Guardian Angel

Disclaimer: All characters featured herein are trademarks of Squaresoft. I own nothing and I make no money off this piece.

No Hero

My name is Crono, and I'm about to do something I'm really going to regret. Something stupid, namely, getting myself killed. But hey, self-preservation's never stopped me from doing stupid shit before, so why stop now?

So here it ends. This, place: it shimmers in hues of rippling water. There is fog, the air is stale. It is as ethereal as anyplace I'm likely to see on the mortal coil. I'm not alone, but the rest, they're beaten, at least more so than I. And I've got to save them.

I've fought countless battles and never flinched; I know fear. But risking one's life is one thing; the certainty of death however, is another. I always wanted to be a hero; and there's little that's more heroic than self-sacrifice. But Altruism comes with a new feeling: sadness; unbelievable, unbearable, sorrow. Regardless, I've got to steel myself, so I can do what has to be done.

Damnit! It wasn't supposed to be like this!

But it is.

From where I stand, I can see everything my life has become: my friends, Lucca, Marle, Schala, and unexpected ally of sorts, Magus. They're all beaten and bruised. And further back, my enemies: the Queen and Lavos. The queen is laughing. Laughing at us. Laughing at Schala, her own daughter, and the pain she's in. The Queen laughs like she hasn't a care in the world. Doesn't she know? Doesn't she care that her whole kingdom's about to be destroyed? I already know those answers, but how can a person, a queen above all, slaughter her own people in the quest for immortality? It boggles my mind.

Lavos just gloats silently. His tri-hinged mouth opens and closes without a sound; as if he's savoring the thought of what we'll taste like. Given the chance, I think he'll eat us all. But I won't let him. After all, it'd be embarrassing to go to Heaven and be forced to admit being eaten by giant porcupine.

I can't help but laugh at my own arrogance. It was supposed to be easy. So Easy. We storm through the Ocean Palace; we use the Guru's Red Knife to destroy the Mammon Machine, thereby saving the princess, the Queen's sanity, and whole the kingdom of Zeal. Yes, that Zeal; the mythical, magical kingdom that once floated high above our world.

Anyway, we get hailed as heroes, with parades, banquets, titles, medals; generally a big brouhaha. Yeah, that would have been nice. Hopefully our new Zealean allies would give us what we'd need to defeat Lavos. That was the plan.

Okay, back up.

I need to explain this.

See this old man here? Dark glasses, big white mustache, funny looking hat? That's Melchior, Zealean Guru of Life, one of the three main advisors to the Queen. He gave us the "Ruby Knife" to destroy this little thing: the Mammon Machine. Why? Because it drains energy out of Lavos. Who is Lavos, besides being a castle-sized porcupine? Ah, that's a tough one. Simply put, Lavos is a planetary parasite that lives deep in the core of our world, and once he's fed enough, he'll come up to the surface and destroy everything I know and love. That's why my friends and I are trying to kill him.

Back to the plan. Of course with my luck, it went completely wrong. The Queen was too far-gone, and worse, she cranked the Mammon Machine up to maximum power, causing Lavos to wake up. It's really not necessary to say he wasn't in a good mood, and we just happened to come in at that moment. I have fantastic timing; I just wish it were fantastic in a good way.

We have seen the enemy and he has kicked our asses. And in all honesty, I should have seen this one coming too. Fact one: I already knew Melchior; he's a master sword smith back home. Now, being both a Guru and a sword smith wouldn't be so hard for me to swallow, however, I first met him thirteen thousand years from now! His younger self here gave me the Ruby Knife. Fact two: I met Belthasar, one of his colleges, sort of, and he told me a great disaster flung him into the post-apocalyptic future that I'm trying to prevent from happening. I would like to have asked him about the specifics, but he was kinda dead.

Question class: when you meet two Zealean Gurus thousands of years after Zeal collapsed and one of them posthumously tells you a disaster stranded him in time, what do you do? Tick, Tock… Pencils down, class. The correct answer is: YOU ASK THE OTHER ONE WHAT HAPPENED! Of course this just occurred to me and therefore does me no good. Lucca should have thought of this; she's the brains of our little outfit. Of course this is what happens when you have teenagers trying to do anything: they screw up at some point. I'm not mad at her, this is all my fault. I am the leader of the said outfit.

Come on Crono!

Snap out of it and do what you must!

Stop wasting time!

You are a son of Guardia! To defend is in your blood!

Guardia, my home. How I miss it. Everything I know, everything I love, is there. Now I'll never be able to go home. Since this is the past, I wonder if I'll be able to see history unfold from my vantage point in the Heavens. See the great empires rise and fall. See Guardia founded, see it flourish, see it end. See my parents again; see myself grow up, to have dreams destined to be dashed on shores of time.

I'm a natural born Guardian.

The pun is not lost on me.

Unfortunately, a Guardian does not a hero make, necessarily. Sometimes they just play the part. Who was I kidding? I'm no hero; I'm a punk kid from Truce, caught up in something that's put me WAY over my head. Everyone in our group looks up to me. Wow, look at Crono, he's such a good swordsman, so talented, so young, such a natural leader. Some leader I make; I led us into this deathtrap, this Ocean Palace.

Since my legs still won't move, I'll be honest. I'll tell you a secret. I'm a coward, a moral coward. That's why I don't talk. I really love to talk; in fact sometimes you can't shut me up, but for the most part I'm deathly quiet. Why? Let me show you.

This is my foot, or rather my foot in my boot, which is often covered in mud and other icky things.

This is me opening my mouth to speak.

This is me with my foot in my mouth, tasting boot leather, mud and other icky things. Yum. So I keep my mouth shut.

Then there are times when this cowardice gets me into trouble. See, back when we first saw Lavos destroy the future, Marle, in an emotional tizzy, demanded that we kill him. Now, I thought this was one of dumbest things she ever said, but then Lucca agreed with her! Then they asked me what I thought.

What I wanted to say was, and I quote "No! What in the Holy Hell are you thinking?!" Ooh, alteration. Now before you condemn me, think about it. We just saw this creature pummel the earth flat, single handedly defeating every military on the planet in the process. Excuse me, every military on the planet a thousand years in our future. And Marle wanted us, three teenage fugitives, to kill it. Then Lucca agreed with her! They were out of their goddamned minds, but I couldn't bear to lose face by introducing cold hard reality and have my courage outclassed by two girls. So like an idiot, I nodded my head and said, "Okay."

Here's a lesson kiddies: stand up to peer pressure; it might save your life.

Well, we did get magic after that, so we had a fighting chance. But we didn't know we were going to get magic at the time. On second thought, that point is pretty moot as Lavos still wiped the floor with us.

Most importantly, however, was how my cowardice affected my relationships. It's funny, I'm about to die, and you know what I'm thinking about? Women. I was never totally forthright with the three women who mean the most to me and it's going to be a long time before I can be honest with them, or be with them at all.

Take my Mom. The last time I saw her was the first day of the Millennial Fair. She told me to be back by dinner. I never came home. I could have. After we'd rescued Queen Leene in the Middle Ages, I could have stopped by to tell Mom where I'd been for the last few days. Marle even asked if I was going to, but I couldn't stand the thought of the inevitable screaming fit I'd be subjected to. So I continued to escort Marle home. Too bad her father had a worse fate in store for me. And since he's the King, it was pretty nasty. You rescue a princess and get tried for high crimes. You get acquitted, and they still try to lop off your head. Only in Guardia.

After I escaped, I couldn't go home; I was a wanted man. I miss her. Isn't that pathetic? Heroes don't miss their mommies. They don't miss they way their moms take them into their arms and rub the back while saying comforting things like "It's gonna be alright" and "I'll always love you." But I do, I miss it terribly.

Now, finally, my legs are moving. Time, God, I need time. My sacrifice won't save them if they don't get out fast. I need to warn them. I get up and approach Magus. He's calling out to Schala, though it's I think he's too weak to be heard. I truly hate the murdering, rat bastard, but for some reason he wants to kill Lavos, and I suppose for that reason, we can put aside the little fact that he tried to wipe my country of the map 400 years…well 400 years before my time. I think the Queen Zeal is watching me but if she is, she's not saying anything.

I crouch down beside Magus's form and shake his shoulder. He lifts his head up and glowers at me. He can barely talk, but he makes sure to growl at me. "What is it, boy?" Asshole.

I growl back. "Shut up and listen." I honestly wonder why I want to save this asswipe. "Get ready to run." He smiles with a knowing look. One down, three to go.

Schala's next. She looks like she's been through holy hell and then some. Her normally lovely blue hair is matted and her face is the definition of anguish. I shout, "Schala, Schala!"

I have to get a response. She saved my life once and it's only fair that I return the favor. Finally, she looks at Lavos and speaks to me. "P...please escape ...Crono! Humans can't hope to defeat it."

"So you are Crono." Zeal breaks her silence, taunting me. It gives me chills, hearing how evil she sounds. "Why don't you do as Schala says and run away, yelping in terror? Isn't your life precious to you?" Then she laughs again. That's even worse. Oooh, I'll get that bitch. Thinking she's so safe on Lavos's shoulder, I'm gonna teach her a lesson, but not yet.

"Get ready to run." I'm half way there.

Schala's trying to summon up her strength, so I go over to Marle. She's the second female with whom I haven't forthright. Princess Nadia of the house of Guardia. She's sweet and kind and beautiful. She's so innocent and vivacious.

I don't have the heart to tell her I don't love her.

Looking at it in the third person, I find it rather strange. Doesn't every guy dream of winning the heart of a beautiful princess? Mutual attraction is there and I know she cares about me, a lot. She thinks she loves me. She's never said as much, but let's just say subtlety is not one of her strong points. She stares at me, she's got this dreamy, faraway look in her eyes. And sometimes, every so often in private, her voice, its tone, its stammering gives away what she feels. She, is in love with a hero, and a hero I am not. Even what I'm about to do, this isn't heroic; this is me cleaning up my own mess.

Marle's conscious: good. She looks at me "Crono…we can't leave Schala here." Always thinking of others, it's touching.

"No, we won't," I answer back. "Now listen, get ready to run. Quickly." So little time, but they must all be on their feet for this to work. She nods silently, but the curious look in her eyes tells me she has no idea what I'm going to do. Poor girl.

I hate to say this, but she's not the brightest crayon in the box. And she's spunky. I hate spunky. Have you ever been woken up by spunky person? You're tired and dazed and the said spunky person says something like, "It's time to get up! Let's start a new and wonderful day!" Being woken up is bad enough, but all the added energy just exacerbates the situation. As a heavy sleeper, my first urge is to throttle. My second is to go back to sleep. They cancel each other out and I'm left with deep annoyance.

But hey, everyone's flawed. I'm FAR from perfect, as you can plainly see. The thing is, Marle is scatterbrained. I mean dictionary perfect scatterbrained. When we first went time traveling, we accidentally changed history and got Marle erased. In her own words, she was torn apart and taken someplace dark and cold. Well, we fixed it, and Marle was restored. Upon our return to the present, she said, and I'm quoting (because I still can't believe she said it) "That's the most fun I've had in months!" If my Mom had been there, she would have whapped Marle upside the head and into the next county, princess or no. Getting erased from existence is NOT FUN!

I feel terrible thinking such things, especially now. She's a fine girl; compassionate, passionate, good-hearted, courageous. It's not that she's bad; she just needs to grow up. And besides, her father would never allow it. That's why we could never be, even if I wasn't…

Oh, this is the kicker. You're gonna love this one. My deepest, darkest, secret. The last day I saw her, the first question my mom asked me was if I hadn't slept well because I was so excited by the fair. Oh, I hadn't slept well all right, but it wasn't because of the fair. I was trying to muster up courage, to go to fair and tell…her…you see…

I love Lucca. I love her intensely.

Don't ask me when I first realized it; I don't know. I do know I have for a while. Maybe I always have. Goofy glasses and all. We've been friends since my first solid memories. Crono and Lucca, thick as thieves, partners in crime. I have other friends, but none like her. She's always been there for me, and I've tried to always be there for her.

She's incredible really. An absolutely brilliant mind, and not bad looking either. She can be downright beautiful when she's done up properly. That's why I find her attractive, but not why I love her.

I remember when we were little kids, before she could run circles around me intellectually. We'd play knights and dragons, and of course I'd be the hero, and she'd be the damsel in distress. But most of the time, when I was supposed to pretend to fight the dragon, Lucca would inform me that he was gone. Sometimes she'd killed him while I was fighting his minions (how's a dragon supposed to have minions, anyway? Well, that's how we played it,) or she blew his cave up with dynamite or she just pestered him until he decided she wasn't worth keeping. There was one time where she convinced the dragon he'd be safer, happier and could get better digs by lending out his fire breathing skills. Help the blacksmiths heat their forges. That might have been the last time we played. At the time, it annoyed me, which I would find ways to reciprocate later. Now, it's, well, cute.

She's so confident and determined. She can do it all. She's an inventor, scientist, maker of all things that blow up inadvertently. And yet she's always at it. Some far-fetched invention of hers will blow up, along with six months of work. Oh, she'll pout and scream, and curse (and you would not believe the shit that comes out of this woman's mouth), but ten minutes later, she's back at it. She'll keep going till she gets it right.

She's got bravado too. Did I tell you she saved my life once? Remember how Marle's dad, or least the Royal Chancellor, wanted my head? Well, there I was, strapped in the guillotine. Rumor is that you're still alive when they cut your head off, or body, whatever. I was staring down at the wicker basket, wondering whether or not my last moments would be as a bleeding head. I'd just decided I didn't want to know, when in comes Lucca, blasting away with a Zonker-38, knocking the guards unconscious. Then she twirls it around on her finger and asks me whether I think her new gun is cool. What a woman! That day, she was the angel of my deliverance.

Maybe that's why I love her, or it could be because I can't have her. It wouldn't work. Science is her life, her passion. She's a career girl. Even if I could win her over, I'd always play second fiddle. My pride won't allow that. I can admit that now, because I'm going to be dead in a few minutes. Besides, a good man ought to know his limitations.

It's incredible, absolutely incredible, how the mind can race, when it fears death, getting its thoughts organized, putting its house in order. Fascinating. I've been able to think my whole love confession, and part of the conceit and I'm not even to Lucca yet. Granted, she's the furthest from Marle. I should have planned my route. But dipshit and porcupine don't seem to care, arrogant bastards. Their loss, my gain.

Back to the conceit. I doubt I could win Lucca over anyway. Lucca and Marle aren't my only female friends. It was to these others I discreetly inquired about taking friendship to the next level; I'd ask them if they'd ever considered dating (appropriate male friend, not me, here). And they all said "No, that'd be like doing it with my brother," or thereabouts. Apparently, if you're friends with a girl for too long, they perceive you as a non-sexual entity. I don't claim to understand this convention, or females in general. But as much as Lucca and I understand each other, I must take into account she is a female. Otherwise, I wouldn't be pining over her.

Now I've arrived. Lucca looks woozy but she's almost on her feet. She looks at me, dazed. "A...are you all right? At this rate we'll all…Uooo!" She almost falls down, but I grab her. She steadies herself. I wonder what she means, a this rate…

Uh oh, Looking around I can see what she means. We're slowly being sucked towards Lavos! I'm running out of time. "Get ready to run, now." My tone betrays my urgency. She looks into my eyes. God, I want to kiss her. No time, no fucking time. Her eyes go wide. She's on to me.

"Crono, you got that look; the one you get when you're about to do something stupid. Please tell me you're not going to do something stupid." Concerned and worried overtones fill her voice. If she were anyone else, I'd be worried she was talking about me confessing love. But I know her; she didn't pick it up at all. Hey, we're good friends, not psychics. We can't always read each other. That's why I was going to tell her how I felt at the fair, to see if I was wrong about our prospects. Then all the crazy shit, which led us to this moment, began. I haven't been able to keep my nerve long enough since.

"Just be ready. You saved my life. Now it's time I returned the favor." I turn before she can say anything. I can guarantee she knows what I going to do, and she's got her hands to her mouth in shock. Last minute of my life, and I can't tell her even now. I guess it's better this way.

Okay, Crono, it's go time. Uhhh, I feel like I'm gonna wretch, I'm so scared. I run towards the beast before I lose my nerve. Honestly, I don't want to die. I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die.

But I've got to. All of us will if I don't do something.

Zeal, the blue haired bitch, taunts me again. "Haven't you given up yet? What do you hope to do? You challenge Lavos with that battered body of yours? Mwa ha ha...See the power of Lavos and feel his wrath!" I swallow my hate, my anger, my anguish, for a moment. Lavos is busy with me. I give the signal.

"RUN!!! RUN NOW!!!"

I can't kill Lavos, but maybe I can take out the queen. I don't even want to kill him now, just the bitch. Serf or queen, a traitor is a traitor, and will be dealt with as such. On behalf of the Zealean people, but mostly out of my own anguish, I start to cast Luminaire for the last time.

Wanna eat something, Lavos? Eat this, motherfucker! Magic lifts my body into the air. Wait! They aren't running! Why aren't they running?! Run! Run! Live!

Lavos unleashes his own force, and worse, it's gonna hit me before I can hit him. I go limp with terror. "Crono!!" Marle cries first. The rest are dumbfounded.

Then I hear Lucca. "Stop, Crono!" I've never heard her voice so full of pain before. Could it possibly be because of love? But it's too late. Goddamn it! I don't know if she loves me at all! I love her; I don't care if I can't have her! I just want her to live! Run, please…

Right before Lavos's blast hits me, I have one last vision, a daydream. The Millennial Fair is closing for the day. The sun is setting just left of Guardia Castle, leaving everything in the pink and purple twilight. Lucca and I are in the Telepod pavilion, silently and gently kissing one another. I've told her, and she feels the same way. It's the start of something simple. Marriage, house, kids. At this moment, it's all I want. Maybe I could have had it, in another life. As it is, it's just another one of those dreams, dreams dashed on the shores of time.


Author's note: This is my first fanfic, so I'd like some feedback. It's the result of sitting through every Death Peak scenario and listening to Enigma's "Sadness." I suppose this is a different Crono than the one you're used to. I brought him off the pedestal, and he's more intellectual than most of the other versions of him. CT doesn't delve into his personality, so I thought I could humanize him a bit while retaining his heroic nature. How'd I do? Here, he's supposed to be angry and sad, he's lost everything he's got and ever gonna have (to paraphrase Eastwood in Unforgiven). Did it come across as believable? Every coma in here is intentional. They are where he brakes in his monolog.

I was a Crono/Marle fan until I read "Chrono Trigger: Relationships" by John Donahue at As far as I'm aware, it's the only completed Crono/Lucca fanfic out there. The romance was tacked on at the end, but its there and the story's decent, and that's what matters. It got me thinking, and do you know what I think? Crono's a fool to court Marle. I've got enough in game quotes to show not only she's ditzy, but also rather stupid. I used one of the more painful one here. Crono and Lucca makes much more sense. Till I can update again,