Disclaimer: Did you know that I'm going to hell because I want the devil? Want being the key word. Which means I don't own him yet. (sigh) I have to wait my turn. . . (lines up behind all of the other rabid Chrono fans.)

(Oh! And nor, might I add, do I own Le-chan's fic "My Innocent Contract," from which I drew inspiration.)

Author's Note: Hey hey! So a friend of mine sent me this really good fic by Le-chan last night and I enjoyed it so much that I had to take a shot at my own darker Chrono fic. Not dark as in angsty, dark as in. . . well. . . Not light and humorous, I guess is the only way to put it. Dark as in Chrono's inner thoughts.

Hmmm, Dark as in DNAngel. . . Just kidding! ;)

Anyway, please enjoy and R&R! (I hope it's not too jumpy. . . (sweat drop))




"Right now, you need someone to act as your little brother, to allow you to lead and boss them around. So I'll remain this way; I'll keep your days sunny before Aion ruined your life, I'll keep those days alive for you . . . I just can't guarantee that I can hold back from you forever, Rosette. I am the shadow that haunts your light, I could easily destroy the purity in you by simply staying by your side, but I am so very selfish, and I don't want to let you go." -Chrono; "My Innocent Contract"


Chasing My Shadow


In the pearly mornings it's as long as the trees are tall. In the bright afternoons it bunches around my feet, as if afraid to venture too far away. In the velvety evenings it seemingly disappears; drowned by the inkiness that the heavens bring upon the land.

But it's never really gone.

I frown deeply, eyes like dripping blood and as bright as the dark side of the moon. Casting a glance around the frozen wasteland that is the time-stopped orphanage, I allow my solemn gaze to fall upon your slouching form. You're perched on the petrified fence, staring at the stony faces of your friends, your peers- the children you considered family.

You sigh slowly, as if working not to cry. "I can't believe it's been four years, Chrono. . ."

I nod, my voice stuck, before making my way towards you- trying to soften my features, to offer you a sympathetic smile. My jaw won't move.

Looking away, I join you on the edge of the fence. By this time you've fallen silent again, toying with the pocket watch perched upon your collar bone. Casting the thing a disgusted glare, I rest my chin against my laced fingers and allow my thoughts to swallow me- knowing that you'll be busy with private musings of your own.

Yes, it's hard to fathom the passage of time. . . that years can go by as quickly as these four have. From the sunny days playing Cowboys and Indians with the innocent siblings, to the life-or-death chase we've been conducting for months. . . It feels like it's been less than minutes since we first met.

I purse my lips.

Minutes. . . Days. . . Months. . . Years. . . What's the difference? It's all a matter of time. . . Literally and metaphorically. Time is the enemy.

. . . No.

No, time is not the enemy. Nor are all of the devils we've killed; the demons we've faced.

I am the enemy. And we both know it; though it's never said.

I am the one who attracted Aion, the one stupid enough to join him in the first place. I am the reason for the surplus of Pursuers after our heads. I am the one who didn't push Rosette and Joshua out of the way; out of my life; warn them of the dangers of associating with me. I am the one who selfishly let them in, though I knew I shouldn't have; knew I should've stayed with Magdalene. My horns are the ones slowly killing my Contractor's beloved brother, and it's my spell that stealing her life away.

It's my shadow. The shadow of malevolence and misfortune that I unwillingly cast, the shadow that absorbs all purity and light into its thick, overpowering nothingness. It is my shadow, and my shadow is me. It is a reflection of myself.

I am evil.

I must be. Look at all that I've done. There is no place in the afterlife for Sinners such as myself; demons so foul that even hell would spit them back out. And heaven is saved for souls as sweet as Rosette's.

Rosette. . .

Lord, forgive me. I never meant for this to happen, Rosette. I never meant to meet you, to hurt you. . . to love you. But I can't help myself. In some sick, twisted way, I'm only human. My blood is as red as everyone elses'.

I love you.

And somewhere, deep inside, I know you love me, too.

I am evil.

If I wasn't, I wouldn't have let you fall. I wouldn't have let myself fall. I wouldn't have let such an angel's wings be clipped and tossed into my sadness-strewn silhouette. You don't even know half of what you've walked into, angel- Not of Magdalene, not of Aion, not of. . .

. . . You've only just traced the faint outline of my darkness. You don't want to tread any deeper than that. You might find something you don't want to know.

I'm not a child, Rosette. I may look it, and I may act it, and I may think like it at times. But trailing behind me is the shadow of an adult-

Of a devil-

Of a Sinner.

And no matter how long I chase, I hunt, I curse, I pray- that shadow will never go away. Do you know that, Rosette? Do you really know? Do you see? Do you care?

I am yours to keep, angel. I am yours to throw away. But if you take me, understand that I come with a price: My shadow will always be there, too; no matter how I try to hide it.