Reborn part 2
By R.G. Heller
Disclaimer: The characters of X and G are not my property. They belong to Ren Pics and MCA/Universal studios. I guess Eve's not mine either. Everyone else is though.
Violence: Not really. Nothing that exceeds the shows
Sex: The characters won't tell me (NO)
Thanks: Thanks Terry for being my beta reader. Thanks to anyone who reads the story.
Email: Love to hear from you. Even if you just want to talk about Xena.
“Are you awake?” Cassandra knew the answer, but thought it necessary to ask. The bard had been quiet since they had lain down, and had only turned once. If Gabrielle didn’t wish to talk, she need do nothing. Cassandra’s stomach tightened, and the young woman bit on her lower lip.
“Yeah.” The bard rolled over on her back and turned her head toward Cassandra, blinking her eyes a few times. Even with a cloudless sky, the forest remained pitch black at night, but if Gabrielle was going to talk, she would do it facing the woman.
Cassandra sighed, releasing some stress as she exhaled. “I was just thinking. I’m sorry. You don’t have to…”
“You can talk to me whenever you want Cassandra. It’s OK.”
“Hmm. Well I was just thinking. Is it possible maybe you knew someone in my family, a parent, or even an aunt or uncle, and maybe that’s why I know…or regained the memory of so many stories about you. When I did start remembering it was like they were never really gone. They’re so vivid.” The young woman moved her head to look towards the bard. “I must admit though, I didn’t imagine you’d look like you do.” Cassandra let out a muffled laugh and sat up. Moving her knees up close to her chest, she rested her head on them.
“Well, It’s possible we knew a member of your family. Although it’s always flattering to find people we don’t know who think us worthy enough to read or tell stories of our adventures.” The bard smirked lightly to herself. “You’ll get your memory back. All you need is a spark, to light the fire.” Sitting up as Cassandra had done, Gabrielle shifted from left to right stretching her back. “Huh, what did you imagine I looked like anyway?”
“Well, maybe more like a bard I guess.” I know you’re a warrior…an Amazon, but I suppose I was...am attracted more to your storyteller side.” She paused for a moment and glanced at the bard. “Well, it means nothing you know. How I imagined you. I was just surprised that’s all.”
“More like a bard huh?” I’m not even carrying any scrolls with me.” Gabrielle rubbed her forehead and tilted her head near the ground. “To tell you the truth I never imagined, ever, being referred to as a warrior.”
“Do you mind it?”
“Sometimes. Sometimes I wish I…Well, it’s tough sometimes.”
“Sometimes,” Cassandra voiced to herself. “Well hey, we don’t have to talk about it. I’m sorry. I’ll let you sleep,” she said lying back down.
“No it’s alright. I’m not that tired anyway,” the bard said, lifting her head from her hands. “Well, how about you?” Gabrielle continued, looking towards the woman and nodding her head up once. “Why did you choose the name Cassandra for yourself?”
“Same way I learned about you. Some travelers. At that point I hadn’t seen anyone since I had recovered enough from my injuries to travel even a short distance. Before that I had stayed hidden. For a while I was terrified of anything that moved, except Hector. Anyway, one of the travelers was an excellent storyteller, so I followed them a few nights. Of course I was also hopping his stories or something they did, anything might help me remember, but they didn’t. However, living without a name isn’t so easy, so I was at least able to fix that.”
“Wasn’t Cassandra Agamemnon’s concubine? Apollo cursed her. She could see the future, but no one ever believed her visions.”
“Yes, that’s right. It maybe wasn’t the best name to choose for myself, but I really didn’t have to many options. I didn’t want to call myself Clytamenstra, and I thought Electra was a little too much.”
“Electra?” Ahh. Orestes’ sister right.”
“And Clytamenstra, she killed Agamemnon, and Cassandra right. Then Orestes killed her and was pursued relentlessly by the Furies. Hmm. I guess you didn’t have many good options,” the bard said, now positioning her head on her knees. “Hector’s a good name. He was Troy’s greatest warrior right?”
“You know a lot.”
“Yes, he was killed by Achilles though.” Gabrielle finished slowly almost in a whisper. “Their both, tragic characters aren’t they?” The bard shifted her head and gave the woman a quick look.
"They’re at least names.” Cassandra rolled on her side, turning away from the bard and abruptly ending the conversation.
Gabrielle sensed the sudden movement and took it as a hint. She remained quiet, sitting up for a while. Her eyes were heavy, but she didn’t want to sleep. I hope your OK Xena. Get here soon.
“Were close now.”
“Just in time for lunch.”
“Mmm. That sounds good. She should be around here somewhere.” The warrior reviewed the landscape. “We parted right over there,” she said pointing towards a large cypress that stood out against the surrounding foliage. “Gabrielle! Gabrielle!”
Propping his ears, Hector jumped to his feet. Whining, he sat back on his hind legs and awaited instruction. “No Hector. It’s OK. Stay,” Cassandra responded with a soft pat to the head. Xena? “It must be Xena.” Hopping up with the help of her walking stick she moved to the bard, and stooped down beside her. “Gabrielle,” she said softly. “Gabrielle,” the woman repeated a little louder, nudging the bard’s shoulder.
“Xena please just let me sleep a little longer,” Gabrielle mumbled in a long sigh, rolling to her other side and slapping Cassandra’s hand away.
The young woman smirked and forcefully shook the bard. “Gabrielle!”
“Gabrielle!” Xena stopped unexpectedly. “Wait.” The warrior firmly placed a hand on Eve’s shoulder and stood completely still. Her eyes centered on nothing in particular, but the stare was focused, and she listened intently. “Wait here.”
“Gabrielle.” Cassandra heard a low guttural growl and felt her companion right behind her. “Shh. It’s OK.” The wolf’s ears lay flat against his head and he lifted his upper lip, showing his teeth.
“Step away from her.” The voice was calm but strict. Cassandra looked up and Hector marched forward, teeth exposed. Xena secured her chakram.
“No, no, no!” Cassandra shot both hands out in front of her. “Hector, down!” The wolf stopped his forward motion but continued growling, his fixed eyes studying the intruder. Xena stood poised, ready to kill the animal or girl if need be.
“Gabrielle?” Concern filled the warrior’s voice and her eyes were glazed with anger. “Gabrielle!”
The bard’s eyes sprung open and she bolted upward into a sitting position. Holding them as wide as possible she tried to register the figure before her. Dizziness hit from the sudden shock of being ripped from sleep, and she set her hands behind her, to hold herself up.
“Xena?” She looked over her shoulder as she said it. It only took a glimpse of the frightened young woman to jerk the bard from her spell. “Xena! Put that down! She’s with me.”
“What, were you sleeping?”
“Call off the wolf.”
“Please put down your weapon.” Cassandra issued the words with tears, and she had begun to slightly tremble.
“Xena please.” The bard lifted her eyebrows and pressed the plea from her lips. “Xena.”
Slowly moving her throwing arm down to her side, the warrior returned her chakram to her belt. Looking straight into Hector’s eyes, she took a step back and moved her hands up, holding them defensively before her chest. “OK.”
“Hector it’s OK. Come.” Cassandra waved to the animal for compliance, but his eyes belonged to Xena. “Hector down!” The wolf scooted backwards awkwardly and began to whine. His ears relaxed and his head slumped toward the ground.
“What’s it doing?” An icy glare accompanied the question. Although endeavoring to keep complete focus on the strange woman and wolf, the warrior’s eyes were continuously drawn to the bard.
“I don’t know?” Cassandra wiped her face and began retreating backwards. “Hector, come. Please.”
Hector paid his companion no heed. He continued to whine, finally sitting where he had stood.
“Eve?” Xena turned her head in the direction of her daughter’s voice. “Eve, stay where you are.”
“No, mother. It’s OK.” Xena’s daughter calmly passed her and stopped at Hector. The wolf looked up and gently bumped the woman in the leg with his nose. “Why are you here? What do you want with us?”
“What?” The bard’s questioning eyes met Cassandra’s and the young woman sighed in disbelief.
“Me? Do you know me?”
Eve stood in a silent stare. Everyone was still for a moment. Cassandra had dropped her walking stick.
“Eve.” Xena still held her hands in front of her as she stepped forward towards her young daughter. She let one hand fall tenderly onto her shoulder, hoping to prod her from her thoughts.
“I know her. She’s an Amazon. A spy.”
“Cassandra?” The bard stood, and backed away from the young girl.
Xena was in full stride towards the woman. Cassandra didn't move. Grabbing her by her shift Xena forcefully pushed her into the nearest tree trunk and held her against it firmly.
“I don’t…I don’t…”
“What are you doing here? Talk, now!”
“No, Xena! She told me she lost her memory.”
“She’s a spy Gabrielle. Spies don’t practice honesty do they? What do you want with my daughter?"
“Xena No! No! Look at her! Stop.”
Cassandra could no longer control her breathing. It was short and rapid. Her face was covered with sweat and cherry red. Xena backed away from her slightly and loosened her grip. The woman heaved forward a few times and Xena released her hold and side stepped away from her. Stumbling away from the tree towards Hector, the girl stuttered trying to call out to her companion and then finally vomited. She swayed back and forth and then fell to the ground unconscious.