Walking the Dark Path
Part Five
By Ranko

Trevyan swore in absolutely unprintable language with no English translation as he threw himself against the magical shields in a desperate dance to help his friends.

"Dammit all, Immacolata," he screamed, mantling his wings into the air and throwing his foreclaws with all the power he had, "You're not beating me this time!"

"Easy, Trevyan!" Vriea scolded, her wings rising in annoyance. She was sitting back on her haunches, blue eyes closed as she traced the path of the magic. "You can't help them by wearing yourself out. And you can't break Immacolata's barriers by yourself, you know that."

"Then help me!" her aerie-mate cried back. "I owe herrr my life! Morrre than that, I owe Kimberrrly my frrreedom! You, of all grrryphons, must know what it isss like to be trrrapped!"

"Then wait," her gentle voice soothed his frazzled nerves, as it always had and likely always would. "Wait for me to think up a suitable song. Trust me, Trevyan. She has Lord Death as an ally... and she has Tommy."

Trevyan tried to keep the scorn out of his booming gryphonic voice and-- mostly-- succeeded. "Tommy? What can _he_ do? The boy is half-blind, Vrrree! Tommy isss my frriend... He'ss very nicsse, gentle, an amazing marrrtial artissst-- but he's a Cuckoo!"

Vree's blue eyes shattered his scorn. What _was_ it with that lady-gryph who could pin him with a glance, make him feel guilty so easily?

Must be love.

"So he is," Vriea agreed, gold crest lifting gently and white starting to tip her eyes as she started to channel her power. "But then again, so is my power-sister."

"Kim's no human!" Trevyan's ebony feathers were roused, his golden eyes bright with power and beak open with the effort of his pained dancing. He was in no mood for one of his wife's obscure fore-seeing riddles.

"She was raised as one," Vree corrected her brash mate. "And often, that makes all the difference."

"Vree... you're being mysterious again."

The fire-based eyes were unnervingly human as they looked up through white eyelashes. "I know."

And with a harsh sung word in the Fugue's language, she shattered the magical barrier keeping them out.

Vree's wings mantled as she travelled through the nothingness to Tommy's lifespark. Surely, where he was, Kimberly would be, too-- and with her, the two witch-sisters to whom she owed her revenge...

Still singing, she leapt out of the void with her husband at her back paws, the tip of her white fur catching in the portal hole, prismatic colors rippling through it before the innerdimensions spat out her leg and husband at the same time, the former catching up with the speedily-running rest of her body, while the latter tumbled in exasperated curlicues as he couldn't right himself.

The first thing that alerted Vriea to the fact that she was wrong was that she could feel Tommy's eyes on her. If he'd been blinded by the dark power of the Magdalene's, he wouldn't have seen her.

Tommy didn't know that only dark power, that which was black, could cancel the sight danced into being by one of the purest menstruum forces.

"Vree!" he yelled, getting up from the ground. "Boy, am I glad you're here--"

"Where's Kim and the Magdalene and Immacolata?" Vree asked, skidding to a halt on all four feet, wings spread to keep her balance.

"I thought you would know!" Tommy answered, his features hard with desperation. "She challenged them-- then disappeared!"

Trevyan flew into sight. His voice was incredulous-- and furious. "She challenged them? _Both_ of them? She's suicidal!"

Vree nodded agreement. "If Trevyan and I couldn't defeat Immacolata when she tried to take him away, how is Kim going to fare against both of the Fugue-sisters? She can't _possibly_ know the language of the Fugue! No matter how many songs she knows, if she doesn't know any destructive or protective ones, she will die!"

Tommy stood up. "Can't you help her? Even out the odds a little?" he pleaded. "Please, Trev, Vree... I'm only human, I can't do much... but dammit, I love her, and I'll do what I can... but I need your help!"

Trevyan and Vree exchanged a look. "I... we could," Trevyan admitted. "Your bond to her is exceedingly strong-- we could locate her through that. But be prepared for what you see, Tommy... it will make your worst nightmares seem so very pleasant..."

Tommy blanched. "Why?"

"Because, little Cuckoo, Kimberly has been taken to the battleplace of the Fugue."

* * *

Kimberly shivered, forcibly restraining herself from looking around. If there _was_ a Hell, then this was certainly it. Half-glimpsed creatures moaned, trailing bloody organs behind them as fire licked at their feet, crackling with delight. Shadows attacked people, fastening onto necks and gulping blood until one could see it puddled in the translucency...

She shivered, and the Magdalene hissed happily. "Hooowww do yoooou liiiike my chillldrennn, Kimmmberrrly?"

She gestured expansively with an emancipated arm, covered horribly with white tatters of a wedding gown, at the shadows and the creatures. "The veeerrrry objeeectsss you thrrrreatenned to ussse on mee, nooo, ssssisssterrrr?"

Kimberly shuddered, and screamed in horror, holding up hands to ward off one of the shadows as it neared her, disgorged with blood.

"Hope!" Immacolata scolded, holding out a hand. The shadow flew to it, crooning happily and nudging against her hand.

Hope. Such an ironic name for such a terrible thing...

Fear flickered in Kimberly's eyes as she noticed that all of the other terrible creatures that trickled in around her were starting to come nearer...

[Tommy, I do this because I love you...] she thought desperately, hoping that it would lend strength to a fading confidence and a fluttering heart. [I don't know any songs that can kill... or hurt... only drive away...]

Immacolata shook her head with regret. "Such a pity, sister of mine," she murmured to the black-hearted Magdalene. "She has such power, such talent. Such hope and strength."

The Magdalene hissed, conveying her thoughts to her sister on a black-pain bolt. :She is of the Light, of the golden power, and must be destroyed!: [I was of the Light, sister.]

:No. The Trilogy has always been of three sisters, you know that: the one of black darkness, the one of golden light-- and the one of shadowed red. You are that shadow, younger sister, and need to be by the side of the one whose darkness is you...:

Immacolata couldn't help thinking that though the shadow is darkness, there must be light to cast a shadow...

* * *

Vree opened her beak to sing, even as Trevyan poised his long, lithe body to dance. [We're risking all for this youngster, this young woman,] she thought, even as the notes came instinctively to her mind. [Is it worth it?]

She saw Tommy, standing, expressionless eyes a cold counterpart to his taut body and handsome, dedicated face.

[For a love like that, anything is worth it,] she decided as the notes and words flowed out of her beak.

* * *

Kim's voice was raw with smoke and blood and anger and grief and song, even as the children of the Magdalene, created of seed torn from the bodies of various, unwilling mates and mingled with her own unholy life...

A shadow approached her, one of the bigger, stronger ones. Immacolata shook Her head, turning one last time to plea Her older sister. "Magdalene, please... should she escape, she has enough power built up in her to destroy both of us. And she will. For love of your husband, she will do it."

The Magdalene whirled on the beautiful younger woman, hissing and spitting, rotting teeth bared in the most hideous of grimaces. :So! The traitor shows Her true colors!:

"I am no traitor!" the Heart of Darkness shot back, shuddering in the anger of that black look. "But it is true!"

:Per-r-rhaps. But she will not escape. She has either destroyed or sent away all my other children, sister. This last shadow is the youngest, the most powerful. It will affect her. And even should she escape, she cannot destroy us without knowing our True-names, even as we do not know hers. And she does not know the menstruum-spell that prolongues life and heals wounds.:

The silhouette-perversion neared Kimberly, almost expressionless-- before it took form.

"No!" Kimberly screamed, her throat tearing with the effort-- and her own pain. "NO!"

For the shadow took the shape of a young boy. A young boy with Tommy's features.

* * *

The nothingness of the travel between lands was soothing in comparison to the turmoil twisting through the hearts of the three who took the path between worlds.

Then, in the eternity that could have been a blink of an eye, reality intervened and threw them into the nightmare-world.

Tommy landed, too angry and scared to be disoriented by the bending of time and space.


He knew that young boy who looked so much like him, whose eyes were starting to glow with power and whose raised hand would be cold to the touch, he knew--

And he could see the expressions on Kim's face. Betrayal, hopelessness, anger, fear...

She looked up, into his eyes. She knew he was there-- as she always knew. There was a question, there, he knew he would have to answer.

^Is this your son? Child of your blood, of your spirit, of your body?^

Tommy closed his eyes and nodded.

The betrayal of the one she loved hurt most of all. To know that Tommy had sired the _thing_ in front of her... oh, it hurt. It didn't matter how it had happened, or why. But she couldn't...

Kim couldn't just let it-- him-- destroy her...

His eyes were empty, like he had no soul to touch, to plead to...

Then Tommy's voice intervened. "No."

The boy stopped, and the glow started to fade from the vacant eyes as he heeded his father's voice.

The Magdalene screeched a command to her son, and he started to advance on the helpless Kimberly once more.

Then Tommy lifted his head. His hazel eyes were resigned-- but there were no tears in them. He would do what he had to do... as he always had.

His lips moved as he mouthed a message for Kimberly alone. ^You're right, Kim... it's goodbye. Forget me... all I've brought you is pain. I hope you live a happy life with Adam... and have the son that I couldn't give you... I love you...^

Tommy stood up.

[Where is that idiot, Trevyan!] Vree screamed mentally. She was powerless, here, only those most powerful could use the menstruum in the Fugue's battlefield... [If he doesn't come quickly--]

Trevyan appeared, silver lines spinning in spider-web threads around him as he brought the two people with him.

"Kimberly!" the man shouted, his blue clothes sparkling, his green eyes fiery and highlighted blonde hair seeming to glow...

Kim looked up. "Billy? Trini?" she gasped. "What are you doing here?"

Trini was still dressed in her yellow wedding dress, but Power ran over her like a fluid, making the dress seem insignificant in her suddenly enhanced beauty...

"Mother!" Immacolata gasped, her eyes locking on Trini's.

Only now did-- could-- Kimberly notice the physical similarities between Trini and the Heart of Darkness.

"You've disappointed me, daughter. I thought I raised you better than this," Trini said, eyes violet even as Immacolata's were. No longer was she the innocent girl about to be married-- now, she was the mature, beautiful woman, mother, and wife, steeped in her own ancient power. "Yes, turn to the dark sister, child of my first marriage. You always _did_ choose the easy way out."

She stepped back, denying Immacolata the grace of her touch.

"_Mother_..." the Heart of Darkness whimpered, reaching out for her mother's soothing hand.

The Magdalene hissed.

"And you, dark sister, mistake of my first joining," Trini's eyes grew angry. "I should have left you where I birthed you."

"Buttt yoouuu did noottt, Mothhherrrr... yourrr missstake!" the Magdalene hissed. "And ssssooo yourrr youngesssst diesss!"

Billy stepped forward and slapped the Magdalene across the face. She recoiled and slumped to the floor, blue sparks cracking from where Billy's hand had touched her cheek.

"Maybe not, witch," he spat. "You forget: someone loves her-- and often, that is the strongest spell of all..."

Tommy closed his eyes, releasing his tightly-coiled power into long, fluid muscles and powerful joints. They started to move, almost not of his volatition, into the first kata he had ever learned, as a white-belt. Then, progressively, into the others, until he was just a blur of white and fists and kicks and whipping hair.

The wind had risen, and it plucked hair from Tommy's child's head to dangle in the wind before dropping once more.

The empty eyes were enraptured by his father's graceful fighter-dance like only another warrior can be.

The whiteness started to glow in trails of Tommy's movements. The glint of silver appeared in Tommy's hand--

"No," Kim whispered.

"What?" Vree asked, looking at the captivated girl.

"Didn't you tell me that if you know someone's true name, then you can break any spell, defeat any person, kill any immortal? That a true name is someone's essence?"

Vriea nodded.

"You didn't teach it to Tommy... did you?"

"Well... yes, I did... what could be the harm? He can't use the menstruum, anyway..."

"Oh, no... yes, he _can_! _Tommy!_" Kim screamed.

Tommy stopped his dance as he reached the end of his kata knowledge and poised on the tip of one toe, other raised high in the air in a kick...

Tommy crouched and beckoned his son to him.

"Noooo!" the Magdalene hissed.

"Oh, yes," Tommy answered, as the child neared him and placed his hands into his father's bigger ones. "Julian is your name, my child... bear it proudly," he told the boy.

Suddenly, the eyes weren't empty anymore-- they were an ordinary little boy's eyes. "Daddy?" he asked, quietly.

Tommy nodded, and hugged the slim young child. "Daddy's here, Julian."

"No!" Magdalene shouted, standing up to her rotten feet.

Even as she stood up, so did Tommy. His shoulders were straight and proud, his expression serene, as he carried the boy in the crook of his arm. "Three times cursed eldest, darkness embodied," he faced his so-called 'wife' evenly. "Never to see the light until one whom you despise and love shows it to you. To bear a son you cherish and hate, whose eyes are clear until named. Destroyed by love and a father's touch, the dancing darkness and the still shade of white. Ring a bell, maybe?"

"No." This time it lacked conviction.

"It should," Tommy answered, his hair sweeping back from his face. "It's your own prophecy, Magdalene-- or should I say Shadowen?"

The Magdalene screamed in pain as she was Named-- and the summoned throwing dagger of silver embedded itself in her chest, thrown from Tommy's hand, even as a wooden arrow shot into her, several centimeters to the left. The shadows fled from around her, and she glowed so brightly that Kim was forced to look away--

"No! If I will die, then so will you and your child, Thomas Oliver of the Lo!" For once, her articulation was absolutely clear.

All the glowing energy coalesced into a single dark blast, charging straight into Tommy and Julian with the speed of a rushing beam of light. "NO!" Kim screamed, paralysis broken. "TOMMY!"

The Magdalene-- Shadowen-- faded into nothing but a memory, falling to dirty, greasy ashes on the floor of the Fugue battlefield. Tinkling in the midst of the ashes, a knife of pure silver, untarnished with blood or dirt.

A knife that looked unnervingly like a smaller, whiter version of the Dragon Dagger, down to the dragon-claw carved in the center of the hilt and the flute finger-holes on the blade.

Beside it, a wooden arrow polished to an impeccable shine, glinting metal arrowhead needle-sharp and every feather perfect on the shaft. Little holes strayed along the body of the arrow in carefully measured distances.

Tommy was thrown over ten feet backwards, Julian disappearing in his arms even as his head snapped back on his shoulders. He crashed into the floor, limp and unmoving.

"No..." a whisper crept from her throat. "Tommy... please..."

He wasn't moving. At all.

He wasn't breathing.

Trini moved first, touching his neck with two graceful fingers. She shook her head, turning to Kimberly. "I'm sorry, Kim..."

"He's not--" the words stuck in her throat. She wouldn't accept them... she refused to...

Trini nodded, closing her eyes. "I'm sorry, daughter..."

Billy moved in behind them, laying a hand on Kim's shoulder. "I'm sorry, youngest."

Kim shoved them away, eyes wild with grief and pain. "No. You're not my parents. This is crazy!"

The pair stepped away in perfect syncronization. Trini closed her eyes, lemon-yellow power glittering in the air for the slightest seconds...

And the nightmare of blood and pain faded into the ballroom where friends still stood, frozen utterly.

Kim ran to where Tommy lay crumpled on the floor, right next to the entrance to the balcony. She kneeled next to him on the cold marble floor, cradling his head to her chest, dark hair spilling over her thighs, sobbing, "No, no, no... no..."

Trini made as if to go to her, comfort her youngest daughter, but Billy shook his head, placing his hand on her shoulder. "Don't, Marian."

"Robin... I must... she's my daughter... if we'd gotten there sooner... not kept up this facade of just being her friends for so long..."

"Thou cans't bring Tommy back, Marian. Thine powers are far from strong enough for that," he shook his head again, hugging her. "I do not think that there be anyone who can raise the dead-- no matter whence they hold the white, red, yellow, blue, silver or gold menstruum. Even the black..."

Trini-- Marian-- collapsed into Billy's-- Robin's-- arms, tears flowing down her face. "Robin of Locksley... there are times when I could despise thee for being right..."

"Me, too, sweetie," she heard him mutter as he looked over her dark head at their youngest child.

* * *

Immacolata stood frozen with horror as the taint of her sister's power lifted from her. What had she done?

What had she done?

Suddenly, the paralysis lifted, and they were once more in the ballroom.

And there, sobbing against the wall, cradling Tommy's head, was her younger sister.

The one whom she'd almost killed. The girl of the golden menstruum, the third one necessary for the balance to be complete. If Kimberly had never existed, the world would have collapsed into chaos. If there weren't at least one of the golden menstruum and one of the red, the planes would fall into evil.

The Magdalene would have liked that very well.

Dear Capra, what had she done?

* * *

Marian, known in her day as Maid Marian, known in this one as Trini Kwan, moved from her husband's arms. She should have known better than to keep the charade going for so long.

[No-one should have to live without their beloved,] she thought pensively, glancing over her shoulder to where her husband didn't dare follow. [I love him dearly, my Billy, my Robin-- but he can't understand this.]

She walked on alone to where the silver dagger glinted beside the wooden arrow, and picked both of them up before hefting the arrow and slipping off the metal, sleek arrowhead.

It revealed a mouthpiece, unused and beautiful in its perfection.

[A father's touch,] she thought wonderingly before setting it to her lips. The haunting, lilting song floated throughout the room, telling a silent, musical story with a wooden flute and caressing notes.

It told of a woman in love with a prince-- who had strived to have her killed after she bore him a daughter, not a son. It sang of the courtship of one who she might have thought a vagrant and bandit had he not had such perfect manners and a charming voice...

It sang of another daughter born, this one as dark and beautiful as Marian herself. Then another, soft-eyed and pretty.

The last born centuries after the first, a young girl-child with soft, downy hair and the sweet brown eyes that neither of the parents had.

Kim looked up, face stained with tears. "I... I..."

Lord Death crouched in front of her, his auburn hair mussed and rainbow-green eyes dull. "I am sorry, Kim."

"Death... no... please..."

"I have no choice," his eyes looked so sad... "You know I would spare him my touch if I could..."

Her voice cracked with strain as it rose. "Please..." she begged.

Behind her, another voice added its power. The soft music of the flute stopped. "Mother's son," Marian spoke softly. "Surely you can pardon one..."

"Yes," Robin agreed, stepping up behind his wife and daughter. "As a friend of both I plead-- and as a father I beg you..."

"As a sister I ask," came an unexpected, tormented voice behind them. Immacolata. "Take me-- I fell willingly under the spell of the dark, when we of the red are meant to be neutral..."

Death shook his head sadly, white face grim. "I would-- but the only way for me to spare one is to gain a wife in return. I would not ask that of one so obviously in love."

His eyes rested on Kimberly. "I am so sorry, youngest daughter of Marian."

An ephemeral voice sounded behind her. "You forget one, Mother's Son."

Death looked up, and his face remained expressionless. "Kayla," he greeted.

Kimberly didn't look up to greet her long-dead sister-- but Trini's lips clamped on a cry as she saw her murdered daughter...

"She is not whom you seek, Lord Death," came the soft, almost nonexistent reply.

"No? Truly?" his voice was acidic. "Then who _do_ I seek, Kayla Marian-daughter?"

"You seek the third of the Trilogy, Lord. You seek one whose power shines brighter than the sun. You seek the child of light and dark. The one who touches the forbidden one. The woman fated to be your consort."


Kayla strode up to him, becoming less and less wispy and ephemeral as she neared him. Then she reached down and grabbed his hand, pulling him to his feet.

"What are you _doing_?!"

"Proving a point, my Lord."

"And what is that?"

A single smile tingled gently on Kayla's delicate lips. "Didn't you, by the same test, determine Kimberly's worthiness to be your wife?"

Lord Death looked down at his hand, unlined and clean, then back up at Kayla, mouth agape. "But--"

"You know that when I lived, I, too, was a holder of the golden menstruum. She is not the Trilogy's completion-- or rather, she was not until I died. I share her father-- and I was raised as human."

The Mother's Son was in a state of utter shock. "But..." his face softened... "I never dared hope..."

Kayla lifted her face from where she had tilted it demurely towards the floor. "What... but... I thought..."

"You thought what, Kayla?" Kim asked more sharply than she'd intended. But no-one noticed, in their shock at staring at the spectacle unfolding before them.

"I thought he loved _you_..." her elder sister whispered.

[*"Kayla, have you ever loved anyone?"*]

Oh, now it was so clear to her...

[*"Only one man, Kim, and I knew I could never have him."*]

Kayla stood up to her full height and looked Lord Death in the eye. "I would be your mate in lieu of my sister if you'd have me..." she began tentatively.

"If I'd have you? Kay, I'd _die_ to have.. wait, that doesn't make sense," he revised his impassioned statement, "I'd do _anything_ to have you by my side!"

He reached out and took her into his arms, kissing her with all the passion that his embrace had lacked with Kimberly.

They were starting to fade out...

Kimberly looked up, thankfully, and whispered, "Thanks, sis..."

Marian raised a hand towards where her third daughter was fading. "Goodbye, Kaylana..." she murmured towards the apparition.

Billy held her, gently, as the pair disappeared, still locked in a loving embrace.

Kimberly looked down at Tommy, expectantly waiting for him to take breath. Her fingers against his throat awaited the fluttering of a pulse against them, trembling...

Tommy didn't move. His heart didn't beat. He didn't breathe. It could have been a wax statue she had on her lap.

"No..." she whispered. "Lord Death can't lie..."

Vreia moved beside her, brushing a comforting wing across her shoulder. "He still lives, Kim."

Those sweet caramel eyes were full of despair as Kim met Vree's fire-blues. "I don't know how it is for your people, Vree... but in mine, he's... he's... no..."

Vree shook her head, understanding. "No, Kim. He's not dead. Can't you feel him? I can. He touches your soul."

Kim reached down, riding a golden tricklet of power down her veins. And Vree was right. That place where she felt the gentle essense of him was still there.


Immacolata shook her black hair back, violet eyes dark. "I cannot do it, Kim... I can't call a spirit back into a body."

Kim glared. "Yet you can stick your own spirit into someone else's?"

Marian grabbed her daughter's shoulders and spoke as Trini, the slightly naive yet unnervingly knowing teenager. "Kim, walking the dark path is always simpler than taking that of the light. You _are_ the light. No-one ever claimed that it was _easy_..."

Her voice was bitter. "Is that supposed to help, Trini? Or should I call you 'Mom'? I couldn't even give him his sight back! Hell, I could barely stop the Magdalene from taking him the second time!"

Trini shook her head. "Kim, I know you aren't used to your powers. But this is bordering on ridiculous. Remember your Spanish lessons? Quien canta su mal espanta?"

Kim's brows furrowed. "When you sing... you drive away your pain? What do you..."

Trini smiled and nodded as comprehension came over Kim's features. Hope flared in those eyes...

"But-- I can't... Trini... Marian... _Mom_... I just don't know enough..."

Billy looked serene. "Kim, if you could drive off Immacolata and the Magdalene with absolutely no training... _I_ can't do that even _now_!"

"Billy... Trini... Vree... Trev... dammit, you guys, I'm not all that! Don't look at me like that!" Vree's blue eyes turned dark for a scant instant. "Would you have him be a bodiless spirit all his days, Kim? Never to live again-- but never to have peace?"


"Then what could be the harm in trying?" she pointed out, cocking a foreclaw. "Kim, if you love him-- and I know you do-- you'll do that much for him."

Trini stepped back, Vree, a surprisingly silent Trevyan, and Billy following.

"You guys..." Kim pleaded quietly, "help me here..."

Trini lifted the wooden flute. "I can play counterpoint-- but the song has to come from you, Kim."

Billy grinned ruefully. "Sorry, Kim... I'd help if I could... but you know I can't sing. I leave that to Marian... and Alan."


"Allan-a-Dale. He's from a time long gone... but sometimes we can still hear him singing..."

Vree picked up the flute-dagger and handed it to Kim. "The last thing he touched... this holds a lot of power, Kim, white power. Was he... in any way at all... did he have any kind of power attached to a dagger or sword like this...?"

Kim paled... but nodded.

She reached into the pocket of his crumpled, white jeans-- and withdrew a single sparkling golden coin.

It was warm to the touch. It wasn't her imagination-- it was really, and truly warm.

She closed her eyes and started to hum under her breath.

Suddenly, she set the dagger's hilt to her lips, resting her fingers over the holes even as Tommy had in years past...

A soft, sweet, slow melody emerged from the silver dagger, her fingers flickering over the holes as if she wasn't moving them-- like the music was moving them.

"Oh, fitting," she heard Trini murmur.

The song flowed out of her lips, bringing with it the power, the hope, the love... the touch.

"Sometimes the snow comes down in June,
Sometimes the sun goes round the moon,
I see the passion in your eyes...
Sometimes it's all a big surprise.

There was a time when all I did was wish
That you'd tell me this was love.
Sometimes the very thing you're looking for
Is the one thing you can't see.

So now we're standing face to face.
Isn't this world a crazy place?
Just when I thought the chance has passed
You go and save the best for last.

All of those nights you came to me.
Some silly girl had set you free.
I wondered how you made it through
I wondered what was wrong with you.

Now that we're standing face to face
Isn't this world a crazy place?
Just when I thought the chance has passed
You go and save the best for last.

How could you give your love to someone else
And share your dreams with me?
Sometimes the very thing you're looking for
Is the one thing you can't see.

Now that we're standing face to face
Isn't this world a crazy place?
Just when I thought the chance has passed
You go and save the best for last
Sometimes the very thing you're looking for
Is the one thing you can't see.

Sometimes the snow comes down in June
Sometimes the sun goes round the moon
Just when I thought the chance had passed
You go and save the best for last..."

She trailed off on the last note, hoping, praying... then suddenly, another song burst out of her throat.

"No more talk of darkness
Forget these bright-eyed fears
I'm here
Nothing can harm you
My words will warm and calm you..."

Trini's flute played a gentle echo.

"Let me be your freedom,
Let daylight dry your tears
I'm here
With you, beside you
To guard you and to guide you.

So say you'll share with me
One love, one lifetime.
Let me lead you from your solitude...
Share each day with me
Each night, each morning.

Anywhere you go let me go too...
Love me, that's all I ask of you."

Vree gasped and stepped back. Kim was glowing like a young sun...

Trini covered her eyes, her soft counterpoint notes stopping.

Trevyan stopped and flung a wing over his beak. "By Capra..."

Kim thrust her head backwards as she exulted in the power streaming through her. She'd never felt so vibrant, so much alive--

The power wasn't overwhelming her, but rather going _with_ her, like the tides go with the movement of the moon.

If ever drunks or druggies ever got a taste of this... they'd burn their alcohol and drugs as being too inferior.

White poured from the coin and dagger clutched in her hands, mingling and assimilating with her own golden aura. It was like a cool infusion of moonlight in the advent of the sun.

The gold tamed, became part of her bloodstream and body once more. Calm once more, the peace-- her inner serenity, mingled with Tommy's gentle spirit-- flowed out...

She sat beside Tommy's body, pulling his head onto her lap once again. In soft strokes, she brushed back the tangled hair from his face, tiny pushes of the menstruum straightening out his clothes...

Once more, the song came from her mouth effortlessly as she provided her own musical interludes with the silver-- glowing white-- dagger...

"In a place that won't let us feel
In a life where nothing seems real
I have found you
I have found you...

In a world that's moving too fast
In a world where nothing can last
I will hold you
I will hold you...

Our lives will change when tomorrow comes
Tonight our hearts beat a distant drums
And we have music, alright
Tearing the night

A song... played on a solo saxophone
A crazy sound, a lonely sound
A cry that tells us love goes on and on...
Played on a solo saxophone.
It's telling me to hold you tight
And dance
Like it's the last night of the world...

On the other side of the Earth
There's a place where life still has worth
I will take you
I'll go with you

You won't believe all the things you'll see
I know 'cause you'll see them all with me

If we're together, that's when
We'll hear it again

A song... played on a solo saxophone
A crazy sound, a lonely sound
A cry that tells us love goes on and on...
Played on a solo saxophone.
It's telling me to hold you tight
And dance
Like it's the last night of the world...

Dreams were all I ever knew
Dreams you won't need when I'm through

Anywhere, we may be,
I will sing with you
Our song...

Played on a solo saxophone
So stay with me and hold me tight
And dance, like it's the last night
Of the world."

They waited expectantly, with bated breath, as the golden power flowed out of Kimberly and into Tommy.

A second passed with agonizing slowness as nothing happened. Another... and another.

Nothing. The body may have been an unresponsive statue for all the emotion and life it showed.

Kim allowed the tears to flow that the menstruum had blocked off. "I told you," she cried, the slightest hint of triumph in her cracking tone.

But oh Lord, she'd wished she'd been wrong...

She lay her head on his chest and sobbed.

Marian and Robin exchanged a look. "How could it not work?" Marian questioned quietly. "She's the most powerful rapture-singer I've ever seen... even half-trained like she is, she managed to keep it under bounds. It _should_ have worked!"

Robin nodded, running his hand through blonde-brown hair. "I know... I can't imagine..."

They could only watch as Kimberly fled off to weep on the balcony, and Tommy's body faded from sight.

And time began again, Marian and Robin taking their assumed places among the silent, stone-still revelers.

Adam looked around him with huge eyes. "Kim?" he querulously asked. How could she have disappeared so fast? The dancers swirled around him like a silent, despairing island in a city of cars.



This fanfic was written by Ranko, and is posted here with her permission.