Bridge Under The Silver Moon

By Loren Leah

1001 AD

Magus stood on Zenan Bridge, leaning over the side of the rough, damp wooden guardrail to look at the glittering ocean below. His scarlet cape fluttered in a light breeze, and the moonlight made his sky-blue hair shine silver.

Are you truly gone, Schala? he thought. Or are you still alive somewhere, waiting for me...

His thoughts were interrupted by a rider on horseback, who stopped to observe him in his musings. He turned to face the person, gloved hand going automatically towards his scythe.

The rider saw this movement. "Whoa, don't whip out the old DoomSickle yet," she said, getting out of the saddle and leading her horse over to meet him. "It's just me, see?" She smiled softly.

Magus nodded to her in greeting, absorbing her looks, the shine of the moonlight on her delicate skin, the scent of her regal perfume...the very feel of her. It had been a long time since he'd seen her last. Too long, in his opinion.

"Hello, Princess," he said briefly, cutting his thoughts short. They were irrational, and not at all appropriate. After all, she and Crono were practically an item. He hadn't heard any official news about their relationship, but they had grown obviously close during the Lavos incident.

"So, what are you doing here?" she said, taking his hand and giving it a brief squeeze. "Have you found Schala yet?"

He shook his head. "I've searched everywhere I could think of," he said, unconsciously letting a little of the despair he felt creep into his voice. It wasn't his practice to let emotions show, on the outside...opponents often took it as a weakness.

For Magus, weakness toward an opponent was intolerable. It made the difference between life and death.

She frowned sympathetically. "Well, don't give up! Maybe I can help you get an idea."

He gazed into those liquid-sapphire eyes, wishing very much to find them filled with love. All he really found was sympathy, and pity. It made him sick...

And yet, at the same time...he wanted it, so badly. Anything she felt toward him was all right, as long as she trusted him enough to be this close.

"Magus?" Her voice called him out of his thoughts. "You alright?"

He blinked, embarrased, though he certainly wasn't showing it. "My apologies," he said. "I was...considering something else. Thank you for your offer..."

He turned his back to her, looking up at the moon. "But I don't think I'll be searching for her anymore."

"What?" She blinked, taken aback. "But I" She struggled for words, unsure what would be both appropriate and unoffending to say.

There was a long pause, neither one really knowing what they should do next. Finally, he decided he'd just get it over with and ask her.

"Marle," he said quietly, "are you in love with Crono?"

She was taken even further aback by that question, and stopped for a moment to compose herself before answering. "Well...I... Sort of, I guess, but not the way you, and Lucca, and...well, everybody, seem to think. I love him... like a little brother, I guess... A protective kind of love. The way...Schala must have loved you..." She finished jerkily, the beginnings of tears glistening in her eyes. "Why?"

He turned to look at her, and there was a fire in his ruby eyes that she had not seen before or since he had spoken at their final battle with Lavos.

"I..." He looked down, and she got the impression that whatever he was going to say, it was terribly hard for him. "This is going to sound crazy, when you hear it...considering who I am... Marle..." He looked back up into her eyes, holding her gaze. His face was tight with emotion.

"Marle...I love you..." He quickly turned, and walked away to the other side of the bridge.

Marle gave a little gasp at his proclamation, but was confused, in spite of herself. She walked over to him, put her hand on his shoulder; he did not turn toward her. "It's okay. Really," she said, and there was something different, emotional, in her tone. "But what did you mean? What's it matter who you are?"

He didn't turn back to her, but after a long pause, he began to speak softly. "Think about it," he said, his voice back to its normal, deadly calm. "I'm the evil sorcerer who nearly destroyed Guardia. You're the Princess of Guardia. Even if you actually shared my affections..." He shook his head. "It just wouldn't work."

She thought for a second, considering certain things. Did it really matter who he was anymore? He had helped defeat Lavos, he was a good man at heart... and she was finally sure, now, that he really knew what love was.

"Turn around. Facing me," she said, sounding almost stern. He did as instructed, wondering what she was planning.

She placed her arms around his neck, pulled herself up a bit, and very passionately kissed him. They stayed that way for just a few, wonderful moments.

She pulled away, and he stared at her, jaw dropped in shock.

She smiled widely.

"Still so sure?"

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