Title: Her Life or Yours?Word Count: 1119Warnings: Mentions of Blood, References to Suicide/Murder (Neither graphic), Mentions of ViolenceCreated for the Tropetember Event - (Break Their Heart to Save Them)Sometimes when you truly love someone, you need to let them go, but that’s always been easier said than done, hasn’t it?You remember when you two first met, and how easily you seemed to just fit together. She was the missing puzzle piece you’d been searching for. Her hand in yours, you two took on the world together for so long. Running through the streets and crafting your own futures rather than settling for what you’d been dealt a long time ago. Partners in crime was the perfect description for you two, and you even had matching bracelets that said as much. But now, you’re faced with a choice you never thought you’d have to make. Her life or yours. You knew, inherently, you’d always choose your life to give when presented the question, but there was no way she would allow that. Protective to a fault, right?Someone had to die; they were coming for you both. Her life or yours? There was no question. Yours. This was going to destroy her, but you knew it was a necessary evil.The day you decided to cut her out of your life entirely, you’d started a stupid fight. You’d thrown every damn thing she’d asked of you back in her face. Even the things she hadn’t explicitly asked for, you’d used against her until she was crying and screaming for you to fucking leave. As if you needed to do anything else, you’d torn the partners in crime bracelet from your wrist and flung it across the room before you left. This was for the best. You hadn’t expected it to hurt that much.When she’d finally reached out to you, after weeks of no communication, you’d only sent a quick text in response. “Leave me the fuck alone. I told you, I’m sick of being taken advantage of.” Moments later another message had come through, flashing the words “Fuck you,” across your lock screen in bold lettering. You’d been desperately avoiding the reality of your situation for so long, that the fact you knew she hated you didn’t seem to matter. You’d even written a pathetic apology note in hopes she’d find it after you were long gone. They were coming, and you’d barely survived this long, realistically. It felt like it was all a game to them, and that destroying the one person you loved dearly had been a trick and they were going after her anyways. Days later, you heard someone beating on your door, screaming for you to open up. Her life of yours; you’d chosen this to protect her. You opened the door and the world shifted as the men on the other side slammed you against the wall. Struggling helplessly against them as they dragged you down the hall, all you could think was it was her life or yours. Yours. Yours. Yours. She would be okay. Maybe she’d understand one day. Even if she hated you until the end of time, it was worth it.She showed up unannounced to your apartment days later and gasped at the blood stains decorating the door frame. Fumbling for a key she never had the chance to return, she threw your door open and ran inside. You weren’t there. Of course, you wouldn’t be. There was blood splattered across your once pristine carpet and your phone lay abandoned on the table. She rushed forward, pulling her own phone out and dialing emergency services. A reassuring voice came across the speaker, requesting information and promising that help was on the way, but she couldn’t hear any of it as a crumpled sheet of paper came into her line of sight. She’d snatched it from the table but couldn’t move after that. She was frozen.All she could remember was your last conversations. Both the argument that ruined you both and the failed attempt at reconciliation. The angry words she had screamed echoed through her mind until suddenly police were flooding the apartment and one was catching her before she hit the floor. You were gone. You were gone. She didn’t understand it. How was she meant to hate someone who wasn’t here.You’d destroyed yourself and her, but now you were gone and she hated you even more. She didn’t think there was any part of her heart left to break, really. When the officers sat her down and asked your name though, she saw the looks they shared. It was one of recognition, and the final pieces of her shattered when the news came. She had damned your very existence since you’d started that fucking fight. Swore at the gods that she hadn’t deserved this, and you weren’t important enough to cry over even as she sobbed at the loss of her best friend. As the officers moved around her, taking down notes and processing the scene, the one assigned to her struggled to pull her from the messy apartment. It took several minutes to get her out into the hall and as she fell through the doorway, she pressed herself against the wall and refused to leave. You were gone. The crumpled paper was still clenched in her fist though and when she unraveled it, her heart dropped. Your neat handwriting stared back at her as she scanned the note.“I’m sorry for what I’ve done. I know you must hate me, and truly, I hope that you do. If it keeps you safe, I’d pray that you always curse my name until the day you die. There’s not much I can explain without fear of putting you in danger, but just know it was you or me, and I couldn’t allow it to be you. I knew, deep down, if you knew what was going on, you would never permit me to sacrifice myself to save you, so I made you hate me. I ruined your life to save it. It was you or me, and I chose me. I’m so sorry.”She hated you, so fucking much, and somehow this both made it worse and better. The officer that had assisted her into the hall stepped out of the apartment to see she was gone. The note lay on the ground, her phone on top of it and her own partner in crime bracelet beside them both. Her life or yours. Yours. Yours. Yours. You’d believed that she’d understand it one day, but when they found her laid across her bedroom floor, unmoving, it became apparent you’d been wrong. She’d never understand it. You died protecting her. She died hating your very existence. You’d broken her heart to save her from them, but you weren’t there to save her from herself.