Disclaimer: I do not own the plot, characters, or any elements of Chrono Trigger. Think about it: if I did, would I be writing this?! And no, I'm not planning to make profit of any kind from this story. It probably wouldn't sell anyway.

Category: Romance/Angst

Rating: PG-13 (Just to be safe; I'm not too sure what's coming up in later chapters yet.)

It may not appear that way at first, but this story is most definitely an AU. Not only are the story's events things that would never, ever happen (even though I've tried to keep events from the game as intact as possible), but sometimes some of the characters are a little off-the-wall.

Lucca couldn't have felt more nervous as she trudged doggedly up the snow-laden slopes of Death Peak. Maybe it was because that last Lavos Spawn had been a bastard, nearly Koing her with one of its intense, firey rays. Maybe it was because of the mountain's subzero weather and harsh winds, both of which could put her or any one of her companions permanently out of commission. But maybe, just maybe, we can attribute her anxiety to the fact that the revival of her best friend, which they were going to attempt at Death Peak's summit, could go wrong in any way and if that were the case, she could kiss any possibility of ever seeing her friend goodbye. "Oh, Crono," she thought, wiping snow from her glasses with a gloved hand, "if we can't get you back I really don't know if I could stand it! I should have had the courage to tell you even back before this all started!"

Her depressed thoughts were suddenly interrupted when Frog spotted a small niche carved in the mountainside and called for a quick halt. Most of the group gladly agreed. The climb (not to mention the hideous Lavos Spawn they had to fight so that they could push through) had taken its toll on everyone, especially Ayla, who hitherto did not know that such relentless, freezing weather could even exist. The band of adventurers huddled around a blazing fire that Lucca herself had created, all of them gloomy and guilt-ridden ever since Crono's sacrifice. They knew that the only hope of bringing their friend back was the small purple egg that rested in Marle's pocket. There was no way in hell that they would ever find a previously undiscovered Gate that would take them to a close enough point in time to save him. No, if they didn't revive Crono now, he'd be gone for good.

"Well, is anyone hungry?" inquired Marle in a tired voice. "I've still got some of that Jerky in my pack…"

Lucca, Frog, and Ayla were not hungry. Robo just needed a few minutes to reenergize his circuitry and then he'd be in top shape. Magus merely hmphed about "morons starving themselves for idiotic reasons." He stood up and tightened the clasp of his cloak. "The summit cannot be much farther. Come, let's go."

Lucca kicked snow over the fire and then followed the others up the treacherous path. She let her mind float into the previous dull stupor of before, thinking intense waves of unconnected thoughts. She was really too tired to be rational, or to string anything together worth thinking about, despite her brilliant mind.

Something close to an hour passed, each step up the mountain heavier than the last. Finally, Magus, who seemed to be the unofficial leader of their band, told everyone to stop. Lucca looked up, snapping out of her thoughts, and took in the scene.

They were at the narrow, flat summit of the mountain. Bitter, acidic snow completely covered the ground and everyone's feet, going halfway up to their knees (well, mid-thigh, actually, in Frog's case). The relentless snowstorm that had plagued them the entire way up had quieted, and now the blood-red sun peeked through the dark, polluted clouds, revealing the desolate, lifeless terrain beyond. The actual only sign of life, besides the group of time-travelers, of course, was a small, stunted tree nearby, which was painfully struggling to live in this dead world, and to be honest, barely succeeding. Lucca was surprised that such a fragile thing could even exist in such a murderous place.

"Hmpfh, Dendadorite," Magus declared in his haughty, arrogant manner. He was holding a small gray rock with a flakey quality in his gloved hand. "I should have known. this place must have once been part of the Denadoro Mountains. That's why the old man told us to use the Chrono Trigger here. The power of the Masamune must still linger here, even after almost two thousand years…."

Frog stepped in front of him angrily. "Must you prattle on? Our friend is DEAD, you pig!"

Ever since Magus had joined their party, the two had naturally been trying to pick fights with each other, day and night. These never actually resulted in violence, (perhaps some of them could have had someone else not been there to break them up) since, after all, were now allied together for the cause against Lavos and they were now forced to be halfway civil to one another. But there were still definitely major issues to be sorted out between the two. Magus's eyes flashed and he started bearing down on Frog, looking darn well ready to blast the whole of Death Peak apart.

Marle quickly ran in between them and reprimanded in a loud voice, "Look, we came here to revive Crono, not to beat the living crap out of each other. Frog, I know you hate his guts, but he's our ally now, and allies don't fight. Magus, here." She quickly pulled the Time Egg out of her pocket, her eyes now brimming with tears. "Here's the Time Egg. Do what you have to do to get him back."

Lucca had not heard any of the previous exchange, losing interest sometime during the "Denadoro Mountain" part. She was just too nervous to concentrate in any way. Looking now through hooded eyes, she watched as Magus, now holding the Time Egg, walked slowly over to the tree. he held the Chrono Trigger aloft in the air and slowly began to chant an incantation in some forgotten language.

Time seemed to stand still. Lucca felt as if her heart would suddenly jump up into her mouth. "This is it," she thought. "If he comes back, I'm gonna take that chance. I'm gonna tell him. Whatever happens then, happens. And if he doesn't-well-then I've gotta stay strong and help the others defeat Lavos without him." She looked around at the others. Marle seemed to be praying. Ayla stared at Magus with a look of intense concentration in her eyes. Lucca braced herself for the results to come. No matter what may happen, she knew that she would be relieved when this ordeal was over.

Magus abruptly finished chanting the spell. He then stared up at the sky, clearly waiting for results. Half a minute passed…then a minute…then two minutes.

Frog, in the meantime, had seemed to come to some sort of conclusion. "What treachery, Magus! Obviously thou hast done something to render the Chrono Trigger worthless! For that you must taste my steel!" He drew his sword, the Masamune, and began to charge at Magus. Suddenly, though, before Magus could react, the Chrono Trigger began to glow a strange purple shade. It slowly rose into the air, and with a flash of bright light, violently exploded. A gigantic red Gate instantly formed a few feet above the ground. Frog stopped dead in his tracks, mouth opened wide in awe.

Magus shouted to the rest of the group, "Hurry! The Crono Clone!" Robo, who was carrying it, quickly ran over, and him, Magus, and Frog disappeared inside the Gate. It closed behind them, leaving Marle, Ayla, and Lucca in complete silence.

The next two minutes were the longest in Lucca's life. And they were also two minutes of complete uncertainty. Not only was there the possibility of not seeing Crono again, there was also the possibility of not seeing Frog, Robo, or Magus again, either (though she personally concluded that Magus wasn't exactly a big loss; she still had her doubts about even considering the dark wizard as an ally). The three girls sat still on the mountain for what seemed to be an infinite amount of time, not daring to move, cry, or even breathe.

Finally, after what seemed like a millennia, the Red Gate reappeared, and the three tumbled out in a big heap. Robo quickly managed to stand and explained the situation in just five words, "The procedure has been completed."

Frog added, shaking the snow from out of his cloak, "Aye, if all has went well he should be back with us soon."

"You're right!" squealed Marle excitedly, apparently catching sight of something and instantly being back to her bubbly, happy self, "Look!"

Lucca caught sight of the slowly descending light beam that she was pointing at. A few seconds later, she found herself looking at Crono, who had an expression of shock written all over his face. He sat with his back propped up against the tree, looking from side to side at his companions, all of whom had equally amazed expressions on their faces. "W…what HAPPENED?" He managed to choke out those two words, but apparently everyone was even more shocked than he was (except for perhaps Magus, who probably wouldn't have been surprised even if Frog suddenly started coming up to him and giving him gifts), because they couldn't even form one word to answer his question.

Suddenly Marle, who had (kind of) regained her composure, cried out joyfully, "Oh, Crono! We all missed you so much! You wouldn't believe what happened! But first, I-" With a sinking feeling, Lucca watched as Marle ran right up to him and kissed him full on the lips. And also watched him kiss her right back. Lucca felt as if she were a balloon that had been suddenly popped by a needle. With a clenched fist she realized that she couldn't tell him after all. And never would be able to.

A/N: One chapter down! I really hope you liked it! Things might seem a little gloomy now, but they'll definitely brighten up later. I'm new to this sort of thing, so please remember to review this and also give me some feedback and suggestions (I haven't really written much yet.)