may 26 20006

WARNING! THIS IS VERY DIFFERENT TO THE TYPE OF THINGS I USUSALLY WRITE! IF YOU ARE EXPECTING DARK AND (WHAT EVER), THAN THIS IS NOT IT!

This is based on a dream I had last night.

AU. In this one Sai was always a girl (except when wearing the armor then Sai was turned into a guy. Not a common known fact for the Warlords.). This is also ten years after all the evil bad guys were defeated/turned good, etc... And within the last few years Sekhemet had become a Christian. Sai has always been one. Strange I know, but that was how my dream went. YST/RW does not belong to me, etc...

Conversations and Catching Up

by Zuzanny

Sekhemet had been feeling the urging for a while now, but he just wasn't sure if it was the right thing for him to do or not. He had been traveling the world for about a year, and it caught his attention a few months back when he was there. But now he was in Australia, in a town that wasn't really part of the typical tourist rout, and the urging was coming again. He had been praying for answers, and today the reply was "Go to This church." So he did.

The church was a huge building, more like a shed on the outside than a cathedral like what most people tended to look for. There were gardens with roses and even a flowing pond around the outside. The car park was huge, and already almost full. Sekhemet walked up the graveled driveway, and he smiled at the warmth in which the people still arriving greeted each other, and even smiled and waved at him. He had expected them to stare with fear and/or hostility, as he had many many green snake tattoos all up and down his arms, which were bare for the current warm weather. There was a cemented driveway up to the front doors, which he observed the elderly and "wheeled persons" (as he now called them) were driven right up to the door and then their cars parked near buy. He was rather impressed with that idea. Especially since it was also a covered area.

There was a foyer about a third of the size of the building. A kitchen straight ahead, a hall leading to other rooms to the right and offices along that wall. To the left was a glass walled area that the doors lead through to the church, already mostly full. Sekhemet was greeted again very warmly at the doors by ladies and gentlemen dressed nicely who he figured were some important people in this church.

"I haven't seen you before," One of the ladies smiled at him after introducing herself, shaking his hand with a firm, warm grip.

"I'm, uh, new to the area." He replied with a small smile.

"Well, welcome! Are you passing through, or living around here?"

"I'm mainly passing through, I don't know if I will be staying long or not. But God told me to come here today, so here I am."

"Excellent!" If anything her smile grew brighter, and she handed him a newsletter and a thick book. "That's always the best thing to do. Enjoy the service!" Then he was off walking towards the church doors, and she was greeting more people.

There were people milling about chatting happily with each other before the service started. Sekhemet sat at the very back, near the sound box, and flicked through the things the lady at the door had given him. A newsletter about what the church was doing, activities, contact numbers and the like. The book was a Bible. He already had his, so he placed the one she had given him on the chair beside him and flicked through his own, very worn copy that a curtain fish lover had gifted him with many many years ago. Sekhemet let a small smile spread across his lips remembering the past. Torrent, armor covered in blood and sweat, some of it his own, and some of it Sekhemet's, most of it other people's; reached under his breast plate and drew out this tiny black book about the size of his smaller hands. Torrent had smiled up at him through the grime on his face as he placed that book into Sekhemet's much larger hands and said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." Then turned, and disappeared into the swirling smoke and fire behind him.

That moment, that book, had changed Sekhement's life.

The service was about Expecting the Unexpected, and letting God's will, not man's will be done. Sekhemet could see the validity in that, but was still left wondering why he was sent to This church of all places, if that was all God had to say on the matter. Then as the service was finishing, and people were leaving to go have social tea and coffee in the foyer (except those who were chatting to each other as they stood by their seats, or up the very front for prayer). That was when Sekhemet saw the back of the auburn headed person standing in front of him also chatting enthusiasticly.

Sekhemet blinked. "No," he breathed, trying not to get excited in case it wasn't who he thought it was. The physique was right, if a bit taller (as would be expected after ten or so years), however the baggy pants and long jumper hid any really informative shape. The voice was a little deeper, but not as much as he would have expected, which made him doubt. The accent was there though. But how could he be sure? Sekhemet almost said nothing and just left, but instead he walked up close to this person and said, "Torrent."

Immediately the young man spun, blue eyes flashing with surprise and happiness, and threw himself into Sekhement's arms. "Venom!" He - no, SHE- cried out with excitement. "How are you! Oh my goodness, it's great to see you! What are you doing here?"

Sekhemet held the young... person... out at arm's length to look Her up and down. "Wow." He muttered, eye brows raised. "This is new. Nice."

Torrent blinked with confusion, then blushed as she understood. "Uh, actually it's not. This is how I always was, except for when I was wearing the armor. It... kinda... changed me. At the time."

Sekhemet grinned, thinking he very much liked this new revelation of Torrent. "Interesting! I wonder why it didn't do so with (Kagura?)?"

"I don't know." Torrent shrugged, smiles all back again. "Anyway, why are you here? I mean This town of all places. Are you working here?"

Sekhemet scratched the back of his head nervously. "Actually, I'm thinking about going to Africa. Healing, you know?"

Torrent's eyes widened. "Africa. Wow! When are you planning on going?"

"I don't know. I'm looking for some guidance about it."

"Would you like some prayer about it?"

That was something that Sekhemet had kind of forgotten about. "Sure."

Torrent patted him on the shoulder and left to gather some older men. Three of them came back and then they all lade their hands upon him and started praying out loud for him. Even Torrent did so, asking for guidance and blessing on this new adventure.

Sekhemet felt a warmth go through him that said "Soon, but not yet."

Torrent gave Sekhemet a ride over to Her place in her sleek little red car. Sekhemet told her all about the places he had visited over the last year, how Ryo, Mia and their kids were enjoying a relatively quiet life out in a smallish village where Ryo was the fire warden and Mia was the chief science person. Rowan and Sage still hadn't come out and told each other how they felt about each other-

"WHAT?" Torrent had shrieked, and had to swerve to readjust her driving path. "It's only been, what, TEN YEARS! What are they DOING? Uch, MEN!"

Kento had taken over his mother's shop which was very successful, and the other warlords had each pooled their resources to open a night club called Poison Ivy, which also was very successful. And it still had the dark atmosphere that they sometimes missed, without the oppression.

"I liked Venice," Torrent admitted, turning a corner to the left. "I actually considered staying there for a while."

"Why am I not surprised."

Torrent stuck out her tongue at him good naturedly.

Sekhemet grinned.

They were sitting at the table in Torrent's house having tea the Traditional way. (Sekhemet was pleased that Torrent remembered exactly how he liked his tea, but then Torrent had always been like that.)

"What is it like?" Sekhemet asked all of a sudden. "Being a girl?" Torrent took a sip out of her cup thinking.

"It can be a real pain in the ass is what. No one takes you seriously half of the time, and the rest of the time they just complain that you're PMSing. Which sucks. Even the guys gave me heaps about it."

"Back then?"

"Yeah. They would place bets as to how long it would take for me to get taken down. Bastards." There was a little tip of her lips that said she wasn't completely angry at her former comrades.

"Were they really that bad?"

She shook her head, chuckling. "My goodness, the dirt I could dish on them! They were completely hopeless once they were off the battle field. Couldn't look after themselves let alone do the house chores. Sage was the worst slob of them all. The only reason he ever had shirts to wear out on dates was because I charged him to wash them for him."

"That's my girl." Sekhemet chortled. "How much did he pay you?"

"Ten bucks a shirt."

They both giggled. Then Torrent went wistful for a moment, looking down thoughtfully into her tea. "You know, I think it's a real irony that they always treated me like this inferior weakling, but in the end I was always needed to get the job done or they all would have died."

"I always did find it remarkable, AND frustrating, how you lot always managed to survive. The things we put you all through..." Sekhemet leaned back in his chair, shaking his head.

"You forget which side we were fighting on."

"Good. Ha."

"Yes." Torrent waggled her finger at him. "And don't you forget it."

They continued to chat and banter for a few more minutes when the doorbell rang. Torrent looked out the window, and cursed with annoyance.

"What is it?"

"It's my ex boyfriend. I broke up with him a month ago and he still wont leave me alone."

"Really? Want me to kill him." Sekhemet grinned evily. Torrent looked like she was seriously considering it, when she shook her head.

"Nah. I can handle it. He's just obsessive and I'm just too dang nice sometimes." She opened the door to reveal a slightly stout younger man there with black hair and highly shined shoes on under his Sunday best. His stance shouted BUSINESS MAN, and I'M KING! DON'T YOU FORGET IT!

"Peter!" Torrent greeted with much less enthusiasm than she had greeted her former enemy. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to check on you, Tsianne." Peter pushed his way past her in to her house. "They were all saying you left with this tattooed man who looked like he would want to do all sorts of indecent and depraved things to your innocent body..."

Torrent rolled her eyes, and indicated towards the kitchen table.

"Does he even know who you are?" Sekhemet asked alarmed at the blatant disrespect the ex was showing.

Torrent shook her head no. "He thinks it was all a role playing game or in my head."

"Alright, who are you?" Peter demanded of Sekhemet. "And what are you doing here with my Tsianne?"

Torrent cleared her throat. "PETER! Let me introduce you to Sekhemet, Warlord of Venom. Sekhemet, Peter. And I'm not yours."

Peter peered down at Sekhemet critically. "I might have known you would be showing hospitality to your role playing friends and not to me."

Now Torrent just looked annoyed. "I've told you many times I don't role play, and that I can spend time with who ever I want. I don't need or want you trying to take care of me!"

"Hey Torrent," Sekhemet spoke up. "Remember the time I beat the crap out of you?"

Torrent snorted, and grinned back at the warlord. "You wish. That sounds like an Illusion to me."

"Oh, yeah. Maybe it was Wildfire." Sekhemet ran a finger down his chin thinking.

"What do you mean?" Peter interrupted, openly hostile now. "When did you beat her up?"

"He didn't."

"That's right, you were a guy then. Does that still count?" Sekhemet asked sweetly.

"You're being mean. I'll Super Wave Smash you of you're not careful."

"You mean you still have your armor orb?"

"Yep."

"But I thought you didn't use your powers anymore."

"I don't need the armor to do the things I do. I'm special."

Peter was looking back and forth between the two with a look of horror upon his face.

"What are you talking about?" He demanded, face doing red.

"Sit down." Torrent ordered, and Peter did so in a shocked sort of way. "Tea?" She offered sweetly to her ex. He gaped at her, and she shrugged before pouring Sekhemet and herself some more and sitting opposite Peter and next to Sekhemet. Both Torrent and Sekhemet sipped their tea in silence for a while, and that clearly bothered Peter.

"Tsianne, I demand to know what is going on!" Peter finally burst out.

Torrent slowly placed her tea cup down on the saucer. "I'm considering going to Africa."

"No!" Peter yelled. "Really?" Sekhemet spluttered at the same time.

"Yep." She smiled serenely, the looked over at Sekhemet. "Hows tomorrow sound? Or would tonight be better?"

"I'll have to calculate time differences and things. Wouldn't want to arrive in the middle of a busy town square and have everyone decide we're gods or something."

"Again." Torrent added. "Does make free movement a tad difficult."

"Although it does some times have it's perks." Torrent nodded her head in agreement.

"What!" Peter yelped. "You can't leave."

Torrent raised her eye brows. "Reeeeally? Ooooh..." She turned to Sekhemet. "Hear that? He says I can't leave."

Sekhemet snickered. "Boy is he in for a shock."

"I happen to know that you don't have the money for a plane ticket, let alone a hotel in the city." Peter interjected.

Torrent looked up to the roof asking for patience, taking a dreep, steadying breath. "When you look at me what do you see?" She asked her ex.

He knelt in front of her, clasping both her hands in his. "I see a beautiful young woman, with a strong moral back ground and will. I see someone I would love to make my wife and be the mother of my children. I see a very bright smile and powerful imagination that with the proper medication-"

Torrent pulled her hands away before he could continue and stood. "I have told you many times that I don't NEED medication! And flattering as all that Romantic crap could be to a normal girl, I am not normal. I am a warrior, yes I am! I fought in long hard battles that you couldn't even imagine. I have scars-"

"Sorry about that, by the way." Sekhemet added. Torrent sent him a small smile.

"I understand that you are a prayer warrior and that can bring scary situations-"

"NO." Torrent growled low in her throat. "Once again you are not listening to me and that really pisses me off."

"Come on, give us a chance."

"I did."

"Two months isn't long enough to know for sure."

She sighed deeply. "I am the warrior of Trust. I wear the armor of Torrent. I can feel on instinct that I can't trust you and your behavior just proves my point. By the way, how are Harris and Simmons recovering?"

Peter's lip twitched. "Fine." He ground out.

"Send them my love will you." The phone rang. "Excuse me, please." Torrent left to answer it. Peter stared after her, Sekhemet sipped his tea some more observing. "Hi mum! How are you. Yeah. Yeah. Guess what? Sekhemet's here. Yes mum, he's a good guy now. Ten years now. Yeah, we're thinking about Africa. Don't know. I may drop by tomorrow. Want me to bring more Cadburys?" She continued to chat to her mum, talking travel plans. Sekhemet pulled a pack of cards out from his pocket and started to shuffle.

"Torrent taught me to play Solitare." He explained to Peter, who was still sitting there agape. "And poker. For someone who is so trust worthy he, uh, SHE is incredibly good at bluffing."

"Her mother lives in England." Peter said with an expression of... disgust or confusion. "How can she sit there saying I'm untrust worthy when she promises her mother she will drop by tomorrow like she lives just around the corner?"

"It's a mystery, isn't it." Sekhemet said, dealing out his cards for a game of poker with Peter. "Unless you believe her when she tells you she is who she says she is."

Peter turned his disgusted face to Sekhemet and slowly asked "Who ARE you?"

Sekhemet leaned forward in a way that could be menacing, baring his fangs in his grin, then hissed, "I am exactly who Torrent said I am. I am Sekhemet the Warlord of Venom. You are just an ordinary human. I could snap you so easily. Sink my teeth into your flesh-"

"Venom," Torrent growled out low in warning. He sat back in his chair snickering to himself, while Peter dripped with sweat, face white as paper.

"She wasn't... telling stories?" He asked hesitantly.

Sekhemet nodded, grinning, enjoying this much more than he probably should.

"Then... that scar on her back-"

"You let him see your back?" Sekhemet interrupted to call back at Torrent.

Torrent held her hand over the moth piece. "Public pool." She mouthed.

"Ah."

"And the deep sea diving without air tanks-"

"Yep, that sure sounds like Torrent."

"And my men in hospital-"

"That I can't answer, but sounds very plausable. Torrent can be a very formidable enemy. If your men attacked either her or her friends or something, what do you expect?"

"All this time I thought she was... Schitzophrenic or something."

"And an easy lay?" Sekhemet murmured lecherously.

Peter snorted with a slight smile. "I can tell you now she is anything but easy."

"REally..." Sekhemet's eye brows rose, and he looked back over at Torrent with interest. "Peter," Sekhemet asked the young man gently. "could I interest you in a game of poker?"

"He does care for you, you know." Sekhemet told Torrent much later after they had seen Peter off. "He was genuinely concerned for your safety."

Torrent shrugged. "I know. But he doesn't understand love the way I do. He thinks it is all about lust and and pleasure and... I don't know, gooey things like that. Where as I am more the first Corinthians type of love."

Sekhemet nodded his head with understanding. "I see. Will you miss him?"

She shook her head no. "Not really. I can't handle being obsessed over. Once you've experienced the freedom I have, it's really hard to let that go just to settle down in a cage like he wants for me."

"I remember you don't like cages."

"No, I don't. Perhaps if he were able to respect me for who I am and not project his own insecurities upon me things could have been different."

"Oh. By the way, who were Harrison and, um?"

"Harris and Simmons." She supplied. "Two of his goons I caught trying to tap my phone lines and other less savory things. Peter has connections to all sorts of interesting people, but he keeps underestimating me. I let them tap my phone and look at my bank records because I have nothing to hide." She grinned. "Besides, I keep all my money off shore any way."

Sekhemet snickered. "So do I." Dementional pockets were so useful.

Then she looked distant, almost angry. "But when they tried to beat up my friend Danny, just because we went to the movies together, as FRIENDS, in a group, THAT really pissed me off. Danny suffers from a chronic heart problem that I can't do much for, and I couldn't let them hurt any of my friends. So I guess I let off a little steam." She examined her short nails then, smiling. "I sure shocked the youth group when I pulled my staff out of thin air. I don't think Harris and Simmons will be doing that kind of work for a while yet either."

Sekhemet leaned his chin on his hand and just looked at her for a few moments while she spoke. Her hair was tidier now than it had been, still short, but nicer. More feminine. It shone, glinting with red and gold highlights where the sun hit it. Her skin was still smooth and pale, and her lips... well, they were full of moisture as would be expected of the living embodiment of Torrent. She was slender, not skinny, and though the baggy clothes hid her shape pretty well, Sekhemet could see that she really was shaped rather nicely. It was something that the tomboy clothes couldn't hide. "You're beautiful." He whispered. Torrent looked up, startled. "I always knew there was something about you, but I couldn't put my finger on it."

"It's my curse." She shrugged. "I tend to attract unsavory types. They see my light and want to capture it all for themselves."

Sekhemet nodded sagely, and toasted her with his tea cup.

"And I'm either too damned nice to tell them no up front, or they just wont listen to reason."

"Why didn't you just show Peter what you can do?"

"Why bother? He was the type that would sell me to the highest bidder if he thought there really was some MAGICAL POWER! Shock! Horror!"

"Are you sure? When we spoke together when you were on the phone, he didn't seem like that type." Torrent tapped her forehead where her kanji was. "Right." They sat quietly for a few moments. "What was wrong with Danny again?" He asked quietly.

"His heart. The doctors have already operated about twenty times, and say there is nothing more to do for him but hope new drugs or techniques are developed. I've managed to stop the attacks a few times, but one of these days I wont be around and that will be it."

"How about we go see him."

Torrent beamed up at him.

Danny lay in his bed trying to concentrate on breathing. His mother was doing the laundry down the other side of his house, and he couldn't raise enough air to call out to her.

"This is it." He thought to himself. "I'm finally going this time." Strangely he didn't feel any fear, he was at peace. When two people appeared in his bedroom together he thought it must be angels coming to guide him home. He blinked with realisation of who one of them were, and he smiled. "Sai," He breathed out, feeling the world spin around him and darkness closing in. Dimly he felt two warm pairs of hands upon his chest which heated up on contact, and then he could breath freely again. He opened his eyes and saw Sai smiling warmly up at the strange man with snake tattoos.

"Is that Venom?" Danny whispered. Sai smiled down at him.

"Yes." She replied. "How are you feeling?"

"Better." Danny yawned widely. "Tied. Was I dying?"

"Yes." Sekhemet replied. "But not any more." He smiled down at the red head in front of him. "Venom and Torrent always worked well together."

Danny frowned. "You're going away. Aren't you."

"Yes." Sai ran her fingers through his dark bangs. "But I'll be back. Could you do a favor for me?" Danny nodded. Sai produced a stuffed toy dolphin. "Could you take care of this for me?"

Danny smiled, and reached out to take the toy, hugging it to his chest. "Thank you." He whispered. "Enjoy Africa."

Sai waved and then together the two visitors vanished.

Danny's mother knocked on his door, then opened it bringing in a basket of folded laundry. She hummed to herself as she set the clothing in his drawers, smiling fondly at him as she watched him sleep, clutching a toy dolphin to his chest. She frowned slightly, not knowing where it would have come from, but then shrugged it off. He had always had a thing for sea creatures.

"Africa?" Sekhemet echoed a few moments later when they appeared in the hallway of Torrent's mother's house.

Torrent smiled, tilting her head slightly. "Who says you're the only one who has been feeling the call?" Then she was calling out to let her mum know who was in the house, heading deeper inside and presenting her mother with a shopping bag full of Australian chocolate products.

Sekhemet shrugged and smiled, following behind. Expect the unexpected, the Pastor had spoken about. "The Lord sure works in mysterious ways."

The end.