Disclaimer- I don't own Chrono Crusade.
Sometimes, Chrono resents God.
Fate, Destiny, Chance, they were all just ways that people who were trying to sound wise told the same story.
This is your life.
Deal with it.
Sometimes, you get a blessing- like falling love with someone and trusting them, knowing that they are there for you- always.
Sometimes, you get a curse- like time accelerating unto the point where it slips by, and suddenly you wonder where your life has gone- even if it was supposed to be Eternity.
He wonders, just how was it that Rosette decided he was a good man, since he was neither.
Whenever he asks, though, all he gets is a gentle, quiet smile and suddenly that doesn't matter anymore.
Rosette knows Chrono is old. How old, she doesn't really want to know. But she understands his kind of old.
The Elder is old in body, his hair grayed and face weathered by long, harsh years.
But Chrono is a different kind of old, the kind of old where he stays the same and the world keeps changing, and all he has left are memories.
It must be sad, she thinks, because to him, everyone else is moving at a pace that's like a speeding car about to crash at any moment.
He doesn't smile a lot- not really, not in the way she wants him to. Whenever she thinks he's happy, suddenly he's reminded of something in the past and he's out of her reach again.
The ticking against her chest will stop eventually- and then, she hopes Chrono will not put her in the past.
Chrono understands Rosette will die someday. Whether by the claws of a devil or the hands of time, she will pass back into the cycle of life.
He runs through her life like a parasite, sucking her soul dry until there's nothing left of her. He can't help it. He's a devil, after all, and devils take, take, take, not give.
He could easily outlast her, if he wanted, just like with Mary- the other one, the one who came before with such sadness.
He could live Forever. See the End of the World. Watch the world keep turning.
But this time, there's nothing left. To live, would be to live without purpose, without meaning, as the world passed him by.
And that... that was what Hell would be.
"Do you want to see them?" Chrono asks quietly, pushing the cracked bowl towards her gently, doing his best to keep the urge to retch blood as his body deteriorates.
"Yes... yes I do." Rosette whispers, letting the water run down her lips and into her body, as the hands on the clock tick away.
"Why don't we go see them then?" he furrows his eyebrows and leans towards her. Anything for her. Always for her.
"But I'd rather stay here with you."Rosette murmured, and gently brushes her soft fingertips over his knuckles.
Rosette wants no regrets- but in the end, she understands that regret is just another part of being human- even if you are one of His chosen.
"Chrono... do you think it was stupid, to want everything to be alright when Joshua came back?" she whispered, bowing her head because she couldn't have him look at her.
"Not at all." Chrono replied softly, and embraced her once again, burying his face in her soft hair as she shuddered with repressed tears against his chest.
"That's just part of being human."
"Chrono..." he looked up at her, stopping his work at fixing the rundown shack they called home for almost a year.
"When you die... do you think you'll become part of the Astral Line, too?"
Chrono smiled, only a little because now and then, it hurt to smile. "I hope so." He put down the hammer and set them aside to look at her.
"Do you believe you'll go to Heaven?" Rosette's voice is thin and a little more than desperate- if he's not there, Heaven isn't really Paradise.
He laughed at that, not trying to be cruel but simply bitter. "I'm a devil, Rosette. I'm a sinner." Chrono wished he could cry.
"There's no Heaven for the devil."
Rosette, despite the ticking of the clock, easily pinned Chrono down with one movement of her eyes, against the wall with tears pouring down her cheeks. "Then... then when we die..."
Chrono smiled and brushed the tears away as he let his lips touch her warm forehead, where the stigmata of the crown was.
"But this is as close to Heaven as I need."
Rosette loves the sunset- it's like daring Death one more time, watching the last of the light fall into darkness, and wondering if it'll come back- or rather, if she will.
So, no matter what happens, she will be on that porch, Chrono knows, and will be sitting out there.
He follows her out there, waiting until she calls him- always waiting.
She calls him, smiling without looking at him, her face glowing in the dying lights as he sits himself next to her.
"Chrono... is this what Heaven should be?" Rosette asks softly, gently gripping his hand in hers.
"If it isn't... then I'd rather be here." Chrono replied softly, and wishes, just once, that he still had his horns, and that this would be frozen- forever. That's what he wants most of all, to say that last word- forever.
But he's had enough of Forever, and Eternity is too long.
The only piece of forever he'll ever need is right here.
"I think I'd rather be here too. Heaven wouldn't be all that great..." Rosette whispered, leaning against his shoulder, her breath whispers in his ear.
"Why's that?" Chrono murmured, brushing her golden locks with a gentle smile.
Rosette smiled back, and allowed her lips to brush his with a feather kiss for a moment.
"Anyplace can be Heaven, if its with you."
Azmaria finally found them, lying with their heads gently brushing, their hands clasped in an eternal embrace, in a cabin where they had finally been able to spend an entire year with each other, just being together.
And now, they were together forever.
The reports came in, about a political party in Germany, about rising tensions in the Far East, about a growing movement towards isolationist ideals in America.
And then, the Second Prophecy finally came true, and the world once again knew the indiscriminate devastation of war, and millions of people were brought swiftly to the realm of the dead.
"These are dark and terrible times," Sister Kate told her softly, just before the good sister passed away, to follow the girl who was like a daughter to her and the devil whom that girl loved.
And she prayed, prayed that God would find it in His heart to open the gates of Heaven and let a devil pass through at last, and understood that Rosette would have broken out of Heaven to follow Chrono if He hadn't.
It was then that Azmaria finally understood the true meaning of envying the dead.