A/N: Hi! This is my first fanfic so please be nice to me! I noticed how there are no Kel/Dom fics and although I don't think they would ever be together, I think someone has to write one. I don't really know where this is going so I'm open to all suggestions! Oh, and I know this chapter's a bit boring but I had to get rid of Cling-on (oops, I meant Cleon). And I know Alanna's not really in character but hey! I don't care! It's my ff so it's my rules!
Er…who to dedicate this to? Well, just my friends in general- Kezza, Kermie Ruler of Froggies (TigerEyes) and Pip (peregrin). You're all great! Anyways, I'll shut up now. Bye.
Oh, and they're in some camp somewhere up north at the end of the war with Scanra, clearing up and tying up loose ends.
Chapter 1- Bye Bye, Cleon!
Cleon was dead. He had died up north, fighting hard battles against Scanra. He had finally been cut down by a mounted Scanran axe man.
On receiving news of Cleon's death, Kel had thought her world was over. She cried until she was empty of tears. It only hurt more that the seemingly endless war with Scanra finished only a few weeks after she heard of his death.
Kel wandered around for days in a daze, half asleep. She was unable to rest properly at night anymore. The men she was with, mostly soldiers from the Own, didn't know what to do with her. She barely ate and her weapon practices and fighting workouts became less frequent and less enthusiastic. The chirpy, cheerful but careful and clever Kel they had known as a fellow warrior and a female knight of Tortall had turned into a mushy pulp of a person who had long ago lost the want of life.
But then Lord Raoul arrived and with him came Lady Alanna. Traipsing after the Lioness was a dusty Neal and an even dustier Owen. Somehow all four managed to look relatively happy. Kel had heard about their arrival but had not wished to see them so she let the other men greet them. After all, she wasn't in charge.
But despite everything, Kel couldn't help but creep out to eavesdrop.
'Where's Kel?' That was Raoul, interrupting the man that was speaking. From the tone of his voice and her years as his squire, Kel knew that his face would be distorted by a puzzled frown.
'Don't know, my Lord, sir,' replied the officer. 'She's been acting very strange the last weeks, sir. We're very worried about her, my Lord. She received some message and since then has gone into some trance-like state.'
Raoul had opened his mouth to respond but was interrupted by a cry from one of the other men.
'Pah! Really we all knew she could never make it, even when she passed the Ordeal! She's still a girl! And without anything to back her up- no magic, nothing! Just those pesky sparrows of hers! Flitting around her like little guardians! I bet that Wildmage had got something to do with their strange behaviour! Pah! Female knights, indeed!'
There was silence now that he had finished his raving. In the past, Kel would have burnt up with anger at his words but now that fury was swallowed up in her grief. What if he was right?
'How dare you insult Kel.' That was Neal, his voice clipped with his anger. Kel heard the clinks of metal and the slither of leather as he dismounted and the shuffles of men moving as Neal advanced on the speaker.
'Neal,' warned Raoul. His voice, Kel noted, was also terse.
'He needs to be taught a lesson,' snapped Neal.
'Yes, but don't you think I'm the right person to be the teacher?' Alanna's voice was oddly- dangerously- calm. 'He did imply there should be no female knights; maybe he did not see me behind my Lord's bulky form? And as Lady Keladry is not here to defend herself, I will have to do it for her.' Kel recognised the noise of a sword being unsheathed; Alanna had joined Neal.
How dare they think she was incapable of defending herself! Kel stepped around the tent she had been hiding behind.
'An what if Lady Keladry is here to defend herself?'
They all turned to her. Neal, Alanna, Owen and Raoul all brightened at the sight of her standing there, clenched fists on hips, glare on face.
'Then,' said Alanna. 'She could defend herself.' Alanna stepped back, spreading her left arm wide, grinning.
Kel stepped forward and looked into the man's terrified face.
'Then,' Kel replied softly. 'I would say perhaps he's right. Perhaps I don't have any right to be a knight. And I would say everyone is open to their own opinions. But that wouldn't stop me from doing this.' And she coldly punched him in the face, her hand sliding across his jaw and smashing into his nose. The force of the blow sent him flying backwards.
Kel walked over to him lying on the ground. 'And I would conclude by advising you to keep your opinions to yourself.' Then she walked away and shut herself in the tent where she remained, undisturbed, for the rest of the day.
Neal, Owen, Raoul and Alanna sat in Raoul's tent, talking.
'I wanted to help get this lot packed up and home quickly,' said Raoul. 'But I don't know whether that's so wise anymore until we've sorted out whatever's wrong with Kel.' He sighed and massaged the back of his neck. 'Any ideas of what this message could be?'
There was silence for a moment as they all thought and then Neal said,' Aah.' He and Owen exchanged looks.
'What?' demanded Raoul.
'Well, you see, one of Kel's um…friends died a while ago. It could be that.'
'Was this- friend Cleon of Kennan by any chance?' asked Raoul.
Neal nodded. 'Aah,' said Raoul. 'There's our problem.'
'Pardon me,' said Alanna. 'But Kel wasn't my squire for four years! I don't know the things you do, Raoul!'
'Oh yeah,' commented Raoul, standing up. 'Well, er- just think of certain points of your squire years, Alanna.'
'Aah.' Alanna coloured slightly.
'Now I think I'd better go have a little chat with her.'
'Do you think that's wise, sir?' said Neal. Owen agreed.
'Maybe I should go,' suggested Neal. 'I am her best friend.'
'But you are also male,' said Alanna dryly.
'Would you discuss your relationships with Kel?'
'Bad question,' sniggered Owen. 'He's already been there, done that.'
Alanna rolled her eyes. 'Okay but women aren't like that. We can't have heart to heart chats with men about men!' And she walked off to find Kel.
'Kel? Can I come in please?'
Kel sighed and admitted Alanna. They both sat down in silence.
'Alanna.' Kel couldn't even look at her hero. 'I'm sorry for my behaviour earlier. As the others have probably told you by now, that's not how I usually act.'
'Kel, it's alright,' began Alanna, stretching out a hand to warmly grip Kel's shoulder.
Kel moved. 'No it's not!' she snapped. 'I shouldn't be acting like this I should get over my grief! I should forget about him! After all, I've only seen him about four times since my Ordeal and that was what? Two, three years ago?'
'No Kel. You're wrong.' Alanna stood up and caught Kel's eyes with her own. 'You shouldn't forget him- nobody should be forgotten. It does not matter how much you've seen him, only how much you cared for each other. Have you even had a chance to properly let go? Has anyone even bothered to comfort you?'
Kel's eyes brimmed with tears as she slowly shook her head.
'It's okay to cry. You must mourn for him but you must also continue with your life. Only think of the grief we would suffer to loose you as well. And think of him- wouldn't he want you to move on?'
Alanna gently took Kel in her arms as Kel began to cry unashamedly (even though Kel was so much taller that her!).
'I had a lover once,' murmured Alanna when Kel had calmed down. 'We had spilt up- mutual agreement but we were still close friends and he travelled with me. I still had strong feelings for him. Then he was killed protecting the King. He should never have been in that battle. He should never have been protecting the King- that was my job. He should never have died then, in that way. He left me a letter to say he had been prewarned of his death but it didn't stop me from feeling guilty. He took my position. At least you don't have to suffer with as well.'
Alanna drew away from Kel and smiled weakly at her. Kel smiled a very shaky smile back.
'It will take a while to mend but you are strong and I believe in you. You will get over this.'
A/N: Oh and please help- I need a title- my brother came up with this one!!!