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Was she ready? It was a good question even if she didn’t feel any fear at facing Fontaine… There was someone she was afraid of leaving behind. Almost without thinking, Elizabeth reached out for the front of Jack’s sweater, her fingers twisting around plush, worn cabled yarn as she pulled him into a kiss.
Not a chaste one either. The last they might ever share if something went wrong, as this things so often did, and she put all that feeling into it. Jack gasped and she took the opportunity to deepen the kiss, her face flushing at how bold she was being.
But this was it, perhaps the only chance she’d have. Elizabeth had no idea what she doing outside of the romance books from the tower she read time and again.
The hand he’d held out to her found its way to her back and for a moment, she could pretend they were safe and the fight was already over.
Then Jack pulled away, resting his forehead against hers and gently rubbing her back. “It’s time, Elizabeth.” He didn’t have to say any more. “I love you with everything I am, whatever that might be… I’m yours.”
Elizabeth chuckled warmly as tears pricked at her eyes, not quite coming. “You’re whoever you want to be, Jack. And wherever your path takes you, no matter what comes, I will always love you.”
She opened her eyes to see his still closed, and he bit his lip to keep from crying– she assumed. He turned to the stairs, going up and into the elevator and kept his head down.
“Thanks, Elizabeth. For everything you’ve done. I…” His voice wavered for a second and he recovered as she came to join him, holding his hand. “Thanks.”
— Fontaine’s Lair —
“We didn’ know one another long, boyo,” Atlas droned as the elevator rose. At the gates of the last stand, it made sense that she felt Jack’s hand tighten around hers. “But you? You were like a second son t’me.”
The ADAM distorted his voice and she almost couldn’t believe it hadn’t warped his mind so far that he’d drop the Atlas ruse.
“Way I see it, your old man took my family from me. All of it,” he spat. “And that’s why this hurts. Betrayal, boyo… I know life ain’t fair, I know it better than most. But this one’s personal.”
And the elevator stopped, pausing for only a moment before the deco doors slid open to reveal the massive empty room. In its center stood some device, Atlas— no, Fontaine suspended and barely recognizable as human, never mind himself. Ryan was slumped over in a chair beside him, bloodied but still breathing.
“I’ll take care of draining the ADAM,” Jack explained, pulling his hand away as his eyes hardened. “And I’ll fight with everything I’ve got.”
“You won’t be alone in that,” Elizabeth answered curtly, holding her gun at the ready.
The fighting truly began once Jack drained him of ADAM, and Fontaine broke free, backhanding Jack clear across the foyer. It was chaos from then out– a cycle of super-powered plasmids overtaking Fontaine’s body as his ADAM resources became more and more depleted.
He screamed at them from the device, how he was going to cut them to pieces and the girls would be next, all the most horrible things he could think of. Elizabeth wondered if there was another version of him in some reality that might be horrified by this, but somehow, she doubted it.
It was luck that she found the bot shutdown panel before the security bots got too out of hand, and that bought her time to hack them to their side too. The splicers were another story altogether, even with Jack turning them with Enrage…
Every muscle in her body screamed, and there were far too many close calls to count. Jack drove the needle into Fontaine’s chest for the fourth time, hopefully the last. But he didn’t move fast enough to evade another brutal backhand from Atlas that sent him flying.
“Jack!” She started reloading, cursing the exhaustion that fighting this long brought with it.
“I made you,” Fontaine began, stomping towards Jack as he scrambled back. “Showed you what you were, all you were capable of… If you don’call that family, I don’t know what is!”
She finished reloading, aiming for his heart, when the first little girl leapt at him. But it wasn’t until the rest of the girls came from the tunnels of Rapture, stabbing him as their cries mixed with his, that Elizabeth could let herself believe it was over. Well and truly over.
Everyone was free.
She ran to Jack, dropping her weapon uselessly to the ground as she helped him to his feet. “Jack, are you hurt?”
“All over,” he breathed but smiled. “But… I can be free. I can go anywhere, be anyone.” He didn’t seem to believe it himself. One of the little ones ran up to him as Tenenbaum and Booker stepped out of the elevator, going straight for Ryan.
“I think I’d like to be with you. In Paris,” he added, laughing tiredly. “I don’t even know where that is or what it looks like.”
Elizabeth threw her arms around him, pulling him in tightly. “It’s alright. We’ll see it for the first time together.”
An epilogue turned out to not be necessary, so this is the end! Thank you for all your support.
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