I don't own anything you recognize. Only original characters are mine as well as the storyline.

Interlude

Three days after the Trials...

"I was thinking we could go to Morocco or Dubai, crash one of Diddy's parties, drink his Cristal...Why are you making that face?" Kenzi asked as she lounged in bed with Nandi while the other woman curled her lip in disgust. "Have something against Diddy?"

"The opposite, he's actually a sweet man once you get to know him and surprisingly humble. I'm making the face because I'm not welcome in Dubai. I had a minor...altercation...with the wife of Nehrudhi, a Ghoul prince who...has a thing for me. I wound up slicing her once-pretty face to ribbons. If I step foot in Dubai again, I won't step out." Nandi explained and Kenzi frowned.

''Tell me she did something evil to you first." Kenzi crossed her fingers and Nandi sighed.

"She threw acid on my face. Luckily, her guards were there to offer the energy I needed to heal. Ghouls have no such luxury. Once their skin is pierced by the claws of an animal it starts to putrefy and I was half transformed when I protected myself. She's now hidden on the hundredth floor of one of those gaudy monstrosities and her husband calls me every month or so to beg me to give her her face back or take him away. Of course I can do neither." Nandi told the story and Kenzi ran her fingertips over Nandi's cheek.

"Here, this part of your face is never smooth. I always wondered why." Kenzi spoke before she gently applied pressure and moved Nandi's mouth to hers then pulled away and rested her head next to her lover's "Since you're so chatty I think it's time you tell me some of your stories."

"What do you want to know my love?" Nandi asked as she settled further into the bed and entwined her fingers with Kenzi.

"First, how did this friendship with the Morrigan happen. She's like night to your day and, might I add, an evil bitch." Kenzi said and Nandi chuckled, loving how Kenzi's mind worked.

"Do you truly want to know my love?" Nandi asked and Kenzi nodded which prompted a sigh. "As you wish. I've known her since I was sixteen years old in the "full blush of womanhood" as my Father said at the time. I was a wild creature, more hyena than human most of the time and it drove my Father and Grandmother up the wall. Nothing they could do or say would make me listen and become "civilized". At about this time the Over King, Eofric arrived to visit and brought the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen with him, Evony. She was his cultural advisor and hit it off with my Father immediately. I started spying on her every chance I got and it wasn't until years later that I realized she knew exactly what I was doing and allowed herself to be seen in compromising positions by me, she was the first naked woman I spied upon with the feelings I would later come to realized were lust. This went for the duration of the three months they stayed and I began to emulate the woman I had such strong feelings for. I started wearing the dresses she said looked nice and letting my nanny brush and style my hair and I even tolerated the twice weekly baths she recommended. I was smitten and she used my infatuation to turn me into the lady my family wished me to be. On the eve before they left on their journey Evony blessed me with a chaste kiss and I have held that kiss in my heart forever."

"Were you two?" Kenzi asked, unable to get the last word out.

"Yes, but not until later. About six month after she left I began exploring my sexual side. First it was self exploration but soon I grew smitten with the bodyservant my Father had imported for me from the Middle East. Her name was Samira and she was a beauty unrivaled, even by Evony. We became far closer than mistress or servant should and she became my first sexual partner...she didn't survive the experience." Nandi stopped and seemed to say a silent prayer as Kenzi entwined their fingers again to give her strength but Nandi couldn't seem to speak so Kenzi spoke for her.

"You didn't mean to do it babe, you were young, you couldn't control yourself." Kenzi told her and Nandi gave her a sad smile.

"I know this my dove but it damaged me and for years I wouldn't touch anyone. I wore high collars, gloves, veils, all in the mourning colors and refused to touch anyone. Father even hired a Succubus to show me the ropes but the hyena in me came out when she tried to get me to rouse my power and I mauled her. Eventually my Father's concern for me forced him to drastic action. He remembered my affection for Evony and requested that she come back and she did. While she was with us she got me to open up about my feelings and I eventually learned to control myself. She was my first Fae lover." Nandi said softly and Kenzi leaned up on her elbow and gaped at her.

"You...and her? Together? Really?" Kenzi asked as she tried to wrap her head around the two of them as lovers, it seemed wrong. What seemed worse was the feeling of jealousy that made her see red.

"Relax Darling, it has been done since before I met you. You are my one and only." Nandi whispered as she kissed Kenzi gently then finished her story. "Since that period of my life she's been closest to me. She knows me better than anyone in the world and is truly my best friend. You see her as an evil bitch and I see her as Evony, my best friend and onetime savior. Without her I'd be dead or mad right now. That is a debt I can never repay and there are many more debts she is free to collect but rarely does."

"Do you promise that you're done doing the mattress mambo with her? I know Fae have some weird thoughts on monogamy, especially succubi." Kenzi held her gaze and Nandi smiled before she pressed her head deeper into the pillow.

"I can promise you that as long as I have you in my life I will not enjoy the "mattress mambo" with anyone else, Evony included. If our relationship is severed in some way then I must be free to seek comfort in others. You will be free to do so as well." Nandi explained and Kenzi sighed but nodded, as she looked at Kenzi a question popped up in her mind. "Kenzi, sweetheart, may I ask you a question?"

"Ok..." Kenzi said slowly, suddenly nervous when she looked at the thoughtful look on her lover's face.

"Why don't you ever tell me about your family? You only drop hints every now and again and I know you have connections to the underground and speak the most beautiful Russian. What is it that you don't want me to know?" Nandi asked as she ran her fingers through Kenzi's dark hair and Kenzi resisted the urge to bolt, her resistance made easier when she glanced at the bandages still wrapped around Nandi's midsection. She was still healing, from a wound she could've died from, if anything deserved Kenzi's cooperation it was that.

"Would you tell people about your family if you were in mine? It's just a large collection of criminals, con artists, kleptos and gangsters wrapped in babushkas. Seriously, you've met my cousin Yuri, he's a pretty good example of my family." Kenzi explained and Nandi smiled.

"Yes, I did indeed meet Yuri. He stole my watch when we shook hands. He has a light touch. What about your Mother? I know she's the reason you set out on your own." Nandi caressed Kenzi's hair as she laid her head n the unbandaged portion of Nandi's torso.

"She had the choice between my stepfather or me and she chose him. Nothing more to say and before you ask, he never physically hurt me but..." Kenzi started and Nandi leaned down and kissed her head in a gesture of comfort.

"The worst scars are in your soul. You're shaking, he truly scared you, this fear is real." Nandi said as she moved her arm and started caressing Kenzi's hair. "Do you want me to have him killed? I won't even have to call in any favors and he deserves it for hurting you like this."

"I may hate the man but I could never see him dead...I know you're asking because you love me. I love you too and I know you hurt too. Since I bared my scars to you, you bare yours to me. Tell me about Bongani." Kenzi quietly gave the ultimatum as she moved from Nandi's arms and sat up. Nandi tried to join her but her still healing wound protested and she had to remain lying on her back. She couldn't tell this story from that position.

"Kenzi, my love, can you get my nurses? I need to sit up." She requested and Kenzi nodded before she went to the door and whispered to the Fae who was stationed outside the door to cater to Nandi's needs. The Fae made a gesture and another joined her before they gracefully moved around Kenzi and in the time it took Kenzi to cross the floor Nandi was sitting up as much as she could and had a tray with water and some broth in front of her. Damn, they worked fast. Once Nandi was settled she sent them away and Kenzi joined her on the bed again.

"Eat your lunch, you can tell me after we see how you react to this." Kenzi told her and smiled as her lover took a small sip of the broth that Kenzi had been assured was full of healing herbs and proteins so Nandi would start healing at a better rate. Kenzi didn't know why but the garnets weren't working so unless she was willing to let Nandi go out and drain a sailor or something she'd heal almost human slow and she'd chosen to go that route rather than hurt Kenzi.

"I can tell you my story while eating. I met Bongani in 1931, he was just a young boy. His father was my father's link to the people. He made sure things ran smoothly for him and was completely loyal to my father. He was the opposite of his son. Bongani was reckless and headstrong. He wanted the true Africans to rise up against their oppressors and take back South Africa. His feelings became even more intense when he was sent to school in Switzerland and received an education that rivalled the best and brightest in Johannesburg, in fact he surpassed them. I've never met anyone as aggressively intelligent as Bongani before or since. Anyway, when he returned from Switzerland he returned a tall, strong, brilliant man with the most beautiful eyes I'd ever seen. The moment he stepped off the plane I felt my heart begin to beat for him. I found out what it meant to have a true mate, to truly give your heart to someone. He felt similarly but he was stubborn and I was a white South African, I was the enemy." Nandi began telling their story and smiled, remembering every joyful moment in their lives together. "For two years I worked at his side, enduring any and all things to be close to him. One night we got in a vicious row over the wording on a pamphlet I printed, calling for an end to the segregation. He realized the only way he could shut me up would be to kiss me and that was it. He couldn't deny me anymore. After that he decided to show his contempt for the laws by going everywhere with me and showing affection. We were arrested and jailed at least a dozen times but all I had to do was give them my name and we were free. The Dark Fae didn't like me with a human but, due to my place and my father's relationship with Eofric's successor, we were spared scrutiny or punishment."

"Soon after that we were married and had many happy years together as we fought for desegregation and an end to Apartheid. It all started to crash around us when Bongani developed leukemia. The human doctors didn't know what to do and he didn't want Fae treatment. For a year I was afraid to lose him, then Helen, sweet, sweet Helen, told him she didn't want to live in a world without her Daddy and he agreed to seek help from my side. Evony, my truest friend in this world, scoured the world for something to cure him and she found a mystic in Nepal who gave Bongani a treatment that cured him. The catch was that he had to truly desire to live and it would cure him. It worked until Helen was taken from us. Once Helen took her life Bongani lost the will to live and began to fade. Nothing could get him back to me and he died in my arms. I never thought I was going to get over his death and had resolved myself to living in a world dulled by the loss of what I felt with him. I was going through the motions for fifty years... until I met you." Nandi smiled and reached up to caress Kenzi's face and Kenzi smiled as she pressed her hand to the hand on her cheek. "You showed me what it was to live again and I'll never be able to truly thank you for that."

Kenzi continued to smile as Nandi finished her lunch. Neither spoke as they digested everything that was confessed and explained. Nandi had to resist her urge to kill the man that hurt Kenzi so and forced her from her home. In the past Nandi had killed for far less and this killed her, but Kenzi wanted him spared and Nandi loved Kenzi far too much to refuse her. Kenzi was too overwhelmed to speak as she replayed Nandi's words. Her life with Bongani seemed like the plot of a movie, they'd overcome forces trying to keep them apart and fought an entire country's oppressive laws. They'd even flaunted their love in front of the Dark Fae and it made them strong. If only Helen had survived, then Nandi wouldn't have lost everything. As she looked at Nandi she remembered the other bit of information her lover had given over quickly. She hadn't felt the same love and desire for anyone before or after Bongani, until Kenzi came into her life. It was flattering and terrifying to know that she had Nandi's heart in the palm of her hand. She hoped she didn't screw it up.

Once Nandi fell asleep Kenzi got out of bed and slipped on her boots. She still had a lot to think about and Nandi needed her rest. She decided to go spend time with Cocoa or see if Lucy or Hannah were free to go with her to the wardrobe room. She needed a new hoodie and knew for a fact that there was an entire closet dedicated to them but she still didn't know how to navigate the whole "take whatever you want" thing. After she quietly closed the door she started down the hall ut stopped abruptly and grinned when she saw who was walking toward her. As the hunchbacked man approached her a similar grin stretched his face.

"Kenzi! It is so good to see you. I'm glad you're spending some time here, I'm sure your presence is the reason Nandi is healing so quickly." He took her hand between his spider-like appendages and nodded. "Yes, the love of a good woman does a lot to heal the body as well as the heart."

"I have a question about that Simon. Why isn't Nandi using the stones to heal herself?" Kenzi asked and Simon frowned.

"She no longer has her anchor stone implanted my dear. It had to be removed in order for her to compete in the Trials. Once she's well enough to expend the energy and perform the sacrifice she'll be able to be implanted again. Until then the only thing that would heal her wounds would be to completely drain some poor soul, or engage in a healing session with another Fae. Despite our pleas to her she will not do that. Her love for you prevents her from seeking another, even to heal." He finished quietly and Kenzi lowered her eyes.

"You think I'm wrong to want Nandi to myself?" She asked and Simon shook his head.

"No darling, merely...romantic...I do not begrudge you your desire for faithfulness, nor do I have anything but respect for Nandi's resolve. I have watched her love and lose and I would rather have her love than lose you any day. Now, I must go conduct a test of her blood to report to the Morrigan. Is there anything else you'd like to know?" He asked, wanting to allay her fears.

"One more...Did you know her husband?" Kenzi wanted to hear about her predecessor and Simon smiled and nodded.

"Yes, I knew Bongani well. He was a bit headstrong and rebellious but a kinder, more generous man you'd never meet. He was a lot like you actually. He cared for others above himself and was fearless in the face of disapproval and danger. He knew who he was and refused to compromise. I think Nandi saw these traits in you and felt that kinship. She loves you for who you are but her heart heard that echo and responded." Simon told her as he patted her hand gently then extracted his own.

"Was she really broken?" Kenzi asked before he could move away and he cast down his eyes in a fleeting moment of sorrow.

"She was a husk, she refused to feel anything for years after she lost them. Not joy or pain nor fear or love. She just went through the motions. Eventually, she started to heal but only recently did she start to truly live as she once did and love with abandon. You're to thank for that." He nodded his farewell to her and moved down the hall while Kenzi moved and clutched the wall.

As she slid down it she felt herself overwhelmed by what she'd just been told. This was too much, she couldn't be the catalyst to Nandi's sanity, she had too much baggage of her own. As she felt her breathing start to quicken and knew hyperventilation was just around the corner. She'd felt this before and at that time there'd only been one option and that had been to run and it had been the right choice. Thinking back on that she did the only thing she could think of, she got up off the floor and started walking, letting her feet pick the path. She fond herself in the closet at the foot of the stairs and once she had her coat and bag her feet moved her to the door and when she was outside she took out her phone. As Bo answered Kenzi had tears in her eyes when she spoke.

"I need you to pick me up Bo, it's all too much right now. I need to go home." As she hung up she started walking. If she was lucky she'd be at the end of the driveway as Bo got there. If not she'd just start walking down the road. The only place for her at the moment was away from there and she wouldn't stop until she got home.



Author's Note: So sorry for the long delay. I was dealing with a revelation about myself as an author and lost some of my drive. I also found it nearly impossible to incorporate the world of my story with that of the show. It's a problem I have with many of my stories and my new solution is to abandon the show and write something original. I'm considering that route here. I still want certain things to happen but I don't want to be restricted by the constraints of the show. I'm considering writing a couple of bridge chapters that incorporate the show but spend the majority of the rest of the story after the events of season 2. Please let me know what you think. Also, I'm sorry for the vast blocks of text, but I couldn't find a better way to break them up. Anyway, I hope you liked this chapter and thank you so much for reading and reviewing.