I'm surprised that no one has written about this before! So I wrote it. ^_^

Akkarin and Lorlen's friendship is one of my fav aspects in the Black Magician Trilogy. (When Lorlen died...) Me: Oh, man. Akkarin is going to be so depressed. (When Akkarin died...) Me: ...Well, at least they are together again.

So I just HAD to write this. I hope you enjoy reading it!

Lorlen grasped the blood gem ring. He knew he was dying, could feel it all over his body. He had to take this last chance to speak to Akkarin again. He couldn't bear it if he died without telling Akkarin that he still believed in him.

A smile graced his lips as he heard approaching footsteps. The rubble covering him shifted, allowing him to see the familiar silhouette framed by the door. 'You came back.'

'Yes. I came back.' Lorlen couldn't see Akkarin's face, but there was no doubt about what he would try to do.

'No! Don't come... any closer,' he gasped out.

Akkarin hesitated, obviously worried. 'You're dying, Lorlen.'

Even though Akkarin didn't show it, Lorlen knew that his friend was pained to see him that way. However, he could not let him waste his strength. He took a deep breath. It was becoming difficult to sustain his life.

'I understand why you did it,' Lorlen started, determined to tell Akkarin his true feelings before he left the world. He knew that it would give little solace, but he had to say it. He didn't want Akkarn to live thinking that he had hated him till the end. 'Why you lied to me. Kyralia's safety was more important than our friendship. It still is. I only want to know one thing. Why didn't you answer when I called you?'

'I couldn't. If the Guild knew I was here, the Ichani would read it from the mind of their first victim. They would stay together. Alone, they are vulnerable.'

'Ah, I see.' Closing his eyes, Lorlen took another shuddering breath. He was nearing the end of his resources. He heard footsteps approaching, and knew that Akkarin would try to heal him, despite his protests. His eyes opened again, pinning Akkarin to the spot. 'No you don't. Stay there.' Lorlen cast about in his increasingly foggy mind for a subject to detain Akkarin. 'Tell me... tell me about Sonea.'

'She is alive. She is...' Akkarin couldn't find words, so described his feelings for Sonea to Lorlen by mind, the clarity amplified but made private by the blood gem ring. No more secrets.

Lorlen smiled. He was glad that Akkarin had finally found happiness. 'Good.' Knowing this, he could leave in peace, knowing that his best friend would have someone by his side. 'Farewell, my friend,' he sent before falling into darkness.

Lorlen awoke on a bed. His mind was surprisingly clear, but he couldn't fathom how he managed to get here. He felt a small twinge of annoyance. Had Akkarin defied his wished and healed him anyway? He had known his friend to be unwaveringly stubborn in certain circumstances.

Whatever had happened, he had somehow ended up back in his bedroom. There was no sound of fighting outside. Was the battle over? Feeling perfectly recovered, he decided to find out for himself. He stepped through the doorway.

On the opposite side of the hallway was a door. Some instinct compelled him to open it. The sight he encountered made him double-take. He rubbed his eyes, wondering if his mind was playing tricks on him. The scene didn't change. He glanced back in case he had walked for a long distance without noticing, but the door to his bedroom was right behind him. This was beyond weird. As he stepped into a very convincing replica of his Administrator's Office, he could only conclude that he was no longer in the real world. And the afterlife looked stunningly like the material world.

He continued down the hallway, making a mental note that his office was now directly opposite his bedroom. What else would he find?

Glancing out of a window, he gazed down at what appeared to be the courtyard of the Magician's Guild. Several people wandered around, obviously enjoying the tranquility. It was interesting to see a few non-magical folk on the grounds as well.

Turning away from the window, he continued exploring his new home. It was extremely fascinating. The rooms were familiar to him, bearing a great resemblance to places in his memory. The biggest difference was that now all of his favorite places were only a few steps away from each other. The hallway ended and he entered the guestroom. It was very like the room of his mind, Lorlen realized.

'I have the spring in my backyard,' he thought as he opened a small side door. After searching for a while, he noted with amusement that the board game he and Akkarin had hidden in the real world was replicated here.

There was one last door, painted midnight blue, which he had not opened. He wondered what room lay behind it. After all the erratically placed rooms he had so far encountered, he thought that nothing could surprise him anymore. He was immediately proven wrong.

The room that he had just stepped into was undoubtedly the Night Room. Lorlen stared, wide-eyed, at the many magicians who were arrayed about the room. It was such a scene of normality that he could have believed that he had returned to the real world. But he hadn't.

The sight of faces that he had not seen in many years told him that he had undoubtedly entered the afterlife. He spotted blue robes in the crowd and recognized the face of his predecessor. However, currently the room was mainly filled by recent deaths, thus red was the dominant color. Here and there, he saw green and purple as well. Lorlen sighed. Too many magicians had died in the recent battle.

His predecessor was surrounded by a crowd of magicians, apparently carrying on his role as Administrator even in the afterlife. Lorlen couldn't help but feel a little relieved that he wouldn't have to continue bearing the responsibility.

"Administrator Lorlen!" a voice hailed him. Turning, he saw Yikmo moving in his direction. A group of Warriors followed him. At Yikmo's shout, most of the magicians present had fallen silent. No doubt that they wanted to hear the latest events of the battle.

Lorlen found a chair to sit in and the other magicians crowded around. Sarrin had also pulled a chair over to sit near him. He told them what had happened.

He sat in the Night Room for a while, letting the sound of chatter wash over him. In light of recent events, even the din was familiar and comforting.

When the day's events finally caught up to him, he excused himself to walk back to his rooms. Upon reentering the guestroom, he blinked as he took in the appearance of a new door on the opposite wall. A strong presence not his own radiated from the door, unlike the other doors he had encountered. A presence that was so familiar... He half ran to the door. The moment he touched the door, it swung open on its own.

Akkarin looked up from his half-filled wineglass. He smiled as Lorlen entered and poured out some wine into an empty glass. 'I've been waiting for you to come by, Lorlen.' He held out the wineglass.

Stunned, Lorlen accepted it. Settling himself in a chair next to Akkarin, he tasted the wine. Anuren Dark, Akkarin's favorite.

The questions would come later. Now, Lorlen was content to sit there with his best friend, enjoying the wine. Just like old times.

Depending on response, I might continue Lorlen and Akkarin's conversation in the next chapter. Please review!