Disclaimer: Chrno Crusade doesn't belong to me, much to my disappointment.

Warning: SPOILER for the manga volume six. Don't say you have not been warned.

Purgatory By: Lafine

Darkness.

Pain.

Since when did it begin? When will it end?

Chrno closed his eyes and hug his knees close, leaning back to the cold coffin where the holy girl Magdalena rested. The girl he promised to protect and failed terribly.

And then the other girl in his life, Rossete...

He had failed her too.

Flashes of incident in San Francisco repeated itself inside his head. Condemning him. On how he mercilessly attacked his ex-partners, destroying the town and made many people die and suffered. ... And on how he unsealed his power forcefully, making Rosette ... her soul ...

Chrno burrowed his head further between the fold of his arms. He deserved this. This world of cold and dark nothingness. This was his eternal punishment for his broken promises.

Is she all right? Rosette.

The last time he saw her was before he fell into the darkness. She was in terrible pain. And it was because of him. All because of him.

He didn't trust in any God. Even if he did, a prayer from a sinner like him wouldn't be heard. But if God really exist, please, please protect her. Because he just bring nothing but misfortune for her. He's ready to be thrown into the deepest pit of hell if it means Rosette would be able to live happily.

For it was his only wish.

...

......

.........

Perhaps God really existed. And He had a really twisted way of granting wish.

Rosette.

It was the only thing registered in his mind when he felt light pouring into his darkness. He could listen the determined steps approaching him. Steps that were simply scream the name of his contractor.

Slowly turning his head, he could see her clearly. Just like four years ago, she was standing there, illuminated by the light like an angel. A sight that pained and relieved him in a same time.

"I found you ... at last we meet again, Chrno." A small smile graced her face and she extended her hands, trying to reach him. "Let's go back."

He looked at her, longed to be by her side, but he knew better. Regretfully, he turned away and closed his eyes, not wanting to see her expression when he answered.

"No ... I ... won't come back." He stood and said the sentence again. More to convince himself than her. "I won't go back."

Slowly, he pushed open the coffin lid baring the inside for her to see. Her gasp was something he expected. Inside the coffin, the holy maiden Magdalena slept forever surrounded by flowers. If he followed his desire then next time it would be Rosette inside.

"If I go back, I will see you share the same fate like Magdalena." He didn't want that.

For the first time, Rosette understood. This place did not bring a pleasant memory for her demon companion. For Chrno, it was a place where he quietly regretted those sad, painful memories. Memories when he failed to protect Magdalena from Ion and from himself.

"That's why, I won't go back. If I go back ... your soul will always be sucked by me. I ... won't let you die."

"Then ... you will always stay here? In this cold and dark place?" There was an edge on her voice. Rosette steeled herself, knowing that her time limit was almost up. But she couldn't give up. Not now. "Then why made that contract with me?"

He never looked at her when he answered. "Even now I think if there was another way. A way that won't hurt anyone. Magdalena and Rosette, you too ..."

She couldn't stand it anymore.

She slapped him with both hand, keeping his face between her palms as tear running down her own cheeks.

"Chrno, you're kind. You're too kind. I also regret ... that time, when I stop you ... things that I couldn't see ... my weakness made both of us hurt ..." Her hands gripped his shoulder tightly, afraid to lose him. "But Chrno, I'm glad to meet you."

Chrno watched her with disbelief as she continued, "But you? Chrno, if you say you don't want it, I won't mind. If you don't want to fight, then it's fine. But if you say you're staying here for my sake, then I won't let it."

The tear was uncontrollable now. "I won't leave you alone here, so ... until good things happen, don't give up."

He didn't know what to do. He wanted to go back but he didn't want her to die. And if he went back, he knew for sure that her life span would reduce faster.

It was decided in a split second.

Rosette screamed when her soul was pulled forcefully into reality as the machine broke. And by instinct, Chrno rushed to her. Catching her before she fell.

And then they come back together.

He kneeled beside her on the floor. Both of their energy was drained. "You're always doing impossible thing. Deciding things on your own. Egoist and never obey rule." His voice quivered as his tears joined hers. "How can I leave you without worry."

The pain came back. He doubled over when the wound on his stomach opened. Rosette unsealed his power, successfully healing his fatal wound despite her life span had been shorten again.

"It's alright. Your pain, your sadness, your regret, I will take it." She groggily sat up, both hand reaching to embrace him. "Even Magdalena's part."

He accepted her offer. Holding her as close as possible, never want to release her again. To forever protect her from any harm or pain.

This was neither heaven nor hell. But for him, she was the only world that he need.

End

AN: Errr, I dunno what to say beside "please review ^^" Oh yeah, the dialogue translation between Chrno and Rosette might be a little off and I cut some dialogue cuz I don't know how to translate it.