Disclaimer: I don't own the video game "Chrono Trigger," though it would be nice to… Ah well.
Author's note: I will say this once: I take a lot of license on some of the events and characters' appearances in the game, but then again, what fan fiction author doesn't?
Chapter One- Slowly, but surely...
When one repents, one usually expects forgiveness. But he didn't. So, he was amazed when she was kind to him. When she, Marle, and the Frog had found him on the cliff by the seashore just after the Fall of Zeal, none of them had anything nice to say. And who could blame them? He was an arrogant swine who cared for no one but himself. Even she could not deny that for a time she had despised him.
But it was on the cliff that she began to pity him…
"Tis thou!" Frog took hold of his sword as the man in the cape turned to face the three. Tears filled Marle's eyes as she realized that instead of Crono, it had been Magus who passed through town, looking for them. But why was he looking for them? Lucca, Marle, and Frog were actually surprised at the mage's appearance. He looked different from when he was in the castle and when he was disguised as the prophet. He was more like a human being now.
Instead of blood crimson, Magus' eyes were emerald green. His skin was not so pale, and his ears were no longer pointed. His hair was still blue, though. At first, the three could not understand this change, but to Frog, it made no difference.
"Thou'rt still alive?" Frog asked, sneering.
Magus didn't seem to hear him, but instead looked at the sea.
"Amazing, isn't it?" he spoke. They all thought they could detect a slight trace of brokenness in his voice, though not much. He went on, "Gone are the magical dreams of Zeal, all of its people and their hopes and ambitions… I used to live there, but I was a different person then."
Frog had not a clue as to what Magus could possibly mean, and neither did Marle. But Lucca's eyes widened and she gasped. Magus turned and looked at her, and she knew in an instant. Those eyes…the stern expression…
"It's you…" she murmured. Frog and Marle gazed at her as for a moment as though she were insane, until she continued, "you're that boy, Schala's brother…Janus."
Marle jerked her head and stared at the wizard,
"Gracious! It is him!" she exclaimed, "But how…?"
"The three gurus were taken by time portals, and so was I," Magus answered, with a bitter look on his face, "I do not know where the gurus were sent, but I fell into the middle ages, in the middle of a mystic meeting, where I met Ozzie…" There was subtle anger in Magus' voice when he spoke the mystic's name, but the three did not consider it at first, "After a time I came into my powers and became the mystics' leader," Lucca knew that there was more to the story, but Magus was not in the mood to tell it at this time. He continued, looking once more at the ocean, "Lavos' power is terrible, and all who stand against It perish, just like that fool Crono."
"You dare to speak ill of him!" Frog snapped.
Magus bared his teeth (which also looked normal now) and growled,
"Play with fire and you get burned. He was a whelp. His stupidity made him think he could stand up to Lavos."
"Magus, hold thy tongue!" Frog drew his sword. Magus looked at the Masamune and said,
"You wish to fight me?" He pulled out his scythe. Frog yelled and leapt at the wizard.
His first stroke was blocked by Magus' scythe. Magus swung his weapon and missed Frog's head by mere inches. In his rage, Frog did not notice that Magus was not fighting in the same manner as in the castle, or against Lavos. He was not using (or even attempting to use) magic, but only his brute strength. Marle wanted Frog to kill Magus so much for his insults to Crono that she did not take it into account either. But Lucca, who had borne the brunt of Magus' magic in the castle and only survived because she had been able to block most of it with her own magic, was puzzled at Magus' lack of effort.
Now, Magus' brute strength was nothing to scoff at. There was more than one instance where if Frog had been any less of a warrior he would have had his head cut off or his heart pierced. But soon Frog dealt a swipe to Magus' legs, scrapping his left and right knees. Magus winced in pain and was not prepared for Frog's next attack. Frog jumped behind Magus and kicked him in the back of the knees, sending the wizard to the ground.
Frog grabbed Magus' hair, pulled his head back, and held the Masamune up to Magus' neck.
"Frog!" Lucca exclaimed, though she didn't know why. Her cry caused Frog to hesitate a moment. Magus hissed at the amphibian,
"What are you waiting for? Kill me and be done with it!"
Lucca sputtered, almost not believing what she was about to say, "Frog, please! No more blood! No more!"
Marle scowled at Lucca and said, "Lucca, are you crazy? He tried to kill us! He's a monster!"
"It doesn't matter now!" Lucca's face began to turn red with anger, "don't either one of you get? It's worthless! Crono's dead, and Lavos lives! And how much blood have we shed for this cause, even if we were defending ourselves? And we've changed nothing! And if you kill him now, Frog, we still haven't changed anything! Not for the better, anyway. If you must have your revenge, then get it over with! But I'll have no part of it!"
She turned and walked away, her arms wrapped around her, as if she were cold. Marle stood agape, her heart steadily filling with shame. She opened her mouth to address Lucca, but no words came out.
Frog's face softened, and he thought for a moment. Then he slowly let go of Magus' hair, and spoke, "What she hath said is right. Killing you will neither bring back Crono nor Cyrus."
Magus was astonished. He looked up and Frog and said, with a sneer, "So that's it? You're just going to let me go?"
"Yes…Thou art no longer a threat." Frog grimaced and began to walk away, a little grudgingly. Marle didn't even look at the wizard as she and Frog rejoined Lucca and left the cliff. Magus stayed on his wounded knees for a few minutes before the shock of receivingmercy wore off.
"Why?" He thought, "Why didn't he just kill me? I deserve to die…"
There was no chance of killing Lavos. It was too powerful. Magus had tried and failed miserably. His one goal in life, and he could not accomplish it when the time had come. He had wanted the frog to kill him, and end his pain. Why did that girl rise to his defense? That girl… Where had he seen her before? He didn't remember her.
Sucking in his breath, Magus painfully stood up. All of his abilities, and here he was succumbing to scrapped knees.He cursed himself for not having any healing power. He knew the frog had healing magic, but he wouldn't help him, that Magus knew for sure. He would have to seek help from the village, he supposed. Some of them might recognize him as the queen's prophet, but there were no personal vendettas against him there as far as he knew.
He took a few steps down the cliff before a sudden thought occurred to him. The boy Crono had been very powerful in his lightning gift, and was quite a formidable warrior. The loss of him broke the chances of Lavos being destroyed. Magus could not defeat Lavos by himself, but if Crono were at his side, and if they could find one more person with extremely powerful magic ability, then there could be a chance that they could battle Lavos and be successful. There was that other boy who fought in the castle with Crono, with a great ability to create fire spells. If Magus could get Crono and that other boy to fight with him, and have some healers behind them in the battle, then they could arise victorious.
But there were two problems: Crono was dead and Magus had no idea where the other boy was.
There was one possible solution. Magus remembered Gaspar, the guru of time, was trying to create a device to break through time itself. Where ever Gaspar had been taken to, no doubt he would have continued his work and come up with something. And the frog and his team had a capability to travel to certain periods of time at will, apparently. And if they could find the guru of time…
Magus blinked back tears of pain as he ran down the side of cliff to try to catch up with the others. He eventually saw them, figures in the distance, and cried out.
That had been a week before, and now Magus was in the End of Time with the rest of bunch, trying to sleep. But right now he couldn't rest, as he remembered that moment on the cliff. He looked around at the rest of the team. Crono and Marle rested near Gaspar's feet. Rescuing Crono from that moment in time had not been easy, and Magus hardly received any gratefulness for all the things he had done to try to redeem himself, even though Lucca had persuaded Marle to heal Magus' knees. He would never admit it (the remnants of his pride not allowing him to) but he wanted to be accepted into the group. But from the way things were progressing, it seemed they would never accept him.
Crono didn't even want to acknowledge that it was Magus who had helped the others save him. Marle had not seemed to notice that it was Magus who saved her life from the Lavos spawn that had come upon the group so suddenly on Death Peak. Frog, well, Frog had a pretty good reason to hate Magus; Magus only killed his best friend. Even though Magus had now changed Frog back into his human form, and they called him Glenn, there was still Cyrus' blood on Magus' hands. Ayla didn't really know what to think of Magus, so she generally kept her distance from him. Robo was just Robo.
Then Magus' eyes turned to Lucca's sleeping form, and he remembered what was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of his life.
"After we retrieve Crono, we must find that other boy," Magus had spoken to Lucca as he walked next to her in the future era. The others were behind them, because for some odd reason they depended on Lucca and Magus to lead the way through Death Peak. And to this day, Magus was grateful that Lucca had been the only one to hear his words.
Lucca raised her eyebrow, "Other boy?"
"In my castle, when Crono and F…Glenn came to fight me, there was another boy with them. One that could use fire."
"A b…" Lucca's eyes flared, "That was me!"
Magus managed to maintain his stiff expression, though he could not help but widen his eyes a bit.
"You? That could not have possibly been you; you're a woman."
"Of course, I'm a woman! And yes, it was I who attacked you with fire."
"But…that person had a hat."
"I lost it at the Ocean Palace."
"I didn't need them anymore after stepping into the recovery pool at Zeal."
"And short hair."
"I had it pulled back in a braid in my hat."
"Well…" Magus refused to admit defeat, though blood was rushing to his face, "You did look like a boy."
Instead of getting a good, stinging slap on the face like he expected, Magus was surprised to find that Lucca just let out a sigh and replied, "I guess you're right. My mother is always getting on to me about my appearance… Oh, why am I even talking to you about this?"
Magus did not answer, and they continued to walk in silence. Magus hoped that Lucca would interpret the redness on his face as a reaction to the immensely cold weather…
She was actually quite pretty, now that Magus thought about it. With her hair down and long, not to mention the deep purple color, Magus thought that Lucca belonged in Zeal (as it had been) rather than the time she grew up in. No wonder she had tried to make herself plain; she must have stuck out like a sore thumb in Guardia.
When the team had celebrated Crono's return by camping out, only Lucca had invited Magus (who was standing alone by a tree) to join them by the fire. He had come reluctantly, and the others never failed to look at him with suspicion. He was grateful to be sitting between Lucca and Ayla, though Ayla would not cease playing with his hair.
He had leaned back a little from Ayla to try to discourage this antic, but in doing so, he only succeeded in accidentally leaning his head against Lucca's shoulder, which had raised more than one eyebrow amongst the team. By the time Magus realized his mistake, Lucca's face was already as red as a rose, and fairly soon, so was his. He left the campfire soon after that.
"You're awake too?" A voice brought Magus out of his thoughts and he turned to see that Lucca was looking up at him.
"Yes," he replied.
"I was thinking…"
A week ago, Magus would have sharply replied, None of your business. But since the only person in the group who had ever been genuinely nice to him was asking, he answered,
"About what has happened. The cliff…"
"Why are you awake?"
"I had a nightmare."
Magus wanted to be "himself" and just turn away and not speak anymore, but not to Lucca. If Crono or Marle or Glenn had addressed him, he wouldn't even give him or her the time of day. When they were around and awake, Magus behaved as he always had, with his false pride and seeming dignity. But in reality, he was the most vulnerable of them all. He had hardly any real dignity left, after being defeated by Lavos and begging Frog for death. The only stateliness that remained was in his appearance and manner towards the others. Even his powers were no call to boast, though they were greater than the others'. His powers did nothing for him at the Ocean Palace.
Magus answered Lucca, "What kind of nightmare?"
"It was in your castle, actually," she said, "When you…looked different. I dreamed that you were there, but you were frozen like a statue, and Ozzie, Slash, and Flea came out of the walls. I couldn't use my powers, and they were slowly creeping towards me. Ozzie was drooling, and Flea was grinning, and Slash…"
"He looked like he wanted to…to…"
"Do things to you?"
Magus grimaced. If it wasn't enough that these three had tortured him inevery imaginable waywhen he was little, now they tormented this woman in her dreams. Now that Magus could travel in time with the others, maybe it was about time he settled his score with Ozzie and the rest.And perhaps the world would be better for it.
"Go to sleep," he said, "You are in no danger of those three here."
"All right…" Lucca settled her head back down, "but please try to get some sleep too."
Magus nodded, not looking at her.