Fantasy Island and all associated characters (except mine and MagicSwede1965's) are owned by Spelling-Goldberg Productions, Columbia Pictures Television, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. All persons described herein are fictional and any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. Copyright infringement is not intended.

Chapter 7: Looking Ahead

16 November 2014

Andrea stood silently next to Roarke as the breeze ruffled their clothing. She had teleported them down to Coral Beach on the island after they'd left the meeting chamber, and reverted to her human form. Night had fallen while they'd been in the Realms; the sky was star-studded, but it would be hours yet before the waning moon rose. Roarke sighed sadly, opened his mouth to speak, but instead turned to embrace her roughly as his earlier bravado dissipated and the enormity of what had happened that day cascaded over him.

She tightened her grip on him and tried to send reassurances through the link, but he rebuffed her. And no wonder. Right now, it appeared that he'd been soundly rejected by his own people. All the painful sacrifices he had made, all the hard work he had done, had amounted to little. He was feeling cast adrift, for the moment without a purpose.

"This was your purpose, and your home, first," she told him. "This island, these people, will always be yours. I will always be yours. Besides, I believe that you have more allies among your people than you might think."

He breathed deeply and said, "I wish I could share your optimism at this moment."

"Come now, aroha, where's that vaunted faith of yours?" she asked gently. "Whoever attacked us is almost certainly undergoing the consequences. Tomorrow will be a new day, and hopefully those who are more supportive of you will make themselves known. Until then…"

Roarke loosened his hold to gaze at her. "Until then?"

With a loving smile, she said, "We can just be…" she shrugged, "…us. I could go back to my regular life, and you could do whatever you want."

"As to that," he said, "there's something that I did want to discuss with you and my family. Let's go to the main house; it's likely they'll still be at dinner."

She joked, "Do you think there'll be leftovers? I'm famished."

His laugh was music to her ears.


The family was indeed gathered on the house's veranda when Roarke and Andrea arrived. Although it was dark, the air was still warm and the lights from inside gave enough illumination. "It's great to see you both," Leslie said with a relieved smile. "We were all worried. Please." She indicated that the pair could sit with them.

"The situation is under control for now," said Roarke as he sat down. "We have a brief respite while those in the Realms debate the new information that they've received." He gave them a quick summary of what had occurred, but left out the details of the encounter with Rosanlodar. They didn't need to know that, not yet.

Concerned glances passed around the table, but they seemed to understand that all they could do now was wait and see what the results would be. Julie, however, was excited. "You told off the entire Realms? How could you be so brave to even do that?"

Andrea thought for a moment. There were many ways that question could be answered, most of which would be too flippant or too frightening. "This should tell you how. There's a place I know of where applicants to their most prestigious school must look upon the raw power of space and time in order to be deemed worthy of admittance. Some are inspired to do great deeds. Some run away and never stop running. And some go mad." She smiled before continuing, "I possess the raw power of space and time. I haven't run from it or gone mad. When I showed Roarke, neither did he."

They were all silent for a while as the meaning sank in.

"Which reminds me, Father," said Leslie hesitantly, "I need to know: what happened to you when you heard that Andrea was missing? Your eyes turned blue and it was like you became a totally different person. It scared me." Her statement caused everyone at the table except Andrea to stare at him.

Roarke's startled nudge to the link told Andrea that he would need her help to explain it. Even he apparently hadn't been fully cognizant of his actions at the time. "As I've already explained to all of you, elementals are creatures of energy and emotion, held in check by willpower. At times of high stress or intense emotion, that spirit can sometimes override the will. You all must remember seeing me flare up after Roarke went missing back in the summer." She called out her silver aura for an instant.

"Aye, scared the dickens out of me," Rogan commented. "And I don't scare easily."

Andrea went on, "Such a display, as well as the change in eye colour, shows that the elemental aspect has taken the forefront. It's an instinctive reaction to an emotional stimulus, and while under the influence, the person might act in ways that they otherwise wouldn't – not dissimilarly to having drunk too much alcohol. I can bring it out at will because I've had decades of experience." She paused and then continued, "Leslie was there, back in June, when I imbued Roarke with an elemental spirit in order to save his life." Christian's nod indicated that he'd been told of that day, but the reactions of Rogan, Julie, and Delphine showed amazement.

"Yes, I recall your showing one to us," Christian mused, "and then asking me for Mr. Roarke's watch to use as some form of temporary repository."

Roarke withdrew said watch from his waistcoat pocket and held it up. "This stays with me at all times," he said. "It now acts as a stabilizer of sorts. However, according to Andrea, because I've only been in this state for a few months, I'm more likely to lose control." His voice took on a note of repentance. "That, unfortunately, is what happened to me earlier. Due to that, I have difficulty remembering everything between the time that Kekipi said Andrea had been taken to the Realms, and when I battled with the one who had taken her. You know me to show anger quite rarely, but now it could become more frequent, and thus be alarming. Please accept my assurance that even in my worst temper, I would never harm another person, least of all any of you."

Andrea saw nervousness cross their faces and said quickly, "That's one reason why he's been with me fairly often lately. The situation in the Realms had been causing him so much stress that he needed extra help to remain stable. When I was taken, that proved to be too much for him. Fortunately, like he just said, he has such a strong ingrained code of honour that he won't hurt anyone."

Julie asked, "Andrea, have you ever lost control?"

"Every elemental host loses it at least once in the early days," she responded blandly. "The one time I did, enough damage was done to make me redouble my efforts to learn restraint." She put a hand on Roarke's shoulder affectionately. "I've every confidence that Roarke will be able to master it soon."

Delphine finally spoke, "In light of all that, we have a proposition for you."

"Oh?" Roarke asked in his charming fashion.

Andrea glanced at her partner. "What is she referring to?"

With a big grin, Leslie said, "Father has suggested to us that now that he has his full power back, he might be willing to run the resort again."

Andrea gasped and her heart plummeted, causing her partner to wince at the sudden chill in their special bond. "Might?" she whispered. She clenched her teeth; she should be happy with this news, so why was she feeling so dreadful?

He turned to her. "Mi amada, I have not yet made any firm decision, especially given what's currently happening in the Realms. I had only inferred–"

"Don't think I don't know what that would entail," she interrupted, her voice shaking. "You would once again be subject to the conditions that were imposed on you for the use of certain powers, right? You would be unable to leave here without bearing the consequences!"

"My dear Andrea," he said in a reassuring tone as he took her hands, "that's no longer true."

She gaped at him. "What?"

Leslie said, "Blue told us that the benefactors who had provided those powers are all gone now. And when the Tribunal took Father back in 2010, nobody thought to apply the restrictions to either Rogan or Delphine when they took over."

Delphine nodded and said, "Both of us noticed that we were able to teleport off-island, and we figured it was safer at the time not to mention it to Blue, just in case." She gave a sheepish smile.

"I doubt the conditions would've been applied to you in any case," Roarke said. "It was my understanding that they were meant for myself alone." He gave a wry chuckle at their awestruck faces. "Yes, at last I may speak of it. When I expressed my intent to remain on this island and create the resort, those of the Realms whom I was in contact with at the time, the benefactors included, were quite incensed. My father also would not relocate to the Realms the first time he was asked, and evidently their grudge against him was carried over to me. Since I refused to leave the planet, the island effectively became my prison. The endowment of those powers that I didn't already possess was what humans would term as sweetening the deal."

"Oh, wow," breathed Leslie. "No wonder you didn't want to answer when I once asked what would happen if you tried to leave."

"My child, I chose not to answer then because I didn't want to burden you with more than what you already had to accept. The edict was that if I left the island, I would cease to exist in this form, in the way that those on the island knew me. The sole exception was for conducting necessary business on the islands of the nearby archipelago, and even then, only briefly. Knowing the scope of the benefactors' powers then, I had little temptation to test that directive."

Andrea squeezed his hands. "When I heard about that, I assumed that if you left, you would be stripped of your powers and become an ordinary, mortal man. From the sound of it, I don't think even you knew exactly what might happen." Then she smiled a little sadly. "You're finally free now, you are whole, you can go anywhere. I think you deserve it, after all that you've been through. Forgive me for asking, but why would you want to rechain yourself to this place, as beautiful as it is? You would be far too busy with the added responsibilities to have much free time, either to attend to your people or to visit me."

The rest of the family was quiet as he sighed and let go of her hands. "As you've already noted, this island is my home. The fantasy-granting business gave me much fulfilment despite the difficulties that went along with it. Delphine might want to retire in a few years. Rogan has no desire to handle the fantasies on his own, and his son Rory, although fourteen now, is still too undisciplined. For the moment, I am the only other person who can do it."

"I know that, but…" She struggled to find the right words. "I guess I've become a bit too possessive, like your Realms folk."

With a slight wistfulness in his tone, Roarke said, "You told me once that you were willing to sacrifice your other life to be with me permanently. Is that no longer true?"

She rounded on him, "You know better than to ask me that! I just wasn't expecting this so suddenly; I am not ready to give up my other life." Then she flinched as he looked at her with such a shocked and forlorn expression as she'd ever seen.

"Not even for our love?" he asked quietly.

Unable to form words, she stared at him. It was the same question that Julie Mars had once asked of him, and he had renounced that love rather than thwart her ambition to continue her dancing career. Squeezing her eyes shut, she rose from the table and turned away. Her first impulse was to teleport directly home, but that would be extremely rude. Instead, she said, "Please excuse me, I have some thinking to do," and left the house.

A few seconds of silence passed before Delphine asked, "Shouldn't you go after her, Uncle?"

He shook his head. "No, going now might make matters worse. She was correct, this was brought upon her too quickly, particularly after all that has occurred today. She needs time."

Leslie stood up and moved around the table to put a reassuring hand on his arm. "Maybe, but she also needs you. No, scratch that. You need each other."


Andrea strode down the lane angrily and blocked the mental link so that Roarke couldn't read her emotions. Had he talked to her about his intention sooner, it might not have been as difficult to deal with, but this was still galling. Logically, she knew that he was being prudent to explore his options now that there was a high probability that the rift between him and his people was insurmountable. Returning to the island on a more permanent basis made sense.

She loved Roarke so much that it hurt, but she wasn't prepared to walk away from the life that she had painstakingly built, even for him. She'd told him that at the right time, she would discard that part of her that was still human and become a full elemental. It wasn't as if she wouldn't be able to return and visit her loved ones after the transition, but the issue was that her form would remain static, which would be noticed after a few years. Everyone she knew would age and die, while she would not.

There was nobody here who could advise her. She wanted to get away for a while. Far away.

Taking a deep breath, she was about to assume her elemental form and teleport off the planet, when a memory stopped her. When she was younger and more impulsive, she would frequently leave in secret whenever life got too stressful, to travel with her wanderer friend among the stars. For some reason she found it easier to battle evil aliens than to deal with mundane human matters. She would return mere moments after she left as far as Earth was concerned, when in reality she had been away for weeks or even months. In her elemental form she didn't age, so the time was as nothing.

But she was older and wiser now. Being an adult meant taking responsibility and not running away from one's problems. Especially now that she had the bond with Roarke. If she left, the link would weaken considerably and they'd be unable to communicate with each other, as had happened when she'd been abducted. She couldn't do that to him again.

As if on cue, Roarke came up behind her. "I had hoped you wouldn't leave right away," he said. "I do owe you an apology for addressing this so soon after we'd both had such a traumatic experience."

She stopped walking but didn't face him. "Apology accepted."

"You reminded me recently that you and I have the power to change the world." He walked in front of her and smiled. "This island was my vision, my method of enacting that change. Every person who has come here was changed in some way. They in turn spread that change to others, like ripples in a pond. Yes, such movement is slow and often unseen, but is much more meaningful than anything that's imposed from the outside."

With a nod, she said, "I have the power to physically travel in time, and I could quite literally influence the world on a massive scale. That knowledge is an enormous weight. Do you want to know why I didn't simply travel back a few years and reconnect with you before the Tribunal took you away?"

His eyes were full of understanding. "Because our trials since then wouldn't have been experienced in the same way, which in turn might not have enabled us all to become as strong as we are now." He lifted one hand to her cheek. "And our relationship wouldn't have been as fulfilling."

"Exactly. Besides, the world that exists now, for all its faults, has the people that I love in it, and I wouldn't change that for anything." She hugged him. "That's a large reason why I crave my human life so much at times. I worked hard for it and I have a comfortable home. It's a stability that I can return to after dealing with the chaos out in the universe."

"Yes, I've seen how much you appreciate it." Despite his attempt to control his voice, a slight tremor was still audible. "I can help to provide you with that stability here, mi amada. This island could be your home too; you already spend weekends here and have become well liked among the people." He held her at arms' length and regarded her lovingly. "You've made your wishes abundantly clear, but please know that my wish, my fantasy if you will, is to have you at my side forever."

Her mouth dropped open as she realized what he was asking, and what he was willing to forsake to build a new life for both of them, in the shadow of the responsibilities that neither of them could truly escape in the end. Together they were stronger, which they had proved several times. They could do so much more, and be so much more. Dropping her eyes to the ground, she said quietly, "You were given a year to prepare for your transition from one life to another." Then she lifted her gaze back to his face shyly. "Would you give me a year to prepare for mine?"

Roarke took in a swift breath as a look of hopefulness crept across his face. "What are you saying?" he whispered. Even though he already knew what she meant, he needed to hear it.

She took his face in her hands and dropped the block, allowing him to feel her again. Nervous anticipation and a profound love poured through. "I'm saying yes, aroha," she breathed. "Let's make our own reality."

Their auras flared into brilliance as he swept her up and kissed her passionately.

THE END
Sailor Chronos
March 2021

Thank you to the following people:
My husband, as always, for his support.
My beta-readers Doc0157 and MagicSwede1965.
Gene Levitt, for creating the world of Fantasy Island to dream in.
And of course, Ricardo Montalbán, for bringing the character of Mr. Roarke to life.

References

Chapter 1: The characters of Leslie Hamilton, Christian Enstad, Rogan Callaghan, Blue, Endimara, and Jeskriyan are borrowed with permission from the works of MagicSwede1965/SusinaSkye.
Chapter 1: Roarke's god-daughter Delphine and her husband Greg Randolph appear in S4E20 Delphine/The Unkillable.
Chapter 1: Roarke's god-daughter Julie is introduced in S5E1 Show Me a Hero/Slam Dunk.
Chapter 1: The story of the assistant Kekipi is told in MagicSwede1965's work "To Defeat A Demon".
Chapter 2: The conversation between Mr. Roarke and Mrs. Lee was partially inspired by scenes from S7E13 Lady's Choice/Skin Deep.
Chapter 2: The circumstances of Jeskriyan's kidnapping are told in SusinaSkye's work "The Dream-Walkers" on FictionPress.
Chapter 3: Reporter Christine Connolly tried to prove Mr. Roarke a fraud in S6E6 The Beautiful Skeptic/The Lost Platoon.
Chapter 4: "The gods use their chosen hard" is a quote from the novel Naamah's Blessing by Jacqueline Carey.
Chapter 4: Guests became superheroes for a weekend in S2E8 Return/The Toughest Man Alive and S3E23 Eagleman/Children of Mentu.
Chapter 5: "Small words from a small being" is a quote from the movie Star Trek: First Contact.
Chapter 5: "Whatever happens to you, happens to both of us" is a quote from S7E18 Mermaid and the Matchmaker/The Obsolete Man.
Chapter 6: The scene where the Realms folk dismiss Roarke was inspired by a scene from Airwolf S3E2 Airwolf II.
Chapter 6: Andrea's "You, however, are ours" speech is a paraphrase of a speech given in Person of Interest S3E12 Aletheia.
Chapter 7: The speech about the students who must look upon the power of space and time is in reference to a scene in Doctor Who SR3E12 The Sound of Drums.
Chapter 7: Roarke renounces his lover Julie Mars in S7E5 The Butler's Affair/Roarke's Sacrifice.