Convergence

By Gimp Hand Glasgow

Howdy-do Disclaimers: OK this is where I tell you that my surgery went very well and that I am on the fast track to recovery. The physical therapy is nasty, but I'll live. Fingertips to shoulders then push out palm up flat to the wall and again. Whoo hoo! This is a party if I have ever been to one! Hooo Yah!

The real Disclaimers: Xena, Gabrielle, Jan and Mel are not mine. Neither is Demi Moore, but that is only a fantasy. The aforementioned belong to another party. (Except in Florida where we're really not sure about any of the parties.) (Demi, on the other hand, belongs to a different party altogether.) Again, I digress. I am not making any money at this. If I were I would not have to wonder how I am going to pay for a missions trip to Kiwi land. God will provide. See? I don’t have to wonder after all. If this is not a morally clean thing where you reside, I still continue to pray. Is it helping? Please, don’t read this if it will get you into hot water. Unless of course you are bathing while you are reading and then it's fine (but not if you have your computer with you). If you are too young to deal with the thought of two, well four…no 6..7..8..9..10…anyway, lots of women and a couple of men engaging in same sex relationships, you will need to leave and wonder how on earth you got here.

The oh-my-God is that HOT Disclaimer: Sorry to disappoint, but there will be little to zip sexual content. I know it hurts you, but I'll kiss it and make it all better just as soon as I can. Then again maybe not. Cheryl has made me sign an "I will not kiss anyone while I'm gone" contract. You'll just have to wait.

Foul Language: I swear there is. So does Jan. If it offends your little lesbian/straight/gay ears read elsewhere.

Wife thing: One thing to say. Whatever.

Spoilers: YES! There are season 4 or 5 I have forgotten which by this point. If you do not wish to know what happens in the show……don’t read this. K?

The Where I am going Disclaimer: For all those who are interested I will be working with the Detour Theatre Company in Tauranga, New Zealand. They are a faith-based organization that works with mentally and physically challenged adults coaching them in drama. They also produce two plays a year. I will be working on the next project beginning in March as an interpreter for the deaf. Visit their web site at www.detourtheatrecompany.com I hope that I will be able to keep up on at least some of my writing and I promise I will finish this for my professor friend at West Virginia University. (Imagine using my writing for a teaching tool.) IF you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to my mission or to any other cause supported (Africa missions, Dottie's Kitchen, Diversity Depot) they may be sent to New Zealand Mission % The Benedictine Order of St. Michael. 3047 W 47th Ave #311 Denver CO 80211. This is not a solicitation for payment for my writing. It is a public service announcement for a charitable organization that feeds the homeless and supports missionaries. So, if ya wanna…..ghead! I will be in NZ from March 14th (their time) until August 1. If you are in, near or remotely nearby, do say "Hi" won’t you?

Thanks for all of your e-mails and good wishes! All compliments and nice comments Ok you can be critical if you want) go to Sonfire39@yahoo.com. It’s my new international addy! Wheee. Thanks again!

Enjoy!

1/18/01 kglasgow

Part 28

Taylor cleared her throat as she tried to gain her bearings and keep her dinner down at the same time. That had been one wild ride. It was no wonder Skye kept her eyes closed for the duration. It lasted only a few seconds, but it was like a roller coaster, rocket ship, and high-speed merry-go-round kind of experience.

"Wasn't that a fuckin' great time. Remind me to walk next time." Jan was bent over at the waist trying not to lose her dinner.

Melinda held her head in sympathy for her stomach. Which was churning butter into butterflies or pterodactyls, she wasn't sure which. "Maybe we shouda closed ouah ahys as well."

"Or shot ourselves in the head first. That was awful." Candace was in no better shape than the rest of them. Her hands were locked behind her head as she took deep controlling breaths.

Terra grinned at her nauseous group. "You get used to it."

"Like your girlfriend there?" Taylor pointed to Skye who was as green as the grass they were standing on.

"Well, maybe not. Sit down. I'll find some water." Even as she spoke a small cool stream of water appeared. Every eye turned in her direction in obvious surprise. "Don't look at me."

"No. Look at where you are."

The eyes that had been on Terra now turned to the masculine voice behind them. His tall frame was draped with a long black tunic that only served to accentuate the breadth of his massive shoulders. His jet-black hair shimmered like cold fire in the light of the Elysian sun. The blue of his eyes pierced the very souls of those who looked into them. The chiseled features that made up his countenance gave a hint to the true power he held in check. The helmet under his arm gave away in complete the appointment of this being. God of the underworld. Hades himself

Spencer stood from his crouched position. Vertigo from their ride threatened to overwhelm him. He had forgotten how horrible it was until you had gotten used to it. He walked to their visitor. The only real difference in their appearance was that of age and hair color. Hades was in the perpetual state of being in his early thirties. By comparison Spencer was youthful but had still lived over three hundred years. "Wow. It's a mirror."

The imperceptible shrug played at his tunic. "You are my son after all.'

Spencer nodded. "You mean your great-great-great…" His hands wheeled in the air, "grandson."

A serious look stilled the God's feature. "No. I mean my son."

Stunned silence shook the air around the group. Terran looked at his lover then to his sister. He and Skye shared a silent moment as they shared an understanding of the revelation. Candace observed the interaction with amused interest. This entire situation was getting more and more interesting by the moment.

"Well, what the hell do you know. Huh!" Jan exhaled sharply with her exclamation.

"Sweethaht, Ah think foah once you have undahstated the circumstances. If theah was evah a tahm to use the word 'fuck', now would be that tahm." Melinda shook her head in utter bafflement. This was too rich.

Spencer tried his best to understand. "But….I can't. OK. I was..no…You….I'm not. Really?" The tall blonde man couldn’t think anymore and his mouth displayed what his brain knew. It had shorted out.

Hades gave a curt nod in the affirmative. "Yes. Really."

"I think what Spencer meant in all that 'warriorese' was, how?" Taylor knew well the curse of Xena. She had suffered with the affliction all of her life.

Hades took a breath as he began to explain. "The one who was Time before him," He pointed to his son, "took me to his mother who was the most beautiful woman to ever grace the age. He owed me a favor you see, and from here," his arm presented to them the land of the Elysian Fields, "you can see into any past or future. I saw her once there, in the future. Oh! Was her beauty like that of the stars themselves?" He demeanor shifted with his memories. The small band of time travelers watched him with rapt attention. This was a man in love. "Her eyes shined the green of the clearest gems of emerald. Golden rays of sun were spun to crown her head." The group began to look around at each other. This was beginning to sound vaguely familiar.

"Did she eat like a horse?" The doctor had a way with words. The wrong way.

His thoughts interrupted, he turned to the voice that haunted him. "I beg your pardon?"

Taylor tapped her warrior foot with crossed arms. If they hadn't been in paradise itself, she would have decked her. "Jan, you just can’t leave things alone, can you?"

"Well! It’s a good question!" The doctor defended her query.

The God of the underworld tilted his head ever so slightly. "Jan, she had an appetite, if that's what you mean."

The doctor smiled at her disgusted friends. "Yeah, that's what I mean."

Hades smirked in a very Xena like and un-God like fashion. It was easy to see where the Warrior Princess got it. "That woman could eat a battle worn warrior under the table."

"SO let me get this straight….so to speak. You saw my mother, from here, in the future." The tall blonde man's finger pointed down to where they stood.

A curt nod accompanied his word. "Yes."

"Then Time before me took you there." He pointed in a general direction.

Another nod. "Yes."

"You had sex with her and TA DA! Me." Spencer was desiring to get angry for some reason. Maybe it was because his mother had struggled for years before she had met and married the man they had always known as father.

Hades pushed out his bottom lip in thought. "Close enough. That seems a little rough, but technically the truth."

"Spencer, he was in love with her. It wasn't just sex." Terran put a hand on his lovers back.

Spencer's hand went up to silence the man behind him. "What about Terra?"

Terra tilted her head. This was interesting. In the five years they had been with the Fates, the three faces had never indicated that they knew anything. "Yes, Hades. What about me?"

"Yes." Why deny the obvious now?

Spencer's face turned red. Anger that had been simmering under the surface now burst forth in a full boil. "YES? You let that FREAK Ares mess with the time line and put your daughter through HELL?" Spencer grabbed his father by the edges of his tunic. "WHAT THE FUCK WERE YOU THINKING?"

"I was thinking it was up to my son to save her." His voice was calm as he spoke to his young heir. He wanted to show the pain he felt in his heart at the words and his guilt, but he had a reputation to uphold. Now was not the time.

Spencer thought the strength of his words would knock him over. His hands dropped from their threatening position. "Me? I can’t….didn’t do anything."

Hades smoothed his cloak with his free hand. "You did all you needed to do. You told them how to use the Glass at the necessary moment and you gave up the Office when it was time. Many refuse to do that."

"May I ask a question?" Jan's voice broke the tension.

The entire band agreed on their answer. "NO!"

She tried again. "But,"

A unified voice answered again. "NO!"

The doctor's arms crossed forcefully. "Ya’ll can bite me!"

Hades turned to the doctor. "What is your question, Jan?"

"See?" She snubbed her nose at the rest of her companions. "If he is your son, and Xena is your daughter and Terra is your other daughter? Well?"

The God frowned. "Well what?"

"That makes them siblings." Jan put her hands out in explanation.

"And you went to school for how many years, Jan?" Candace giggled.

Jan stuck out her tongue and then continued with her point. "Just a thought but, he has God blood."

"Uh huh. So?" Candace wasn't getting it.

Jan sighed. She wished that everyone had her thought processes. "If he had known, he could have broken out of that stupid cell by himself."

Candace's blonde head nodded. "Right….and you're point is?"

Janice shrugged her broad shoulders. "Why didn't Hades tell him?"

The lights came on and eight sets of eyes turned to the tall man with the very blue eyes. They all wanted an explanation. Taylor liked the Gods about as much as Xena, which wasn't at all. Her icy stare dropped to frigid on the God as she approached him. Grandfather or not, she wanted an explanation. Spencer moved aside for the firefighter as she came nose to nose with the cloaked man. Hades shifted on his feet. She made him nervous. Her warrior instincts made a note of his unease.

"Yeah, grand-dad," sarcasm oozed from her voice, "why didn’t you tell your son how to escape?"

Hades covered his mouth with his hand as he cleared his throat. "s….s"

Seven frowns and one freezing stare met his mumbled word.

She knew the trick. It was herself all over. "Come again."

His stare turned as cold as hers. Had the sun of the Fields not been so very warm an ice age would most surely have begun at that moment. "Zeus."

Melinda was incredulous "Zeus told you not to tell him?"

His eyes turned to Melinda. He was still well aware of the angry woman in his face. "Exactly."

Jan dropped her arms to her side and moved in on the God. "Wanna tell us why?"

He had almost had enough. He could do away with them all and have this harassment over with, but he needed them and they were family after all. "Not really. No."

Taylor shuffled one inch closer to the God. Her voice took on a very Warrior Princess like lilt. "Sure ya do." She leaned forward until he could feel her hot breath on his cheek. "Now talk!"

All the others stared at her bold actions. Terra noted the reaction Hades was having with Taylor. This was definitely something worth taking note of. He was anxious around her. She thought she understood why.

Hades stepped back enough to meet her eyes steel to steel. "It's simple really. He wanted the time line in disarray. If Spencer remained confined, there was no repairing of it. He knows that the twilight is coming and that Eve will usher that in. How we don't know. What I know is there is an imbalance that I am unable to compensate for."

Jan frowned. "Let me get this straight…so to speak. Zeus told you…."

Hades turned his gaze from Taylor's whose never wavered. "Ordered me."

Jan nodded in concession. "….ordered you not to tell him?"

"Yes." His head hung in shame. He should have done something, but if he had tried Zeus would have let things go as they were and let the world be destroyed.

Jan shook her head in understanding. "So this is much bigger than Ares being a prick."

Hades liked the doctor. She spoke her mind and was very quick of wit. She would make a formidable opponent. "Much."

Terran finally spoke to the God directly. His kind voice brought a peace to the tense situation. "Do you know who brought us all here? I mean I know how I got here, but why? And the others. Well, you understand. Don’t you?"

The God finally stepped away from Spencer and Taylor. He moved to the center of the group with the two close on his heels. "Yes."

"Yes, you understand or yes ,you know who brought us here?" Janice saw the god hesitate.

"Both." It was hereditary.

Candace prodded him on. "Well?"

He could try to be coy and pretend like he didn’t understand the question, but he decided against it. As he answered, his voice was calm like this was an everyday thing. "Yahweh. Hashem."

Taylor's eyes widened notably. She was more than surprised. "No shit?"

The dry demeanor of his answer showed that it would be a cold day in hell should he be kidding about that. "Hardly."

"Why?" Candace moved closer.

"Because it is his world after all." By the looks that he received from his visitors, he knew that this was not the answer they were looking for. He sighed. He could never get anything past Catherine either. "I asked Him."

Melinda pointed at him in a very un-southern fashion. "YOU asked Him?"

"Indeed." He didn't see that this was unusual for them.

Taylor put up her hands. "Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. WHOA! You talked to God?"

He shrugged again. "More or less."

Spencer wanted another answer. "More or less? What does that mean?"

Hades thought the answer was more than obvious. "One does not talk to Him as one talks to a man."

Candace knew a thing or two. "Moses did."

Melinda felt that there were technicalities being passed over. "Moses saw Him in a burnin' bush and a cloud of fiah. He did not sit and convus with Him."

"I'm sorry Melinda, but he did. He spoke with Moshe face to face. In that case Yahweh made Himself seen as a man then though he is Spirit. It is quite unusual for Him to do so. I don't have that much holiness. I prayed." Jan laughed out loud. Hades looked at her as if he didn't understand her amusement. "Why do you laugh?"

"You. A God. You prayed. Come on Hades, that's a crock." Taylor practically spit her retort.

He didn't understand the doubt. "Why is it so unusual? He is Who He is. In order to make a request one must pray." He shrugged.

"Make a request? What? No worship? No thanksgiving? No humility?" Taylor had made a life of praying. She was well aware of what it took a human to get God’s attention. But then, Hades wasn’t exactly human.

Hades raised his brows in response at the assumption. "Oh, there was a great deal of humility. Believe me. It takes a great deal of crow eating for ‘us’ to speak with Him. We are the black sheep after all."

"Black sheep?" The things she was learning fascinated Taylor. Why these things had been lost over the years was a mystery.

"Most definitely. He left us here as caretakers and some of the others took advantage of that. They took advantage of the innocence He intended to remain with the mortals. Lucifer hated the fact that he was not in charge. That idiot couldn’t have been in charge of his own life let alone the whole earth. He deceived Isha and caused the ‘fall from grace’. Yahweh became so angry. Now that was a bad day."

Skye had recovered enough to get in on this interesting conversation. "Isha? Who is Isha?"

Candace answered her absently. "The wife. You know her as Eve." She had studied Hebrew like the generations before her. She had almost forgotten what she knew.

"Ah. Now I see how he could change forms. Are you like angels?" Taylor found this entire revelation absorbing. It was like a new light on old information. She had grown up with this story from the very beginning of her life.

"We are not angels. We are the Sons of God. Nephalim." Hades pointed absently while making another point. "As are the Gods of the Norse and the Romans and any other god you can name."

Melinda was becoming lost in the story she was hearing. It was like getting insider information. Suddenly a nagging question came to her mind. "Ah you created or born?"

He looked stunned by the question. He thought deeply as if searching for hidden information. "I don’t know." He shook his head as if the realization hurt him in some way. "I don’t know." A tree stump appeared as he sat down hard. His helmet dropped to the ground. Terran picked it up to handed it back to him.

"You OK?" The young healer put a hand on the strong man’s shoulder. The power of Hades Office rushed through him. Terran fell to his knees holding his hand like he had been caught in a high voltage wire.

Spencer rushed to his aid. "Ter!" He pulled him close. Terran’s eyes were filled with pain.

Taylor was close behind. She knelt next to them. She glanced at Hades as if this was in some way his fault. "Are you OK?"

Terran shook his hand and tugged at his shoulder." I..I.. think so."

"Babe, what was that?" Spencer’s voice was dripping with concern.

Taylor’s warrior demeanor went from high gear to overdrive. She approached him and poked him hard in the chest. "Yeah, ya freak of nature, what did you do to our friend?"

Terran spoke gently to the firefighter. "Taylor, it’s not his fault. He is so filled with ……it…pain…death….anger…..love. It hurt me. I felt all of it. Hades, how do you live with this?" The softhearted man was almost in tears as he spoke.

"It is how it has always been. I am who I am. I am death." He looked at all of them wondering of they understood the implications of what he had said. Blue and green eyes all looked back at him as he caught each of their gazes one at a time. They knew. Taylor’s demeanor towards him didn’t change, but her eyes showed that she had the concept of his power. He could wipe her out with merely a thought, a breath. She didn’t like him yet she conceded to his power for now.

"Nothing like having the power of life and death, eh Hades?" Taylor’s voice dripped sarcasm. She had no idea why she didn’t like him. She just didn’t.

"I do not have the power of life. I can only refuse to take a soul. Neither do I have power over death. If someone is destined to die, I am there to guide the soul to it’s destination." He remained calm and straight-forward in his manner. Taylor would not rile him if he could help it.

Terran’s heart was breaking for this ancient being. "But, your pain is from more than who you are or even what you do. Why? What is it?"

Hades’ face filled with compassion for the lover of his son. "My dear boy, if you make a list of all possibilities and name them all twice you would still not reach the end of the record. I have existed a very long time." Sadness flickered across his face as he spoke.

"You want to die." Spencer saw the look in his eyes. "That’s the reason you called on Yahweh!"

"You are correct." From his aching heart a very small smile reached his lips. His son would know him even if the acquaintance was only moments old.

"But what happens after you die. Where do you go?" Candace knew what she had always grown up with. Enoch had never died. Elijah left in a chariot. Where every one went, she had no clue. Maybe now she could get some answers.

"I go……out." His hand fluttered in the air and rose up to meet the wind.

"You cease to exist." Melinda wanted to be sure she had this right in her mind.

Blue ice met blue fire. One thing about it, his blue genes had carried on pure through the generations. "Yes."

Jan was getting the rest of the story. "And this is a good thing for you."

"I only wish to cease to exist in this realm and this office. However, my greatest desire is to become mortal and live until I live no more. But, I want to live with my wife." His voice became almost stern with conviction.

Spencer frowned. "Wife? What wife?" If this man was his father and had bed his mother, then he had no right to have a wife.

Terran caught the misunderstanding in his lover’s gaze. "He means your mother, Spence."

"My……oh."

‘True to form this one is’. Hades smiled at Spencer. "Yes. Your mother."

"So, why don’t you just give up youah godhood and become a mortal?" Melinda had read about Gods being stripped of power.

"It’s not that simple. Zeus won’t allow it. Every time I have tried, he has placed the power back in my hands. On my head." His hands held out the helmet. "It reappears in my hands the moment I try to discard it or give it away." Jan started to interrupt him. "Yes, I have lost it in the past, but that was well before I got to the point I am at now. Now I want to lose it but I can’t. This is where you come in." He looked around the group.

"You? You who exactly." Spencer didn’t know, but was sure it wasn’t any single one of them.

"That you will find out soon enough. I must go. There is work to be done. Anything you wish to have is here with only a thought. You may watch your……..friends from any pool. Then again you only think of it and one will be presented to you." In demonstration he put his hand forth and a standing basin appeared. Filling the basin was a clear shimmering pool of water.

Candace was fascinated. "You mean we can see them?" She moved to the shimmering pool.

"You can." Hades grimaced slightly. He stood partly in front of the glassy water so as to block Candace’s view.

Candace came out of her haze and looked up at the man before her. She put her hands on her hips. She pursed her lips in impatience. "Well?"

"Well what?" He was calm to her reaction.

She flipped her hand at the basin. "Do you mind?"

"Yes, I do. You are royalty, am I correct?" He raised a very Xena like eyebrow at the Regent.

Candace frowned at him. "Well, yes."

One brow joined the other over his striking blue eyes. "Do they not teach you manners to accompany your position?"

Candace’ face drew blank as she searched for his meaning. "What are you…..oh. My apologies. MAY, I look?"

He grinned slighty. "You may indeed."

"They’re just standing in the room where we left them." The blonde looked up from the scene.

"Indeed, Candace. They wait for us." Skye smiled at her dear friend.

Terra nodded at the group. "We must leave you. I am sure you are in capable hands." She looked at Hades who dipped his head. He knew these two had a long time of work ahead of them. Most of it none to pleasant, but they had each other and that would bring them home.

"Very well. Skye?" Terra held the Glass out to her partner.

Skye turned green at the thought. "OK." The grimace on her face was not well hidden.

Hades smiled slightly at her. "Spencer never got used to it either."

Spencer’s head spun quickly to catch the gaze of his father. "I did too!"

"I would care to differ, Son."

"I did, too and don’t you dare call me son."

"I have watched you for more than three hundred years. Spencer. I know you better than you know yourself. I saw your face almost every time you slipped. It was not a look of pleasure."

"Pahdon me, slipped?" Melinda hated to interrupt, but as a teacher it was her duty to get all of the exact details even when they seemed obvious.

"Slipping up and down the time line. That is what the other offices call it." Spencer answered the professor without looking away from the man that claimed heritage to him. "You watched me?"

"You are my flesh. I had no choice." The pride and emotion he held for is son screamed from his very soft voice.

Spencer had no words to say. "Of course."

"Really, we have to go. We will come to collect you in a few months. Don’t get too used to it here!" Skye smiled at the rest of the group.

Jan grinned. "Like living in paradise would be any fun. We gotta have a little more action than this!" Her hands spread wide before her. Even as she spoke, an ice cold beer appeared in her hand. "Then again, I’ve been known to be wrong." The doctor took a long draught off of her brew. She grinned widely at the taste. "Very wrong indeed."

Hades grinned. "Trouble with that Jan is you never get drunk, but there are no hangovers."

The archeologist frowned. Why drink if you never felt anything from it. "Don’t get drunk? Do I get a buzz?"

"You might. It may be different since you’re not dead. A thing you might want to remember, by the way." The tall dark man shrugged.

Jan squinted up at him. "Meaning?"

Melinda gazed hard at him. "Meanin’ you grow old and diah heah."

Jan turned her eyes toward her intended then back to the god. "And then what."

He tilted his head ever so slightly in thought. "I Don’t know. No one has ever died here."

"Got it. Don’t want this to be a first. See you soon girls." Jan waved her hand even as an audible gasp was heard from the group.

"Well……Good bye." Hades put his helmet on and made a hasty retreat.

Eyes threatened to bore holes in Jan’s skin. "Whaaaaat?"

Terra put a long fingered hand on her hip while Skye tapped her foot. The blonde answered the query. "Girls, Jan. You called us girls."

"You….we……I mean……You see..I ." Jan’s hand was busy pointing in several directions at nothing in particular. She was finding no way out. "Mel?"

"Uh uh. No way out foah you from heah." She pointed to her own chest.

Two women glared at Janice. "Were it not for the time restrictions we would thrash you soundly!" Skye was very serious.

"Well, then I am glad for that anyway. You know, I am…um….I mmm." Jan’s foot kicked at the dirt that didn’t even cause dust.

"Youah sorry, Jan. Try that." Mel nudged Jan with her toe.

The doctor looked at her. "Well, I am."

Taylor looked on in marked amusement. This was one place she had been in the past. You see they know what they are and they know how they act. But, never confuse warriors with girls and never EVER call a girl a girl to her face. She still didn’t understand the why’s and wherefore’s, but she knew the truth of it. Janice looked to her for help The firefighter shook her head. "Uh uh."

Jan looked to Candace. Even as her mouth opened in explanation, the mother to be stopped her. "Don’t tell me. Tell them."

"Fine! Terra. Skye. Mmm…sr….y" She looked up with less of a smile and more of a grimace on her face.

Terra was loving the torture. "Pardon?"

Jan tried to get testy. "I said I am sorry! OK? Geez!"

Terra laughed. "Accepted. We shall see you soon." Skye grasped the Glass and the women faded with a sparkle.

Spencer and Terran looked at each other and shook their heads. They had no idea what had just happened.

Melinda, seeing their confusion, tried her best. "No to worreh, gentlemen, this is a nomahl occurrence with women. It seems we can’t decide on ouah preferences. Either we ah women, oah we are warrioahs, but we ah neveah girls. Even though we have traits that show ouah feminine qualities, you must nevah equate them with girlhood. That is a way of saying we ah less of a person, more immatuah if you will."

The men just shook their heads. "Uh huh." It was obvious that they were not getting this.

Melinda smiled at them sweetly. She put an arm around each of them and led them to a secluded spot. "Let me explain it this way. It’s a girl thing." She grinned at her own little joke.

"Ohhhh!" The two men shook their manly heads as if they understood.

"We heard that!"

The three let out a roar of laughter! It was going to be interesting here.

=/~~~~~~~~~~~~>

Gabrielle stared in total wonder at the sights around her. It was the same reaction Skye had shown when the Fates had delivered her and Terra to the same spot not so very long ago. Xena smiled at the look of amazement evident on the blonde's soft features. Though Gabrielle had been here before, she always took in the world with new eyes. It was one of the many characteristics of her lover that touched her to the very core of her being.

Gabrielle spoke without looking at the aspects of Time. She was just too busy absorbing the sights around her. It seems she had missed so very much the last time. "India. Why are we here?"

Terra spread her hand in presentation. "This is where it all went awry."

Xena smirked at the word. "Awry, huh. You sure picked up quite a vocabulary in the past little while, Ter." Xena saw the look in the young woman's eyes and the pain there made her cringe. Terra had taken the statement in a way she hadn't meant it. She reached a hand to the tall girl's shoulder and looked her straight in the eye so there could be no misunderstanding. "Hey, that's a good thing, Terra. A very good thing." She felt the tension ease under her touch. It was amazing to her that she still held their esteem. Even after having spent time with such powerful beings as the Aspects of Fate, her opinion obviously still meant a great deal to Terra. It was a point she would do well to remember.

Terra blushed slightly. She realized that no matter how much she grew as a person or how much she would come to grow in her office, Xena would always be the one she looked to for approval and advice. "Thank you. That means more to me than I can say."

"No problem. I proud of both of you. Your job can't be an easy one." Xena gazed around as she spoke. She had been to India more times than she could count, but it never ceased to capture her imagination.

Skye thought over the words Xena had said. Their job was, to put it very mildly, not an easy one. "And we haven't even started yet."

The comment drew the attention of the former queen away from the sights that assailed her. She gazed at her friend with new eyes. "You haven’t, have you? This could all be so new to us and you could have already lived it two hundred years ago. Wow. I will have to give that some thought."

Xena gently nudged her wife with a soft shoulder. "Don’t hurt yourself, honey, Remember the ‘what are rocks made of’ conversation’?"

Gabrielle’s hand drew up to her hips. Her royal foot jutted before her and began its tapping exercise. "Yes. And I was right wasn’t I, Miss What-are-sticks-but-bits-of-wood?"

"That’s a bit long for a name, don’t you think?" Xena squinted her blue eyes as her nose wrinkled up.

The royal blonde grinned at her companion. She couldn’t resist when the Warrior Princess became cute as a bug. "Just a bit, sweetheart. I’m sure I can think of something better."

"Why do I get the feeling I don’t like that idea?" Keeping the question rhetorical, Xena turned to the women with them. She noted their amused expressions but wanted to turn to more serious matters. "Alright ladies, what now?"

Skye turned the Glass sideways and everything stopped. "Watch." She turned the instrument slightly and time began a slow motion journey. The four women watched as a tall dark woman with a lighter, smaller companion walked toward a seeming miracle. There was a woman suspended by a rope that had no support. As they walked toward it an injured man grabbed the Gabrielle woman roughly by the shoulders. It only took a closer look to see that the injured man was not truly injured. They recognized him as none other than Creighton.

"Why is he here?" Gabrielle remembered the man now. He had begged their help in getting to a healer. Xena had frowned at the intrusion but complied with the man’s request. She normally would have inspected his injuries herself, but she wanted to see the magic of the floating rope. After they had led him to his destination they returned to find the man and his rope gone.

"He is here to distract you from your course." Skye stopped time again. "Do you see the man with the rope?"

"Yes." Gabrielle replied absently.

Terra explained with great heartache who the man was. "He is Eli. He will lead you to your death."

The warrior saw a simple solution. "Then we’ll go with Creighton and just avoid him. That way we can….."

Skye’s green eyes filed with sorrow as she spoke to her friend. "You cannot, Xena. You must die.

"Must. We must die. It all sounds so final." The Co-Regent of the Amazon Nation was not about to go quietly. Little did she know that’s exactly what she would do.

Skye smiled at her dear friend. She reached out a free hand to gently touch her shoulder. "It is not Gabrielle. You will return better and stronger. And you, Xena, will bear a child from this experience."

"Right. Callisto’s. That’s even worse." Blue eyes rolled in exasperation.

"You will see." Terra assured them as best she could. "But you won’t know that until all is said and done."

"That’s what I’m afraid of." Xena took a deep breath. "Alright, let’s get this going. The sooner we do this the sooner we get back to our friends."

"As you wish." Skye turned the Glass. As the scene changed she gave Xena and Gabrielle one last word as they walked away. "Avoid the injured man."

Green eyes looked back at her. Gabrielle frowned at her in non-recognition. She pulled at Xena’s arm to point the strange sight behind her but the women were gone.

"What is it Gabrielle.?" Xena was watching a man doing an amazing rope trick.

Gabrielle’s eyes were fixed on where Skye had been standing "There was this woman, she looked like me. It was strange. She said to avoid the injured man."

Xena saw nothing as she turned to look. "Where?"

"She was there. She just sort…of…faded." Her voice faded with the word.

Xena didn’t disbelieve her. She just didn’t see anything to prove otherwise. "Uh huh. You had too much wine at lunch."

"No, Xe. Reall…." Her sentence was cut off as a man suddenly grabbed her roughly. She pulled him up as he fell. She saw a red stickiness cover her hand and realized his arm was doused in blood.

"Help me, please." The man begged their attention.

Xena frowned then looked behind them. ^Avoid the injured man.^ "Gab, let him go!"

"But, he’s….injured." The last worn was a whisper. She did just as Xena and her look alike suggested.

As the man lowered to the ground a sneer crossed his face. As suddenly as he had appeared he disappeared.

"Now, I know were not in Potedia any more." Gabrielle watched the spot where the man had lain.

"No indeed. Come on, we’ll figure this all up later. Right now I need to see a man about a rope." Xena tugged Gabrielle’s arm away from the scene. The adventure had begun again.

=/~~~~~~~~~~~~>

"I hated that." Skye shivered.

Terra placed a protective arm around Skye’s shoulder. "I know. Come on we have one more stop to make."

The two women traveled through time to a glade in the woods of ancient Greece. There a fierce battle raged between the men of Rome and the Warriors of Amazonia. A striking warrior with blonde curly locks battled valiantly beside her sisters. Her sword cut flashed as it sped through the air with grace and ease, blocking, parrying and striking her victims. The blonde was distracted by a shimmering light at her side. The man with whom she fought had frozen in his place. The frown on her face deepened as she felt a soft hand on her arm.

She spun quickly in defense. She was shocked to see her friends. "Xena? Gabrielle? What are you doing here?"

The blonde spoke first. "Ephiny, there is no time to explain. We are not who you think you see before you."

On closer inspection the Queen of the Amazons realized they were speaking true. "But…"

The tall one with the dark hair and the striking blue eyes cut off her words with the raising of her hand. "No time, Ephiny. Do no battle with the man in silver."

Ephiny looked about the scene before her. This was not normal to be sure. The men who fought and her friends who died were frozen in time. She could neither hurt them nor help them. "But, they all wear….no wait." She saw a man and knew within her soul that this was the man of whom they spoke. "Brutus."

"Yes."

But.." There was no time left. As quickly as the beings had appeared they were gone and the mle of the battle began anew. Confused only for a brief moment, Ephiny leapt back in to the battle anew. She watched the silver man come in her direction. "SENAR!"

\

The Champion was at Ephiny’s side in seconds, defending her Queen.

The man fought valiantly until he knew there was no winning the small crusade. His purpose here was to kill the queen and take hostages for slaves. With the Champion fighting the queen’s battles there was no defeating her this day. He signaled the retreat. Horns blasted in the forest glade. The men reluctantly left the killing field as the Amazons cheered their victory.

Ephiny shook her head. She knew something had changed but she didn’t understand what it was. She was alive and that was good enough for now. A deep gentle voice interrupted her thoughts.

"Are you ready, my love?" Senar saw the odd look on her lover’s face but chose not to ask questions just yet.

Ephiny put a hand to the taller woman’s cheek. "Yes, I believe I am." Senar turned to leave her side, but Ephiny restrained her. The aqua blue eyes that she had grown to adore gazed down on her.

"What is it, My Queen?"

"Thank you." The words were heart felt and came from such a depth of emotion tears sprang to her eyes.

Senar frowned. This was not like Ephiny to cry after battle. She panicked. "Are you injured?"

"No. I am only glad to be alive. For some unknown reason, I am very glad to be alive." She turned to Senar, wrapping her arms around the warrior’s broad shoulders.

Senar wrapped her arms around the slim waist of her queen. She smiled at the beauty in her arms. Though she was sweat covered and droplets of blood clung to her skin, Ephiny was a glorious creature in her eyes.

The Queen finished her remark. "And I have you to thank for it." She pulled her wife to her begging a kiss. Senar obliged her emphatically.

=/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>

The Elysian sun was warm as it always was. The birds sang as the always did and there was not a want nor worry in the whole of the land save for one small pocket of intruders. Two women watched as a blonde queen was saved from certain destruction.

"Well, I’ll be God da…"

"Janice!" Melinda gave her partner a stern warning.

"Ah hell." Janice mouthed her next sentence in the voice of every hick she had ever met. "Well gosh durn, Ma. Wood ya lookit thayut! It’s a mirakle!"

"That is not becomin’ eithah." Mel loved Janice endlessly, but there were some sayings in her colorful vocabulary that she could not accept. Taking the Lord’s name in vain was one of those things.

Jan was frustrated. "What the hell do you want me to say?"

"HOT DAMN! EPHANA IS ALYVE!" Mel shouted at the very top of her southern lungs! She danced in circles until she was dizzy.

Janice grinned at her antics. "That’s my girl!"

This would be a great day in paradise!

=/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~>

TBC>>>>

Sorry it took so long for me to post. FYI I am in Tauranga even as we speak. It was quite a trip getting here. If any of you should feel the desire to visit this wonderful place, I highly recommend it. Auckland is good for a day or two, but you must go out of the city to really appreciate the beauty. Go to Bethell’s (sp) beach if you ever get here. It is magnificent. I am going to put the pics up on a yahoo album so you can see my adventure so far! Thanks again!

kg

 


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