Series: By the Gods

| A Place on Earth | Sapphire | Jade | Garnet | Island of Deceit Intro |

Author : Mel M/Misty


Archive: please ASK if you want to archive it.

Pairing: just read to find out

Rating: NC 17 I guess. Maybe R

Disclaimers: I don't own or anything attached to the show and I'm making absolutely nothing off of this fic. Well, accept for maybe feedback. Shout outs to all of the people mentioned in this fic as well as those who read it. I love you all!

Comments: I need feedback. Remember, FEED ME!

A Place on Earth

Nicole sat boredly in Bio's class. She'd surprisingly finished her work early and all that was left to do was day dream. She grinned demonically as Sam McPherson danced through her head. The woman was unforgettable. She thought about her all the time. The way she touched, the way she kissed, the way she smiled, the way she laughed. She was like a drug. So addictive and intoxicating. Sighing, she couldn't wait to get outta here. She was meeting Sam after school at their "special" place. Nobody knew where it was accept for them. Cheer practice had been cancelled today due to the absence of their coach and by Nicole's strong suggestion. She REALLY wanted to spend some time with Sam. She'd been pretty busy lately and she hadn't been alone with Sam in over a week. She was going insane!

Starring into space, she grinned. Sam had been her secret for months now. It was funny how it all started. They'd run into each other by accident at a party. Nobody that knew them was there so they pushed their rivalry aside to have a good time. Neither of them realized having a good time would land them in each others arms the next morning. They had learned about who the other girl really was, explored each others minds. They fell asleep at dawn in Nicole's bed. Nothing sexual had happened that night but that couldn't be said for meetings after that. They'd been very cautious throughout this whole relationship. Both were emotionally challenged yet they found comfort in each other.

Their biggest problem was family and friends. That's why they were keeping things between them so quiet. They acted normal around each other at school. They bickered as usual but when they were alone it was like they were completely different people. Nicole had found a special place where nobody would ever find them and that was were they met. They'd both mastered the art of lying to their parents and friends. Sam claimed to be part of a "secret society" which she refused to talk about and Nicole's excuse was alone time. It worked every time too. Not a soul suspected anything.

Nicole drifted further into her fantasy land as Brooke finished the assignment. Brooke smiled. Finally done. She was glad cheer practice had been cancelled. She wanted to go to Rainbow Planet. She loved that place. Great coffee and she'd be able to hang out with Carmen. That was where Carmen was working. She didn't have to work today because it was Friday but they'd still go there. It was their place. They had a room in the back where they hung out and talked. Brooke had gone there once to try the coffee because a friend had recommended it and Carmen was there. She'd been getting off of work early because business was a little slow. They'd talked until closing and then went to Carmen's house. Now they were sneaking around just like Nicole and Sam. Brooke didn't care about her popularity but Carmen did. She didn't want Brooke to go through social hell because of her and that's what was keeping them silent.

Lily sighed. She couldn't wait for class to end. She would be spending the afternoon at the Cherry estate, swimming and water fighting with her lady love. What could be more fun? MC had already come out to her mother and Cherry Cherry thought it was ok as long as she kept it quiet. She tried spending time with her friends but Sam was at the "secret society" in her spare time and Carmen didn't have much spare time between work and school. So she found herself window shopping when she'd bumped into MC. They actually spoke briefly and when Lily visited the pet shop she found out Miss Cherry donated over a thousand dollars to saving abused dogs. After that she made window shopping a habit. They eventually decided to talk and hang out which surprised both of them. Lily was surprised the most. She's never known Mary Cherry could be so serious. She wasn't completely sane but at least she was honest. They'd gone out a few times before deciding to hook up and now they spent every available moment with each other.

The bell finally sounded and they were off to their next classes.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Baby I love the way you love me. Strong and wild, slow and easy, heart and soul, so completely," Nicole sang as she parked her car in the bushes. She stretched and yawned. She hadn't been sleeping well lately. She hadn't had this much trouble sleeping since that whole Brooke and Sam thing. Frowning, she tried her hardest to forget that ordeal. She really didn't want to go there because she knew if she did she'd end up fighting with Sam and that was one thing she didn't want.

Sam slipped into the car, leaning over to kiss Nic on the lips. Pulling away slowly she sighed. She knew what was wrong but there wasn't a way to make things better. Nic was just a little cautious. Neither of them wanted to get hurt and her thing with Brooke didn't help any. Placing a gentle kiss on her lovers lips she settled in her seat and waited for the blonde to start her rant.

"Sam. . ." Nicole whispered. She couldn't fight right now. She was too weak. Running her fingers through her hair, she swallowed hard. This past week had made her see things she hadn't really paid much attention to before. She lifted her sapphire eyes to meet Sam's soft, caring chocolate ones. Sam always looked down and Nic couldn't stand it. Lifting Sam's chin, she kissed her gently. Their eyes met again and Nicole took this opportunity to say what she still hadn't said yet. "I love you."

Sam stared at her wide-eyed. She knew she loved Nicole and that Nic felt the same but she never thought either of them would admit it. After the initial shock came the questions. "What about. . ."

Nicole placed her finger over the brunette's lips. "I've thought about that a lot Sam. You fooled around with her but we weren't involved then. I'm scared of losing you Mantha. Scared to death actually. I'm afraid of losing the only thing that makes my life worth living. This past week I've thought a lot about everything and I know I love you more than life itself but I need to know how you feel."

Sam felt a tingly feeling sweep through her as a smile crept onto her lips. Nicole was the only one who called her Mantha because she couldn't stand anyone else saying it. It was kind of a pet name.

Directing her attention back to the matter at hand, she kissed Nicole on the cheek. "Nikki, nothing can take me from you. Brooke is my sister. When we were alone in her room and things started to get hot, I pushed her away. I wanted you and she wanted somebody else. We kissed and touched nervously but we never really wanted to go any further. We couldn't. I love you Nicole, with all of my being.  I know you don't wanna lose me and I feel the same way. I couldn't live without you. I'd die of a broken heart."

Nicole couldn't help but kiss her raven haired goddess passionately before smiling genuinely. Touching the girl's cheek, she whispered, "This is forever Mantha. There is no turning back. Are you sure you're ready for the ride?"

Sam blushed as she nuzzled to the touch. "Are you? I don't want to turn back. I wanna be with you forever Nikki," she whispered, nearly shedding tears of joy.

Nicole smiled. "I wanna spend all of eternity with you Mantha." She opened her door and asked playfully, "you coming?"

Sam smiled, grabbing a few things from Nicole's back seat. They were gonna have a picnic.

Meanwhile on Mt. PopSlash. . .

"I think we should bring them here now before they get too busy," a soft male voice whispered.

"Oh please. Let them have some fun before we traumatize them.  It's not like they're gonna die anytime soon. Well, unless I want them to but that's another story," a stern female protested.

"I suppose you're right," a serene female voice agreed.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Sam sighed, closing her eyes. "Nikki, I love you."

"I love you to Mantha. That was. . ."

"Beyond words?"

"Mmmmh, yeah," Nic purred, looking longingly into the brunettes eyes. Kissing the journalist's lips, she felt like the world was crumbling beneath her. The only thing she could see, smell, taste was Samantha McPherson and she wanted it to be this way forever. Tears filled her eyes, slowly building then sliding down her cheeks.

Sam gently wiped the tears away. "Are you ok?"

Nicole tried to look away but Sam's caring, stern eyes held her there. "I just. . .Damn those pesky emotions," she mumbled. "I'm not use to this. What we just did. . .I've never felt anything like that. Ever. It's so beautiful, so tender, so pure. It makes me wonder if I deserve this. . .if I deserve you," she sniffled.

Sam kissed away the tears and held the blonde in her arms. "Nikki, you deserve the world and even though I can't give that to you I will give you all of me and all I can."

Nic smiled, holding onto her angel tightly. "I wish we could be like this all the time Mantha."

"So do I baby but you know we can't. Not yet. Only one more month until I'm 18. How's your mom?"

Nicole grinned. "I told her."

Sam looked panicked for a moment until she realized Nic wasn't freaking. "And?"

"She said it's fine as long as none of her friends see us together. I told her about you coming out on your birthday and she wants to be there. She said that even though she's not gay that she'll support us in what we choose to do but she also told me to warn you that if you hurt me she'll make you wish the word mercy meant something to her."

Sam laughed. "Now why would I do something stupid like hurt the woman I love more than journalism and life itself? Tell your mom everything will be fine. You're mine and I won't let anyone hurt you."

Sam didn't have to wait long to prove her words. The Earth began to quiver as if uneasy. It cracked and crumbled feverishly as Sam kept Nicole pinned to one part of the planet that wasn't submissive to the gaping slit it narrowly avoided.

Then it was all gone. Had it been an illusion? Perhaps. Their eyes opened slowly when they realized it was silent. Peering about they found they weren't alone.


The blonde lifted her eyes to meet hazel. "Brookie?"

"OMG!" the blonde cried, clasping her slender arms around her best friend. "I'm so glad you're alive," she sniffled.

It took a moment for Nicole to realize Sam wasn't holding her anymore. This was alarming. Her eyes darted frantically. "Where is everyone else?" she asked worriedly.

Brooke inhaled sharply, regaining control of her tears. "I don't know," she replied.

"Your friends are safe and waiting for you down the hall," a soft voice interrupted.

They both looked in the direction of the voice and found a woman standing there. She was around 5'3, blonde hair to her shoulders, blue eyes and was graced with slightly tanned skin. She walked with a peaceful step yet both girls could tell she could be far from peaceful if pissed off. Approaching them with a kind smile, she offered her hand to Brooke. "Hi. I'm Crystal but you can call me Chris."

Brooke shook the woman's hand. "Nice to meet you. I'm Brooke and this is Nicole."

Nicole narrowed her eyes. "You know where the others are?" she growled.

Crystal nodded. "You two were the last to come to. They're still angry because we won't tell them why you're all here but once you join them we'll tell you what's going on."

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

"So these geeks are trying to say they're Gods? What next, Madonna marrying the Pope? Jesus! This is pure bullshit. I don't believe this!" Nicole ranted.

"I hate to say it but I think Satan has something here. I mean why would heavenly powers of the universe want a Hellbitch, a psycho, an anorexic and a band of High school outcasts?" Sam agreed.

Lily shook her head. "There has to be a reason. Maybe we did something."

"You actually believe this crap?" Carmen spat.

"Do any of you have another explanation for how we got here, where we are and how we get out? I've searched this place up and down and the only way that leads anywhere is there," Lily argued as she pointed to the large gates.

"She has ah point," Mary Cherry agreed.

Lily rolled her eyes. "Would you lose the accent. It's so irritating."

Everyone stared at them in shock. Lily's cheeks burned crimson as she realized what she'd just indicated. "Whah I don't know what y'all `re talkin bout," the Southern Belle replied in a failed attempt to reverse Lily's previous statement.

"Sorry to interrupt but they will see you now," Crystal said over their bickering. She led them to the enormous silver and gold gates where they met two tall men.

One simply scanned their appearances as if he were a robot searching them for weapons. He let out a soft, cocky laugh. "These humans have no chance," he grumbled arrogantly.

Chris sighed. "David, be nice. They're our guests."

"Guests? Riiiiight! We bring them here to torment them and you're calling them guests? Are you feeling ok?" the tall dark haired man replied before David could speak.

"Torment?" Brooke managed to whisper in a shaky voice.

David, a tall dirty blonde with sky blue eyes, ignored Brooke's voice and stared at Nicole. "You may make it but don't get careless," he advised, throwing his black velvet cape to the wind as he turned away. Throwing the delicate gates open, he led the way in.

"I'm not going with that prick," Sam growled to the others.

Crystal sighed. "He was just being an asshole. He's like that. He does work for. . .nevermind. You'll meet them. Come with us. If you don't they'll be angry," she said in an attempt to coax them.

The raven haired man grinned. "Don't mind him. He's an ass. BTW, I'm Todd."

Nic's eyes narrowed. Lily had been right about the reason they were here but she couldn't figure out what this had to do with the others. She knew she was a bad person and she would swear the others were good people. Even Mary Cherry. So she was a bit weird but that didn't make her evil. "I'm going," she announced, walking through the crowd.

Brooke raised her eyes. Nicole knew something she didn't and that caused her to follow cautiously. Carmen followed behind her blonde lover with a fearful heart. This didn't seem natural. Mary Cherry followed the leader knowing this was the right thing to do. Lily stood, staring into Sam's stern eyes. She smiled, turned away, then followed the others. Sam sighed, defeated. She was alone. Watching them she saw Nicole look back at her with sad eyes. That was it. She had to go. She gave Chris one glance and a smile before running after her friends. So maybe they all didn't get along but she knew somehow that if she needed them, they'd be there.


Moments later. . .

They came to the end of the dim hall to find a dead end. "What the. . ." Sam began as the wall parted. Before them appeared three majestic thrones.

"Have a seat," a serene female voice commanded.

Chairs appeared from the fog that circled their ankles. They sat silently. They all felt awkward here. It felt like they were in Bio's class right before a vital exam. They stared at the back of the shiny thrones and waited for their occupants to turn around.

The form to the right of the first throne turned to face them. "Welcome," the woman said shyly.

They looked her over. She was cute. She looked quite young, barely legal even. Well, at least that's what Nic thought. She was around 5'5, thin and weakly built, light brown hair worn in a pony tail, bluish eyes and pierced ears that flashed shiny diamond studs. She wore a white silk gown as though she would be heading to a formal dinner soon. Diamonds dotted a pattern from her sides to her knees where the dress ended. Her heels matched her dress and all the mortals could do was stare. "You can call me Megan."

Before they could speak they saw the form to the left of that throne turn to meet their attention. He was big. He stood 6'0 with a broad and muscular body, brown eyes and an unruly shock of wavy brown hair with slight red highlights. He looked slightly older than the woman but he also looked much more intimidating, especially in his white tuxedo. What caught their attention were the shiny diamond studs, a sharp black silk vest and a pearl gray Cary Grant-style scarf. He nodded a hello. "I'm Dan."

Again they were speechless. He seemed nice and friendly. Two more people turned to peer at them, each on opposite sides of the next throne. The next visible person after Dan was a tall woman. She looked about 5'7 with blonde hair, blue eyes and an athletic build.

She wore far less formal clothing as compared to the others. Her leather bikini top clung tightly to her large bust, the matching leather bikini bottom gripping firmly to her body. She wore black leather steel-toe combat boots to accommodate her attire as well as the gigantic broad sword sheathed at her small hip. She fluttered her sparkling black and silver wings as she spoke, "My name's Hope."

At this point Carmen almost needed CPR. This woman was gorgeous. She felt like her heart was beating faster than the speed of light and the expression on her face looked like she'd just died of the intoxication inflicted by this pleasurable eye candy.

"Nicole Julian?" a man chirped.

They all looked on the other side of the throne to find a giant, frail-looking man. He bore brown hair, chocolate eyes & a beard. He too wore far from formal gear. He was clad in a rank, tattered horse blanket, leaving only his blue boxers, with bright yellow smiley faces, visible to them. They saw traces of a tattoo on his upper left arm but none could make out what it was. "Paul. I'm Paul," he giggled hyperly. He smiled deviously at the cheerleader then looked at Hope. He knew he couldn't hunt Miss Julian down right now. It would be far too easy to trap her and capture her with his wit and charm. Hope rolled her eyes, knowing of poor Paul's obsession.

Thunder crashed and they all jumped. Megan, Dan, Hope and Paul stared in the general direction of the third throne. Out of the shadows stepped a short female. She was only an inch or so taller than Nicole but she seemed more. . .evil, if that was even possible. She was slightly chubby with short spiky dark brown hair and hazel eyes with black lipstick upon her sharp lips. Obsidian studs shone from the top ear piercings on each ear and small white gold daggers hung from the bottoms. She wore a black velvet choker, black leather trench coat, metallic blood red zip up, baggy black jeans and Madonna style black velvet gloves that slide up just above the elbow.

"You are? What, the Gothic Cherub? This is stupid shit," Nicole growled. This was getting old, fast.

The woman's lips spread into a black smirk. "Mel's the name and the next time you refer to me as a cute arrow launching little Greek I'm sure you'll regret it Nikki."

"She keeps her word," the woman opposite Mel warned. She was a solid 5'4, slightly chubby, broad shouldered, large chested, shoulder length brown hair with auburn highlights and brown heavy lidded bedroom eyes. She wore a simple black velvet button down shirt beneath a matching suit.

"Ok, cut the crap. This is getting boring. I don't care who the fuck you bitches are. I wanna know how to get the hell outta here or at least why you're holding us captive," Nicole growled, a bit aggravated.

"Don't challenge my minions," a booming voice warned as the last throne in the row violently spun around. Sitting in the red thrown was a rigid, glaring woman. Her gray green eyes sunk into Nicole like venom dipped daggers. She let her blonde highlighted red brown hair hang down carelessly as she stared the blonde down. Winning, she smoothed her black leather pants and shiny red shirt. Tapping her mid calf black leather boots, she gestured toward the other two.

"Who are you?" Nicole questioned bravely. She'd NEVER been stared down by ANYONE!

"You may call me Aeryn but don't think you're special or anything. I'm the Goddess of Angst and Fate. This is Angie and that's Jos," she replied, pointing at each throne as it spun around.

"I can speak for myself Aeryn," Angie growled playfully. They all looked at her now. She had a slim build, very dark brown hair and hazel eyes. She wore a white, flowing silk dress with blooming flowers adorning it. "I'm Angelina, Goddess of Humanity and Emotion but you guys can call me Angie if you want," she informed.

"Gee Aeryn, you took my own intro from me you greedy little bitch. As previously mentioned, Jos is the name, Fantasy and Illusion are my game," the very thin, pale skinned God added. He blew a few strands of blonde hair away from his glasses with an agitated role of his blue eyes. He wore a really long black trench coat with sleek black pants and a matching shirt beneath.

"So, why are we here? If you don't mind me asking your Godliness," Lily asked meekly. She believed they were Gods. She could feel it. She felt a little scared but she had faith in these beings, she trusted them. They'd brought the love of her life to her so she felt like she owed them a big favor. She was here for a reason and whether it good or bad she'd do as they said. After all, they DID control her life and fate.

Angelina smiled. "I'm glad you asked Lily but please don't be so formal. It gives Aeryn hives and Jos goes into convulsions. It's not pretty. Don't be too polite either. It really irks them. As for your question, we brought you here because we feel you all need to learn some lessons in life that haven't sunk in yet. Sure every teen goes through that sort of thing but you are different. Your destinies depend heavily on these lessons," she explained.

"Each place you visit has a guide that will help ya out but don't expect them to spell things out. We'll also be making things harder by throwing in curve balls whenever we feel like it," Jos added in a mock-stern voice.

"You're stuck in one place until all of you finish the crash course. Don't expect any help from me and don't expect things to be easy cause I won't let them be," Aeryn said with a sly smirk.

"So we're fucked!" Brooke groaned as she tilted her head back.

Carmen sighed. "I'm sorry but I'm not buying this. I mean come on. Cheap lighting, cheap fog machine, cheap magik tricks and a very small, probably low paid, cast. It's like "Touched By An Angel" without all the heartfelt drama," she reasoned.

"Oompa has a point. What kinda of Gods are these anyway? All Mighty Aeryn, Goddess of Skanks and Fat, Little Miss Innocent Angie, Goddess of Self-Promotion and Insanity and Mister Sinister Prankster Jos, God of Pansies and Prostitution? Look at the apparel. If they were Gods they could at least afford some decent clothes. It looks like they just walked out of. . .um. . ." Nicole tried to remember the name of a thrift store but since she'd never been to one she couldn't recall a name.

"The Salvation Army?" Carmen asked, agreeing with most of Nicole's statements.

"Yeah, that's it. Thanks Ferrera."

Angie sighed, shaking her head. She already knew what was gonna happen and she wasn't about to get in the middle. She simply sat there ignoring the ranting blonde.

Jos found this whole ordeal funny. It was better than late night TV. He tried hard not to laugh aloud. Then he noticed something rather odd. Paul was missing. "Hope, where's Paul?" he whispered.

Hope smirked. "Doing what he does best. Seeking tankards of ale and watching Nicole. You know how he gets."

They both grinned but stopped instantly when they heard a loud boom. Aeryn's eyes were flickering red and their guests had vanished. "Aeryn hun, where'd they go?" Jos asked calmly. That was the only way to talk to the woman when she was like this.

"To learn what they have to. . .the hard way," the angry Goddess growled, throwing a bolt of energy into the gate. She needed to fume.

Mel and Carla rushed off. They knew what to do but they needed some things first. Angelina just sighed. "I knew this was gonna happen."

*Insert one of Dan's bad puns. Be creative cause I can't think of one at the moment ::frowns::*

Megan smiled. "You couldn't resist could you?"

Dan grinned. "I swear it's not my fault."

Angie stood to stretch. "Well, I'm sure Aeryn didn't send them too far away so I'm going to the viewing lake. Might as well see what kinda hell she's planing to put them through," she decided, walking toward a huge pool of water with her minions following close behind.


Brooke's tale. . .

Consciousness stung, waking her bitterly.  Brooke sat up, her heavy eyes sliding open.  "What the. . ." she muttered, realizing nobody was around.

Then it hit her.  Her eyes grew wider.  Looking around frantically, she stood.  "Where is everyone?" she asked herself aloud.  Examining her blurry surroundings she decided to search for the others.

Once her vision cleared she realized her surrounding were rather. . .unsettling.  It was a wasteland of corpses and abandon shacks.  Bodies were everywhere.  Skinned, hung, impaled, scorched, starved, etc.  The stench tied her stomach in knots and filled her lungs with foul air.  What was this place and why was she here?

She saw a small forest about a mile away.  It was calling out to her as she drew nearer.  Entering the wooded area she heard singing.  She couldn't make out the words but the melody sounded old.  It had to have been composed before the 80's so she considered it ancient.  The voice sounded ever so familiar.  She followed the tune until she reached a clearing.  A woman sat there on a rock, in the center of the clearing.  She continued singing as Brooke approached.  "And everybody knows, she's a femme fatal.  The things she does to please,  she's a femme fatal.  She's just a little tease, she's a femme fatal."

Brooke touched the woman's shoulder.  The singing stopped as the blonde spoke, "Carmen?"

"Don't touch me," she warned with poison in her voice as she pulled away.

Brooke backed off, her mind numb with confusion.  "What's wrong?"

"Don't play dumb Brooke, you know exactly what's wrong," Carmen spat lividly.

"No I don't," the cheerleader protested innocently.  She really had no idea what her girlfriend was talking about.

Carmen shot her a blazing glare of fury before turning and storming off.  Brooke was left there in a daze.  'What the hell was that about?' she thought, slowly following the redhead.

Turning a corner she found David before her.  She stared at him half angry yet half relieved.  "Let me guess, you're here to torment me?"

His eyes, now shimmering blue and green, narrowed, resembling those of an angry Saiyajin in mid power up.  "Ungrateful little brat," he sneered antagonistically.  "Listen closely cause I'll only say this once you pathetic excuse for a mortal.  This is all the help you'll get from me.  Face the truth before it's too late," he advised arrogantly.  Then he was gone in a puff of black and red smoke.

She stood there dumbfounded.  What was he talking about?  She never kept anything from Carmen.  Her eyes widened as she realized what he'd been talking about.  Running through the forest as fast as her legs would take her she rushed to find her lover.  She heard water as she drew closer to another clearing.  Hiding behind some bushes she peeked to see what was on the other side.  She saw Lily embracing Carmen before a glistening lake.  Fury rose within her at this betrayal.  Those peaceful hazel eyes showed hell's fury as she stepped into their line of vision.  "What the fuck is this?" she hissed on the brink of a jealous rage.

Carmen raised her eyes.  "She was comforting me, that's all Brooke.  She loves me but not the way you do.  It's different."

Those words fell upon her like lightning dancing along the Earth.   She felt weightless, the fierce burden of fear lifted from her wings.  She realized why this world was so bleak.  She'd been afraid.  Fearful of losing the one person on Earth, heaven or hell all the same, she cherished with all of her soul.  She couldn't lose Carmen.  Lily faded away as their eyes met.  "Baby, I can explain."

"Don't even try.  I don't wanna hear your lies," Carmen growled wildly, tearing through the forest with the hunger of a wolf.

Brooke gave chase though it filled her with unease.  Something was wrong but she couldn't figure out what.  She rounded another bend and froze in her tracks as a swerving van sped closer to her lady love.  Her legs failed her as she tried to move.  Carmen didn't even see it coming as she ran across the street.  It happened in the blink of an eye.  The sound of squealing tires, shattering glass and cries of agony filled this wretched place.

Brooke was impaled with shock and disbelief.  All she saw were blankets of red.  Reality grasped her roughly as she finally faced the harsh truth.  Stalking to the form, she rested on bended knee beside the woman.  Life lay drowning this beautiful girl in its juices.  She trembled as her pale hand touched the slippery flesh.  Her red palm slid lower, her slender digits searching desperately for that throbbing life brings to one's neck.  She only found silence.  Such a wonderful angel yet she had fallen into the hands of death.  "Carm?  Baby?" she cooed softly as though her lover lay asleep.  Still silence mocked her.

"Carmen?" she sobbed within sorrows arms.  And still silence blanketed this scene.

"CARMEN!" she echoed in her darkest hour.  Rain fell from her pale blue eyes as she sat, pulling Carmen into her arms.  She held her savior as remorse seeped into her soul.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Hope sighed.  Gods could be so boring sometimes, especially when they were watching Aeryn torture people.  It was like the minions didn't exist.  These were the times she wished she could go off and sword fight with Trunks or play video games with Usa, Mako, Rei, Mina and Ami.  Right now she'd even settle for a staring contest with Duo Maxwell or a nice card duel with Yugi or maybe Sakura.

Swinging her sword boredly, she attempted to balance it on her shoulder but failed.  It clanked as it hit the ground.  With a frustrated growl she leaned down to pick it up.  That was when she notice a few sets of eyes glued to her chest.  Looking down she blushed, realizing they were getting an eye full.  She quickly sheathed her sword and fixed her top.  She narrowed her eyes.  "Ok, who did it?  Who undid the strap  when I was watching poor Carmen get creamed by a van?"

Paul snickered.  He was loving this.  Biting on his lip, he whispered, "It wasn't me."  Then he returned to his "Wall of Queen Nicole".

Hope glared at Carla and Mel.  "Why I outta. . ."

"Don't be mad.  It was a dare.  We're as bored as you are," Carla interrupted with a grin.  Sure Hope would be a little angry. . .for like two minutes and then she'd plot revenge on them.  This didn't faze the apparently stoned minion.

Hope pretended to roll up her make believe sleeves as she spoke, "who dared who?"

Mel swallowed hard.  This wasn't gonna go smoothly.  She was so dead.  Glancing at Paul she rolled her eyes.  He was gawking at that blasted wall again, not to mention he was also getting totally plastered.  She had no way of getting out of this bind.  Her scape goat was wasted.  Looking at Hope she decided to fess up.  "I loosened the strap," she confessed coolly.

Carla smirked.  "You can put the rest together hun."

Hope glared at them then smirked.  Before Aeryn's minions knew what hit them, pillows were zooming at them.  Mel ducked quickly with a smile.  Dodging another she started launching pillows in all directions.  One nailed Carla in the side.  She couldn't tell who had hit her but it didn't really matter.

"You little shits," Carla yelled playfully, tossing pillows at both of them.

Feathers flew everywhere as  laughter clouded the room.  So this was how heavenly beings, or at least their loyal minions, settled disputes between themselves?  Go figure.  They acted just like big kids.  And besides, who needs violence when you can have a good, fun fight where nobody gets hurt?

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Carmen's tale. . .

Throbbing overcame her mind as she woke.  Groggy brown eyes slid open as auburn strands flailed in a cruelly warm breeze.  Where was she?  Beneath her it was warm and soft like a blanket yet this didn't feel right.  Standing, she found her shirt stained with blood.  Skinned bodied lay where she had, causing her to shriek.  With bloodstained hands and a fearful heart she turned to find a wooden mansion near by.  Maybe the people there could help her.

She retreated to the mansions entrance but found no way in.  Spotting Brooke through the corner of her eye, she followed the ghastly figure to a slightly opened door on the side of the building.  Wondering inside she felt a chilling breeze crawl against her skin.  She flipped a switch that caused all of the lights to turn on and fill the house with life again.  This place seemed so familiar yet she felt like a stranger here.  Wondering through each room she began her search for Brooke.  She came upon an empty room where Brooke sat silently on the floor.  Sitting beside the blonde with a smile, she whispered "Brooke, are you ok?"

"I don't know baby.  I feel like there's something missing, ya know?"

"Yeah, I know," Carmen whispered.  She wanted to tell her but for some reason she couldn't.

"Are you hiding something?" Brooke whispered.

"No," Carmen fibbed, "I'm fine."

Brooke turned away as Carmen sighed and closed her eyes.  Reality became nothing more than an illusion  as the screaming, crying and crackling from her past came back to haunt her.  Her eyes shot open as she felt heat wash over her.  Upon opening her eyes she caught site of flames creeping up the walls.  The house was on fire.  She frantically looked around the room but Brooke was gone.  She bolted through the door, searching the house in a fit of fear.

David brought her to a halt as he appeared in front of her.  She tried to push him out of the way but he was far too strong.  "Get out of my way.  I have to save her," she growled.

He glared at her then smirked.  "But you won't save her, will you?  You couldn't save 'her' the first time around.  What makes you think you can save her this time?" he hissed.

Carmen peered into him with shock lain upon her features, then slapped him hard across the face.  "You have no right to say anything about THAT!  I know it was my fault but you have no right to rub it in."

"Tisk tisk.  You know better Carmen.  You've blamed yourself for so long that you believe it.  Don't you see what's happening?" he laughed.  Pausing, he sighed.  So being arrogant didn't always work.  "I can't stay long so I leave you with this.  The past is where it lies and she is the only one who can put your demons to rest."  With that he disappeared.

A thunderous crash shot though her ears and darkness fell upon her eyes.  Her eyelids lazily lifted as she realized a blast from the fire had thrown her outside to safety but Brooke still wondered through its halls.  She tried to move though fate would not allow this.  Suddenly crying filled the air.  The house was falling and it had trapped Brooke in its inferno of death.  Carmen reached toward the burning embers as if her will could save the woman she loved.

The sky growled angrily at this mishap then cried in sorrow.  Its tears fought against the flames, distinguishing the raging wildfire.  Carmen cried tears of her own.  Her greatest fear had come true.  Her past had killed her future.  She stood, finally able to move.  The rain on her melted skin burned like salt but she felt nothing.  Sifting through the chard debris she found her angel, black as smoke.  Laying beside her she closed her eyes and wrapped her arms around the love of her life.  Such sorrow did lay there with these two lost souls but error would show them the privilege of life and truth.


The misty clouds of sleep began to clear, their minds regaining what the human race refers to as consciousness.  Both forms became aware they weren't alone causing their eyes to lift open.  Peering at each other, they eased.  At least they were with somebody they loved.

Lily was the first to sit up.  This place scared her yet angered her just the same.  So much death surrounded them.  Looking at her ladylove she whispered, "Maybe we should go into one of those abandon shacks."

Mary Cherry lifted her head and shuttered at the mere site of this wretched place.  "Very good idea," she whispered.

They both stood and made their way to the closest shack.  Inside they found a lamp and two chairs.  They each took a seat and looked at the other with caution.  "Lily, tell me about your family.  You never wanna talk about them," MC coaxed.

Lily bowed her head.  "It's not that I don't want to tell you about them.  It's just a very tender subject."

"It's ok.  I understand.  You can tell me whenever you're ready."

Lily smiled.  "Thanks.  So, what about your family?  I don't know about anybody other than your mom."

The cheerleader became quiet.  "It's hard to talk about my family.  Touchy subject.  Speaking of family, maybe we should look for the others."

Lily nodded.  "Good idea."

Holding hands, they began their quest to find their friends.


Lily's tale. . .

In the distance they spotted a group of macho looking Mexican men in baggy pants and red shirts.  Some wore red and white bandanas on their heads, others let the rags hang out of their pockets and a few simply didn't have them.

Lily was petrified yet she refused to let it show.  Tugging at her girlfriend's arm, she tried to guide her in the opposite direction.  The blonde stood fast.  "Maybe they know where the others are," she whispered hopefully.

The men drew nearer.  They had wild eyes, suspicious grins and walked like predators on the hunt.  They stopped in front of the two girls. 

"Hi.  We were wondering if you've seen our friends," Mary Cherry said in a friendly, trying-not-to-sound-intimidated tone.

The toughest looking one, who was apparently their leader,  knocked the blonde to her knees.  "Shut up dyke!"

Lily tried to jump in between the man and her lover but one of the bigger guys grabbed her.  He restrained her easily, watching as his boys surrounded the blonde.  "Pancho, no lastimes a mi amor.  I love her," Lily cried.

Their "leader" stared at the raging Latina and simply spat, "silencio."  Ignoring any further pleas of mercy he kicked the blonde in the ribs.  Their fists were tempered with fury as they swung maliciously.

Lily thrashed about like a feverish toro.  Her little body held far more power than it appeared yet she couldn't break free.  "ALTO!" she commanded.

And still he ignored her.  "You sick, perverted bitch," he growled, punching MC in the stomach.  "You tainted her.  Made her queer like you.  You'll pay you fuckin dyke."

With that they all took turns beating her down as Lily, still struggling, was forced to watch.  Her eyes squeezed shut as the whimpers and cries subsided.  When no sounds could be heard her eyes crept open.  The men were gone but there on the bleeding ground lay a sullen site.  The chill of death's beckoning slithered up her spine.  Though her body felt weak she managed to crawl to her lover and kneel beside her.

Their skin met, Latin fingertips dancing along berry stained porcelain.  Down her cheeks slid liquid regret, clear pain that shimmered upon her light brown skin.  She cried out in agony, confessing her crimes.  This was her fault alone and now she'd have to live with it.  "Take ME!" she commanded though she knew they'd have no mercy.  One growl of thunder plucked her nerves.  She realized her mistake and how to make it right.  She now saw this scene merely a nightmare though realistic it did seem.  She knew their game, she knew the way and now she knew exactly what she'd have to say.  The repercussions could bring remorse yet that could hold her back no longer.


MC's tale. . .

Walking slowly, they searched silently for their friends.  Mary Cherry stopped dead in her tracks, starring in horror.  'No,' she thought, 'not here, not now.'  Gently tugging Lily in the opposite direction she hopped they wouldn't be seen.

Lily raised a confused brow.  Why was the blonde leading her toward another shack?  Examining that thought she grinned.  Now really wasn't the time or the place for that but she never really knew with her girlfriend.  She was very spontaneous and wild yet she could also be subtle and thoughtful.  She followed nonchalantly, gazing forward with a grin.

The black panther, baring death upon its paws, strode onward.  Hazel eyes met black metal and tinted glass.  She froze as the mouth of death did open before her eyes.  Out it spat a rain of steel damnation, a metallic death falling upon them.

Lily hit the ground as their bullets dug into her soft flesh.  Gasping, she felt her life slipping away.  Metal was buried deep within her chest, her stomach and her back.  She felt no physical pain though her heart broke knowing she'd lose her lover in this confusion.

Mary Cherry stood there in shock for a moment, the thunderous echo of gunfire still ringing in her brain.  Her mind caught up with her surroundings and she fell to her knees.  "Lily?" she whispered, fearing what lay before her.

"Babe?" she whispered, looking down.  She found a sea of red upon silken flesh.  Touching the slippery skin she found her hand engulfed in a splash of reds.  There were too many wounds to save this beauty from death's grip.  She was far too gone.  Her tears beat down like an angry rain as this bleak scene fades out.  "I'm sorry Lily, it was never suppose to be like this.  He never should have found out."


On Mt. PopSlash. . .

Mel sighed, massaging Aeryn's feet as Carla fanned their master.  The crack of a whip echoed like thunder as Mel winced.  Aeryn grinned.  "That last fiasco of yours was kinda funny but don't do it again.  It's a bitch to clean up," she warned playfully.

Mel pouted.  "We were just having fun," she muttered.

"You were acting like. . .MORTALS," Aeryn squeaked, rolling her eyes.  "If you EVER get that bored again, tell me.  I'll find something for you to do.  It's not like we don't have enough people to torture," she reasoned with a smirk.  After all, the best part of this whole incident, for her at least, was "punishing" her lazy minions.  It gave her a reason to bring out the whip, the lotion and the feather fan.  She knew how to piss them off and she was doing a good job of it but they wouldn't be angry for very long.

Mel smiled.  Aeryn could be such a bitch but she was a really decent Goddess under all of that angst.  However, Carla and she were the only ones who would ever know this.  Even Angie and Joss were oblivious to most of it, accept for the odd spurts of compassion she'd been caught showing on occasion.  She eyed Carla and flashed her a brief smile.  "So, how's the show?" she inquired, wondering if her master was pleased with her newest flares of angst or if she felt it could be better.

"Hmm," the Goddess pondered.  Yawning, she let Mel and C take a break, waving them off as if she needed breathing room.

Carla instantly dropped the fan and yanked a baggie from her suit pocket.  Handling it delicately, she stared at Mel.  Mel stretched, then they headed off to the Bong Chamber Aeryn had recently installed for them.

"Hopeless stoners," Paul cackled, staring dizzily at his wall.  Falling backwards, his ale went flying into the lap of his favorite person.

Dan shook his head.  Yet another suit ruined by his pal Paul.  He'd been taking care of the poor knackered fool since the beginning of time and still the boy didn't know his limits.  With a smile he propped a pillow under his friend's head then wondered off to change clothes.  Third time today.  As he passed Hope and Megan he heard them giggle.  "I know they say 'you don't buy beer, you rent it', but usually I get to enjoy it in my mouth along the way," he mumbled with a grin.  He'd mustered up a lot of courage to say that, seeing what it implied.

The two women howled with laughter til their sides hurt and tears escaped their eyes.  They were both getting a kick outta all that was happening around them.  They were both insanely bored but this was certainly amusing.  Dan smiled.  So they liked his little play on words.  Thank goodness or he would have been as quiet as a little church mouse for the rest of the fic.

Aeryn smiled at the daily rituals they had all become accustomed to.  Returning her attention to her work she sighed in frustration.  Had she really done a good job?  "What do you guys think?" she asked, wanting their opinions as usual.

"About which messy incident?" Jos inquired with a grin.

"All of them," she replied.

"Using their worst fears was a good touch.  A lot of death though," he pouted.  "Did EVERONE have to die?"

"Not to mention you did a swell job of traumatizing the poor girls!" Angelina teased.

Aeryn smirked, pleased.  "I got my point across, didn't I?  Wait until you see what I have planned for Spam and Nikki."

"Uh oh," Angie sighed.

Mumbling a few words she glanced at Jos.  "Why are you looking at me like that?" he whispered wearily.

"Well, I can see you're getting board so I cursed the writer."

"You did what?"

"The next tale is cursed.  All of it will rhyme."

"Oh lord," Jos groaned.


Nicole and Sam's tale. . .

Though dusk nor dawn did show their face, these beauties still woke in this morbid place.  Their eyes rose with a yawn and tired grace, their bodies awakening at an alarming pace.  Hazel met brown with a calm setting in, for neither had yet revealed their sin.  Blonde mingled with brunette, tresses dancing along as their hungry lips met.

Guilt lay its hand upon one's shoulder for once this was bared she'd hold her lover no longer.  Fear wrestled in her throat as she tried to speak, fighting against thoughts that would make her weak.  A soft worried purr left her lips, wonder and regret upon her fingertips.  "We need to talk Mantha," she confessed, hoping for the very best.

Her sullen eyes felt a chill in that tone of seriousness, yet no longer her emotions and lies could she suppress.  "I know," she replied as though this meant death, her tone sounding solemn as Lady MacBeth's.  'Out damn spot,' echoed in her head, for she knew too well of the demon she'd fed.

"It's about my past," the blonde then revealed, her lips being the dagger where her mistake was concealed.  Leaning down to the journalist's ear, she released her only fleeting fear.  A secret, like a dagger, thrust deep inside which would wound not only their hearts but also their pride.

She thrust off the ground in a fit of rage, the demon of pain now free from its cage.  "I need to be alone," Sam hissed like the wind, storming off knowing she hid a deadlier sin.

Her arm did she lift, though her lover was gone, her tears singing her sorrowful song.  Thunder cracked in her throat as she gasped through the tears, her honesty bringing her darkest fears.  Had she lost Sam forever?  Would the pain ease, ever?  Only time would tell but for now she'd wait even if life felt like hell.

From the ash and blood on the ground, he appeared before her without a sound.  "You did the right thing," he soothed with a frown, he could bare no animosity for it would not calm her down.

"She left," Nic cried, still torn inside.

"Maybe but you still need to face that fight.  You know that, even if the outcome isn't what you'd like," his stern words crashed in her mind, for this is where her truth she would find.

Her spirit did lift up to the unknown for the simple truth she had shown.  Though she no longer graced this land, Aeryn lay a twin upon the sand.  A creature of illusion as she'd used before, a very useful tool for the pain Sam would endure.


In a near by shack. . .

Sam sighed, pacing where she stood.  For some reason she was slightly agitated with Nicole and that was far from good.  She'd awoken here in a state of worry, working herself into a fury.  Her fears had churned so relentless and quick, the world spun as she worried herself sick.  Something felt wrong, but what she couldn't tell.  This place was a mind trap, an endless hell.

A  laugh broke her thoughts and her fury, distinguishing all fear and all worry.  "David," she whispered in relief, not realizing he too could bring grief.

"Stop your moping it doesn't become you.  As a matter of fact, I can tell you what to do.  If you'll listen," he replied, his tone sardonic, sneaky and slightly snide

Dark chocolate brown met sky blue.  "Then tell me what to do.  If I can save my friends, I'll withstand any twists and bends."

"Seek truth for it threatens your future Sam or the God's and I you'll forever damn."  Into the dark he faded away, for he bore nothing else to say.

From the distance she heard a cry, so chilling and familiar she felt she could die.  Hastily making her way though the brush, she raced with the wind in a frantic rush.  Stopping in a clearing she found strife, a form on the ground without any life.  She knelt numbly beside it, so clumsy and faint.  For it was her lover lying in the berry red paint.  Two punctures she found on the girl's neck proved her the victim of evil intent.  She knew the murderer, their message now sent.  No longer would she keep this in, she knew now she must release this sin.


Aeryn grinned proudly.  By the looks on everyone's faces she'd done a spectacular job.  "They're all yours Jos," she breathed arrogantly, getting quite a buzz off of her torturous creations.

Jos nodded.  It was his turn and he wouldn't waste it.  Plucking the girls from their morose scenes he tossed them into another realm, one far more "ordinary" than Aeryn's wasteland.  Smirking devilishly, he played with his Harrison Voodoo doll and whispered, "have fun my pretties."

Island of Deceit Intro

Throbbing engulfed muddled thoughts as consciousness stung her mind.  Bright glowing threads of treacherous light consumed her surroundings, rousing her still form.  Yearning for just one more minute she flung a weightless limb over her eyes.  But morning would not let her rest, its persistence glistening relentlessly through open windows.

Succumbing to its will, an angry, resistant growl escaped her lips.  A light breeze tickled her skin, begging her to arise.  She remained still until a shrill cry filled the air.  In an instant every fiber of her being was animated as her hand shot out from beneath the covers and crushed the snooze button on her alarm.

With a helpless whine she rolled out of bed and into the realm of the living.  Grumbling incoherently she snatched a clean pair of clothes from her dresser and stumbled into the bathroom.

Moments later she emerged, vibrant with life and beautiful as ever.  A slight bounce graced her step as she slid her backpack on and headed downstairs.

Upon her arrival she met a melancholic stare she knew all too well.  "You ready Sammy?" her velvet voice inquired with slight impatience.

"Took you long enough princess!" the brunette sneered playfully.

"Enough sass pauper.  Get your bag and lets go," the blonde retorted just as playfully.

The two teens exchanged smiles before heading off to cheerleader's car.


Lunch time at Kennedy. . .

"Hey Nic, is it me or do things seem a little off today?" Brooke pondered, unable to shake this feeling she'd been having since she'd arrived at school.

"I was thinking the same thing Brookie.  What makes you think something's up?" Nicole responded, still attempting to figure out what the previous nights dream had meant.

"Well, since I got here this morning I've been having these hot flashes.  You know I don't get hot flashes. . .ever.  It's kinda freaking me out," the cheerleader explained.

"Hmmm, maybe they're connected with these obscure dreams I've been having.  They're really weird B," Nic admitted.

"Can you remember what these dreams are about?" her best friend probed.

"I can only remember pieces of them.  What I do recall are dragons and infernos overflowing with scorching rivers of flames.  How's that for weird," the assistant cheerleader replied.

"That's pretty bizarre."


Meanwhile at Sam's table. . .

Sam plopped down in her seat, raising a brow at Lily who seemed to be creating an SOS in her cafeteria food.  "Hey guys, what's up?"

The Latina met her friends gaze the sighed heavily.  "Sam, is it normal to hear voices in your head?"

The brunette tilted her head in confusion.  "Um, you lost me Lil."

"When I woke up this morning I was hearing voices that weren't my thoughts.  Maybe I was still half asleep or something but for some reason I doubt it.  Something strange is going down and I need to figure out what," she proclaimed, fear lingering in her strong, determined voice.

"Are you feeling ok?  I think you need to get your head checked," Sam joked playfully.

"Really?  I think I should go with her then," Carmen sneered, her tone showing a hint of fear as well.

"What do you mean?" Lily questioned.

"This morning in class when I went to grab a pen to take notes, my hand went through the damn table.  Don't look at me that way, I'm not crazy.  It really happened," the redhead explained, evidently freaked out.

Sam took a look around, noticing there were less students than usual today.  Focusing on her friends again she nodded.  "I think something's going on guys."

"What gave you that impression?" the Latina snapped sarcastically.

The journalist avoided their eyes as she spoke, "I've been having cold chills all day and I keep feeling these strange breezes from out of nowhere.  I know it's creepy and that's why I didn't wanna say anything."

"Maybe we should just forget about it and cruise the mall after school," Carmen suggested with a grin.  It would get her mind off things and give her a chance to sneak in some time with Brooke.

"Great idea Carm, you going with Sam?" Lily replied.

"Meet you guys out front after sixth hour."


That afternoon at the mall. . .

They strolled carelessly though the partially crowded mall, weaving in and out of stores as quickly as their attention spans could shift.  They moved silently until they collided with another group.  One fell to the floor, clutching her head.  She saw mists of glassy smoke dissolve, revealing a forest temple.  When her eyes opened she found herself on the ground with her best friend at her side.

"Brookie, are you ok?" Nicole repeated, concern lingering in her tone.

"I. . .I saw this place.  It was beautiful.  I think it's just outside Santa Monica," the head cheerleader murmured, deep in thought.

Sam's ears perked up as she heard the wind beckon.  It was telling her where to go.  Focusing on Brooke, she muttered her apologies.

"Watch where you're existin freaks.  You alraht hun?" the Texan huffed, pushing Sam and Carmen out of the way.

Brooke took a deep breath.  "I'm fine."

The winds began to change and an eerie silence fell upon them.  "This is getting a little creepy," Carmen whispered, looking at her friends.

Suddenly the lights went out, darkness engulfing the entire mall.  "And it just got a whole lot creepier," Lily whimpered, fear creeping up her spine.

"Lets get outta here," Sam suggested as the two groups held onto each other and blindly roamed the darkness.

Within minutes they found themselves just outside the mall doors, still all together.  Mary Cherry, being the pushy one, marched out to the parking lot.  She stopped abruptly, her eyes widening at the bleak, gloomy sky.  Turning to face the crowd she squeaked, "what tha hell's goin on here?"

"I don't know but we need to get away from here as fast as we can.  We can take my car," Nic offered, smirking at Sam.

"Good idea Satan, I know the perfect hide out.  It's not too far outside city limits," the journalist replied.

"And you're sure we can trust the Ice Queen on this one?" Carmen grumbled, acting far more unhappy than she actually was.

"We have no choice.  Damn I hate being broke," Lily whined, also putting on an act for her friends.

"Since that's settled lets get the hell outta here.  Ferrera, Esposito, back seat with Cherry.  Spam, Brookie you're up front with me," the feisty blonde commanded.


An hour and a half later. . .

"Turn down the next path on the right," Sam instructed.

"Do you even know where the fuck we're going Spam?" the cheerleader growled, a little stressed out.

"Not exactly.  My instincts are telling me where to go," she admitted carelessly.

They came to the end of the road and the car stopped.  "Lets see where your instincts spit us out," Brooke mumbled.

Once the dust cleared they feasted their eyes on a beautiful, vast woodland that stretched further than the eyes could see.  They all got out of the car and stared in awe.

"This is the place I saw," Brooke gasped, a sense of deja vu setting in.

Carmen began to get dizzy as the landscape before her morphed and twisted obscurely.  Lily had a similar reaction, holding her head in agony as multiple voices invaded her mind.

The ground trembled, the woodland now melting & twisting into hideous, dark, things unimaginable to any normal human mind.

"Ok, this is freaking me out," Sam whispered, clinging to Nicole and Brooke.

Mary Cherry slumped over, screaming in pain as she felt her insides being clenched with an iron grip.

"Nic, I'm scared," Brooke sniffled, huddling close to the other cheerleader.

"Get a grip kiddies, it's not real," Nicole replied confidently.  After all, is she wasn't brave, who would be?

"It looks pretty damn real to me," Sam snapped bitterly.

"Just trust me, ok?  Everybody close your eyes and focus on silence," the blonde instructed, hoping these things would vanish as soon as their eyes opened.

They all followed her instructions and when their eyes opened the pain ceased.  A glowing form stood before them though he seemed far from an angel.

"God you guys are uptight.  Take a chill pill already," he laughed, stopping only when he saw all of them scowling at him.

"NO!  That was a DREAM!  It couldn't have been real!" Sam screamed, stepping back.

"Oh snap out of it already.  You ladies have much to learn before you're ready to go on.  Here you must discover a secret within which you all share in a sense.  Your destinies await.  Behind me is where you will learn your lesson and reveal your secrets.  My advise to you is to keep a sharp eye, stay together and as much as you may hate it, take care of each other.

Lily met his gaze, remembering everything.  "How will we know we've learned our lesson?" she whispered meekly.

"I'm afraid that is all I'm allowed to say," he replied, vanishing into thin air.

"Well twinkies, looks like we're on our own now.  I'm going.  Whoever wants to can come along," Nicole offered, giving Sam a cute half smirk as she began walking toward the forest.


Hours later. . .

"Hey, look over there," Brooke called, pointing to a small podium in the middle of a well lit room.

They all gathered around it, unsure of what they might find.  It was a note which Carmen picked up and read allowed.  "The doors of light posses mysteries beyond comprehension but the chosen must first prove their burden.  Through the Silent Forest must they go, to wage a battle within the Hall of Blood.  With that won they will be worthy of entering the Dungeon of Darkness and after the Chamber of Light."

"Looks like we're gonna DIE!" Brooke groaned, still unhappy with the entire situation.

"Quit being such a spaz Princess.  If they wanted us dead, we'd be there already.  They're preparing us for something," Sam sighed, focused on figuring out why they'd been summoned in the first place.  What was so special about THEIR destinies?

"It sounds dangerous," Lily admitted, slightly chilled by the tone of the note.

"We're gonna have to take that chance then," Nicole replied seriously.

Mary Cherry came wondering in holding a rolled up piece of paper.  "I found a map.  If we're really gonna do this then we all have to at least pretend we like each other," she whispered as she set the map down.

The others stared at the Texan blankly.  They'd never really heard her talk without her accent.  Nicole actually smiled, proud that her wacky friend had come out of her crazytown shell.  "I'm in.  Who's with us?"

"Oh like we have a choice," Carmen growled playfully, sticking out her tongue.


On Mt. PopSlash. . .

Hope sighed.  This was sooooo boring.  Looking around, she found no mischief to get into.  What a pity.  Then she saw Mel and Carla stumble back into the room and a Cheshire cat grin spread across her lush lips.  This would be amusing.

"Man that stuff was great," Mel sighed, flopping down on her black bean bag chair.

"Fit for the Gods," Carla snickered as she sat in her velvet chair.

As they began to relax they noticed an odd ticking sound.  They eyed each other then dove out of their chairs.  As they hit the ground the beanbag exploded, raining down little Hello Kitties.  Hope collapsed in laughter as one bounced off Mel's head.

"That was my favorite chair Hope!  Oooh, you're so gonna get it," Mel fumed, pegging her with a handful of mini Miss Kitties.

Joss sighed dramatically.  He wasn't incredibly proud of his work but it was still in progress so he had a little time.  "What do you gals think?"

Angelina smiled brightly.  "It's nice.  Looks like we're gonna get to see some adventure.  I look forward to the rest of their journey, which is more than I can say about Aeryn's bit," she teased playfully.

"Oh shut up you!  Mine was beautiful.  Jos, it's not bad but I need more to look at.  Do you think you could kill Sam or something?" the Goddess of Angst pled.

"NO!  No more death.  I think you scared them enough the first round.  Now it's time for them to discover their destinies," he replied, taking out a box of needles from his Harrison Voodoo Torture kit.

~<>~ TBC ~<>~

Hope you guys liked it and I'll get the next one to you ASAP

~<>~ Mel ~<>~

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