To My World and Back Again Chapter 13

The Mysterious Sarah Marie

By Ghost

"Oh, there is one girl that he talks with…a Sarah Marie." -Elandis Ellerbee

Yes, that was the first time I heard that name. I thought she would be an ordinary girl like many of the girls at the orphanage were, but there was something about her that set her apart from the others. I'm not sure, but I swear when I looked into her eyes, I saw something. There was some recognition in those eyes; though I had never seen the girl before, and I was sure she had never seen me. I would have to wait ten years before I found out what was special about that girl…and why she seemed to cling to Britt so much.

From the collected journals of Patrick Simmons

May 23, 2006
2:39 PM
Oxnard Orphanage

Four doors to a dark-blue Buick opened in front of the three-story brick building of an orphanage. Patrick, Michelle, Crono, Marle, and Lucca exited the vehicle and stood at the open Iron Gate. The three travelers looked around in wonder at the place's magnificence while Patrick and Michelle took in the already familiar view of the place they once called "home."

The orphanage consisted of less than an acre of a wonderful park-like area. There was only one palm tree in the North East corner, and the rest of the area was grass covered with swings near the front of the building and benches spread out among the area. Surrounding the park-like acre was a seven-foot high brick wall with a swinging Iron Gate, parallel to the front doors. The gate would be closed at night for the children's protection.

"You lived here?" Marle asked in awe.

"We sure did," Michelle answered with a hint of pride in her voice. "I lived here for several years before I was adopted, but this place is always like my true home."

"Lucky," Patrick grumbled, "I was never adopted."

"Oh, Cheer up, Patrick, that's all in the past," Michelle said enthusiastically while slapping him on the back with enough force that almost had him eating the sidewalk.

"Fine, fine. Hey, Marle, I know this place in really spectacular and all, but you do live in a castle. I'm sure a castle is much better than an orphanage."

Marle put her hands on her hips and looked Patrick straight in the eyes. "That was more like a prison for me at one time, you know." Then she motioned to the orphanage. "Besides, this looks like a castle in its own right. There's a wall and a front gate. You don't exactly have a moat or a drawbridge, but this place looks likes a castle only better. This place feels a lot more exciting. Just look at those bricks and how bright they are. Sure they've been worn by the years, but at least they don't look so old and gray. There aren't any forests around, but the grass is cut and it is so beautiful. I bet the kids have fun getting out here." Marle took in a deep breath, as if breathing in the atmosphere of the place. "It just feels lively…and peaceful at the same time."

Patrick blinked a couple times after hearing how Marle described his previous home. Sure, he thought it was a great place, but the way Marle had described it had him wondering if she was describing the same place he was looking at. It made him think for a second. Makes me wonder…maybe I've been taking this place for granted a bit. With the way Marle described it, the orphanage now sounds like a place Heaven would consider a paradise

Crono cleared his throat, bringing Patrick out of his train of thought, "So are we going to just stand here at the front gates all day, or are we actually going in at some point?"

Lucca smirked, "Come on, Simmons, you don't want to keep the ladies waiting. That wouldn't be very gentleman-like of you."

"You are absolutely right, Lucca," Patrick replied after a quick glance in Crono's direction, who glanced back. "Marle, Michelle, let's go in. I'm sorry to keep you two waiting like that." Patrick took their hands and began to lead the two inside passed the gate.

Crono had a small smile on his face as he placed a hand on Lucca's shoulder in a comforting manner. "Sorry, Lucca. It seems he got you this time. It's probably a bit of revenge for earlier."

"Revenge, eh?" Lucca said through her teeth then noticed his small smile. "Well, why are you so happy? He just walked off with your girlfriend in his hand. Doesn't that make you jealous at all?"

Crono's smile grew, "Not really. He sort of asked permission a few seconds before he did it."

"He asked permission?" Lucca gave it thought for a moment before she saw Crono's smile had grown and realized the telepathic communication that had occurred. "Why you little," she seethed and punched Crono's shoulder before storming through the gate, thinking ill thoughts about Patrick Simmons.

Crono rubbed his shoulder trying to ease some pain from the bruise that would form moments later. After saying a silent prayer for Patrick, he followed his friends' suit and went in.

As usual, Joe Martinez, the eight-year-old Mexican child with black hair and brown eyes, walked up to Patrick and greeted him. He wore a pair of blue jeans and a button up orange Hawaiian shirt. "Good afternoon, Patrick." Then in Michelle and Marle's direction, "Good afternoon."

"Good afternoon, Joe. Allow me to introduce you to Marie Valeria and Michelle Miller."

"Good afternoon, Joe," Michelle and Marle chimed together. This caused the girls to giggle and the two guys to let out a chuckle.

"Michelle Miller?" Joe asked himself. "Ah, you grew up with Patrick before you were adopted right?"

Michelle nodded her head in acknowledgement. "That's correct. How did you know?"

Joe smiled sheepishly, "I pay attention and listen carefully."

Michelle would have asked another question if Lucca had not interrupted the conversation. "Patrick Simmons," she seethed, "you had better not pull another stunt like that again or I'll-" Lucca stopped when she noticed there was a child standing next to her. "Oh, hello there," Lucca asked in one of her softer voices, "who might you be?"

Patrick motioned to Lucca with a simple nod of the head. "Joe, this is Lucy Kepler. Lucy, this is Joe Martinez. He keeps an eye out for the other orphans, don't you Joe."

The boy smiled and nodded in affirmation. "That's right, Mr. Simmons. I'm going to look after all the orphans when he grows up."

"Well, what if you're adopted," Lucca asked. It was a logical question with a logical answer.

Joe answered promptly, "Well, if I do get adopted, I'm gonna make sure that I visit often."

"From what I've seen, Joe," Michelle stated, "it seems you have everything covered."

"That he does," Patrick replied for Joe. "Now, do you think you can tell us where Britt is? I wanted him to meet my guests."

Joe pointed to the right side of the building. "Britt has been over there most of the day. It seems he has been doing some sort of training."

"Training?" Patrick asked.

Joe nodded. "He's been doing a lot recently. About two weeks I think."

"Well we better not keep him waiting." Patrick took Lucca's hand and began to drag her to where Joe had pointed. "I'm going to take Lucy here to meet Britt since she's been so excited to meet him. Joe, Michelle, can you show Christopher and Marie around? Give them a small tour?"

"Go ahead," Michelle called out as the two went around the corner, "we'll be fine!" After Patrick and Lucca were out of sight, Michelle looked to the two guests and then to Britt with a question, "So where should we start?"

2:50 PM

"And swing and stab and swing and jab," Britt chanted as he swung around a wooden staff, attacking an invisible enemy.

Britt continued through a few more swings, chanting his movements as he went. "And strike and jump back and spin and kick and swing and-"

"You're leaving yourself open on your right side when you're like that."

Britt's swing of his staff lost its form when two people came to his view. One he knew. That was Patrick Simmons. The other looked rather familiar, yet he really couldn't be sure. He wiped some sweat off his brow and set his staff aside to greet the two adults.

"Sorry to interrupt your training, Britt. I didn't realize you were that into it."

Britt casually walked to the adults, wiping off sweat before he reached them. Brett had worn clothing appropriate for the outdoors and for a bit of physical training. He wore some beat up jeans and a white shirt that was light enough not to be a burden, yet it did enough to protect him from the sun. His blonde hair was still unruly, though soaked in sweat.

Britt shook his head as he replied to his mentor's apology. "Don't worry about it. I was about due for a break anyway. Like you told me, 'All work and not play-"

"-makes a very dull fighter," Patrick finished for him. "I know, I've said at some point, but why the staff fighting? What's with the training all of a sudden?"

Britt seemed to be uncomfortable with the question, and when meeting Patrick's eyes, asked a question that he knew would at least buy him some time.

"Well, sir, before I go on, I would like to know who your visitor is."

Patrick snapped his fingers, "That's right, I almost forgot." He stepped to Lucca's side and threw his arms toward her as if presenting a display of sorts. "Britt, I would like to introduce you to the one and only," then he muttered, "thank God."

"What was that," Lucca snapped.

"What do you mean," Patrick asked innocently. Before Lucca could comment, he continued, "The one and only Lucca Kepler, wielder of fire magic and scientist extraordinaire. Lucca, this is Britt Evans. He is the one who gave me the idea to use the rocket in the experiment. Actually, he loaned me the rocket I used that night."

Lucca could not believe what Patrick had done, and it reflected in her voice. "What! Why did you tell him?"

"He has every right to know, Lucca. You know that without him, I would never have opened the gate."

Britt blushed slightly from the praise Patrick was showering upon him, but then realized what Patrick had said. "Wait a second," Britt phrased his words slowly so no one could mistake their meaning, "you mean you've successfully opened the gate?" His voice was almost exploding with glee.

"Shhh. Not so loud. No one can know about it. No one."

The boy pouted, "Not even Miss Ellerbee?"

"Especially Miss Ellerbee. I don't know if she is ready for something like that. I don't even know if she'll understand considering her skepticism on the whole subject."

Lucca placed a hand on Patrick's shoulder. "Could I speak to you for a minute? Alone?" She made sure emphasize her last point.

"Excuse us for a second," Lucca told Britt then dragged Patrick several feet away as he had done her before. "Okay," she said sternly, "who knows what around here?"

"Who knows what?"

Lucca focused her thoughts toward him. You know what I mean. Who knows about this and your experiments.

"No one here knows about my telepathy and telekinesis. I made a promise that I would not tell a soul on this planet unless it was very important, and right now, Britt doesn't need to know and nor does Miss Ellerbee," Patrick responded through thought. "And only a few people know about my experiments."

Lucca seemed to process what she had just "heard." Okay, then why tell Britt about me and no one else? You kept us a secret even from that Joe kid.

"Britt deserves to know and would not tell anyone else here. Britt has no reason to. Besides, just trust me. I know what I'm doing," Patrick thought back to her.

"Fine," Lucca spoke, "I hope you know what you're doing."

"Excuse me," Britt said, taking a few steps toward the two, "but you are really Lucca?"

Lucca crossed her arms and struck a pose, pointing her right finger toward the sky. "That's right. I'm Lucca, the Great."

If this had been an anime, Britt was positive he would have done that sweat drop thing. Britt looked her over, from her short-cut lavender hair to her choice on shorts. The hair really did give her identity away to him so he moved on. "So, are you dating Patrick," Britt asked innocently.

If this had been an anime, Patrick was sure that Lucca would have done one of those things where a character falls down. In fact, she came rather close after losing her balance on that pose of hers.

"Me date HIM?" She was fuming. "Where the hell did you get a crazy idea like that, mister?"

Britt just looked at her plainly, keeping calm and simply answered. "Well, Patrick told me that when he was young and playing Chrono Trigger that Lucca was one of his favorite characters."

Patrick saw a gleam in Lucca's eye, and he became afraid, very afraid. "Oh he did, did he," she drawled, "is there any other reason to think we would be dating?"

"Well," Britt said after a bit of pondering, "he did tell me about that cr-" Before he could finish that word, Patrick had run up to Britt and covered Britt's mouth with his larger hand.

"Britt," he pleaded in a whisper, "please do not say that word around her under any circumstance."

"Why," Britt whispered back.

Patrick looked at Lucca's half grin and raised eyebrow then back to Britt. "She would have too much fun with the fact that I had a crush on her at some point in my life."

Britt whispered back innocently, "Isn't it good for her to have fun?"

Patrick whispered in reply after glancing toward Lucca again, "Trust me, this is an evil type of fun which she will never let me live down. Trust me."

"Just what are you whispering about over there," Lucca called, her half grin, "and what is this I hear about being your favorite character?"

Patrick cringed as he thought of the days she could probably spend on that phrase alone. He didn't blame Britt on any level because the child just didn't know Lucca like he did. Patrick felt very envious of Britt that moment.

"What can I say," Patrick responded truthfully, "I thought you greater than any scientist that ever lived. In fact, I thought you were a better scientist than I could possibly be."

"My," she said caught off guard by the confession, "you certainly are humble, Patrick."

Patrick grinned, "Humble? This coming from the self proclaimed 'Lucca, the Great.'"

"Hey," she said defensively, "I just so happen to take after my father. He used to call himself by a name."

"Let me guess," Patrick said lazily, "he called himself, 'Taban, the Great?'"

"Of course not," Lucca said, making a face, "he called himself, 'Taban, the Magnificent!'"

Patrick initially had to hide a snicker that had formed at hearing the name. To him it was rather hilarious. He compared the titles of Lucca and Taban. "Typical," he said aloud.

Lucca barred her teeth, but then turned to Britt with a smile, "Now, Mr. Evans, what were you going to say about Patrick and myself?"

Before Britt could say a consonant, Patrick cut in, "I was saying how I had cruelly come down with the flu after playing Chrono Trigger for many hours one night. Yep. I loved playing that game so much that I overexerted myself." Sorry about lying, Britt, but I dare not tell her the truth.

Lucca tried to stare into Patrick's eyes, and he constantly avoided her gaze. He must be lying. The signs are all there. Then, she said aloud with sarcasm to Patrick's response, "You getting sick over a game? Typical."

3:02 PM

Shortly after the time that Patrick had introduced Lucca to Britt Evans, Joe and Michelle had finished a quick tour of the grounds. Joe had gone his way to continue his daily "job," and Michelle went inside the orphanage to talk to Ms. Ellerbee, leaving Crono and Marle some alone time with the younger kids, who immediately took a trust and liking to them. After all, if Patrick Simmons trusted them, then they were bound to be safe people.

Crono was being "chased" by some of the smaller five and six year-olds while Marle giggled at the show. Crono then "accidentally" tripped and was soon the bottom of a little-kid dog pile.

"Oh, no, the agony," Crono playfully said. "How will I ever escape?"

"Don't worry, I'll save you, my dashing warrior."

Marle continued her fit of giggles and begin to pick up the small children and place them down until Crono was free and could stand up.

"Thanks, Marle," Crono said as Marle helped him to his feet. Crono gave Marle a small kiss on her lips and earning a bunch of disgusted noises from several of the children around them who ran off to play a game of hide-and-seek.

"It sure seems peaceful here, doesn't it," Marle asked as a breeze flew by, her ponytail dancing in the wind.

Crono gave a nod and wrapped his right arm around her, bringing her close to enjoy the beauty of the place. The atmosphere was calm and relaxing, yet so full of life. It was as if they were standing on virgin soils, which had not seen the blood of man or had experienced that which is the evil of the world. The two stood there for several minutes, looking at the children as they play. Some children were reading or just standing in their groups talking about that which kids talk about.

"How many kids," Marle asked.

"What was that," Crono replied, unsure of the question.

"How many children should we have one day? You've had a good while to think about it."

Crono absentmindedly reached into his left pocket and gave the question some thought. "Two. Why not two children to start with. We can decide if we want any more after that."

"Two, you say?"

Crono nodded, "I don't want one to grow up alone, and maybe they could learn just how powerful teamwork is from each other. I think that should be something our kids learn, especially if they have magic."

Marle smiled and leaned up against Crono. "Yes, two sounds like a good start to me."

"Enjoying yourselves," Joe asked them softly. Observation had taught him that a "special moment" should not be disturbed so a soft approach would be the best course of action.

"Everything is wonderful, Joe," Marle said contentedly. "Everything is just fine."

"Hey, Joe!" A small girl around eight years of age ran out of the building, running toward Joe. She was a rather cute girl with raven-black hair that flowed freely down to the middle of her back. Her light-brown eyes sparkled with the excitement of a child, yet they were radiant as if containing some unrevealed knowledge which gave her an air of mystery. She seemed somewhat tomboyish and wore a pair of blue jeans that fit snug around her waist and wore a red shirt with a Ying-Yang symbol on the front.

She literally ran to Joe, and before she addressed him, she looked toward Crono and Marle and smiled. "Hello, it's a pleasure meeting you again."

Crono and Marle looked toward each other and then back to the girl. "I'm sorry," Crono asked, "I don't believe we've met."

"Blast it, they're the wrong ones," girl mumbled to herself. The girl gave a small frown and apologized, "Sorry, I must have confused you with someone else." She then smiled again, "My name is Sarah Marie. What are your names?"

"My name is Christopher Kisaragi," Crono said in introduction.

"And I'm Marie Valeria," Marle said in the same manner.

"It was a pleasure meeting you two." Sarah said with her same smile, "Maybe we can talk sometime." Sarah said to Joe, "Joe, you know where Britt is? We were supposed to train today."

Joe grimaced slightly and pointed to where Patrick had gone a while ago, "He's over there. He started training earlier today, and he's talking to Patrick Simmons and a friend."

The little girl crossed her arms, "So he started without me, did he? Well, I'll have to talk to him about that." She ran off shouting, "Thanks, Joe," and disappeared around the corner.

Joe sighed and explained, "That was Sarah Marie. She's one of Britt's best friends,. I've heard Miss Ellerbee comment on how her relationship to Britt is like Michelle and Patrick long ago, but honestly, I don't think it's the same. You see, she's at that special age."

"Boys," Marle asked in a giggle.

Joe shook his head, "No, obsessions." Joe noticed a bunch of kids playing dodge ball. "Well, if you excuse me, I have to go 'inspect' this game if you know what I mean."

"Have fun," Crono said as Joe ran to play a game of dodge ball. He might have had responsibilities in his mind, but he was still a kid.

"So shall we see what Patrick and Lucca are up to? They've been away for a while," Crono suggested.

Marle took his hand, "Sure, we have to make sure they don't kill each other or anything. Besides, I want to see what Sarah is up to."

3:32 PM

"So do you think you will ever return home," Britt asked Lucca. He found it rather exciting that one of the characters from a video game was actually talking to him, and he was taking full advantage of the situation.

While Britt and Lucca were standing against the orphanage's brick walls, Patrick was lying on the grass, twirling Britt's staff above him. He wanted to introduce the two, and after he and Lucca had finished arguing, Lucca asked Britt if there was anything he wanted to know. Britt had jumped on the chance and asked many questions about their adventure and of time travel and magic. Patrick really hadn't paid only a small amount of attention. He was feeling rather bored.

"Well," Lucca started in response to the question, "I want to keep my hopes up right now, but unless we can figure out exactly what happened that night, I doubt we can open the gate using Patrick's machine. He didn't exactly take recordings of all the data, you know." Patrick felt like snapping some remark to Lucca, but thought better of it.

"Hey, Britt," came a girlish voice along with a girl as she rounded the corner. It was Sarah Marie in all her cuteness with her raven-black hair that flowed freely down to the middle of her back. Her light-brown eyes sparkled with the excitement of a child, yet they were radiant with unrevealed knowledge which gave her an air of mystery. She seemed somewhat tomboyish and wore a pair of blue jeans that fit snug around her waist and a wore a red shirt with a Ying-Yang symbol on the front

Just as Britt let out a groan, the little girl clung on to his arm with her left arm and punched him on the chest with her right. "You started training without me. You can be so mean at times, Britt." She seemed upset, though she clung onto him in a possessive manner.

"Guys," Britt said with a sigh as he made the introductions, "this is Sarah Marie. Sarah, this is Patrick Simmons and…" He paused, not sure how to introduce Lucca.

Lucca extended a hand which Sarah took, "My name is Lucy Kepler."

"Pleased to meet you." Her eyes then fell on Patrick, and his eyes met hers. "Those eyes," she whispered to herself. Patrick had met Sarah's gaze and felt rather uncomfortable. It was as if she recognized him from somewhere, which was impossible for he knew he had never seen this girl in his life..

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Sarah," Patrick said with slight discomfort, "Miss Ellerbee told me about you."

The girl frowned and mumbled, "So he isn't the same one. Figures with my luck."

"Are you okay," Patrick asked her.

"Yep! I'm okay," Sarah said with a smile. Then she looked beyond Patrick to the brick fence behind him. "Hey, Orion. Come on down!"

Lucca and Patrick followed Sarah's gaze to see a black cat jumping down from the fence. The cat jumped straight into Sarah's arms after she detached herself from Britt who gave a sigh of relief. Sarah began to pet the cat, who responded with his motor-like purring.

Patrick gave a smile as he recognized the cat. "Orion, eh? I remember seeing him a couple of weeks ago when I visited Britt. He seemed to be watching me."

"He's a smart one," Sarah said, "you could say that he's almost human." To this the cat gave a "meow."

"What do we have here," Crono asked as he and Marle walked around the Corner. Britt smiled and walked up to the two, extending his right hand. "Hi, there. My name is Britt Evans."

"So you're Britt," Marle said after they shook hands, "Patrick has told us a lot of good things about you."

Britt blushed a bit, "Well, thanks. I'm glad you were able to visit us, considering how busy you must be. I bet they treat you like a princess where you come from." Sarah looked confused.

Marle laughed nervously and looked to Patrick, who nodded back and looked to Britt and gave a nod to him, but he also looked to Sarah and shook his head in a negative response. Marle smiled in understanding. "Well, I'm glad you were able to invite us here." She whispered something to Crono who looked surprised and them nodded. Sarah looked back and forth, dying to know what was going on.

Britt gave a small grin to Crono, "I bet you're the warrior type, right?"

Crono gave Britt a wink, "You bet. You can say that also have a good bit of time on my hands in my younger days."

"Just what is going on here," Sarah shouted, grabbing everyone's attention.

"Oh, sorry about that," Patrick quickly said, "This is Christopher Kisaragi and Marie Valeria. They're college friends of mine who are visiting for a while. Guys, this is Sarah Marie. She is a good friend of Britt." Orion gave a meow to introduce himself, causing Marle and Sarah to giggle.

"It's okay, Patrick," Marle said, "Christopher and I already met Sarah."

"So I gave that nice introduction for nothing. Typical."

"Don't say that," Lucca said in a soothing voice, "think of it like this. You just released a good bit of hot air."

Patrick was about to reply when Orion jumped down to the ground and then jumped over the fence. Britt explained it was time for his snack and that Orion often hunted for his food.

Michelle then chose that time and walked around the corner. "I thought I'd find all of you here. Miss Ellerbee wants to meet all of you," she said in reference to the Trio. "She's also making a few sandwiches. You guys care for a bite?"

Crono and Patrick immediately volunteered to eat some food. Marle and Lucca found themselves wondering if the two boys ever let their brain think about food instead of their stomach. Since they had lunch earlier, Britt and Sarah opted to stay and work up an appetite doing whatever type of training they did.

Before Patrick turned the corner to go to the front door, Sarah called to Patrick, "Hey, Mr. Simmons," she said with a look of excitement in her eyes, "you'll see me again. Whether you know it or not, you'll see me again." Patrick left with a confused look and a forced smile on his face.

When the adults were gone, the two prepared themselves for a bit of training. "What did you mean by that," Britt asked as he came into a defensive stance.

Sarah made sure no one was watching and brought her hands up to defend herself, "He'll see one day," she said mysteriously and began her attack.

Author's Note: It has come to my attention through several e-mails that some of you are confused as to why I named Lucca a "Kepler" instead of "Ashtear." Well, I developed the characters and posted them on Icybrian's website before I even played the game. I don't even think the game was out at the time so nobody knew about the last names. After I found out about it, I had invested much into the fanfic and decided that it was fine the way it is. Besides, if you think about it, Johannes Kepler was an astronomer and mathematician, so I thought that, besides sounding good, the name fit the character given the scientific and mathematical background that had to go into all the machines and experiments which Lucca conducted.

Chapter 14

Chrono Trigger Fanfic