down at it, and found it entirely missing.


She'd forgotten the price she'd paid to save Glynda. To break away from Salem for good. She'd forgotten that she'd burned away a part of herself for it all.

Even now, staring down at that stump with only a single good eye, she was fairly certain she'd make the same decision again. But it didn't make it any easier to process that she'd lost a piece of herself. It was gone. It would never come back. At least her left eye, forever dimmed as it was, was still there.

And yet, just as she was about to add that onto the growing list of things she was stressing about, the door at the back of the room opened.

Two figures stepped inside. The first of which she cared very little about. Qrow Branwen regarded her with an expression of begrudging acceptance. Cinder imagined she'd earned such when she'd decided to save Glynda, damning the consequences. She felt about the same for him.

On the other hand…

There was Glynda.

And she was staring at her with watering eyes, seeming as if she was barely able to hold herself back from charging into the room and tackling Cinder in a tight hug. Cinder was glad for that fact, even if she wanted to experience such, because she wasn't actually certain her body, in its present condition, would survive.

"You're awake," Glynda spoke, a little laugh pouring out of her. "Oh, thank the gods, you're awake."

Cinder would've tried for a smile if she hadn't had a tube in her esophagus, but given that she did, she didn't really bother.

"We're fairly confident that she'll be able to adapt to the current condition of her lungs," One of the doctors began, talking to Glynda for some reason, and not her. "Only one of them was heavily affected. Even so, we ask that you try and keep conversation light for the time being. Do not excite her more than necessary. It will take her time to build back up a steady airflow."

Glynda nodded her head, absorbing that information without difficulty. Cinder was fairly certain that she should've been receiving this information, but then, she didn't terribly mind that they were telling Glynda.

If there was one person she trusted with it, it was her.

"I understand." Glynda stated with certainty, and the lead doctor nodded to a nearby nurse.

That person stepped over towards her, and began undoing some of the parts holding her ETT in place. It wasn't comfortable in the least, and occasionally was actively painful, but a minute or so later she'd had the tube removed, and was able to breathe on her own again.

As they'd said, however, she found such surprisingly difficult. It felt like she needed to breathe much harder to have the same amount of air as she'd needed just a few days ago. It left her feeling unnerved in a way she wasn't entirely certain how to process.

"Keep still." The doctor from earlier, who'd been speaking with Glynda, came over to her, addressing her finally. "As long as you don't move, you shouldn't aggravate any of your injuries. You're rather badly burned in a few places. You are not to scratch any itches you feel underneath your bandages, or to have anyone else scratch them. Do not raise your voice, or otherwise excite yourself in any way. Understood?"

Cinder didn't like being told what to do in any way, and so even if she knew all of what the man before her was saying was true, she still scowled at him, mumbling under her breath as he walked away.

"Well then," The lead doctor spoke, motioning for Qrow to follow them out of the room, leaving just Glynda and herself within. "We'll leave you and your wife alone for now."

Cinder's entire face went scarlet near instantly, and Glynda was much the same. Glynda herself coughed out a thanks, and then, suddenly, it was only the two of them, left alone with that comment hanging over them.

"Ah…" Glynda massaged the back of her neck with one hand. "It was the most convenient excuse we could think up in short order."

A fact from earlier, one she'd at the time thought was a simple mistake, became clear to her.

"…They called me Mrs. Goodwitch."

If anything, that just made Glynda's cheeks redder.

"I see."

They both seemed awkward about that, even if, secretly, in the deepest depths of Cinder's blackened heart, there was a young teenaged girl giving off excited little giggles.

"At least they didn't call me Ms. Fall." Cinder said, smiling a bit to herself.

Glynda nodded, even if she seemed a bit awkward about something or another. "I'm guessing that Cinder Fall isn't your real name?"

"Cinder is." She stated simply, realizing that Glynda had likely been holding onto questions much like this one for nearly a third of a year now, if not longer. "As for Fall… that was a title christened to me by Salem. I guess I thought of it as my destiny for a long time. Recently however, I've been… distancing myself from it. Just Cinder will do for now."

Glynda nodded her head, and perhaps it was the relief of the situation, the fact that the two of them were now able to have such a conversation, without baggage, or boundary, or the fear of Cinder accidentally outing herself constantly hanging over her head, but she was smiling, feeling a bit playful.

"Unless of course you'd like to make Cinder Goodwitch official?"

Glynda once more reddened like some cherry tomato, and Cinder chuckled beneath her breath, barely managing to avoid a coughing fit that probably would've summoned the doctors.

"I think… it's a tad bit too soon for that." Glynda said, looking away with a cough, and now it was Cinder's turn to go red again.

That… so Glynda was thinking about… that kind of thing?

And only a tad bit!?

What did that mean? Did that mean anything? Should she be reading into that at all? Was she supposed to be the one to propose, or– wait, they'd not even officially gotten together, what was she thinking!? Why was she pondering what color of dress she should wear to her wed–


She was snapped from her choice of red or black – and a dark horse blue – by Glynda's voice, and met her gaze to see her glowing the former.

"What is it?"

"Well, you seemed distracted a moment is all."

"I was just thinking."


"…Nothing in particular."

Glynda, mercifully, allowed her to have that obvious lie. "I see."

Silence reigned. It had a tendency to do such in their presence.

"How are you?" Cinder asked, before realizing that was a bit vague. "Physically, I mean."

"I'm fine. The doctors said that the toxin has officially been completely purged from my body. I'm still not in any shape to be picking fights, but I'm recovering my strength day by day."

Cinder nodded her head, relieved. She'd seen people affected by Tyrian's venom before, but… well, none of them had ever really lasted very long past the point of it being injected into them. Thusly, Cinder had been uncertain whether or not the venom was deadly, or paralytic, or… well, she'd wondered a lot.

It seemed they'd lucked out, however.

"The doctors have been telling me all about your condition," Glynda cleared her throat. "But I suppose I'd like to hear it from you. How are you feeling?"

"I'm in a bit of pain." Cinder decided to just be honest, despite the fact that it might make Glynda worry. She'd just… become so tired of hiding things from her. "Having one eye feels the slightest bit off. I'm sure I'll start to notice that more when I get back to training, and I have to learn to work without depth perception. The most obvious problem is having my left arm gone is. That's certainly a change. My right leg feels like a chunk got taken out of it, too."

"I hear they removed a good bit of muscle in your thigh."

"I see." Cinder hummed.

"They also said that the thigh is a fairly common spot for muscle transplants to be done from. Although it may be advised instead for you to simply have a prosthetic added to that section of your leg, with the scarring around it."

Cinder hummed a bit absently, feeling the medical blanket overtop her leg more presently as she focused in on it. She imagined they had her rather heavily dosed on morphine, or some other pain medication. It explained why, despite missing a good chunk of her thigh, she didn't feel too terribly much in the area.

"I thought you'd likely want to be up and ready as soon as possible, and they could reattach the nerves in your outer thigh to a prosthetic and have you up and moving within two weeks."

"That isn't bad."

Glynda shook her head. "But at the same time, a muscle transplant will mean you retain all the benefits of an actual limb. All the downsides, too, of course, and because of its different physiology, you'd never quite feel the same. You'd also need to take immunosuppressives for the rest of your life. I can see that being a problem, so it's up to you."

"I'll go with the prosthetic." Cinder declared without hesitation. "I'm going to need one for my arm anyhow."

"I suppose that's a fair response." Glynda said with a small smile. "But perhaps take time to think it over? …Ah, but who am I kidding, you didn't think about taking the Maiden's power, either, did you?"

Cinder was fairly certain that was supposed to be a joke, but all it did was remind her of that day; the day the two of them had gotten so cross at one another, argued with one another over Cinder's choice to accept the Fall Maiden's strength. Ultimately, that had also been the day when she and Glynda had slept together.

She was thinking on such things now, and she could tell Glynda was the same.

"…I suppose to me it simply makes sense to make a prompt decision. The sooner I decide, the sooner I'm back on my feet. There's no real use in deliberating."

"This decision will affect you for the rest of your life, Cinder." Glynda stated, leaning forward on the stool she'd procured for herself. "It's something worth deliberating, trust me."

Cinder wanted to protest, but ultimately, she was fairly certain Glynda was probably right. She had a nasty habit of being right when Cinder wanted to be.

Nothing was said again for a while, but this time the silence was more comfortable. They'd managed to settle somewhat from the initial uncertainty – and the fact that the doctor had called her Glynda's wife, which had really just thrown her for a loop – into a rather enjoyable quiet.

Even so, Glynda eventually cleared her throat, and continued speaking.

"You saved me."

Cinder's eyes briefly widened, before she said, "Of course, I did."

"I know, I just…" Glynda seemed uncertain as to how to word her next sentence. "I didn't… there was a moment while I was being held within their grip that I legitimately began to make peace with the fact that I would die."

It was a scary thing to hear out of the mouth of the woman she loved, and more so because it had, truly, been that close.

She didn't want to think about it, but still, much like their discussion on prosthetics and surgeries, it was probably a talk worth having.

"…Were you scared?"

"Terrified." Glynda admitted, twiddling her thumbs in a way reminiscent of that which Emerald did every so often. "Perhaps more terrified than I had ever been in my entire life."

Cinder nodded her head. "Me too."

"I was scared to lose you, but… I was scared to die, as well. I don't think… it's easy to claim you can be strong when you're at your end. It's another thing to actually face it; to try and make peace with it."

Cinder nodded her head. "I… would know. I told you the story about finding a knife in one of the rooms of the Glass Unicorn."

Glynda nodded somberly. "You did. I remember."

"…I'm glad I'm alive."

Glynda's eyes were wide as Cinder looked up to meet them. Her heart was fluttering ever so slightly, nervous that the words – or perhaps the meaning – that she was trying to convey wouldn't get across.

"I was… when I thought I was dying, but I knew I had saved you… I was content, but I wasn't… it's a bit hard to explain."

Glynda didn't interrupt. She'd always been so adept at reading Cinder, knowing when to speak and when not to.

"I was pleased with myself, but there was so much I still wanted to say. So much I wanted to hear, and talk about with you. I finally had a chance to just… talk to you. Freed of all of the things that held me back before. I didn't have to pretend to be someone else, or conceal my identity, or anything like that. I could just be Cinder. And you… you're just Glynda. Not my teacher, not a member of the faculty of the school I'm pretending to attend… but a woman just like me."

Glynda smiled at her. "I… had similar thoughts, truth be told. The desire to get to actually spend time with you was strong. I feared I had lost that chance. It was gutting, to put things lightly."

"So, when I woke up… I was hurt, and I was scared, and I panicked a bit, but ultimately… I was so glad that I did. That I was still breathing, and that I'd get to see you."

"Well… here I am." Glynda stated. "What is it you want to talk about first?"

It was funny. Now that the moment was here, and she was supposed to have something to say, Cinder found herself unable to conjure anything much at all.

"If you've nothing to say, then… would you mind if I asked a question first? Perhaps we can go back and forth."

Cinder nodded her head, content enough with that system.

"Then… how old are you, Cinder? I think you're older than the twenty-two years old you said you were at Beacon."

Cinder nodded her head. "I am. I… don't know exactly how old I am. But I believe I'm somewhere between twenty-four and twenty-six at this point."

"That big of a gap?"

"As you might imagine, my information wasn't tracked terribly well by the trafficking organization that sold me to the Madame. I was listed as 'around ten'. But I never celebrated my birthdays while I was there, so I just took their word for it. As you might imagine, they're not exactly the most reliable source."

"No, I imagine they aren't." Glynda said. "Still, it's reassuring to hear that you're older and not younger than you said you were."

Cinder actually chuckled. "Would that have been a bit disconcerting for you?"

"Perhaps a bit." Glynda admitted, shaking her head despite the grin on her lips. "Your turn."

Cinder hummed, but didn't immediately think of anything. She allowed the seconds to tick by as she considered just what it was that she wanted to ask.

Well… Glynda had asked a lighthearted question, but unfortunately, the only things that Cinder could think to ask were rather… heavy.

She decided to just go with it, rather than try and conjure up something else.

"What do you plan on doing in regards to Salem."

It was clear from Glynda's reaction that she hadn't expected Cinder to swing for the fences so much with her question, either. Still, she seemed content to abide by the rules she'd set, so she cleared her throat, and said, "I intend to go Atlas Academy, and make to secure both the Winter Maiden, and the Relic of Creation. I believe in James, but even still… I don't believe he is capable of defending it alone. After what happened at Beacon when a great deal of the world was united together… I don't know if I believe anyone could defend such from Salem on their own."

Cinder nodded, "Will you be taking the others with you? The members of RWBY and JNPR?"

"I do believe that's a second question," Glynda said with amusement evident in her gaze. "But yes, I do. In all honesty, I do not wish to. But I doubt they'd just do nothing if I sent them back to their homes at this point. No, they'd almost certainly go off on their own and do something stupid. They might as well do so while I'm around to watch them. And besides, I can't in good conscience demand that they do nothing while their very world is threatened by a force bigger than any of us."

That made sense to her.

"Will you come with us?" Glynda asked, and for Cinder, at least, that was the easiest question she'd been asked thus far.

"Of course."

Glynda just smiled. "I'm glad."

"…How close are you and Ironwood?"

Glynda looked like the cat that had caught the canary. "Why, Cinder, is that a hint of jealousy I hear?"

"…Isn't that a question?"

"Touché" Glynda smirked. "If you must know, we're close friends. But that's all we are. When last we spoke, he was happy to hear that I'd found someone I loved, even if I could sense that he was perhaps disappointed that someone was not him. But no, I do not pine for him, or carry any lingering torch for him."

Cinder would not admit that she felt a good deal of relief in that moment. "I see."

They went back and forth on a few more things, then. Glynda asked about Salem's plans for Remnant – Cinder answered honestly what she'd been told, but confided in Glynda that she had a feeling she'd been lying when she'd said it. Cinder had asked what Glynda's plans were once everything had settled down – she wanted to return to Beacon and work on getting it back up and running. After that, she didn't know.

Around an hour and a half of quiet conversation later, however, Cinder finally found herself working up the courage to say something she'd barely managed to the previous day. It was embarrassing, and had her face hot and red. But even so…

"…There's one thing I wanted to ask you."

"You can ask me anything." Glynda stated, and damnit, but Cinder could hear just how honest she was in her tone. It was almost aggravating how sweet she could be.

"…Would you…" She felt her face heating up, despite the fact that this was Glynda, and she knew that she wouldn't judge her for it. "Yesterday, I asked, but you were, uhm… well, basically…"

Glynda reached over, took her by the hand, and smiled at her.

"What is it, darling?"

Her heart leapt within her chest, and it was hard to keep her lip from wobbling, or the fingers on her right hand from twiddling about incessantly.

"…That was it, actually."

Glynda chuckled. "I had a feeling. May I ask why you wanted me to call you that specifically? I'm fairly certain I know, but I suppose I'd rather hear it from you."

Cinder nodded her head. That which Glynda was asking her to admit was, admittedly, a tad bit embarrassing. But this was the woman she'd given her heart to. This was the woman who'd shown her love, and trust, and a million other beautiful things that she'd never thought herself worthy of.

So, she would confide in her the deepest pieces of her mind. Because she knew that if she wanted to know, Glynda would do the same for her.

"That night… when the two of us slept together… that was the greatest night of my life. Not the sex, although that was nice, too. But the… the intimacy." Despite her earlier sentiment, she couldn't help glancing away a tad bit awkwardly. "I need you to understand that up until I met you, I had never really had a positive interaction with another person on the entire planet. At least, not one that was genuine. I had been raised by slavers, and then sent to a slave driver. I was bullied, and abused, and mistreated. Eventually, I ended up in Salem's hands. I couldn't see it then, but with the benefit of hindsight, it's obvious that she was just more of the same. And I became them, in a way. My relationships with Emerald and Mercury… they were just as mine own had been with the Madame and Salem. I treated them as less than human; as tools. And that was despite the way that I knew Emerald felt for me…"

"You got better." Glynda said, reassuring her. "You improved upon yourself, and look at you now."

Cinder felt some small bit of pride blooming within her chest. "…Thank you."

"Although, I heard that you hit Emerald back in Evernight."

She went white as a sheet. "Ah, well… that was… I was–"

"Emerald has already informed me as to the circumstances," Glynda stated. "That you were handling things rather poorly at that time. She also told me that the two of you made up, and are on much better terms now. Perhaps better than said terms have ever been."

That was true, at least to Cinder.

"But still," Glynda glared at her with a mix of playfulness and genuine sincerity in her tone. "Don't hit my daughter."

A part of Cinder was surprised to hear that. Another part, which had already understood the nature of the relationship between Glynda and Emerald, instead gave an 'I told you so' sort of reaction.

"I'll never slap her again; I swear to you." Cinder said, bowing her head, before a certain part of her conjured a rather unnerving question. "Hey… if Emerald's going to be your daughter, and the two of us are going to court one another–"

"I think it's best we don't consider that particular fact." Glynda interrupted her, bulldozing past the subject. "And we, instead, completely ignore it."

Cinder couldn't quite help the way she snorted. She'd always hated the fact that such was her immediate reaction to amusement – she sounded like some kind of swine – but… it was growing on her, just a bit, given that every time it happened to her, Glynda smiled.

And she liked it when Glynda smiled.

"I think that is both an incredibly lazy and half-assed solution," Cinder began, before her lips curled upwards. "And a wondrous idea that I plan on adopting."

The two of them both shared a laugh at that.

"But… to get back on topic, when I arrived in Beacon Academy, I was so caught off guard by the way that you treated me, and the way my own self reacted to such, that I had to quite literally search the internet for clues as to my own feelings. I can remember reacting rather poorly to the idea that I had a crush on you." She laughed, thinking on such now, even if it had been anything but funny at the time. "I think I was afraid. Afraid that I'd followed my gut to go to Beacon early, and it was turning out that it hadn't been my gut at all, but my libido that had been calling the shots."

Glynda actually stopped her for a moment.

"Wait… you came to Beacon because… I was there?"

Cinder couldn't quite help but be a bit embarrassed about the wide, teasing smile on Glynda's face.


"Ah, 'perhaps', I see."

"Alright, admittedly, yes, I came because my gut was telling me that you were an intriguing entity whom I wanted to know more about." Cinder coughed. "I now understand that it was likely a part of my body slightly lower than my gut making said calls, but I digress."

Glynda actually laughed, a light and airy thing that had butterflies forming in Cinder's stomach like she was a schoolgirl with a first crush.

It was scary, a bit, to realize how much she loved this woman. It had become easier to think it, to admit it to herself, ever since she'd come out and said it as well. But it was really in moments like these, the quiet, absent things, that hit said facts home.

"As I was saying, however, before I was so rudely interrupted," she smarmed, rolling her eyes at the terribly amused expression on Glynda's face, and the little chuckles that still poured out of her. "It took me a while to realize that I was beginning to change, and perhaps longer still to realize that I didn't mind that I was changing. If anything, I think a part of me was almost glad to become something different once I started to realize that I'd become more and more like the people I reviled. I was slowly but surely turning into my abusers."

"That's sadly a rather common cycle." Glynda said with a nod. "Abusee's, in an effort to not have to feel the same helplessness that they felt whilst being abused, end up taking their own authority, whatever they can get, and abusing it to feel more secure and safe."

Cinder nodded. "That sounds about right. I wasn't… no… I was needlessly cruel to both Emerald and Mercury."

Glynda shook her head. "You weren't needlessly cruel to either. You were harsh, and I'm certain that you were quite the taskmaster. You may have even been worse than what you showed me, but while you were at Beacon, during those first few weeks, I could see that you did not rule over the two with an iron fist. You controlled their actions, but it wasn't as if you stopped them from living their lives. Mercury of course went off and played videogames. You and Emerald began to bond."

"I confess that the reason Mercury got away with such is because I was too busy worrying about courting you," Cinder admitted, and that earned another smile from Glynda. "Or perhaps I was unconsciously less hard on him than I was in my own head. Who knows. I suppose I can't say that I understood myself all that well back then. After all, I didn't even realize that I'd emotionally fallen for you for a good three or four months, until the winter hit."

Glynda nodded, before cringing. "Oh, gods, when Winter Schnee showed up…"

"You went white as a sheet," Cinder said, laughing now that such times were long behind them. "I had to cover for you, do you remember that?"

"I do." Glynda said, smiling. "I don't believe I ever thanked you for that, either."

"Perhaps you did. If I'm being honest, I don't remember a lot about that time. I think I was too busy being angsty about my troubles."

Glynda smirked. "You were a young adult who'd missed your formative teenaged years. You had every right to get all of that teenaged angst out that you didn't have a chance to express in your younger years."

"Is that how that works? I see." Cinder rolled her eyes, before shaking her head. "But I keep getting distracted. I wanted to talk about that night. I guess… I was afraid not about what might happen to me in regards to losing myself to the Maiden's power, because, well… I already had half of it at that time."

Glynda nodded her head, now a bit more serious. "You were the one who attacked Amber, then?"

"Myself, Mercury and Emerald, yes." Cinder couldn't help but frown somewhat. "I'm sorry. I don't… I wish I could make up for my actions then, but–"

"You are." Glynda stated firmly. "You're going to go and use that power to fight Salem. It might not be what Amber would've wanted… but it's the best you can do with what you have."

Cinder agreed.

"But I wanted to spend the night with you because I thought… I knew then what I had to face just yesterday; that Salem would never allow me to have something as wonderful as you. She was always so controlling, and manipulative, and… she's a real bitch, honestly."

Glynda nodded her head. "I can see that."

"So… I think I thought then that that was the only time I'd ever get to have such majesty in all my life. The only time I'd ever experience something like sex with someone I genuinely cared for and adored. And it was everything I could've hoped for. But the act of sleeping together… meant less than… well… sleeping together. Just lying against you, and feeling comforted, and loved, and… I… I don't–"

"It's okay." Glynda smiled at her, so very gently, and by everything that was right in the world, she'd missed that look more than anything while she'd been away from her. "Take your time. You don't have to rush."

…That was right. She'd won. She and Glynda… they would get to be together.

She didn't have to rush anymore. She could take things slow.

"I guess I wished that I could have that always." Cinder said eventually, despite the blush on her cheeks. "Even if I thought then that I never would again."

Glynda nodded her head, even as she leaned forward, reached over the bed, and took Cinder's right hand. She held it in both of hers, and smiled down at her.

"Well… I'm not going anywhere. I'm staying right here; right beside you. When you're all better… there'll be plenty of time for us to do whatever it is we want. I promise you."

Cinder believed her.

And just as those words had been spoken, there was a knock at their door. Both Glynda and Cinder looked up as the same doctor from before stepped into the room, smiling at them.

"I hope you both got some time to talk." He stated, clearing his throat. "Unfortunately, Mrs. Goodwitch here needs her rest more than anything. I'm going to have to ask she be left alone for the time being. You can visit again once tomorrow."

Glynda nodded her head and stood up, and some part of Cinder idly wished that Glynda was a little more headstrong, because she didn't really want to sleep at all, even if she knew she had to. She wished Glynda would put her foot down and demand to see her more, but she didn't.

She only cared about Cinder's health, which made sense after what they'd been through.

She couldn't exactly begrudge her that, even if she was pouting a bit as Glynda turned back to her, and said, "I'll be back as soon as I can, okay?"

Cinder nodded her head, watching as the doctor beside her added something to the bag of fluid her iv was filtering into her. She imagined it would be a medication to help her sleep.

She was proven correct as, almost immediately upon the liquid hitting her system, she found her eyes growing impossibly heavy.

"Sleep well, darling," Glynda said, leaning down and kissing her forehead. "I love you."

And Cinder… she found herself nearly tearing up as her eyes closed, and she began to fade into unconsciousness.

But not before she whispered out beneath her breath, "I love you, too."

End Chapter 61

Next chapter will be a wrap-up for every arc that's still left hanging at the moment, and, y'know, also the final chapter of Paved with Bad Intentions!

If you're curious about my next story, it will be a Pokemon fic starring Bianca from Gen 5. I've had this idea in my head for 2+ years now, so finally getting it down onto paper is getting me excited.

Hopefully, if you've any interest in that fandom, you'll take a look at it! It'll likely go up at some point around the release of Chapter 62. If it doesn't... well, check again the week after!

Anyways, see you all next week!