Amor Vincit Omnia Chapter 21
In 1000 AD...
"Sheesh. What took you guys so long?" Crono asked Magus as the Epoch landed. "And why is my woman on your lap?"
"Aw, I didn't feel like making another trip," Magus told him, a hint of weariness in his voice.
Crono eyed Magus suspiciously.
The blue-haired mage shot back an annoyed look. "What? I didn't do anything, if that's what you're wondering."
Crono's stare didn't change. "Good. Better not."
"Cut it out, Crono," Marle scolded as they hopped out. "Magus wouldn't try anything with me. He's practically my ANCESTOR, for God's sake."
"Ugh." Crono made a face. "Oh yeah."
Magus climbed out, then walked over to Schala.
"Hi Janus," she greeted him. A moment passed. "Wow I still can't believe Dalton returned, with a girlfriend, well sort of," she remarked. "And I suppose Flea was desperate as well." An uncomfortable look crossed her face. "Flea-I can't believe it. I didn't know that was Flea."
"Yeah that's what I don't understand," Magus said to her. "You didn't hear me address him the first time?"
Schala bit her lip and slowly shook her head. "Well, actually, no..."
He eyed her strangely. "Why not?"
"I can't....really explain why," she told him. "Maybe I was weary from trying the spell on the monster. Maybe I was still in shock at seeing Dalton. Or maybe I was still weak from being held captive by Lavos and that's why I didn't hear you. I don't know."
"Well, y-you're...okay now, right?" Magus asked, his forehead wrinkling with worry.
Schala let out an exhausted sigh. "Oh, I don't know, Janus...I haven't been feeling too great lately..."
Magus continued to look at her in concern.
"All right, everyone," Gaspar said. "Now that we're all here-most of us-what are all of you going to be doing next?"
Kino stepped forward. "Kino go fight beast!" he declared.
"No," Ayla suddenly hissed from behind him. "Kino stay away."
Kino spun around to face her. "Ayla, what you say?" he questioned her, confusion covering his face.
"Kino hear Ayla. Kino go home now," she commanded, her tone unchanging.
"No!" Ayla cut in, putting up a hand to silence him. "You remember Kino make promise. Bad stuff happen, so Kino go back to Ioka."
Kino's expression turned apprehensive. "What Ayla do?"
"Ayla keep fighting!" she told him. "Ayla not give up!"
"No," Kino declared, shaking his head in disapproval. "Ayla come home with me."
"No, Kino. Ayla fight!"
"Ayla!" Kino yelled at her, getting worked up. "No, Ayla. Ayla come home so we do big event."
She let out an exasperated sigh, indicating she was becoming just as upset. "Ayla come home later, after creature gone," she insisted, lowering her voice.
"But, but..." Kino protested. "If Ayla die, what Kino do? Kino lost. Ayla come back. Kino need Ayla. Ayla make Kino whole. If Ayla never come back-"
"Kino, stop," Ayla said, her voice almost a whisper. She turned her face away from Kino and lowered her head. "Kino talk, words make Ayla sad. Ayla no cry..." Despite her words, everyone could see the tears shining in her eyes. But Ayla was careful in holding them in.
"But if Ayla die," Kino continued, "Kino not go through with ceremony. Need Ayla for plans!"
Marle cocked her head in confusion at their secret. "Wait, Kino," she interrupted. "What were you guys planning?"
Kino turned to Marle. "Oh. We plan big celebration. Ayla and Kino do-what that word-Ayla and Kino marry!"
Marle's jaw dropped in astonishment. "Wh-what?!" she cried. "Wow! That's...that's wonderful!"
Looks of shock covered everyone else's faces.
Marle suddenly turned to Ayla. "Hey, Ayla, when were you going to tell us about that?"
"When we finish with ideas," Ayla murmured, her face growing warm. "Not happen for days."
"And if when Ayla come back, all come," Kino said to the party. "All invited."
"Kino..." Ayla faced Kino again, giving him a pleading look. "Let Ayla go..."
A moment passed. Kino let out another sigh. "Kino no want Ayla go," he told her reluctantly, "but if Ayla go, then promise...PROMISE Kino Ayla come back alive."
"Strong survive. Ayla no lose," she declared softly. She turned to Crono. "Crono, come," she beckoned. "Crono and Ayla take Kino home."
Crono nodded, and all three headed for the Epoch.
"Well, we're down two members," Lucca said after the Epoch took off.
"'Twas necessary for the lad to return," Glenn told her. "For Marle's sake."
Marle's eyes widened at Glenn's indicative words. "Oh, that's right," she said, putting a hand to her mouth.
"I wish Robo could be here," Lucca sighed, her eyes dimming, "but he's gone."
Lucca whirled around to face Gaspar. "What are you talking about?" she demanded of him.
A tiny smirk formed on the old man's face. "We COULD revive him..."
Lucca raised an eyebrow. "How can we? We've already used the time egg on Crono, remember?"
Gaspar's grin refused to budge. "Not exactly..."
"What are you going on about, Gaspar?" she asked, her voice rising.
"I suppose there is something I should have told you some time ago."
Lucca rolled her eyes in exasperation. "Damn you, old man, would you stop talking in riddles?!" she impatiently snapped.
"Heh, sorry." Gaspar reached into his coat and pulled out a pale yellow oval-shaped object.
"The Chrono Trigger?!" cried Lucca. "But how-"
"Let's just say I always have a back-up copy."
"Well, come on, then!" Lucca urged, practically pulling his arm. "We've got a trip to make!"
"Wait," Schala spoke up. "I feel responsible for what happened, for Lavos' power, for the fact that his child lives. I want to make it up to you, to Robo. I'm coming too."
"No you're not," Magus suddenly growled.
Schala spun around. "Janus-"
"You're not going," he told her sternly.
Schala frowned. "But Janus-"
"You just said yourself you weren't feeling well," he pointed out. "What makes you think you're in any condition to venture out into the future?"
"I'll be fine, Janus," she said, speaking slowly, trying her hardest to convince him nothing would go wrong.
"You're NOT...GOING!" Magus snapped.
"Janus, don't be foolish!" Schala told him, her voice rising.
"Foolish?!" he repeated, appalled at her words. His stare turned angrier. "Is it foolish to care? Is it foolish to be scared to death right now of losing you, because every damn time you put yourself in danger, every time you try to act brave, something bad always happens?! You disappear, and I'm left only with my stupid nagging regrets and an abysmal feeling of loneliness! You're the foolish one, Schala! You can't even stop for one minute to consider anything at all!"
Schala was beyond the point of upset. "Well, what do you want me to consider?!"
"Consider how much this is killing me inside!" Magus shot back. "It kills me just to even consider thinking about you dying, about never seeing you again! I don't want to lose you, all right?! Is it so bad to consider the fact that I can't live without you?! You're the only one who makes my life worth living! Without you, I can't go on..." His eyes narrowed as a single tear, angry and solemn as his words, trickled down his face. "I love you so much, but you can't even stop for one minute to give a damn about how much this is tearing me apart!"
His words stung. Schala looked up at her step-brother, searching his face, only to discover a dismal combination of emotions-fury, sadness, but above all, pain-in his pleading, sincere eyes. "Oh, Janus." She tilted her head at him, then walked over and put her arms around him. "I...I wasn't thinking. I don't want to lose you either. I love you too." They remained in the embrace for a moment. "I didn't...realize how much you were hurting inside. I can't bear to see you in so much pain..." Schala continued, her voice unstable. "I won't go if...if you don't want me to. But I do have to face this Lavos again. And I don't know how to assure you I'll be all right..."
The blue-haired man let out a sigh. "I don't know either, but I know you have to go," he began quietly. "I'm...sorry, Schala, for overreacting."
"Oh, Janus, you had every right," she assured him. She always could find a way to comfort him. "If it was you, I'd probably would have done the same."
"Gee, you know, I hate to break up this heart-felt moment, but, um, there's someone that needs to be revived," Lucca cut in.
Magus pulled away. "Go with them," he instructed Schala.
Schala's face was filled with nothing but concern for her brother. "Are you sure?"
Magus shook his head. "No," he softly responded. "But I have to learn sometime, to deal..."
Schala managed a smile, then lifted her face and kissed him on his cheek. She lingered there for a few seconds, whispered comforting words of goodbye in his ear, and then turned around to join Lucca and Gaspar.
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