Homeward Bound: An Alternate Version of In the Hands of the Goddess

By Saphron

Summary: Flashback to Alanna's squire years during the Tusaine War. What if, instead of winning the war, Alanna and Jon had ended up lost in enemy territory? Together the two must go on a long and arduous journey to find their way home, but will the two kill each other first? Or will they accept the budding feelings growing between them? Or will they even make it back in time to save their homeland from certain doom? Read and find out ;)

Genre: Action/adventure, romance

Rating: PG (for now)

Disclaimer: Don't sue, I'm a poor starving college student.

Note: Don't be confused, y'all have read the books front to back twelve times by now, so you know the scene. Alanna is captured by the Tusaine and lock in a prison cell, but Jon rounds up a group to come rescue her.

A/N: I'm baaaaack…after a good four year hiatus, it seems I've stumbled back to Tortall for my 19th Tamora Pierce fanfic! Huzzah! Did you miss me? Lol I look forward to working on this…I'm an English major, but as always, please feel free to offer advice/constructive criticism (undying praise is also accepted…) Reviews just inspire me to procrastinate on studying for midterms and write instead ;)

Ch.1 The Rescue

"The keys to my friend's chains please," Jonathon asked coolly, pointing his sword at Count Jemis.

Jem grimaced bitterly and did as he was told, tossing the keys to Alanna and shuffling out the door with his brothers, Jonathon's sword pointed at his back. Alanna shed her chains and trotted out the door after Jon, resisting the urge to engulf him in a huge hug. Rahoul shot her a shy grin as he handed her Lightening and Gary slapped her on the back as she joined them, the rest of her friends all smiling at her return. The entire company headed swiftly towards the river with Jonathon leading and shouting to the guardsmen that the Tortallian knight force had captured King Ain's precious brothers.

Alanna was so overcome with gratitude from being rescued that she didn't even see the arrow hurl through the air at her prince until it was lodged deeply into his right shoulder. Although the arrow had missed its mark—his heart—it was enough for Jon to drop his blade in pain. Quicker than Alanna could murmer 'Mithros,' Jeb and his brothers had raised the alarm, shouting into the dark silent night. Half-naked Tusaine soldiers began pouring out of bunkers and tents, angrily waving sharp swords at the intruders who had penetrated their home base so easily.

"RUN!" Jon screamed, pushing his friends forwards, "towards the river, go, go!"

The Tortallians bolted in a mad stampede. Gary somehow found himself at the head of the pack and began directing his comrades across the Drell River, where each man swum for all he was worth. When arrows began raining down on their heads, Gary ordered everyone to split up. The strategy worked, most of the Tortallians reached the river's edge at various points along the shore and were able to quickly hide themselves in the arboreal foliage.

Except for Prince Jonathon, whose wounded arm made it impossible for him to tread water in a shallow pool, let alone swim across a violent river currant.

"Just. Leave me. Here," Jonathon grunted, tightening his lips in pain.

"Not a chance!" Alanna snorted, "after you charged into enemy territory to rescue me, you think I'm gonna abandon you now? Besides, if the Tusaine capture you we're dead, your father will do anything to get you back, including giving up half of Tortall."

"Good point," Jon grinned, before wincing in pain. "But I can't swim with this shoulder…"

Alanna bit her lip and tried to think. The Tusaine were closing in on them, it wouldn't be long before they were surrounded. Jeb had run back towards camp, preferring safety over revenge, Duke Hilam had disappeared in the chaos, and most of the foot soldiers had chased after the swimming Tortallians. Jon and Alanna had ended up somewhat to the left of the group, near the river but hidden behind a large patch of boulders. However, it wouldn't be long before their hiding place would be discovered.

"Let's just get out of here for now, we'll follow the river away from the Tusaine and try and ford it where it's not as swift, ok?" Alanna said.

Jon nodded, preferring nonverbal communication to otherwise painful speaking. Only his upper body was injured, and he was able to move at a quick jog behind Alanna, who would brush tree limbs and branches out of their path to aide him. The sounds of battle quieted away as they forged deeper into the Tusaine woods, always keeping the river in sight to their right. Jon was slowing down, but Alanna didn't want to stop while they were still too close to the Tusaine camp. With any luck, they'd assume "Squire Alan" and Prince Jonathan had made it across the river with everyone else and wouldn't chase them.

"Alanna, I…" Jon never finished his sentence. When Alanna turned around, he was completely unconscious.

A/N: Cliffhanger, yes? More to come very, very soon. This is going be a looong aventure story guys ;)