By AnimeLuva1

"Ay yo I'm slippin', I'm fallin', I can't get up
Ay yo I'm slippin', I'm fallin', I can't get up
Ay yo I'm slippin, I'm fallin', I gots ta get up
Get me back on my feet so I can tear shit up!"

"Stop...laughing..." Crono begged, the call of Lavos ringing in his ear. Opening his eyes would have made things worse. "You're driving me crazy...shut up..." The answer to his plea was absolute silence. For now, he was falling, and tumbling downwards in pitch blackness.

Should I get him now?

Let him open his eyes first.

"Huh?" Chrono opened first his left eye, then his right. He looked around, seeing nothing but black. He blinked, and got the same result. "Where am I? Am I dead? I thought I was supposed to go to heaven...or hell. Is this hell?"

Not exactly.

Crono jumped back, only then realizing he was standing on...something. His eyes darted around, fixing themselves on a tiny flicker of candlelight. "Anta wa dare? (Who are you?)" his voice echoed, opening his Hoshi no Katana (Star Katana) just slightly.

The tiny flame grew, showing the hand that supported it. The light revealed the features of a middle-aged man. His red hair seemed groomed, but it was too stubborn to stay in place. His aquamarine eyes stood out against his battle-scarred face. He wore a shining, almost glowing armor over his thick white tunic and rough khaki pants. His thin leather boots were the color of dry blood. To his side, a seathed katana, teasing Crono with its hidden power. Don't you recognize me?

"O-otousan? (D-dad?)" he stuttered, his grip released from his blade.

I bet you're wondering why you're here, ne (right)?

Chrono nodded.

This isn't heaven, or hell. People call it purgatory. You see the souls of those who didn't rest in peace here. Usually you'd see explorers, the civilians killed in war, and the extremely young.

"Children?" Crono asked, his intestines twisting slightly.

Sadly, yes. It's strange that you're here, though.


I was getting there. You see, you cannot die. At least, not the way you were trying to against JENOVA.

"Dare? (Who?)"

Oh, I forgot you didn't cross Styx yet.


Nevermind. Who I meant was Lavos. You were not supposed to fight him this soon. But, being the reincarnation of Cloud Strife, you did. Your death, however, would be the death of existence itself. Not just our planet, but billions of others.

"I'm lost now, otousan."

Not as much as you think. My time here's running extremely short. Find the two lost souls of our world, they'll help you find the tree.

"Two souls? And why do I need to find a tree?"

It'll help you get home. And one more thing: FEED THE CAAAAAAAT!...

Yet again, alone in a dark area. To think. "Why do I need to feed the cat? Okay, so I do need to go back to the fair to pick up some more. A tree? What kind of tree? There are millions of them! Well, okay, not in this place, but--Two lost souls? Hell, I should count as one, but I'm probably not." He took a step, and shouted as he fell through an unknown hole.


Let's go.

His throat couldn't take anymore screaming, but he was still moving down a never ending gap. All right, now I'm really pissed off, let's see where this thing ends! He clenched his fists, and threw his hands outward. His forehead trickled with sweat as he let out as much electricity as his abilities could. His eyes grew wide. He wasn't falling at all. "This place is a giant room." he realized. He was really floating, the wind beneath him his support. If he could strain his eyes long enough, there were platforms, about 4x4 feet, set up like a chess board. He kicked, swam, and ran towards the nearest one, happy that he was on some sort of ground.

So you are the hero of time?

Chrono whirled around, searching for the source of the male voice.

Funny, he was a lot taller last time. a feminine voice echoed.

That was Sephiroth, Eve, you're looking at the universal soul of heroes.

Oh, Cumulus or something right?

"It's Cloud and dammit WHO THE HELL ARE YOU GUYS?!" Crono screamed at the top of his lungs. He held his Hoshi no Katana ready, his instincts telling him of a battle soon to come.

Two tongues of blue flame appeared before him, eerily floating about the ground. His eyes grew wide as they expanded into two humanoid forms, one male, and the other female. Details appeared. Hair, faces, fingers, toes. Only their blue bodies of fire would have made them something other than human.

The masculine one stepped forward.I am Adam, the first man. And this is my lover, Eve.

Eve winked at Chrono, who then felt a shiver run down his spine. Adam and Eve? The first man and woman? In this place? How wierd.

Exactly what I was thinking. Eve replied. Chrono jumped in surprise, and she giggled in response.

Great, mind readers, just what I need.

Actually, we don't read minds, Adam explained, Here, in purgatory, there are no communication barriers. If you concentrate hard enough, maybe you can hear what I'm thinking.

So, Crono did his best. He closed his eyes and waited for the right weave to touch. There was a mental overload, but he could get one thing to stick into his head. He concluded it was from Eve. What does this guy want? The tree? "Yeah. But first, what the hell is 'the tree'?"

The Tree of Life, Knowledge, same thing. Eve answered.

Adam dropped his head into his rising palm. You always have to start thing, don't you?

Eve turned to him, giving her best innocent child act. But I didn't do it! Satan did!!!

Crono raised his brow, watching the first couple go through their upteenth argument. But still, he has to get to the Tree of Life/Knowledge? What's bugging them about it?

I'll tell you why! Eve spat, allowing her anger from the recent argument get the better of her. If anyone reaches that tree, even just touching the bark, we can NEVER get to heaven nor hell! We'd be stuck here for all eternity!

He blinked. How ironic. If he actually touched the tree, Adam and Eve would never go to heaven. Yet their millions, no, billions of descendants had. What a strange world we live in indeed.

Look Adam, he might reconsider.

Crono looked up at Eve's frightened eyes. They were like Marle's, when she vanished. I do feel sorry for them, not being able to reach paradise. But, Marle, Lucca, Frog, Robo, Ayla; they need me. I have to get back. Not just for them. For the world, for the universe! I must be there, I MUST LIVE!

Stay back Eve, Adam advised, placing his arm in front of her. Universal Hero, or whatever you are called in your present reincarnation; yes, yes, I heard it a million times 'This is for the people.' But I know you hold someone dear to your heart. You'd rather see the world suffer than to see her be harmed.

Crono seathed his sword, placing his hand on his chin. "You've got a point." he replied softly, then looked up at Adam, "But you should know something too. If you were in Marle's position, you'd rather die and see life go on then be destroyed so you can live. So now," he revealed his katana, positioning himself to a fighting stance. "we see were we're both coming from---HAJIME! (literally "Begin!", often seen said before battle.)" Chrono skipped every other sqauare and lept to slash the first living being.

Don't think I haven't learned from last time! He blinked, his body became slightly transparent. He smiled as Crono realized his blade, and himself, went through him.

Eve shrieked like a child. "KOWAI KOWAI! (I'm scared I'm scared!)" she screamed, throwing blue fireballs at Crono. He fell back not really from the power, but from the burns his skin received.

He took his defensive stance, his blade almost touching his face. Getting Eve would be easy, but it meant Adam would overkill him. The best thing to do now is concentrate on Adam.

Despite his analysis, he cast a lightning bolt against Eve. Adam put down his defense, as Crono predicted. Without mercy, he stopped Adam in his tracks, and slashed Adam with everything he could muster. Only when the man collapse did Crono back away. Gimme a minute and I'll really kick your ass. he said mentally. Through his clenched teeth were sounds of harsh breathing.

I'm not going to even give you a second! Adam retaliated with a hard uppercut to the jaw, sending Crono flying back to near the other end of the room.

After going through many a battle on the "real world," Chrono reached for his pouch. His hand groped until he felt for the right bottle. He pulled the cork out with his teeth and drank its contents in near record time. Crono threw the bottle to one side, hearing it shatter against one of the squares.

Through the slight haze of his mind, Adam could see Crono beginning another charge at him. When the rest of his body finally clicked to move, Adam side stepped. He mumbled something in Hebrew, his hands glowing from the spell to be cast.

Adam yelled something Crono couldn't understand. His eyebrows forked when a sound close enough to be rolling thunder filled the room. He looked left, right, in front and behind himself. Then he looked down, noticing he had a shadow. His head snapped upward, and a bright, blinding light surrounded him. Every part of his body begged to be put out of its misery. What the hell is this thing?!

You like it? Adam asked sarcastically, I call it Pandora's box. You see, if you weren't trapped in it, whoever's trapped in it will go through a sin, or evil I personally selected. And currently--- Crono screamed in pain ---you're going through torture.

Crono struggled to keep his eyes opened. He might be a little crazy, but did he just see a flicker of green light? Through the blur of the spell, distinguishing the colors green, brown, and white. It's the Tree of Life! It can't be anything else!

"Adam..." Eve pouted, "...don't you think you're overdoing it?"

The first man grumbled at his lover's sympathy. Women... He waved his hand, and Crono fell like a bag of bricks.

Crono coughed and hacked, his aching hand muscles searching his bag for a specific bottle. Be glad I saved you the disgrace of being killed in my spell. Adam said coldly, Seeing you live the rest of your tortured life knowing you'll never get the tree is a lot more pleasing.

Crono's head shot up, his eyes burning with hate. "I will get to the tree." he said through clenched teeth. He drank up about half the Elixer before Adam snatched it out of his grasp.

No time to waste. Adam and Eve knew he was going to try and reach the tree at any cost. So Crono sprang to his feet, and ran as fast as he could go. They chased him, firing whatever magic attacks they coud think of. Depite his severe injuries and a twisted angle from trying to dodge a projectile, Chrono kept on running, suddenly going ever faster and faster.

He stopped and looked at what he was about to touch. It was about 6 feet or so, it's leaves shining a bright green and sparkeling at the ends. The bark a deep shade of mahoghany. He reached for the bark, saying sadly, your descendants will be proud of your sacrifice...

"CHROOONOOOOOOO!" he turned around, he swore he heard Marle. Then a blast of white light overwhelemed him. He was knocked unconcious, leaning against the Tree of Life.

He woke up, seeing a blurred spot of yellow-orange hair and big green eyes. Marle was sobbing something he couldn't recognize yet. Was he, back? Was he truely dead? What's Magus doing with Marle and Lucca? So many questions, so little time.

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