Flowers on the Cliff's Edge

this is meant to be multi-chaptered but I'm horrid at that and being oneshot seems to fit the atmosphere better so yeah. some spoilers for the first few episodes of Chrono Stone so um beware?

Ever since the Master sits on his throne and looks down at the four of them, they know they are easily replaceable. Alpha stands at the right end, Beta next to him in little distance, and Gamma attempts to stand and rest his arms at the same time. At the other end, stands the one person the three never know exists. Fey, the Master has called him, and the way he looks at them is as though he expects them to do the same.

"Now, Alpha, it's time."

That's when he flies back in time and arrives to various past of various people, erasing the beauty of soccer from their mind, and alters the upcoming future. Matsukaze Tenma tells him to stop, because he still thinks soccer is beautiful, but Alpha goes on. (Because it's his duty.)

He comes back victorious. The Master praises him and Beta and Gamma stare at him in jealousy, and Alpha doubts he can hide his joy any longer. Fey enters the room and that's how Alpha's mind veers.

"Only one more." Fey says, smiling. His hair bobs by his side, the soft green colour smells of mint.

Alpha nods. He just has to deal with Endou Mamoru, and it's mission complete.

"Bring Fey with you." the Master's voice booms before they are able to leave the small celebration. No one asks his decision; he is absolute and that's the only rule in their whole life.

Of course Endou Mamoru is going to fight back. They are already getting the upper hand (for it's an eleven-on-one match) when Tsurugi Yuuichi appears; able to walk and kick and fly. Fey, who has chosen to watch from the sidelines, asks to be substituted and apparently looms over the older Tsurugi in power.

"Don't do this!" Endou Mamoru shouts in anger and Kino Aki screams, tears dripping on the green she is kneeling on. Tsurugi Yuuichi is quiet, lying down on the wet grass. His eyes are as sad as the night sky, and his bitten lower lip trembles.

Alpha and Fey hold the ball together. The moment they throw it above the ground and a blinding light engulfs the area, an eerie silence greets them. (It's somewhat welcomed, Alpha tells himself.)

Endou Mamoru leaves hating soccer; Kino Aki follows after him because she trusts him; Tsurugi Yuuichi disappears, but the warmth he leaves on the grass lingers.

Fey falls on the side as Alpha commands the rest of the team to leave.

"I'm staying here for a bit." Fey tells him. "Come back to fetch me later, would you?"

Alpha flees to the future and returns. Only twenty seconds have passed since they are hundreds of years away from each other, but he feels like he can't breathe and drops down next to Fey.

Fey's head rests on his shoulder and Alpha leans closer to him and that's all they need.

"How is the future?" Fey asks, his voice no more than a whisper.

"It's dark." Alpha says. That's the only way to describe El Dorado. Rarely a light in sight and metallic in the surrounding.

"Not that." Fey says. His arms circle Alpha's. "I'm talking about the future in general."

Alpha doesn't understand, so Fey stands up and asks for his hand and they go to the future.

It's fiery.

"They turn to war."

Alpha holds Fey's body and squeezes it tightly as they sit on a cliff's edge far from fire and gunpowder. Flowers wilt but Alpha can see one that blooms beautifully and strongly as it can. "There is no soccer, but now there are guns and people dying."

They can see the El Dorado headquarter from miles away. And it's almost a ruin, red eating away bits and pieces left. Alpha wonders if any of his teammates manages to get away and live.

"Is this the future we all seek?" Fey's question is in stifled sobs and Alpha pushes his head on his chest. "Erasing Endou Mamoru's love for soccer is too much for history to stay stable. I should have known."

They look at each other and Alpha knows of the determination burning in Fey's eyes. It's hotter than the fire engulfing the world they live in and firmer than the hug they will ever share.

"As long as I'm with you..."

Alpha's whisper, nearly a whimper, sends chill down Fey's spine. He raises his hands and pulls Alpha closer to him. Alpha thinks he hears Fey say, "I thought so," and smile.

They send themselves back into the past, the ball clutched in their hands, and stop Matsukaze Tenma from getting crushed under the falling logs.