Beautiful. It was astoundingly beautiful.

Removed from the space-time continuum, this little pocket was beautiful. Light filtered through the hazy atmosphere in varying colors. The earth was a rich russet where fantastic plants and flowers grew. When you turned in circles, everything blurred around you with ease. Only the colors stood out: wild purples, rich blues, fiery reds, tranquil greens. The pond in the center was clear, revealing all sorts of brightly colored fishes. The light glinted off their scales, tossing rainbows in the water itself.

Kronos, sitting amongst the flittering butterflies and blooming whites, watched and waited.

He had not died, not really. How could one born of the merging of the Quintessence's power die? He was Time. He was Space. He was Order. He was Chaos. He was Life. He was Death.

He was Balance.

And Balance had fallen in love with a woman. And he had been willing to risk an entire planet for her even if she hated him for it.

It had been his mistake. But when he saw that white beam lined with his own power, his movement had been instinctive. Even as he felt his chest disintegrate, he had not been able to deny the sudden feeling of victory.

But there was a new Balance now. After so many months spent protecting the same body, the Kronos Jewel had selected its new Bearer and reached his hands. This had immediately stabilized the rifts.

Kronos smiled. Even he could not have foretold this end. The boy Robin would never know just how important his decision to give his grandchild the jewel was. The jewel was simply a seal, designed to maintain control over Balance's immense power. If he had withheld it, the child would have destroyed the world.

Kronos stood, walking toward a sleeping figure. Mar'i lay under the shade of a tree. Long black tresses pooled around her. A curled hand rested close to her face.

Time was repaired. They could return to their future now and try one more time. He, as a normal human with no memory of this. She, as a beloved daughter of heroes.

He could only hope they would meet.

And Balance would be born again into the human world, in the guise of an infant girl with pale hair and paler eyes.

Balance had to be maintained.

He gently stroked her smooth brow. Eyes lost in a sea of green slowly opened. He enjoyed their unfocused gaze, the childlike trust they possessed. He took her hand in his, his lips pressing briefly against her knuckles.

"Let's go home, my love," he whispered. "Let's go home."