Shadows of the Past
Marle stood at her window, admiring a perfect sunrise. The light shining on the sea seemed more beautiful than ever. The morning air was crisp and slightly damp. A good damp, though. Marle stood there with a soft smile. She still couldn't belive that she was going to marry Crono. It went so fast that she hardly remembers accepting his perposal.
Her moment of bliss was ruined by the Chancellor's flat footsteps thudding in the hall outside her room. He'd be in soon to check to see if she was awake. Marle turned to her dresser, found her usual white pants and tanktop, and placed her nightgown into its drawer. She walked to her mirror and proceeded to brush her golden hair back. She had just finished putting her hair in a high ponytail when the Chancellor walked in.
"Well I'm glad you'r finally up on time!" he complained. Marle rolled her eyes, then spun in her chair to face him. "Can't you ever knock!? I was changing not five minutes ago!" The Chancellor gave her a sharp glare. "Well five minutes ago I had to take care of the fish that someone left out all night! I'm not really in the mood for manors!" Marle folded her arms in disqused. "When are you?" she retorted. Just then the smell on the Chancellor's clothes reached her nose. It smelled like a skunk and rotten eggs. This may have been the worst thing Marle had ever smelled.
"Speaking of bad manors," the Chancellor continued, "where's your betrothed been? I thought he was going to be here yesterday to plan the wedding?" It was true that Crono was going to come the previous day to discuss the wedding, but he never arrived. "Well he's moving in today. It must have been hectic over there yesterday." Marle returned to her mirror, this time reaching for a shining golden necklace Crono gave her. "Just what we need! That punk here all the time! By the way, his bed will be moved in here around noon, as if he's grateful." Chancellor quickly left, slamming the door behind him. "Who hired him?" Marle whispered as she turned to he window again. The sun was over the horrizon now, but the light against the water was just as beautiful. She stood there for a minute longer before walking to her door and down to the dining hall for breakfast.
* * *
It was around nine when a sweet aroma awaked Crono. He sprung up for probably the first time in his life and took in a good smell. He immediately recognized his mom's french toast. He hopped out of bed and streached. He walked to his dresser, with only one change of his regular clothes, with all others packed up, and quickly dressed. Crono put his pajamas in the box with his other clothes and rushed down the stairs to meet his mom.
"Morning, Mom!" Crono said as he hit the bottom of the stairs. "Well look who's up!" she replied, "I hope my french toast had something to do with it." Crono nodded then took a couple of pieces off the plate and onto his own. He sat at the kitchen table and took one last sniff before drowning them in syrup. "I thought you would like your favorite for our last day in this house. It may be the last time I get to cook for you." Crono's mom sat opposite of Crono and reachet for the syrup pitcher. "So what are you doing for the wedding?" Crono paused. He really had no idea on what to do. "I . . . um . . .really . . . I'm not sure yet." he finally got out. Now she paused. "I thought you would have this planned out. It's been two months already. Do you even have a best man?" Crono thought for a second then realized the magnetude of a wedding. He hadn't even come up with a best man yet. "Who would you like?" Crono asked. His mom thought about it. "Well your pollite frog friend or the quiet one with the long hair would work." She meant, of course, Frog and Magus.
Frog would be more suited for the role, but he owed so much more to Magus. This raked his brain for an hour before Marle came over. Crono led Marle upstairs to his room and decided to try a few on Marle.
"So what do we need first?" Crono asked, setting her up, "Have you picked a maid of honor?" Crono hoped that if Marle was as torn as he was, it might clear his head. "Sure. Lucca, of course." Crono was thrown back a bit. "But what about Ayla or Schala?" He was desprite at this point. "Are you kidding? I barely know Schala and Ayla would belch at the top of her lungs before I say 'I do'." Marle started to catch on and stared at Crono with a smug look. "Crono? Are you having trouble finding a best man?" Crono slowly nodded in humility. "Well who do you have in mind?" Crono walked to his bed and took a seat. Marle sat down beside him. "Right now it's down to Frog or Magus." Marle quickly stood up, very angerly, and faced Crono. "What's so hard about that choice? We can't give him a chance inside this castle!" Crono shook his head. "I owe too much to Magus to exclude him in this." Marle groaned, then pulled Crono up. "Let's just head for the castle and figure it out there, alright?" Crono nodded. Marle held Crono's hand as they made their way out of Crono's house and all the way to the castle.
* * *
Lucca sat at her work dest, tinkering with the Gate Key. She had recived her invintation to the wedding, and knew she was to be the maid of honor, but she couldn't seem to get exited about the wedding, though. Lucca has known Crono since they were babies. Somehow she always thought she would marry Crono someday. Lucca removed the main panel and the deep purple stone that created the gates to the End of Time. She replaced it with eight smaller stones colored and positioned like a rainbow. She then replaced the panel and admired her work.
"Lucca?" a male's voice said from downstairs. It was Lucca's dad, Tabin. "Still working on your Gate Key?" Lucca stood and walked to the balcony overlooking the front room. "Yeah. I think I've got it down, though. Check this out!" Lucca held the Key and hit the red crystal. A red portal appeared. Lucca walked in and the Gate vanished. A second later, another red Gate appeared beside Tabin and Lucca emerged from it. "If I have all the bugs out, I can use this as a teleporter in this time period." Lucca put the upgraded Gate Key into her pouch and started for the door. "Where ya going?" Tabin asked quickly. "I signed up for the science fair downtown, remember? That's why I was up all night ajusting the Key."
Lucca left the house quickly and headed for the mayor's house, where the entry booth was. She hoped that at least being noticed by the judges would take her mind off the wedding for at least a day or two. When she arrived, she got a good glimps of the competition. It was the usual bunch of ametures from last year and very few new faces. The new compeditors looked smart, but you can't just see someone and know their intelligents. Lucca knew this and kept quiet. With confidence, she made her way to the registration booth. Immediately she remembered the guy that has been running the booth since she first entered. "Excuse me." Lucca said. "Can I sign in, please?" The attendant shifted on his stool and found himself facing a familiar person. "Lucca! Welcom back!" His voice didn't sound as exited as he ment it to be. "What's wrong?" she asked. Lucca was expecting the worst. "I'm sorry, Lucca. You've been denied entree." Lucca was expecting this. "Since you've been to the future, you know of future tehnology. Any entre would be considered infuenced by what you saw there." Lucca gave a slow nod, then trudged to a nearby, secluded bench to sob.
Lucca wasn't sure on what to do. She had been entering for years and only lost her first year. Now she could never enter again. On top of that, she still couldn't tell why she was so upset about Crono's marrage. She wasn't against it, but she did feel a bit of resentment twoard Marle Who was she kidding? She downright loathed Marle. Lucca had always thought and sometimes even hoped it would be her that married Crono. Just thinking about it caused her to tear up. The tears almost forced her contacts out.
Suddenly Lucca heard footsteps behind her, but ignored them. She felt the person reach for her. Startled, Lucca jumped off the bench and drew her Wonder Shot. She turned and pointed the barrel straight at the man behind her. "Whoa! Whoa!" he shouted, alarmed. "I was just going to help. You looked lonely." At this point Lucca broke down. She dropped down to her knees and cried as much as possible. The man walked over and put his hands on her shoulders, trying to comfort her. When Lucca slowed down, he led her back to the bench, this time sitting beside her, his hands still on Lucca's shoulders.
When she cleared the tears from her eyes, she looked at the stranger. He was about a year or two older than she was and as tall as Magus, maybe shorter. He had short, black hair and was wearing a red vest with a white t-shirt underneath. Lucca thought he was hansome, for a total stranger. "I know this is strange," he said. "I mean, a total stranger coming up to you and trying to help you with a problem he knows nothing about." Lucca leaned back and cracked half a smile. She was glad that somebody cared. "Thank you um " Lucca didn't even know his name. "Sorry." He answered. "My name's Ash." Lucca turned to him, now with a full smile. "I'm Lucca. Nice to meet you." Somehow, she felt a little better just being here with him. "So why were you crying?" Lucca was flattered that he was so concerned about a stranger. "My best friend is getting married soon. I use to think it was going to be me eventually. On top of that I'm not allowed to enter anymore science contests since I've been to the future." Lucca turned away and blushed 'Wait.' She thought. 'How could I be telling him this? This is really personal stuff!'
Ash let go of Lucca's shoulders and stood up. He turned to face her, then put out his hand. "Let's get something to eat. You can tell me all about it." Lucca hesitated, then took his hand. Ash led her to the tavern to talk.
* * *
Frog wondered around the courtyard of Guardia Castle in 600 ad. This was his favorite part of the castle. He spent more time here than at home. Frog often remembers his training sessions with Cyrus here when he was just a kid. Cyrus always beat him for at least the first six years, until he got his very own sword. Now he spent time developing his magic, trying to break the curse of the frog.
Frog reached one end of the courtyard and spun around. He drew back and concentrated on a make shift dummy on the other end of the courtyard. He drew in as much energy as possible, then focused it on the dummy. Frog fired the energy into a whirlwind of magic. The whirlwind developed a burst of force at the dummy, making it explode on contact and creatung a huge dent in the castle wall behind it. Frog glared at the dent, angered. He had made that same dent at least six other times in the last month, and has gotten in trouble for it every time.
"Still can't get it right?" someone behind him said. Frog turned to see a man in a dark cape with long light violet hair. "Magus!" Frog shouted. "Thou hath put thyself in danger being here. Why?" Magus threw open his cape, revealing the scythe on his side. "I'm moving back into my castle. Anytime you'r up to a match, your welcome." Magus shifted his body and glared at the hole in the wall. "It looks like you could use the practice." He returned his stare to Frog's eyes, which now had an angered glow. "If thou hath not killed Cyrus, I would not have to lower myself to magic training. Now if you hath no further business, I bid you farewell!"
Frog turned his back to fetch his sword, only to be hit by one of Magus's Dark Bombs in the back, throwing him to the ground in front of the Masamune. "Never turn your back to me, toad!!" Magus snarled. Frog slowly stood. When he realized what had happened, he pulled the sword from its stand, whirled around, and pointed it straight at Magus's face. "Consider our truce void!" With that, Frog leaped at Magus and swung the sword at Magus's throat. He dodged and pulled his Doom Sickle. Magus tried to retort, but only cut at Frog's cape. Frog jumped back and concentrated. He summoned a large wave out of nowhere being followed by huge bubbles. The wave threw Magus back against a wall and the bubbles added extra hits. Magus fell to the ground, exposing a large crack left behind from his impact. He was now out for blood, and started to channel the magic needed for Dark Matter. Frog braced himself for the impact.
"What's going on?!" They heard from the courtyard gate. A guard happened to walk by during the riot. "Magus!?!? All guards!! Alert!! Magus has infultrated the castle!!" The guard ran off to inform anyone in shouting distance. "We'll settle up later, Glenn!" With that, Magus threw his cape around himself and vanished. Frog was left there to explain Magus, the wreckage in the courtyard, and the dent in the wall he had left before.
* * *
"So what's next?" Marle said. Crono was going over the list for about the thousanth time, trying to see what he missed, if anything. They had been sitting in the same spots on Crono's bed, now the only thing left in the room, going over every last detail. Crono dropped his arm, checklist in hand, to his side. "We've got just about everything checked off, except " Marle snatched the list from his hand. "Except your best man. Come on! You can't still be considering Magus?!" Crono paused, then slowly nodded. Marle threw her arms up in frustration. "I don't belive this! I think this is worse than when you died on me!" Marle glanced at the list, making sure herself if everything was accounted for. "So Schala and Ayla are going to be bride's maids, Lucca's the maid of honor, Tata's the ring bearer, but we still need a flower girl." Marle tossed the list between her and Crono. Crono started to speak then stopped, thinking of something else. "Wait," he said. "do you remember the girl who lost her cat and help win my court case at the castle?" Marle raised her head with a puzzled look on her face. "It wasn't that significant. The phony chancellor still sentenced you to death." Crono nodded aggrement. "I still think she deserves something, right?" Marle paused, then also nodded. "So everything is taken care of except your best man." Marle leaned back against the wall, still trying to figure out why Magus could be considered. She suddenly had a brainstorm and hopped off the bed. "C'mon, Crono. We're going to 600 a.d." Crono got off the bed and glanced at Marle's eyes. "What are you up to?" Marle took Crono by the arm and led him out of his room and downstairs. It was empty except for the things bolted into the wall. Crono's mom had already left for the castle to supervise the move. "I just thought that we could go and ask Frog and Magus if they wanted to be the best man. If one declines, we have our answer." Once again, Marle makes a dumb idea sound appealing. "Even so, Lucca's the only one that knows how to pilot the Epoch since she modified it." Marle shook her head. "I watched over her shoulder enough times to know how to get from one time to another." Crono became very worried, but tried his hardest not to show it. He let Marle lead him to Lucca's house and the Epoch, hoping they didn't wind up at the Big Bang.
* * *
Lucca and Ash were just finishing their meals at the tavern. Lucca had explained a lot about Crono, Marle, and the wedding. Ash had of course knew about Lucca's hand in saving the world but didn't show it. He was, however, interested in anything she said, or at least seemed to.
"So why are you so upset at Marle?" Ash asked. "It sounds like you jealous!" Lucca quickly sat straight up and glared at him. "I am not! Why would I be " Lucca's eyes widened. She suddenly realized he was right. Lucca hadn't thought about it until Ash brought it up. "Thanks, Ash." Lucca finished the last of her soda, then pushed her plate and mug away from her. "Now that I think about it, I don't know much about you, Ash." Now Ash pushed his plate away. "Well, I'm from Truce, too. I'm 18 and like sports and technology. That's why I was at the science fair." Lucca suddenly felt like hearing a lot more, but mayby a bit more privacy was needed. "Listen, Ash," she said. "Since I'm out of the contest, I've got a whole day free. Wanna go do something else?" Ash stood up and laid a small pouch of gold pieces on the table. "Sure. How about a ferry ride to the other continent?" Lucca smiled and followed Ash out the door.
* * *
Marle set the Epoch down near Guardia Castle in 600 a.d. The glass dome slowly rose up and Crono stepped out the right side. Marle stood up from the pilot's chair and followed Crono. When she got down she had a proud look on her face. "See? I told you I could get us here!" Crono stared up at the huge towers on the castle. "If you don't count the side trip to 65,000,000 b.c." he said under his breath. "I heard that, Crono!" Marle shouted. "I got us out of that, didn't I?" Crono slowly shook his head. "We almost went nose first into a lava pool." Marle gave up, knowing it was a closer call than she was admitting. "Well, we made it, right? Let's find Frog and we'll settle this best man thing."
As they approached the huge structure, they received the usual round of thank yous and good jobs they always received here, until they reached a platoon of guards who ignored them. "Hmmm." Crono said. "The guards are usually the happiest to see us, other than Frog." He looked at Marle who was just as confused. They both looked around and noticed every guard was on their toes. They proceeded to the throne room where Queen Leene sat. The king wasn't their for some reason. "Welcome back Crono, Marle." Leene said. "I wish you could have visited at a happier time. The whole castle is on alert for an intruder that attacked Glenn earlier." Crono and Marle's jaws dropped. When Crono recovered, he started asking questions. "How's Fr um Glenn doing?" the Queen smiled to assure Crono. "He's still in the courtyard if you care to ask yourself." Crono and Marle nodded, then proceeded to the courtyard.
Upon arrival, a blast of magic was flying at them. Crono and Marle dove to the side as the blast entered the hallway and blew out a wall. They looked at their attacker to see Frog with a shocked look on his face. "I'm sorry!" Frog shouted as he ran to them. "Are you two alright?" Frog helped Marle to her feet and Crono pushed himself up with his sword. "I'm very sorry." Frog continued. "I hath been practicing my magical abilities, but I am having complications." Crono nodded, looking back at the hole in the hallway. Marle walked to a group of soldiers who were carying away a good amount of rubble. "What happened here?" she asked. "Who attacked you?" Frog sighed as he prepared to answer. "It was Magus. The coward attacked me from behind." Marle and Crono gasped at the announcment.
"Why would Magus do something like that?" Crono asked. Frog started to answer when a guard came from the doorway. "Sir Glenn! We may have spotted Magus at the North Cape on the other continent!" Frog nodded and the page left. "I may need thine help in dispaching Magus. Please accompany me." Crono looked at each other, both with a look of concern. "Alright." Marle said. "Only as far as the North Cape. We won't have any part in killing Magus." Frog nodded and led them outside.
When they reached Epoch, Crono took the pilots seat and Frog and Marle were in the back. The canopy closed as Crono started up the time machine. He pulled back on the stick and Epoch lifted off the ground. Crono turned it in the direction of the cape and hit a large button. Epoch jerked forward and they were on their way.
* * *
Magus stood at the edge of a North Cape that was a stranger to him. The grass, the waves, the smells were all strange to him. Since he moved back to his castle in 600 a.d., he has had trouble adjusting. He knew he was still considered a fugative in some areas and a hero in others. Magus had been trusted in Guardia until the incident with Frog, but that didn't matter now. He let a patrolman catch a glimps of him in hopes of luring Frog to the cape, though he knew Frog would fight before asking why he attacked.
Magus looked to his left. Through the clouds he saw the Epoch coming his way, meaning his once allies were with Frog. He realized they were friends, not allies some time ago, but he never dared to say it. He blew it at the celibration some two months ago, but it was Schala's influence that did it. Only Lucca realized his change.
The Epoch was now landing nearby and Crono, Marle and Frog emerged. Magus took a moment to lay down his scythe and prepare for an outraged reptile. Frog drew a sword, probably the Masamune, and was first to reach the cape.
"Magus!!" Frog shouted. "Prepare for thy death!" Frog aimed the sword to stab straight through Magus's torso. Marle suddenly noticed the scythe by Magus's feet. "Frog, wait! He's unarmed. I don't think he came for a fight." Frog looked down at the weapon, then put his own away. "Magus, why did thou attack me!?" Magus glared straight at Frog. "You were getting weak. You were a great physical fighter until your magic training started. You've become too soft, Glenn." Frog's eyes widened. Magus was right. Frog had forgotten much of Cyrus's training and had even lost a sword skill or two. He should have realized when he missed his one slash at Magus in their fight earlier. "You have a point, Magus. I hath lost much of my training. Thank you." Frog gave Magus half a smile, then walked back twoard Epoch. Marle followed, but Crono took a second to stare at Magus who was again looking at the sea. "What, is that it?" Crono said. He turned and started walking beside Marle. "Well what do you want?" Marle said. "Did you want one to cut the others throat out?" Crono shook his head quickly and tried to explain as they left Magus, who turned in time to see his 'friends' leave in Epoch. He picked up his scythe and started to walk back to his castle where Schala was waiting for him to give her a tour.
Suddenly the Epoch changed course and was coming back twoards Magus. Now what, he thought to himself. The ship landed, the canopy opened, but nobody came out. Instead, Crono waved Magus to come over. "Need a lift?" Crono shouted. Magus felt like smiling, but decided against it and simply nodded. Marle gave her seat to Magus and she took a seat in Crono's lap. Although he liked it, it didn't make it any easier to fly Epoch. He did his best to set a course to Magus's Castle and flew off.
* * *
Lucca watched the waves crashing against the side of the boat. The sea was nice too, but boring. Except the occasional bird or swimmer, nothing happened out there. Lucca liked the spray from the waves to hit her face, anyway. "So Ash," Lucca began. "what's on the other continent that we couldn't do in Truce?" Ash took his eyes off a flock of seagulls he had been watching for the last few minutes. "It's a surprise. If I told you it wouldn't be as fun." Ash looked around, trying to find the same flock of birds. "Fine." Lucca said. "I'll take your word for it, but this better be good." Lucca returned her eyes to the water. She still didn't know why she trusted an almost complete stranger. She just had a gut feeling about it. Kind of like the feeling she gets from Crono.
Before long the ferry had reached the opposite shore and the pasangers disembarked. As Lucca and Ash left the boat, Lucca glances at a nearby house and remembers it as Melchior's armory and weapon shop. She started to walk over when Ash cupped her eyes from behind. At first it caught her off guard, but she knew this was just a part of the surprise. Lucca was led to where she thought was Medina Village. As they got closer, Lucca could here weird music and she could smell something kind of sweet.
Ash suddenly stopped, making Lucca nervos. Was this the big surprise? Ash took his hands off Lucca's eyes reveiling a huge carnival bigger than the Millenial Fair. Their were rides and games as far as she could see. In the middle their was a vender selling hot dogs, corn dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and every other form of carnival food imaginable. Lucca noticed a stage to the far right with a lot of people setting up equipment. To the far left was a large roller coaster. Lucca was in shock that she hadn't heard about this herself.
"This is a celibration the Mystics have every year on the first Ozzie's birthday to celibrate his defeat." Ash explained. "On this day, around 400 years ago, Ozzie was defeated a third time and gave up his war against the humans. That was the day the Mystics started to make peace with humans." This explained why Lucca had never heard of the carnival. When they defeated Ozzie in 600 a.d. they changed history for the mystics, but Ash said the third time. They only beat him twice. Lucca was, of course, curious. "Ash? Who beat Ozzie the third time?" Ash raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Why, you did, didn't you? Oh wait, never mind. You haven't done it yet. The Lucca who helped beat Ozzie the third time was a little older." Lucca didn't understand much of what Ash said. Apparently they would have to fight Ozzie again sometime or another. She had always thought he was a weakling, anyway.
Ash and Lucca wandered over to the roller coaster. Lucca didn't even realize it until she saw the monster of twisting rails and supports. Plus the dozens of screaming people going 60 mph tipped her off. "Whoa! No way I'm going on that!" she shouted. Ash glanced back at her, a bit surprised. "I thought a Hero of Time and the girl who fought Lavos himself wouldn't be scared of a simple roller coaster." Lucca was flattered and insulted at the same time. "I am not scared!" she shouted, but the truth was, she was scared to death! Ash put out his hand. "C'mon! If you'r not scared, then come on!" Lucca was still a bit nervous, but he seemed to calm her down no matter what he said. Lucca took Ash'' hand and was led to the ramp, which was almost empty.
In about a minute the ride stopped and at least four ran to the bathroom. Lucca guessed on why, but tried not to think about it. Ash and Lucca stepped up the ramp and to the carts. Lucca knew the back cart was least shocking, but Ash, of course, took the first cart. Lucca was about to pass out and the ride hadn't even started. She looked back at the other carts and realized nobody else was getting in. Lucca quickly turned back to the line, but it was gone. Everybody else must have had second thoughts. The operator shrugged, then walked to their cart. "You're lucky." he said as he buckeled their seat belts. "The coaster's all yours!" He dropped a bar that snapped into place in front of them. Lucca immediately grabbed the bar and held on as tight as she could. Ash shook his head as he leaned back. This definatly wasn't his first time on one of these.
The ride started with a jerk and Lucca was keeping her eyes as tight as she could get them. If her contacts weren't made from the Sun Stone, they would have shattered by now. She felt the cart going up a steep hill. Lucca knew it would end in a steepper drop, thus holding on to the safty bar until it hurt. Ash glanced over and silently giggled. He hadn't ever see someone as frightened as her. She seemed to trust him enough, but he wanted to make sure. "Lucca, were still going up. Open your eyes. You'r missing a great view of the sky." Lucca hesitated, then slowly opened her eyes. When they were open all the way, she saw that she had been tricked. They were just about to go back down! Lucca was now too nervous to close her eyes again and just went with it. As they fell, they bothed shouted. Ash from excitement, Lucca from fear. They kept going across twists and turns, Lucca screaming all the way. Then Lucca saw the first loop. She once again closed her eyes out of instinct. As they went into it, she held back a huge scream. As they went upside down, Lucca shifted her arms from the bar and held on. When they were out of the loop, Lucca opened her eyes again and saw that she was holding onto Ash's arm. Ash himself had a soft smile on his face. Lucca quickly let go and held onto the bar again. Now what did he think of her, she thought. She held her eyes open and never let go of the bar for the rest of the ride, too embarassed of what she might do next time.
When they got off the ride Ash helped Lucca off the ride. She was very disoriented. Once again Ash took Lucca's shoulders in his hands and helped her over to a bench. Ash sat down beside her, still giggling to himself. When Lucca got her bearings, she playfully elbowed him in the arm. "Don't ever make me do that again!" she said with a smile. Ash stood up and so did Lucca. "So what's next?" Lucca asked.
* * *
Crono finally reached the gloomy castle of Magus's. It still stood as menacing as ever. The huge gargoyle on top still gave Crono chills. Getting here was a huge ordeal with Marle on his lap the whole way, but then again he did cut the speed a little so it would last longer.
Crono set the Epoch down a few yards from the gate. The bats scattered and flew off as the huge time machine landed. As the hatch opened, Marle jumped out and streached, relieved to be out of that cramped spot. She kind of liked it though. Magus was next followed by Frog. Crono knew Magus had another reason for the attack on Frog, but couldn't place a finger on it. Magus walked up to the main gate to his castle and put out his fist, focusing on an unusual lock. It glew for a second then dissapeared. Magus proceeded to open the gate as Frog, Crono, and Marle gathered behind him. Magus pushed the door open, then waved for his companions to follow him in.
Inside the castle, Crono immediately noticed how much brighter it was. He looked up and saw three crystal chandellers, evidentally a request from Schala, or maybe Magus was loosening up finally. He was a lot more sociable at the party King Guardia held for them. As they walked up the stairs, Marle saw the transporter in the center of the floor. "Don't tell me we have to go all the way through your castle again!" Marle complained. Magus shook his head. "I changed its destination. It now goes to wherever I wish it to take me in the castle." Magus walked into the circle of sparks and made a quick thought. He suddenly faded out, apparently leaving for his chosen room. Frog and Marle looked over at Crono who returned each of their glances. Crono slowly walked in and dissapeared. Marle and Frog quickly followed, curious of where they would land.
The arrived in what looked almost like the Zeal throne room, only somehow not as gloomy. Magus was approaching a large table in the center where Schala sat. She was going over a page in a massive tome on the table. Magus wakled by the table and to one of the thrones in the back. He drove the end of his scythe into a small pedistal. He left it standing their and returned to the table, this time sitting opposite of Schala. "Well, sit down." Magus saaid in his usual low tone. Crono took a seat near Magus and Marle sat near Schala. Frog walked to the opposite side and sat in the middle. As Marle sat down she overheard Schala whisper something about a dragon. She decided not to inquire.
"So why have you come?" Magus asked Crono. "Did somethin else happen that you couldn't help without me?" Crono leered at Magus for the comment and was about to tell him off until Marle spoke up. "We came here because Crono and I are going to be married shortly!" Magus and Frog almost fell out of their chairs as Schala quickly looked up from the book. "Congratulations!" she shouted. "When is the wedding?" Marle looked at Crono, expecting him to answer. "Well " he began. "We scheduled it for next week, but we're having a bit of trouble." Marle rolled her eyes at the comment. "That's an unnderstatement. We've got everything but a best man. Crono wants ether Magus or Frog." Magus and Frog recovered in time to hear Marle continue. "I got him to come here, hoping that one of you couldn't attend. Then we'd have it all done." Magus and Frog glanced at each other, both surprised. "I am very sorry princess." Frog said. "I belive Magus nor I have any obligations in this era. Thou must pick, Sir Crono." Frog and Magus now looked at Crono. It was up to him, now?
* * *
It was now 9:00 p.m. in Guardia, 1000 a.d., and Ash was escourting Lucca home from the carnival. She always lost all track of time when she had that much fun. Along the way, Ash took Lucca's hand and stopped her in the middle of Zenon Bridge. He turned toards the ocean and Lucca did likewise, both staring at the moon. "I love the moonlight on the water." Lucca whispered. Ash nodded. "Lovely." he whispered, looking at Lucca, not the moonlight. Lucca looked at him, but his head was already looking at the moon again.
Lucca looked again at the moon, just in time to see a shooting star flying past it. "My mother always tells me whenever a shooting star appears, a couple is reunited in the heavens." Lucca said, sighing "They're going home..." Ash looked back at Lucca. "They finally found what they were searching for, what truely makes them happy...as you to me." Lucca looked at him, gazing straight into his eyes. "Ash " Lucca started, but was cut off when Ash took her other hand. "Lucca, today was the best day of my life. Not because I spent the day with a hero, but because I spent the day with you. Lucca." Lucca couldn't help but to lose herself in the remark. She was flattered beond comprehention. "Ash I don't know what to say " Ash put his hands on her waist. "Nothing. This moment is perfect." Lucca didn't know what was happening until Ash leaned forward and kissed her deeply. Lucca almost paniced, but instead closed her eyes and returned the kiss, embracing him. At this moment, Lucca realized she was in love.
* * *
Crono and Marle were returning the Epoch to Lucca's backyard. In 1000 a.d. a day had gone by, possibly because of Crono's lousy driving. Crono opened the canopy and helped Marle out of her seat and to the ground. "Marle?" he asked. "I think I'm going to go for a walk to clear my head. Think you could make it back without me?" Marle answered by quickly kissing him. "Alright, but don't be out long. I already miss you!" Marle giggled as she walked off toard the castle. Crono walked toard Truce, not knowing where he would wind up. It was up to him now. He had to pick either Magus or Frog, but his brain was as clouded as ever. Walking around town for so long, he eventually came to his house. He went inside and took a seat at the kitchen table. Crono couldn't make up his mind. He couldn't pick between the two.
"HELP!! Sombody's in my house!!" Crono turned to the stairs to see a woman he had never seen before, carrying a stack of towels. He felt downright stupid. He forgot they had moved into the castle. Somebody else had allready moved in, apparently. "I'm really sorry, ma'am. This was my house this mourning and " The woman took a close look, then gasped, dropping the towels. "You you're Crono!! You're the one who saved the world!!" Crono was now more confused than ever. The woman ran over to the table, her mouth still wide open. "I don't belive this! Wh what are you doing here?!" Crono took in a deep breath. "Well, I've been walking around for a while, trying to clear my head. I've been trying to plan my wedding and " The woman clapped her hands and had a wide smile on her face. "Maybe I could help! I went through a lot with my wedding!" The woman sat opposite of Crono and started rambling on like he was one of her gosip buddies. He only picked up certain bits. Something about the photographers, maids, caterers, and other minor details. Crono eventually dosed off with his head propped up on his arm. The woman was so caught up in her story she didn't notice.
About half an hour later Crono stirred and opened his eyes. Beth, evidentally picking up her name in his sleep, was still going on about her wedding and how much trouble she was having. Suddenly she mentioned something that made Crono perk up. He thought she said something that may help and stood up. "Thanks a lot. You may have solved my problem!" Beth nodded and Crono bolted out the door.
Crono ran to the castle. Along the way he noticed many bellbirds along the way, but none attacked. As he was about to enter the forest, he saw a figure coming from the castle. Crono walked closer to see Marle heading through the woods. She noticed him and started running. "Crono!" she shouted. "Where have you been? I was getting worried!" Crono met Marle at the edge of the woods. Crono took Marle's hand in his. "It's a long story, I'll explane later. Listen, I may have a solution. Let's get back to 600 a.d. and talk with Magus and Frog." Crono ran off, followed by Marle not too far behind.
* * *
Lucca and Ash had spent the night in a local inn, since they had spent way too much time at the bridge. Lucca was starting to wake up from a strange dream. As she sat up, she recalled yesterday and last night. Boy, did she remember last night! She wouldn't admit it, but it was her first kiss in a long time, since not many boys went out with her. Lucca rolled onto her side and saw Ash, asleep in the other bed with a slight smile on his face. He must have stayed up later than he ment to. Lucca rolled onto her other side and saw the case for her contacts. Not that they could get dirty or even needed to come out since they were made from the Sun Stone, she just felt better at night without them. She opened the case and carefully took out the lenses. Lucca set each down onto her eye slowly, then blinked a few times to set them, not that they needed that either. Sun Stone contacts had a lot of perks!
Lucca crawled out of bed and saw a wall clock. It was 9:45, which was later than she usually slept. Maybe it was the lack of exploding inventions in the room under her. Lucca wandered into the closet, closing and locking the door behind her. She removed a set of night clothes the inn provided, folded them up, and set them on the dressor for washing. Lucca reached for the clothes she had always worn. She quickly slipped them on. Just as she put on her boots their was a knock at the door. "Lucca?" Ash called. "You almost done in their?" Lucca stood up and walked to the door. She unlocked it and opened it, revealing Ash, his short brown hair in tangles. "You look good in pajamas." Lucca said. She kissed Ash on the cheek as they passed each other. Lucca headed for the bathroom, hearing the closet door lock behind her. What a dish, Lucca thought to herself.
She walked into the bathroom, still a little sleepy from her first night of decent rest. Lucca took a look in the mirror and almost gasped at how messy her hair was. She quickly reached for a comb and started brushing out the tangles in her chin-length purple hair. "Maybe I should grow it to my shoulders." She said to herself. After the last tangle was down, she set the brush back in its holder and reached for a rag and soap. She scrubbed her face as she heard Ash come out of the closet. Lucca quickly finished and stepped out of the bathroom. Ash was sitting on his bed, waiting for her to come out. "About time!" he said. Lucca walked over and nudged him playfully. "I wasn't in their for more than a minute longer than you were in the closet!" Ash smiled softly. "It seemed a lot longer!" Ash stood up and started for the bathroom. As he reached the door, he turnd toard Lucca. "By the way, you'd look good with shoulder-length hair." His smile brightened as he turned and entered the bathroom. Lucca sat down at a desk. She looked at herself in a small mirror, then at her hair. "Hurry up and grow!" she whispered to herself.
When Ash and Lucca were both ready, they once again left for Lucca's house, now holding hands the entire way. Lucca was still not quite sure what she was feeling. It felt like her heart was racing every second. Just seeing him excited her. As they were walking, Lucca heard a rumbling behind her. She quickly turned, then looked up to see Epoch soaring overhead. A huge gust of wind hit the two of them as Epoch went past. Ash looked at the time machine, amased. "Was was that your Epoch?" he asked. Lucca nodded, then started running toards her house. "Hey, wait up!" Ash called. He ran to Lucca's house, trying to keep up with her.
* * *
Crono and Marle were now runnning to the Epoch. Marle couldn't help but wonder what he was thinking of, but didn't ask. Maybe he had come to his senses and picked Frog, Marle hoped. As they arrived, Crono could see Lucca explaining the cockpit to someone Crono had never seen before. As they approached, Lucca looked up and waved them over. Crono and Marle rushed over as Lucca and the stranger stepped out of Epoch. "What were you doing with Epoch earlier?" Lucca asked. "Well " Marle started. "Crono can't pick a best man, so we went back to 600 a.d. to see if one of the choices couldn't make it." Lucca grinned, then started to giggle. "I thought a royal wedding would be a bit better prepaired!" Lucca calmed down a bit before speaking again. "So why are you here now?" Marle took a step back, placing her behind Crono, wanting him to explain. "Well, I have an idea, but we need to ask Magus and Frog." Ash jumped down from the Epoch and walked over to stand by Lucca, almost mirroring Crono and Marle. "Crono, Marle " Lucca said. "This is Ash. My new boyfriend." Marle was in shock at the announcment, but Crono was about to faint. "Well " Marle started. "That's great, Lucca! I'm glad for you." Marle glanced at Crono, who was still in a daze. She giggled a bit, then clappped her hands in front of his eyes to wake him. Crono blinked, then shook his head violently to wake himself up, tossing his spikes of hair around.
"So you're the Hero of Time, eh?" Ash said, putting out his hand. "I'm honored." Crono smirked, then shook Ash's hand. "So you're Lucca's boyfriend." Crono retorted. "Take care of her, got it?" Crono smiled and Ash nodded. Lucca walked over to the stairs on Epoch. "So are we going or not?" Lucca climbed the ladder and took a seat in the pilot's chair. Crono stepped up and looked into the cockpit. Now he noticed a second set of two seats in the back. "When did you put those in?" he said. Lucca turned in her seat to see what Crono was talking about. "The new seats? Just last week. I thought it would come in handy now that more than three people can travel through time." Crono took another glance at the seats. "How do you know that?" Lucca turned again to answer, then paused. "I don't know. I think some guy calling himself Icy Brian told me. He didn't say how he found out." Crono didn't understand much of that, but let it go. He jumped into one of the new seats and Marle sat in the other. Ash took a second, then climbed in and sat in one of the center seats. Lucca hit a combination of buttons and the ship lifted off without a jerk for once. One of Lucca's improvements, Crono guessed. Ash looked over Lucca's shoulder to see what Lucca was doing. "I think you may want to sit back, honey." Lucca said playfully. "Honey?!?!" Ash shouted as Epoch's thrust threw him back into his chair. Crono and Marle's faces were red from laughter. Lucca turned the large gauge to 600 a.d. and they were sent through time at warp speed.
As they slowed, Lucca realized they were not in 600 a.d. They were in a void of dark mist and blackness. Everybody, except Ash, knew this as the End of Time. Lucca hit the release switch for the canopy. As it opened, the four of them were sucked up to the platform where Gasper and Spekkio lived. Ash looked around in amazement. He saw an old man sleeping against a lamppost. To the left their wasn't much but a bucket of green apples, and to the right was a door to nowhere and another bucket with a small spark inside. Beond the man was an empty room of fair size and a steel fence surrounded the entire platform.
Crono crept close to Gasper and shook his shoulder in an attempt to wake him. Gasper awoke with a start. "Well, Crono! It's been a while, indeed." The guru turned his head to see Ash. "And I see we have a new visitor. Welcome to the End of Time, where all timestreams converge. I am Gasper, the Guru of Time." Ash nodded, still very boggled. "Gasper." Lucca started. "I thought we could travel in groups higher than three with Lavos gone." Gasper started to laugh quietly. "You always could, if all members of your group had magical abilities. Since Magus and Frog officially joined much later, I didn't bother to tell you. You wound up here because Ash has no magic power." Ash stepped back a bit. "How did you know my name? Wait. Never mind. What do you mean 'magic powers'? How do I " Gasper stopped him before he could finish, then pointed his thumb over his shoulder and at the door to nowhere. "Take a look in the room behind me." Gasper said, remembering the words he told Crono. Ash and Lucca stepped to the door. As Lucca opened it, Ash prepaired to fall forever. To his surprise, he saw an entire other room in the door with a teddy bear-like thing in the middle.
"So this is Lucca's sweetheart!" Spekkio shouted as Lucca shut the door behind her. "SPEKKIO!!" she shouted, embarassed. Spekkio stepped back a bit. "Well sorry! Don't be so sensitive. So he needs magic to go through time with you, right? Since you and him are so close, I'll wave the walk around the room thing." He returned to the center. "Why did you make us do that?" Lucca asked. Spekkio laughed, remembering that day. "Well, in truth, watching people walk around this room is hilarious! If I knew the powers I gave you would save the world, You wouldn't have had to do that. Sorry." Lucca was now even more embaressed, but shook it off. "Let's see." Spekkio continued. "Hmmm his inner character has a hint of shadow, but not enough, so we'll make you Poison!" Lucca was curious again. "Wait! I thought you said that the only types are Fire, Lightning, Water, and Shadow?" Spekkio stoppped his chanting and turned to Lucca. "I did, but since you beat Lavos, I've been finding new kinds left and right! In fact, Marle is actually Ice type, not Water. So far I've found nine new types!" Lucca's jjaw dropped at the anouncment. She was about to ask another question as Spekkio started a chant. "Impso, fracto, meenie, moe, MAGICO!!" Spekkio shot a dark green glow at Ash. A green mist circled him, then engulfed him. It hazed out, leaving Ash with a dark green glow in his eyes, which soon faded. Ash recovered from the shock of getting his powers, then turned to Lucca. "Is that it?" he asked. Lucca smiled and nodded, then turned to Spekkio, slightly exausted from his first time giving away poison magic. "Thanks a lot, Spekkio!" Lucca said as they left the room.
"Well now we can travel to 600 a.d.?" Cono asked as Ash and Lucca emerged from Spekkio's chamber. "Yeah, I think we're set." Lucca answered. "But watch out if his powers if they go off by accident. He has Poison-type magic and we don't know how strong it is." Marle and Crono gave each other a slightly worried look. Lucca noticed and giggled. "Don't worry. I think all he can do right now is make you a bit sick to your stomach." Ash grinned. Marle and Crono shook it off and headded for the dock. Lucca and Ash jumped down first, then Marle. Crono grabbed an apple, then started for the ramp. "Crono." Gasper whispered as Crono passed, catching his attentioned. "About a month ago, somebody came through here and received a very tough magic-type from Spekkio. He left using his new powers, but I don't know where he ended up. I do know that he is very importaint to you and that you have seen him before. Soon he will assist you, but you won't meet him for quite a while. He holds the key to something you have wondered your entire life, so keep your eyes open. Do you understand what I have told you?" Crono nodded, taking every word to heart. He had learned to pay close attention to every word Gasper had to stay.
Crono jumped from the stone dock and into the back seat of Epoch, right beside Marle. "Where were you?" Marle said. "Well " Crono said. "You see Gasper said oh, never mind. It's too complicated right now." Marle gave him a playful nudge. "I'm going to be your wife soon." Marle said, smiling. "Are you sure you can't tell me?" Crono sighed, lowering his head. "I'm still trying to take it in myself. I'll explain back in our own time. Right now we have to pick up my best man." Lucca smiled to herself, happy she could be happy for Crono and Marle rather than jealous. Marle, on the other hand, prayed to herself that Crono had piched Frog. Lucca turned the gauge to 600 a.d. again and hit the throtle.
* * *
The crew ended up right in front of Magus's castle. Crono could see Frog's coat through a window, so he knew Frog was still there. Lucky break, Crono thought. As they landed, Marle noticed Ash staring out the glass canopy blankly. He seemed to be totally mesmerized by his new suroundings. "Are " he whispered. "Are we really 400 years in the past?" Lucca turned around and grabbed Ash by the shoulders. "Yes, now snap out of it. Ash? Ash!" Nothing Lucca tried shook him out of it. Cono and Marle went ahead and were waiting at the gate. Lucca was getting restless. "If this doesn't work " Lucca turned Ash's head to her and kissed him firmly. As Lucca released the kiss, Ash snapped back into focus. "Whew!" Ash whispered. "Thanks. I needed that!" Lucca giggled. She realized she did that a lot more ofter around Ash. She jumped out, followed by Ash.
"Well, come on!" Crono shouted to the new couple. The two ran over and met him and Marle at the main gate to Magus's castle. Crono led the oversized group to the door. Crono reached his fist out and knocked on the huge door. The knock echoed throughout the whole castle, alearting Schala, who was in the throne room, still over her tome of magic. She stood and wandered to the teleporter to the main room. As she appeared in the first room, Crono knocked again. In the main room, the echo was enormous, and Schala had to cup her hands tightly on her ears. She approached the door and tugged hard on the handle, opening the door, but it was lighter than it looked. Schala was happy to see Crono and his friends on the other side. "Crono! It's nice to see you again." She looked around Crono and saw Marle, Lucca, and a new face. "Who is this hansome man?" Schala asked. Lucca felt a hint of jealousness, but held it down, knowing it was just an innocent compliment. Ash stepped twoard Schala. "My name's Ash. It's nice to meet you," Schala nodded slowly. "Nice to meet you, too." She replied. Schala now turned to Crono. "So what brings you back here so soon?" Crono felt nervous about his idea, so decided to wait til he met Magus and Frog. "Let's just say it's personal. Are Frog and Magus still here?" He asked, knowing the answer. Schala gave a gentle nod. "Why, yes they are. They have been sparing in the sorcery chamber ever since you left. I thing Frog is still concererned about training with a man he once hated." Crono now gave a nod. He turned to the rest of his group, who were all eager to see Magus and Frog's training.
The group arrived in a dark room filled with torches that burned a blue flame. In the back was a statue of a demon, a red flame burning in each of its four hands. Under the statues glow was Magus and Frog, going at each other, but neither one attempted a spell. Crono and the group ran over to see the action, but their arrival made Magus and Frog stop their sparing match. "Crono!" Frog said, trying to catch his breath. Magus was a little better off. "What brings thou here?" Frog walked to a chair nobody noticed and sat down. Magus remained standing, but wasn't as exausted as Frog. He set his scythe in a holder on the demon statue and walked to Crono. "Why are you here? Have you made a choice?" Crono smiled and nodded with confidence. "I think I have a way of solving everything. Actually, I'm surprised I didn't see it before!" Crono walked to the warp to the main room. "Let's talk about it in the throne room so we can sit down." Crono walked into the circling sparks and vanished in a ray of light. Frog stood up and followed Magus and Marle into the sparks. As they vanished, Lucca and Ash started for the sparks, but Ash stopped before he went in. "Lucca, you never told me what's going on! I have no idea what to think!" Lucca stopped just before she went into the teleporter and turned to Ash. "No time. I want to hear what Crono's got in mind. Besides, don't you think this is just a bit exciting?" Ash paused, then gave off a strange grin. "Well I guess, but only if you're here with me!" Lucca and Ash both laughed as they walked into the teleporter, hand and hand.
* * *
Crono sat at the huge wooden table with his friends in all the other chairs. Frog and Magus, who were sitting fairly close, were ready to pick up anything Crono said. Marle, who moved her chair next to Crono's, was about to take a nap while Crono was still thinking. Ash and Lucca, also next to each other, just waited, not really caring about when Crono was going to speak up. Schala had bookmarked the tome of magic and set it on a podium beside her throne.
"Alright" Crono said. "Lets pray this works." Crono glanced over at Frog. "Frog, you've helped me ever since the cathedral and I owe you more than I can repay." Marle was exciting, knowing that Crono selected Frog, but lost the feeling when he looked at Magus. "Magus, you told my friends how to bring me from death and have fought with us ever since." Crono now looked between them, talking to both at once. "You two have done so much and so equally, I can't pick either of you " Frog had a frown on his facee, but Magus acted like he wasn't upset, but he was. Crono continued " so I want both of you to be my best men!" Marle was too confused to know what to think, but Magus and Frog both perked up. "But can't their be just one best man?" Magus asked. Frog was nodding in agreement. Crono shook his head with a smile on his face. "Actually, it wasn't my idea. I wandered back into my old house and the woman that had moved in told me about how strange her wedding was. I dozed off, but I did overhear a think about needing two best men and that it was allowed. It's the only way, if you two can share the spotlight." Crono said, glancing at Frog and Magus. They gave each other a quick glance, then nodded to Crono. Crono smiled, glad that the concept worked.
"So now were finally done with this wedding!" Marle said, standing from her seat. The rest of the group followed suit. Marle walked to the other side of the room to Schala, probably to ask her to be a bride's maid, Crono thought. Magus and Frog were talking near the throne, both still slightly confused about what to think of the events. Lucca and Ash were still at the table, whispering thoughts to eash other. It reminded Crono of when he did that kind of thing with Marle.
Marle was now approaching Crono. He knew she was about to ask about the decision, but didn't attempt to stop her. "Well, that was an interesting choice." Marle said. "Does this mean I need another brides maid?" she joked. Crono laughed to himself, even if it was true. Suddenly the lights started to fade until the room was picth black. Crono and Marle stood. Crono asumed everybody else had done the same. "Magus!" Crono shouted. "What's going on!" Magus still across the room with Frog. "I'm not sure! This is strange magic, but I've seen it before. This is Ozzie's 'intimidation' entrance!"
The lights came on and three black figures were floating in the center of the room. "Ahh, you ruined it!" a familiar voice shouted. The figures began to take color. Everybody, except Schala and Ash, knew this was Ozzie, Slash and Flea. The three were now fully visible. Slash and Flea landed o the table, but, as always, Ozzie remained hovering. "Why weren't we invited to the wedding?" Ozzie said, sarcastically. Flea turned her head and saw Magus. "So the traitor moved back in!" She drew a strange dagger with a jagged edge and a gold handle. "It's going to be fun to elp you move out!" Shash drew a bright kitana, probably the Slasher 3, and aimed the point of it at Marle. "I've got a score to settle with you, girl!" he growled. He made Marle remember when she stole his Slasher 2 with Charm, then froze him solid. It almost made her laugh. Ozzie brought out a demonic sabre. "Well, it looks like we've all got somebody to gut!"
* * *
Ozzie dashed off the table and swung the sabre at Lucca, who barely jumped out of the way. She landed near Ash. "Ash, get out of here! You're not strong enough to fight these clowns!" Ash nodded and dashed to the doorway, where Schala was watching the combat. Lucca took a look behind her and saw Flea. "Clowns, eh? Let's see you laugh at this!" Flea threw a set of throwing stars at Lucca. She rolled to her side as the stars stuck into the ground behind her. Lucca jumped up and took a quich shot with her Wonder Shot, but missed and shot a tapestry on the wall instead. "My my! A bit rusty?" Flea rushed at Lucca with the dagger outstreached. Lucca pulled out a Napalm grenade and threw it in front of Flea, blasting her back. Flea landed against the wall with a loud thud. Lucca grinned at her foe. "Maybe not!"
Marle and Frog were dealing with Slash, who kept taking wild swings, hopeing to connect. Frog jumped most of the swings, but Marle was ducking under most. Slash got lucky and cut Frog across the leg, stopping his jumps. Frog darted back and picked up the Masamune. He threw off the shieth and rushed at Slash. He tried to leap for a critical hit, but his injury was too bad and he stumbled. He landed right in front of Slash, knocked out cold. Slash smiled as he raised his blade. Suddenly he felt extremly cold, then froze. Marle dropped her hands and drew her crossbow. She took aim and fired an energy arrow at Slash, shattering the ice and throwing him back. He quickly stood up and brushed the remaining frost and slush off his armor. This is going to take a while, Marle thought.
Crono and Magus were taking turns throwing spells at Ozzie. Crono was trying to connect with lightning bolts, but was just scorching the table. Magus was using his Dark Bombs, but Ozzie was using teleports to evade them. "Enough!" Ozzie screamed. He threw his arms up and Ozzie, Flea and Slash were glowing rainbow colors. When it faded, the three looked more confident than ever. Crono fired another lightning bolt as Ozzie was recovering from his healing spell. As the bolt was about to connect, a crystal shard appeared between the bolt and Ozzie. The crystal soaked up the bolt and disappeared. "Ha!" Ozzie shouted. "My new crystal shield absorbs Lightning, Fire, Water and Shadow magic, so their's nothing you can do to us!" Lucca replaced the Wonder Shot in her pouch and concentrated. She threw her arms up and a flame circled around them. She threw a Fire spell at Flea, but it too was sucked up by a crystal. "It's on all of them!" Lucca shouted. "Our magic can't hurt them!" Lucca pulled her blaster out, but was blown back by one of Flea's fire spells, knocking her unconsious. Crono and Magus joined Marle, the only other one standing, and prepaired for a physical fight.
Ozzie, Slash and Flea scattered themselves around the room, trying to surprise Crono, Magus and Marle. Crono leaped at Slash, Rainbow first, and slashed hard. Slash blocked it and threw Crono over him. Crono landed on his back hard. He tried to sit up, but it hurt greatly. He proped himself up on his right arm, only to see Flea walking up. "Well, look who we have here!" she whispered. Flea gave Crono a kick in the gut, knocking the air out of him. Crono groaned as he rolled back over onto his back. Flea bent down and grabbed him by the throat, ready to rip it out.
Magus went for Ozzie, scythe in hand, and prepaired to slash his head off. Ozzie teleported behind Magus and slashed at Magus's back with his sword. The blade penetrrated Magus's armor, but didn't get him badly. Magus landed on the table, now char black on top from lightning strikes, and turned. To his dismay, Ozzie wasn't their or anywhere he could see. Then he remembered Ozzie's favorite move. Magus quickly looked up to see Ozzie come crashing down onto Magus. The table broke in half from the force and knocked Magus dizzy. Magus struggled to his feet and looked around. Ozzie was to his left and he had Magus's scythe. Ozzie rushed at Magus, taking him down and pinning him under his own scythe.
Marle watched as Slash threw Crono over to Flea, but became worried when he ran at her. Marle, taking a page from Frog, leaped as hard as she could. She barely cleared Slash, a bit confused, and landed right behind him. She swung her leg at Slash's feet, knocking him down. Slash quickly stood up and drew the Slasher 3. Marle was getting up and pulled out her crossbow. She turned to fire, but Slash wasn't their. She turned and saw Slash swing at her. Marle was a quick thinked and jumped back and fired repeated energy arrows. Slash swung madly and deflected every arrow she fired. I can't get a hit in as long as he has that sword, Marle thought. She started using Charm, trying to get Slash to give up yet another Slasher. Slash stared at Marle's dance, listened to every giggle and walked over slowly with a blank look on his face. He took the Slasher 3 by the blade and pointed the handle at Marle, wanting her to take it. Still giggling, Marle prepaired to accept the sword. Suddenly his facial expression changed and he delivered a hard kick to Marle's right side, sending her across the room. Marle landed with a loud thud against the stone floor. She tried to get up, but felt a sharp pain in her right side. The kick had cracked a few ribs and the fall to the floor didn't help, either. In great pain, Marle laid on her back, trying to relive some of the pain.
Slash marched over, admiring his work. He had waited for this moment for months. Slash kneeled at Marle's side and brought the tip of his sword to Marle's throat. "I'm going to love watching your blood flow." Marle saw Slash raise his sword, prepaired to bring it straight through her throat. Marle clamped her eyes shut and prepaired for death to consume her. To her surprise, death didn't come. She slowly opened her eyes and saw Slash on the other side of the room, a huge smoking hole in his armor. Marle looked up and to her side and saw a man clothed in black. It looked like something a ninja would wear. A mask covered his face, exposing only his hair and eyes. His hair was a dark, golden blond, pulled back in a male ponytail. His eyes were a bright green, but were very familiar. He also had a long kitana at his side with a golden edge. He held out his arm and Marle accepted it. He pulled her up with ease, but Marle groaned loudly. The figure looked down at Marle's waist. He brought out a spray bottle filled with a crystal blue liquid. He sprayed the contence onto Marle's side and the pain lifted. She looked up at her savior who gave a slight nod, then turned to Ozzie and Flea, who were too distracted with their own opponents.
The man brought his fists together and pointed them at Flea. From his fists came a bright golden beam of power that just barely missed Flea. The beam sailed past her and knocked out a wall in front of Flea, startling her. She released Crono's throat and turned around. She saw a menacing figure dresssed in black with a long sword at his left side. Flea felt a bit nervous, but knew what he intended. She quickly pulled out a good amount of throwing stars and tossed them all at once at the stranger. He pulled the sword from his belt and in one fluid motion, slashed them all in half. The pieces fell to the floor, each making a small klank as they hit. Now Flea was worried. She started throwing every spell she knew at the man. He darted past all of them and made his ay to Flea. When he was next to her, he clapped his hands loudly and a flash of power blasted Flea into what remained of the wall, knocking it out.
The mystery man now turned to Ozzie, who was trying to strangle Magus with the scythe. The man brought his fist as high as his head and it started glowing gold. A large spark formed around the glow as he drew his arm back. He threw his arm forward and released the spark, which had a strong white glow for a core. It flew across the room and exploded against Ozzie's side like a dark bomb. He was blown into a wall and left a huge crack where he hit. Ozzie got up and looked at the figure, also intimidated by him from glance alone. Ozzie put up his classic invincibility barrier, confident of a win with no trap door under him. The man didn't really care about the shield and began to focus energy. Large beams of power entered him as he began to glow with power. From inside the crystal, Ozzie could see him gathering energy, but wasn't concerned. The barried has never failed him before! The stranger finished drawing energy and made a very high leap twoard Ozzie. At the height of the jump, he stopped in midair and aimed his open hands at Ozzie. From his hands came a massive beam of pure force, shattering the crystal on contact and astonashing everyone who saw. Ozzie was under immense pressure as the blast continued without even weakening. Ozzie heard a slight cracking under him and realized the floor was breaking under the extreem force of power. The floor under Ozzie gave way, sending him into the depths of the castle.
The stranger cut the beam and landed nead Crono. He looked at Crono as he began to awaken. Crono caught a glimps of the stranger before he walked to the entranceway, past Schala and Ash, and out the door. Crono rolled onto his belly and slowly pushed himself up. "Wh who was that?" he managed to get out. "What happened?" Magus stood up and glanced around the room. "I have no idea." Magus's eyes now fell on the large hole in the floor. "Whoever did this had immense magical powers." Marle started to walk to Crono, who embraced her when she got their. "Crono it was so weird. That man he had your eyes." Crono's eyes widened at the announcement, then put it aside. "It's alright." He whispered to her. "Everythings fine now."
* * *
A week later, everything for the wedding was prepaired and everyone was there. Crono and Marle both were more nervous than ever. Exchanging vows may be harder than Crono thought. Since Crono had picked Frog and Magus as best men, Marle picked Lucca as her only maid of honor. Crono had Robo, Ash, Gasper and Kino as escorts and Marle picked Ayla, Atropos, Schala and Leene as bride's maids. Since her dad was performing the cerimony, Marle was extra nervous. Crono just wanted the cerimony to go quickly so that he wouldn't dose off. He was in his dressing room with Frog, trying to get everything just right. "What is thy opinion on this one?" Frog said, holding up a generic tuxedo with slight modifications. Crono shook his head, not wanting one of his best men to look like every other guy there. Suddenly Crono heard a knock at the door. Crono opened it a crack and saw the minister that was to preform the ceramony. Crono opened the door to let the priest in. "Crono, I only came to ask a question." Crono nodded and listened carefully. "I never got your last name. It's been bugging my for a while now and I need to know for the wedding." Crono smiled, knowing this one. "Odennint." he answered. "Crono Odennint"
Lucca and Marle were in the bride's dressing room, trying to get each other's nerves under control. Marle had been pacing back and forth in her wedding dress for the past thirty minutes, rambling on and on while Lucca, also in dress, was slowly being tortured by it. "What if I trip, what if I get scared, what if Crono gets scared, what it " Marle kept repeating these questions over and over until Lucca wanted to slap them out of her. "Marle, you're being a pest!" Lucca finally said. That brought Marle to a hault and made her realize she was. "Oh, I'm sorry. It's just that this is the biggest thing in my life and I don't want to screw it up." Lucca stood from her seat at a vanity mirror and walked over to Marle. "How's this. You can't trip because you go down the asile one slow step at a time. If you chicken out nobody's going to blame you and Crono won't since he's too in love with you." Marle softly smiled. "Thanks, Lucca." She wandered over to Lucca's vanity mirror and gave herself a glance. "Do you think this dress is too revealing? I don't want to give Crono any thought before I want to." Lucca cracked up at the comment, then suddenly stopped, thinking she may not be joking. This made Marle laugh out loud.
As the ceramony began, the organist began to play a soft melody that hummed throughout the church. Crono was standing beside Frog and Magus at the alter, all awaiting the arrival of the bride. Crono was very uncomfortable since he had to comb his hair down and into a ponytail. The girl who bouched for Crono, who was named Tia, walked down to the front, throwing rose petals from a basket as she went. When she reached the end, Robo, in a strangely altered tuxedo, and Atropos walked down, followed by Ayla and Kino. Ayla was having a lot of trouble moving in the dress, but managed to get to the front. Next came Ash and Schala, who had gotten to know each other during the fight, followed by Leene and Gasper. He was having a bit of trouble being out of the End of Time, but Leene was guiding him preety well.
Now the organist changed songs as Marle walked into the entraceway with her father beside her. She was wearing a silk dress with lace trim that sparkled in the light. One step at a time, the two made their way to the alter. With every step, Crono and Marle became nervous. About halfway down the asile, Marle pushed out all thoughts and continued without worry. She came to Crono's side and took his hand. They both faced the minister wwith smiles on their faces. He went through a long and drawn out verse before getting to the importaint parts. "Do you, Crono Odennint, take Nadia 'Marle' Guardia as your lawfully wedded wife?" Crono, with pride, answered "I do." to the minister. He then turned to Marle. "And do you, Nadia 'Marle' Guardia, take Crono Odennint to be your lawfully wedded husband?" Marle paused, realizing her next two words would change her life unbeliveably. "I do." she said, without thinking about it. "The rings, please?" The minister said, glancing at Tata. He stood from his front row seat with a royal purple pillow in his hands. Resting on the pillow were two gold rings, shining in the light and giving off a bright glare. He held the pillow out to Crono and Marle, who each took a ring. Crono gently took Marle's hand and slid the ring on her ring finger. Marle did the same, but paused a second to admire the ring on her finger. They turned their attention back to the minister, who was smiling. "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride." Crono and Marle turned to each other. Crono gently put his hand to Marle's chin and kissed her softly. As the kiss broke, Everyone in attendance stood and applauded the newlyweds.
As the wedding continued, a man clothed in black watched from the rafters, almost totally hidden by the shadows. "Congratulations." he whispered. His visible form faded into the shadows. "See you soon "
Author's Note: Hello, fans! This is my first attempt at a love story, so if you didn't like it, tough. I wanted to do a story that tapped an emotion I didn't normally use. If you did like it, I hope the battle sequence didn't blow it. By total irony, I finished this story on Valentines Day, making it extra special. My next love story will be pretty far off, though.
I want to give great thanks to Marle who helped me through this story. The shooting star was totally her idea and she helped a bit with the savior in black. Thanks a lot! Also, I used Icy Brian's name in this story just for fun, so I hope he doesn't kill me.
If you're wondering why I made Crono's last name Odennint, take a look.
Take Odennint and split it up.
| od | en | nint |
Now switch the halves
| nint | od | en|
Switch en with od
| nint | en | od |
Now flip d and o and
| nint | en | do |