Disclaimer: (Man, I've done nineteen of these now.) No, I do NOT own Chrono Trigger, or its plot, or its characters, or etc. etc. But I'm sure you know that already.
Author's Note: Nope, you don't need to break out the hounds and pitchforks, because yes indeedy, HERE is the epilogue. And it has about 7000 words, too. That explains why it took me two weeks.
I apologize in advance if it isn't quite what you're expecting. At first I thought it would be EASY to pull off what I was intending to do, but as time went on I learned that I was very, very wrong. This epilogue was probably harder to write than any other chapter COMBINED. And it will definitely show. Oh, yes it will.
Here it is:
~Two years, three months, and eleven days later~
Framed by a brilliantly blue October sky, the bright morning sun showered its warmth and radiance down upon the snow-covered earth below. The air was delightfully cool, crisp, and clean; very sharp to the touch but giving off that wonderfully fresh scent of evergreen and pine. Even the nearby ocean was calm today; well, going by what parts were uncovered by the normally foot deep ice, that is…
Winter had officially begun. The new coat of fresh, powdery snow blanketing the ground had seen to that. The Ice Age might be beginning to relent a little bit in 12,000 B.C., but it was still going to be many years until the climate became a little more temperate and less harsh. Perhaps Zeal, when it had still been afloat, had contributed to the terrible weather on the ground; after all, the Sun Stone's main purpose had been to utilize energy from the land around into one concentrated spot. And for as something as big as Zeal had been…
The Last Village was still as drab and dreary as ever, its shapeless brown structures sticking out of the ground like jagged teeth. Not too many improvements had been made since the settlement was formed; after all, it was hard to make progress when you only had about 200 inhabitants that were pretty much working 24/7 just to hunt, gather, and grow enough food to survive. At the moment everyone was just starting to wake up; doors opened and slammed, dogs barked, and hunting parties were beginning to head out for the day.
We now head to the outskirts of the village, to a small little cabin where our very own 19-year-old Lucca Ashtear (or rather perhaps she should now be called Lucca Zeal, but she didn't enjoy being addressed that way) was just waking up from her deep nightly snooze. She was currently now glaring over at her husband, who was at the moment snoring loudly enough to wake the dead.
She poked him, in an attempt to wake him up and get him to stop. It didn't work.
So she hit him with her pillow. No response.
She hit him again.
Finally she just gave up. Damn him! What had he done to make him sleep so soundly, anyway?
Oh, yeah, uh…never mind…
Damn, two years of marriage and she still couldn't stop blushing at the thought of -well- that. And yes, they had entered the sacred union of holy matrimony; Magus had actually turned out to be quite fussy and had insisted on it from practically the minute she had stepped out of that Gate. But not before he had chewed her out voraciously, it had to be added. Even now he still did not believe the whole story about Marle suddenly pushing her in, but she decided to just shrug the whole thing off, as there was no way to prove it anyway.
They had a fairly decent life, here in 12,000 B.C., although they had to work hard for anything they got. Growing food was especially challenging, as there was only a short, frosty growing season in the summer and anything they did yield had to last them for the rest of the year. When it was not summer they usually were forced to spend a lot of time either hunting or gathering firewood, neither really being a pleasant chore. Perhaps it was easier for the two of them than anyone else around, as both were able to use magic and frequently took advantage of it, but still…
"OOOWWWWW!!!! GODDAMMIT!!!!!" Lucca yelped loudly as she suddenly felt a pair of tiny claws attack her foot, which was sticking lazily outside of the heavy fur coverlets. She sat up and glared at Alfador, who purred loudly as he unabashedly used her leg as a scratching post. Damn that cat! It was almost as if the animal had a personal vendetta against her!
"Whaaaaaaa---" All of this commotion had miraculously woke Magus up. Discarding the pillow that Lucca had used in her attempt to make him regain consciousness, he sat and blinked stupidly at her.
"Get your stupid animal AWAY from me! NOW!" Lucca screeched.
"Stupid animal?! Now I'll have you know that Alfador is a highly intelligent-"
"Oh, just stop it already!" Lucca glared at him, perhaps wincing a little bit as Alfador continued to have fun with her leg.
He grinned slyly. "That's not what you were saying last night…"
"That's beside the point! Now get your stupid cat away before I KICK him off!"
"Fine, fine! There, he's gone!"
Lucca crossed her arms and muttered obscurely to herself, (but not too obscurely, as she wanted Magus to hear every word) "I live in the middle of nowhere with only a destruction-loving warlock who seems to have a cat fetish to keep me company. What a fine life I have!"
"I heard that!"
"Of course you did!"
"Well, I warned you, four-eyes! I told you not to follow me!"
"I believe I've TOLD you a thousand times now: Marle pushed me in!"
"And you expect me to believe a story like THAT?! Tut tut, poindexter, I would have thought someone like YOU would be smart enough to think of something better!"
"Has it ever occurred to you that since I have never changed my story and that I'm an honest person to begin with, that maybe, just maybe, it might be true?!"
"And has it ever occurred to YOU that maybe, just maybe, you're terrible at making up stories?"
"ARGH, YOU'RE MEAN!! I HATE YOU!" Lucca grabbed her pillow and smacked him with it. Magus, caught a little off guard, just sat and glared at her haughtily, rubbing his head.
"You're a strange one…"
"What's THAT supposed to mean, buddy?!"
"Just what I said. One moment you're acting normal and the next you're hitting me with a damn pillow!"
"Oh, I'm so sorry, Your Highness," Lucca said sarcastically. "I guess I'll have to tell you everything I do in advance!"
As if you couldn't tell already, their relationship had not changed at all during the course of two years. Simply put, arguing was a staple of their relationship and neither one seemed to be able to live without it. Underneath her argumentative exterior, however, Lucca cared for Magus greatly; she wouldn't be exaggerating if she even said she loved him. She knew that Magus felt the same way as well, but even more so that he would never admit it. He was just not that type of emotional, touchy-feely person…
Magus stared outside the window at the steadily rising sun. "Well, I suppose I'd better get up and go hunt something. I'm almost certain there's a blizzard coming…"
Lucca scoffed. "Then it's probably almost certain that there WON'T be a blizzard! Come on, how can an idiot like YOU predict the weather?!"
"But I suppose it wouldn't be TOO bad if there was a blizzard." At this Lucca paused and grinned lecherously. "We'd have a lot of time alone, after all…"
Magus grinned back. "Oh, yes…"
And does it have to be mentioned that Magus was totally wonderful in that department, too? Especially when they were stuck inside the cabin during an extremely long, three day blizzard…
Lucca groaned. "What time is it, anyway? I'm so hungry I could eat a horse."
"After that FEAST you had last night?!"
"Oh come on, I only had two bowls of stew and maybe four pieces of bread! You make it sound like it was a smorgasbord or something!"
"Oh, can it already! I'm hungry!" Lucca snapped, getting out of bed, wrapping her woolen robe around her thin, lithe form and stomping out to the main room. Magus raised one eyebrow at her strange unpredictability but said nothing.
"Where are the peaches?" Lucca asked him impatiently as she turned the whole pantry upside-down. "You know, the ones we grew last summer but you didn't like?"
"I have no idea," Magus replied slowly, his eyebrow raising again as she threw out an apple that slowly rolled away to land at his feet.
"Dammit, DAMMIT, as if YOU are any help! Should have known better…" She then went off into a spiel of incoherent mumbling, the only part of the speech understandable to Magus being something about an "idiot wizard".
"Well, don't just STAND there!" she suddenly barked. "Help me out here!"
As usual, Magus was not fazed. "Why don't you settle for something else, my 'dear'? You don't need peaches THAT badly, do you?"
"But dammit, I'm hungry for 'em! I don't know how, or why, I mean, they WERE rock-hard, but still-"
Finally Magus reluctantly bent down and assisted her in her search and eventually managed to come up with two of the cursed things, both of them being the toughest and most inedible of the entire crop. He also watched in amusement as she eagerly sliced them with a butcher knife, put them on about five pieces of bread, and proceeded to eat all of them.
Amusement quickly turned to disgust.
"Four-eyes, that- that's DISGUSTING."
Lucca fixed her eyes on him just as the second piece was halfway to her parted lips, the bread dripping soggily as the juice from the peaches began to soak through it. "Huh?"
"Ugh! Peaches and BREAD?! You never cease to amaze me!"
"Hey!" was the indignant reply.
"Never mind, I SUPPOSE I actually should be grateful. At least you aren't eating THAT again."
"I don't know what it was, but it was repulsive!"
"Oh, shut up! That was only twice!"
"Twice was two times too many for me! I must have retched until nightfall!"
"You retching? Yeah, sure," Lucca remarked as she devoured the third piece of bread.
Magus shook his head. "As I said, you ARE a strange one…But I really must be heading out if I want to be back by dusk. Are you coming along?" Lucca often went with him when he hunted, even though, much to his chagrin, she frequently made more kills than he did.
There was a short pause. "Uh…no. I think I'll stay home this time. We're really running low on Ethers."
"Hmpfh! What's the REAL reason?! I could just as well go and pick up five Ethers on my way back!"
Lucca blushed. "All right, all right! It's just that just now I'm -well- I'm suddenly feeling a bit -um- queasy. Do you honestly want me to barf on you when you're trying to set fire to something?" She let out an unexpected burp, groaning and placing a hand on her stomach from the sudden onslaught.
"I TOLD you not to eat that, didn't I?!" he said wickedly, a smile forming on his thin lips. "What goes around comes around, poindexter."
She glared over at him. "If I wasn't doubled over in pain right now I'd slug you into next Monday."
"But then again, maybe I wouldn't anyway," she added reflectively. "Because if I did that you'd probably make sure that I wouldn't be able to be real *nice* to you later tonight." Her gag reflex then started to take over again.
He gave her another wicked grin as he fastened his cloak. "What, no 'dammit, you bastard, not two nights in a row' again? Why, I'm pleasantly surprised at your adaptability. And even more surprised at the fact that you want to, despite the fact that you seem to have a fierce personal vendetta against me of late. What with YOUR seemingly endless mood swings-"
Despite the fact that she felt like she was going to toss out her insides any second, Lucca grabbed one of the pieces of bread and waved it at him threateningly. "One more word and this goes in your face!"
He turned her way as he proceeded to go out the door. "And I love you too! Enjoy your pastry!" With a flourish he stepped outside into the cold air, the door banging shut behind him.
Lucca added loudly so that she was sure he could hear: "AND DON'T YOU DARE DARK MATTER ANYTHING LIKE LAST TIME! LAST TIME I COULDN'T EVEN TELL WHAT THAT DEER WAS, MUCH LESS EAT IT!"
She then slumped down onto the table, putting her head in her hands, willing for her sudden sickness to abate. Damn him, he had been right! Peaches and bread were NOT a good combination. That had been clear enough, considering the fact that it took around two seconds for her to become green around the gills from the time she ate it. She stared accusingly at the two slices of now-wicked soggy, fruit-laden bread, cursing the day she had ever desired such a combination.
She was almost to the point of tossing her cookies. The rush of disgustingly warm bile steadily rose up her throat, but with a wet burp she managed to keep her food items down where they belonged. Barfing was obviously not a fun activity.
After about ten minutes, however, her sudden sickness went away as quickly as it came. Standing up as she massaged her now sore stomach, Lucca decided that it would be best if she went off to the store to buy the Ethers NOW, as a brisk walk was probably the best medicine for her strange, peach-induced malady. That and the fact that she wasn't quite ready to tackle the dishes yet.
"TWO THOUSAND GOLD EACH?! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE INSANE!!" Lucca screeched at the poor, fur-hatted shopkeeper, who was now ruing the day that this crazy woman had ever entered his store.
He tried to reason with her. "Listen, lady, the ingredients for Ether are hard to find and even harder to combine. Some of this covers the labor fee!"
"1800 or I'll never EVER shop here again!" Lucca crossed her arms defiantly and waited for his answer.
"All right, all right, I see you're upset! …How about a bargain price? 1900!"
"1850!" There was now a certain desperateness in his voice.
Lucca grinned like a Chesire cat as he handed her the bagful of Ethers. When it came to arguments, she was queen. Magus had given her plenty of practice, after all. Even though they were fairly well off (due to all of the monsters Magus had creamed during their travels), it just didn't make sense to be robbed blind by a bunch of dimwitted idiots that thought they could make an extra G by complaining about the "labor fee".
She was just turning around to leave and revel in her quick-witted persistence when suddenly she bumped into something that had been running up to her.
It was bubbly.
It was blonde.
It was Marle.
Even when after the initial shock had worn off, all Lucca could do was just stand and stare open-mouthed at Marle. Because it WAS Marle. For that person standing in front of her to NOT be Marle, all logic would have to be defied. She looked the same as ever, her long blonde hair pulled up into an enormous pony and wearing a long black skirt that did not correspond well with her chesty, tight-fitting top. Sparkly white snowflake earrings dangled from her ears.
She was the first to speak. "Ooooo, Lucca! It really IS you! You look the same as ever!"
"Uh- uh- you too, Marle," Lucca choked out, almost ready to drop her sack of hard-earned Ethers.
They continued to stare at each other starry-eyed for a few seconds.
"Well, Lucca! Aren't you going to say anything?! After all, it HAS been over two years!" Marle finally exclaimed, putting her hands on her hips.
Lucca finally found that she had regained her voice. "You wouldn't BELIEVE how much I want to strangle you right now, Marle," she said flatly.
"Heeheehee! You're so funny! I miss all of that sarcasm of yours, Lucca! But you know," she added furtively, bringing her face close to Lucca ear. "you know what I'D do if I was stuck in a cabin in the middle of the winter with a handsome, well-endowed warlock!"
"Great. I think I'll just tell him that, Marle."
"Oh, God, please no! He'll zap me or something. You know how pissed off he gets sometimes. But anyway-"
"Hey! Just how did you get here, anyway?! Not that we've ever exactly crossed over two hundred miles of ice to look or anything, but I'm pretty damn sure the Gate's still closed!"
"Oh, we'll tell you later. It's kind of -howdya put it- complicated??" Apparently Marle hadn't gotten to four syllable words yet.
"WE'LL?! Marle, just who-"
She was cut off when, again a most shocking moment, Crono suddenly entered the shop and began speaking to Marle.
"Any leads yet, girl? Because the rest of us just can't- HOLY SHIT!! You found her!"
Crono looked pretty much the same, except for the fact that he now wore a small metal emblem of the Guardia crest on a chain around his neck. He happily pulled a twice-shocked Lucca into a huge bear hug that practically cut off her circulation as he exclaimed, "It really IS you! We were so worried about you back two years ago, but when I remembered Magus probably would-"
"Crono, as much as I enjoy seeing you for the first time in several years, I'll end up needing the chiropractor by the time you're through," Lucca gasped breathlessly.
"Oh, right! …Uh, sorry!"
Five minutes later, Lucca, in amazement, found herself in the town square surrounded by all the friends she had journeyed with two years prior (well, obviously everyone except for Magus, who was probably off setting things on fire by now). Everyone. Yup, there was Robo, looking clean and strangely devoid of rust. Yup, there was Ayla, eating something unidentifiable off the snowy ground. Yup, there was even-
"Hey?! Where's Frog!" Lucca exclaimed, a little upset. "Don't tell me Ozzie or somebody-"
"But I am right here, Lady Lucca," a familiar voice called out. A figure stepped out from behind Robo's clunky form, only to reveal someone who didn't look like Frog at all. The young man, who was perhaps about twenty-seven or so, was well-muscled, handsome, and of medium build. His bright green hair, spiky and shooting straight up, matched his eyes, which were proud but very fierce.
Lucca made a small, indistinguishable noise. "It- it IS you, isn't it, Frog- er, um- Glenn?"
He gave off a charming smile, showing off his white, quite even teeth. "Indeed."
"But- but how did you get changed back?"
"I have no memory of it, my dear. The only thing I can say for certain is that one morning, about a half a year ago, I woke up being a frog no longer."
Crono chuckled. "He's still quite shy with the ladies, though. That poor barmaid back in Truce had no idea what he was saying when all he wanted was a cup of ale!"
Glenn gave him an angry glare.
Lucca was suddenly aware that she was freezing her ass off. "Why don't we all head back to my house? I'm sure it's much better than standing out here!"
Crono rubbed his arms to try and get the feeling back in them. "That's a great idea. We've had quite a walk since dawn. Is Magus there?"
"Uh, no. He's out hunting."
"Has he gone very far? Maybe we should go get him so he doesn't miss out."
Lucca was quite sure that Magus by all means would probably want to "miss out", but she only replied with, "You might as well. He left not too long ago, so I'm sure you'll be able to catch up with him. He went that way." She pointed out the large, heavily forested area around the Commons, which was densely populated with game and prey.
"Well, in that case, I think we'd better head out. I'm sure you don't want to come along, so…"
"I'll stay with Lucca!" Marle piped up.
Lucca rolled her eyes. It looked to be one long reunion…
"Here, have a chair," Lucca said, rushing ahead of Marle to pull one out from the table. They were now back inside the warm, toasty cabin, beginning the wait for the others' return.
Marle sat down, looking all around. "Oooo! It's so cozy in here! Everything smells just like woodsmoke!"
"Uh, Marle…that's probably because it IS wood smoke."
"Heehee! I'm so stupid!"
(That's for sure.)
"So how are you and Crono?" Lucca asked, going over the fire to start up a kettle of tea.
"Oh, we've been engaged for about a year now! Daddy's still a little worried about him becoming next in line to be King and all but I told him not to think about it. He won't let us get married for another three years, though, till I'm 22, can you believe THAT?! Says we're too young!"
"I don't blame him," Lucca said dryly, filling the kettle with water.
"Whaddaya mean?" Marle asked, grinning wickedly. "Is this because you and Magus are having trouble or something?"
Lucca turned around and gave her a flesh-eating glare. "No, our marriage is perfectly normal, thank you very much. Well, not normal in the normal sense, I guess, because we bicker constantly, but still-"
"Hehe, arguing can be good, you know, Lucca-"
"Get your mind out of the gutter!" Lucca snapped.
Marle, of course, did not take the painfully obvious hint. "So, ah, Lucca…how is he?"
"No, Marle. I am NOT telling you about THAT. That is strictly between ME and HIM."
"Oh, come on! Don't be embarrassed!"
"With a cherry on top?"
"Drop a hint and I'll shut up!"
"Oh, all right, ALL RIGHT!! He is GOOD. VERY GOOD. Now will you shut up or change the subject?!"
Marle just smirked. "Good in what way??"
Lucca wanted to bang her head on the tea kettle in frustration.
When the tea was finally done Lucca brought the kettle over and sat down next to Marle, who was now thoroughly pleased because she had eventually coaxed out a "detailed report". She probably would have asked Lucca even MORE questions, but was ripped out of that train of thought when Lucca began to ask her something that had been on her mind ever since she had caught sight of everyone in the town square.
"Now I want to know just HOW you all got to this time, since it's supposed to be impossible."
Marle beamed. "Oh, I knew you were gonna ask me that! Well, you see, it's a real long story."
"We've got plenty of time!"
Marle cleared her throat and began the tale. "Well, everyone was really upset when I pushed you into the Gate that night. It WAS for your own good, since the two of you were too bull-headed to do anything for yourselves, but…I kinda caused some problems when I did it. Crono was upset. Your parents were upset. Everyone who knew about the whole thing was even upset."
(And you're just realizing that NOW, Marle?)
"So what did my parents think when they learned that I was pushed into a portal with an arrogant, psychotic wizard who enjoys summoning parasitic aliens for recreation?" Lucca managed to question with a straight face. She had been DYING to know this, about what her parents would think, practically ever since she had gotten married. After all, Magus wasn't your normal son-in-law…
"Oh, they don't know about that part…yet. They just know about the time traveling thing. Well anyway, your dad especially was upset and right away began to work with Crono and me to find a loophole around the Gates. He said that there had to be a way to work around the whole space-time contra-thingy so we could find you and get you back. I told him that by the time we found you you probably WOULDN'T even want to come back, but…he said that we should at least try to find you."
"And so he started by trying to fix up the Epoch. I remember THAT took forever. We'd been looking at it for about six months when he realized that the part that broke was one that couldn't be fixed unless we went to the future. So THEN we had to find another way." She paused and glugged her tea noisily.
"So then he moved the Telepod back to the Fairgrounds where it belonged and tried to make the same conditions as when I disappeared for the first time. We used my Pendant and everything. He also made another kind of Gate Key that actually CREATES the Gates instead of popping them out, as long as the area is at the same place where a Gate was before. All of that took about ANOTHER year and a half, but then it finally worked. Me and Crono went directly to the other times, got the rest of our friends, and then we all came out in the cave on Earthbound Island."
Lucca was a little awed. It seemed so far-fetched, yet everything seemed to fit… "So now we can travel wherever we want? I can come back and visit you guys?"
"We-ell, first your Dad has to make another Key and then we have to deliver it to you. And the whole trip here actually takes about two weeks, since we have to hop around in other times…but yeah, I guess we're not separated anymore."
"Thank the Lord," Lucca breathed. "It WOULD be nice go back to my time and see everybody. And go somewhere where you can actually tan in the summer." She stared at one white arm ruefully.
Noticing that Marle was gagging a little bit at the bitterness of the tea (if that constipated look on her face was any indication) Lucca headed up to the cupboard to bring over some more sugar. On her way back, however, she noticed that her breakfast excursion of weirdness (a.k.a. the now almost liquefied mess of bread and peaches) was still sitting on the middle of the table. Her stomach almost turned at the sight of it, but she tried to inconspicuously pick it up and carry it away without Marle noticing (she didn't want questions asked).
No such luck.
"Lucca, what IS that?" she asked curiously as she propped her feet on another chair. "I'd almost say it's bread, but…Can bread be a liquid?"
"In this case, yes," said Lucca testily, throwing it in the garbage and out of sight. "It's bread and peaches, if you MUST know…"
"Ohhhhh…" But she started staring at Lucca as if she had grown a third arm or something.
"I don't know why I ate it myself, but I don't see what's so fascinating about it! You and Magus…you both are interested in the weirdest things!" She turned around and headed back to her seat.
"Hey, I didn't say anything!" Marle insisted. "But I really DON'T think that Magus and I are interested in it for the same reasons. Um…so have you had any other strange, um, combos…lately?"
Lucca sighed in resignation. Marle was SUCH an annoying, interfering busybody. Even more than she had remembered. "Well, I don't know," she said testily, shooting a sidelong glare at her empty-headed friend. "I don't exactly monitor what I eat, but I remember Magus moaning and groaning the other day about me crumbling up some crackers and putting them in milk. You would have thought it was the end of the world!"
"But Lucca…that is- that IS kinda gross."
Glaring at Marle again, Lucca got up and started to collect the cups so she could perhaps finish the dishes before everyone got back, but--- but something happened. Suddenly such a full-blown wave of nausea again overtook her yet again that she turned a violent shade of purple and doubled over.
"Dammit!" she moaned, shuffling back to her seat sideways. "Not again!"
Marle was staring at her curiously. "Whaddaya MEAN, again? What's going on?"
"I'm-I'm SICK!" Lucca wailed, holding her stomach in a very lame attempt to keep herself from blowing chunks all over the place (as if THAT would prevent it if she was going to hurl). "This has happened four times in three days now! I always get this strange feeling…like I'm going to either barf or faint, or even do both at the same time." She buried her head in her hands, praying, just WILLING, for this mysterious illness to go away. Today was NOT the most convenient time for her to be losing her lunch.
Luckily she had not been looking up; otherwise she would have seen Marle's eyes become as wide as saucers. "Um--um--Lucca?" she squeaked timidly. "Um---do you always get this about the same time of day?"
It took Lucca a moment to think back. "Uh---yeah, I think so. Always before noon, and mostly right after I get up. But why? Why is that such a big d-"
"Because, Lucca! Because it sounds like you might be pregnant!"
Such a complete and utter silence filled the entire cabin that only the light crackling of the flames in the fireplace could be heard. At the comprehension of this, Lucca's stomach gave such a gravity-defying lurch that for a split second she thought she actually WAS going to barf. She temporarily forgot about her less-than-happy stomach as she proceeded to converse in what could be completely described as inane babble. "Impossible! I can't be pregnant! I CAN'T! No way! No way in hell! I can't! I JUST CAN'T! It's so impossible it's not even funny! It's-"
"It's very possible," said Marle calmly, taking the role as the levelheaded one for once. "I mean, look---you, Magus, cabin, alone, many nights. I'm sure you haven't exactly been celibate out here, you know! You can't fool me!"
"But-but we've been CAREFUL!" Lucca sputtered. "Every time, he casts a spell, and-"
"And don't you think there's a teeny-weeny chance that he might have said a word wrong or something?"
"But nothing! It all fits! Your cravings, your sickness, everything! And you didn't see me, but I SAW your little conversation with that shopkeeper! Talk about mood swings!"
"That has nothing to do with ANYTHING! I was just MAD because he was overcharging me!"
"But it has EVERYTHING to do with it, Lucca! All of those little things have to be hooked together! Don't you see? YOU nothing about kids. HE knows nothing about kids. The cravings, the mood swings, the morning sickness---everything! And have you-"
Uh oh. She hadn't had THAT either.
Lucca was very unhappy about admitting this, but everything seemed to point to the fact that Marle was right. Damn! Maybe she WAS pregnant… That would explain her sickness and overall mood of late, anyway…
"But I CAN'T be pregnant!" she started up again. "I just CAN'T be! I know NOTHING about raising children!"
Marle grinned impishly. "Looks like you'll have to learn."
"But Marle! I know NOTHING! Absolutely, positively NOTHING! Nada! Zip! Zilch! I've hardly even ever been AROUND kids, much less thought about having one!"
Marle just smiled some more. "Then I guess you'll have to learn, won't you? Oh, and I'd also tell Daddy as soon as possible."
Lucca moaned. "Oh, no! I forgot all about HIM! Oh no, oh no! He's going to be so unconditionally PISSED about this! What do I tell him?! What do I say?! Oh crap, this is such a MESS!" She buried her face in her arms. Yes, the thought of someone calling Magus "Daddy" was indeed very laughable, but, well…this just wasn't funny. At all.
Marle shrugged. "Just tell him he'll be hearing the pitter-patter of little feet in about nine months. Well, less than nine months, I guess, it's probably been awhile, but…Oh, Lucca, this is so EXCITING!"
"Exciting?" Lucca commented dryly. "This is more like complete and utter hell."
"But just think!" Marle insisted eagerly. "You'll have your very own child---part him and part you!'
Lucca rolled her eyes. "That's not exactly comforting, Marle. If my kid is half me and half Magus, he'll probably end up to be a arrogant, argumentive snob with sight impairment. Throw in Magus's magic and he's ALREADY got a third arm!"
"Oh, don't be so negative, Lucca! It makes you age faster! But just think! We've got so much preparing to do!! We'll need toys, and blankets, and clothes… Oh, and little pink baby booties!!! Little pink baby booties!! It'll be sooooo cute! And guess what---when he gets older he can call me Auntie Marle! Auntie Marle!" She squealed at the very thought.
This was too much for Lucca. She buried her head in her hands and began to choke out uncontrollable, broken sobs.
Darkness had fallen over the barren, snow-covered wasteland. The stars would have been out and the moon would have been full (if it could have been seen), but neither was apparent, as, as Magus had predicted, an all-in-out blizzard had decided to commence. Right now if you looked out the window you could see nothing but one big blur. The wind howled viciously like a wild animal, not letting up for even a second. It was, as Lucca recalled, a lot like that one event, now over two years ago, in that cave in that unknown time where she had been stranded with Magus after their first fight. She almost wished she was back there, sadly enough. Rather that than tell him she was pregnant, at any rate.
She was sitting in the corner talking with Marle, Robo, Glenn, and Ayla. HE, on the other hand, was in the opposite corner, talking so quietly with Crono (whom he actually halfway liked) that she couldn't even tell what their subject matter was. She gave him a furtive glance to try and see if he was in a good mood or was suspecting something, but his expression was blank. At seeing her stare he looked up, blinked, and gave her a curious look, but she quickly looked away.
Crap. That had been the third time he had caught her now.
She couldn't figure out how the hell to tell him. She knew that it would have to be done straightaway, as eventually there would soon be blatantly obvious things that not even the most intelligent person could hide, but… This was going to be tough.
From what she knew about him (and her knowledge of her husband was evergrowing, despite his reserved manner), she knew that he probably would not even CONSIDER having children if given the choice. She even remembered the time she told him about her childhood dream, which was to open up a large orphanage with lots of little boys and girls. His reply to that (and this had only been half-jokingly) was that if she ever even thought of it, she'd be sleeping on the porch right along with the kids. Damn him anyway. But dark wizards that destroyed things weren't exactly bent on making children, though, were they?
Not that she didn't want children now, though. She had ALWAYS wanted kids, a little boy and a little girl, practically ever since she had been able to walk. It was just that considering the circumstances (for example, being the walking, breathing stereotype of a geek), she thought she'd never even be happily married. She had just never thought out stuff like this when she should have.
Argh!! This was so frustrating! She even was most likely able to pinpoint the night it had happened. She and Magus were in another one of their ridiculously long rows (about something so stupid that she couldn't even remember what it was), and as you all know by now, the more they argue, the more…intense they become. One thing led to another, and- and… The next morning they were STILL fighting, and because of THAT, well, they might have forgotten to do something along the way.
Knowing that the current situation was at the moment out of her control (and also that she'd better keep an ear out, as Marle was prone to "slip" about big things like this), Lucca tuned out her nervous thoughts and went back to the conversation at hand.
"So at present you have no rubble, or ruins, or even barren wasteland in your time period?" Glenn was asking Robo, who was telling all about his new life in the future.
Robo beeped for about a half second before answering. "The future completely changed when we defeated Lavos. The domes are now fully operational and robots are not at odds with humans. Because we wiped out Lavos and any possible spawn in 1999 A.D., the world did not decay any further than the point in which it did up until that time."
"Wow!" squealed Marle. "I'll have to come visit you guys sometime! The future must be really neat!"
Glenn gave a sidelong glance at Lucca, his sensitive nature picking up something that was just not usual with her. "What is wrong, lass? You're not being yourself today at all."
Lucca found herself stuttering to try and make up an excuse. "Er---I dunno. I -um- didn't even know I was acting oddly."
Glenn gave her another strange look and began to open his mouth to say something, but suddenly Crono, for once Lucca's savior instead of her annoying hindrance, decided to get up and look out the window. "Gawd, it looks terrible out there," he said slowly. "Looks like we're stuck here for awhile. How long do these blizzards last out here, anyway?" He turned back towards Magus.
Magus rolled his eyes in his usual manner. "I have no idea," he replied dryly. To tell the truth, at this moment he wanted to DIE rather than be trapped in his own home with no company except for a bunch of simpletons (excluding Lucca, of course). However, it looked to be that that was exactly what was going to come to pass.
"Oh, be nice already!" Lucca scolded him. "He asked you a question, so exercise your almost non-existent social skills and answer him!"
"Oh, all right, all right. It's only the second snow of the season, so I suppose it shouldn't last longer than two days. Are you all satisfied now?!"
Lucca glared at him. "Geez…"
"Wow, Lucca!" Marle exclaimed. "Only two years and you've already got him whipped!"
This caused everyone to laugh and also for Magus to look even more chagrined. "Would you care to repeat that, princess?" he said in his "I'm about this close to killing you" tone.
Marle turned bright red. "Eeeep! Um---no."
Lucca decided that this whole conversation was getting nowhere (not to mention it was almost midnight and she was better off getting Magus alone and telling him rather now than later), so she drained the last of her coffee, stood up, and announced, "Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm exhausted. I think I'm going to bed. I've got everything ready for as best I can in the spare room, so when you're all tired you can just go there. And YOU," she added, pointing at Magus as she stood in the doorway. "Get your ass to bed at a decent hour." She then left the room.
But she knew he WOULD be coming soon anyway, she reflected as she got undressed. He couldn't stand being in the same room with Glenn for very long, at any rate, especially now that he was human again. Supposedly the curse that he had put on him was supposed to be permanent or something or other, and the fact that Glenn had changed back recently meant that the caster hadn't done a good enough job in the first place. Personally, SHE was happy for him finally being able to have a normal life and a decent place in society, but as for Magus, well…grudges with him were forever.
She sat in bed, trying to rehearse over and over in her head a good way to tell him about her current state. But damn, it was hard. What was she supposed to say, anyway? Just "Hey, honey, looks like you're gonna be a daddy soon"? Or would she have to be more serious about it? Dammit, she hadn't exactly had EXPERIENCE with this before.
She jumped a mile when the door suddenly opened about five minutes later and Magus shuffled in, looking like he was thoroughly sick of company in any way, shape, or form (or perhaps was he trying not to show that he had been enjoying it? It was always a psychological battle when it came to figuring out Magus).
Lucca knew that it was time. "Would you shut the door behind you, please?" she asked him demurely, hoping that he would just do it and shut up.
Rolling his eyes and managing to look puzzled at the same time, he shut the door behind him and then quickly walked up to the bedside. "All right, what is wrong NOW?!" he questioned, putting his hands on his hips. "You have been acting strangely all day. Actually, for the past few days, but…that's beside the point. Now I wish to have an explanation and I wish to have it NOW."
Lucca gulped. He even looked sort of mad. Damn! She hadn't been prepared for this, that he might actually already suspect something! Damn! Everything that she had rehearsed, everything that she had been thinking to say, suddenly vanished like socks in a dryer.
And the first thing that had registered in her brain was the first thing that popped out of her mouth.
"Er---Magus, um, I'm pregnant."
Magus scoffed, "Oh, and how am I supposed to believe THAT?! Now would you mind not stalling the inevitable and tell me the TRUTH already?!"
"Um, but that IS the truth," Lucca said, albeit a little shakily. "I AM pregnant."
At this point Magus suddenly realized that she was NOT kidding about this, and his eyes widened to twice their usual size. Slowly sitting down on the bed to perhaps absorb the shock, he turned around and choked out, "But- but HOW?"
Lucca shook her head. "I don't know! I really don't know! But all the signs are there!"
"I can't believe this…" He trailed off slowly, staring down at the floor.
"Neither can I…"
"I know nothing about children!"
"So do I! I'm gonna be a terrible mother…"
"Well, what about me?! I'm going to be a terrible father."
"Then we'll both be terrible parents."
He sighed. "It's not that I haven't toyed with the idea of having children---it's just that- I don't know. What with the things that I've done…the very idea of me caring for someone so young and helpless should be preposterous."
"Oh, would you let GO of that already?! Some of that wasn't your fault! You just did it to survive!"
"Well, you did! You would LIKE us to think that you're so terribly evil and bad, but you're really not! Admit it, you actually WANT this kid, don't you?" She shoved him playfully.
He smirked. "Well, what about YOU, four-eyes? Honestly, you are the LAST person, and I mean the LAST, that I should think WOULD even WANT to be hauling a couple of screaming brats in tow. Except for me, of course."
"And just think: soon you'll have somebody calling you Daddy!"
"Oh God, I can just see this already…" He moaned, lying down and pulling the covers close. "But honestly, I am in need of sleep at the moment," he added, looking at her intensely. "We'll sort everything out in the morning." (And hopefully get rid of those damn guests,) he did not add.
"Sounds great to me," Lucca yawned, suddenly feeling very sleepy. "Good night, then, you stupid moron."
"Good night then…four-eyes." He blew out the candle.
As she spooned up against Magus, nuzzling her head against the crook of his neck, only one small thought crossed her tired but happy mind.
What the hell would she tell the others?
Author's Note: Whew! There it ends! Finally! I've been waiting for this day! *Sobs uncontrollably*
Well anyway, I've got a few notes before I pack up here. First of all, after reading that epilogue I'm not even SURE if you want a sequel anymore, but…at most I'll say I'll try very, very hard for one. Look for it around Christmas. If you thought this fic was insane, then you should hear about the strange ideas I'm throwing around for the sequel. But as I said, I can't guarantee anything one hundred percent. There's something I've been itching to write for about a month now, and I absolutely MUST get it out of my system. (And no, it's not the Sin and Lavos slash.)
And I would really REALLY like to thank all of you for either reading or reviewing (especially reviewing). Those reviews in the first five chapters or so were especially important; they made me decide whether I wanted to continue or not or even if my fic was worth writing. I guess it was… And I'd also really like to thank all the other LuMa authors out there. Your stories are all terrific and I'm still having fun reading them now :D! Chrono Trigger was definitely the right category to start posting in, there's not all of the badfic, Mary-Sueisms, or overused plots that run rampant in bigger categories, like, say, Harry Potter or DBZ.
Well, I shall leave with one last thing to say: review me! PLEEASSSE?! I'm especially curious this time about what everyone thought about the epilogue or if that was even the right way to go about ending it. So…what did everyone think? I'm sure that wasn't exactly your normal ending…
Well, see ya! As I said, I hope to be out with the sequel sometime around Christmas!