The villain cradles the hero in her arms. “No, no, no! You idiot, you aren’t supposed to die.”
The hero coughs up blood between trembling breaths. “Looks like you finally, got me, huh?” She takes the villain’s hand. “You should be happy, right?”
The villain shakes her head, gripping the hero’s hand. “No, you don’t understand, stupid. This isn’t how it’s supposed to go. Good is always supposed to win, so you have to come back, make some big, dramatic last move to beat me, you hear.”
The hero chuckles, gurgling blood until her head slants to the side. “Sorry to disappoint, but you really did a number on me.”
She groans as she clutches her chest, releasing the villain’s hand to heave breaths and fight back choking coughs. The effort racks her entire body, and she quivers, stiffening in the villain’s lap. The villain brushes away stray strands of hair from the hero’s face, revealing dulled eyes that stare at nothing. The villain closes them, and tears stream down her face, dripping onto the cheeks of the hero. The villain kisses the hero’s forehead, vowing to make up for what she’s done, the story she’s ruined.
“You just wait. I told you good always wins, and damn it, that’s what’s gonna happen.”
The villain carries the hero’s body to the capital, laying her before the statue the city erected in her honor, a suitable burial place. The villain buries her with white roses she steals – borrows, her last crime.
From there, she strips out of the black costume, burns it, and trades it in for soft of the brighter, softer colors of her once counterpart. It takes her months of rescues and good deeds to stop shuddering in the shadow of the hero she once faced. Now, she must play the part, no matter how painful it may be. The villain owes the hero that much.
On the other side, looking down on her new apprentice, the hero smiles. She’s done her job. She won after all.