A Melting of a Heart Chapter 8


By Key Mima

Sunev padded up the carpeted stairs in the silent palace. The darkened corridors contained no people. It was nearly midnight. It was... sort of eerie like this, especially since she knew of the evil the building contained.
As she turned a corner, she saw a figure before her. At first she thought it might be Magus, but a second look made her believe otherwise. It was Dalton.
"Hey babes, you okay?" he asked, taking a step toward her.
"I'm fine," she replied, feeling her empty stomach churn her bile. She touched her abdomen absently, and pain exploded where her fingers landed. She ignored it. "I need some rest."
"The old lady shouldn't have done that to you. It's not like she hasn't been late a few times." Sunev squinted at Dalton. What was he trying to pull? He'd never been... this nice before.
"Well she's the queen," she said cautiously, "rules don't apply to her."
"I've been late before. Lotsa times. Never does anything to me."
"Well you use magic. That in itself makes you invincible."
"I guess." He stood there a moment more, then walked past her, his arm brushing against hers. "I'll let you get some sleep. See ya tomorrow."
Sunev stood there after he was gone, contemplating what that outburst of random kindness meant. But soon, her stomach hurt so much that she couldn't think, and she started back to her room again.
When she entered, she found bags in the middle of the floor and Magus sitting in a chair, reading.
He looked up presently, then returned to his book.
"Hello," he said.
"Hi..." Sunev began.
"If you're wondering why I'm here, it's because they're knocking down my room to make a shrine to Lavos."
"You're kidding. It's not like he's worshipped too much already or anything..." Magus grunted his agreement.
"Where should I sleep?" he asked, slapping the book shut and rising from the royal blue armchair.
"Wherever you want. I could sleep on the floor if you want the bed." Of course Sunev lied; the pain she felt wouldn't let her sleep comfortably anywhere except a cloud.
"That's not proper. You have the bed. Maybe I can roll up some blankets and use that as a bed-thing." Magus frowned at the idea, but raised his head and smiled at her.
"Sure..." Sunev trailed off, lowering herself onto her bed carefully.
He opened the closet and pulled down some extra blankets and proceded to roll them into a futon-type thing. Sunev watched him, somewhat blurrily. The light from a blue candle danced on his... not handsome, but somewhat attractive face. He looked annoyed with his work. Distracted somehow. Sunev smiled at him. Why on Earth did she like him anyway?
She blushed, which, to her surprise, hurt.
He hadn't finished, but he got up and walked to her. He studied her bed sheets and fiddled with his gloves.
"Are you alright?" he asked, a faint blush coming to his cheeks. "Everyone in that room but my tyrant mother was worried for you. She had no right to do that." Sunev forced a smile and turned crimson, which brought another rush of unexpected pain.
"I'm fine," she whispered, looking into his red eyes.
"I don't believe you. You look sick." He reached out and grasped her around the waist. "Come on, we're getting youto a doc-" He merely had time to pull her off the bed before she spit up blood on him and started bawling.

Startled, Magus felt the warm liquid drip down his face. Sunev crumpled to the ground and grasped her stomach, sobbing.
He fell to his knees before her and took her in his arms. The poor thing, he thought. She never should have been put through this...
Sunev climbed blindly onto his lap, burying her face into his shoulder. Her tiny frame trembled with each breath, and he knew every breath must have hurt for her.
He was familiar with the spell his mother had cast. Called "Dark Reaction", it was a slow working spell, whose worst effects were felt only after a long time. Sunev's blood probably felt like fire, and each breath must have seemed like a lungful of sand.
"Sunev," he whispered. "Sunev, calm down. Crying will only make it worse."
Sunev shook her head violently, her hair sticking to the blood on his face.
"Where does it hurt?" he asked, pulling away from her. She touched her navel. "Okay, pull up your dress." He walked to his baggage and wondered how Dark Reaction could affect her stomach. Had the queen... Well, certainly she was capable, but would she have bent the spell to work on other organs? It was as if she had mutated the spell to fit her will...
He pulled a mid tonic out of one of his bags and pondered this. He only wished he could do that with his magic. Zeal was unimaginably powerful. Funny how this little trip with Sunev could make him finally realize his mortality.
Sunev had pulled her skirt up to her chest, and although it looked bad, his intentions were only to help her.
"Drink some," he said, lifting the small crystal bottle to her lips. She gasped for air and gulped, but he pulled it away before she could drink it all.
"I can't breathe, Magus," she choked out. His heart filled with pity for her.
"It's only the spell, Sunev. Feels like steel wool, huh?" Sunev nodded, her eyes wide and her pupils dilated beyond recognition. A red foam was at her lips. She looked like a wild animal about to die. The spell wasn't fatal. He wondered if his mother could have changed that, too.
He pulled off the top of the vial and poured the rest of the tonic onto her bare stomach. He rubbed it in until it was totally absorbed. A bruise about a foot wide tainted the skin of her abdomen and he winced at the memory of bruises like those he had had in his childhood. She shouldn't go through what he did, or anything like it.
He pulled her skirt down to its original position and took Sunev in his arms again. Her breathing was returning to normal, and she had stopped crying.
"Are you alright now?" he asked softly. She shook her head "no" and he chuckled. "Well are you better than you were?"
"Yeah..." she said, smiling faintly.
Magus liked being like this. Holding her. Not that he liked her or anything... But it was just nice to have a small, warm body in his arms.
Not that he liked her or anything. He smiled secretly to himself. Well, what if he did? Who would care? No one would. Not even Sunev. He ran his fingers down her spine and sighed sadly to himself.
She was asleep.
He lifted her up gently and placed her in her bed. Then he pulled up a chair and sat down.
He wouldn't let anything happen to her tonight. And with that thought, he joined her in slumber.

Sunev woke up with a dull pain in her head. And her stomach. And her throat. She remembered what happened that night and shot up in bed.
Magus was asleep. He was in a chair at her bedside, dozing off. Had he watched her all night? She remembered what he had done for her and her heart swelled with admiration for him. She wouldn't call it love, so as not to embarrass herself. Or him. He'd probably leave her on the top of Mt. Woe if he found out she loved him
She rose from bed and left the room, going to the washroom. After a quick bath, she put on a new dress and went back to her room. Magus was awake and washing her blood off his face.
"Oh, sorry," she mumbled, turning crimson. Luckily, it didn't hurt this time.
"It's not your fault, Sunev," he said, dropping the stained, wet cloth in the trash basket. "And besides, like it was that much of a hassle for me. I'd rather have your blood on me than have you in a casket. I'm sorry for not helping you quickly enough."
A knock on the door interrupted their apologies, and Dalton popped his head in. He frowned at the both of them together, but switched back to "important mode".
"The entire forest on the east side of Zeal has been torn out of the ground. Prophet, we need you to see what caused it. Hell, ya shoulda predicted it in the first damn place."
"Give me a moment," Magus said, pulling on his cape and hood. "Sunev, come with me," he added, narrowing his eyes at her.
Did he know it was her? Did anyone else in Zeal have the power to do that? There had to be someone else with the ability, but did they suspect her? Everyone thought her magicless, or at least she thought they did. She sighed inwardly.
Magus started out the door, and Sunev followed meekly. Dalton fell into step with her and looked her over.
"So you're fine now?"
"It's a sight to behold out there. That forest was pretty damn big. It's all in the ocean now, they say. Ya don't think it's those freaks we picked up, do ya?"
"'Freaks you picked up?'"
"Oh yeah! You weren't around. We picked up these three kids. One with really spiky hair and one of 'em looked like a frog. The weirdest buncha punks I've ever seen. I set Golem on 'em, and they were no match. We've got 'em locked up now. Like fish in a tank." The expression on Dalton's face reminded her of a little boy who had just gotten a pet. She nodded at him and smiled politely.
So they had gotten Crono. Now she could tell essentially what was going to happen from here on. As they entered the main hall of the palace, Sunev slipped away, into Janus and Schala's room. They were there, apparently discussing something.
"Sunev!" Janus cried, jumping into her arms and hugging her tightly.
"Sunev," Schala stated, with a muted warm smile. It seemed like she had more important matters on her mind. Sunev had a feeling she knew what it was.
Alfador rubbed against her ankles, mewing happily as Janus launched into an overenthusiastic speech about his great relief that she was okay and how he had been so worried about her.
"...I thought you were gonna die! And then when I snuck out to your room, you were nowhere! I thought my mother had taken you away and had you killed or something! I'm so glad you're okay!" He buried his little face in her side and she felt a huge smile on his face.
"I apologize for my mother... It seems she has no idea what's she doing lately. What she did was totally uncalled for," Schala said when Janus was finished.
"Bah! We know that Lavos thing has possessed the old bitch," Janus spat out. Sunev giggled.
"Janus! Watch your mouth!" Schala gave him a dangerous look, then returned to Sunev. "Some people have come... My mother captured them."
"I know. They're my friends."
"Your friends?"
"I get around a lot."
"And you know because you know the future, right?"
"Um.. Yeah. That's one way to put it."
"We need to get them free."
"That we do."
"Then let's do it already," Janus said, frowning. Sunev and Schala nodded.

Crono was there. Frog. Marle.
"The poor things... They didn't even do anything wrong," Schala said, looking up at them.
"Not yet, at least," Janus and Sunev said in unison. They grinned at each other, and Sunev guessed that it was just Janus's suspicious nature that caused him to believe that they would to harm to his mother's kingdom. He couldn't know that it was important to the flow of time that they be released.
Schala placed her pendant into a small slot in the front of the cylinder the party was being kept in, and each was let free and set on the floor.
"Please, you have to go before anyone sees what has happened. Go, now," Schala said to Crono, who looked bewildered.
"I'm afraid I can't allow that," someone said. Sunev turned to see, to her great un-surprise, Magus standing there, looking quite threatening in his prophet garb.
"Please, prophet..." Schala said slowly, looking him in the eye. "You have to let them go."
Magus looked over his sister's shoulder at his enemy Frog, who stared back at him.
"Please," Janus chimed in. Sunev remained silent.
"...Fine. But they must show me where they came from, and Schala, you'll seal it. Sunev, you stay here. God only knows what you'd do if I let you come."
"Heyyy..." Sunev said with a frown. She remained in place as Crono, Marle, and Frog walked past her. "Good luck," she whispered. A smile lit each of their faces at her words.
Sunev climbed to the top of a bookcase in the main room of the palace and sat there, waiting for Magus. She looked down at the crack between the back of the bookcase and the railing from a set of stairs. Lodged in there secretly, was a plant. Sunev studied it carefully, and looked to a girl standing there. Their eyes met, and the girl gave Sunev a pleading look.
"It's alright. Keep it. It'll do good in the future."
"Thank you," the girl said, smiling gratefully.
"Get down from there, Sunev," Magus said, looking up at her. Heeee's baaaack, Sunev thought to herself.
"Do you still need me out at the missing greenhouse? Cuz I'd really rather stay here."
"I still need you. I know you did it. Get down." Sunev signed and dropped down on the hard mahogany floor.
"What's wrong with doing it? I needed to vent."
"The trees didn't do anything."
"So you're telling me to kill your mom? Well I already decided to do that, but..." Sunev waved her hand vaguely.
"You can't kill my mother." Her hand fell to her side.
"Why not?"
"You're a wimp."
"Hey! Whatever happened to that 'be strong, Sunev' thing?" Sunev said, lowering the tone of her voice at the repetition of his words.
"You are strong, but not compared to her." Magus crossed his arms.
"Fine, then I won't kill your mom. But I'll hate her for the rest of my life."
"Sounds good to me."
Sunev smiled. Magus always made her happy in his little way without knowing it. With that little way, he could pull the both of them through this. Or at least she hoped so...


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