Sarah stood at the foot of the mountain fitfully looking up at the climb ahead of them. She then looked over to Lara who was carefully checking each piece of equipment to make sure it was safe and she shivered. She sat down on nearby log and studied the sais that were now holstered to her boots. They had found the holsters and a scabbard in a cabinet within the hidden room.
Lara looked formidable today. Her pack was beside her so she had clear view of her as she was checking each rope for any flaws. She was dressed in black shorts and a black tank top with army boots. She had holstered to each leg her especially made guns and rearming devise attached to her belt in back. In front was her knife and the scabbard she looked like she was ready for war. Sarah smiled slightly Lara looked so sexy like that and she pitied anyone who tried to attack her mate because they would quickly lose that war.
Lara had carefully checked each line, the clips and all the studs for the climb. All the gear was sound and very safe. She had been discreetly watching her nervous mate since they had left the cave. No matter how she reassured her that everything would be ok and not to worry, all her words went in one ear and out the other. It was frustrating because she would die to protect her and Sarah knew that.
Lara saw a slight smile light her face as she straightened up from checking the lines and wondered what caused it. "A penny for your thoughts, Angel?"
"I was just thinking how unlucky anyone who attacked you would be because you look so powerful right now," Sarah said her smile widening.
Lara smile was blinding in reply; "Well you look damn good yourself. I want to spar with you as soon as I can. I want to see you in action with those sais."
"Yep, your probably beautiful when you use them. Poetry in motion in fact. Actually I think your beautiful all the time anyway," said Lara with a lopsided grin and broad wink. Then she bent down and picked up her crossbow as she watched the blonde blush through her lowered eyelids.
Sarah's face became a deep red as she watched the tall brunette ready her weapon. Lara was always doing that and it was so new to her she really didn't know how to handle it. She watched Lara as she put the bolt into the crossbow and asked quietly, "Are you going to go hunting?"
Lara's eyes lifted and met the curious green ones. She smiled and shook her head, "Nope, these bolts are going to get the lines into the side of that mountain nice and sturdy."
"Lara, maybe I should wait here....I'll just slow you down..."
Lara's head snapped up meeting worried eyes as she said, "Angel, I really need you. Haven't you noticed that each marker is set for both of us? This quest is meant as a team ef..." Lara's voice drifted off as she realized something. She sat down slowly on the log next to Sarah with a dumbfounded look on her face.
"What's wrong?" Cried Sarah putting her arms around Lara upset by the expression on her face.
Lara pulled her into her lap and held her close, "I am so stupid, Angel."
"What?" Sarah asked shocked by the sheepish look in the dark woman's eyes.
"Dumb, dumb, dumb...a bloody idiot!" Lara was getting very mad at herself and Sarah was still completely at sea why. She did her best to comfort her though cooing into her ear and gently rubbing her back.
Lara pulled back slightly and looked the other woman in the eye as she said, "They've set us up. I can't believe I didn't see it sooner then this."
"I don't understand, Sweetie. Who set us up and how?"
"Our beloved grandmother's that's who."
Lara nodded bringing Sarah's head to her shoulder and kissing her forehead gently. "They do love us and care about us. We of course love each other so all that was in the cards. But Angel, Aunt Mel and Aunt Janice could just have easily taken up this quest. Each marker was set up for descendants who were soul mates like we are, Like our aunts, like our great grandmothers. They waited in that pretty cabin for us to be born and set everything in motion before hand for us to meet and helplessly fall in love with each other. When our aunts hit all those road blocks Xena and Gabrielle had Janice set up that exhibition that brought me to you before we were even thought of. They calculated all this for some damn reason. What I don't really see is why?" Lara was gently running her fingers through the golden hair as she stared into the distance focused solely on her thoughts.
Sarah pulled back and softly caressed a Lara's high cheekbones as she said, "I think I do."
Lara's eyebrow's shot up and she tilted her head to the side "Oh why?"
"If what you just said is right and I know it is, Then they delayed their next incarnation to arrange all this, right?"
"I guess so. I don't know how they would do that but it seems logical."
"The scrolls are the key. Remember what Aries said that he didn't want them to become even more famous. We can't read the end of the scroll but maybe whatever they leave us will benefit mankind. That's why they set all this up and who else could they trust but their own descendants who were also soulmates in their own right to complete their quest?"
Lara bent down and kissed Sarah passionately hugging her tightly against her. When the lips separated she hugged her love even tighter giving her light butterfly kisses along the jaw line. "You are truly amazing." She whispered in the red ear next to her mouth gently sucking on the lobe.
"Why?" Sarah choked out her eyes were closed and she was enjoying the loving attention.
Lara pulled back and looked at the confused expression on the face in front of her as green eyes slowly blinked open and focused on her own. "Sarah didn't you just hear yourself? You took all the tiny clues I gave you and put it together in a neat and beautiful puzzle. I think I can call that amazing, don't you?"
"But you found all the clues?"
"That's what I mean, Angel. That is the point I was making before we're a team. I can't do this with out you and you can't do it without me. We can only do it together that's the way our grandmothers set it up."
Sarah sighed and nodded. She leaned her head against Lara's shoulder again and said quietly, "Ok."
Lara gently detached herself from her love and helped her up saying, "Come on, Angel its about 9am and we have to get a move on."
She then got her crossbow and shot the first bolt into the side of the mountain tugging on the line hanging from it making sure it was firmly lodged. Then started to set up the next line and said, "Get your stuff together we will be going for it in a bit."
*** *** *** ***
Lara amazed Sarah as she climbed up and down the mountain like some kind of beautiful sophisticated mountain lion. She was all agility and grace and not one ounce of fear as she hung upside down to help Sarah up the side of the steep mountain. She was hanging on the towline pushing and pulling the smaller woman up with incredible ease.
They were sitting on the first plateau, Sarah was desperately trying to catch her breath but Lara wasn't even winded. She was busy pulling out their lunch from her large backpack.
"Sorry Love, but we have to eat K-rations. It's the only thing I know that you can survive on that won't go bad," said Lara as she handed Sarah a box.
Sarah looked at and sniffed, "Um this stuff looks and smells awful. We do have some cans of food can't we eat that?"
"That would be worse because we can't cook it there's not enough room on this tiny ledge to use the burner we have. You have to eat, Angel. We still have a lot of climbing to do and you'll need fuel for that."
"Lara, Why aren't you even winded?"
Lara smirked and replied, "Wait to you see my work out routine." She put down her own box and took Sarah's spork and plopped some spam into her mouth.
"Mmm good, huh?"
Sarah licked her lips she was staring into Lara's eyes as the dark woman continued to feed her the lunch inside the small box. "Only because your hypnotizing me with those incredible eyes of yours."
"Well you have me deeply under your spell too," said Lara as she took a napkin and gently wiped the sensual lips she was tempted to kiss at the moment.
Sarah started to lean into Lara's lips but then stiffened as she felt herself start fall over the edge. Fast as lightning Lara's other hand bolted across Sarah's middle pulling her close to her, "Angel there isn't enough room to um..."
"Get frisky?" Asked Sarah with a smirk.
Lara laughed and nodded her head, "That's one way to put it. You will never hear me referring to that way though. Can you finish this so I can have a little of mine?"
"Would you like me to feed you too?"
"Mmm, extremely tempting but no we need to eat and get moving again."
"Lara, are you sure I can..." A light finger pressed against her mouth.
"Put food in there please," said Lara with a sweet smile.
"Yes Ma'am." She muttered behind the finger.
*** **** *** ***
They reached the second plateau that was much wider several hours later. It was a broad cliff face, which was a relief to Sarah as Lara pulled her up over the lip and onto the solid ledge right into her lap.
Sarah was panting trying desperately to get her normal breathing back. The second part of the climb was much steeper and Lara literally had to pull the smaller woman over several wide cracks in the wall of the mountain.
"When Grandmother said this was going to be harsh she wasn't kidding, was she?" Said Lara stroking Sarah's back and after she pulled them all the way against a wall of the mountain far away from the edge. She was kissing the sweating forehead trying to comfort her hurting mate.
Sarah shook her head against Lara's chest she felt fingers gently starting to stroke her hair, as her heart rate became normal again. Lara knew that Sarah had to get her breathing back to normal before she gave her a bottle of water to drink. Lara pulled back after a little while so she could see her face, the red was gone and her color was normal and she could hear nice even breaths coming from the smaller woman.
Lara reached over Sarah's shoulder to get the bottle of water out of Sarah's bag. She opened it and brought it to her lips. "Drink this very slowly."
Sarah gratefully took the water and drank it as slowly as she could though she was so thirsty she ended up lapping it up. It soothed her parched throat she looked up at Lara and offered the bottle saying, "Sweetie?"
Lara smiled and caressed her cheek; "I'm fine. Don't choke please, just drink it nice and slowly," She watched her carefully as the smaller woman began to drink again. "If your feeling steady enough I want to look at the cliff face over there," She said pointing to the other side of the plateau."
Sarah nodded and said, "I'm much better go ahead."
Lara proudly kissed her love on the lips then pulled back and mussed the blonde hair saying, "Good girl."
"Mm, should I bark?"
"No love, not till tonight."
"I'm just kidding," said Lara with a wicked grin as she walked over to the other side of the cliff. Once again she was drawn to a certain spot and found an opening in the wall of rock. As she came closer she realized it was a cave and to her surprise she saw the marker right in the center of it.
"Angel do you feel up to coming over here?" She called to the other woman who was leaning against the wall drinking another bottle of water. Sarah was feeling much better so she got up and walked up beside her beloved who was carefully studying the cave entrance. Her eyes widened, "The marker."
"Very sneaky our Grandmother's aren't they?"
"No not quite. Look at the marker this time its too small for our hands to fit."
"So what do we do?"
Lara smirked, "Well I'm not hanging around up here for the rest our lives so we need to concentrate."
Sarah and Lara carefully examined the wall around the marker looking for any clue. "I think it will be like the marker below look around the sides of the marker for the key." Said Sarah carefully checking every crevice in the wall of rock.
Lara was already doing just that. She had carefully checked the whole panel and then started to back away so she could see the entire wall from a distant perspective.
"Lara be careful!" Cried Sarah as she was nearing the edge.
"I'm fine Angel. Pull out one of your sais's love." Said Lara as she pulled out her sword. "Now put your sais here and just push it till you hear it click."
Sarah saw the groove and placed her weapon in it. It fit perfectly so she pushed it all the way till she heard a click. Then Lara placed her sword into a large groove on the upper part of the wall. Again it fit perfectly she pushed it in till it clicked. Suddenly the wall swung back like it was on a great spring and stood open inside the cave. Next to the entrance were torches. Lara pulled the torches off the wall and studied them.
Sarah tilted her head and asked, "We have flashlights don't we? Do we need those?"
"Mmm, I wonder. Pull the sais and the sword out of the door while I light these, Angel."
Sarah bent down and pulled out her sais then stood up on tiptoes and pulled out Lara's sword. Lara had just lit both torches when she heard a groan, "Sarah get in her now!" Yelled Lara panicked as she dropped the torches to get to the blonde.
Sarah ran to her side just as the large boulder swung and they were closed inside the cave. Lara took a deep breath and hugged the stuffing out of her beloved. She kissed every inch of her face, "Are you all right? I am so sorry. I could have lost you." She whispered as she hugged her love even tighter. "My Angel, I am sorry...I am so sorry..." She muttered as she kissed her cheek and her eyes and her chin.
Sarah slowly pulled back her head and cupped the beautiful face, "Shh, It's all right. You didn't know. I'm fine, really fine. Shh, not a scratch on me. I'm fine, love...I'm fine" She muttered back as the brunette searched her face to see if there was even the tiniest mark on her beloved.
"Thank heaven, What a bloody idiot I am to have you remove the key like that..."
"Hey, even the great Lara Croft can make a mistake."
"Not one like that! Look what could have...." A small hand covered her mouth.
"Stop. I am fine. Come on lets see what's in this place?" Lara kissed the hand then brought it up against her cheek. "Not yet, I am want to hold you for a minute." Not releasing the smaller woman but bringing her head against her shoulder and putting her head possessively over Sarah's.
They stayed that way for several minutes then Lara pulled all the way back still holding Sarah's hand she bent down and picked up a torch handing it to Sarah and then picked up the second one for herself. They walked to the opening of a deep cavern and looked into the big dark area carefully.
Lara let go of Sarah's hand and pulled her close with an arm around her shoulder. Then she tilted the torch so she could see the whole cavern.
"There doesn't seem to be anything here, does it?" Asked Sarah in a whisper.
"Hm, lets put these torches on that fixture over there and then I'll pull out our electric torches so we can see the whole thing a bit better." They each put a torch into a fixture and suddenly the back of the cavern seemed to light up.
Sarah squinted at a sparkling light at the back of the cavern, "What's that?"
"I haven't got a clue, Let's check it out."
As they turned a corner in the cavern they saw that the sparkling light was the yin/yang chakram. It seemed to have a light within it as it spun on its own axis.
They slowly approached it and it got stronger and stronger. It seemed to beckon them and they couldn't help but follow the plea. Lara was on one side of the pedestal and Sarah on the other. They both reached out for one side of the circle and it seemed to meet their hands and pull apart in the middle.
The girls were now entirely bathed in a pure white light. They smiled at each other as they joined the chakram again. The whole cavern seemed to explode in a warm loving bright white light then all of it faded from their view.
*** **** *** ***
They woke up on the floor of the cavern nestled in each other's arms. The chakram was securely attached to Lara's belt but when they looked at each other their eyes widened their clothes were different and they felt different too.
Lara was dressed all in black leather from head to toe. Her arms were sleeveless and there were black armbands on each upper arm with a stylized copper design. On her back she could feel her pack and Xena's sword. Her knife was on the opposite of the belt from the chakram. Strapped to each leg were her holsters and guns and they seemed to glisten in the flickering light.
All of Sarah's normal clothes were gone. Her jeans were replaced by soft calf skin pants, which slipped neatly into her boots, which were attached to her holsters with the Sais. What was really shocking to the blonde was that she felt her backpack against her back. She then realized she was no longer wearing her tee shirt instead she was wearing a soft calf skin bodice with no midriff and no sleeves.
The girls looked into each other's eyes and saw something had changed within them. They were still Lara and Sarah but now they saw they were joined by something else. Each saw a very well known and loved spirit in the eyes of their love.
"I know, they are...inside...somehow."
"Sweetie, how did we get these clothes?"
Lara sat up and gently caressed Sarah now bare stomach, "Not a glimmer of an idea but I do approve."
"Hey, I'm a sucker for seeing the abs and the cleavage of the woman I love," said Lara teasingly.
"We'll you look pretty sexy too and lethal. It makes me want to just..."she stopped and blushed beet red.
Lara smiled at her and kissed her cheek, "Well its mutual. It's late and I'm not letting you down this mountain in the dark so we might as well set up camp here."
Sarah nodded and they went about setting up the cavern for sleep. They took off their new clothes and found their normal stuff neatly packed inside their bags.
"Bizarre," said Lara, "At least it's packed nice and neat." She said looking up at Sarah with a smile.
They curled around each other in their sleeping bag and slowly fell into a deep sleep. With in their minds they were both still wide-awake and ready to make passionate love to each other.
Lara was kissing every inch of available skin while Sarah caressing Lara's back and suckling a warm erect breast. They were both so deeply into each other they didn't realize they weren't alone. Sarah's fingers played in the wet folds beneath her slowly waking every electric impulse with in Lara. Lara rolled them so she fell against the pillows as her body seemingly lost control arching as another finger was added to her apex. Suddenly Lara stiffened and fell over the edge, Sarah joining her in ecstasy from the intensity of the moment. The cavern seemingly rang with their sound of their loves names.
Lara curled around her loves body and was just getting comfortable within her loves arms when they both heard clearly, "Did you girls have fun?"
They both sat up straight and saw Xena and Gabrielle's amused faces.
"Were you watching us?" Asked Sarah shocked.
"Not exactly," Said Xena as she and Gabrielle stepped back. The room was lit and they saw themselves fast asleep in their sleeping bag.
"It's not really the same as in the body is it?" Asked Gabrielle sympathetically.
"Um, are we dead?" Asked Lara holding onto Sarah tightly in her arms.
Xena shook her head and said, "No, you are within your own minds. You will be carrying us with you to our tomb to complete the journey. Were inside you for a bit I hope you don't mind?"
"Um Grandmother, why?"
"Lara you will know everything soon enough, right now rest your minds as well as your bodies. If you want to talk to us in your awaken state just close her eyes and well be able to communicate with you. Now rest your minds girls you still have a lot ahead of you." Said Xena as the their images started to fade away and there was nothing but blackness and each other.
Lara felt herself falling into a deep sleep and she looked through slowly closing eyelids to see Sarah fast asleep on her shoulder.
*** *** *** ***
They awoke nestled against each other and they both looked into each other's eyes and smiled. Lara glanced at the lit torches and then she looked at Sarah and could see Gabrielle spirit as well. She could feel Xena within her and shook her head in wonder at what had happened the night before.
"What do we do now?"
"Go to the tomb. Come on my Angel, lets get you of here." Lara said as she got up and offered her hands to help Sarah up as well. She pulled her right into a hug and a deep well connected kiss.
"Mmm, I love to feel you against me like this," Lara purred
Lara smiled and kissed the little nose. She turned to get her normal clothes and saw the leathers. "I guess we should dress as they want us to, huh?"
**** *** *** ***
Dressed in their new clothes they came out of the cave onto the plateau and looked down the cliff. "Lara there is slew of cars down there."
"Yes Love, I see that," She said with an ironic smirk on her face. She pulled out her cell from her pack and sighed. "That's Brice I didn't have my phone on. Angel no Sweeties around him ok?"
"Yep, I promised remember?"
"I know I'm just reminding you," said Lara as she got the towline and tested it for strength. Then she hooked Sarah and herself together with clips and then both of them to the towline.
"What are you doing, Love?"
Lara's face brightened at that endearment she could deal with Brice hearing that. "We're going down the express route the other way will take too long." Before Sarah could protest Lara pulled her into her arms and over the side of the mountain. From deep inside Lara came the warriors yell as they jumped.
They descended at a fast clip Sarah screamed and then put her head against Lara's chest till it was all over one way or the other.
They landed perfectly on the ground and Lara smiled at her loves expression.
She had her eyes shut tight and her face was scrunched as if expecting to be hurt any second. "Don't you trust me, My Angel?" Asked Lara gently as she began to unhook them.
"Yes, I don't trust gravity though."
"Well open your eyes your on Terra Firma," Lara told her with a huge smile.
"Bloody Hell Lara, where the hell have you been? We've been trying to reach you for days and days! Why didn't you answer your bloody page...!"
"Brice!" Lara interrupted loudly.
"Better. Brice this is Sarah, my best friend. You'll get used to him, Angel he's harmless."
"Best friend? What best friend?"
"This one I just introduce you to her. Remember?" She asked gently poking him in the forehead.
"Whatever, Come on I got the troops to take you back to Athens..."
"Nope, can't go to Athens right now. We have some errands to run."
"Lara, you just jumped off a mountain."
"Don't you think you should rest a bit?"
"No, bye Brice." She took Sarah's hand and walked in the opposite direction of the fleet of cars.
He reminds me of Joxer, Said Gabrielle's voice.
Nah, he's smarter then ole Jox. He as nerdy as he was though. How do you deal with day to day, Lara?"
Lara stopped, halting Sarah as well she nodded at her and they both closed their eyes. They saw their Grandmother's and smiled brightly. "He is ok, Grandmother. He can be a jerk but he's a sweet and loyal jerk."
"He is Joxer then," Said Gabrielle with a huge smile.
"I thought Joxer was very sweet in the scroll and a good friend to you?" Asked Sarah a little confused.
"Oh he was that and a lot more but he was a bit obnoxious." Replied Xena smiling brightly.
"Come on Angel, Grandmother we have to get to the tomb before dark."
"Your right girls, Go for it." Said Xena.
They opened their eyes and looked at each other with big smiles. Lara looked over her shoulder toward a disgruntled Brice and snickered. Then she gave a gentle pull at Sarah's hand led her to tomb of Gabrielle and Xena and their future.
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