Amor Vincit Omnia Chapter 26
The stone sparkled in the sun as Schala held the necklace up. Marle cocked her head as she examined her newly repaired pendant. "That Melchior," she remarked, "he's just amazing, isn't he?"
"Indeed he is," Gaspar answered her.
Once again, the party was gathered inside the forest to put plan "B" into act-well, to just plan it out, actually! All of the members, excluding a missing Glenn and a distraught Lucca, had been listening attentively to the latest. Schala had just taken out Marle's pendant to show to her, with everyone admiring it as well.
"So now, I guess, you've got the power you need, huh, Schala?" asked Marle.
Schala nodded. "Yes, I do, but I also need something else."
Marle raised an eyebrow, and confusion covered her face. "What else could you possibly need?"
"Well, I can't use both pendants at once, Marle "
"Oh I see " Marle's eyes widened somewhat as she began to understand. "Hmm " She rubbed her forehead with a hand, and she asked, "So where are you going to find someone to use the other?"
A tiny smile played over the sorceress' lips, then widened as her friend and possible descendant stared back at her with sudden shock.
"N-n-n y-you don't you don't mean "
The blue-haired princess started to chuckle lightly. "Yes, Marle."
Marle's mouth fell open. "W-well, I, I, I, um h-how how am I s-supposed to, um, even go about using this on the creature?" she stammered.
"Well, that's what I'm here for!" declared Schala proudly. "Come on. I've got a chant to teach you." She grabbed Marle by the hand, and together the two princesses hurried off somewhere outside the forest.
"All right, then!" Gaspar said after the two girls left. "I think Schala is on the right track " He turned back to the others. "Anything else you folks would like to throw in?"
"I think that we should just stick with, um, what the Nu said for now," Crono told him. "I mean, we couldn't even do anything last time with a definite plan. I think a different approach to this problem is a good thing."
"Crono is right," sighed a mechanical voice. Robo's eyes flashed as he spoke. "Let Schala and Marle use the pendants, and then we move in to end this once and for all."
"No," another mechanical being said. There was sternness to Atropos' voice, strangely. "You are not to go anywhere," she ordered her metallic counterpart, "Not in your present condition, Robo."
"Please don't argue, Robo."
Robo was silent for a while, then he let out what sounded much like a human sigh. "Atropos," he started, "I have no intention of facing this monster right now, so you needn't be alarmed. The last thing I want to do is worry you."
"I know, Robo," Atropos sighed, putting a metallic hand on his shoulder. "I know."
Crono stood up walked past the two robots and over to Ayla, who was leaning against a tree, her arms folded, head bowed. Ayla looked up as Crono approached.
"Hi, Crono," she greeted him, her voice expressionless. "Crono want something?"
"No," he told her, shaking his head. "I saw you over here, looking kind of sad, and I wanted to know what was up."
"Well," Ayla began. She let out a small chuckle. "Ayla thinking of time when Kino dance with old man at old man party. He do funny thing and put old man on shoulders, and Kino say to villagers, 'Throw poi when Kino spin!' Then when villagers throw food, old man lose balance and fall on Kino." Ayla started to snicker. "Kino dummie." Her laugh ended soon, however, as her expression grew serious. "Ayla miss Kino."
Crono cast her a sympathetic look. "Ayla, why don't you, um, go back and be with Kino?"
Ayla cocked her head at her spiky-haired friend. "Crono say what?"
"I think you should go home and be with Kino."
Ayla pushed her weight off of the tree. "No!" she said, looking at Crono as if he had just asked her to kill off a friend, which in reality, might be just that, only multiplied by the thousands of millions of victims in 2300 AD, whose lives were already in jeopardy if the team didn't act soon enough.
"Ayla, wait a sec, you don't-"
"Ayla strong! Ayla no run away when monster here! Ayla and friends work together and fight beast! Why Crono say thing?!"
"No, you don't understand," Crono told her. "What I mean is, I think that you should be with Kino and not worry. The last thing I want to do now is make the future even worse, although that doesn't seem possible, but as brave and strong as you are, Ayla, I think you need a break. The rest of us can do this. Also, I don't want to keep you from Kino. He must be worried sick right now."
Ayla opened her mouth to protest, but realized Crono was probably right. A moment passed. "Okay, Crono," she agreed reluctantly, "Ayla do what Crono say. Ayla go home."
"All right, then follow me." Crono started out of the forest, with Ayla walking after him.
After many hours working with Schala, Marle ran back into the forest. "Man, that's one heck of a chant!" she declared, wiping her perspiring forehead. She stood next to Lucca and lifted her face to the darkening skies.
"Heh," Lucca managed to say, not really paying attention at all.
Marle frowned, then leaned over in front of Lucca, studying her face. "Lucca? What's wrong?"
Lucca let out a very long sigh. "Oh, it's it's nothing." She turned her face away, closing her eyes.
Marle kneeled down and stared at her friend. "Something's wrong," she said, without a doubt in her voice. "I know something is eating away at you, Lucca. Now come on, I'm your friend. You can tell me anything, girl."
"Well " Lucca sighed again, but this time, not as long. "Last night, something very weird happened." She told Marle the whole story, being careful to lower her voice at the necessary parts. When she was finished, Marle gazed at Lucca sympathetically.
"Lucca," she started, "don't worry about it. I'm sure Glenn will come around."
"No, I don't think so, Marle," Lucca said dejectedly. A moment passed before Lucca scoffed. "You know, it's just funny. A while back, I was scared of Glenn even considering I had feelings for him. Then, a few days ago, I freak out because he finds out what I feel, thanks to Magus. And now " Lucca stopped.
"And now?" Marle wanted to know.
"Lucca ?" Marle had an idea of what Lucca might say next, but didn't know what to say.
"Now he wants nothing to do with me !" Lucca choked out. For a moment, it seemed that she was about to lose it, but she managed to hold it in. "I mean, he wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole! I wish I would have just kept my mouth shut!" She quickly covered her mouth with her hand.
"No, Marle," her inventor friend interrupted. "Please don't start with your silly reasoning again. I really don't think I want to hear it right now."
Marle was confused. "What do you mean, Lucca?"
Lucca let out another sigh. "I mean the way your world works, Marle. The way your mind works. The way you think that everyone was meant to be together, that every person should have someone to love. I just don't need to hear that, not now. Not when my world is falling apart, not when the one person I love is so turned off by me that he doesn't want to love me back."
Marle was silent for a while. After the long pause, she faced her friend again. "Lucca, I know you think I'm just full of it at times, but please try to think positive for once."
"No buts, Lucca," Marle ordered. "As you grow tired of my jaunty nature, I sometimes get tired of hearing you complain. I just want you to look on the bright side sometimes, that's all. I want you to be happy! And there is no way you're going to be happy if you always think the worst of things."
"Wait a minute, Marle, where do you get off-"
"Now," Marle cut in, "I realize you have perfect reason, every reason to not feel so great right now. And I understand completely! But even though you've had quite a bit of loss, I don't want you to feel hopeless with Glenn. Anything can happen, you know."
Lucca just stared at Marle, completely speechless.
Marle cracked a smile. "What, does that sound foreign to you, Lucca?" she joked. She cleared her throat and continued. "I doubt Glenn will stop speaking to you or anything. Heck, every relationship has its problems! Do you think Crono and I have a flawless relationship?"
"Well yes "
"Well, we don't. We don't talk about it outside the relationship, but it's been rocky at times "
"But at least you guys have a relationship! Glenn and I DON'T!"
"You and Glenn are not just friends, Lucca. I've seen it in the way you look at him, the way he looks at you. No two ordinary friends could look at each other with such admiration. Well, with the exception of a couple people, but still. I've seen quite a few people end up alone, all because one thought the other didn't love that person back, then the both of them would live miserably ever after, and lonely I've seen it happen, Lucca, believe me. And I'd hate to see it happen to you and Glenn."
Lucca lowered her gaze to the ground. "I guess."
"Good," Marle said. A short pause. "As I was saying before, though, Crono and I have had our share of problems. But we worked our way through each and every of them, because we always remembered one thing: Our love for each other. We always believed we loved each other enough to get through even the hardest of times. No matter what life throws at us, we believe that love conquers all. You just remember that, Lucca. Love can make you feel crazy things, think crazy things, even do crazy things, but no matter what, it will always conquer all."
Lucca raised an eyebrow. "Marle, you sound like one of those damn soap operas," she cracked, trying to lighten the mood. Marle gave her an uncomfortable look. Lucca stifled her laughter and apologized. "No, I see what you mean, Marle. You're saying I shouldn't give up on Glenn, not just because I haven't really tried to talk to him, but because there is something there, even if neither of us admits it."
Marle nodded. "You got it."
Lucca smiled at her friend. "Thanks, Marle. I really do feel better now."
"Sure, Lucca. Anytime," said Marle. "But "
"Could you tell me one thing?"
"What's a soap opera?"
Lucca let out a tiny chuckle. "Marle," she told her friend, "One of these days, I'm going to take you to 1999 AD and show you around."
Marle was a little confused, but she nodded again. "Uhh sure, Lucca."
Lucca giggled again and got up. "Well," she said, "I think it's about time we got some rest."
"Yeah," Marle agreed, standing up as well. Not a minute passed when she asked a new question.
"Hey ..what's soap?"
The next day, everyone was pretty much up and anxious to go. Of course, they were trying to get used to the fact that Ayla wasn't there to help them now. They all gathered outside of the forest, going over their "plan."
" and you know I won't be able to go," Robo was saying as the others listened. The team nodded in agreement, then Atropos spoke up.
"I would like to stay behind and watch over Robo," she said.
"Of course, Atropos," Marle told the pink robot. She turned to Gaspar. "Anyone else we need to know about?"
Gaspar looked at Marle, thinking. "Well," he started, "you know I won't be able to help you either. I can accompany you, but I can't do a thing. As for 'anyone else,' you might want to check on your human-turned-frog-turned-human friend. He seemed a little upset this morning as he went off to Denadoro."
Lucca's jaw dropped. "Glenn "
"Yes, that fellow."
"Um, I think I'll go ahead too," she said. "I'll, um, see you guys later." She quickly hurried off for a chance to see if
he was there. Lucca rushed past the entrance, and there Glenn was, near the beginning of the cave, a few feet before a long drop, his face lowered, his eyes focused on the ground.
Her heart was pounding. She swallowed hard, and she opened her mouth to speak.
She found it difficult just to even say his name. Her voice was so soft, she wondered if Glenn even heard her.
And sure enough, he looked up at the sound of his name, just to see who was there. He frowned as he saw Lucca standing there, staring at him with that hopeful expression.
He rolled his eyes. "What art thou planning this time, wench?" he snorted. "Mayhap thou art thinking of ruining another relationship?"
Lucca cast him a dirty look. "That was below the belt, Glenn," she informed him. "In fact, just about everything you said to me yesterday was pretty mean too. Not even I, as immoral as I seem in your mind, deserve that, and you know it."
Glenn scoffed again. "Forget it," he said, not even giving her a chance to speak. "Just forget it." He remained silent for a moment.
Lucca just stared at him in disbelief. "What ..that's it?" she asked. "That's all you have to say to me? After everything ?"
Glenn continued his cold glare. "Aye. What else could there be?"
She shook her head at him in disappointment, then her expression slowly turned tragic as she realized her friend was slipping away. "I I can't believe it," Lucca muttered as she walked past him. She walked up to the ground's edge, staring out into the cave's darkness. "This is just what the dreams had in store for me. First I lose my mom, my dad, then I almost lose Robo, and now he loses his faith in me and turns his back on me. I'm all alone in the world, then I have to lose Glenn too."
Hearing those words, Glenn turned around, realizing he was being completely unfair to her. His expression softened, and he extended an arm out to touch her shoulder. "Lucca, wait. I-"
Lucca spun around. "Don't touch me!" she yelled at him, jerking her shoulder away. Big mistake. Because she was standing so close to the edge, she began to lose her balance. "Oh!" she gasped, her mouth open, her eyes widened in terror. Her arms flailed all around her as she fell backward. "Help me! Glenn, help!" A split second before she slid downward, Glenn quickly threw his hands forward to save her. Grabbing a hold of both her arms, he whirled around to yank her back with all of his body's strength.
What an even bigger mistake for him. As Glenn's force sent Lucca flying to the ground, he was then put in her place. "Wh-whoa!" he cried out. Lucca hopped back on her feet just in time to watch Glenn stumble back. Waving his arms frantically, Glenn fell backward. He gave Lucca a pleading look as he lost his balance, and she watched in horror as he plummeted right over the edge.
He landed on the ground with a loud thud. Lucca's jaw dropped, and for a moment, she stood there frozen in shock. When she finally came to her senses, she peered over the edge and saw Glenn sprawled down there, his eyes closed.
"Oh, God, Glenn," Lucca wept softly. "Please be all right." With the adrenaline rushing through her, she hurried over to the edge and hopped down the long drop. Landing hard on her feet, she sprung up and ran to his side.
Kneeling down, she studied his face for any sign of life.
Nothing. The man lay deathly still.
"Oh my God. Oh my God, h-he's dead, isn't he?"
Nothing even attempted to argue with that.
"Somebody help me!" Lucca yelled to her companions. . .or to no one in particular, it seemed. Where is everyone? she wondered in panic. Shouldn't they all be here
" by now?! Please help me! Somebody!" She looked back at the love of her life, at his motionless body.
He really has left me, hasn't he? she thought miserably. As if I wasn't expecting it
. . .and finally, Glenn began to moan softly, and his chest moved up and down. Lucca let out a strange noise, a combination of her laughter and her crying. "He's alive," she whispered, lifting her face to the skies. "Oh thank you, God."
"Lucca " he moaned quietly. Lucca lowered her gaze to the injured man.
"What is it, Glenn?" she asked as she knelt down beside him, the silent tears sliding down her face. Glenn reached up weakly with a hand and gently caressed her cheek. Lucca's lips parted, then, swallowing hard, she took a hold of his hand with both of hers.
"I hath been such a fool "
Lucca slowly shook her head. "No, Glenn "
" not to trust thee "
"But a fool I shall no longer be "
She stared at him with the greatest respect and love she suddenly felt for him.
"S-something I must say to thee-I mean, to you "
No sobs this time. "Tell me, Glenn," she murmured in a tone that sounded so comforting to him.
His eyelids fluttered before opening again. "Lucca, I "
"What, Glenn?" she asked quietly, slowly rubbing his raised hand with hers.
"Yes, Glenn?" she pressed lightly.
"I I Lucca, I l-" He almost groaned in exasperation at his difficulty in speaking. Say it, fool, he told himself. Say it before-
Staring at him lovingly, she reached down and softly touched his brow. Her hand felt so cool against his burning forehead. "Just say it, Glenn. I know."
Why can't I say it? he asked himself. Why can I not find the strength ? So exhausted
Then, his eyes began to close as he finally spoke those words. "I love you."
Managing a smile through her tears, Lucca tilted her head slightly to the side. She felt warm all over. "That's all I ever wanted to hear, Glenn."
Seeming to be satisfied with her answer, Glenn exhaled loudly, a sigh of relief or, perhaps, happiness. Lucca leaned over and kissed his forehead. His arm dropped out of Lucca's grip, and he lay still.
And then came the silence.
so gentle and sweet.
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