Amor Vincit Omnia Chapter 11
"Mr. Prophet, that was a VERY cruel thing you did to Lucca," Schala scolded, turning toward the blue-haired man.
"I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU NOT TO CALL ME THAT!!" Magus snarled at her.
Schala gasped, completely startled at his tone towards her. A little frightened, even. But because she had become so fed up with him and his games over the past few days, she quickly got over it. "Well, you never told me what to call you, SIR," she shot back through clenched teeth.
Magus just stood there, his eyes locked on her.
Schala continued to glare at him. "And what's more," she added, her voice breaking, "you still haven't told me what happened to Janus. I've been worried sick about him. I thought you cared enough about me to tell me where he is, but I guess I was wrong about you. You're just a rotten, selfish, unfeeling creep that NOBODY likes. But that doesn't matter to me anymore." Her eyes narrowed. "I want to know where Janus is, and you're going to tell me NOW, or else I'll just ask one of them." She gestured to the team.
Now it was Magus' turn to be surprised. He stood there in shock, his normally pale cheeks turning a good shade of crimson. He felt as if he had been slapped hard in the face. "I-uh, um," he stammered. Then it all started to sink in. He lowered his head. "A-all right, Schala, I'll tell you," he said. A short pause. "And you're wrong. I DO care." Magus turned around and took a few paces, his back to Schala and everyone else.
Schala frowned. "Mr. Prophet, I don't see-"
"Just-stop calling me that," he told her quietly, his voice starting to break.
"But I just want to know where my little brother is," Schala pleaded.
"He's not so little anymore," Magus muttered, his voice unsteady.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Schala demanded.
Magus sighed and remained still, face still lowered. His mind was racing. What a situation he was presently in. He began to think about the life he had lived, the things he had done, and the regret that came with those certain deeds. He thought of the person he used to be, and the person he had become. Who he had become was a man of many things, both positive and negative. He was embittered, saddened, confused, a lonely soul, someone who had just retrieved the somewhat good heart he once had. But none of these qualities mattered now. What mattered now was the truth. The truth was coming out, and with it, a side of Magus none of the other members had ever seen before. The walls he had worked so hard to build around his anguish and sorrow were finally beginning to crumble. They were the same walls that had shut everyone out for so many years. These walls could no longer protect him. They couldn't stop the tears that had now escaped his darkened eyes from sliding down his smooth pale cheeks ever so freely.
Tell Schala the truth? He let out a defeated sigh, but realized he couldn't do it.
He just couldn't do it.
He needed to get away. He didn't want to have to handle this right now. He started to walk towards an open pathway of the woods.
"Prophet, where do you think you're going?" Schala asked angrily.
"No. I can't. I can't do this," he responded, trying to hold it together. "I'm sorry, Schala, but I can't-I can't...deal with this right now." With that, he made his hasty retreat out the forest.
"Prophet!!" Schala shouted after him.
Magus found himself hurrying through an open field. For some reason, he was drawn to the lonesome wooden fence near the shore. He looked around. I suppose Lucca went the other way, he realized. Well, after I humiliated her, and then Schala.....Schala-
The mage placed his hands on the long wooden bar between the two posts, and hung his head in shame...and sorrow.
"I just can't do it," he wailed, unaware he was speaking aloud. "I can't tell her. For twenty years I've held anguish inside, carried such a burden for so long, this-this guilt of knowing I let HER down, that I couldn't do a damn thing to save her. And then having to relive that all over again...as the Prophet? What was I thinking when I posed as a prophet?!" He frowned and scolded himself for performing that foolish act. He then brushed it off, trying to forget it, trying to forget the entire thing, trying to forget all the stupid things he had ever done in his life. "Brother, who even cares about that anymore? No one does, Janus!" he told himself. "That doesn't matter now. It doesn't matter! I just, I just...I was just glad to have her back when she returned to me a few days ago. I was going out of my mind not knowing where she was..."
The tears seemed to trail down his face without warning.
"Now she wants to know where Janus is," he said bitterly. "She doesn't know how badly I want to tell her." He tightened a fist and pounded it on the wooden bar. The blue-haired man then scoffed. "But what am I supposed to say? How can I stand to see the look of disappointment on that beautiful, innocent face of hers when she finds out what a loathsome, hideous, tyrannical monster her little brother has become?"
He closed his eyes and let out another sigh. "Back in Zeal my younger self reminded me that I still had a soul, that under this facade, this merciless mask of hatred, I could still feel emotions. I remembered what compassion was. I remembered what it was like to care. Most of all, I remembered my love for Schala..."
"My poor Schala..."
He took a deep breath, trying to pull himself together, but knew he was losing that battle. "How are you going to react when you discover that the rotten, selfish, unfeeling creep standing before you is the very person you seek? You have always understood me; will you understand me now?" As he thought about it, his fears overwhelmed him and more tears rolled down his cheeks.
"I pray you understand me now, after everything that's happened," he sobbed. "If anything, please try to understand. I don't ever want to lose you again. And disclosing my identity to you could very well make me lose you again. I can't lose you again, and I-oh God, I can't tell her. I just can't...TELL her."
He tightened his grip on the bar as he wept quietly. He tried to keep silent as his body shook from the sobs. When he had finally calmed down a bit, he released his hold and brought his arms down. Then, leaning his elbows on the wood, he put his head down and placed his gloved hands on the back of his head, clasping them.
and he remained that way for a moment.
"Prophet?" a sudden voice called to him softly.
Magus whirled around, startled, to find Schala eyeing him, an expression of concern on her face. Then, realizing she had caught him in the midst of his breakdown, he quickly turned back around and wiped his eyes, feeling slightly embarrassed. "Please don't...call me by-"
"I know, I know. It was a force of habit," Schala explained apologetically. "I'm sorry, Janus. But I was worried about you."
Magus spun around again in surprise. "Wh, what did you just call me?!"
Schala tilted her head to the side, a strange expression on her face. "Well, didn't I tell you before that I would ask the others if you didn't give me an answer?" she informed him.
Magus, once again, just stared at her.
Schala let out a dry chuckle. "Hmph. So, it's really you, then?" she questioned him flatly.
What is wrong with her? wondered Magus. She sounds so...cold.
Schala slowly reached up and gently touched his face with her hand. Magus took a closer look at her, and could see the tears brimming in her eyes. "My God, I can see the resemblance," she remarked, her voice breaking once more. "I can't believe I didn't recognize you before. You were right there all this time, but you were still so distant. Why didn't I realize it before?"
She couldn't hold it in anymore. Her lower lip quivered, and tears began to run down her face. "What I don't understand," she wept, "is why you didn't tell me before. Why didn't you just-"
"How could I?!" he demanded of her or maybe, of himself. "I didn't know how you were going to react, finding out what your little brother Janus had become. I didn't want to hurt you with the truth-"
"Janus! Don't you know by now that the truth about your life, about every mistake you've ever made doesn't matter to me! All I care about is knowing you were alive! I was going crazy not knowing if you were okay or not. I couldn't stand not knowing how you were-"
"And now you know how I felt for the last twenty years of my life."
Schala's eyes widened as she realized he had been through much more mental agony than she had. Her mouth fell open. "Janus, I-" She stopped. "No," she said, shaking her head. "This is not the time for angry words. I just want to put my arms around you and thank God you're alive." She reached up and wrapped her arms around him.
Magus moved his arms around her. "Schala...it's been so long..."
A moment of tears. "I missed you so much," she whispered. "I was crushed when you left."
"And I thought-I thought I would never see you again," he told her, with such heartbreak in his voice. "The first time was bad enough. After twenty years I was sucked back into a timegate and I found you, only to lose you again. I am so grateful you returned to me a few days ago. I don't know if I can bear to lose you again..."
"You won't lose me. You won't."
"You won't lose me either."
They stood there, holding each other, afraid to let go of one another.
"Janus," Schala whispered, tears rolling down her face. She gently pressed her forehead to his and ran her fingers through his hair. "My little Janus..." She stayed that way for a short while, then pulled away and looked him up and down in amazement. "Oh, but you're not so little anymore! Goodness, you've aged...twenty years, you say?! What happened?"
Her brother managed a smile. "Well, when you last saw me, I was drawn into the timegate, and then a few months ago Lavos brought me back to Zeal."
Confusion covered Schala's face. "But why so recently? I don't understand."
"I had summoned Lavos to my castle, intending only to destroy him, when Crono, Marle, and Glenn-when he was a frog-came to my castle. Our battle disturbed Lavos, and he opened up a huge timegate. I don't know where they went, but I came to Zeal."
"But why did you disguise yourself as a Prophet?" she asked. "Why didn't you just tell me who you were?"
"Do you have to ask?" he said, the word "DUH!!" written all over the question. "You wouldn't have believed me." A few seconds of pure silence slipped by. "Besides, I was filled with such hatred and vengeance for Lavos. My own selfishness concealed my identity. My own selfishness brought me to the Ocean Palace to wait for Lavos. It kept me from crying out to you...as I-as I watched you...suffer, as I watched the Mammoth Machine drain the life out of you. My own...SELFISHNESS is what made me lose you again, and I curse myself for that!!.....But that was something I learned to overcome, in order to destroy the Black Omen, and to free Queen Zeal."
Schala couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Janus, that that isn't what you used to call her."
He shrugged. "It's been twenty years, Schala."
"She's our mother," Schala told him. "I can't believe you would call her anything else."
Magus shook his head at her. "No. She's YOUR mother. When she married my father, she did become somewhat of a parent to me. When he died, she became quite the authoritative figure. But my only memories of her are when she became evil. I can never consider her my mother."
Schala's expression softened. "I'm sorry you feel that way, Janus." She stepped up to him and embraced him again. "Wait, I can call you Janus, right? Or does that not sound right to you?" she joked, trying to lighten the mood.
Magus let out a small chuckle. "Coming from you, Schala, that sounds perfect," he said, stroking her hair.
Another moment passed. Magus slowly let go of Schala. "We really should go back to the forest now," he told her.
Schala nodded, and together the blue-haired pair began to head towards the woods.
La la la la la la la la uhhh hi! How are you? Heh. I'm hoping I don't get too much (hat)e-mail regarding my sentimental display of a certain character. Now...onto Chapter 12!
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