Rock of Ages Past--Part 20
Copyright©1999-2001 Elaine L. Becker

                                                                            All Rights Reserved

DISCLAIMER: This story is an original creation and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, real or fictional are unintentional. Any words to any songs or any poetry used in this story are attributed to their original artists in the story itself. Television and/or radio programs that are referred to in the story are not to my knowledge, real program content, but created by me solely for use in this story.
This story is about two women in love and may contain language or sexual scenes unsuitable for children or others who are easily offended by material of this nature. This is a story about same gender relationships. If you have a problem with same gender relationships, you should probably see your therapist. Hate is an illness that love can cure.
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Part 20

    Finian knew that the old Irish/Gaelic language was on its way out during the late fifteen and sixteen hundreds and that the king's English was being forced on the Irish people.  It was during these years of the uprisings, when the English Protesters effectively removed the Irish aristocracy and it's institutions and implemented the king's law and language.  So, she guessed that English would be spoken and understood in Caer's world. 
    After her very physical, if not in the flesh communication with Caer, Finian had begun to think about the backpack that she had left behind on her unexpected rescue mission to Caer the night of Summer Solstice.  She wondered if Caer had found it and then wondered at her reaction to the items it contained.  When Finian remembered the books that she had been carrying, she began to wonder about her ability to be able to communicate with Caer when they were united.  Would Caer be able to read the books that had been in her backpack?  Or would they be unintelligible to her?  She wanted to be able to talk to her, to tell her who she was and how she had missed her, to tell her how glad she was to be able to hold her and especially that she would never leave her again.  But if Caer didn't know English, that might be very hard to do.
    Finian glanced up at the computer screen.  The words she saw there could have been Greek for all she could understand of them.  "How in the Goddess' name am I going to learn this?"  She thought dismally as she stared at the unfamiliar words.
    The first thing she noticed was that the order of the words was different than English, sometimes making the sentence sound silly when spoken in English.   For a moment, Finian panicked.  What if she couldn't communicate with Caer?  What if she couldn't even say her name right?  Even if she learned certain words in Gaelic, if she put them in the order we would say them in English, it probably wouldn't make any sense at all and she didn't have time for a full course in ancient Gaelic.  Samhain was only nine weeks away.
    Finian hoped that Caer, by some remote chance, at least knew some English.  She felt, somehow that Caer was interested in or had something to do with communicating.  Maybe she was a writer, or a teacher.  She knew that she could sing; she had heard her songs. 
    Suddenly Finian remembered hearing her name being called across the void of time.  She knew that what she heard sounded like her name being called in English, with a definite accent, but she couldn't be a hundred percent sure that it was with her ears she had heard it.
    She wondered for a moment about language to the soul.  Was it like time?  All language being one and understood by all, no matter the mother tongue of the physical body?
    Finian looked back at the strange words on the screen.   "Dia duit, Tá mé Finian."  She said, softly.  She didn't know if she got the pronunciation any where close to what it was supposed to be, but it was a start, just in case.  She would learn some basic need words and hopefully a few phrases and pray to the Goddess that Caer at least understood English even if she didn't speak it.  Finian thought that she would be able to teach Caer English, easier than she could learn Gaelic. 
    She saved the page of basic Irish Gaelic that she was looking at and shut down her computer.  If meeting Caer in the flesh were going to be anything like it was in the astral, there probably wouldn't be much need for the spoken language in any tongue.  With that thought lingering in her mind, Finian made her way toward the kitchen with the sole intent of appeasing her grumbling stomach. 
    The sudden  ringing of the phone interrupted both her thoughts and her objective as she stopped short in the arched doorway and stared at the source of the intrusion.  A quick glance at the digital clock on the front of the answering machine and a hint of intuition, told her it was probably Michelle calling.  It was her best friend's lunch hour and it had been quite a while since she had seen or talked to her or Bobbi and the same amount of time since she had gotten any calls at this time of day.   Finian bit the bullet and pulled in a deep breath as she walked toward the phone and picked it up.
    "Wow!  Is it really you?  Damn, Finian, I had my speech all prepared for your machine.  After all, it's the only thing I ever talk to lately, when I call you."  There was more than a hint of sarcasm in Michelle's voice and Finian had to quickly decide how she was going to respond.
    "Hi, Mich.  I'm really sorry I've been so out of touch lately, I have been really swamped with work, but I've finally got some free time this evening.  I just wrapped up my latest project and was getting ready to call you to see if you guys wanted to get together later for coffee, but you beat me to it."  Before Michelle could respond, with what Finian expected would be a sarcastic comment, she added, "Thank the Goddess, summer's over.  Remind me next year not to accept any teaching jobs, would ya?  With all the articles and travel brochures I've been working on along with the teaching, I haven't had time to have a life and I miss it, dammit.  I miss you and Bobbie.  So, what do you say?  Coffee?" 
    Somehow, Finian had managed to make Michelle forget that she had been the one to initiate the call and stunned at Fin's quick and sincere sounding request to get together, Michelle found herself at a rare loss for a derisive comeback.  She realized that she had really missed Fin and that she didn't want to be upset with her anymore.  She had been feeling very left of out her best friend's life and that was not a feeling that Michelle enjoyed.
    "Ah, yeah, sure, Fin.  That sounds great.  Our place or yours?"
    "Why don't you and Bobbie come up here?  That will leave the mess for me to clean up instead of you two working girls."  Fin tried a hint of humor as she noticed her friend's flustered reply. 
    "Okay, sure.  How does seven sound?"  Mich quickly recovered from the shock of how easy this was going and decided not to ruin the mood with one of her biting comments.  She really did miss her best friend and she decided to leave it alone and be grateful that Finian seemed to be back to her old self; at least for the moment. 
    "That sounds perfect," Fin said.  "I'll have fresh ground hazelnut brewing and Mich?" 
    "Yeah?"  The other woman responded.
    "I really am sorry that I have been so elusive.  Don't say anything yet, let me finish," Finian said, before her friend had a chance to interrupt and remind her of just how evasive she had been.
     "I want to tell you what has been going on since that day I found the book lying on my living room floor, and I'd like to do that tonight, but you have to promise me to be open and non-accusatory, in the sense that you think I am feeding you a line of bull in order to cover something else.  If you can promise to be quiet and let me tell you what has really been happening, I'd really like to share it all with you.  I really have missed you, Michelle, and Bobbi, too.  I have to warn you, though, it's not going to be an easy story for you to hear and believe.  But you will have to trust me when I tell you that it's all true and you will have to wait a while longer to see it all come to pass.  Can I tell you and Bobbi what has really been going on and what is still going to happen and will you believe me no matter how bizarre it may sound?"  Finian stopped talking and did not have to wait long for the surprisingly quiet response.
    "I'd really like to do that, Fin."
    "Okay, good.  I just have a few requests, ground rules, I guess you could call them."  She tried a weak stab at humor, relieved at the ease of how this was going, before continuing.
    " No interrupting me to ask questions.  You can ask me all the questions you want to after I'm finished.  No comments or sarcastic remarks if you hear something that you don't believe, just ask me about it and I'll do my best to try to explain.  They're probably the same things that I didn't believe at first, either.  And I'm telling you right now, before tonight happens, Marty is nothing more than a friend who has helped me understand and know that what has been happening is real.  So, I'd really appreciate it if you didn't imply at any time tonight, that there is something between her and I.  You'll know the truth soon enough, Mich, trust me."  Finian softened her voice with her last statement.
    "I do, Fin.  I do trust you.  I'm really sorry.  I guess I just got so excited at the idea of you actually 'seeing' someone, that I went a little crazy.  When you started talking about all the bizarre things that were going on, I thought you were feeling inhibited about it or something and embarrassed about talking to me.  I thought you were lying to me and I thought that I could get you to tell me the truth if I kept pushing.  I'm really sorry I didn't listen.  But I will, I am."  Michelle's voice was very subdued. 
    "Okay, then, sweetie, I'll see you guys tonight.  Don't forget that promised delicacy."  Finian reminded her, teasingly.
    "Oh, I won't, no problem there.  I don't let any reason for indulgence slip by and I've got a feeling tonight is going to call for something extra decadent."  Michelle responded in kind, with a lighter note in her voice. 
    "See ya tonight, Mich."
    The tall, dark haired woman sat staring at the phone for a long moment before she replaced it in the cradle and continued on her search for food.  She tried not to think about the conversation she had just had with Michelle.  She didn't have a clue how and what she was going to tell her best friend and her friend's partner.  She had been feeling uncomfortable about the way things were with Mich and Bobbi but considering what was happening in her life and her own inability to believe it until Marty had helped her understand what was happening, she didn't hold out much hope that others would consider her sane when she told her story and the few times that she had tried to tell her friends about her experiences had been less than satisfying.  Michelle didn't seem to be questioning her sanity as much as she thought Finian was just plain lying to her. 
    "Well, maybe I can convince her tonight," she hoped, as she fixed herself a sandwich and headed back to her office.
Caer stood outside in the late morning sun, soaking in the warmth.  Enya was right; she had managed to get them both off to a belated start.  The sun was well on its way to midday and Caer started to get a little annoyed at her foster mother's visit for delaying all the work she needed to get done before this day was over, then she remembered that her foster mother was not the one truly responsible for the belated beginning of her day. 
    Her encounter with Finian the previous night rose to the surface of her mind.  She felt her cheeks reddening, but not from the rays of sol, as the thought of her night visitor caused her body to react in ways that she would not have imagined possible. 
    Caer suddenly felt self-conscious standing in the full sunlight.  She wondered at the feelings that were running through her body, as she turned and walked back toward her hut, feeling an overwhelming need for privacy.  She couldn't seem to control what happened to her body every time the raven-haired woman's essence entered her consciousness.  "Or unconsciousness," she whispered as the entered the doorway.
    Caer stood just inside the door, letting her eyes adjust to the dimness.  There was so much that she needed to do this day, but she was having a very difficult time staying grounded.  She wanted so much to return to that place of timelessness where she could be with Finian.  She was tired of waiting.  She wanted to be with her now.
    Unconsciously, the flaxen-haired woman brought her hand to her cheek to brush away whatever was causing the slightly ticklish feeling that was making its way down her face and was surprised to feel wetness when her fingers made contact. 
    "Oh, Finian, please don't be just a dream lover!"  Caer suddenly sobbed into the darkness of her home as she fell to her knees.
    Surprised and somewhat frightened at her own desperation and panic, Caer covered her face with her hands and willed herself to find her center and ground herself. 
    "Great Mother," she began a whispered sob, "this would be a cruel trick if what I am feeling and seeing is not true.  I know I should have complete faith in You.  You have kept me and sheltered me all of my life and as I am now learning, in many other lifetimes.  I know this in my soul, so why am I feeling so anxious now?  I feel lost without her and can't seem to hold my focus on anything else.  She is constantly in my dreams and in my waking thoughts.  I fear that I cannot maintain my good sense much longer.  I feel the connection with her so strongly, but that part of my mind that can only believe what it sees, is still whispering, telling me that Finian is all in my imagination and came to me only because of my selfish want and desire and that she cannot be here with me in a physical form.  Have I misunderstood all that has happened and all that I have believed You have shown me?  I am ashamed, Goddess, for my faltering, in which ever way I have faltered, whether in my belief or my questioning.  If only Samhain could be tonight, I would not trouble myself further when she didn't come.  Perhaps I could put my desire and my longing to rest and come to know that it was only the foolish dreams and longings of my lost and lonely soul."
    The crumpled form of the small woman didn't move as her words faded away.  She felt herself being embraced by unseen arms.  Words, whispered from an unknown direction, penetrated her being. 
    "Child, you will know the truth.  You weaken only because of your humanness and not your lack of faith.  Your faith underlies even your weakest moments and it is that faith that will carry you to Samhain and the closing of the circle.   

    Finian stared out at the woods behind her apartment building, not really seeing anything.  The coming night was beginning to absorb everything in darkness.  Michelle and Bobbie would be arriving soon and she didn't have a clue as to how she was going to begin her story. 
    On the phone earlier that day, she hadn't really thought about what she was saying when she had invited them over that evening, it had just sort of spilled from her mouth.  That's when she had realized that not sharing the last few months with her best friend had been bothering her more than she had consciously been admitting to herself.  But, no matter how much she had missed Mich, she still didn't know how she was going to be able to come across as believable, when what she had to tell her was so implausible that she hadn't even been able to wrap her own mind completely around it. 
    Finian's attention was caught by the sudden whisper of a gentle wind through the trees that were silhouetted against the indigo sky.  She found herself straining to hear the words that seemed to be whispering to her from the gently swaying shadows in the distance. 
    "The truth, child, will tell itself, if you allow it."  The words seemed to be riding on the wind and she almost saw them pass before her and disappear into the rustling breeze.
    She stood there staring into the darkness, hearing the words again, this time clearer and sounding like they were coming from her mother's lips, causing her for a moment to let her mind slip back to a time when she was innocent and honest.  It was a place that she didn't often visit. 
    She had been anything but truthful lately and it was beginning to take its toll on her.  She was now hearing voices and loud ones, at that.
    "Fin?  Finian, are you here?  Hey!  Fin wake up, it's me and Bobbie.  Where are you?"
    "Yeah, I'm here, be right there."  She called as she turned and faced the bedroom door, stopping for a moment to still her suddenly rapidly beating heart.
    "The truth.  Goddess, please help me to find the words to express what is so real and so vital to me.  Lead me to say what will be heard and accepted.  So Mote It Be."  Finian opened the eyes that she had unconsciously closed and proceeded across her room to the open door to greet her guests.
    "Mm, smells good in here, Fin, I just love the smell of your coffee?"  Michelle kissed her lightly on the cheek and headed toward the enticing smell, acting as if no time at all had passed between them since their last meeting. 
    Bobbie grinned and winked at Finian before placing the package she held on the countertop.  Once her hands were free, she walked up to their tall friend and hugged her, whispering in her ear as she did.
    "Thanks for having us over, Fin, I really think she's ready to listen.  This whole thing has been driving her crazy and she can't stand not knowing what is going on with you.  She is bound and determined that she is not going to over-react or push or get angry, so she's just going to pretend that nothing has happened and that you have some news to share with us that she knows nothing about."  Bobby squeezed her shoulder before releasing her and going back to the package she had just put down. 
    Finian gave Bobbie a knowing smile and a quick nod and walked across the kitchen to where Michelle was already filling the mugs with the steaming brew.  She reached into the fridge and pulled out the small pitcher of cream and began adding some to all of the cups. 
    Mich placed the coffee pot back on the warmer and turned to look at the tall dark haired woman who, she realized, she did trust more than anyone, besides her partner. 
    "I really am sorry, Fin.  I don't know why I acted like such an idiot.  Thank you for loving me anyhow and not giving up on me.  And I want you to know that Bobbi believed you and even tried to tell me that I just needed to shut up and listen.  I wouldn't listen to her, either.  She kept on me to just listen to you, to the whole story, just like you said, without interrupting.  And you both were right; I didn't give you a chance to tell me.  I'd like you to give me the chance to hear you, Fin."  The shorter, dark haired woman had tears glistening in her eyes when her taller friend enveloped her in her strong arms.
    "Come on, let's go drink coffee and sample whatever luscious treat you brought me and I'll give you that chance."  With that, Finian smiled, gave her a squeeze and released her, and grabbed two of the coffee cups and headed toward the living room, nodding to Michelle to follow her. 
    Finian licked the last of the luscious chocolate from her long fingers as she slowly leaned forward in the dark, leather chair.  She let her smoky blue gaze fall first into the small space between the two women who sat opposite her.  Gradually her eyes moved to meet those of her best friend's partner, then slowly shifted to Michelle's.   
    For a fleeting moment, Finian thought that maybe she should have done this on a non-work night, because she knew how many questions there were going to be after she finished telling her tale.  Her schedule was pretty much her own, but Bobbi and Michelle had jobs they had to get to and Mich was sure to have enough questions to keep them all up through the night.  Finian let a small smile slip to her face as looked across the small space.
    "Okay, let me start by saying that I know I am asking a lot from you to believe what I am going to tell you.  But, you are going to have to trust me and just listen.  Pretend I'm telling you a story."  She winked one blue eye at her best friend, who loved to tell stories when they were kids and could very seldom persuade the oftentimes too serious Finian to do more than just listen.  It was rare occasions and ones that Michelle treasured from their childhood together when her closest friend would open up and tell one of her fantastic tales of times long past. 
    Michelle remembered her promise to listen and smiled back at Finian, with a slight nod of her head.  She wasn't going to risk opening her mouth.  Finian was going to tell them a story and she was going to hear it.
    Finian glanced back and forth between the two women and started.  "Remember the night we went out to eat Chinese food?"  Michelle and Bobbi nodded in unison.
    "That was the day I spent at Mystery Hill and had my first conscious experience that something, or rather someone was happening to me."
    "Someone was happening to you?  What do you mean?"  Michelle couldn't stop the words from tumbling from her mouth.
    "Sorry, I don't mean to confuse, but that is what was and is going on.  Someone was trying to get in touch with me and she did.  That's what was happening.  I know it's not making much sense, so let me try to explain."  Finian picked up her coffee cup and took a large mouthful, using the time it took to swallow, to put her thoughts in some sort of order.  Michelle couldn't resist the suspension.
    "Like a psychic thing?  You had a psychic connection with someone and then you met?"
    "Yeah, sort of like that, but," Finian paused, "you promised to listen, Michelle."
    "Okay, sorry."  Michelle mumbled.  "I just get a little excited, ya know.  I'm listening."
    "All right then, where was I?"  Finian couldn't resist another slight pause and shot Mich a playful, admonishing look, hoping to lighten her friend's mood, before continuing her story.
    It was late afternoon when Caer finally woke up from where she had fallen in a heap to the floor just inside the small doorway.  Her first thought was that she was grateful that Enya had not come back and found her here, like this.  She would surely make Caer go home with her and would put her to bed, thinking that she had still not healed from her summer injuries.  The fact was it wasn't the physical injuries that were affecting her.  It was her emotional turmoil that was causing her such upset. 
    "Faith."  She whispered, as she remembered the words she had heard as she fell to where she now sat, having pushed herself to an upright position. 
    "I don't have anything but faith, do I?"  She questioned aloud. 
    'And the dreams.' She reminded herself silently as she got to her feet, they were reinforcement for her faith, and especially the strange sack that she had found and knew without doubt, belonged to Finian.
    She knew in her heart that the dreams were so much more than just simple nighttime reveries and daydreams.  There was a Finian and she was going to come her.  She really didn't know how that was going to happen, but she had to believe that it was.  It was her only chance for survival.
     Caer knew that her anamchara was somewhere, waiting, just as she was.   She wondered, as she pushed aside the hide that hung in the doorway, if Finian was having as difficult a time as she was.
    "Caer!" Da'an's voice carried across the small clearing of the tiny settlement. 
    The small blond woman's head snapped up at the sound of her name and she watched as her friend hurried toward her.  She hadn't spent much time with her best friend over the last few weeks and realized now, as she watched her approaching, that she had missed the newlywed.  Da'an had come by a lot when Caer was first injured and had helped Enya take care of her, but when Caer had finally healed enough from the broken ribs and other injuries, Da'an's visits dwindled as her duties as a new wife and teacher had called her and kept her busy. 
    Da'an ran the last few steps to where Caer was standing in the doorway and almost knocked the slightly smaller woman back inside when she threw her arms around her. When she felt Caer stumble, she grabbed her arms and steadied them both, before speaking.
    "Sorry, I got a little excited when I saw you.  Did I hurt you?"
    "No, I'm fine, I just didn't expect to get tackled.  You haven't done that since we were children and playing in the field."  Caer smiled warmly at her friend, partly from the memory of them both as children and more so because she was glad to see Da'an.
    "Speaking of children, that's why I got so excited when I saw you."
    "You had a memory about us as children and it got you so exited you almost knocked me down?"  Caer teased her childhood friend.  "Must have been a good one.  Was it the time we came upon Tara and Gregor making love by the sacred well?"
    "No, but it also has something to do with making love."  Da'an was enjoying the playfulness between them and decided to keep it going.  She smiled as she watched Caer's blond brow, furrow. 
    "What in the Goddess's name are you talking about, children and making love?"  Caer looked her friend in the eye and couldn't help but notice the sparkle there.
    "You're not!" Caer exclaimed as she grabbed Da'an's upper arms and looked closely at her face. 
    "Yes, you are." She proclaimed after a moment of close study.  "All the signs are there.  Oh, Da'an, I'm going to be an aunt.  Thank you.  Oh, I mean congratulations." 
    Caer pulled her best friend close and wrapped her in her arms.  "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"
    "Goddess, Caer, if I had told you any sooner, you would have known before Kennet," Da'an moved backwards out of her friend's grip, "and besides, I haven't told you a thing, you did all the talking, as usual."  Da'an grinned down at the slightly shorter woman.
    Da'an didn't think that Caer could smile any bigger, but as she said the words, "You mean I'm the first to know, I mean, the first besides Kennet?" she watched Caer's whole face turn into a smile. 
    "Yes, you are the first to know, my dear, Caer.  I just realized yesterday that I have missed my moon days for more than three cycles, almost four.  I told Kennet last eve and now you know."  Da'an beamed at her best friend.
    "Come inside, let's share a cup of honeyed tea to celebrate."  Caer grabbed Da'an around the waist and pulled her through the small doorway, noticing a fullness to her friend's middle section that wasn't there the last time they had embraced. 
    "It won't be long and one of us won't fit through this small doorway."  Caer gently ribbed the other woman as she gently pushed her toward the small table and moved toward her store cupboard to prepare the sweet, rose hip tea. 
    Da'an sat down on the stool that she knew was the one reserved for guests.  She knew that Caer's preferred place to sit was with her back to the fire and facing the opening of the small hut.  She wondered at that for a moment as she watched the small blond woman move around as she prepared the tea and a light snack.  She wondered if it had anything to do with all of the rumors of an invasion.  For even though their small village was out of the way and nearly undetectable in the dense forests, an occasionally visitor found their way and almost always had news or hearsay about the rebellion.  It seemed that everyone was a little on edge and more aware of their surroundings these days.
    Caer glanced over her shoulder at the dark, haired woman sitting at her table.  "So, let's see," she started, as she turned and placed two large, wooden cups on the small surface, "you said you are almost 4 cycles without your moontime."  The small, blond seemed to be counting on her fingers as she moved across the small space to retrieve the pot of hot water from the fire.
    "That would make me an aunt before Eostre.  The Goddess of fertility was surely watching you and Kennet on the night you jumped the fire."  Caer winked and grinned at her friend as she poured the steaming water over the herbs and honey and moved to place the hot pot back on the fire.
    Caer noticed that her friend had not responded to her light teasing and noticed as she took her seat that Da'an's face was suddenly more somber than it had been just a few moments ago.
    "Da'an, are you all right?  Did something upset you?"  Caer reached across the small space for her friend's hands, which rested on the tabletop, and at the same time forced her to meet her eyes.  "Tell me."
    After a slight pause and a long intake of breath, Da'an began, "Caer, I have known for some weeks of the child that grows within me, not because of missed moontimes, but because I knew the Goddess was with me that night.  Not to mention the changes that I have noticed in my body."  There was no teasing in the other woman's voice or words.  "She brought me a vision along with her blessing. It was a vision that I ignored out of confusion at the time.  But since I have realized that I am with child, it has been coming back to me.  I have wanted to talk to you about it, but Enya has been hovering over you like a mother hen."  This time, Da'an did smile just slightly as she let her eyes drop to the table, where their hands were still entwined.  When, after a few moments there was no response from the other woman, Da'an raised her head and noticed a far away look on her friend's face.
    Caer's mind had immediately flashed back to her dream of standing on the bow of a large boat with a tall, dark-haired woman, heading into the unknown.  For a long moment, she let herself enjoy the image of the woman that mention of the dream had conjured up. Da'an's voice brought her, almost reluctantly, back to the present.
    "Caer, when your Finian has arrived and the rebellions begin to intensify, because they will, and she takes you to her homeland, I will take my child and go with you to the new world." 
   "When the vision from the Goddess came, even though we were," Da'an blushed slightly, but continued without a pause, "as one, I did not see or feel Kennet's presence in the foresight that I was given.  I was shown a vision of myself, cradling a child, standing beside you and a tall, dark-haired woman, on the bow of a ship.  I fear that Kennet will not be willing or able to make the journey with us.  I know that the Goddess was guiding me to remove myself and the child from the hostilities, which are upon us here, but why do I feel that my child's father will not accompany us?  Surely he loves me and will love his own child?  He wouldn't abandon us, would he?" Da'an found herself almost pleading to Caer, as if she were the man she was talking about and not her best friend.
    Caer looked at the distress upon her friend's face and felt the tension in her hands, which she still held across the table.  Kennet was a Druid.  Caer knew that Da'an could talk to him about anything, or so she thought.  Why hadn't she talked to him about this?
    "Da'an, have you told Kennet of the dream and of your foresight?  Has he told you that he will not accompany you if you choose to leave Eire for the sake of your own survival and that of your child?"  Caer waited for the other woman's answer; while she already knew what it would be, the reasons surprised her.
    "No.  I think I am afraid of the answer.  Sometimes I think it is just best to let things happen, as they will.  Foresight can often cause unnecessary anxiety when there is nothing that can be done on this realm to alter that which must happen."
    "You're not telling me anything I don't already know."  Caer said almost sarcastically, teetering on the edge of falling into her own anxieties. 
    "Yes, I know you understand this from your own foresight.  So, if I tell Kennet and he tells me that he will not leave our homeland with me and our child, then I will begin to resent him and our time together will not be pleasant.  If he makes that decision at the last moment, when we are in such a position that we must make a choice, then it will be out of survival for our child that I leave and there will be no time for anger, only sadness and grief.  I do not want to feel those things now, with this new life growing within me.  The other thing that I could not bring myself to talk to Kennet about is, what if it's not a choice for him to go with us?  What if…?"  Da'an stopped and Caer felt the other woman's grip tighten on her hands. 
    "Da'an, if something is going to happen to Kennet, it will not do you or your young one any good for you to be fretting over something that has not yet come to pass, if it comes to pass at all.  You know, sister, that there are times when we interpret what the Goddess shows us in ways that She did not mean for us.  It is our humanness that limits our understanding of Her messages at times."  Caer freed one of her hands from Da'an's and reached out to lift the other woman's chin to make eye contact with her.
    "Perhaps, if you have to leave this place without Kennet, it will not be forever.  It may be that he will not travel with us, but will join us in the new land at a later time."  Caer tried to get her friend to look at her premonition in a different light, trying to add hope instead of despair.
    "I hope you are right, Caer."  Da'an answered her after a thoughtful pause.  "I do trust that the Great Mother leads us to where we must be to do what is essential, but I find it difficult to accept that I may have to leave our homeland without my anamchara; just as you will find yours, who may lead us away from mine."
    Caer heard the resentment that had crept into her friend's voice and suddenly she found herself feeling guilty and somehow at fault for the way Da'an was feeling. 
    "Da'an, I don't, for a moment, believe that the Goddess would sacrifice Kennet for Finian!"  Caer realized that the words had come out louder and with much more force than she had intended when she saw the shocked look on the other woman's face.
    "I'm sorry, Da'an, we are both getting ourselves worked up over things that have not yet come to pass.  In your heart and head, you have already lost Kennet, and in mine, I am afraid that I will never really be with Finian.  We are doing nothing except getting ourselves upset and that is something that you don't need to be doing, now that you are carrying my niece or nephew around in there."  Caer reached across the small table and patted Da'an's tummy as she managed a small smile. 
    "I'm sorry, Caer, but ever since I had the dream, I keep seeing it interwoven with your dream.  Finian is there, but Kennet is not.  I know it is not your fault, or Finian's fault, but I keep finding myself feeling jealous of your destiny and afraid for what I believe is mine."
    Caer rose slowly from her stool and walked around the small table to where her friend was sitting and placed her hand on Da'an's trembling shoulder.  The dark haired woman lifted her tear-streaked face and looked into the green eyes that looked down at her with pain and compassion.
    "I don't mean to make you feel unhappy about what should be the most joyous occasion of your life; the coming of your one true anamchara, but I am so afraid of losing mine."  Da'an sobbed as she rose to fall into Caer's waiting arms. 

Continued in Part 21

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