Disclaimer: Chrono no mine. Waaaaaah. . .

Author's Note: Oh my God, it's a Chrono Crusade fic from me with a plot. Be still my heart. . .

Just some basic info first. This story will have (according to its outline) 10 chapters, plus an epilogue and this prologue. At the moment it will be rated T, but that could change to M. The main coupling is Rosette/Chrono and it will be a non-AU. Though things may seem OOC at times, there is a reason for it all. I promise.

Also, I have not given up on any of my other fics. And They Live Happily Ever After will be continuing as normal. But because it's close to being over, I thought I'd promptly start this one. XD

All that said, I seriously hope you enjoy. Because I'm sure as hell gonna. (;

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DOUBLE TROUBLE

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Prologue

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"So. . . What exactly is this. . . ?" Father Remington leaned cautiously forward, poking his nose around the complex looking mechanism; hands clasped behind his back. Strands of shaggy golden hair falling against his smooth cheeks, he flashed a politely curious frown. "It certainly looks. . . uh. . . big."

Behind him, the Elder gave an unnaturally high-pitched snigger of delight. Twisting a few more cogs into place, he bestowed upon his invention a loving pat; admiring it from every angle. At a towering height of six and a half feet, the complex jumble of silver tubing made the contraption look more like a giant jungle gym than anything. But the metal pod in the center- large enough to fit two people- gave it away as some sort of machine, complete with shrill whistles and flashing red lights. "Yep! This baby's big! And for a good reason." He gave a slightly dramatic pause. "It can do BIG THINGS!"

Remington arched an eyebrow as he straightened, surveying the highly excited old man with an air of bewildered suspicion. "And. . . what exactly does it do?"

"I'm getting to that, my boy!" he chortled gleefully, fixing his small black hat over his mane of wild gray hair. "Patience is virtue!"

"I know that- we're still on a look out for an apostle with said virtue. . ." the man murmured under his breath, leaning casually against the stone wall. With a soft sigh he allowed his eyes to travel over the Elder's busy workshop, silently wondering what sort of secrets the rest of the wacky house held.

. . . Then again, with the Elder, it might be best not to know.

"All right! Perfect!" the scientist suddenly crooned, calling the minister's attention once more. Holding up a small remote with a certain degree of triumph, the man displayed a very toothy grin. "I have done it! I have created the perfect spying device!"

Again, the blonde chose to look respectfully puzzled. "Aren't spying devices supposed to be a bit. . . I don't know. . . smaller?"

"Ha! Your ignorance is an embarrassment!" the eccentric one snorted, petting the remote as if it were a woman's. . . yeah. "It just so happens that the epitome of all spying technology is right before your eyes! Behold and rejoice! I present to you- The Doppelganger 1000!" He gave a funny little bow, expecting his benefactor to clap.

Which Remington did.

Very slowly.

The Elder snapped an irritated glare upon the younger man. "What's wrong?"

"Uh. . .the thing is. . ." the other's blue pools narrowed slightly. "It's just. . . Well, what does it do?"

He growled. "Come on, boy- use your head! It says right in its name- a doppelganger is a sort of double. An exact replica of a person that only lasts a while. Using blessed tools and the holy powers of the church, I have created a machine that will take any field agent, copy them, and then make that copy disappear after 72 hours. Think about it! Spies that you don't have to worry about- they could be caught, tortured, poisoned, shot, scalped, or hung- it wouldn't matter! And in the meantime, the real agent can investigate less dangerous stuff."

Remington, however- despite the older man's very good sales pitch- didn't seem quite convinced. "Hmm. . . Yes, well, I'm not sure. I mean, how reliable are these clones? And are there any side effects? What sort of behav-"

"Quiet! I gave it my seal of approval! That means it's perfect!" the Elder snapped. "And I'll prove it to you using this!" He randomly pulled a piece of candy out of his coat pocket, waving it frantically (and deliberately) right under the minister's nose.

". . . You do that."

So the Elder fought through the complex mix of wires, cords, and other such junk until he made it to the large capsule- opening it with a press of a button and placing the sweet on the cushioned seat inside. Then he closed the lid with a loud snap, walked back over to Remington. . .

And pushed-

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"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid stupid stupid! What the hell was I thinking?"

Chrono groaned loudly, continually bashing his head against the Elder's front door. Cursing the warmth he felt coursing through his body, the devil tried fruitlessly to erase the very fresh memory that Rosette had carved into his brain. Why had he opened his mouth? Why had he asked her what was wrong? His cheeks flamed like twin fires when her words came rushing back to him, the same note of embarrassed fury detectible in the tone.

"Chrono! Don't l- I said don't look! Turn around, dammit! Oh for Christ's sake. . . I can't believe I-"

"Rosette! What's wrong? Why is your dress all stained? We haven't had any jobs toda-"

"CHRONO! Just shut up!"

"But Rosette! Your front is stained with-"

"ARGH! If it'll make you stop worrying, fine! Th- there's a. . .a time every month when. . . RRRGH! Go away!"

"!"

It was then that he had run from her raging form; his face flushed and his thirst for knowledge quenched. He was not a complete dolt, after all. He had instantly caught on to what she was saying. But. . . just the same. . .

It had never really hit him that Rosette would ever . . . menstruate. Since she usually covered the smell and blood so well, it hadn't once occur to him that his Rosette was- well- growing up. It didn't seem possible. She was Rosette! And in his mind, she was still just the little girl who had found him in Magdalene's tomb. A child. . . A friend. That's all she'd ever be to him. Right?

". . ."

Without realizing it, he had once again slipped back into the dreaded cycle of morals, fears, and guilt he'd been drowning in for months.

". . ."

Right?

". . . n- !" He bit his bottom lip, giving his noggin another sharp rap to stop that particular train of thought before it left the station. Then he closed his eyes, found the doorknob, and slowly twisted it open.

Yes, he decided monotonously, life sucked.

Stepping inside, he kicked off his shoes and closed the door behind him. . .

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-the button.

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. . . Just in time for the whole place to explode.

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Mwahaha. . . And that's just a little taste of what's to come. I hope you're enjoying so far! Please review- and I promise to upload chapter one soon. XD Ja ne!