To My World and Back Again Chapter 14
"These days, all it takes for your dreams to come true is money and power."
President Shinra. FF7
"No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all."
Drizzt Do'Urden (Book: 'Streams of Silver' Forgotten Realms, by R.A. Salvatore)
May 23, 2006
Lunch at the Oxnard Orphanage had gone well, with the five friends eating the best turkey sandwiches, which had portions of lettuce and tomato, in the world as far as all were concerned. To Crono, Marle, and Lucca, with limited experience in the current dimension, the sandwiches were the best they have had. To Patrick and Michelle, who grew up in the home, they were naturally biased and would take Miss Ellerbee's sandwiches any day of the week over even their own.
Of course, sandwiches could only go so far, and after Marle (under the alias Marie) told Miss Ellerbee of her cooking skills, the two talked and Marle had volunteered to help cook dinner for everyone (including the children). Michelle and Lucca also volunteered to help where they could in the kitchen, leaving Crono and Patrick to go to a store and buy the groceries, since Miss Ellerbee was overdue to buying her weekly groceries. Somehow Lucca had convinced Ms. Ellerbee that Patrick had volunteered to spend his money on all the groceries, and the woman thanked Patrick, who was rather confused at first, but did the math after seeing Lucca's crafty gleam in her eyes. He had accepted to buy, of course, since he would not let Miss Ellerbee down at any expense. However, Patrick did think bad thoughts about Lucca Kepler. "She will pay," Patrick had thought. "Oh yes, she will most definitely pay."
Crono and Patrick did not have too much trouble in the store as far as finding the groceries. Both had spent their fair share of time shopping, and ironically, many of the booths selling produce or meat in Truce Village were placed in a similar fashion as the store to which they had visited, making the experience easier on both men. By the end of the trip, they had three buggies full (yes very full) of groceries that Miss Ellerbee specified would be needed for the week. The lines for the checkout lanes were full, giving the two a good ten minutes of wait until they were waited upon by the cashier. Of course, there are the coupons Miss Ellerbee was going to use when she was shopping. She had given them to Patrick to use in order to save money, but somehow, the coupons had expired the day before, leaving him to pay the full three hundred plus dollars. If he did not know any better, Patrick Simmons would have believed that Lucca had set him up for the whole thing and could imagine her laughing her head off. Of course, the thought of Lucca's head coming off made Patrick feel much better.
Things seemed to be in the clear when they got home and unloaded all the bags of groceries. They were all in paper so he and Crono could pile them into the back seat of his Buick, so bringing in hoards of bags at once was completely out of the picture. The girls offered no help in bringing groceries in with the excuse that they were going to cook the food, leaving Crono and Patrick alone to bring in all the groceries they had worked so hard to get out of the store. If Patrick had no need to keep his powers a secret, it would have been easy for him to just use telekinesis to bring them in. That wasn't the case here. After all of that, they were finally able to sit down after summoning the children to come inside in order to settle down and get ready for the meal that would be ready in the hour.
To account for everyone in the meal, it did take nearly an hour to prepare the dinner, even with four people in the kitchen. Miss Ellerbee claimed it took her the same time to cook the food by herself, leaving Marle and Lucca a new feeling of awe and amazement toward the woman. Michelle knew this to be fact and said so to back up Miss Ellerbee's statement. Michelle was still in awe herself after the years since she had left the orphanage, though surprise had been toned down slightly.
The dinner itself went rather well. All the children and the six adults ate in the dining room, a large room with a long table to accommodate everyone. The dinner consisted of a dish called Meatball Soup, which consisted of meatballs (of course), peeled carrots, onion, green pepper, and other ingredients, which Crono, Marle, and Lucca found to be rather filling in itself. However, there were also plenty of to cooked rice mix in with the soup, making it even more delectable. When the many children, including Crono and Patrick, could not eat the soup with their spoons due to the amount in the bowl, they used bread rolls to soak up the remaining liquid. They had completed their meal as the children and adults alike talked about their days and current news. As always, only those who finished their meal got ice cream. Patrick and Crono were the only ones who grabbed second (and them some) helpings before going for the ice cream. Marle, though, had to be restrained in order for the children to get first grabs at the ice cream, for the other four friends knew how Marle loved the stuff so much.
After dinner and desserts were over, the children either went to their room to do their own activities or the living room to watch the television before it was time to bed. Joe Martinez did a check to confirm everyone was still inside. Sarah Marie and Britt Evans went upstairs to play video games. The five friends and Miss Ellerbee cleaned up the dishes and stored the leftovers in the refrigerator (Marle and Lucca still wonder how anything could have remained after all those children plus Crono and Patrick had their share at dinner). Afterward, the six sat down in the kitchen to talk and wind down after such a long day. Patrick and Miss Ellerbee (by habit probably) sat on opposing sides of the rectangular kitchen table. Michelle and Lucca sat on Patrick's right respectively while Marle sat on his left and Crono sat the head of the table. Miss Ellerbee decided to bring up a fact she had learned in the evening, which bothered her.
"I still can't believe that you never told me about Christopher, Marie, or Lucy, Patrick. I know you were their friend in college, and college was your time, but still, I would have liked to know you made such wonderful friends."
Lucca faked a sniffle and reached over to punch Patrick on the right shoulder. "I know exactly what you mean, Miss Ellerbee. To imagine that he didn't tell you about his best friends! I wonder if he was ashamed of us somehow?"
Patrick growled under his breath and looked Lucca in the eye. Lucca had been having too much fun today. There had to be a way to shut her up. "Oh I wasn't ashamed of Marie and Christopher. They were pretty good couple and still are." He then faced Miss Ellerbee. "It's just that Lucy had a tendency overindulge herself in many things, not excluding alcohol. You should have been there. Lucca got so drunk one time that she totally started to flirt her heels off with Christopher." Lucca was fuming and denying the whole incident at that point.
"That's NOT true," she nearly shouted in Patrick's ear.
Crono had decided to side with Patrick on this one. He had noticed her strange behavior as well and wanted to put an end to it, if it was at least for today. "Now, now, Lucy," she glared at him in such a way that Lavos would have run in fear. Crono was very glad he was separated by three people, "not only were you flirting, but you made several attempts to make out with me as well." Lucca was counting to ten, trying to keep herself from exploding. Miss Ellerbee, for some reason, found the entire scene amusing, which she hinted at with a small bit of laughter.
"Speaking of things which bother us," Patrick said, "you mentioned that Sarah and Britt had become good friends. You even agreed, if I remember correctly, that they were like Michelle and me when we were young." He paused to let things sink in. "The thing that bothers me is that Sarah seems to cling to Britt in the literal sense. They seem to be good friends, but it's as if she is possessive of him or something. You don't know why she's like this do you? As far as I can remember, Michelle has never been like that with me."
Michelle grinned and clung onto Patrick's right arm. "Oh, Patrick, I wanted to make sure you never left so many times, but I was just soooo shy and embarrassed to do anything about it."
"You shy?" Patrick hid the laughter in his voice. "That's like saying Honest Abe wasn't honest."
Michelle pouted and gave Patrick puppy dog eyes, "Ah Patrick, you're so mean to me. You make all the girls feel possessive of you, doesn't he Marie?" Michelle winked at Marle, who understood. Marle clung onto Patrick's left arm, rubbing her cheek furiously across his shoulder. Crono sighed as he watched. He didn't mind it too much when his girlfriend wanted to play games with Michelle, but he was still disappointed on how realistic her acting was.
"Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes he is, Michelle. I just don't want to let go, Patrick. I just can't help myself."
Patrick felt himself turning red from embarrassment. He hoped the two girls would stop playing. "Come on, guys, that's enough. I know I'm irresistible and stuff, but I only have three words for you: Just Say No."
"Aaahh." Marle let go of Patrick's arm and pouted with false disappointment. "You're so mean."
Michelle did the same, faking a sniffle and a sob as well. "Yes, so, so mean."
Patrick cleared his throat and looked to Miss Ellerbee, who was smiling furiously, apparently trying to keep herself from laughing. Patrick had to admit. The five of them seemed to act in such a way that anyone would find amusing as well.
"Any comments, Miss Ellerbee?"
Miss Ellerbee managed to calm herself down and think about his question with her habitual tapping of her lower lip with her forefinger. "Well, you five do seem to get along." She smiled, knowing that wasn't what he meant. She decided to continue. "It's true that Sarah does like to be close to Britt. She's been like this since she met him."
Miss Ellerbee paused to gather her thoughts and continued. "She arrived over a month ago, actually. Although she's Britt's age, she claimed that she had no idea where her parents were or how to contact any relatives so she was allowed to stay here. She was rather down when she arrived. She would mope around the place in deep thought. One day, though, she ran into Britt, literally, during lunch. According to Joe, she just apologized and introduced herself. When Britt told her his name, she seemed to become upbeat in that moment and clung on."
Miss Ellerbee laughed to herself, imagining Britt's response. "Britt was so taken back that he dropped what lunch he had. From what I've heard, he had the strangest look on his face. Poor child never knew what happened. After that day, Sarah always stuck by Britt. She didn't ever want to let him go sometimes. You can imagine they became close friends, although some of the older boys teased him about it. They were saying he had a girlfriend. Sarah didn't mind too much the teasing, but Britt seemed to get frustrated." Miss Ellerbee sighed, "What a strange pair they are."
Patrick had listened to the story with interest, though the story only intrigued him. No one seemed to know why Sarah always wanted to be with Britt. All he knew now was when it started. There did seem to be some connection between Britt and Sarah. Crono and Marle had told them that Sarah seemed to recognize them, and he himself had a similar experience. That was after he had seen Britt training.
"What's with all the training those two now? When did it start and why?" Patrick had asked the question rather suddenly that he had to repeat himself.
"Oh, that? I don't know much but what Joe has told me. They started taking time away from all the other children to do some sort of training. I don't know the details, but it isn't too dissimilar to the physical fitness you used to do. You know how you used to do a handstand against the wall and do pushups?"
Patrick nodded his head, "Yeah, I remember, but I was the different one in martial arts training. What got into these two?"
Miss Ellerbee shook her head. "Like I said, I don't know. The only thing I know is that it's been going on for two weeks."
"Two weeks," Patrick repeated softly. More had happened in two weeks than in his life. Was there some sort of connection between the present events and the night of his experiment?
"Hmm interesting," thought Patrick. This whole ordeal was going to be something he would think on later. For now, it was time to leave. He stood up, "Well, I think it's getting late for us, and you need to get all the children in the bed." He gave Miss Ellerbee a tight hug. "You take care, okay?"
"You too, dear. Take care of your guests." Michelle hugged Miss Ellerbee next. "And you take care of yourself, Michelle." Miss Ellerbee gave a small grin, "Be good, you hear?" Michelle laughed.
Crono, Marle, and Lucca were going to just shake hands with their hostess and new friend, but were surprised when Miss Ellerbee gave them each a hug, wishing them well.
After saying several more goodbyes, they left the orphanage. It was a little passed eight in the evening, but there was still plenty of sunlight to see. After they had exited, Patrick closed the Iron gate and locked it shut with a key-based lock Miss Ellerbee had given him.
They were all seated in the Buick when Crono asked, "So where are we going this time? Home?"
Patrick gave it some thought and smiled. He turned to Michelle, who was sitting on the front passenger seat. "What do you say, Michelle? Care to visit our 'brother?'"
Michelle smiled brightly, "Sure, it's been a while since I visited him. I bet Chris would love to meet our friends."
"Sorry," Marle poked her head up front, "but who's this 'brother' you guys are talking about?"
"Chris Baker," Michelle said by way of explanation. "He sometimes works as a bartender to a bar Patrick likes to go to, doesn't he, Patrick?"
"Yep. Now, anyone want a drink?"
Lucca scoffed. "You drink alcohol? Gee, there's something new."
"I don't drink alcohol, Miss 'I was a perfect lady,'" he countered as he started the car up. Lucca let out a whelp as Patrick sped away from the orphanage.
May 23, 2006
The Dragon's Lair was rather crowded this time of night. Patrick did a quick check to see if any Black Widows had made their way in this night. Fortunately (Patrick would claim it fortunate for the Widows) none were in sight. The inside of the bar was a lot more to look at than the outside. There were lights everywhere pointing out beer, TVs, and even the bathrooms. There were people of many backgrounds there as well, Caucasian, Hispanic, Asian, and anything one could think of.
Patrick led the other four to his favorite stool at the bar and called out the bartender's name, Chris Baker. He was light build fellow with brown hair, brown eyes, and of a Caucasian background. Though he looked a little helpless, Chris could always stand his ground when needed, and if the going got too rough, he had his 44 Magnum ready behind the counter. Chris didn't notice Crono with his wild red hair, Lucca with her short lavender hair, or Marle, with her pendant hanging from her neck. Chris' face did brighten when he saw Patrick and even more when he saw Michelle.
"Well, well, it's been a while, Patrick. Michelle, you're looking wonderful. Why don't you drop by more often?"
Michelle shrugged her shoulders, "I would, but you'd be surprised how much time I have to spend keeping Patrick out of trouble. He's always finding something new to play with at his work. I'm surprised nothing's blown up so far."
"Hey, just a minute! Just because there was that one time I overloaded the circuit breakers is no reason to get mean about my experiments." Lucca burst out laughing at this comment. When he saw her, Chris raised an eyebrow.
Chris decided to find out who she was. "So who's the cute looking girl?"
Lucca stood shocked and pointed to herself, "I'm sorry, but are you referring to me?"
"No, he's referring to the other cute lavender-haired girl sitting at the table behind you," Patrick said with slight annoyance. Lucca just blinked, noticing he had called her "cute" as well.
Patrick let out a breath and gestured to Crono, Marle, and Lucca. "Chris, allow me to introduce a few old college friends of mine: Christopher Kisaragi, Marie Valeria, and Lucy Kepler. Guys, this is Chris. We grew up together at the orphanage."
They all shook hands, giving the usual pleasantries one would hear in a conversation. "So can I get you anything to drink?"
Patrick nodded, "I'll take the ice milk with a bit of vanilla in it."
Michelle thought before answering, "Well, I don't have to worry about driving yet so give me a Blue Hawaii*. That should last me."
Crono, Marle, and Lucca looked to each other and then to Chris. Crono spoke up. "We really don't know what to get. We're still kind of new in town."
Chris nodded his head in understanding. "Alrighty, then. How about something nonalcoholic then. Ginger Ale maybe?"
"Is it sweet?" Marle asked.
Chris grinned, "I think you'll like it." He then went to preparing the ordered drinks. Patrick turned to the television. By some coincidence, a football game was one with San Francisco 49ers vs the Atlanta Falcons. He ran a hand through his blue hair then placed it at the counter where he grabbed his drink.
Chris watched amazed, as he did every time when Patrick grabbed the drink. "I tell you Patrick, it's like you read my mind," he laughed. Michelle, Crono, Marle, and Lucca just laughed nervously while Patrick took a sip of vanilla-ice milk and laughed with him, "I suppose I do Chris."
Does he know about you! four voices rang into his mind. Patrick had to rub his temples to stop the ringing.
"Warn a guy before you guys gang up on him," Patrick thought back to the group. "No, Chris doesn't know anything. I just read his mind to see when my drink is ready and I grab it. What you heard was a joke between us which has gone on for quite some time."
Oh! Okay! they rang back.
Crono and Marle had some of their drink and had decided to move to dance to a slow tempo song which had come on. Michelle, being the fun loving woman that she was, had decided to join them. Patrick, and Lucca had sat next to the bar where Patrick leaned in close and said loud enough to be heard by Chris and, inadvertently, Lucca, "We made a deal remember? I brought a couple of friends after I paid double for that drink. Now, what can you tell me about that Millenium?"
Lucca saw how secretive the two were being all of a sudden. This made her shift her weight toward the two and listen in on the conversation. She knew it was wrong to eavesdrop, but she felt it dealt with science. That was a reason, and she figured Patrick Simmons wouldn't hang around with someone who didn't know how to spell their own name. The point is, she could tell Chris Baker had some smarts about him, and she was about to find out what.
"Alright," Chris said after realizing he did make a promise, "but this doesn't leave this bar, okay? No one knows. I wasn't even supposed to tell you about it in the first place, understand?"
Patrick nodded and gestured to Lucca, "Alright, I understand. Lucy can hear it out, right? Trust me, she can keep a secret. That, and she's a scientist herself."
Chris raised an eyebrow, "Really? What field are you in?"
Patrick answered for her, "She's in some of the top level stuff. You know, quantum physics, Quantum mechanics. She's also developed a few time travel ideas which I've worked with. They seem pretty feasible."
Chris gave a nod of his head as a sign of approval, "Okay, then. I'll trust her. Now, let me tell you about this Millenium. Like I said, it is the first element created to contain a minimum of 200 protons in the nucleus. We haven't determined its exact number yet, though we have gathered a good bit of information about it."
Chris grinned, "Such as its base color is red."
Patrick frowned, "You can't tell me that's all you've found."
"Nope," he smiled then turned serious, glancing about for unnecessary ears, "it seems that Millenium is a rather hard substance. It might be stronger than Diamond, though we know we've been able to forge it into a variety of shapes."
"Strong, eh?" Lucca mumbled to herself.
"That sounds handy."
Chris nodded, "You don't know the half of it. When we were testing it's conductivity, we hooked the Millenium up to a nine-volt battery's negative end. We had connected the positive end and the negative to complete the circuit, and we noticed something strange. It seemed that the Millenium was absorbing the energy of the battery, and not even sending it off through the circuit."
"That sounds strange. Like a natural capacitor. So what tipped you off?" Patrick took a sip of his drink.
"It began to glow a dull red."
"I wonder," Lucca mumbled again.
Patrick nearly choked on his drink and began to cough. When he had composed himself, he half whispered, half yelled, "You said it glowed?"
Chris gave Patrick a serious look, "That's right. That's not the end of it. After we disconnected the battery, the Millenium glowed for another half hour before the glow stopped altogether. It was really freaky yet exciting all at the same time."
"Could it be," Lucca continued.
"Hey, Chris, you have any more of that ginger ale?" Crono asked. He had Marle next to him with an arm around her waist.
"Sure, no pr-" Chris had started, but stared at Marle, something new had caught his eye which he did not see before.
Patrick tapped Chris on his shoulder. "Hey, bro, everything okay?"
Chris narrowed his eyes. "We're now closed!" Chris yelled over the bar, his voice filled with fear, anger, and anxiety. He began to receive murmurs from the crowd before he pulled out his 44 Magnum and pointed it to the general population of the bar. "I said OUT! Keep your drinks with you if you like, but we're closed NOW!"
With that kind of inspiration, the crowd was out in a short time. They would be back, though. If anything, people like a place where they know there's safety. If you're more worried about the skinny guy pulling a gun on you compared to a big brute who could rip out your arms, then the bar you're at is going to be relatively safe.
Patrick, for one, was rather nervous by the whole event. He knew Chris could get tough in a fight, but nothing had warranted such rash behavior. Chris had made sure the customers were out of the Bar, leaving himself and the five. He locked the door and walked toward Marle, whose face was not one of fear, but one of readiness. She wasn't afraid, she was prepared for him.
"Where'd you get that?" He motioned to the pendant around her neck. "Where did you get that metal?"
"Why do you want to know?" Crono asked, ready to defend his girlfriend.
"Because it's Dreamstone," Lucca said nonchalantly. Crono, Marle, and Patrick looked to her curiously.
"That's right," Lucca said with all seriousness, "Dreamstone. It is a red mineral which has been known to contain amazing magical potential. One weapon and a machine to harness magical energies have been made from this mineral. It's rather amazing in its effects, but those effects can be rather deadly as well.
Chris huffed. "That's silly. The last time I remember hearing of something called that was back when I was growing up. It was with Patrick and that game of his."
Patrick smiled. "You're right. Dreamstone was a rare red rock on Chrono Trigger. Chris, my friend, you better sit down because I have a lot to tell you."
So he did tell Chris. He told him of his mind powers to begin with, including why he couldn't tell him to begin with, and his study into temporal gates. He told him of the events of two weeks ago with the experiment an its result. He told them how Crono, Marle, and Lucca had come into his life and how Michelle had become a part of it. The past two weeks were like something out of an adventure book for Chris. If he didn't see the trio before his eyes, he might not have believed it. The other four managed to fill in gaps where they could for Patrick and in slightly more than half-hour's time.
Chris stared into space, absorbing all that he was told. "So, you actually did it? You made a time gate?"
Patrick solemnly nodded his head, but he had a slight smile on his face. Chris laughed lightly from the facts of life, "You son of a gun. You lucky bastard, you actually did it. You actually made a gate!"
"Gee, don't get too excited," Patrick tried to calm his friend down.
Lucca crossed her arms. "Yeah, it's not like we'll make another one anytime soon. at least one that can bring us home."
"I see." Chris crossed his arms. "Time gates, telepathy, telekinesis, and three people you thought were characters in a game." He thought about a minute more, seeming to accept the sudden change in reality. "Well, you showed me yours," Chris grinned. "I guess it's time to show you mine."
"What are you talking about," Michelle asked.
"Oh yeah, you wouldn't know." After receiving five confused looks, he explained, "The Company is having a party in three days to unveil the Millenium to a select few of the investors. They want them to have the first look before we reveal our findings to anyone else. They'll have the Mill err Dreamstone, as you called it, on display with all sorts of data on it. Don't worry abut invitations, I'll take care of it." He looked to Lucca, "I bet you'll love to see that, won't you Lucca.
She didn't have to think about it. "Considering I could gather only so much information from Marle's pendant, I'd be thrilled to have a look at it. So what should we wear? Anything special we should know?"
"I shouldn't keep you from that bit of info. It's black tie affair. Ladies, wear dresses. The thing is, they ask all people be accompanied by an escort. It's a date, if you will."
"I'm sorry," Patrick said excitedly, "the black tie I can handle, but did you say I needed a date?"
Chris nodded, "All of you need dates."
Marle wrapped her arms around Crono's neck and kissed his lips tenderly. "I think I have my date," she said with a giggle.
"Ditto," Crono replied with a smile.
"Hey Michelle," Chris asked.
"If you like to come, I'll be glad to be your date."
"You will, would you?" She gave Chris a sneaky look. "Sure, why not. It'll be fun!"
"I can't believe this," muttered aloud, now I don't' have a date. How am I gonna get in?"
"Pff, what are you whining about? I'm the one who really wants to see the Millenium."
"No more than me," he said back.
"I highly doubt it," Lucca argued with a cool air around her.
"Look," Michelle interjected, "why don't you two at least go to the party as dates just to get in. It's not that bad, you know."
Patrick growled slightly under his breath. "I hate to say it, but she has a point."
"You'll have to ask me." Lucca said with a hidden smile. "And do it right."
"You have to be kidding me!"
Crono noticed her behavior. 'It's no joke, Patrick. You don't have to ask her. Remember that. I'm sure we can find someone to fill the-" he was cut off with Marle elbowing him in the gut.
"Fine." Patrick felt like he was going to puke. It wasn't that he hated Lucca. Sure, she could get on his nerves, but he really never asked a girl to a party, especially one like this."
"Lucca," he almost spat out, "would you be my escort for the evening of the Millenium party?"
"Nope," she said simply
"No?!" Here he was actually asking Lucca to go on a date, and she said, "no." "Lucca, whether you like it or not, we're going to have to get in to this party one way or another. Sure we can sneak it, but I really don't want to do that anytime soon. So, can you just suck in your pride and accept my invitation? Lucca, would you go on a date with me to the Millenium party?"
Lucca put a finger to her chin and kept it there for a moment. "Sure. If I must, I must, as they say. Quick note: I prefer chocolate to flowers." She walked toward the exit, "Now can we get home? I'm getting rather tired."
Crono was rubbing his abdomen. "I can't believe she got him to ask like that. It was almost like begging."
Marle held out her hand. :"True, but nonetheless, Patrick just asked our Lucca on a date. Now, hand it over." She kept her hand out expectantly.
Crono reached into his pockets and gave Marle twenty dollars. "Man, I really have to learn not to bet against you, Marle."
*BLUE HAWAII is a drink containing, Juice of 1 lemon, Blue Curaçao, sugar syrup, white rum , pineapple juice, and Soda . http://www.insight-media.co.uk/users/tracey/ is where I received the information. I am no expert at drinks. I'm not even old enough to purchase, but I figured that it was rather sweet so I took my chances for Michelle.
Chrono Trigger Fanfic