~~~~~~~ Same night ~~~~~~~

"Don't die, don't die, don't die…" I chant, leaning over the unconscious figure in my lap.

"Is he waking up?" Raghnall asks from the driver's seat.

"No!" I snap angrily, not looking up. "Wake up, Jaron! Goddammit! Wake! UP!" I cup his face gently despite my anger. "Why isn't he waking up?" I ask desperately, stroking his face.

"It's possible that there was some type of poison on the blade." Raghnall replies grimly.

"No." I moan mournfully, laying my forehead against Jaron's. "Wake up." I whisper. "Please wake up. Let me see your eyes." I gently press my lips to his cheek. "Please." Against each eyelid. "Please." His other cheek. "I love you. Please." Finally, against his lips.

The world spins backwards, turns upside down, and inside out, confusing my senses and making me dizzy. The only sensation I'm aware of is my lips against Jaron's. It suddenly stops, and there is complete silence. I open my eyes, having closed them at some point, and find Jaron staring back at me calmly. We're no longer kissing, more like breathing into him as he breathes into me.

"Jaron." I whisper against his lips, relieved beyond belief to see his beautiful eyes.

"I was wondering when you'd get here," he says, stepping back, drawing my attention to the fact that we seem to be standing in apparent nothingness; no car, no Raghnall, no light, no darkness, just an ever shifting nothing.

"Where are we?" I ask, looking around.

"I have no idea. One minute I'm trying not to pass out, then the next I'm… here." He gestures at our non-surroundings.

"Lovely." I mutter sarcastically.

"I've tried looking around, but every time I move it feels like I'm not actually going forward. So, I decided to stop and wait for you," he says, smiling at me. "It's really confusing here. There seems to be no substance anywhere but we're standing and breathing and talking so, there has to be something or none of that would be possible." He shrugs, obviously as confused as I am about our current surroundings.

"How'd you know I would come?" I ask, reaching out and pulling him into a hug.

"You always do," he whispers into my ear, squeezing me tight.

"So, my children have finally arrived," observes a satisfied voice.

We jerk apart, turning in the direction it came from to find a woman standing a few feet away, a beautiful smile on her beautiful face. She's dressed in a flowing gown of silver that manages to accentuate all her assets without making it look too obvious. Her hair is a shocking shade of pure white, flowing down her body to rest against her lower back, her porcelain skin seems to glow with vitality and her sparkling silver eyes show an age and wisdom beyond time. In other words, she's fucking hot.

She laughs softly, startling me from my thoughts. "That's very kind of you to think," she says, watching with amusement as I blush. She read my fucking thoughts. "Yes, I did."

"Who are you?" I ask, moving to stand in front of Jaron in a protective display.

"You have no reason to fear me," she says calmly. "I would never hurt either of you."

Surprisingly, I believe her. "Who are you?" I repeat, relaxing slightly. "And where are we?"

"You are home," she replies, and suddenly we're standing in room as it was before the fire. I feel Jaron move closer to me, pressing against my back, obviously nervous at this display of power. "Please sit." She gestures to my bed, and then moves to my desk chair to seat herself gracefully.

With a second of hesitation, we both move to sit on my bed, sitting close together and turning our gazes to the mysterious woman before us. "Who are you?" I ask again.

"I have many names, but you may call me Ziya," she replies, smiling warmly.

"Why are we here?" Jaron asks.

"To learn. I've been waiting for you for a while. It wasn't 'til you were injured, Jaron, that I was able to bring you both here." Her face turns serious. "I am sorry you were injured, but it was fortunate for me because without the relaxation of your psychic hold on Darius, it would have been far more difficult and painful to bring you both here."

"Psychic hold?" I repeat, confused.

"In time you will learn all you need to know," she replies, once again smiling. "But first, you must be told a few things." She raises an eyebrow, silently asking if we're ready to hear it.

"Tell on," we reply in unison.

"Very well." She nods, taking a deep breath to prepare herself. "You two are my avatars; destined to live again and again as defenders of Good, your abilities are gifts from the Universe itself. Raghnall is your Guardian, his duty is to train and guard you, and his destiny is as set as yours."

"You mean to tell me that Jaron and I are destined to save the world?" I ask incredulously.

"Yes. You aren't the only ones, but the others have yet to be born." She holds up her hand when I open my mouth to ask about these 'others'. "You will learn everything else from Raghnall."

I nod, accepting her answer. "I just have one question."

"Just one." Jaron murmurs, shaking his head.

I ignore him. "Are we gay in every life?"

Ziya throws her head back and lets out a ringing laugh, warming the room and causing Jaron and I to smile involuntarily. "Yes," she replies once her laughter has died down. "There are too many complications of having a woman in either of your places."

"As long as we're together, I guess it doesn't matter so much." I say, shrugging resignedly.

She smiles warmly in response. "You will always be together. You were born together, you live together, and you will die together. Over and over again." She suddenly stands. "I think it's time you got back. Your family is worried about you. Farewell, younglings."

She gives us a beautiful smile, and then the world is tumbling again, righting itself and taking us along for the ride. We open our eyes to find ourselves wrapped around each other on a hospital bed in a dark room, Jaron's father sleeping in a chair beside the bed.

Glancing at each other, we smile, and meet in a soft kiss before closing our eyes and going to sleep.

*********

"You wouldn't let go of each other," my father states, a small smile on his face. "The ER staff had to work around it."

"They were pretty pissed about it." Gina pipes in, a happy smile on her face.

"You still haven't told us what happened to the kidnapper," Mrs. Coolidge points out disapprovingly.

I fidget nervously under her glare, unwilling to lie, but not wanting to tell them I set him on fire.

"He ran." Jaron states firmly, drawing his mother's gaze. "We don't know what happened to him, but I doubt he'll come back."

His mother seems to accept that answer, relaxing slightly and softening her gaze. "All right, hun. How do you feel?" she asks with patented, motherly concern.

"I'm fine, Mom," he replies, rolling his eyes. "Just like all the other times you've asked in the last hour."

"She's just worried, Jaron," my mother replies. "We all were when Gina told us."

The room door opens, admitting a nurse. "I'm sorry, everyone, but visiting hours are over. The patient needs his sleep," she announces, moving to check Jaron's vitals.

After a round of goodbyes and promises to return tomorrow, our families leave, leaving me, Jaron and the nurse who glares at me in annoyance.

I smile at her unrepentantly from my seat, having claimed it hours earlier, firmly stating that I wouldn't leave 'til Jaron did. The hospital staff wasn't too happy about it, but who cares.

"Just don't keep him awake," she says sternly, leaving the room.

"You shouldn't antagonize her." Raghnall says, startling me.

"Where the hell did you come from?" I ask, glancing around the room.

"Trade secret," he replies, shrugging.

"Right." I mutter. "Whatever. Why are you here?"

He moves to sit in the other chair, smiling at Jaron as he sits. "We haven't been introduced formally. I'm Raghnall," he says, holding out his hand, which Jaron shakes reluctantly.

"Umm, nice to meet you," he replies uncertainly, shooting me a confused glance.

"What are you doing here?" I ask, glaring at him.

"I wanted to find out where you went when you both passed out," he replies, settling back in his chair.

"We met someone named Ziya." I reply. "She told us about our destiny."

Raghnall's eyes widen as he mutters a few incoherent words reverently.

"I take it you know who she is." Jaron says, amused.

"She is a goddess," he replies, his eyes still amazed.

"Well, she was pretty hot, but I wouldn't say goddess material." I say, shrugging. "But if you think so, that's your choice."

"No, you don't understand," he says quickly, leaning forward eagerly. "She is literally a goddess, and a very powerful one at that."

Our jaws drop open, and we stare at him incredulously. He nods in understanding.

Shaking off my shock, I say, "She also said that you were our guardian and that it was your duty to train and guard us."

He nods. "That is correct."

"Train us how?" Jaron asks.

Raghnall smiles mysteriously, and just a bit sadistically. "You'll just have to wait and find out."

I have a bad feeling about this.

********

********

~~~~~~~ Present (December 2012, Noir City, NC, undisclosed location) ~~~~~~~

Okay, so it's not the most exciting of stories, but it's a beginning. Our beginning. I have a certain fondness for it. But it doesn't really mean anything if it's not told by someone who was there. I don't want the media making up some shit story after they find our bodies and discover our identities.

This is going to be so hard on our families. At least I got to see Gina graduate from college, but who's going to make sure she doesn't marry an asshole or encourage her when she's unsure about her future. Dammit! Imminent death sucks.

Well, I'll have to continue this later. I'm tired and I might as well sleep since I really have nothing better to do.

Until next time.

********

The End

********

For now, at least. There will be a sequel eventually, but I'll probably write some interludes first. I hope you liked this. Review.

                                -- A.H.