~ Adventure of a Lifetime ~
The characters of Xena, Gabrielle, Ephiny,Solari, Janice Covington and
Melinda Pappas are the property of MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. This
is just a work of fan-fiction and not intended to infringe on the copyright of the
"Xena Warrior Princess" TV show. All other characters in this story are mine.
Yep! There is some. But nothing that wouldn't be seen in the TV show.
This story depicts a love/sexual relationship between two women.
If this bothers you, don't read it. If you are under 18 years of age or live in a
state or country where a story like this is illegal, please don't read it. There
are many stories out there for you to read.
This is my first attempt at writing fan-fiction. I want to thank
my daughter Susan for her help. I probably never would have had the courage to
attempt this without her. When I started to write this I never thought it would
be such a long story. But it is finally finished. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I
did writing it. Any, and all constructive criticism is welcome. Just don't be hurtful.
I'm sensitive! I can be reached at : email@example.com
Irene Stevens was ecstatic! What good fortune to have been chosen to go on this dig.
Of course, it didn't hurt the fact that her professor was her next door neighbor
and closest friend. She was going to Greece!
When she started college two years ago she never in her wildest dreams thought
she would actually get anywhere with her studies let alone be picked for this expedition
to find some of the Xena Scrolls written by the bard Gabrielle. Some were found by
the two outstanding archeologists of the 40's Drs. Janice Covington and Melinda Pappas.
No one else has found anything since then.
Irene thought back to the events in her life that lead to this day. "Jeez! I never
would've dreamt I'd be even going to school let alone this adventure of a lifetime!"
Irene had been married at a very young age and had started a family right away. She
loved her husband, and he was devoted to her and their two children Bill and Nicole.
Unfortunately this happiness was not to last. Alex died of a heart attack and left
Irene to raise the kids and run the family building business by herself. The business
flourished. It seems she was quite the business woman and did very well for herself
and the children. As they grew up Bill and Nicole assumed more of the responsibilities of running the business and when Bill and Nicole had finished college Irene turned
the business over to them. She told them she wanted to go back to school and do
something entirely for herself. She had a lot of things to do. She was 50 years
old now and she still looked beautiful. She was of average height. Her red-blond hair
didn't have a streak of gray and her green eyes sparkled with the colors of a rainbow.
The kids were very supportive about her going back to school so she was very surprised
when they reacted the way they did about her going on the dig.
''Mom, How can you go traipsing off to the other side of the world? You could get
hurt or worse!" Nicole said with a shaky voice. Bill stood there and shook his head
in agreement. "Mom is this so important to you that you would just leave us?" 'So that's it ! They'll miss me. They've never known me to be anywhere but here
"Look, I'll miss you guys, but you have your own lives to live. Now it's my turn.
I want to experience everything life can throw at me. I want to be an archeologist
and travel and explore and write about it. That doesn't mean I've stopped loving
you or being there for you. I'll have my cell phone and you can reach me anytime you need
to speak to me. We'll be contact with each other I promise. But you have to understand
I need this." With that Bill and Nicole came over to her and gave her that great
big hug of theirs. "Sorry mom. We didn't understand. It's just that we'll miss
you sooo much. We were being selfish and thinking of ourselves and not you. Can
you forgive us." Bill said. Boy did she love these two. Irene looked at them and
said, "Nothing to forgive. I love you both."
Professor Leslie Powers had moved into a nice sized ranch house next door to Irene
about four years ago and on that first day Irene went to greet her new neighbor.
Little did she know that she would become best of friends with Leslie and that her
life would be changed forever. It was very easy for Irene and Leslie to talk to one another.
Almost like they knew each other forever.
They had much in common. Both women loved to ride horses, and spent many afternoons
riding together. They both like archery and were quite good at it. Leslie also
did some fencing, but Irene was rather intimidated by the blade so she was content
to watch as Leslie made quick work of her opponents. It's hard to fence with your eyes
closed. Both were about the same age, and both looked younger than their years.
Leslie was the taller of the two. She had raven colored hair and deep shimmering
blue eyes. She opened up a whole new world to Irene. Tales of her adventures on her many
digs abroad. About teaching at the college. It was Leslie that had convinced Irene
to take some courses at the college. Leslie knew Irene had a brilliant mind and
could do anything she set her mind to. All she needed was encouragement and some confidence
in herself. The confidence would come when she realized that maybe she too could
be an archeologist. Leslie was pleasantly surprised to find how proficient Irene
had become with ancient Greek syntax.
This dig was a dream come true for Leslie. She ran her hand through her shoulder
length raven hair. When she dreamed her dreams her blue eyes sparkled with excitement.
She had been moving towards this day since she went to a seminar so long ago. When
she heard Dr Covington & Melinda Pappas speak with so much passion about the scrolls.
She was hooked, line and sinker. She got every book and paper she could lay her
hands on concerning the scrolls. The doctors had published a book with all the stories
that were on the scrolls. Irene was determined to continue their work and find more
scrolls and any artifacts she could. She felt a connection to Xena & Gabrielle somehow. But that was foolishness! Or was it? By this time next week they would be on
their way. Soon they would go by plane and arrive in Athens. From there they would
head towards Amphipolis by car and meet up with the rest of the crew.
Leslie was anxious to start this new adventure. There was a temple that had been
discovered near the ruins believed to be Amphipolis. Only half of the temple had
been uncovered before the first group of archeologists ran out of money and had to
leave without any information about this very large building. 'Lucky for us . Now it's our turn.'
thought Leslie. When Leslie heard about this she immediately set about the task
of raising the substantial amount of funds needed to finish the job. It took her
two years to raise the money, but with the help of the archeology department at the
college and the Covington-Pappas Foundation she was able to get the funding. Leslie told
Irene she had a gut feeling that something extraordinary was there waiting to be
discovered. She couldn't explain how she knew. She just did. And Irene knew that
when Les got those premonitions to just go with it, because she was usually right.
Irene awoke with a start. 'Damn ! Again! That damn dream. What the hell was that?
' Her language was very colorful at times. She's had the same dream every day for
the past week! She sees two women sitting by a campfire. One with long dark hair
sharpening a sword with some kind of stone and the other one with blond hair writing
on what looks like one of those scrolls. Suddenly they turn and see her and that's when
the dream ends. She couldn't understand why she felt so uneasy... She would find
out soon enough.
Irene had asked Leslie to come over and see if she had packed the appropriate clothing
for their journey. When Leslie saw the three suitcases laden with clothes she nearly
fell over laughing. Irene was a little miffed by this response.
"What's so funny? We're going to be away for months. We'll need a lot of clothes!"
"Re, we're goin' on a dig not a vacation! You don't need all that stuff. We're going
to be living in a tent not a hotel with room service. You just need the basics hon."
'Did I just say hon? Stop that! ' '
she thought. " Here let me help."
After an hour they had whittled down the things Irene needed to take with her. Mostly
jeans and cotton pants and tops. good pair of work boots and sneakers, underwear
and toiletries. It all fit into a small suitcase and she would need to take a backpack as well. Lesley knew from experience, that the backpack was more important than
any of the other stuff. It had come in handy many times. You could carry all kinds
of goodies in it. Although Irene had picked some things that Lesley would never
think of putting in the backpack it really wasn't a bad idea. She put the basics in first:
first aid kit, flashlight, extra batteries, 2 walky talkies with extra batteries
(When Lesley asked her why the walky talkies, "You never know when you might need
them", Irene said) diary, a small laptop computer, a sewing kit, and a red Swiss army
knife. The thing that impressed Lesley the most was the very large Bowie knife
in a leather sheath that Irene tossed in. "You think that knife is big enough?"
For a minute Irene thought about it and then realized Lesley was kidding. Both women laughed.
"Are ya sure that'll be enough Les?"
"Sure am. Just like camping Re. Just like camping. "
No one else ever called her Re. It felt right when Les said it so she never corrected
her. Irene kind of liked it coming from her. Sometimes she felt a closeness to Les
that made her uncomfortable and she buried that feeling as quickly as she had felt
it. 'She's my best friend for Gods sake! That's all.'
After the pain of packing and then having to leave most of the stuff behind, thanks
to Leslie, the two women sat down at the kitchen table and were having a cup of
tea and discussing travel plans and their upcoming adventure.
"I must be more excited about our trip than I know, because I've been having the same
dream every night this week. Les, it's kind of unsettling though."
"What's the dream about Re?"
After Irene had told her of the dream, Leslie just sat there with a look of shock
on her face.
"What? What's wrong? You have this strange look on you face."
After a few seconds Lesley got a hold of herself and answered her friend's question.
"I'll tell you what's strange Re. I had the very same dream...Every night this
Almost at the same time both women said...."Oh my."
Well, this was the big day. They were on their way. The plane would be taking off
soon and Irene hadn't even thought about her little problem yet. Irene had asked
Lesley if it was OK if she sat on an aisle seat and Lesley hadn't really cared if
she had a window or aisle seat so she said sure.As the plane started down the runway Irene's
little problem reared it's ugly head. Yep! Irene had motion sickness. Lesley was
talking on and on and looking out the window and didn't see her friends complexion
turning the same color as her eyes. When she heard Irene moan, she turned quickly
to face her friend. What she saw was her friend sick as a dog and maybe getting
ready to throw up. When Irene saw the look of concern and question on Lesley's
face, she knew it was time to let her in on her "little problem".
"Uh! Something I forgot to mention...I get sick when I fly." Smiling weakly.
"Why didn't you tell me this before? We could've gone by boat!"
Wouldn't (burp) have mattered. I get sick on boats too. And that would've lasted
to long. This was the lesser of the two evils. (burp). I was so happy that you
thought I was good enough and believed in my ability to read ancient texts, and to
go with you and be apart of this, that I didn't want to screw up or disappoint you." (Burp)
"Re! How could you ever think I would be disappointed in you or not believe in you?
Your ability to grasp ancient syntax far surpasses my own. You're good at what
you do. You are a valued part of this adventure of ours. You are my dearest friend
and now my partner in this. " When she saw the tear role down Re's cheek, Lesley thought
her heart would jump out of her chest. Another complication...She knew at that moment
what she already knew but couldn't bring herself to admit, she loved her with all
Leslie reached into her pack and took out a package of Dramamine pills and gave one
to Irene. "Here, take this it'll help. Oh! Yeah! Here's a barf bag. Just in case
y....She never got the words out. Irene did indeed need it. After Irene had cleaned
up. Lesley said: "Put your head on my shoulder and close your eyes and try and sleep."
Irene did so eagerly. The pills were taking effect and she felt really drowsy.
Leslie had a sort of half smile on her face. What a revelation today turned out
to be. However she was not yet ready to make her feelings known. She wanted to keep Irene
in her life and if it had to be as a friend so be it. She had no idea that Irene
was dreaming. Dreaming about her in a more than friendly way.
The first words out of Irene's mouth as she disembarked the plane was, "Thank you
God!" Then came..."How long till we get there?" Both women looked at each other
and laughed. Bob had arranged for a jeep to be left at the airport. Her assistant,
Bob Masters had gone on ahead several weeks ago to get the site up and running. He was
a great asset to have with her on this dig. Bob was a student of Leslie's and had
gone on many digs with her. He had gone on and gotten his degree in archeology.
Leslie and Bob had a mutual admiration society. They genuinely liked each other. She knew
she could depend on him.
After all the luggage was tossed into the jeep they were off and rolling along. Although
both women knew they wouldn't get there until nightfall the excitement of the last
leg of the journey was at hand and neither of them could contain there excitement.
"Les I'm about ready to burst with excitement! You can't know what a dream come true
this is for me, and I owe it all to you. My life has been so dull until now.
If you hadn't encouraged me to reach for my dreams then I'd still be home alone.
"All you needed was a push in the right direction Re. That's all. You did this yourself.
"Finally! There it is Re. We're here. " As they pulled into camp they could see
the Temple. It looked incredible in the moonlight. Both women were awe struck.
" Hey, you two. I thought you gals were never gonna get here. What took you so
long? I was gettin' lonely." Bob said as he was giving Leslie a great big bear hug.
"Hi Irene glad to see ya."
Bob filled Leslie and Irene in on what was happening at the site so far. Things had
been progressing faster than he had anticipated. They had cleaned away part of the
earth and found that the temple was built up against a hill. Bob also thought there
might be something behind one of the walls. It seemed sort of irregular and out of
place somehow. They would check it out tomorrow. Some pottery and some kind of
sealed clay cylinder was found. He didn't open it because he knew Leslie would
want to do that. After having some dinner both women were ready for bed. It had been a grueling
"O.K. Bob, everything sounds like it's under control. Thanks to you." But now I
think I need to get some sleep. How 'bout you Re?"
" Yeah. I'm beat. Where's my tent?" Irene looked around. She only saw four tents.
One she knew was the work tent.
"I figured you two would share a tent. That's why I got a larger one. You gals are
always chatting so I figured you'd want to be together. That's O.K. Isn't it?"
"Sure Bob it's fine. O.K. with you Re?" 'Here ya go. Another complication. This is going to be difficult.'
Huh...Fine. O.K. No problem. Irene thought, 'No problem! Yeah right. '
After they put their things away it was time to get into their nightclothes. Both
women slept in long t-shirts. Lesley saw Irene hesitate to remove her clothes, so
she turned around to give her friend some privacy. "Listen Re, I'm sorry about you
not having your own tent. If I'd have known I would have corrected the situation. But
hey, look on the bright side we can talk about the day and rehash everything we discover
or just BS if that's what you want. Or..." she realized she was babbling on.
"Les it's OK. No problem really. I'm fine with this." 'Fine my ass! Look at her...she's gorgeous.' . ""
Boy, I sure am tired. I think I'll just turn in now. 'Night. Can't wait to tackle
that wall tomorrow. "
"Me too. Sleep well Re. See ya in the morning. " 'This is ridiculous! I have never felt this way about a woman. I'm not attracted
to women!!! I will not let myself feel so uncomfortable around my best friend. We're
working here. My feelings will just have to go away. I'm not jeopardizing our friendship. And that's it.'
She was furious at herself.
Xena and Gabrielle were traveling on the road that would lead them to Amphipolis.
They had had a rough few months and decided that it would be a good idea to return
home to rest and see Cyrene and Toris. A nice soft bed seemed like a good idea
to both of them. Xena riding Argo and the bard walking as usual. Although the bard was unusually
quite this day. "Dinar for your thoughts Gabrielle.
"Oh! It's nothing. I just... haven't been getting much sleep."
Seeing her companion's shoulders droop, Xena felt it was time for her to ride Argo.
Besides she loved feeling her next to her. "Come on give me your arm. Time for
you to ride my bard. We don't want you getting sick. Not when you will soon be
able to eat moms nut bread." Xena smiled. With that Gabrielle offered her arm and was up
on Argo safely against her warriors back loving the comfort and pleasure she felt
whenever she was close to Xena.
"I love you, my warrior."
" I love you to, my bard."
They rode for another two candlemarks and than Xena decided it would soon be dark
and this would be a good place to camp. They were near a stream and the ground was
soft and grassy. Soon they fell into their rhythm of setting up camp. Gabrielle
went about her tasks of making the fire and starting some water boiling for tea to have
with their evening meal. There was some dried meat and some fresh vegetables left
to make a stew with. The stew was good as always. Gabrielle was a good cook, thank
the Gods. Because Xena made everything taste burnt. Even water. They laughed many times
about this. After dinner they set about their nightly routine. Xena, sharpening
her sword with her whet stone and Gabrielle writing her stories on her scrolls.
This night though, Gabrielle's mind wasn't on the stories. It was on the dream...
"Xena, I keep having this same dream over and over, and it's making me very uneasy.
And I don't know why. "
Hearing Gabrielle sound so distressed made Xena come to her side and hold her in her
arms. "Tell me what this dream is about?"
"Well...we are at our campsite doing exactly what we are doing now and all of a sudden
two women, in the oddest clothes, come out of a cave and just look at us with a look
of amazement on there faces. That's when I wake up and I have this feeling I have
to help them in some way although I'm not sure how. And the thing that really has
me confused is that I feel that in some way they are connected to us."
Xena sat for a moment holding on to her love before she spoke. Finally she told
Gabrielle that she had had a similar dream. She too felt some kind of connection
with these two. The two lovers sat by the fire with there arms around each other
"Xena the cave in my dream looked vaguely familiar to me. Like I'd seen it before."
She described the cave and even before she had finished, Xena was very excitedly
telling her..."Gabrielle! You have seen that cave! It's that large cave outside
"We have to get to that cave. I don't know why, but I know we must", Gabrielle
said very softly.
"Hey, wake up Re. Times a wastin'. Breakfast is almost ready. I'll meet you at
the food tent. Rise and shine Re. Rise and shine." And out the tent she went.
"ohhhgh...How can anyone be that happy and energetic this early in the morning.
Rise and shine! My ass. I'll rise, but I refuse to shine.
At least not till I get a cup of coffee!
"Coffee, I need coffee as she poured herself a cup. Oh! that's good. Good morning
Bob, Les. Les I've known you for years, and I had no idea you were so damn happy
in the mornings. I figured everyone was a grouch like me. Everyone had a good laugh
at Irene's comment. "Sorry Re. Get used to it. I'm like this every morning. "
After breakfast the archeologists got to work on the wall. Leslie was sure there
was something behind it. She just didn't know what. She figured it was a room of
some sort. The workmen were dismantling the stones very carefully so it was taking
a very long time. While Lesley was supervising this effort Irene was looking around the
site and suddenly saw something very odd. It looked like a bullet. A very old bullet.
"Les come over here. Look at this." Not wanting to pick up this artifact she bent
down to inspect it more closely. Yep! It was a bullet!
"What is it Re?"
"Look..." As she pointed down at the object.
"What...What the hell is that? That's a damn bullet. That's impossible... How could
it get here. It looked very old. Nah! Some how , some way, someone must have
Irene looked at her friend and said... "Yeah, and when do you think that was Les?
This place hasn't been uncovered in thousands of years. I'm getting a creepy feeling
about this. This is not good."
"Look Irene we are both intelligent women here. There has to be a reasonable explanation
for this. Only I... I can't think of one."
Dinner was a quiet affair. Not much conversation because everyone was deep in thought.
Bob was thinking that by this time tomorrow they would know what was behind the
wall. And Leslie was just too exhausted to even think. Irene's mind was going
a mile a minute. She was excited about what they would find tomorrow. She doubted she'd
sleep at all tonight.
When Lesley and Irene were getting ready for bed Leslie looked at her friend and told
her she had a very strong feeling that they were on to something. Something special
was behind that wall and they were going to find it. Irene looked at Leslie and
with a smile just said..."As long as we don't find anymore bullets." They looked at
each other for a minute and laughed, rather nervously, at that prospect. Then Leslie
said very seriously, "Whatever we find, I'm glad we will find it together. Good
night Re. See ya in the morning."
"Yeah me too. Night Les." and turned off the lantern. Happily Irene fell right to
sleep. As if that were ever in any doubt.
This morning Leslie didn't have to wake Irene up. She had had her morning coffee
and was raring to go. Both women took their backpacks with them and off they went
to the site of the temple. What they saw amazed them. This was not a doorway to
another room, as they had assumed, It was an entrance to a cave. A rather large cave. When
the three of them went in, they discovered that the cave was rather large and had
many natural rooms. They would have to explore these rooms one by one making sure
not to get lost in the maze of rooms that made up the cave. Lucky for them Bob thought
of everything. He had bought spray paint that glowed in the dark so they could
mark there way in and out of the tunnels and rooms if their light source went out.
They could easily get lost in there. The women found signs of a fire pit and some animal
bones near the pit in the great room at the front of the cave entrance, but nothing
in the farther reaches of the cave. That is, until they found a small room with
some kind of altar in it. They were awe struck when they saw what was on the altar. There
on the altar was a bejeweled golden talisman with a very large red crystal embedded
in the center of it. The most beautiful the three of them had ever seen. There
was an inscription on it. And next to the talisman, lay a scroll.
"Bob take some pictures of the talisman" Lesley ordered.
"Oh! Damn! I forgot the camera. I'll be right back. Don't start without me" he
joked and was off running to get the camera.
"Irene can you make out what the inscription says on the talisman?" Leslie asked.
"Hmmm. Let me see... It says: Embedded in this talisman is the Stone of Ages.
Beware or be wary of its powers." "Les, lets read the scroll. It might give a
clue as to it origins."
"Sounds like a plan, Re. Be careful when you unroll it. It's been rolled up for
thousands of years." Irene went about taking her time with the scroll and Leslie
turned to examine the talisman. She just couldn't believe the beauty of the thing.
She felt the need to touch and caress it. As she did so, she could feel a power she could
not explain. As she moved her hand over the stone she immediately had a vision of
walking towards a town...
Irene looked over to where Leslie was working and noticed her friend had an odd look
on her face. "Les...Les... What's the matter? Hey get a grip!" Irene grabbed her
hand and it fell away from the stone. She suddenly realized where she was again,
but felt weak in the knees. "Are you OK?" asked Irene.
"Oh my God! I think I had a vision or a very real daydream! Whoa!!!. Re... I really
don't think it was a daydream."
"Here take a drink of water." and handed her the canteen from the backpack. "Now
tell me! What happened to you?"
"All I know is it felt very real. I was walking down a road to a town. Then you
grabbed my hand, and here I am. Dumbfounded!!" Lesley said.
Irene had a scowl on her face as she said: "I don't feel good about this. I think
we should read the scroll before you go ahead and touch that thing again."
"I think you're right. Go ahead, read it." Leslie said. "Here goes! It's a combination
of ancient syntax but I think I can translate it. "Hmmm! Ya know, this is going
to be harder than I thought. It seems to be like a poem only seems... I'm not sure. Les, hand me my laptop computer. It's in my backpack. Now's my chance to use
that new program I wrote to help me translate these ancient texts."
"Here you go. I hope it work's." Les said.
"Me too. Oh. Hi Bob. Bought time you got back. Whaddya do? Stop for lunch?" Irene
said, with a grin on her face.
"Don't I wish! Damn film was not where it was supposed to be. I had to look through
three boxes before I found it. What a waste of time man."
Lesley was standing by the altar. "Come over here Bob and start shooting some pictures
of this fantastic looking artifact. Have ya ever seen anything so beautiful? It's
hard not to want to touch it all the time." Bob did as Leslie requested, and was
happily snapping pictures. After Bob had finished his chore he took the camera back
to the camp to develop the photo's. But knowing Bob, he was probably hungry and
wanted to get something to eat first. Lesley looked after Bob as his figure faded
into the darkness. Then she turned her attention back to Irene...
"So. Irene. How's the translation coming?" For the umteenth time! Lesley was getting
impatient. She wanted to find out what was on that scroll. Patience was not one
of her virtues.
Irene looked up from the laptop with an annoyed look on her face. "The translation
would be coming along much faster if I didn't have to stop every few minutes to answer
you. I'm doing my best. It would take a lot longer if I didn't have my computer!
I'm almost done! Please let me finish."
"OK, OK! I'm sorry. It's just that I'm so excited about this find. That thing
is priceless! Maybe that scroll can tell us who and why it was put so deep into
this place. My God the theories are endless!!!" said Lesley excitedly. Some time
"Finished! Whew! It took Irene almost two hours to translate the text, but with
the help of her laptop she finished and showed it to Lesley.
Follow this path only those of the right line
For great Adventure will be thine
Of the Warrior and the Bard descendants you be
One touch of the stone to enable you to see
Together caress its surface and you will feel
That moment in time is very real
Beware, the risk is great
But much rests in our futures fate
"Huh! What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"
"Gee Les, I never heard you use that word before. I thought I was the one with the
colorful language." Irene smirked. "Look Les. I think it's a warning, of some
kind, to anyone who finds it. I also think it is about time travel. That is,
of course, if you believe that baloney in the first place. Which I don't. It's just to
scare people from taking it. That's all."
Lesley just stood there and looked incredulously at Irene and said: "What!? What
is that? A Captain Kirk Quantum leap kind of thing you just came up with? You
got all that information from the scroll?"
"Excuse me! You don't have to get all huffy because
can't understand the scroll. That's my theory of what the scroll means. I think...
Do you have any other ideas?"
"No. No I don't. Look, I'm sorry I was so sarcastic. Really. This talisman has
me a little shook up and I don't know why."
"It's O.K. Don't do it again." She smiled at Lesley and winked. Lesley's heart
skipped a beat.
"Come on Re, let's get back to work. Come here and take another look at the inscription
on the talisman again. Isn't this the most beautiful piece you've ever seen? Look
at the intricate workmanship. The way the red crystal is placed in the talisman." "It is lovely. I've never seen anything like it."
Both women touched the red crystal at the same time. As they do the hair on their
arms suddenly stands up and each of them feel a tingling sensation through their
bodies and then the lanterns flicker and go out. "Shit!! What happened to the
lights? How are we gonna get out of here?" "Calm down Re. The lanterns must have run out
of propane. It's O.K. You're forgetting the iridescent paint Bob sprayed on the
walls of the cave. All we have to do is follow the lines out..." In the darkness
the two women held hands as they turned around to look for the painted arrows on the cave
walls to show them the way out. All they were greeted with was nothing but darkness.
"Les...Les... Where the hell are the damn arrows? We're never gonna find our way
out of this cave!"
"Yes we will. I promise you we will. I've never let you down yet have I. And I'm
not going to now. Just trust me Re." With that Lesley remembered she had a penlight
in her pocket and pulled it out . "This will help us find our packs and flashlights. I Think it's on to the left of the altar. Yeah! There they are. Get the flashlight
on and we're half way there." Picking up the packs, Lesley told Irene to put the
talisman and scroll in her pack.
"What the hell!! The talisman... the scroll... They're not here! They disappeared!!!"
"What do you mean they disappeared?! How could they disappear? They're right ...
there! Ohh! Damn! Don't panic... they must have fallen on the floor. Yeah
that's it. Look around for God's sake. It's gotta be here. "
"Helloooo! Not here... nothing... nada... Zilch... We are never gonna make it out".
By now Les could hear the panic rising in Irene's voice.
Leslie said: "Come on, let's get out of here."
"Are you sure we can make it Les? I'm really frightened of being lost in here."
"Don't worry Re. I have many skills. One of them is a good sense of direction, and
I'll get us out of here."
"Alright... I trust you. Let's go for it. Lead on my friend. Let's get the hell
out of here..."
After maybe two or three hours of many wrong turns and stumbling in the darkness.
They emerged from the cave and gave a sigh of relief. "We made it Les!" Both
women hugged each other. They were so happy to be out of the cave. By this time
the sun was setting and it was starting to get dark. They were elated. Elated that is, until
they noticed the site was gone. Everything and everyone was
!!! "Holy shit! What the hell is going on here?!?" shouted Leslie. "
Oh No! The Stone!!
" It really happened. Oh my God! Well Re, I guess your little theory was
, huh." Shouted Leslie.
Irene looked from left to right and left again. The look on Irene's face was that
of sheer panic. By this time Irene was crying and apologizing at the same time.
"Oh Leslie! I'm SO sorry! I never thought any of that stuff on the scroll was for
real... How could this happen?!? This is all my fault." Irene sank down to her knees and
continued to cry.
Leslie sat down next to Irene and tried to calm her friend. Fat chance of that,
because she was having problems calming herself at the moment. 'Think! Think! Have to focus on the problem at hand. '
"Wait a minute!!! That's it! Of course!" Lesley swung her arms out in a wide ark.
"Re! Look at the terrain of the area. It doesn't even look the same... We must've
come out a different cave opening!!! We probably got so lost in there that we ended
up here. Wherever here is?!? That's gotta be it Re. We just came out the wrong
"You really think so??" asked Irene as she was still sobbing.
"Yeah! I do. Look, the light is fading and we wont be able to find our way in the
dark. So, we'll have to stay here until morning. It's not to cool out so we don't
have to worry about that, and we have two canteens of water, so that's OK. We just
might get a little hungry is all. And we can either sleep by the cave opening or out
here. We'll be fine."
"We won't get hungry, Les." Irene goes into her backpack and pulls out two peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches! Leslie looked at Irene in amazement. "Why!?"
"You never know when you might need it." . "But I think we should save it for breakfast."
Irene said. All Lesley could do was shake her head in agreement.
For some time both women had just been sitting there perusing their surroundings.
When all of a sudden they spotted what seemed to be the flickering light of a campfire.
Irene said it first: "Maybe we should take a look and find out if, whoever is out
there can help us find our way back to the site. It would be better than waiting
here until dawn. They might be gone by then."
"I agree. Let's go. But first let me check something out that's in my backpack."
said Leslie. With that she pulls out a revolver and a box of bullets from her pack.
She starts to load the revolver...
"What is this?!? I didn't know you had a gun!!"
Leslie looked up, and as she did so a lone bullet fell to the ground unnoticed by
the two women. "Well Re, Ya never know when ya might need it."
"Ok, Ok, I get it" said Irene. Both women had a good laugh and then started out
towards the flickering light.
'I don't know what it is, but I just can't seem to tire of watching her practice
every morning. She is so graceful and fluid in her movement. It's mesmerizing.
I know she is watching me watching her but I can't help it. The way she spins,
dips and lunges are truly poetry in motion.
thought Xena. It's almost as if the bard in her is always present. The way she twirls her staff;
tells a story all it's own.'
Xena continued to watch Gabrielle as she continued her morning exercise. She was
amazed at the level of control that Gabrielle displayed with this weapon. An Amazon
War Staff could easily kill a person, but it takes true skill and dexterity to wield
this weapon and spare a life in a combat situation. 'Yet my bard seems to do that all the time. Truly amazing.'
Xena notices a change in the Bard's routine, and knows that Gabrielle is starting
her cool down exercises. Xena still watches mesmerized by her partner.
Gabrielle turns and smiles at her Warrior. As green eyes lock with blue; both can
feel the warmth they share. Xena stands as Gabrielle returns to camp.
"Hey, you're up awfully early. Sleep on a rock or something?" asks the Warrior.
"Well my warrior pillow was a little bit lumpy last night. I would have been more
comfortable if you had taken off the breastplate last night." said Gabrielle, with
"Pillow! Now I'm a pillow! I hope your highness will be happy to know that tonight
we will be sleeping somewhere other than the ground, and in your case, somewhere
other than me." growls Xena. Try as she might she could not keep that sparkle of
amusement out of her eyes.
"Oooo" said Gabrielle, Does that mean it's my turn to play pillow?"
Xena reaches for Gabrielle and pulls her close. She whispers, "Maybe." into the bards
Gabrielle locks her knees and thinks, 'Gods, I don't know if it's the workout or that one whispered word, but if she lets
go now she'll need to pick me up off the floor.'
Gabrielle smiles and asks, "Where are we spending the night?"
"At Mom's inn. I figure if we push it, we can be there by early evening."
Gabrielle leans in and lightly brushes Xena's lips with her own. "I can't wait."
Xena says, "Then we had better get camp packed up and head out."
Xena tries to move away from Gabrielle but realizes that she has no intentions of
letting her go. Xena says, "Um, Gabrielle! We've got to get moving if you really
want to get there before dinner is served."
"Hmmm, maybe I did not make myself clear." says Gabrielle in a voice deep with desire:
"I... Can't... Wait... " In between kisses.
"Mmmmh" says Xena as she gathers Gabrielle more firmly in her arms. "Now I think
I understand... You want a late dinner." The grinning warrior says.
"Something like that." the bard says.
Xena thinks, 'Well, what's another hour or two. This is a great spot and I can think of no one
better to share it with than my beloved bard.'
'Well we're finally on the road. But, what a great way to start the day. First watching
Gabrielle practice with her staff, then some serious cuddle time and now this. Look
at her... I swear, the day and the view is just getting better and better. Definitely and advantage to riding rear guard; yep, and what a rear to guard!'
Xena, did you hear what I just said?" asked Gabrielle.
"Um, no. I was too busy guarding your rear. I mean guarding the rear. stammered
Xena notices a blush starting to make its presence known on the bards neck.
"Oh, um, well..." the bard falls silent.
"Tongue tied, or did my little bard forget how to speak? That could be an occupational
hazard you know."
"Well I was wondering, about how far out from Amphipolis are we." asked the bard.
"Well, I had hoped we would make it there tonight, but it will be too late when we
arrive so, I think it would be a good idea if we camped near that cave you dreamed
about. You said you wanted to see it; and we're not far from it. Besides I'd
like another night alone with you. But we would make better time if you rode Argo with
me. Come on, we'll get there faster if we ride." With that Xena held out her arm
to Gabrielle and pulls her up on Argo.
Gabrielle grabs hold of Xena's arm and is pulled up into the saddle in front of Xena.
"Um, Xena, I thought I was going to ride in the back."
"Not this time Gabrielle. Today you're leading and I'm going to wrap my arms around
you for a change." Xena wraps her arms around Gabrielle's abdomen. Her fingers
start to gently stroke her skin. Xena could hear Gabrielle take a quick breath and
heard her whisper... "How many candlemarks can I take this?"
T he Warrior chuckled and stated: "Quite some time if you don't get Argo moving
again." As she continued to tease the bard.
Gabrielle groaned and kicked the old warhorse into motion.
Xena and Gabrielle decided that they would camp near the river instead of by the mouth
of the cave. It was more convenient to be closer to the river for bathing and fishing.
About two candlemarks before sunset they set about making camp. They fell into
their familiar pattern around the camp. When everything was as it should be; Xena
went up to Gabrielle, and from behind, wrapped her arms around her bard kissing her
tenderly on her neck and whispering in her ear of her deep love for her.
Gabrielle turned in Xena's arms to face her and kissed deeply and passionately. "How
do you know what I need from you at exactly the right moment?"
"One of my many skills." grinned Xena.
Gabrielle looked up at Xena with an impish grin on her face. "Why don't you show
me your many skills right now, my warrior?"
Xena felt a shiver run through her body. "By the Gods, Gabrielle! You have no idea
what passion your words invoke in me."
The two women made love to each other as though it was the first time. When they
had finished they just lay in each others arms... Until... Gabrielle's stomach
"Oookayyy! You boil some water for tea and I'll go catch some fish for dinner. Do
we still have that frying pan??? asked Xena, with a grin on her face.
This time it was Gabrielle that raised an eyebrow!
After the evening meal was finished. They each fell into their familiar routine around
the fire. Xena sharpened her sword with her whet stone and Gabrielle writing the
days events on her scroll. Suddenly Xena jumped to her feet with her sword at the
ready. She had heard footsteps coming their way. She motioned to the bard to get her
staff. Whoever was heading toward their camp couldn't have been sneaking up on them
, because they were making far to much noise.
Leslie was leading the way; with Irene holding on to Leslie's backpack. The going
was a little more difficult for our two adventurers than they had expected, because
of the darkness and not knowing where they were going. And Irene's ability to bump
into every tree and trip over every log and bolder they encountered. It was apparent,
early on that night, that Irene was an accident waiting to happen to herself and
anyone else in close proximity. This was driving Leslie crazy as every time Irene
stumbled she pulled Leslie down along with her. "Ughhhh! Re! Would you please be more
careful!! Must you find
damn tree in this forest?!? You ran a construction company for God's sake!! Ya couldn't
have done construction if you were a klutz!" Lesley heard Irene sigh and shined
the flashlight on her face and when she saw the look that was there, she loudly said: "
Sheepishly Irene told Leslie how she could.... "Les I was always banging into things,
hitting myself with hammers and the like. Hell, I was on a first name basis with
the emergency room nurse. This went on for some time until I figured out what was
going on... Why I got so clumsy... This only happens when I get frightened or nervous
about things. And Les, right now I'm really frightened."
"Oh Irene, It'll be Ok. You'll see. Ahh, I'm sorry I lost my temper. We're very
close to the campfire now. I don't think there is anything for you to bump into."
Leslie took Irene's hand in hers and they walked side by side. 'At least if Re trips I can let go!
' she thought with a smile.
As They came into the campsite Leslie and Irene were greeted by a most imposing sight.
There stood Xena and Gabrielle just staring at them. "Holy Shit!!" This is the
damn dream!" said Irene. All Lesley could do is stare at the Warrior and Bard
with her mouth hanging open. The bard just turned to Xena and said: " By the Gods!
These are the people in my dream, Xena."
All of a sudden it dawned on Lesley, "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore!!" she said.
Shit, Holy Shit!
It is true! We're in the past. That was the right cave entrance...
Wrong fucking millennium!!!
" And as Irene said those words she tripped on a rock...
The four women sat around the fire. Xena wasn't quite sure what was making Irene
and Leslie so upset. She knew they looked different. She had never seen such different
looking clothing before and some of the words they used were odd. Although, she
did not have too much trouble understanding them. "So. I think it would be a good idea
if you told us how you came to be in Greece." demanded Xena.
Both women looked at each other waiting for the other to start the explaination.
Irene nodded to Leslie to start.
"Where to start?! Ok, here we go. We're archeologists and we were excavating a site
where... Leslie started to say, when Irene interupted her....
"Well she's the archeologist really. I'm just a student of archeology and ancient
Greek synta... language that is to say... we found this talisman and scroll inside
a hidden room in the large cave back there and that was the start of all our trouble,
"Re! Please, you are rambling. Let me explain."
"Ah! Sorry... Go ahead." said Irene.
"We found a talisman, in a cave behind a temple wall, with the largest and most beautiful
red crysral in it. And a warning etched into it. We also found a scroll written
in the form of a poem that was a warning to anyone who found it. Sorry for us!
We blew it off as nothing more than something to keep people from taking it out of
the cave. Boy, were we ever wrong. Well, we both touched the talisman at the same
time and we ended up here. I guess it was a one way trip..." her voice trailed
off as she put her head in her hands.
"Do you have this talisman and scroll. I want to see them." said Xena. She was
not sure she believed them.
"No. We don't. After we touched the stone everything disappeared. But I did manage
to save a copy on my computer. Here take a look... said Irene.
Gabrielle was amazed! "What is that!!! Where is the light coming from?"
"Oh this... It's my computer. I never would have been able to translate the scroll
Now Xena was very interested in this thin gray box. It was too close to Gabrielle.
"How does it help you?
" she yelled.
"Look! First of all your scaring the hell out of me! Stop being so damn combative...
We are not here because we chose to be, damn it, we're here because... because...
I don't know why the hell we're here (she said with dismay). And we mean no harm
to you or Gabrielle. So, lighten up and give us a break here. In our time we have many
wonderful things that make life much easier for us than here in your time. I can
only tell you that the computer is one of them. Unfortunately, it will only work
for four or five more hours until the battery wears down." Irene closes the computer and
shows Xena the battery. "This is what gives the computer... Machine... it's power.
This is what makes it work! It's just a tool. Nothing else."
Before Xena could respond, Leslie chimed in and said: "Xena in my time you are a
legend! And Gabrielle you are the one responsible for that. Your scrolls recounting
Xena's exploits have been discovered and translated into many languages so that
our time can know of the deeds that were done for the greater good. The scrolls were found
by Janice... "
"Janice & Melinda." said Xena softly. Gabrielle came over to her warrior and put
her hand on her arm. "They are our descendants. Xena met them."
"Oh my!" both women said. "How?? How do you know who they are?" Leslie asked.
"Melinda and Janice helped me defeat Aries. He wanted to bring war and distruction
to your time. With their help we defeated him."
"They searched the world for your scrolls Gabrielle. Translated them and wrote many
article's and books about them. I wanted to be just like them and find more scrolls,
but instead I found that talisman and here we are stuck in a place and time we don't belong. What's that saying: Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here...."
Leslie's voice trailed off as tears ran down her cheeks. Irene went to her side
and put an arm around her and turned to look at Xena... "Please! Do you think you
can help us get home?"
Xena's response was slow to come, as she pondered the problem at hand. "That's a
toughy! I have to think about this. I don't know if I can help, but I promise
you both I'll try. I think we should get some sleep and tomorrow we will head on
Leslie and Irene were exhausted. One little problem thought Irene. "Uh, Gabrielle...
Um, I need to go to the bathroom and...
"What is bathroom?!" asked Gabrielle.
"Um, I mean I have to relieve my self... ya know!" Irene motioned with her hands.
"OH!" It finally dawned on Gabrielle what Irene was talking about.
"Overthere." pointing to the bushes.
"Shit! I was afraid of that... No possibility of toilet tissues then either, huh?"
"What is that?" asked Gabrielle.
"Aw shit! What do you use to wipe yourself with?"
Leaves." Gabrielle laughed.
"Leaves..." Irene just groaned and walked into the bushes. Leslie tried to stifle
her laugh as did Xena, but the bard just couldn't stop laughing.
Gabrielle had an extra ground blanket and fur covering that she gave to her new friends.
Each couple were on either side of the campfire. Leslie and Irene had to share
the blankets, but they were so exhausted that they were just glad to be able to fall
peacefully and safely asleep. They said good night to each other and drifted off to
a deep sleep.
Xena and Gabrielle were lying on their backs looking up at the stars and thinking.
" Xena, I can't explain it, but I think that Leslie and Irene are, in some way connected
to us. I think they are our descendants. From what I got from that "machine";
only our kin would be able to use the Stone to reach into the past. It doesn't say
anything about how they can return, I'm afraid."
"I too feel a connection to the two of them. I kind of liked how Irene stood up to
me... They may never get back to their time, though. We don't even know who put
that Stone there in the first place, or why... If it was just chance that they were
the ones to discover the Stone, or if they were destined to do so. Like I said, my bard,
it's a toughy!" The two just looked at each other and with a sigh just snuggled
up and kissed goodnight.
Irene was the first to awaken. Partly because she had had a very restless night,
and partly because she had to relieve herself. I can't believe this! How did these people survive! 'NO COFFEE... NO TOILET TISSUE...
NO NOTHIN'... SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!!! '
She thought to herself as tears rolled down her cheeks. 'But... How can I be so upset about something so insignificant. I must be really shallow.
I should be worried about getting us back to our time... It is , after all, my
fault we're stuck here in the first place. My smug arrogance that we didn't have
a thing to be afraid of from that damned talisman. If only I had...'
"Morning Re. Hey, you Ok? Don't cry..." she says as she wipes the tears away from
her cheeks. "We'll get back home. Re... Re... Look at me... It's Ok! We're
here with people we can trust and who will help us to get home. And even if we don't
they'll help us adapt. We are survivors; you and me. And..."
"Oh God! How can you be so nice to me?!?
This is all my fault.
I'm so very sorry! I made fun of your concerns about the scrolls message and told
you it was baloney! You should punch my lights out instead of wiping my tears away!
We're never gonna get out of here, and back to our time... never, never." Her voice
trailed off. Irene had never felt such guilt before.
Les pulled her friend into her arms and hugged her. "Listen to me now! It was not
your fault!! How could anyone believe that such a thing could happen. No one would
or will believe this. I don't believe it; and I'm living it! We will be alright
no matter what turn of events occur. You have to trust me on this. We are here together...
It would be horrible if we didn't have each other.
"That's the only positive aspect of this whole fantastic mess. Of course, I trust
you. And I promise you I will do everything to get us home."
"Come on Re, lets take a bath in the river. I think we both need one. she laughed.
It sure will make me feel better. What do you say? Lets go swimmin'. I haven't
skinny dipped since I was a kid."
"Oh my! I have never skinny dipped! Alright! Let's go for it." she laughed. "Last
one in is a time traveler." She was off and running towards the river with Les right
Xena, with her incredible hearing, heard everything the two women had said to one
another. She was deeply moved by their friendship and devotion to each other. It
was then that she made a promise to herself, and these two kinswomen of hers and
Gabrielle's; that she would help them either to return to their time or make a life for
themselves here. A plan was formulating in her mind. They would go to Amphipolis
for a time and then they would journey to see the Oracle of Delphi. If anyone could
tell them who or what was responsible for this the Oracle could.
Irene and Leslie were splashing around in the water like a couple of kids. "This
feels so good. You were right Les, this is relaxing me. Not as tense as".... SPLASH
... "HA! HA! GOTCHA!!" shouted Les. "Oh yeah!" as Irene started to splash Leslie
back. "Right back at ya." As both women were splashing they came closer and closer
together until they were holding each others arms. The laughter subsided and both
of them looked at each other with desire and longing... When suddenly, they heard
Xena's voice calling to them from the river bank. "Come on you two; play time is over.
Time for breakfast. "Ok. We'll be right out." shouted Les. "Yeah, Ok... We'll
be right there." Re said as she got out of the water and started putting on her clothes
rather hurriedly. She felt somewhat embarrassed about standing there naked as a jaybird.
Leslie was not uncomfortable being naked in front of anyone, but this was different,
Re was there. She too hurriedly dressed and both of them headed back to camp.
Whew! Saved by the bell. That was too close...
After breakfast Irene set about helping Gabrielle. And Xena, decided to do her sword
drills and asked if Lesley would like to watch her. It surprised Xena when Leslie
asked if they could spare together. "You are familiar with a sword?" asked Xena.
"Yes. fencing is a hobby of mine. Although I've never fenced with anything like that.
It's very impressive, I might add." pointing to Xena's sword. "What is this fencing!?"
"That's what they call fighting with swords in my time." "Hmmm"... said Xena,
"here is a sword you can use to practice." The first time Xena struck Leslie's sword,
Leslie could feel her whole body revirberating from the force of the blow. On and
on they practiced until Xena fiigured Les had had enough. "You have a long way to
go, but that was very good for a first time." "Thank's... But I feel like my arms are
going to fall off. You certainly are strong." said Leslie. Xena just smiled.
"I think we should go back to camp and see if Gabrielle and Irene are ready to get
going. I want to reach Amphipolis before nightfall."
Gabrielle and Irene had already packed up camp and were waiting for LesLie and Xena
to return. Gabrielle was sitting by the fire and Irene was pacing back and forth,
like a caged animal. "Re. Maybe I can help. Please talk to me... tell me what's
"Ya know, I'm almost twice your age. I should be helping you, not the other way 'round.
I feel so lost and helpless. And to be honest with you; I'm terrified! My life
was so dull. I wanted an adventure, and boy oh boy, I sure got one. I have this
awful feeling we will never get back home and I will never see my children again and
Les is going to end up hating me for getting her in this mess. You've both taken
us to your hearts and we are so very grateful, but we can't expect you to babysit
us forever." Irene waved her hands animatedly. Then Irene said almost in a whisper, "And
just a small complication... I'm in love with Les, and I can't take the chance telling
her, because she would be disgusted with me and never speak to me again. God!
I... have... never... been... attracted... to... a... woman... before! What am I
gonna do? Any ideas?" Irene just stood there with her hands on her hips looking
at Gabrielle; who was looking at her with her mouth hanging open. Before Gabrielle
can respond... Irene looks up and sees Leslie looking at her...
Leslie was leaning back against a tree watching Irene's every move as she paces back
and forth, speaking to Gabrielle. Leslie thinks: 'Gods! Look at her! I've never seen her this fired up before. She looks so sad.
It's almost ... Uh oh! She's looking at me ... her eyes are so expressive; I can
just imagine what they would be like while we were making love...
What am I thinking?1? She's my best friend... I can't have these thoughts about her.'
Leslie tries to control her emotions; she can feel the heat rising in her face as
she continues to watch her friend's movement around camp. So intent is she, that
she doesn't notice Xena come up next to her.
Xena touches Leslie's shoulder and whispers, "Les, did you hear me? Are you alright?
You looked a little flushed."
Les turns to Xena and sees a crooked grin on the warriors face, " I... I'm fine,
why do you ask?"
Xena's grin grows as she looks at Leslie. "Because, I've been trying to get your
attention for a while now and you have been staring at our two friends over there.
Now I know you weren't looking at Gabrielle... so that leaves Irene. And from
the look on your face, I can guess at your thoughts." Then, with the grin still firmly implanted
on her lips, Xena turned and walked into the forest.
"WHAT!!" "What are you saying?!? Leslie says anxiously, as she catches up with
"I think you are in love with Irene. Does she know?" asks Xena.
"I don't... I mean... It's not that obvious, is it? I... She... I mean...we are
best friends. She was married, has two great kids, she's just not interested in
me that way."
How do you know, until you ask?"
"Oh Yeah... Risk loosing her friendship, because I have the hots for her... Just
great! How would you handle it if you were in my place?"
"Easy" said Xena. "I had the same problem as you. For a very long time I knew I
loved Gabrielle, but was unwilling to share my thoughts and heart with her for fear
of loosing her. The same questions were going around in my head too. An then one
day I just kissed Gabrielle. It was not a long drawn out kiss... It was lightly on the
lips as I said thank you."
"What did she do then?"
"She stopped breathing for a minute, and all I could think was that I was in trouble.
But then I saw her cheeks turn red, and as I looked into her eyes I could see them
darken. Then she turned from me and made an excuse to leave camp to clean the dishes. I was devistated! I thought I blew it big time. I followed her to the stream,
and there she sat by the waters edge, deep in thought. I went back to camp hoping
that I had not scared her away. So when she came back to camp, I gave her her space
and just went about my chores. Well, it wasn't long before my bards curiosity finally
got the best of her and she asked me "Why?" I told her I was happy and it felt
like the best way to express myself... did I get teased about that comment. Then
she sauntered up to me and said, in a silky voice, I had never heard eminating from my bard
before, 'So, if i'm happy, I should demonstrate those feelings.' And then she
put her hands on either side of my face and pulled my head down towards hers...
That kiss was almost like being lightly brushed by a feather, and getting hit by a ton of bricks
at the same time. My soul has been hers from that moment on."
Gabrielle just sat there and continued to looke at Irene for a few minutes as she
gathered her thoughts. When she asked Irene what was wrong, she hadn't expected
her to throw in that last tidbit of information. "Whew!"
she thought, 'Irene feels much the same as I did.'
"Re... Your concerns are very real. We will do everything we can to try and get
you back, but you have to be prepared that that might not happen. As far as your
feelings for Les goes... Well, I think you should tell Les your feelings for her.
You never know! She may have those very same feelings for you... "
What if she doesn't... I couldn't risk loosing her... You just don't understand...
I..." her voice trails off.
"Oh, but I do understand.", she said. Then Gabrielle proceded to tell her the very
same story that Xena was telling Leslie. "... And that's the story. I loved Xena
from the minute she rescued me from the slavers. Only, it took me awhile to figure
"Come on, enough serious talk for one morning we have a long journey today. Xena
will probably want to get to Amphipolis before nightfall." Looking over to where
Xena and Leslie were standing, Gabrielle waved for the two new friends to come and
help close camp.
It was midday and Xena was pleased with the distance they had traveled since starting
out this morning. She had to laugh to herself... Gabrielle usually did all the talking,
but this day there were three women talking a mile a minute and everyone was enjoying the conversation, even Xena. Well, it was time for a rest. She knew the
bard could have walked farther, but Irene & Leslie looked like they could use a rest
. She found a nice area and the group stopped to rest and have their midday meal,
which consisted of some dry cheese and dried meat. As the women were about to partake of
the meal, Xena suddenly stood up and drew her sword... Seeing this Gabrielle instantly
got her staff at the ready.
"Oh Shit..." Irene said.
"Xena! Behind you... " Yelled Leslie.
Then all hell broke loose as five bandits attacked the women. Xena turned quickly
and kicked one of the bandits in the stomach, as this happened Gabrielle was taking
care of two very ugly, smelly bandits. She swung her staff with great strength and
precision and felled one of them. However, the bard lost her balance and the other bandit
took advantage of this misstep and kicked Gabrielle in the stomach. She doubled over
in pain. Seeing this, Irene let out a scream and proceeded to attack the bandit,
just as he was going to stab Gabrielle with his sword. She threw herself at him and
he fell to the ground. She was grapling with him and found a rock and hit him in
the head over and over again, until he stopped moving. Xena was trying to get to
Gabrielle, but had to deal with three more bandits. One of the men broke away from the
fight and headed towards the two women. By this time Irene had gone to help Gabrielle.
Her back was to the fight , so she didn't see the man approaching. Xena seeing
this, yelled at Irene to look out. She knew she couldn't get to them in time. She made
short work of the two men she was fighting, and as she turned to run to aid her friends,
a shot rang out, from behind her, and the man fell to the ground, dead. Xena
turned... what she saw... was Leslie falling to her knees with a smoking gun in her
hand. Irene looked at her friend and ran to her side. Leslie dropped the pistol,
and just collapsed into her arms crying and shaking. Irene just held her and rocked
back-and-forth, talking to her telling her it would be alright. By this time Gabrielle
was by Xena's side holding her warrior's arm; looking at Lesley.
Looking at the pistol, Gabrielle asked: "What is that?!"
Xena just shrugged. "It's a weapon of some sort."
"Was Lesley hurt, Xena?" Gabrielle said with concern in her voice.
"No, my bard, she is fine. But something
changed for our two friends. They lost their blood innocence today... They are
forever changed..." Xena just held Gabrielle as tears started to run down the bards
After a time Leslie regained her composure and Irene knew she needed some space, so
she went to help put their things in order so that they could get going again.
"Lesley. May I see your weapon?" requested Xena.
"Sure. But be careful. Let me show you how it works... She showed Xena the shells
and how to load the pistol. Then taught her how to shoot it. It amazed her that
that little bullet could do so much dammage. "Xena. If anything happens to me...
I want you to know how to use the gun. Unfortunately, when the bullets are gone the gun
will be useless."
Xena spoke softly to Leslie, "Les, you did what was necessary! Don't feel guilt
for killing that man. He would have killed Gabrielle and Irene if you hadn't.
I could never have reached them in time. You saved their lives. Now everyone,
Let's get going. I really want to get to the inn before dark." Xena said, as the four friends
set off once again on their journey to Amphipolis and mom's inn.
Just as the sun was setting they reached Amphipolis. "Oh My!" Lesley and Irene
said as they came upon the Lion statue that was standing in front of them. Look
Re! It's Amphipolis! By the Gods! We're here in Amphipolis and it isn't a ruin!
We can really see what everything really looked like... What the people were like... And...
"Whoa! Slow down. Do you think you can wait until tomorrow to go running around town?
Les, we have to fit in. If we act strangely, people will shy away from us. Let's
just go to the inn and just rest for tonight. Tomorrow is another day!" Irene
"I'm sorry. I just got carried away. It's just so exciting to see this town alive
and not in ruins. You're right, of course, Re. We do have to be careful."
Cyrene thought, 'It's really busy tonight! I'm glad I have enough help tonight.'
As she was cleaning up one of the tables, she looked up and noticed her daughters
just coming in the door. Putting the dishes back on the table with a clatter, she
ran to her girls and gave them a great big bear hug. "I've missed you both so much!"
"We've missed you too mother." Xena said, as she tried to breath while still in her
mothers bear hug. "Your visits are few and far between... Let me look at you as
she first turned her attention to Xena. You look thinner! What have you been doing?"
Thinking better of that question, she said, "Never mind... I don't want to know."
"Come here you", as she grabbed Gabrielle and hugged her tight. Then holding her
at arms length, "Oh! You look positively georgeous. My daughter is lucky. I'm
so happy to have my daughters home." "Hi! Mom. I sure missed you." As she reached
up and kissed Cyrene on the cheek. Cyrene laughed and said: "You missed me? Are you
sure it wasn't my nutbread?"
"Well, mom, maybe the nutbread did have something to do with it." the bard said, starting
Just them Cyrene noticed two oddly dressed women standing near 'her girls" (as she
liked to call them.) 'Hmmm!'
she thought, 'They don't look like Amazons. I wonder where they came from? As a matter of fact they
look a little out of place.'
"Xena are you going to introduce me to you traveling companions?"
"Oh! Uhh! Sorry mom... Just got carried away in the excitement. This is Irene & Leslie...
And mom, They need a place to stay. If it's alright with you. "Irene... Leslie...
This is Cyrene my mother." "Hey! My mom too!" laughed Gabrielle.
"We're pleased to meet you Cyrene." said Leslie. "We've heard a lot about you from
"I'm embarrased to say we don't have any money... "Dinars..." interjected Gabrielle.
"You don't have any dinars." "Ahh Yeah! We don't have any dinars, but we offer
our services to work around the inn... I'm really good with my hands; I mean I
can help fix things around the inn... Irene's voice trailed off. "And I can cook! Sort
of..." Leslie said.
Cyrene looked at Xena with a confused look on her face. "Writings... money... What..."
"It's a really long story as to how we met up, so if you don't mind I'll tell you
about it tomorrow. Ok? We've had a really rough day, mother."
"If my daughter welcomes you as a friend, then so do I. Welcome to my home. You
must be starving! I'll get you all some food and drink. Xena, Gabrielle your room
is always ready for you, and as for you two; is it alright if you share a room tonight?
The inn is rather full. "
"Oh sure... Anything... We can share, right Les?"
"Yeah. That'll be fine. Hell. We shared the tent. Didn't we. Yeah, that'll be fine",
Cyrene brought out some stew and ale for the women. Irene and Leslie were enjoying
the food and the ale. "Listen you two, go easy on the ale. My mom makes
it herself and it is quite potent."
"Oh! I'vvve haaddd ale be (hiccup) fore. Isss Sok." Irene said slurring her words.
"Oh Shit!! To late." Leslie said. "OK! Time for bed Re. Come on! Here we go"...
As she helps her friend to their room. "Goodnight everyone and thank you for everything."
Xena, Gaabrielle and Cyrene just looked at each other and busted out laughing. "I
know. Wait till tomorrow." Cyrene said as she walked into the kitchen. Xena took
Gagrielle's hand and they are soon on their way to their room.
"Here we are Re. This is our room." Leslie got a big surprise when she opened the
door to the room... Only one bed! Big enough for two, but still only one bed.
"Why are you doing this to me?" as she looks up to Heaven. Not that she saw anything
but the ceiling.
"Doin' wha (hiccup) at Leshh?" Irene slurred.
"Oh Re, hon, not you. We have to get you to bed. Come on, get your clothes..."
before she could finish her sentence; Irene threw herself onto the bed and was out
cold. Leslie just took her boots off and let her sleep in her clothes. She gently
covered her dear friend with the blanket. Then she got undressed and slipped under the covers.
She had no idea how exhausted she really was, until she laid down. She was almost
asleep when there was a knock at the door. She got up and wrapped the blanket around her almost naked body... "yes?! Who..."
"It's me, Cyrene." Leslie opens the door... "Oh Les! I'm sorry to disturb you,
but I noticed that you and Irene didn't seem to have any other clothes. So... I
got something for you to change into while I have your clothes washed. Here. I
think this will fit you... And this will fit Irene."
Tears spring into Leslie's eyes... "Oh Cyrene. Thank you. You are so very kind.
I... I'm overwhelmed!"
"There now, no reason to cry." As she patted Leslie on the arm. Cyrene felt a little
embarrassed by this display of emotion. "Now give me the dirty clothes."
"Well, here are mine, but Re is still wearing hers."
"We'll just have to take them off now; won't we?" Finally the two women got Irenes
"Thank you again Cyrene. Goodnight." Leslie shut the door and went to sleep feeling
happy that she had such wonderful ancestors.
The next morning Xena was up and bathed and headed towards the kitchen at the crack
of dawn, leaving her bard sleeping peacefully. When she reached the kitchen, she
saw her mom humming and working around the kitchen. This was the time of day Xena
liked best when she was home, because she got to spend some quality time with her mother.
"Good morning Xena. Did you rest well?" Cyrene asked her daughter as she kissed
her on the cheek.
"Yes mother. I always do when I'm home." She kissed her mom on the cheek. "How
have things been around here? Where's Toris mother?"
"Things are about the same here except we need to rebuild two of the cabins out back.
Toris has gone to get supplies to lay in for this coming winter. There are things
I just can't get here, so he went to a few other towns to gather what is needed."
Cyrene hesitated, "Xena dear, it's time you told me about your new friends. You know,
it's funny, but they kind of a resemble you an Gabrielle."
"Yes. We have noticed that mom. I guess I can't put off the explanation any longer.
So, here goes.." Xena proceeded to tell her mom the whole story since meeting
Irene and Leslie. Leaving out the part about being attack on the way home. It wasn't
necessary to upset her mother. "There you have it mother... They resemble us, because
they are our descendants."
"I find it hard to believe... It's such an incredible story. Are you sure?" Cyrene
From the doorway came Gabrielle's voice, "Yes mom. We are sure... they belong to
us alright! That's why we have to try to help them as best we can." She moved to
where her warrior was sitting and sat down next to her, placing her arm around Xena's
shoulder and kissing her good morning.
"All right then. What's your plan, Xena? How can we help our grandchildren?" She
giggled as she said this, because they looked to be around her age.
always have to come up with a plan?"
"Well dear, that's because you always do! " said Cyrene.
It took all of Gabrielle's disipline not tho burst out laughing.
Xena groaned. "Ok! Yes. I do have a plan to at least try to find out why they are
here. If I can find that out... Maybe, just maybe, I can figure out a way to get
them back to their time. If not... Then I'm afraid they are here to stay. I thought
we could ask the Oracle of Delphi."
"Oh, and mom... let them help around the inn. It will give them something to do and
make them feel like they are paying for there keep. They are two very proud women."
"Hmmm! Must have inherited that from two other very proud women I know." Cyrene said
looking directly at Xena and Gabrielle. She had this big smile on her face.
A few hours later Irene and Leslie came down stairs and into the kitchen. "Morning
everyone. Isn't it a lovely day? Leslie said.
"I just can't understand how you can be so up, this early. I can barely see straight."
Teasing, Leslie said, "Perhaps, if you hadn't gotten smashed last night you would
"Don't even go there." Irene said. "Please, Cyrene do you have coffee? I need coffee."
Cyrene had a puzzled look on her face. Looked at Xena, who just shrugged. "Uhh,
Irene, what is coffee?"
"Never mind... " Irene said. What she thought was an entirely differant matter!
Damn, Damn, Damn!!
Everyone was seated at the table for breakfast, and the conversation got around to
the two cabins that needed rebulding. This got Irene's attention. "What has to
be done to the cabins? I might be able to help! I used to run a construction company.
I can build anything! Please Cyrene let me help. With the four of us we could get
it finished in no time, and I bet it will be better than it was the first time."
She said this in one breath.
Cyrene didn't know what to say. It was a large undertaking and she wasn't sure this
woman could build the two cabins. She looked to Xena for help and Xena nodded her
approval. "You have the job then Irene. You can get what ever supplies you need
in town. Xena, you know where to go, so you can take Irene to purchase what is needed.
We can also get some of the men from the village to chop down some logs for us.
They owe me some favors."
"You won't be sorry. I promise you. And Cyrene... thank you for the clothes and
your hospitality." Irene said.
"It's the least I can do. You're family!"
It had been two weeks since the rebuilding of the cabins had been going on, and although
some of the technics that Irene was familiar with had to be modified, things were
going well. She worked with what was at hand and adapted her skills to fit the job. Everyone had helped out, and done what she asked of them. And, of course, Leslie
was so very proud of her. She couldn't believe this was the same women who two weeks
ago was stumbling all over the place, and bumping into things. 'She's got her confidence back.'
Leslie thought as she looked up at the sky and said: 'Thank you.'
Irene had been training to use the war staff. She had seen Gabrielle use it when
they were attacked by those thugs, and was very impressed. Gabrielle would practice
every evening after they worked on the cabins and Irene tended to tag along with
her. One session Irene could stand it no more, and asked, no begged rather, if Gabrielle
would please teach her. At first Gabrielle wasn't very receptive to the idea, but
saying no to Irene was very difficult. If not impossible. Irene came up with more
reasons why she should learn than a caterpillar has legs. So, Gabrielle relented. She
was an apt pupil. Irene felt more secure about being able to help in a fight now.
Now, her friends could depend on her.
Xena had been sparing with Lesley every night. Teaching her how to use a sword.
She had been impressed with her ability. She seemed to be stronger now. Xena guessed
it was the hard work of building the cabins that were bulding Leslie's body up.
Both women seemed to be much more confident now than when they had first met...
Cyrene went out back to call everyone in for the noon meal. She couldn't believe
how fast the cabins were being finished. It probably would only take about a few
more days. 'I never would have believed it if I didn't see it for myself. Irene certainly knew
what she was doing.'
That night as everyone was finishing the evening meal, Xena told the two travelers
what her plan was to try and help them get home. "When do we leave!" asked Leslie
"Well, Irene says the cabins will be done in a few days, so I figured we would go
the day after... I'm sure the Oracle can shed some light on your predicament. I'll
ask for an audience with her, and we'll take things from there. You do realize that
this might all be for nothing."
"No Xena. None of this is for nothing..." She clasps Xena's arm in friendship.
We have found out who we came from. How wonderful all of you are... I found out
that the traits we see in ourselves, we have inherited from you and Gabrielle.
You have done so much for us already... I can't begin to even thank you..." Tears started
to roll down her cheeks.
Irene walked up to Xena and kissed her on the cheek and said: "That's ditto for
me too!" Then she went and hugged Cyrene and Gabrielle. Xena was a little unnerved
by all this show of emotion. She looked to the bard for help. When she saw she
would get none, she just shrugged and smiled that half smile of hers and went with the flow.
It was late and the last of the inns patrons had left. Nothing to do now but straighten
up and get things ready for the next day. When everything was finished our little
family group sat around the table for a bite of food and some conversation.
"So. The cabins are finished right on time Irene. They look wonderful! Thank you.
I never thought that you would be able to do the job, but you sure proved me wrong."
Cyrene said as she gently touched Irene's cheek.
"Thanks... But I didn't do it by myself ya know! We all did it. Thanks to all of
you for making me look so good." With that statement Irene went around and hugged
everyone of her new family. Even Xena accepted the hug good naturedly. 'Gods! More hugging!
All of a sudden the door to the inn bursts open and three very tired looking Amazons
walked in. They saw Gabrielle as she was rising from her seat to greet them, they
quickly came towards her.
"Solari! It is good to see you! Hello Diandra, Cassia. What brings you here?"
Solari bows to her queen, "Thank Artemis we have found you safe and sound, my Queen.
We have been looking for you for three weeks now. Ephiny has sent scouts out to
find you, and bring you back to the village. She is terribly worried about you."
"Solari... First of all, don't call me My Queen. Gabrielle will do nicely. Now,
tell me why Ephiny is so worried that she would send out search parties to find me?"
"The high preistess of Artemis told Ephiny that it was imperitive that we find you
and warn you that you were in grave danger. And to bring you back to the village
immediately. Eph said something about some kind of vision , but didn't elaborate
on it. This is all I know my Queen, er Gabrielle."
Gabrielle turns to look at Xena. Xena could see worry in Gabrielle's eyes. "Don't
worry, Gabrielle, we'll head out at first light. We'll be there in two or three
days. Then we can get to the bottom of this. No one will hurt you as long as I'm
"Correction!" said Leslie. "As long as we
are here. We're going with you. Isn't that right Irene?"
"You bet it is. I wouldn't miss this! Irene thought a minute and a devilish grin
appeared. Pointing to Solari and the other two Amazons: "Do you think I could wear
clothes like that when we get there?" Speaking to now one in particular. Of course,
this got a laugh out of everyone thus relaxing the tense emotions of the moment.
"Leslie, Irene I'm so sorry that we can't go to Delphi now, but... I am the Queen.
It's my responsibility to go an.... "
"Please, you don't have to appoligize to us. We understand completely. We can go
there after we find out what's going on at the village. Right Les?"
"You bet! I know you have to do the Queen thing. But, I'll tell you this... We
refuse to let you go without us. We wouldn't miss out on this for anything."
Xena spoke before Gabrielle had a chance to: "Listen, Les, this could be very dangerous
We're going and that's that. We're family and families stick together! Ya got
"OK! You can go!" Xena had a very surprised look on her face. She thought to herself:
'Whao! She certainly isn't intimidated by me! Is she?"
All Gabrielle could do, after seeing the look on Xena's face, was to try to stifle
a giggle. She knew by the look on Xe's face that she was surprised by Les' standing
up to her that way. The look was priceless. Sort of like shock that anyone would
dare stand up to the Warrior Princess.
The very next day they were on their way. The only difference was, that this time
everyone was on horseback. Much to the dismay of the bard; who complained that she
didn't like to ride and would much rather walk. But, Xena insisted, saying that
they didn't know where they would have to go after they reached Amazonia, and riding horses
would be more practical. They could get to wherever they were going much faster.
Gabrielle had to agree with that bit of logic. But that didn't stop her from grumbling
when she mounted her horse.
Our group had been traveling for four or five candlemarks now, and everyone was in
need of a rest. Xena found a clearing and decided that this would be a fine place
to rest. Leslie and Irene could not wait to get off their horses. They loved to
ride... but not for this long a time! Leslie removed her back pack and took her canteen
out and drank her fill. Her hand automatically went to her belt where she kept her
pistol at the ready. Since the incident on the trail she felt more secure having
her pistol close by. She also knew once the bullets were all used up the gun would be worthless.
But by then, she would be well versed in using the sword and able to protect herself
Irene now wore the Bowey knife on her belt at all times. It made her feel safe.
And thanks to Gabrielle, she had her staff. 'Yes. Yes indeed. Much safer.
' she thought as she drank from her canteen.
Xena and Gabrielle just sat next to each other speaking quietly and smiling. The
Amazon's always seemed to be on guard. Ever watchful of their beloved Queen. They
rested about a candlemark and then it was time to move on. Thank the Gods, the trip
was uneventful. It took three days to reach the village.
As they came to the outskirts of the village they were met by more Amazons and escorted
into the village. There Ephiny was waiting for her friends. Waiting not so patiently...
She was very glad to see her Queen was well and safe. "My Queen, Thank the Gods you are alright. Xena, my friend, how are you?" Then Ephiny notices Leslie
and Irene standing next to Xena. "Who are these women, Xena?"
"Eph, it's a long story... I'll fill you in later. As to how I am, depends on your
answer... Right now I would like an explanation as to why it was so urgent for Gabrielle
to return to the village. "
"Ephiny. Let's go to the Queens hut and we will discuss this. Also please have a
hut prepared for our... uh! family." said Gabrielle.
"What! Family! I'm confused... where did... They resemble you but... " stammered
"Eph, long story... Later... remember?" Gabrielle just shakes her head.
When our group was seated inside the Queens hut, Ephiny began to tell the story of
why she was so anxious to find and bring her Queen to the village... "Celin, the
high preistess of Artemis, told me that Artemis herself had come to her and told
her to come and tell me to have you brought here immediately, because your life was in great
danger. In fact Artemis saw your death. This was told to me one moon ago. The
preistess said that there was a plan to help, but Artemis did not devulge this to
her She also said that you and whoever you came here with was to go to the Temple the morning
after your arrival and wait there. All will be revealed at that time."
Gabrielle just sat there stunned by this revelation. "By the Gods!"
Xena looked over to where Irene and Leslie were sitting. She was developing a plan...
Xena gave Gabrielle that look that says 'we have to talk...'
"Eph would you show Irene and Leslie to their hut, please. Xe and I have to talk
about this alone. Turning to the two archeologists she said, "we will meet you
at the food hut for our evening meal and discuss this further."
"OK. See you later. If you need us just yell. I am kind of tired. I could use
a nap." Irene said. The two women followed Eph out of the Queens hut to their
own hut, which was next to Gabrielle and Xena.
When Xena and Gabrielle were finally alone: "Ok, Warrior... What's on that mind
"Gabrielle, I have a suspicion that Les and Re are not here by chance and I think
Artemis has something to do with it. Brie... The scary part of this is that they
were the ones who saved your life when we were attacked on the road to Amphipolis.
I think that's why they were brought here. I could never have reached you in time... Forgive
me... " Xena's voice trails off.
Seeing the pain in Xena's face, Gabrielle goes to her love and holds her in an embrace.
"Oh Xena! My love, there is nothing to forgive. I'm fine and here with you.
I love you. There was nothing you could have done. If what you surmise is true,
then we should thank Artemis for bringing them back to help us."
" I love you, my Bard."
Gabrielle goes over to her warrior and gives her a very passionate kiss. Just then,
Gabrielle's stomach starts to rumble. "I guess I'm a wee bit hungry." she laughs.
"Right. Lets go to the food hut. Everyone should be there by now anyway. Don't
want you wasting away; do we? Chuckled Xena.
"Thank you Ephiny. I don't think we were properly introduced. My name is Irene
and this gal is Leslie. We are kind of family... sort of... you might say."
"Yeah! Oookayyy! I guess I have to wait till Xena tells me what's going on, huh?
If you need anything, my hut is on the other side of the Queens hut. Till the evening
meal then..." Ephiny turns and leaves.
"I'm exhausted and downright confused. Did you see the look on Xena's face. She's
on to something... I can feel it." Irene said looking over to her friend. "What's
the matter Les? We made it to the village without any problems, and Gabrielle is
safe. Come to think of it, So are we. That's a plus, Babe!"
"This brought a smile to Leslie's face. Yes it's a plus alright... When I'm down
you become the optemist. I love y... that... about you. Look Re! A bathtub!
Ughhh! I need to wash the dirt off. How 'bougt you."
"Yeah! Sounds like a plan to me."
"Ahh, you... you go first and I'll give you privacy and wait outside... OK?"
"Les, come on! Don't be silly. It'll get cold by the time one of us finishes.
We're big girls here... Let's take the bath together. That way we both get hot
water! And... we still have time for a nap."
Irene did not hear Leslie groan. "Right! We are two adult women... Sure why not...
'You can do this Leslie! '
she thought .
Both women undressed and got into the tub with out looking at one another. Oh boy!
This feels great! Doesn't it Les? I had no idea I had so many muscles in my back
that could cause sooo much pain. I am so stiff!"
"Here... Let me clean your back and then you can do mine. Maybe it will relax the
muscles. How does that feel Re?"
Ahh! Yeah, yeah! That feels fine... 'A little too fine '
Irene thinks. OK... Thanks! That's enough... Your turn now." Irene turnes and
faces Leslie... She looks into the deep blue pools that are Leslie's eyes. ' Oh yeah! I really do love her. I'm in trouble now.
' she thinks. "Les we need to talk... But not in the tub... I can't really concentrate
in the tub... After we have dinner." Irene gets out of the tub and wraps a bath
sheet around herself.
'Just great! Damn, Damn, Damn! My god! Was I that transparent?!' "
Re! Are you angry with me? Did I do something wrong?! What's the matter?"
"Oh Les, no, I'm not angry at you. Quite the contrary. Les, do you think you can
get out of the tub... It's kind of distracting... Leslie got out of the tub and
was standing there naked, wiping herself with her bath sheet. "Les... Les... I...
I... God! This is hard."
"Re. What?! You can tell me anything... you know that." Still standing there naked
as a jay bird.
" I... I love you! Not like a friend. Like a lover. If you don't feel the same
way about me, it's Ok Les, but, please don't be disgusted by my feelings for you.
We can still... "
"Oh... My... God! You love me!!! I've been in love with you for so long. I was
afraid to tell you for fear of losing you. I'd rather have you around as a friend
if I couldn't have you as a lover. So, I kept quite."
All Irene could do was cry. Leslie came to her and held her in her arms and she too
cried tears of joy. They sat like this for over a candle mark. Until Irene realized...
"Les, hon... You're naked!"
"Very observant Re. What gave you the first clue?" Both friends just started laughing.
This was the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. Together.
Ephiny was already at the food hut when Xena and Gabrielle came in. The three friend
sat at the Queens table and started making small talk, when Ephiny could contain
herself no longer... "Will you please fill me in on your traveling companions.
They're strangely dressed... Which means they're not from around here and they talk funny.
They said they were family, but I never heard you mention them and.... "
"Eph! Hold it!" Gabrielle proceeded to tell Ephiny the story about their two descendents.
" And that's it in a nutshell, Eph." It took awhile for Eph to fully comprehend
what Gabrielle had told her.
When Ephiny finally closed her mouth... "Sooo, that means.... You are grandparents!!!"
And burst out in a fit of laughter.
Xena just growled at Ephiny. "Okay! Enough with the laughing!" And Gabrielle just
sat there giggling. "Oh great! You too!"
At that moment Irene and Leslie walked up to the table hand in hand. This did not
go unnoticed by the three giggling companions. Xena and Gabrielle looked at each
other and nodded their approval.
"Okay!!! What's fer dinner? I'm starving! My stomach has been rumbling for an
hour." Irene said. With this last statement everyone just howled with laughter.
How very like Gabrielle she was...
After the women had finished their evening meal and had had some wine, things got
a bit more serious. The conversation got around to going to the Temple of Artemis
and what they would find out. Leslie and Irene didn't have a clue yet, and Xena
wasn't about to tell them her theory. They would find out soon enough. As a matter of fact
both Les and Re were excited to actually see the inside of a temple that wasn't in
ruins. They were, at their hearts, archeologists and the thought of gaining new
knowledge about a civilization they could only speculate about a short time ago, was mind
boggling for them. Everyone decided it would be wise to turn in early. The two
time travelers couldn't begin to understand what awaited them.
Morning came very quickly. The five women gathered together and then proceeded to
the Temple of Artemis. It was just on the edge of the village. The Temple was
a marble structure with columns in the front. Leslie and Irene were very impressed
by this spectacular building. The others just thought of this as Artemis' Temple. Nothing
that special. In they walked and were greeted by Celin, the High Preistess. "Welcome,
my Queen. I are truly relieved you are here and well. The visions were frightening."
"What were the visions, Celin?" asked Gabrielle.
" I cannot answer your question your majesty. That is for the Goddess to tell. Please
forgive me... "
Gabrielle just waved her hand and told Celin there was nothing to forgive.
An Owl flies into theTemple. Then there is a bright light and Artemis appears before
Gabrielle. "Gabrielle! You are safe... My plan was successful.
"I don't understand! What... Was I in danger?!? From who and... " Gabrielle started
to ask when Artemis raised her hand for Gabrielle to stop talking.
Before Artemis could speak, Xena, who was furious by this time, was glaring at Artemis
and said: "What have the Gods done this time? Don't you ever get tired of meddling
in our lives? When she is in danger it involves me as well. She is the other half of my soul and... "
"Xena! Please, stop it!" Gabrielle said, as she went to Xena's side and held her
around the waist. She continued to speak to Xena in a calm and soothing voice.
"Remember who you are speaking to. Artemis would never do harm to me. You know
"Gabrielle... I... I'm sorry. I couldn't live if... " Xena held Gabrielle close
"Xena... Look into your heart. You know that I would protect Gabrielle. I also
know you would give your life for her, but this time I knew you would be unable
to protect her, and I could not. That is why I brought them (pointing to Leslie
and Irene) to our time. I could not interfere, but nothing said I couldn't manipulate the situation
so that the attack on the road to Amphipolis would fail to kill her." said Artemis.
"Areeessss... " Xena said his name with such hatred that the hair on Leslie's arms
just stood up.
"Yes. Ares... He has been dealt with. When Zues found out what he was doing....
Well, let's just say he won't be bothering anyone for a while. He thought if Gabrielle
were dead, he could get you back into the fold. I could not directly stop this from happening but I could bring Leslie and Irene here to help." She turned to speak
directly to Lesie and Irene: "That is why the stone was put into the talisman so
that you would feel an irrisistable urge to touch it. And when you both did...
Well, you know the rest. Once you were here it was easier for me to... have you do what you
were supposed to do... And that was to save Gabrielle's life. You have obviously
done that. My thanks to you both."
"Artemis... Can you help us return to our time? When we touched the stone and were
transported here... the stone vanished. Now, we have no way of getting back home.
Knowing our ancestors has been an incredible experience for us, but this is not
home. I miss my children... Please, help us!" A single tear falls from her eye.
Artemis could not help but feel compassion for this woman who looked so much like
her chosen, and the other one, she had Xena's temperament. One had only to look
at the way she held herself to know that she had confidence. She also didn't take
her eyes off Irene. Hmmm! That protective thing... "The stone disappearded because it does
not exist yet in this time frame. I may be able to help you return to your time.
However, that depends on you."
"Great! More riddle's! What the hell is that supposed to mean? 'that depends on
you'. You're the Goddess around here. Why not just snap your fingers and send us
back?" shouted Leslie.
"I may be a Goddess, but there are things that even I can not do Leslie. I will allow
your disrespectful tone of voice, because in your time we gods are looked at as
just mythes. But I will allow it only once.
Do you understand me?
Before an angry Leslie could respond, Gabrielle said nervously: "Please, my Goddess...
Leslie means no disrespect to you. This has been a harrowing experience for them
both. Although they have adjusted to life here, their time is not now, but in
the future. "
Then Leslie said: "Please forgive my outburst. You have no idea how frustrating
all this has been. We have discovered who we are and where we come from. We have
discovered we are stronger individuals than we once thought we were. But... we don't
belong here... What do we have to do?"
Artemis waves her hand, and then turns to Xena... "You, all of you must journey to
the isle of Theliki and bring back the Sands of Time to me. It will not be an easy
journey for you. The island is in the Aggean Sea off the coast of Amphipolis near
Thasos. Bring it back here to my temple."
I have never heard of an island off the coast of Amphipolis. " How far away is it,
and why has no one charted it?" Asked Xena.
Xena! You doubt me? The island can not be seen because it is covered in a mist-like
fog. Only when you come up close to the island can it be seen. I will give you
instructions on how to reach Theliki and where to find the Sands. There is an old
temple on the island. That is where you will find the Sands of Time." Artemis whispers
something to Xena. She shakes her head in agreement.
"Forgive me Artemis... but... how is this going to help us get home?" Irene asked.
"Have faith! Follow Xena's directions and do as she tells you. All will be well.
She knows exactly what has to be done. Then Artemis was gone in a flash of light.
Xena had managed to procure a ship and a crew. An old friend of hers, Calvos, owned
the ship and agreed to take her and her friends to the island, if she could secure
a crew for the journey. Thanks to Ephiny, she got her crew. Calvos was thoroughly
surprised to see ten Amazons march on board and go right about their duties as a crew.
Diandra and Cassia were among the ten Amazons. Best looking crew he'd ever had!
He too had never seen or heard of the island, so he was eager to set sail on another
one of his adventures. Quite frankly he would do anything for Xena. He owed her. She
had saved his family and himself from certain death from a ruthless warlord. She
heard of his plight and came to his rescue. Calvos never forgot his debt to Xena,
and made a vow that he would be there when ever she needed him. So, that was the case
today. He would take her and her friends to this invisible island and wait for
her while she did what she needed to do. From what Xena had told him... It would
take at least two days to get there. When they did reach the island, he was to wait until
their return. And this he would do without question.
Xena and Leslie looked at the ship and were excited to be finally getting on board
to start yet another adventure. However, that was not the case for Gabrielle or
Irene said, "Oh my! I'm feeling queasy just looking at the ocean."
"I know just what you mean. Give me your wrist... (she pokes Irene's wrist several
times) Xena taught me how to do that. It will help... (as an after-thought she
said) just don't eat anything you wouldn't normally." Gabrielle just smiled at
her last statement.
Puzzled... Irene asked, "Huh! I don't get it? How's poking' me on the wrist going
to stop my motion sickness?"
"Trust me! You should be feeling better right about now."
It was amazing, but true. Irene was feeling better. "Thanks Gabrielle! This is
better than dramimine." Irene noticed the puzzled look on Gabrielle"s face and tried
to explain... "Uhh... long story... Hey! I'm Hungry! When do we eat."
"Alright Calvos, let's set sail! " Looking over at her three traveling companions
she said: "Okay! Next stop the Isle of Theliki. Oh! And Gabrielle, did you tell
Irene about the wrist poke?" Xena said as she was laughing. She had already clued
Leslie in on the consequences of the poke. Irene would want to eat the strangest things.
"Yeah, I did." answered Gabrielle. She smiled at Xena, thinking of a long time ago....
They had had their evening meal, exchanged stories and were sitting next to one another.
Leslie and Irene were huddled under a blanket sitting by the metal stove trying
to keep warm as was Xena and Gabrielle.
"So. How are you two doing?" Gabrielle asked with a sweet smile on her face. All
Xena did was stifle a giggle.
"Oh! Fine! The motion sickness is....Oooh! You're not talking about that are you?"
Irene said. "Ah, we're doing fine... I finally got up the courage to tell her
(she turns to face Leslie ) I love you..."
Leslie was positively ecstatic: "Isn't that the greatest thing in the world to hear.
I love you too, Irene."
Both Xena and Gabrielle just sat there and smiled at their descendants. They were
very happy that they had finally found the courage to tell each other of their love.
Irene was the first to give in to sleep. "Well, I think it's time for me to turn
in. I'll see you all tomorrow." And off she went below decks.
"Xe, I think I'm ready for 'bed' also. Are you. She smiled that smile at Xena,
and that was all she had to do to convey what the word bed meant in this case.
"Oh Yeah! Right behind ya, my bard. Good night Les. Tomorrow will be a busy day
for us. We should sight the island, and then the fun begins. Try and get some
"Xena... Do you think this is going to work? I don't want to get Irene's hopes up
if there is no chance... If it was just me, I could make a life here as long as
I have her, but I know she misses her children... And... She lower's her head.
Sensing the turmoil that was swirling around in Leslie's mind, Xena said: "Les!
Listen to me! Only the Fates know what life has in store for us. We have to live
our lives as best we can. Where we live them doesn't matter. It's how we live them
that's important. Irene know's the chances of getting home are slim to none. We have
to trust that Artemis will do as she said."
"Thank you, 'Grandma.... Just kidding!!!" she smiles sheepishly. " I say that with
the deepest affection, Xena."
"You're welcome. Now, as your Grandmother; I'm telling you to go to bed!" Xena
and Les just laughed and hugged good night.
When Xena got down to her cabin Gabrielle was writing on her scroll of the days events.
"What took you so long my love?"
"Les was in need of a shoulder to lean on. You know, I will miss them a great deal
when they go home. I've grown very fond of them."
She teased. "Well you could knock me over with a feather! You getting mushy about
someone! Other than me, of course." "I feel the same way about those two. Half
of me wishes they won't go home and the other half wishes they do. I feel a deep
connection to them. A love, actually. Now, my Warrior, come over here and give me some
"Oh Yes! My Queen. Your wish is my command." said Xena as she bowed.
Leslie remained on deck for awhile longer, just looking out at the vast expanse of
the moonlite sea before her. 'How beautiful!
' she thought. She and Irene hadn't had the chance to consimate their relationship
with each other. There just wasn't the right opportunity. Things were moving to
fast for them. They wanted their first time with each other to be perfect. Leslie
had had lovers before, but never a women, and never had she felt such profound loving
feelings toward anyone before.
She opened the door to her cabin... There Irene was sound asleep in her nightshirt.
Les got undressed and got into bed next to Irene. She snuggled her body next to
her love. 'Oh my! She feels so right next to me.'
"Goodnight love." as Les kisses her on the cheek. Irene stirs in her arms. "Night
Calvos was at the helm of the ship with Xena right next to him. Straining to see
the island. Xena was losing patience. Up in the crow's-nest was Diandra trying
to spot anything that remotely looked like it could be Theliki. "Xena! There!
On the port side of the ship. The mist... That must be the island." Diandra slid down the
sail and landed right next to Xena. Xena was impressed.
"That was very good Diandra."
"Thank you Xena. I learned that move from you a few years ago." Diandra said smiling.
"Diandra I want you and Cassia to take over here. Watch the island for a smoke signal.
If you see one... Come running. Got it?" Xena said.
"Got it! You know you can count on me. How long do you think you will be on the
Xena just shrugged her shoulders. "I really don't know."
"Alright! Listen up everyone... We'll take a rowboat and head toward the island
Be very aware of your suroundings. We know nothing of this island so stay on your
toes. Okay! Let's go!"
As the women were getting ready to row the boat ashore, Calvos tells Xena, "I won't
tell you to be careful, because that's an impossiblity with you, but I will tell
you to walk with the Gods. Be safe my friend."
The trip to the shore was uneventful. The women got out and pulled the rowboat up
on the beach.
"Make sure it's up far enough so that it won't float away when the tide comes in."
"Before we start, Les and I want to thank you both for going to all this trouble.
We know this island is an unknown. You are risking your lives to help us. Who
knows what awful things are out there or if anything is out there. Yet you both
are there for us. We... We love you both. Just wanted you to know that in case.... " Irene
and Leslie had tears in their eyes as did Xena and Gabrielle. Of course, there
was a group hug.
"Okay now! Let's head on out. Les! Have that weapon of yours handy, just in case."
"Right. No problem."
Irene got a great idea! Taking the walky-talky out of her pack... "Les Take one
of the walky-talky's. That way if we get seperated we can still be in touch and
find each other." Turning to Xena and Gabrielle: We'll show ya how they work so
you can use them also." After the quick lesson was over, our four adventurers were off on
Artemis had given Xena some idea as to where the old temple was, but Xena didn't know
how long it would take them to get there, or what obstacles they would run into if
any. They walked for almost three candlemarks when they came to a clearing. On
the other side of the clearing they saw theTemple. What they couldn't see from their vantage
point was that at the end of the clearing was a sharp drop off. The temple was
on the other side. They couldn't see any way to get to the other side.
"Damn! How the hell are we going to get accross? I don't see any way. Can we climb
down and then up again? We'll kill ourselve's trying." Irene said.
Everyone kind of agreed with her, but being with Xena meant never giving up. There
had to be a way, and they would find it. Xena had an idea. She climbed a tall
tree to have a look around. She could see things up there that she couldn't see
from the ground. Up she climbed. "I see something we can use." She shouted down to her companions
as she came back down the tree.
"There is a natural rock bridge connecting both sides of the cliff. It's about
one candlemark north of here. I think it's big enough for us to get accross. It's
worth a try, anyway." Xena said.
"Xe, could you try not climbing any more trees. I worry!" Gabrielle held her hand
as they walked on. Xena just kissed her on the forehead and smiled that half smile.
"Come on Re, let's get going. I can't wait to see that temple. It's even older the
the one we saw at the village." Les was more excited about checking out the temple
than thinking about getting accross the bridge safely.
Irene just looked at her and shrugged. 'Ever the archeologist!
' "Okay! Let's get movin'."
They had been walking for awhile when all of a sudden there was a small earth tremor.
Everyone just stood still for the few seconds it lasted. "Wow! Did ya feel that?!!
Is that what an earthquake feels like?? I've never felt anything like that before!!" The panic rising in Irene's voice.
"I dunno!!! Me neither... " Leslie answered anxiously.
Xena heard the panic in both her descendants voices and tried to calm them down.
"It's Okay! Trust me. That was not an earthquake just a small rumble. That happens
every now and then. You are not in any danger from that. Come on let's keep going.
We should be at the bridge very soon."
Both Irene and Leslie nodded and continued on their way. Looking at each other nervously.
But they trusted that Xena knew what she was doing; and they would follow her anyway,
even if she didn't.
"Xe", Gabrielle whispered to her warrior, "Is it really Okay?"
"Brie, I'm really not sure. But, I had to say something to calm them down. I won't
let anything happen to any of us."
Finally they came to the rock bridge. It wasn't nearly as wide as Xena had figured.
As a matter of fact it was quite narrow. Maybe a foot and a half wide, but it looked
sturdy enough and passible. They would have to traverse it very carefully. As they started toward the bridge it started to rain.
"Rain! Of all times for it to rain. Son of a Bacchae! First the earth moves and
then it rains... The damn bridge will be slippery!" said Gabrielle.
Before Xena can respond, Leslie says: "It's Okay! Really! The soles of our boots
will help Irene and me not to slip. You and Xena should stay here and we'll go over
to the temple and pick up the sand. You'd be slipping all over the place."
Xena saw the logic in what Leslie said and agreed. Gabrielle was not as sure...
"How can you be sure you wont fall? You might need us to...."
"Look... Gabrielle! if we need help who better than you and Xena to come to the
rescue. We'll give you two a walky-talky to keep in touch with us. We'll keep
you informed all the way. You know this is the right decision."
Irene chimed in, "I promise, no dilly-dallying around the temple. We'll just get
in... get the sand and back here as soon as possible. I'm not to thrilled walking
on that narrow bridge, but Les is right it's the best plan. We can do this. This
time you need to trust us."
Alright then... Take your time. Don't rush it and be careful. I'll try and walk
you through. Good Luck!" Xena said.
Gabrielle hugged them both. "Gods be with you."
As Irene and Leslie started to cross the bridge it started to rain even harder than
it already was. All the women could do was keep going. They were soaked thru but
things were going along fine. 'One step at a time
' was all Irene could think. 'One step at a time.
' "No time to get klutzy now Irene" she murmured to herself.
Leslie turned her body a little to see if Irene was okay. "That's it love! You're
doin' fine! We're halfway there. Come on... Hey Re! I like the way your shirt
is clinging... "
"Not now Les! Wait till you reach the other side... " Came Xena's voice over the
walky-talky. "You both look fine from here."
The two friends were coming closer to the end of the rock bridge. They couldn't wait
to get to the other side so that they could sit down and rest. It wasn't that the
distance was long, it was the tension of falling to your death that was taking it's
toll on them mentally and physically. Finally! The other side. They made it! Leslie
and Irene signaled to Xena and Gabrielle that they were alright. All they could
do for the moment was just sit there in the rain and try to catch their breath.
They were exhausted, but they had to keep going.
They made there way to the temple, talking to Xena on the walky-talky as they went.
"Is there anything we should know? Booby traps or some such nonsense? Did Artemis
tell you where the Sands of Time are, or do we have to solve a puzzle? The Gods
don't make it easy; do they Xena?" Leslie complained.
"No. No. Yes. No. ." answered Xena. Talking into this thing, as she called
the walky-talky, seemed to make her nervous.
"My! Aren't you the talkative one! Ha! Ha! Ha!" Where are the Sands?"
"The Sands are on the altar in a small sealed urn." answered Xena.
"Okay... I see it."
Both women walked up to the altar. Then circled it to make sure there were no surprises.
When they were satisfied that it was reasonably safe, Irene picked up the urn.
She shook it to make sure the sand was in there. Yep! It was there. She put the
urn in her backpack and proceed to join Leslie. "Okay Les... Let's blow this joint."
Les just looked at Irene and giggled. The women left the temple and started
down the path to the bridge. It was still pouring rain... When they got to the
bridge both women looked at each other and just shook their heads from side to side and sighed
deeply. It looked like the Gods weren't going to make this easy...
"Okay Irene... You go first and I'll be right behind ya. We'll be fine." But Leslie
wasn't as confident as she sounded. Truth be known, she was scared to death. It
was raining harder than when they traversed the bridge the first time.
"Right!! We will be fine! Sure... Uhh! Do you think we should wait till the rain
"Re... It will be getting dark soon. Then we won't be able to get accross until
tomorrow, and I don't want to spend the night here."
"Okay then, let's do it!!! It can't get any worse... " Irene was frightened, but
she knew Leslie was right. Some how she was more frightened now about crossing the
bridge than the first time.
Both women started their journey accross. Irene in front and Leslie bringing up the
rear. The going was much more difficult this time. The winds were stronger and
it was more slippery. What else could go wrong... All of a sudden the two companions
felt the bridge shudder... It was another tremor... Irene lost her balance and fell
off the bridge before Leslie could grab her. Irene had grabbed onto a jagged piece
of rock that was jutting out from the bridge and was hanging on precariously.
Irene was screaming and holding on for dear life. Her feet dangling in the air. Leslie
too was having her problems, although she was in a much better position than Irene.
She had fallen forward and had grabbed on to either side of the narrow bridge.
All she could think of was to get to Irene...
"Irene!!! Hold on!! I'm coming... Don't let go!" She finally regained her balance.
Don't let me fall!
Help me Les, help me! I can't hold on much longer. Hurryyy!!!" She was screaming.
Leslie grabbed her hand and the backpack, and pulled her up and onto the bridge.
Irene just held Leslie very tightly and sobbed. Then Leslie noticed that Irene's
hand was badly cut from the jagged rock she had grabbed when she had fallen.
"Re... You're hand is bleeding... Hon... come on we have to get to the other side
so I can take care of that. Are you hurt anywhere else." Irene nodded her head
that she was fine otherwise. She checked her out anyway, and decided that everything
was Okay. Let's go Re..."
"I'm okay!! Just terrified is all... Just one thing Les... No more bridges....."
Smiling, Leslie replied: "No more bridges. I promise!"
They made their way back accross to where Xena and Gabrielle were anxiously waiting.
Xena was very relieved that they had gotten back in one piece. Well, almost one
piece... It was then both she and Gabrielle noticed that Irene was bleeding heavily
from the deep laceration on her hand and wrist. Leslie was desperately trying to stop
the bleeding. She was not being very successful. She knew Re needed stitches, but
where was she going to get them out here, she wondered. Leslie helped Irene to
the shelter that Gabrielle had prepared, and then set about rummaging thru her backpack looking
for the first aid kit.
Irene sat down and felt very weak all of a sudden. "Gabrielle... I... I... think
I'm going to be sick! I can't stand the sight of blood... Especially Miiiiinnnne!!
Irene just slumps over in a faint. She knew she was about to faint because the
blackness just seemed to envelop her.
Lesley was right next to her and grabbed her before she can hurt any other part of
her body. "Re! Re! Oh God! Don't you die on me!" She yells as she holds her
in her arms, crying and rocking back and forth.
"Les. It's going to be Okay. I can stitch up her hand. That will stop the bleeding.
She's not going to die. It's good she passed out. This way she won't feel it when
we sew her up. Gabrielle take some herbs out of the pouch and make a tea to help
fight an infection. Let's clean out the wound... What's that you have there?"
"It's a first aid kit. It has some antiseptic and antibiotic cream in it, bandages,
Bandaids... When she looked up and saw the puzzled look on Xena's face, she realized
Xena didn't know what she was talking about. "Ummm, sort of like what you carry
in you medicine pouch. This stuff, pointing to the anticeptic, is to clean the wound
and this tube is to put on the wound to stop infection. Doesn't always work though.
I hope your stuff works better than mine. Ya want to use it along with your herbs?"
"Sure. Let's get to it then." After Xena had finished, and Irene was all bandaged...
She started to come around.
First face she saw was Gabrielle's... "I passed out huh?" She looked down and saw
that her hand and wrist was bandaged. "Stitches?" "The answer is yes to both your
questions You gave us quite a scare. How are you feeling?"
"My hand and wrist hurt some, but it's not so bad. I'm kinda embarrassed that I keeled
over like that though. Where's Les?"
From behind her she heard her friends voice. "I'm right here Re." Les came over
and hugged her. "I'm so sorry! It's all my fault. If only I hadn't pushed to get
across; you wouldn't have fallen and hurt yourself."
"Now you just stop all that bullshit! It was not your fault! Did you cause the earth
"Well no! Of course not. But... "
"But nothing. It... was... not... your... fault. Ya got that? You saved my life!"
"I love you, Re. Don't ever scare me like that again..."
"Trust me! Never again! I love ya too."
Xena was standing next to Gabrielle with her arm around her shoulder just taking this
all in. "You know Brie... It's kind of scary how much they remind me of us."
Gabrielle just shook her head in agreement.
The journey back on the ship was uneventful, thank the Gods, and everyone was anxious
to get back to the village. As they were disembarking the ship Xena thanked Calvos
for his part in this mission. So off the group of Amazons went. Ever protective
of their Queen. Leslie and Irene noticed that Gabrielle had a more commanding demeanor
when she was around the Amazons.
It took three days to reach the village. It was evening, and by this time everyone
was exhausted. Ephiny, of course, was there to greet the weary travelers...
"Gabrielle. Xena. Was the journey successful? Did you get the Sands of time?"
"No. We didn't get them... They did." Gabrielle said proudly, as she pointed to
Leslie and Irene.
"Well! What do you know!" Ephiny was impressed with the two newcomers.
Gabrielle had told Irene and Lesley that they would all meet in the morning, and then
go to the temple together. Xena had told Gabrielle what Artemis had requested of
them. She thought that it was a fine idea, and couldn't wait to see the look on
Leslie and Irene's faces when they heard the good news. Tomorrow would be an interesting
day. But right now all she wanted to do was sleep. It had been an exhausting trip.
Irene and Leslie took their leave and went to their hut. Neither woman had slept
really well since they went to Theliki. They had so much going on in their minds
that it was practically impossible to sleep thru the night without a nighmare or
two. They were very quiet this evening... Each with her own thoughts... And so very tired.
"Les... I'm exhausted! I think I'll turn in if you don't mind. I just can't seem
to carry on a conversation. My mind feels like jello."
"Hon, I know the feeling. Me too! All I want to do is go to bed. I can't believe
all the things that have happened to us this past month! And the Island... You
falling like that... I don't even want to think about it. I hope Artemis can get
us home, although I'd be happy anywhere you are. If we don't make it home.... Do you
think you could be happy here with me?"
"I won't lie to you Les... I have to do everything in my power to try and get home.
But if we can't; there's no one in the world I'd rather be with than you. Whether
it's in this time or our own. I love you. Now lets go to sleep. I have a feeling
we'll need to be wide awake tomorrow. Goodnight my love."
Leslie got into bed beside Irene and snuggled against her melding their bodies as
if they were one. "'Night Re. See ya ing the morning."
They waited, and waited in the Temple for Artemis to appear. 'Punctuality was abviously, not a God thing.
' Irene was torn... She had come to love these people. Her family, as she liked
to call them. But the thought of never seeing her children again was breaking her
heart. She missed them terribly. 'I am happy here. I've learned so much about myself this past month... I'm more capable
than I could ever have imagined. Les is here with me. She loves me! I wonder,
will she still feel that way when we return to our time?? Will I??
' she mused as she looked over to where her friend was.
Leslie was not big in the patience department... she was pacing back and forth.
Getting more angry by the minute. "Damn, damn, damn!" Talking to no one in particular...
"First we are kidnapped by a God and sent back in time... Almost killed by highwaymen... Killed a man... Nearly fell off that damn excuse for a bridge... " She
looks over to Irene and almost inaudibly says "Worst of all I could have lost you."
Her eyes were filling up with tears. 'Oh shit! I will not cry! '
Artemis appears again in another blinding flash of light. There the Goddess stood
at the top of the steps next to her altar. She liked to impress her subjects.
Artemis spoke to Irene and Leslie... You have done well, my daughters. You have
done your kinswomen well. They, and I are proud of you. You deserve an explaination
as to why you two are here. Nothing happens by chance. Your fates were determined
even before you were born. It was not chance that you were in that cave on that particular
day in time. It was not chance that you chose that field of work... It was your
destiny. You are truly descentants of Xena & Gabrielle. I'm sure you both feel
the connection with them.
"I had two visions in regard to My Chosen. I saw her killed by the hands of Ares
henchmen. I could see that Xena could do nothing to save her. The other vision
was of her two descendants in the future who would come back in time to save her.
Both of you had to be brought here without Ares knowing I had interfered... So... I made
the Stone of Ages that only the two of you could use to come back here to this time.
It disappeared because you arrived before it was ever made... Sounds confusing
I know, but never-the-less that is what happened. You were there for Gabrielle and I might
add for you too Xena, because if Gabrielle had died, then you would have returned
to your warlord ways and then Ares would have won."
Speaking to Leslie and Irene, Artemis said: "I will make a crystal out of the Sands
of Time so that you may return to your time... If you wish. I have also spoken to
Xena and Gabrielle regarding the crystal and they have agreed to my request. Leslie,
Irene bring the Sands and pour them into the basin on my altar and then stand beside
it. " Leslie and Irene did as they were told. Then Artemis turned to Xena and Gabrielle
and told them to stand on the other side of the altar as well. Ephiny and Solari
were standing at the bottom of the steps that lead to the altar.
Artemis passed her hands over the sands and spoke in a language no one was familiar
with. Bright light eminated from her hands over the sands and there in an instant
was the most incredible white crystal They had ever seen. Irene started to speak,
but Artemis put her hand up to silence her.
"Xena, take your daggar and cut your finger as well as Gabrielle's, Irene's and Leslie's.
Each of you must let a droplet of blood fall onto the crystal. Do it now!" Xena
obeyed. As the drops of blood fell on the stone, Artemis again waved her hands over the crystal and again a blinding light appeared. When the light had subbsided...
Irene and Leslie couldn't believe their eyes... The Crystal had turned a deep ruby
"There is something you should know about this crystal. All four of you have given
your essence to this Stone. With this you can return to your own time. However,
this stone is different than the last one; you will be able to return here whenever
you want to. When you touch the stone you will be transported forward to your time,
but the stone will remain here to be put on the altar for your return.
"You mean we can come and go as we please?" It wasn't really a question, it was
more a statement said out loud so that It would sink-in. "
Yesss! We're going Home!!!!
" Leslie grabbed Irene in a big bear hug, them ran to hug Gabrielle and Xena. Laughing
and crying at the same time. As a matter of fact everyone was crying with joy.
Both women were happy at the prospect of returning home. And yet... They knew they
would miss their new found family and friends. They would miss this time of Gods and
Goddesses; of the excitement and uncertainty that this life held.
"Gabrielle, Xena you have both been wonderful to us, but it's time for us to go home.
We have a lot of things to sort out, and I think it best... if we do that at home.
I know we will see you again. Please say goodbye to Cyrene for us." Irene said.
"Everything she said and more. Thank you so very much." Leslie said.
"Thank you Artemis for keeping your word to help us get home. I'll never disbelieve
in the Gods again! But now it's time for us to leave. Come on Re... Let's do
it!" They waved at their family and friends and then touched the Stone. Then in
an instant they were gone...
Artemis then commanded her subjects to do her bidding... "Gabrielle, you and Xena
will erect an altar in one of the small natural rooms in the cave outside of Amphipolis.
There you will place this Stone of Ages on the Altar. Ephiny... you and Celin,
will supervise the building of my temple. Take as many Amazons as you need to complete
this task as I have commanded of you. You will build the Temple so that no one
knows that a cave entrance exists there." Then she was gone in another brilliant
flash of light.
Gabrielle just smiled and shook her head, "Well! She certainly likes to appear and
disappear in a most dramatic way. Doesn't she? Come on Xe! Let's get our things
and our friends and head back to Amphipolis. We have to build that Temple.
"Right behind ya! You know Brie, I am going to miss those two. We may never see
Gabrielle smiled and said, "Oh! I don't think you have to worry about that. I have
a feeling they'll be back."
Again the hair on their arms stood straight up, and the tingling sensation occurred
through their bodies... And there they were... Back by the altar holding on to
the talisman. They just stood there, not really sure any of this had happened...
"Did all this really happen or were we hallucinating?!"
Leslie looked over to Irene and put her hand to her lips to try to stiffle a giggle.
"I believe... And that's in my professional opinion (she couldn't help but giggle)
that; noting by your attire, we were most deffinately there. Ha Ha Ha Ha!"
Irene had a questioning look on her face. "Wha!!! Oh... My... God... " When
she looked down she saw that she was wearing one of the Amazon outfits that she
had admired when they first entered the village. "How am I ever conna explain this??!!!"
"Re! Haven't I told you I have many skills? It'll be a cinch to explain..."
"Oh yeah! Miss I have many skills. How?"
"Simple... You put your clothes in the backpack when you put on this outfit. Don't
ya remember? Just change back to your old clothes and put this stuff in the pack.
We can say we found the warstaff and sword behind the altar and that's how you cut
your hand and wrist." Les just stood there with an I told you so smile on her face.
Leslie could hardly contain the laughter that was welling up in her throat. She knew
Irene was annoyed at her being so smug, but she just couldn't resist teasing her.
'Shit! I hate it when she's right!
' she thought. "Why, thank you Leslie. Right again! My, My!"
After Irene had changes into her clothes, the two women were getting ready to put
the talisman into the pack, when in comes Bob with a frown on his face.
"Les! All the damn pictures were ruined. Not one came out... They were all cloudy...
I don't understand what could have happened. I'm sorry boss! I screwed up! Hey!!!
Irene... What the hell happened to your hand? How'd ya get so dirty...? Whoa!!!! Look at this... " he said, as he saw the sword and scabbard and the warstaff leaning
on the altar. He went right over to the weapons to inspect them. It amazed the
women that he could say all this in one breath.
After Les had explained to Bob the story that she and Irene had concocted, they took
everything out of the cave and went directly to the work tent. There Bob looked
over every piece they had brought out of the cave. "Wow! When I saw this talisman
in the cave, I knew it was incredibly beautiful, but looking at it just blows me away.
"Oh yeah! We know! We were "blown away" too. Answered Leslie. With Irene nodding
Leslie was looking around the work tent when she noticed the clay cylinder. "Re!
Look! The clay cyliner... I forgot all about it. We never opened the damn thing.
Come on let's open it and see what's inside..."
"Wait Les... Not now. Let's wait till later. I'm tired and dirty and I'd like to
go to our tent and clean up first. We have to discuss our "findings".
"Okay Re... Sounds like a good idea. I could use a shower also. Even if it is cold
water. Hey, Bob! Got that shower thingy hooked up?"
"You bet! I'll have the men set it up for you gals. See ya later."
After their showers the women were sitting in their tent. Each going over in her
mind the events that had come to pass. Although they had been gone for one month,
only a few hours had passed. They both had a lot to say to one another, but just
couldn't find the words to start the conversation.
Leslie noticed the sad look on Irene's face and went to her side. "Hon, what's the
matter. Why are you sad? I thought you'd be over-joyed to get back home..."
"Look Les! I need to know if you still love me... here and now, in our time. I
know what you said back there, but we're home and it's different now. I know I still
love you. Les... If you don't feel that way about me anymore... it's okay... Nooo!
It's not okay! What I'm trying...."
"Hold it right there!! Don't say anymore!!
. Ya got that! I want to spend the rest of my life with you." She couldn't say
anymore because Irene was kissing her passionately. When they finished that kiss,
they were both breathless and wanted more than just kissing.
Irene could feel her body reacting to the passion she was feeling. "Les, babe...
Now would be a good time to show me those many skills of yours... I don't think
I can wait any longer. I want you now!"
Leslie was more than happy to oblige. They made love with a passion neither of them
had ever known before, and when it was over they lay in each others arms just savoring
the smell and feel of each other. They fell asleep... holding each other.
Next morning Irene woke up to the smell of coffee. When she opened her eyes she saw
Leslie sitting on her cot, smiling at her. "Hey sleepyhead. I've brought you some
coffee. Come on! Time to get up... We've gotta translate that scroll."
"Ohhh! Coffee! Thanks Les. How'd you know?" she laughed.
Coffee was finished and Irene was ready to face the world. Well anyway the scroll.
"Okay! Ready! Let's break the seal... Here it comes. Right! Be careful when you
take it out of the cylinder Les. Here, put it on the table and we'll roll it out."
As Irene was perusing the scroll, tears started rolling down her cheek... "Oh
Les! It's a message from Xena and Gabrielle..." She didn't seem to have to decipher the
document at all. She could just read it as if it were written in english. Probably
a residual effect from traveling back in time.
Re! What's worng? What does it say, hon?
I't... It's addressed to us!! It's a letter from our ancestors to us...
Dear Irene and Leslie,
You will, I trust, read this when you return to your time. We decided to put this
scroll in a clay cylinder and leave it in the temple itself, rather than in the cave.
We figured you would find it first.
I know you go home to your future... a little unsure of your feelings for each other.
It is only natural that you feel this way. You have been through so much. There
is never an easy way to sort out very complex feelings. You need to take it slow
and everything will fall into place. It is very obvious that you love each other. Don't
be afraid! Live your life for the Greater Good and you can't go wrong.
You have given Xena and I a great gift... You have shown us how wonderful our life
together will be. You, by your just being, have shown us part of our future. We
will have children and grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren and so on...
You have enriched our lives. We love you both.
Till we meet again... May the Gods watch over you..
Gabrielle and Xena
Oh yes! Cyrene sends her love, and says she expects to see you again soon... Maybe
winter solstace perhaps.
After Irene read the scroll out loud to Leslie both women just sat there and looked
at each other... It was at that moment that they both knew they would most definately
return someday. Of this, there was no doubt.
The Athenaeum's Scroll Archive