A Melting of a Heart Chapter 19
By Key Mima
Lucca pulled her coat closer around her, trying to ignore the cold wind that blew over the island. She and Magus needed to come to breakfast, after having "stayed up all night thinking of ways to break the spell". They could use the illusion that they'd constantly been together to make their romance seem more probable to their friends.
It might not be as hard as she expected to convince them, and so far there hadn't been any glitches. Magus was so incredibly romantic when she asked him to be, it made her wonder why he hadn't become a poet instead of a terrifying wizard. She wondered about him. How someone who had been so cold - and in a way, still was - had changed into someone who could be almost sociable with other people. Her eyes watered from the cold, and she wiped at them thoroughly before she entered Magus's hut.
He was still asleep. Every day, she had left his tent late and come back early, to give everyone the impression that she had never left at all. It was nearly dawn, but he was usually up much earlier than this. She scanned the tent and wondered if it was a good idea to go waking him up if he hadn't done it himself.
It was then, when her blue eyes landed on his covered form again, that she saw him twitch. Her eyes narrowed in concern, and she crouched down beside him to pull his long hair from his face.
His face was twisted in anger, but the noises he was making were even more disturbing. He was gasping and whispering "No". Lucca watched in horror, not even able to imagine what a dream like this could be about. She felt panic wrap around her heart like a hungry snake.
It was then that her fist shot out and hit him square on the cheekbone.
He shot up from his sleeping mat, hand on his cheek. "What the hell are you trying to do?" he snapped, fixing her with a glare of fire.
"I'm so sorry! No, just- I wanted to wake you up, and the first thing that I thought of was..." She took her fist in her hand and smiled weakly. "What were you dreaming of?" she added softly, the smile fading from her tired face.
Magus groaned, rising from the mat to grasp a mug and a jug of honey water.
"That's none of your business. I wouldn't tell anyone even if I wanted, no one needs to worry like I do."
"Wha- Now you've just jinxed yourself, now I really want to know!" When there was no reply, she sobered a moment, the look on her face concerned. "Seriously, the look on your face scared me bad, and I want to know what that was about!" She seized his mug and sipped out of it, while staring at him menacingly from her position more than a head below him.
"Well, for one, they're about Sunev."
"I figured so. And..?"
"And.. I don't know. They're just dreams. But from them, I think she may be regaining consciousness, as the Sunev we know, at night. I don't think she's doing well."
By his face she could tell it was an understatement, and she could knew what he meant. Lucca's stomach instantly emptied, it was as though she hadn't just taken a giant swig of anything. It felt as though she hadn't eaten anything for years.
What's happening to Sunev is that horrible? she wondered. Is it bad enough to make people scream in their sleep? She didn't want to think about it, and yet she couldn't not think about it.
"How long have you been having these dreams?" she asked.
"Since about the time she was taken away," he answered, dipping his hands into a bowl of water and splashing his face.
"Every night. I just hear her breathing quickly, she seems confused. I don't think she can see, due to a blindfold, or the dark..."
"But isn't that..." she didn't finish her sentence, instead dropping onto a crudely made wooden stool, a finger rising to stroke her chin thoughtfully.
"What? What isn't it?" Magus smoothed out his blanket, his eyes darting toward her.
This didn't make any sense. She would become herself again at night? Drift in and out of the spell? Was that even possible? Lucca was absolutely puzzled.
She decided to voice her rising suspiscion. "Magus, what if the way to break the spell that we thought of isn't right? What if it has to do with your dreams?" she offered, raising her head to look up at him.
Magus apparently hadn't considered that. His eyebrows rose, and he looked skeptical.
"Besides, how do we know if what we thought up before will even work? I only noticed her freeze when we touched each other once. That and the fact that one thing Dalton thinks you would never do is cheat on her. But maybe it has something to do with these dreams, you know? For instance, umm.." she stood up again, unable to be still while brainstorming. "You always hear about twins who have some sort of a mental connection, right?"
Magus's face was blank. Right, she thought. Guy who lived in the 600s.
"Well, there are reported cases that one twin would be in a completely different place, and somehow know that his twin was injured, or died. Maybe you have that with her. Have you ever tried talking to her in your dreams?"
"Well, I am sleeping, there's not so much I can do consciously. I've tried calming her down before."
"Hmm.." she sat down again, and fidgeted incessantly. "Well, next time you have one, try harder, okay?"
"But for now we'll keep up this act."
"Damn, just when I thought I had gotten away from you," he muttered, snapping his fingers. Then he added, at her shocked look, "It's just a joke. Sorry."
"Oh, right," Lucca blushed pink, and twiddled her thumbs. "So, go ahead and get ready, I guess we can get going soon."
She left the hut her cheeks on fire. She wished she could have covered up her look of surprise when he had said that, instead of being a gullible idiot. It was strange, it was like she actually cared what he thought of her.
And it didn't make it any better that they now had doubts about their plan. She had been so sure, when she saw that panic in Sunev's eyes. The way her body tensed up. There had been something about her that made Lucca so positive that this could be the way.
But Magus's dreams were unexpected. People don't fall in and out of spells like sleep. She was sure that if Dalton knew, he was capable of doing something terrible. People who had lost it as he had could easily kill even the one they loved most, in a jealous rage, not even conscious of what they were doing.
Lucca shivered at the thought, and, casting a glance at the red sun on the horizon, glinting off icy snow, she ducked into her own hut.
Alfador rolled over ecstatically, his purring a constant, steady whirr, like an engine. Magus rubbed the tiny cat's belly, smiling down at him, and Alfador seemed to smile back, eyes slitted in joy.
The air outside would be cold, he could tell, so he pulled one of his warmer cloaks from a chest in the back of the hut, Alfador mewing at his feet, looking baffled as to why his master had stopped petting him.
"I'm off to breakfast," Magus informed him. "I'll bring you something back, alright?" He nodded down at Alfador, who merely mewed again. What a stubborn little thing.
Magus stepped outside, heading directly to Lucca's hut, sticking his head in. To his surprise, Glenn was there.
"Oh, pardon me," he said with a mock bow. "I had no intention of itruding," he said, rolling his "r". "I shalt be on my way." Pleased with Glenn's chagrined expression, he added, "See you at breakfast, Lucca."
Pretending to be Lucca's lover did have its kicks, Magus had to admit. He loved seeing everyone look so repulsed. Sure, he liked them well enough, but he still did feel like an outsider, and teasing the elite was something he had begun to anticipate like a child waiting for a fair.
Glenn, especially, still could not quite stand him. He could stand him being around, but actual interaction made the Frog narrow his eyes, and purse his lips.
He arrived before anyone else, and set to work gathering firewood from trees shattered by either the falling continent of Zeal, or fierce snowstorms. The snow was hard, a layer of ice on top, and glowed gold. The rising sun played its colors all over the land, and Magus stopped a moment to take in the scenery.
The sea, stretching endlessly over the vast expanse of the world whose lands had been submerged in the rising waters, looked cold and uninviting. No matter how cozy this settlement had become, he always wondered what exactly it was like over the rest of the planet. Were there other settlements? Not likely, since the Earthbound ones had always lived in one settlement, beneath the floating continent.
He noticed someone walking toward the fire, onto which he hastily dropped the brush and cast a fire to spell to light it.
The person was only Crono, and he nodded to him when the boy called out "Good morning".
"I heard you and Lucca were up all night thinking of ways to break the spell, huh?" Crono said, obviously having heard it from Lucca, since he had repeated the exact same excuse she told him to tell anyone who asked.
"That we did."
"Did you get any closer to figuring it out?" Crono asked, unwrapping some meat Magus recognized as belonging to a small land animal roaming this island. "Y'know, I've been thinking. Like, really thinking hard, and I can't even begin to take a guess. I've never handled a spell you have to break before. Normally it's just like, fire, cure, get beat up and drink tonic, you know? But now it's like, a puzzle. Lucca should be able to figure it out, though. That girl can do anything."
Magus went to Deception Mode.
"Actually, we didn't get much done last night. Got a little... sidetracked." He forced a small smile, which turned into a real smile when he saw Crono trying to hide his shocked expression.
Crono looked relieved when Marle arrived, pecking him on the cheek. He mussed her hair, and they got into a momentary scuffle, which ended with them grinning at each other.
"Good morning, Magus," Marle chirped, but he could see through her feigned amity. Marle didn't like him. Especially since he began his "affair" with Lucca.
None of the others were nice to him at all, lately. Frog would never forgive him for what he had done to his friend. The rest of the party members didn't trust him because he had once been their enemy. And now that he and Lucca were practically attached at the hip, he could see they really didn't want him around.
Not that Magus cared if the punks didn't like him. They were sadly mistaken if they thought he enjoyed their presence any more than they did his. They had only wait until they beat Lavos, and he'd be gone. He'd return to his time with Sunev, and they'd never hear from him again.
He narrowed his eyes and sat down on a log, brushing off his knees. At that moment Lucca appeared with Frog by her side. They said hello to the others, and split up as Lucca headed to Magus' side, giving him an encouraging smile.
"Get yourself a good slice of meat over there, before they run out," he offered, gesturing to the piece of hide with some small stacks of stringy meat.
He looked out across the commons. Other groups had started to gather, starting their own fires, cooking their own catch. The smell of roasting fish and meat seemed to wake everyone in the village, since soon the valley was bustling with people. Magus boiled a pot of bitter tea, and watched Lucca interact with everyone around her. Too bad we've got to make everyone think she's making me cheat on Sunev, he thought to himself.
Lucca excused herself, and seated herself next to him. Her knee touched his. Everyone looked down at them from where they stood across the fire, and their wide eyes showed disgust and surprise that made Magus think of the look on someone's face when they found a large, dead bug in their soup. He snickered into his teacup, and Lucca looked over at him.
"Time to turn on the flirt, I suppose," she said, smirking at him as he finally swallowed his laughter.
"Let's get to it," he agreed.
"Okay," Lucca said quietly, watching the others to make sure at least a few of them were looking their way. She put her hand on his knee, and leaned forward, putting her mouth to his ear. "Now you laugh at all the cute, charming things I'm supposedly telling you right now," she whispered, and he could feel her lips curl into a smile.
And Magus chuckled pleasantly, pushing her back down onto the seat beside him. They proceeded to have a Marle-and-Crono-esque little fight, and Magus actually laughed out loud when he accidentally knocked Lucca's ridiculous glasses onto the wet ground.
"What do you think you're doing?" she cried, swatting his hand away as he reached to get them for her. "You just want me to be blind, so you can steal stuff from me, or something."
"Oh, how could you see through me so easily, Lucca? I've been found out," Magus moaned melodramatically, plucking her glasses out of her hand and trying them on. Of course, being made for Lucca's bad eyes, they just made everything blurry and made him feel nauseous so he took them off. Lucca was having a laughing fit.
"Promise me you'll never put those on again," she said, wiping at her eyes and replacing her glasses. "You looked like such a dork! And now your face is all blue, are you alright?"
Magus grabbed her hands, and they wrestled for a moment, making a huge rucus. People walking by would stop to watch, and laugh and point. She screamed as he overpowered her, laughing, and they stopped for a moment as their faces got close. Magus touched the tip of his nose to hers and smiled.
"Gotcha," he murmured.
Lucca blinked at him, then smiled and lowered her face, breaking the contact. Her cheeks were flushed.
"How about I get us some more food?" he offered, rising to his feet.
"Sure," Lucca said, composing herself and smiling up at him. She giggled, and it made him grin.
When he turned around to get some of the meat stacked on the other side of the fire, though, Marle stood before him, arms crossed. She looked angry. He looked down at her, amused. This might turn into a fight, he thought.
"What exactly do you think you are doing, Magus?" she asked, uncrossing her arms restlessly and placing her hands on her hips. She looked like a mother about to scold her child.
"Marle, don't. Just let it.." Crono tried to intervene, but she pushed his hand away and continued.
"Let him answer. I'd like to hear what he has to say," she said curtly. One thin, blonde eyebrow rose in expectation.
"I don't need to explain anything to you," he replied, throwing a glance back at Lucca, silently saying "Help". Glenn had apparently heard Marle's raised voice and come wandering back. Magus noticed him take his place nearby, eyes locked on them.
"I think you do. I think you and Lucca should both explain yourselves. How could you do this when Sunev is in such danger? You two are all over each other like Sunev never existed!" Marle threw her hands up in the air.
Magus had no witty reply ready. In fact, nothing came to his mind at all. He hadn't expected anyone to actually voice their misgivings. Luckily, Lucca stepped in.
"And what makes you so sure we're... Well, I don't know what you think we're up to, but I'll tell you that all we've been doing is working together to help Sunev," Lucca said firmly. "Besides, you and Crono have never actually admitted you have a relationship. Which I guess makes you two "Just friends", too. And look at you, you both spend every waking hour having a giggly mini-war. Food fights and whatnot. What makes you think Magus and I are any different?"
Marle frowned and studied her feet, unable to meet Lucca's eyes.
"Look," Lucca cooed. "I don't want to fight with you, Marle. You're my friend. I just don't want any misunderstandings. Magus and I are just..." And yet Lucca paused here, and looked at Magus. He looked back at her and narrowed his eyes as if to say "Well, go on already". She turned back to Marle and Crono. "..friends."
Marle looked up at Lucca and bit her bottom lip. She looked ashamed. Magus watched as tears filled her eyes, and she embraced Lucca tightly.
Magus frowned and snatched up a piece of meat, giving Glenn a "look" before he returned to his seat.
Note from the author
Hey everyone! Long time no see! First I wanna say sorry for not writing for a million years. I was in Japan on foreign exchange for a year. Not that that's really an excuse or anything, but... ^^;
But I'm now working super hard on this story, because I really want to be able to write it all! As you may or may not have known I've had like, insane writer's block lately, but I can overcome it on full moons or something. ^^; Like tonight. I wonder if it's a full moon out now? Oh, well. Anyway, so I'mma finish this story for you, okies? :D Be prepared!
Chrono Trigger Fanfic