Disclaimer: Why is it neccasery 2 say I don't own AIDA or any of the characters? Isn't it obvious...lol

"No," Amneris stated firmly, "they will not be buried alive. Forty strokes with the lash apiece will suffice for this offense"

It was the lightest sentence she was allowed to impose. Pharaoh nodded his approval though you could see in his eyes he was less then pleased. He felt they should be buried alive.

Literally six minutes later they found themselves in the courtyard where the lashing was to take place. Radamas threw a comforting look at Aida as he was roughly thrown on the platform and tied firmly to the stockade. He kept his eyes on Aida as the first lash fell and stung his back. He hardly felt it. As a ship's captain he had suffered far greater pain then this before. The 2nd lash hit him right above the rear and made a cut. He would not wince or groan or cry though. He couldn't. He had to be strong for Aida. At the 3rd stroke which cut and wrapped around his legs he had to swallow to keep from throwing up. The pain was close to insufferable and still he had 27 strokes to go but he remembered why he was doing it, who he was doing it for. The 4th stroke caught him right on the middle of the rear.

'That's definitely going to leave a mark,' he thought to himself. He saw that Aida was crying… her tears fast flowing. On the 5th stroke which cut his shoulder blades he locked eyes with Aida and began to sing softly to her.

We all lead such elaborate lives

The 6th stroke caught in the middle of his back. Aida stopped her tears and looked up at him. She responded as the 7th lash hit his leg.

Wild ambitions in our sights

The 8th lash hit without warning on his side. He felt warm red liquid flow from it. The 9th lash hit in the same place. To keep himself from doubling over he turned and continued the song.

How an affair of the heart survives

Mercifully the 10th lash hit hard right below the next on the top of the back. There was no bleeding but the pain in his side was nearly intolerable. The 11th lash cut his other shoulder blade. The 12th lash hit the other side causing it to bleed.

Days apart and hurried nights

The 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th lashes all rained down on his lower back 13 inches above the rear. All he could think was Thank GODS Aida isn't suffering this fate. He took a breath to steady himself willing himself not to cry. The last thing Aida needed was the guilt of his pain.

Seems quite unbelievable to me

Halfway there, Radamas told himself. Soon he would not be suffering from this anymore. The 21st lash fell on his side. The next couple of seconds was paused when the 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th lashes rained down upon him. It landed upon his neck. It wasn't bad enough to kill but it did serious damage. During a whipping, and he knew this because he'd administered quite a few himself, the goal was never to kill. The goal was to put the victim in agony. Well Radamas wouldn't let that happen. He continued to sing to Aida their song.

I don't want to live like that

She returned his smile though it was eating her up inside. As the 26th stroke fell on his spine and the 27th, 28th and 29th on his tailbone he forced himself to stay calm. Just 11 more and he would be done. The 30th lash hit him right on the side that had already been bleeding.

Seems quite unbelievable to me

Ten more to go and I'm done, he thought to himself. He was a little scared for some reason but he willed himself to keep on going. The 31st and 32nd stroke hit him on the tailbone again. The 33rd and 34th stroke hit him on the back of the neck. Six more to go and he would be done. 35th stroke hit him on the side 36th hit him on the other side 37th stroke hit him on the middle of the back. 38th, 39th and 40th stroke hit him on the side.

Then he felt his hands being unbound. Feelings of relief flooded over him, until he saw them grab Aida and saw the look of terror in her eyes. She tried for his sake to smile but failed miserably. He could almost see her heart pulsating. His heart sank his face fell. He couldn't allow this to happen but he had no authority to stop it. Amnearis couldn't either. They had committed an offense and the law decreed they had to be punished for it.
"WAIT," called out a voice he didn't realize for seconds was his. The guards ignored him and continued dragging Aida up to the platform.

"WAIT," he yelled loud enough they had no choice but to stop.

"What," a guard asked

"Aida… she cannot be lashed."

"I'm sorry Radamas," the guard said, "the law is the law after all"

"Please," he begged, "let me take the lashes in her place."

"Radamas," Aida tried to object but he just held out his hand. He would not let her go through this. He couldn't. Someone had to stand for what was right. Aida was too precious, too beautiful both on the inside and on the out.

"Amnearis," he begged, "please, this can't happen to Aida"

Everyone turned to Amnearis. She drew in a breath. Aida was her friend and Radamas was her friend as well. Could she show mercy? Would she? GODS this was a hard decision.

"Excuse me," she said, "I would like a moment alone with Radamas"

Pharaoh nodded and Amnearis pulled Radamas to the side

"Radamas," she said, "you have just endured forty strokes of the lash. Your back, side, behind and shoulder-blades along with your neck are all cut up. How could you possibly endure another forty strokes of the lash?"

"I have to do it Amnearis," Radamas insisted strongly, "I cannot let Aida suffer for my foolishness."

"You know it's not all your fault," she told him, "Aida did play a part in this as well"

"Perhaps," he admitted, "but if they did this to me, can you imagine how it would affect her"

"Let me just ask you one question. Would you have done the same thing if it were me… did you ever love me?"

"Amnearis I've loved you all my life. I still love you but let's be honest we were fated to be apart. We were together way too early. We never had a chance to be children. I believe if we had then we would have worked out but we were pushed into a relationship neither of us was ready for by our fathers. Maybe in the next life it will be"

Amnearis nodded her understanding. She had made her decision.

"It is so decreed," she announced

"But-" Aida began in protest. Amnearis put her hand on her friend's shoulder comfortingly

"Don't try to fight it," she said, "he loves you and he's not going to give in on this one"

Once again he was brought up onto the platform and his hands bound to the stockade. The 41st lash set fire to his back. It was a different guard administering the whipping and it was not one who favored Radamas. This guard particularly disliked him because it was Radamas who was forced when he was army captain to administer a whipping to this guard's cousin. This guard was extremely close to his cousin and resented Radamas terribly when he heard of what Radamas did. The 42nd lash blazed his side and he drew an intake of breath to steady himself. That was when he heard Aida's sweet voice

I don't want to love like that

The 43rd, 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th, 49th and 50th lash cut up his tail bone. He never felt such pain in his life and when he looked at Aida he was more certain then ever he was doing what was right. The 51st lash stung so bad he threw up. Aida gasped but he looked back up and looked right at her assuring her he was okay.

I just want our time to be

Slower, gentler, wiser, free

They sang the last part together in unison. 30 more to go, he thought to himself, I can handle it for Aida's sake. The 51st and 52nd lash hit him right in the middle of the head. It wasn't enough to bleed or cause major damage just major pain. He could tell the guard was enjoying this. The guard walked around and administered the 53rd lash on his right arm. The 54th lash was on his left arm.

We all live in extravagant times

Singing to and with Aida helped take his mind off the pain. He hardly felt the 55th lash as it struck his leg. That's because he heard Aida's beautiful voice.

Playing games we can't all win

The 56th lash struck his side hard. He felt sick. The 57th lash also hit his side along with the 58th, 59th and 60th lash. Aida saw he was in pain and continued her song. She saw when she did some of the pain left his face.

Unintended emotional crimes

Take some out, take others in

Too many choices tear us apart

I'm so tired of all we're going through

I don't want to live like that

I'm so tired of all we're going through

I don't want to love like that

I just want to be with you

Now and forever peaceful true

By the end of those words Radamas failed to notice that 15 more strokes had been delivered. The 76th one was a stinging blow to his tailbone that would have caused him to fall over had he not been tied to the post.

This may not be the moment

To tell you face to face

But I could wait forever

For the perfect time and place

We all live such elaborate lives

We don't know whose words are who

Strangers lovers husbands wives

Hard to know whose loving who

Too many choices tear us apart

I don't want to live like that

Too many choices tear us apart

I don't want to love like that

I just want to touch your heart

May this confession be the start

Relief flooded over Radamas as he was unbound. Ignoring the pain he was in he walked to Aida and knelt down by her side

"Oh Radamas," she sobbed, "I am so sorry you had to go through this because of me"

"Not because of you," he said firmly as he held her, "because I love you. Aida I only want to be with you."

"But what about Amnearis"

"Amnearis is a dear friend to me," he said, "and I love her like the sister I lost many years ago. But you are the one that holds my heart. Marry me"

"Radamas, I love you too," she said, "it's just that I always hoped my father and mother and sisters would be there when I got married to give me away."

"Then," he said, "we will wed in Nubia."

"And what about the rest of my people"

"They will be set free. Just say you will marry me"

"Yes," Aida said, "I will"

Eight days later (after Radamas had healed) Aida and Radamas along with all the other slaves set off for Nubia. Amnearis was unable to attend. Her father had gone to the GODS three days before and she was the new Pharaoh. Radamas had chosen a different life, the only life that would make him happy. Aida was his life. He knew that more clearly now then ever… since he had taken that fierce beating just to save her from the pain.

Ten days following the day they set off Radamas and Aida were married. Amnearis had ordained a peace treaty and Aida's father reluctantly agreed to the union between Radamas and Aida when he heard what Radamas had done for his daughter. Not long after their wedding (less then a year in fact) Aida and Radamas was blessed with a little baby girl of their own.

"It's true what they say," Radamas told Aida

"What's that?"

"Every story IS a love story"