Disclaimer: I don't own Chrono Crusade or any of the characters in the manga or anime.

She wasn't afraid of him.

Rosette knew she ought to be afraid of him but he had looked so lonely and bereft, sitting by the coffin of Mary Magdalene for who knew how long and her first inclination was to go to him and hold him close to her. Remind him what contact with another being felt like. Show him the kindness and acceptance that she instinctively knew he had been denied in his entire life before he met her.

Their first mission had been a total disaster. Not only had they lost their target in a busy street, Rosette had managed to lose her gun, crash a car and tear a huge hole her favorite dress all within the first hour of the mission. Chrono had chastised her all the way back to the Order's headquarters, telling her that she was going to get the lecture of her life. He was right.

Not welcome into Sister Kate's office, Chrono had stood outside the doorway, listening to Sister Kate scream for what seemed to be hours but in reality, only ten minutes had passed. He wanted to burst through the door and tell Sister Kate she was wrong about Rosette. She wasn't an idiot, she did think before she acted and she was a good driver. Well, he would be stretching the truth about the last part. Rosette handled the Order's car as if it was one of those newfangled racing cars. He smiled as he thought of Rosette's face when she drove. She looked beautiful and free and just a tiny bit crazy.

That's when he knew he was in danger of falling in love with Sister Rosette Christopher.

The years passed. Missions came and went. Rosette never lost a gun again and Chrono was sure it was because of Sister Kate's empty threat to tie it around her wrist with a string. Rosette desperately wanted to be taken seriously in everything she did.

That's what made her life so hard when everyone found out she had entered into a contract with him. Her life for his was what it boiled down to. From Sister Kate to Father Remmington down to the last girl who's job it was to sweep out the church, everybody had an opinion about the contract between Rosette and Chrono. Most of them were too polite to voice their opinion to either of them except for Sister Kate. She was loud and clear in her hatred for Chrono and what he was.

A Demon.

The next few years passed quickly. The cases grew too much for Rosette to handle and with much sadness, she gave her notice to Sister Kate. The elder still thought Rosette mad to keep the contract and begged her to break it but Rosette would never break her contract with Chrono. Sister Kate watched Rosette leave her office and said a prayer for her but not one word would she utter for Chrono.

They found a little house with room for a garden and a pond in the backyard. Keeping mostly to themselves, they would head into the small village for supplies every few weeks. Chrono walked behind Rosette, keeping watch over her as he had done since she had first brought him from his self imposed prison. She was his life, his reason for living.

She told him she loved him over breakfast a few months after they'd moved into their house. Shyly looking down at her plate of scrambled eggs and toast, she said she'd probably loved him from the second she laid eyes on him. Her face was touched by a blush and Chrono thought she had never been more beautiful. Dropping his fork onto his plate, he came around the table and putting a clawed hand under her chin, he made her look up into his eyes.

So many emotions ran through him. Joy, happiness and feeling of contentment made his heart beat faster but it was desire that made his blood run hot. Bringing his face to hers, he told Rosette he loved her too and kissed her.

Neither one of them remembered stumbling to the bedroom, their clothes dropping on the floor as they went. They tumbled to the bed, nude but not shy anymore. They had waited too long to be shy. Chrono kissed Rosette, his mouth slanting over hers again and again as whispered words flowed between them. She wanted him, he needed her, she loved him, he loved her. The claws everyone else feared moved over her body, gentle at first and then as Rosette moved her legs restlessly against his, those fearsome claws left light red trails over her sides and back. She cried out and thinking he'd hurt her, Chrono broke the heated kiss and moved his hands away from her. She grabbed his hands and put them back on her body, saying that she wasn't afraid. She never was afraid of him.

Making love was beautiful, awkward and wonderful. They were inexperienced but it didn't matter. He kissed his way down her body, laving the old scars on her body with his tongue, telling her that they weren't ugly. They were as much a part of her as the blonde hair on her head. She cried out his name when he reached her center, dipping his tongue between her folds and tasting her. The grip on his hair was painful and Chrono was sure she must have pulled out a good handful when his tongue flicked her clit.

Gasps and moans filled the room. Rosette arched her back and all but yelled out his name when she came, the bedsheets crumpled up in her fists as she rode out this first orgasm. She cried out his name when he entered her, not in pleasure this time but in pain. He felt almost sick knowing the pain he'd caused when he tore away her virginity but he made up for it with fevered whispered apologies and soothing words of comfort.

Moving within her, her silken walls gripping him tightly with each stroke, Chrono knew the second the pain went away and was replaced with reawakened desire. Rosette pressed up against him, her nipples brushing against his hard chest with each thrust, sending shivers down her spine. Long hair closed around each side of her face, blocking out the world until it was only the two of them. Each thrust brought her closer to orgasm but before she could reach that peak again, Chrono was groaning her name into the crook of her neck, spilling his seed deep within her. He had wanted her to climax again but she shushed him, telling him she was sure that this wouldn't be the last time they made love and how right she was.

Time passed quickly. Rosette and Chrono spent each and every day as if it was their last day on earth. Chrono loved picking Rosette flowers. Her face lit up at the mismatched bouquets he brought and she would throw her arms around him and tell him that she loved each and every one. She had arranged them carefully, putting them in a old mayonnaise jar and setting them in the center of the kitchen table.

After dinner was their favorite time of the day. They took long, rambling walks in the woods, talking about people in their past or perhaps about the villagers they bought fruits and vegetables from. Rosette sometimes talked about Joshua but Chrono never brought up his name. He took his cues from Rosette and let her talk about their childhood at Seven Bells Orphanage when the three of them roamed the countryside, exploring every lake, valley or hill. They had run barefoot in the summer or were bundled up like Eskimos in the winter, springtime picnics by the lake or building snowmen and sledding down their favorite hills. Rosette never talked about Joshua's death or the man who brought it about. It was still too painful to think about let alone talk about.

By fall, Chrono knew their magical time was coming to an end. Rosette often could be found after lunch curled up on the couch, a book on her chest, sleeping. He would cover her up so she didn't catch a chill and sit in his favorite comfortable chair and watch over her. No lines marred her sweet face. Perhaps if she had gray hair or crow's feet, this burden could be easier to bear but the gods weren't kind. She looked as young and beautiful now as she had when she was in the Order. Eight sharp claws made half moon patterns in the palms of his hands as he wished they had more time together.

He didn't sleep much during the nights. Laying awake on his side, watching the rise and fall of her breasts while she slept, putting his head on her breasts to listen to her heartbeat. Once in a while, she would wake up and he would take her into his arms and make love to her, trying to melt into her body, to be one with her. Their lovemaking took on a bittersweet taste for Rosette's body was too weak to reach the heights it once had and she would murmur to Chrono that it didn't matter. It was enough to be close to him and feel him inside of her.

As the leaves on the trees turned to gold, Rosette gave up her cooking duties to Chrono. The pans would fall from her weakened hands, spilling their contents over the stove and floor, making Rosette cry in frustration. No longer could Chrono hold her tightly during the night. They had to settle for holding hands until she fell asleep but even that little contact was becoming too much for her body to bear lately.

They had eaten dinner that day and went out on the porch to watch the sunset. He thought about how the birds were flying south early this year as if they too wanted to say their good-byes before it was too late. The frogs no longer sang to them at night for they were in their cozy little homes settled down for the winter. The leaves fell from the trees, dancing on their way down to the ground. Last year Chrono and Rosette had raked them into big piles and with a gleam in his eyes, Chrono had grabbed Rosette and tossed her into the largest pile. She yelled at him but her yells became moans and breathless chants of his name as they make love, the leaves crackling all around their bodies as they moved together.

The sun had nearly set when Chrono felt her tiny hand slip into his, curling her aching fingers around his. Her head rested heavily on his shoulder as the last bit of the sun winked it's good-bye for the night. With one last squeeze of his hand, Rosette asked him if he would come and find her in the next world.

His eyes burned with tears as he croaked out a yes. She smiled and told him she loved him and she would be waiting for him.

"Don't be late."

"I wont."