The Empty Nest Part 4

By The Storyteller

The man stood with his hands on his hips, smiling brightly at Crono's mother. The moonlight shone brightly, reflecting off of his oily skin and white smile. Crono's mother stared back at him, looking up and down, taking in the sight of him. He was of average build, wearing a simple pair or pants and a tunic. His hair was long and brown, and his chin and upper lip dotted with beard stubble. Rage built in Noah's eyes as she looked at him, her memories of his actions flashing before her at a frightening pace. The tension grew as the deadly silence of the night hung in the air. Crono's mother stood, her fists clenched, her eyes growing red with fury.

"Did you miss me?"
"YAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Crono's mother yelled as she ran at the man attacking him with her fists. He rose his hands, trying to block her beast-like attacks, but she broke through, landing weak but painful hits on the man's upper body. The man tried to retreat, but she kept him there, her fists attacking at lightning speed. The man reached for her chest in a desperate attempt to retreat, and wrapped his hands around her necklace, breaking the chain. Noah, surprised, halted her attacks, as the man took her necklace and escaped.

Crono's mother, still crying for revenge, ran to Crono and grabbed his sword, swiping it from his hands as he stood flabbergasted at what he was seeing. Noah, however, chased after the man with the sword, running at her fullest speed into the open plain. She swiped the sword as best she could, trying to grab and part of him possible, but the man was too fast for her. She managed to slice off a piece of his hair before he escaped into the darkness.

* * *

The door slammed shut as Crono's mother walked inward, gripping Crono's katana in one hand, and a lock of dirty brown hair in the other. Her eyes were filled with vengeance as she plopped down into one of the kitchen chairs. Crono had lit a lantern, and was sitting next to Lucca at the kitchen table.

"Lucca, Crono and I have some talking to do."
"Say no more. I'll sit outside to make sure he doesn't come back."

Lucca took her wondershot and walked outside, shutting the door carefully behind her.

"So I guess you figured it out, didn't you, son…" Crono's mother said, taking Crono's hand in her own.
"That was your father. It was obvious, wasn't it…" She said, as Crono nodded.
"Orin… well… he's… he's really got a lot of… strange… how should I say it… strange qualities, and strange thoughts. He's…"
"From the beginning." Whispered Crono.
"You spoke! Honey, you spoke!" Crono's mother said, smiling. When Crono didn't respond, she sunk back in her chair.
"From the beginning… alright. Well, back many many years ago, Taban and your father were very good friends. They were both scientists in a way, even though their interests were different. Taban, as you know, was more of a mechanic, while Orin was actually more of a physics scientist. He wanted to discover space travel… well, actually, he wanted to just discover space. He wanted to learn about the origins of the stars and about their movements, and how the sun moves around us and all, and about what keeps us on the ground… your father was a strange man, too, Crono, see, he thought that it was really the earth turning and not the sky around us. Isn't that a riot?"

Crono shook his head.

"Well… at least it is to me. His ultimate goal was even stranger. He thought that if he could go into space, he could figure a way to go to other planets, and understand some of the strange stuff he sees in the skies. His biggest goal… and I swear you'll laugh at this one, Crono… his biggest goal was to actually find a way to travel time, and he thought space was the secret."

Crono perked up, surprised at what he heard.

"These were his honest intentions. And I told him how it was obviously impossible to even think about traveling in time, but he refused to listen! Everybody, including you, Crono, knows that traveling through something like time or space is impossible!"

Crono let out quiet, nervous laugh. His mother really didn't know much, did she…

"But that's what he wanted. Him and Taban were going to do it together, with Orin figuring out all of the physics and Taban building the machines. And then Taban met Lara, and you could figure out what happened next… they were married. Then I met Orin through Taban, and we were going for a while… he was really nice, but very secretive. He told me his plans, but he would never let me see any of his actual work, even though I was interested in seeing what type of things he had done. After all, if he had something relevant, I might have been convinced that maybe time or space travel would be possible. I'm always open to these type of things, you know?"

Crono nodded.

"Well… sure enough, we were eventually married, but the strangest things happened. The way he was so protective of his work… well, he became that way with me. He wouldn't want me to go out, he wouldn't want me wearing anything slinky… well, actually, he was that way before hand, always asking me to wear covering clothes… even my wedding dress was well covered. But it just got worse… He would never let me do a thing, and then he'd try to threaten me."

Crono swallowed hard and nodded.

"When you were about two years old, I finally got fed up. He had embarrassed me in front of everyone. He had done things while Lucca's family was around, and even mine, too. And then he wanted to start being controlling with you, treating us like property. I just got so sick of it that I stopped being submissive and I started being myself."

Crono nodded, urging for his mother to say more.

"And then he left me. He went off, leaving some stupid note about how he wanted to figure out his theories somewhere more private, and that he would return one day, and that I'd better not do anything unfit for a wife if I 'knew what was good for me.' It hurt. It hurt a lot. But thankfully, Lara was there, and she told me exactly what I needed to hear."

Noah laughed a little and rested her elbow on the table sighing. Crono nodded, expecting his mother to finish her statement.

"What, you want to know what she told me?" She asked. Crono nodded feverishly, his head starting to ache.
"Well, she told me that as long as he was gone, I was no longer married, and that I should go out and find a guy. She told me that I didn't need to follow his rules, and that as long as he wasn't around to take care of me, I wasn't his wife. Even now, I think of what she told me, and I wish I had believed it earlier… because tonight, Crono, I hadn't even thought of ever meeting another man, but I did… I met the most wonderful man alive, and he gave me the most beautiful present…"

She felt around in her chest for the necklace, trying to find the shard of the rainbow shell that the King had given her. She searched around for a minute, but couldn't find it. She finally looked at her chest, and noticed that the necklace was completely missing.

"That bastard took it! He took it! I'll kill him!" Noah yelled, suddenly stopping as she looked at Crono.
"I…. Oh… I'm sorry Crono… I shouldn't have said that… he is your father, and you probably have some respect for him, at least…"

Crono stood and took his sword out of his sheath, holding it in his hands before his mother. He looked into her eyes and smiled, waiting for his mother to take the blade. Crono's mother burst into laughter, wrapping her arms around her son's shoulders with gratitude.

"Put that thing away before you kill the both of us, okay, Crono?" She said, giggling.
"Come on, go get your friend, and hustle upstairs. Get to sleep, okay?"

* * *

The man huddled next to the door to Lucca's home, trying to block out the chilly breezes that invaded his skin. While fidgeting on the ground, he slammed his elbow into the door with such great speed and force that he cried out in pain. As he held his aching bone, he heard a slight squeak, as the front door to Taban's home opened. The man stood, hoping that nobody saw his folly, and entered into what he previously thought was a locked house.

As he walked in, he tried to feel his way around the large house, searching for anything that might make him stumble and lose his balance. As he felt along the walls of the home, he slipped on a book and fell to the ground, his hand brushing a strange switch on the wall. He heard the sounds and rumblings of generators as strange objects on the ceiling suddenly lit up.

"He finished the light! Good job, Taban!"

Orin looked around the room and the books and scattered inventions that lay on the ground. He saw several assortments of tubing, pipes, wires, and various electrical devices that seemed to once be part of a huge machine. He saw sets of chemistry equipment all over the place, among tools of the trade. As Orin's eyes scanned the room, he giggled, realizing that this very room contained everything he could possibly need to build the machine that would help him map the skies. However, after looking at the sky from the approximate location of his house, he realized that it was truly the wrong location. He'd need an area of much higher altitude to properly view the comet that was on its way.

He lifted his arm to scratch his head, and felt the small charm of his wife's necklace tap against his face. He stared at the shining rainbow shard that seemed to glisten in the soft light, trying to place where the piece may have come from. He clenched his teeth with anger, knowing that somebody other than him had given her a piece of jewelry.

"That hussy... accepting gifts from other men..."

He touched the smooth exterior of the shell, searching his memory for where the piece of the shell might have come from. As he thought, his eyes wandered upon a local monthly newspaper that sat upon a table in the front room.

"Hmm... local news..."

He walked over to the newspaper, giving up his quest to find where the necklace had come from, until a small article caught his eye.

"Rainbow Shell to be cut into jewelry?" he asked, in disbelief. His memory was refreshed, as he remembered exactly what the rainbow shell was. He remembered that it was a family heirloom kept in the castle, under the close supervision of the king...

"The king! Of all men... one born with nobility! And he has his own wife, too!"

As he looked out the front window of Lucca's house, he stared up at the castle that rose high in the distance. A sudden idea came to mind. The castle balconies were of perfect height! Not only could he finish his mission, he could also confront the king himself. And his wife.

"Ha HAAAA!!! I am such a smart man!"

* * *

The morning sun shone brightly over the town of Truce, its warm rays beating downward, lighting the way for all of the town's residents. Many were up and working in the light of the day, enjoying their daily morning errands and chores, as usual. And yet, Crono remained sleeping alongside his best friend within the confines of his bedroom. He wasn't bothered at all about the history of his father that he had learned the night before. His father's treatment of his mother didn't bother him in the least, since he knew his mother had come through it easily. And although it seemed that his father might be making a comeback in his own life, he barely seemed to notice. His father's botched attempt at authority was more laughable than threatening.

His mother, however, was worried. It had been almost seventeen years since she had seen her husband, and she had been mourning up until the night before, when she was with the king. Being with him made her forget all about her ruined marriage. He kept her eyes forward, in the present, and reminded her of the good son she had and the bright future ahead of him.

She had spent the night before sulking and crying after Crono and Lucca had gone to sleep. The sudden shock of Orin's arrival broke her to pieces. She decided to go and take advantage of the king's invitation, and visit the castle.

As she exited the forest and ran up to the castle, she was stopped by two bulky guards.

"Oh... I apologize... I was coming to see the king."
"Can we have your name, lady?" said one of the guards.
"Noah. The king said that I could come and visit him when I needed to."
"He didn't tell us about any old ladies coming around. Sorry." the other guard stated.
"But nothing, miss. Security has to remain tight. There are valuables within this castle." the same guard said.
"Hey, you know, didn't the king mention something about some chick with one of the necklaces?" the other guard asked.
"But she ain't wearing one of 'em!" the first guard retorted.
"The king gave me one last night..." Noah intervened. "Unfortunately, I could not have it with me. You can ask the king yourself."

One of the guards ran inside the castle, and searched out the king. When he returned a few minutes later, the king looked out the door, anxious to see his guest. As his eyes laid upon Noah, a clean white smile formed inside his thick brown beard.

"Guards, never EVER make this woman wait again, understood?"
"Yes, sir!"
"Miss Noah?"

The king held the door open as Noah walked inside. The king escorted her to the main room, which had been cleaned up and returned to its normal state.

"I'm glad you took my invitation into mind, Miss Noah!"
"King, I needed to talk to somebody... Anybody at all..."
"What's the matter?"
"I... I just... I mean..."
"Miss Noah? Are you sure you'd wish to talk to me about this?"
"There's nobody else... I know you are so busy--"
"Busy? Hah! There isn't a conflict in the world. There isn't a war, there isn't a single battle to be heard of. There aren't any major events happening, nor any holidays. All deals concerning Medina have been settled, concerning the ferries and permission for Mystic expansion into human territory, leaving me with nothing to worry about."
"It gets awfully boring. I'd spend time with Nadia, but she's always too busy with her own duties to deal with me..."
"It's the same with Crono..."
"So come, tell me what your problem is. Perhaps I can help. Here, I'll make it easier."

The king led Noah to his throne, and sat her down.

"But--but--but... this is your... your chair!"
"Wonderful chair, isn't it? It's one of the most comfortable chairs ever made. Too bad it kills my bad back."
"And so you let me sit in it?" Noah said, laughing.
"I was hoping someone in good health would make use of it."

Noah giggled and sat back in the large chair, taken in by the cushions.

"You've already made me feel so much better, King... and I haven't even started telling you the story..."
"Well why don't you tell me? Relax. Let it go."
"Well then... how should I start..."
"You open your lips and let the voice come." he said, jokingly. Noah burst into laughter.
"You always make me laugh..."
"I do tend to do that."
"Well... uhh... he he... do you remember last night, when I told you about my husband?"
"He left you, as I recall."
"Yeah. Seventeen years ago, he left."
"Let me guess... he came back..." the king said, sighing.
"It's not like I welcomed him... he just came on into the house, as if it was his... he trespassed on my property, and he tried to order around my son." she said softly, her voice starting to choke up.
"Honestly, King... there's nothing for him anymore. Nothing. I just... I forgot I was ever married to him, and there. Overwith. And he just came back... no reason at all, he just came back to claim what was his..."
"I wanted to kill him, I swear it... I had Crono's sword in my hands and I got his hair. I grabbed a lock of that dirty bastard's hair, trying to scalp him..." she said, crying heavily. The king placed his arm on her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her.
"He ran off... the coward ran off just like he did so long ago... he ran off, afraid to get what was long due to him..."
"Just relax..."
"He took the necklace. That was it. He took my necklace. Now, not only is he a deadbeat and a coward, he's a thief!"

Noah stopped, her rage swelling up inside of her. She sat back in her chair, her eyes shut tightly, as she tried to get her memories of Orin out of her mind. Eventually, she sighed, ridding herself of her anger.

"I'm sorry about the necklace, King, I--"
"I'm not worried about the necklace, Noah."
"But it's supposed to be so valuable!"
"Its value is minimal compared to the safety of you and your family. I request that you and your son come to my castle and stay until this felon is found."
"He's committed a multitude of crimes from what you have told me so far. Please stay with us, for your safety."
"I'd hate to be a bother--"
"There is no bother at all. After all, what castle is complete without spare rooms?"
"Well... you know... my son, he has this friend... a lovely girl, really... and well, I'm afraid that she might become a target also. Her father and my... well... ex, were old friends, and he might go looking for him and find her..."
"Bring her also. Does this girl also know my daughter?"
"I believe so."
"Bring her over. I'm sure the three of them would be thrilled to stay together."
"Thank you... thank you so much!"

Noah jumped out of her seat and clasped her arms around the king, kissing his lips in gratitude for the king's generous offer. After realizing what she had done, she smiled meekly and stepped backward, staring at the ground.

"I... uhh... I'm sorry..."
"Yeah... that was rude of me..." she said quietly, her eyes focused on the ground.
"I'm certainly not."
"Your lips are like soft pillows made from the softest and most lovely linens, those which I long to touch... your eyes, like blazes that can shed light on the darkest of nights, putting the moon and all of the stars to shame..." he said, putting his hands on her shoulders. "...your radiant beauty, a beauty that makes my eyes feel unworthy of sight..."
"You're so charming..."
"I'm honored to have charmed the loveliest lady in all the land."

Author's note novel:

God. I'm depressed. Does anyone read this stuff that I write? Anyone?

I realize that I've almost permanently left Chrono Trigger fanfic behind. I've done this in the past…

Way way back, when I wrote the first edition of The White Mage and the Angry Toad, my goal was to screw around and basically kill time between watching cartoons and engaging in excessive masturbation (dammit I was 14 and had a male mentality and female anatomy). I did that and The Beginning of a Dynasty (God I can't even LOOK at the thing!) and threw it up on this website… when the collection was small. I said "fuck it." For about a year and a half, I went about my business, dreading school and drawing Magus during Study Hall.

Well I found my stories on this site and read them, and couldn't believe I had written them. And so I continued a series which seemed to be growing with me. I did a basic fanfic no-no and inserted a bit too much of myself into the characters. I did, however, enjoy my progress with Magus's personality. If you're paying attention through this series, Magus is growing, and that's the point. A current comparison for anyone who cares would be Brian on Queer as Folk.

Around 11th grade I stopped writing. I had been going at break-neck speed… but I updated to this site very slowly. The last thing I wanted to do was throw things up and leave a giant gap in the time between stories. I figure, update slow, people will keep their eye on you. Update fast, people will have their fill and forget. But people forgot anyway.

Perhaps because I forgot. School got too busy for my own good. I picked up a part time job and earned money. Started giving a damn about real relationships and actually having men. I went through a growth period. I came to terms with the sexuality issues that had been plaguing me since I was in grade school (like you couldn't tell THAT was going to happen with White Mage!). I bitched about school and bitched about college as I started it (this past fall… 2001), aiming for a career in film and television (which I really did half-assedly anyway… at least until the second semester). I got a Magus tattoo and firmly put my feet down and proclaimed, at the top of my lungs with two fists clenched and seething anger, "I AM AN ADULT!"

And now here I am. Has it been two years? Was I really 16 the last time I really sat down and gave a damn about Chrono Trigger fanfiction? I seem to remember working on a story that I was one of my favorites at the time, Aphrodisiac. It'll hopefully be up here after I'm through with this Empty Nest story… my least favorite of this series. I remember Aphrodisiac being the story to help me get through this one. I also remember Aphrodisiac being what I looked back on as I trudged through the next one… The Underground City. My memory stops there. When I went back to read The Aphrodisiac last night (March 14th, 2002) I realized that as good as I thought I was, I was merely an amateur.

So such is the rebirth of Kat Dalton. All the ideas that have been slow-boiling on the back burner will make themselves known with a new sort of style. A more mature, elegant style. But no mature content. At least not for this series.

Then again it is a member of my Television Production crew that tells me "You're not as immature as you think you are."

Its just time to start taking things seriously. I basically owe my entire direction in life to Chrono Trigger fanfiction. I built up grammar skills. I built up my ability to create. I realized my dream through it. I also lived out my rock and roll fantasies through it. Each story tells me about what happened as I wrote. It's a personal journal none of you will ever know. But I think, after Aphrodisiac, when you start reading The Underground City, you will notice that two years have passed like honey dripping from a squeeze bottle. It goes so slowly, but when the bottle's empty, you wake up and wonder where all the honey went.

Thanks to Leo Chibi, the only reader who cares enough to let me know when I'm doing well, doing poorly, or wasting time sitting on my ass listening to Led Zeppelin, wishing it was me on bass guitar with John Paul Jones's excessive talent, making googly eyes at Jimmy Page's nonexistent butt while plucking notes like they were nothing. That reminds me, I need to get back to Led Zeppelin fiction too. J

Ahh. The point. The point of this page of author's notes… the point of this continuous series of words and errors that hinder your travel to the last chapter in this wretched story… the point of this odd bit that ought to be in my livejournal… ah, yes.

I'm back.

Oh, and let me know if you give two hoots or are ACTUALLY reading this:


Part 5

Chrono Trigger Fanfic