Of Magic and Mayhem Chapter 2

Who the Hell are You Anyway?

By CuteLucca and Ghost

"I do my thing, and you do your thing. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you, and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful."

            - Frederick E. Perls

Lucca Ashtear walked blissfully South toward her home, returning from a walk within the city of Truce to help sort her thoughts, and of course, keep her girlish figure.  She spread her arms out, stretching and arching her back, catching a few more direct rays of sun on her face and upper chest. 

It was a wonderful day for her; or rather, it was until she saw a purple colored gate open above her.  She stopped in her tracks, blinking twice as she held her hands close to her eyes to block the sun’s light, focusing on the gate.

“What the hell is that?” She muttered under her breath, knowing full well what it was, though the gates she had used were always blue in color.  Momentarily, as she’d expected, a dark shadow materialized within the gate, and she was so focused on determining the traveler’s identity that she forgot to move when gravity kicked in and he fell directly on top of her.

She let out an “oomph” as she landed hard on the ground, the stranger lying spread-eagled on his back across her, weight planted firmly on her stomach.  Looking to the side, she noticed a black pack next to his feet.  With a groan the man sat up, placing his full weight on her.  She winced, holding her breath as he looked around.

“What the hell?” the man asked as he looked upon the grass and out to the ocean and skies.  Lucca had to admit he wasn’t bad looking by any stretch.  His blue hair was combed back neatly, but it seemed slightly on the wild side.  “There isn’t any snow here.  I must be in the wrong era.”

“Would you mind getting off me?” Lucca hissed, bringing the man’s attention around to her.  His eyes widened in surprise, and he shifted his weight coming to his feet quickly.  He turned around and offered his hand to her, looking into her eyes.

“I’m sorry, Lucca, I didn’t realize you were, umm, under me like that.  I apologize for that mishap.”

Ignoring his hand, she stood up on her own, her eyes narrowing on the young man.  “And you are?”

The stranger let his arm fall, smiling a bit, “Well, at one point I was called Patrick Simmons, but my birth name is Jacious.  Jacious Sram, and if I’m not mistaken, you’re Lucca Ashtear, right?”

Lucca found herself rather uncomfortable around this Jacious character, but she dared not show it in front of him.  She wasn’t weak after all.  “How do you know who I am?  I’ve never seen you before.”

Jacious gave a small shrug, as if it was common knowledge.  “To be honest, where I came from, you were nothing but a video game...one I played when I was 16 when it came out.  I had arrived at Zeal and then my memory sparked-“

Lucca interrupted him with a question before he could continue, “What’s a, uh, ‘video game?’”

He held his finger up officially, as if getting a classroom’s attention.  “A video game is a computer program that interacts with the user.  It used for entertainment, and there are many categories thereof.”

Lucca held out a hand to stop him.  Her mind was racing as fast as Epoch during a warp, and it was difficult to process this new information logically.  “I’m familiar with the programs to, say, program Robo, but…entertainment?  How the hell am I in one of these ‘video games’ in YOUR world anyway?”  She shook her head. “This is rather bizarre.”  She fell silent for a moment, thinking.  “But more importantly…” she looked up to him, stars in her eyes, “was I cool?”

Jacious looked at her, taking everything she said in carefully.  He finally registered her last comment and began to laugh, finding the statement rather Lucca-ish.  “Yes, you were very cool.  In fact you were my favorite character.” 

He calmed down and rubbed his chin, thinking about her other question.  “I'm guessing that someone had a connection to the wavelength of this world, and came up with the storyline... You’re still confused.  Maybe it would make sense if I explained how I got here?”

Lucca gave a nod, slightly peeved that he seemed to read her mind.  She crossed her arms in defiance.  “Yes, and you had better make it good.  You’re off to a rough start after crushing my ribs.”

Jacious crossed his arms as well, but more in an act to gather his thoughts.  “Once I came to Zeal in the game, I began remembering who I was and began to study theories of time travel.  After sorting out the different theories and applying them, I used the resources of a government agency.  Thus, I began my experiments.  I finally succeeded in making a gate.  The key I was using, which was during a storm, was a bolt of lightning.”  He swept his right arm to the side, indicating the land, “thus here I am...back in my home universe.”

Lucca stared at him in disbelief, shaking her head slowly, convinced he was just a crackpot.  But he did appear in a gate, which lent at least a little credibility to his story.  Returning to an earlier point, she asked, with a smirk,  “I was your favorite character, huh?”  Realizing something, her face turned serious. “Hey wait...  just how much DO you know about me, anyway?”

Twiddling his fingers,  Jacious replied, “Just some basics...how you had failed to save your mother which resulted in her inability to walk...your obsession with science and the creation of the Telepod...basically everything starting with the millennium fair.”

Lucca glared at the man and raised a fist, the threat of death evident in her deep green eyes, “You didn't watch me... you know... did you?  If you have, you pervert, I swear, I’ll…”

Jacious held up his hands defensively, “Watch you what?”

Lucca turned red, being the perverted one herself, but not even close  to admitting it.  “You watched me pee, you perv!”  She hit him once, sharply, on the head with her mallet, which she drew from her holster.  “You’re just making all this up!”

Jacious rubbed the small lump that appeared after Lucca’s blow.  “Hey, watch it!  I didn't watch you.  It's a video game, not a porn flick...geez.”  For some reason he added, “Besides, they wouldn't sell anything like that to kids.”

He gave some thought on how he would prove his story was true.  Before she would believe it, he would have to tell her something only she and the other heroes would know.  He thought only for a second, and face brightening, pointed at her.  “If I'm making up this story, how do I know when Crono almost died, you were admitting your feelings, but when the crew looked at you funny, you claimed you saw him as a brother!”

Lucca said nothing, looking at him with ill-concealed surprise.

Jacious smirked, “Tell me that, Lucca the Great.”

Lucca looked to the ground, digging at it with her foot.  “This is... kind of uncomfortable.  I...  it isn't every day that some strange person shows up, claims to be from a different universe where I’m a fictional character, and knows more about me than people who've known me for years.”  She stopped for a moment, before looking at him again.  “Are you here in Guardia to stay?  And if you're from another universe as you say, than I want to go see it.”

Jacious looked down, studying the grass.  “When I went through that gate, I brought nothing but some clothes and pictures plus my laptop with a solar battery.  I don't currently have anything but the plans to build my gate making device, and I had a bomb blow up my lab when I left.  I came here with the intent of never going back.”

Lucca looked rather disappointed, “So you can’t return?”

Jacious already had an answer, “Unless I make another gate with the technology here, then no.  I know the dangers of leaving a gate around, and I didn't trust the government to use it wisely.”  He gave a small grin.  “Lucca Ashtear, unless you have the Epoch...I'm stuck here in this time zone for quite a while.”

Lucca blinked and gave a small sigh.  It was rather cute.  “Great, just great.  Just what this world needs, more gate-hoppers to screw up the continuum.”  She added, pointed a finger at him, “And yes, I have the Epoch, but it's a time travel device, not a dimension hopper.  We can try to modify it with your notes, but we'll have to work with 2300AD technology.”

Jacious smiled at the thought, “Well, I guess you have a project if you wish to settle it...if anything, though, I'd like to talk to Magus...that is if you didn't kill him before reviving Crono…”  He bit his lower lip at the thought.

She raised an eyebrow. “I thought you knew everything about this world.  Shouldn’t you know if Magus is alive or not?”

He ran a hand through his hair, “I don't know which dimension I'm in, alright?  For all I know, your mother may or may not be in a chair for the rest of her days.  Magus may or may not be alive.  There are an infinite number of possibilities.”

Lucca gave a small nod, understanding full well the theory of multiple universes.  “Well, my mother is safe.  And Magus...  well, we didn't kill him, but I have no idea where he ended up.”

“That one I’m sure I can answer,” Jacious replied with confidence and a smirk.  “Check in 12000 BC minus however many years it's been since you kicked Lavos' ass.  He's searching for his sister, and he’s the closest thing to a relative I have.”  He looked over his shoulder to make sure his backpack was still there.

Following his gaze to the backpack, Lucca decided to be at least courteous to this wanderer.  “Well.  I'd hate to be inhospitable, so why don't you come back to my place and we can discuss this further over a drink.”  She turned and continued her walk down the path, “And it has been three years since we beat Lavos.”

He grabbed his bag and easily picked it up.  Without missing a beat, he began to follow Lucca to her house on the middle of the large island south of Truce.  Along the way, he found himself enjoying the cool breeze of the ocean and the overall atmosphere.  “So that would make you about twenty then?”

She shuddered at his words, almost coming to a stop, but forced herself to keep moving, “Yes…twenty.”

As he walked behind her, Jacious noticed the slight movement.  Confused, he asked, “You okay?  You're not coming down with something, are you, Lucca?”

She turned around, snapping at him, “I'm fine.  Or do you already know that, too?”

He backed up a bit, cringing, “Gee, I was just worried.”  Mumbling, he said, “Bite my head off why don't ya.”

Lucca muttered something under her breath and explained herself.  “Listen.  I don't know a damn thing about you and you know an uncomfortable amount about me, okay?  I'm not one to go about sharing my thoughts, and you know them.  It's very unnerving and, frankly, it's pissing me off.”

She gave a small glare, “You're not going to stay omnipotent, are you?  If you are, I’m going to pawn you off on Crono and let HIM deal with you.”  Before he could counter that omnipotent was the wrong word choice, she countered, “And yes, I know omnipotent is the wrong word.”

Jacious mentally cursed himself for being predictable, but he wasn’t about to let her words throw him off.  “Hmm...well I've been needing a good sparring partner, and my magic is rusty since I discovered it in high school so I wouldn’t mind spending some time with Crono.”  Walking quickly behind her, he added,  “I don’t know everything about you, though.  I only know up from the beginning of the adventure to the end and all in between.”

Lucca ignored his comments on the sparring.  She knew for a fact that Crono would be able to whip the boy into nothing faster than the blink of an eye.  Once they reached the door to the house, she cycled through about seven locks and bolts, snapping each one open in turn.

Jacious smiled, finding a quick solution to her problem.  “Why not just ask me something then.  Find out something about me so we can call ourselves even.”

She spun around on her heel. “Fine.  Do you wear boxers or briefs?  Are your parents alive?  Do you still have both kidneys?”  She took a breath, feeling a bit calmer after the outburst.  “Was my video game...  hard?  Was everybody else in it too?  I hope they recorded all my good lines.”

Jacious became stoic, his eyes blank.  She stared at him, and he stared right back.  “It was a fun and challenging game, and you had a lot of really good lines.  The game centered around Crono.  I wear briefs, and I have both kidneys.”  He obviously ignored the question about his parents, but asked, “Any other questions?”

Lucca looked like he just told her Magus won the Man of the Year contest.  “Crono?!? They centered it around HIM?  That bastard wouldn't shut up that whole time.  Yap yap yap.  No wonder him and Marle got along so well, they talked like teenage girls.  I hope you didn't have to listen to him the whole time.”

Jacious gave a chuckle, “They didn't give him but one line.”

Lucca finally opened the last lock and pushed through the door.  The house was dark, but smelled pleasantly like motor oil, lemon cleaning solution, and baked turkey.  It was an engineering student’s dream house.

Lucca shook her head in disbelief, “One line?  Wow.  I wish that were the truth.”  She pointed to a table next to some book cases, “Have a seat.  And mind the cords.”  Before her guest could respond, Lucca went off into a room across the hall.  From what he remembered, it was the kitchen.

Jacious sniffed the air of the house, “Not bad...the smell of good work and family.”  He walked to the table she had pointed out, feeling better that Lucca had not pushed the family issue.  He avoided the cords expertly as if it was something he'd done often.  “Well slight discrepancies, but it's pretty similar.” He shrugged.  “Even I don't know everything, but it helps to know something.”

Lucca returned a few moments later with some sandwiches and two glasses of what appeared to be lemonade.  The sandwiches were stuffed with meat of some sort, wilted lettuce, and mustard.

Jacious looked upon the sandwich with deliberation.  “Thanks Lucca...” He took it, eying it carefully as if searching for something.

Already two bites into hers, she spoke over a full mouth, “Whaf' wrong?  Don' wike urkey?”  After swallowing, she continued, “We've got some ham too, but it's been in the fridge for a couple weeks.”

He blinked, putting his sandwich down.  There was a small grin on his face, eyeing the real Lucca Ashtear.  To him, she was like a typical college student.  “I’m checking to see if this sandwich will explode on me with the first bite.”

Lucca shrugged dismissively.  “Shouldn't explode, no.  At least, it wasn't too near the gunpowder when I made it.”

Jacious took her words to heart, eyeing the sandwich more suspiciously than before.  “Well mine...has been a short life then.”  He took a bite of the sandwich, chewing and then swallowing carefully.  “Hey...minus the aging lettuce, it's actually edible!”  His eyes were full of wonder.  “Miracles can happen!”

Lucca placed her elbow on the table, her hand cupped around the side of her chin as she replied, “Well, gee, thanks.”  Sarcasm dripped in every syllable.

The hungry scientist quickly finished his sandwich, having nothing since his breakfast.  “No problem.  I'd cook, but I wasn't very good at that...I could cook only chili for one reason…”

“Chili?” Lucca sighed in pleasant memory.  “Man.  Ayla made the best chili.”

He held up his index finger again.  “Well chili is science...it represents your three states of matter: solid, liquid, and eventually gas.”

Silence plagued the two scientists minus the crickets chirping in the background.  “Wow.  That was... phenomenally bad.”  The crickets chirped in agreement.

Jacious put his finger down, frowning slightly, rubbing the side of his nose.  “Well like you can do better.  You get drunk off of poi.”  He grinned mischievously, remembering the scene.

Lucca stood from her chair, her volume raised a bit in defense.  “Yeah, I'd like to see you down two bowls of the stuff and stay standing.”  She slowly sat down, her head lowered to hide her blush.  “You didn't see me... do the dance, did you?”

Jacious tapped the side of his chin.  “Crono drank a lot, and I bet I can take in almost as much poi as he can...oh the dance?”  She danced?  I could have fun with this.

Jacious hid his grin well, limiting himself to a small smile.  “oh yeah....I can't believe you were that wild.  Imagine, the reserved scientist dancing in such a flagrant manner.”

Lucca stood again, growing defensive.  “It was the poi!  I totally never would have...  the table, it was...  I mean, Marle did it too!”

Jacious shook his head as if in shame.  “Lucca Ashtear...table dancing...they say alcohol brings out the real you...maybe...you wanted to do that?”  Oh my God, if only I could write some memoirs about this.  I never would have imagined!

Lucca shook her finger at him as if trying to shake the thought from his mind.  “Wanted to table dance?  Are you kidding?”  Under her breath, she muttered, “although I did make a couple fangs off it...”  She cleared her throat, countering.  And don't act like you're so high and mighty.  I'm sure you've got your share of little secrets too, wonder boy.”

Jacious gave thought to this and nodded, “Sure, I’ll share something.”

Lucca leaned forward, her chin cradled in her hands, with a sly grin, “Let’s hear it.”

He leaned forward as if to prevent anyone else from hearing the conversation.  “When I was sixteen I sneaked into the girl's locker room and set up cameras that took pictures at designated times...I made a lot of money from those pictures,” he grinned, “a lot.”

Lucca’s eyebrows knit together, “That’s not just a secret.  That’s evil.  I knew you were a perv.”

He held up his hands in defense.  “I never looked.  I just developed.  When I was seventeen I used my hacking skills, for some money, to get some of my friends into porn sites, though I never looked.  When I was eighteen, I created identities for said friends so we could sneak into bars to get drunk...”  He nodded after a moment’s thought.  “That, I did do.”

Lucca snorted, “Never looked?  Yeah right.”

Jacious shrugged, “There was no reason.  I wasn't interested in girls back there.”

“Oooooooh,” Lucca nodded, her smile stretching from ear to ear.  “You're...gay.”

Jacious’ eyes widened, “Wait a sec!”  He stared right into her eyes, “Do you want to pay attention to the world you know you're going to leave?”

Lucca stared right back, “I wouldn't know.  I've never had any intentions of leaving.”

He kept the contact, “I planned on leaving when I was sixteen...I needed to find my place in life.”

The contest continued, “So your life since then has been to escape from that world into this one?”

“Yep,” he strained not to blink.  “Given everything I had access to you should be glad I didn't look at certain fan art that was drawn of you then...”

Her cheek twitched, but she resisted the urge to blink. “What fanart?”

Jacious grinned even further, “Just...restricted art which included you and Magus or Crono....hell even Marle in certain, shall we say, intimate situations?”

“WHAAAATTT?”  She forgot not to blink.  “Whaddaya mean?  Is everyone in your damn world a pervert?  I mean, come on!  I've got better taste than that!”

Jacious banged the table, laughing.  “One, I made you blink.  Two, not everyone is a pervert.  Secondly, at least you have the body that would attract attention.”  He points right at her.  “Fourth...you blinked!”

Lucca only glared, her teeth grinding, muttering incomprehensibly.

Jacious was grinning like a madman.  I seem to forget what a temper she has...if I plan on living I might want to tone it down...or keep my guard up.

“Okay, YOU,” she jumped out of her chair and towered over him.

Jacious fell back in his chair, hitting his head, but stared up at her.  “Yes ma'am?”  He smiled nervously.

She slammed her elbow down on the table, reaching out with her right hand, “I challenge you to an arm wrestling match.  Loser clears the table and SHUTS UP.”

He righted his chair and sat down, setting his arm up.  “Fine...you're on, Lucca.  Maybe I can get a few minutes without your yappin' about pervs!”

“I wouldn't count on it.  Maybe I can get a few minutes without you BEING a perv.”  She grabbed his hand, “Three, two, one...”

“I am no perv, Ashtear.”  He tightens his grip, “let's do this.”

Lucca began to strain against his arm, and it seemed that she was too weak to win.  However, she suddenly kicked his shin from under the table.  Jacious grimaced in pain, and using his surprise, Lucca slammed his hand down, declaring herself the winner.

Jacious growled, rubbing his shin, “Why you little CHEAT!”

“Haahahaha!  I won!”

Grumbling, he replied, “Dammit, you cheated.”

Lucca winked and held out her plates for him to take, “We never said a damn thing about any rules, now did we?  Now be a good boy and do the dishes.”

“Pfft...fine...”  He walked away, the plates rising from her hands and following him into the kitchen.  “Time to get things done around here.” I love telekinesis!

Slightly surprised by the levitating dishes, Lucca still said nothing, then turned and grabbed a cloth to wipe the table.  Well.  Guess now I know what his magical skill is.

He cleaned off their plates and put them in the drainer.  Afterward, he walked back to the table and sat down, his hands clasped together in front of his face, hiding his lips, his eyes locked on her, refusing to leave.

She'd been absently studying a technical manual she'd found on the floor, but feeling his eyes burning through her back, she turned to him, “...yes?”

His eyes kept on her, a smile hidden behind his hands, remembering the deal was to clean the table and shut up.  She never said to what extent, and she never said he couldn't watch her.

She frowned, realizing his game. “Think you're clever, huh?”

He gave only a slight nod, nothing else changing except the piercing look of his eyes as is he was trying to burrow into her very soul.

An idea popped into Lucca’s head.  It was evil, and just right for the job.  “Gonna sit there and stare at me, hmm?”  She walked over to a bookshelf and rifled through, giving a little grunt of satisfaction when she found and pulled out a gigantic red leather-bound volume.

He blinked. What the hell is that woman up to...

Carrying the book, she returned to the table and sat across from him.  The spine of the book read "Medical abnormalities photographed in full color.” 

Flipping through the pages, she let out an evil smile and stopped halfway through the book.  She stood it up on its end, glorious color photo facing him.  Jacious would admit later that he had never seen such a hideously disfigured and diseased penis.  The book was so large, Lucca was hidden completely behind it.

His eyes widen at the horror before him. Crap...she's a witch...I need a quick plan...umm....oh yeah I know!  The book rose up from the table and to the top of the bookshelf.  He sighed in relief.

However, Lucca had reached up for the book and caught it, 'riding' it on its path back to the shelf.  When the magical force stopped, she ran with it back to the table, with a page on open-heart surgery opened wide towards him.  She held the book with a white-knuckle grip.

He grinned.  Open heart surgery....used to watch this stuff all the time.

Lucca frowned, noticing his lack of reaction.  She flipped the page to something on flesh-eating bacteria.

Ahh.  Just like strep.  Man, those Internet pics were gruesome, but the disease was wicked cool.

Again noticing he was unfazed, she growled and slammed the book shut.  Lifting it over her head, she smashed it down on top of his head.  From her experience hitting Crono, it would leave a decent sized lump in the morning.

“Have a nice night on the couch, jerk.  Hope you don't mind metal shavings and the smell of phosphorous.”

Jacious let out a low growl.  “Dammit...times like this I wish I could heal wounds.”  He looked at her, seeing double.  “Yeah yeah, whatever you two.”  He got up, wobbling over to the couch to sleep off the head trauma.

Lucca stomped upstairs and slammed her bedroom door behind her, leaving them separated for the rest of the night.

Chapter 3

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