It had been a few hours since Marle had been dropped off at the End of Time. She'd never liked it here – it was too cold, too eerily quiet. Still, she had to deal with it sometimes. Stupid three-person Gate limit.

At least nowadays there was always company. With a group of seven, there were more people here than there were out running through time.

Marle took a quick look around the platform. Gaspar was asleep by the lamppost. That was no different than usual. Frog was nowhere to be seen, meaning he was probably practicing magic with Spekkio. Ayla was sitting off in a corner, and Magus was staring off into space. Marle had tried to talk to him once. He'd ignored her for a little while before finally telling her to shut up and leave him alone. She hadn't bothered trying again. He might be on their side now, but he wasn't much friendlier than he'd been before.

Marle was bored. Very bored. So she remembered a song, and began to hum along. It wasn't a particularly special song – just something that had played too much on the radio before this had all begun. She kept humming for a while, until without really meaning to, she started filling in the words. It was the kind of thing she'd do sometimes, when she was alone and there was nothing better to do.

Excep that this time, she wasn't alone. As her voice grew from a quiet whisper to something noticeable, she began to draw the attention of the others. Ayla began to move away from the corner and closer to her. The first to speak up, though, was Magus. He turned around and gave Marle a look of disgust. "Shut your mouth," he snapped.

Startled, Marle turned around. "You heard that?" she cried.

"Yes. I have ears."

Marle stood up and put her hands on her hips. "I just wasn't thinking," she replied. "I forgot for a moment that anyone else was here."

Magus turned away. "Now that you've been reminded that we exist, you can keep that incessant squawking to yourself," he said, coldly.

Marle turned her back to him. "Fine. If that's what – "

She was interrupted by a muffled thud. A glance over her shoulder quickly revealed where it had come from. Magus appeared shocked, one hand on his face. Ayla faced him, fists clenched in something resembling a fighting stance. "Y-you little…" sputtered Magus.

Marle stared at the older woman, horrified. "You didn't have to do that!" she exclaimed.

Ayla glared at Magus. "Marle sing good," she declared. "Not squawk like animal."

Marle smiled. "Thanks. My father made me take voice lessons for a while, so I…"

She stopped, noticing Magus' death glare. "But seriously, Ayla, you didn't need to punch him in the face."

Magus swished his cape dramatically, turned around, and walked back to his corner, muttering something rude about Ayla. Marle waited a moment, and then spoke again. "I'm glad someone likes my voice," she remarked.

Ayla grinned. "Where you learn song?" she asked.

"I heard it on.."

Marle stopped. She couldn't say she heard it on the radio – Ayla wouldn't know what that meant. "I heard someone else singing it," she finished.

"Ayla know song, too. Marle listen?" replied Ayla.

Marle wasn't sure she wanted to, but she did want to be polite. "OK. Let's hear it."

Ayla began drumming on the floor with her hands in an effort to establish rhythm. After a few seconds of that, she began her song. Her voice was lower than Marle was used to hearing, but it was better than she had expected. She couldn't make out the words – maybe it was the language that Ayla had used to name Lavos?

The song had a certain energy to it that Marle found herself enjoying. When it ended, she gave a brief round of applause. Ayla looked confused. "What that mean?" she asked.

"It means I liked it," said Marle.

Ayla smiled. "People in village sing around fire. Maybe next time Marle sing too."

"Maybe," answered Marle, remembering the party they'd had the night after finding Ayla's village "Sounds fun."

Suddenly, another voice was heard. "If I'd known there would be song, I would have concluded my training sooner."

It seemed that a certain amphibian-shaped knight had snuck up on them. "Frog!" exclaimed Marle. "Didn't notice you'd finished. How'd it go?"

"The results were satisfactory, but the process was difficult," said Frog. "But enough about that. If you have an interest in the sharing of music, I may have a few contributions. Would this interest you?"

Marle nodded. "Sure. It's not like there's anything better to do around here."

Off in the corner, Magus rolled his eyes. He had no desire to put up with any of this nonsense. Perhaps now would be a good time to take Spekkio up on his offer and teach him a few new tricks. He strode through the gateway, and was gone.

Not long after, Crono returned with Lucca and Robo. "Back," announced Lucca. "Hope you weren't too – "

She paused, and listened for a few seconds. "Oh, for crying out loud," she muttered. "I'd just gotten that stupid pop song out of my head, too…"


This was difficult to write. It's my first time writing for Chrono Trigger, and the idea I'd come up with felt really forced. I'm not sure if that's how it came across, but if it did, please let me know so that I can do better next time.