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A Hero’s Sacrifice

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PART 1: JOSEPH JOESTAR

——

Joseph lay on the floating rock, splayed out and facing the sky. Kars has been sent to space. He had saved the world. They had won! So why was this moment so bittersweet?

Oh, he knew.

Once this rock fell, this would be the end for him.

Acceptance. He knew he couldn’t cheat death forever- not even with his tricks and antics. The force of nature he was up against could no longer be manipulated. Knowing this, Joseph shut his eyes and released one final, long breath.

And thought of Caesar.

The hotheaded young man he had worked so hard to save- what was he doing now? Was he in bed, recovering? Or desperately clawing his way through the obstacles, trying to reach the friend that saved his life? Would he ever see Caesar again?

Joseph hoped he was doing well. Doing better than he was. He just wished he had told him earlier- about how much he loved him. About how he was sorry for arguing and that he wished to make up.

The days of constant fear of death were over. He had accepted his fate, but he regretted not telling Caesar sooner. Now, he had to pay the price.

The rock began to lose altitude and started its plummet towards the ice-cold ocean. Sharp wind whipped across Joseph’s body as debris and rock sliced his cheek. 

He closed his eyes and whispered in a hoarse voice, “Good luck, Caesar-chan.”

A splash. An piercing coldness. Then darkness.

 

PART 2: CAESAR ZEPPELI

——

He wasn’t fully recovered, but he went out anyway. He knew what had happened, but refused to believe it. He didn’t know what to do, but he knew he had to do something.

With a green-striped scarf clenched tightly in his fist, Caesar stood, bandaged all over his body, before an ocean of sorrow. The ocean that Joseph had exterminated Kars over. The ocean where his best and only friend perished. But he didn’t accept that. He couldn’t.

Joseph had to be on some island living his life, right? Just waiting for someone to come retrieve him as he shoots them a stupid grin? He just needed to find him, right? Closing his eyes and shaking his head, Caesar wrapped the scarf around his neck and threw the end over his shoulder.

Stepping onto the surface of the cruel waves, Caesar bolted towards the direction where Joseph had allegedly landed, panting with every step.

Ten minutes of running. Still no sign of Joseph. The minutes quickly became an hour of cycling and searching. Caesar’s feet had already began to tire out as he felt his strength drain away. 

He didn’t care. His only goal was to find Joseph.

Another five minutes passed, and Caesar noticed a floating object in the sea. Inside of his chest, his heart skipped a beat. Could it be some sort of clue?

As he rushed towards the object, his hope slowly turned to horror as he realized that the object was a gloved hand- severed and floating along the waves. Only it wasn’t any gloved hand. It was Joseph’s.

Caesar gingerly reached for the arm. The remaining logical side of his brain screamed at him that Joseph was dead and there was no need for further searching, but it was drowned out by the flood of pointless hope from his emotional brain.

No. This doesn’t mean anything. Joseph could still be alive and surviving! This hand means nothing.

Eyes blurry and on the verge of tears, Caesar took a deep breath and continued his search. In just a few minutes, a tiny island emerged in his view.

There was a pool of red water.

This was not good.

A rush of adrenaline kicked into Caesar’s system as he sped up and charged in the direction of the island.

“JoJo!” he screamed, his cries echoing in the empty world. “Are you there?!”

As expected, there was no response.

The rhythmic splash underneath his boot harmonized with his thumping heartbeat with each step towards the island.

Splash. Splash. Splash.

And to his horror, Joseph lay washed up on the island shore. Bloody. Battered.

Smiling.

“Jo...Jo?”

He stepped closer. This couldn’t be real. He was just resting, right?

Another step.

Joseph wasn’t dead. He couldn’t be. A man who had evaded misfortune all these years, defeated right after his victory?

Splash. Splash. Splash.

Silence.

Caesar towered before Joseph, fists clenched and eyes teary. He slowly bent down and lifted Joseph’s cold body towards him. Even though his mind polluted his thoughts with screams to just accept it and move on, he reached towards Joseph’s neck with a shaking arm and felt for his pulse. There was none.

He wanted to deny it, but he couldn’t. He wanted to run, but his legs refused to move.

All Caesar could do is hold Joseph to his chest and cry, and for the first time in his life, he had never felt more alone.

A man whose impact on his life was as bold as himself, and for such a fleeting moment- dead in his arms.

And he couldn’t even stop it.