Disclaimer: I own nothing.

My first attempt at a Chrno Crusade ficlet. Seeing as I really want to take a break from the MS couple for a bit in the Inuyasha section, I thought it would be neat to try and write a short… thing… and also seeing as I just saw the final episode of the series a few hours ago… Anyway, on with it!

Warning: Spoilers for the end of the series. I've been told the manga ending is vastly different from the anime series, but as I haven't read any of the manga series, read at your own risk.

As I sit here on the bench with you beside me, many thoughts are running through my head.

It's too much to think about at a time like this, especially since what little time I have left is steadily trickling away by the miniature clock seal that hangs around my neck. Yet I cannot help but think about it.

We saved - no, Chrno - you saved the city from absolute despair.

It was you who defeated Aion at the last possible moment. When I first woke up, my hand went to the seal, and I knew, somehow, that it was to be this way for us. You could not have possibly beat Aion in only your human form, but we could not give up. We could not allow Aion to take over by using false hope as a weapon to lure more innocents to their destruction. You told me no. You didn't explain to me, but I knew what you wanted to say. It was obvious; the way you turned to look at me as you raised your head from the ground, your eyes meeting mine, thin streams of blood coming from various open cuts and scratches.

Not if it means your life will end.

I understood why you were not willing to do this. You did not want me to suffer any more than I already had for the past four years. All of this would be for nothing.

But we could not let it end this way; not while we had strength left.

And this choice, this unspoken decision that hung in the air between us, would be the only way to do it. It was our only choice. It was a decision I had made a long time ago, when I first accepted the contract for you. I've never had to regret it; it was a sacrifice I would make for you, and for the future.

And when I opened the seal, and watched the fated whirl of the colours that would slowly, but eventually take what was left of my life, I knew I had done the right thing.

As a result, you were able to defeat Aion.

As I sit here, there is something that must be voiced. If I were to say before it is too late, that would be a rather ironic choice of words, because it is already too late. I know this, my mind and heart senses it, but this is the first time I have ever had to think in-depth about what the true meaning of it all is.

I opened that seal, and in doing so, allowing my fate to consume me.

Four years ago, I knew what it would mean; that my life expectancy would be shorter than most. For your powers drain my life force as long as the seal remains open, and I was able to accept that - as long as I knew the consequences for it. As long as I knew you would be alright.

But as you sit down beside me and cover my hand with yours, I know that this is truly the end. I have told you many times over the course of our years together that if things ever came to this, I would be happy knowing my death accomplished something. It would mean something, to be able to protect others. If one life - my life - had to be sacrificed for the sake of others, I would gladly do it, just to make sure everyone else would be okay.

I lied.

I fear death. It is true that I will accomplish the means to get rid of Aion through my sacrifice for you, but there is still so much to say…

I don't want to die anymore.

I finally speak, but my voice trembles with the effort of holding back the tears, and I sense thatyou arewatching me.

There are so many things I have wanted to tell you, Chrno, but I just don't know what to say. Or how to say them.

Too little time. If I had known things would end like this, that I could not escape fate… I would have…

I would have…

I want to live longer, Chrno. I want to hear the birds chirping when I wake up the next morning to talk to Sister Kate about my next mission. I want to hear her scold me for some stupid mistake during the last mission. I want to watch the sun rise again. I want to go down in the river and splash the water everywhere; feel it on my hands and recall happier times, and not think about what I knew would likely be inevitable. I want to hear Joshua say, "Nee-san" one more time, and I want to know that he'll be okay without me. I want to rub his back and ease whatever suffering he still goes through, and smile for him so he'll know I will always be there for him. But most of all, what I want is the knowledge that I will wake up and see you watching me, knowing that you'll always be there to tell me that things will work out for the better.

I am frightened. I tried not to show it, perhaps because I thought things would not be like this. I always thought I had more time, even though…

… this seal was a fateful reminder of everything.

I have only one thing to request from you.

If there is one thing that will make the fear bearable with each passing moment as the sun sets, securing my fate, it is knowing that you are nearby, that you care.

Hold me.

Just a little longer, Chrno. I want to be with you.

So how was it? Like always, feedback appreciated. Even if it's something like: "OMG! U suck! Rosette's not like that!", it will help. If you do decide to say something equivalent of that, please have the courtesy to tell me why so I will not make the same mistake again. This was simply done during a moment of inspiration after watching the last episode - and almost crying.

Completed - February. 2nd, 2006