A Trip in Time
Please see part one for all disclaimers.
After dark Picard, Beverly and Riker headed for town to try to find their missing crewman. Alerted by Ares words, Xena spotted them easily and walked over to intercept them.
"Your friend is this way," She said calmly to Picard.
Captain Picard was momentarily surprised, but then he realized that their clothes gave them away. "Is she all right?"
"Of course. Why wouldnít she be?" She asked innocently as she led them back to her mother's inn. She had her back to them so her smirk was well hidden as she opened the door and led them up the back stairs.
"Well your greeting was..."
"Appropriate. You were spying on us after all." She answered the captain quietly.
ĎOh dear God, what did Deanna say?í He thought to himself. Outwardly he was calm and asked the warrior casually, "What do you mean?"
"Weíll go into that upstairs in private." She fell silent as they walked up the stairs.
* * * * * *
Deanna sat bolt upright in her bed as Xena led her crewmates into the room.
"Deanna are you okay?" Riker asked giving her a heartfelt hug and then looking at the leg that was above her blanket.
Beverly discreetly used a small tricoder to check Deannaís leg. Xenaís eyes and ears were too sharp for the instrument and she knew the Doctor had something hidden in her hand.
"You did a good job," Beverly said to Xena with a sweet smile.
"What does that thing do?"
"The thing that made the buzzing noise that is hidden in your palm?"
"You heard that...but thatís impossible..."
"Xena has excellent hearing," Deanna said smiling up at her healer.
Xena smiled back and nodded, "Yep."
"Weíve been discovered, Captain." Deanna told her commanding officer calmly.
Picardís eyes slid over toward Xena, "No Sir, Xena knows but it wasnít her that discovered who we are, It was..." Deanna stopped and she didnít know how to say it. How do you tell a modern person that a Greek Myth was real?
"Ares, told us." Xena finished the sentence for Deanna without any such problem of conscience.
"Ares is named after the God of War?"
"No, I am the God of War, Captain."
"Shit Ares! I told you to leave us alone!" Growled Xena.
"Hey I wanted to meet the future. Do you mind?"
"Yes, I do. Get out!"
"Ok, Picard weíll talk later." And the God of War vanished.
"What the hell was that?" Asked Riker.
"The God of War." Answered Beverly simply.
"What?" Asked Picard .
"Captain, I canít read him but he can read me. He is a powerful being. You just saw him, Heís ...well... a God. Can you come up with a different explanation, sir?"
"No, but its...remarkable."
"Captain Kirk reported meeting the God Apollo, so why not?" Beverly asked reasonably.
"So you donít believe in the Gods in the future?" Asked Xena thoughtfully. She had been forgotten by the crewmembers during theyíre debate.
"He is a myth...Xena, is it?" He asked with a charming smile.
Xena nodded, ĎSo the Twilight of the Gods is a fact. The Fates are right. My baby is the key.í " This is a very dangerous time you entered Captain. We are in the middle of a war with the Gods. We just had a huge battle here. Ares was actually helping us but.....I really donít trust him. You must all go home before you get hurt." Xena said succinctly in a very commanding tone which showed Picard more then she wanted.
"And you were the general against them?"
"I protected my home and family, Captain."
"You did say you were a warrior Xena, who fights for the greater good, right?" Deanna pointed out gently feeling Xenaís worry and agitation.
"I am, but I am not a general....Iím merely an ex-warlord and Iím trying to do whatís right. I am protecting my child...I..."
Gabrielle had come in during the halting speech and she saw her stoic friend who was losing this war with herself. "You are the best and bravest person in the known world. And I will fight to the death anyone who says otherwise."
Xena smiled at her friend who was leaning against the doorway, "Even me, huh?"
Gabrielle smiled back,"Well, not to the death, but I would find any way I could to change that brilliant mind of yours."
Xena shook her head in affectionate defeat, "You always do, my friend, you always do."
"Well arenít you two just too much?" Aphrodite asked with a sweet smile.
"Aphrodite, you two are going to bring the rest of the Gods down on us again! Don't you..."
"Hey, I am here to help you know! Yeash. Now listen, Ares wants to use the Captain here to escape the Twilight. I thought it was really nice of me to let you know. You donít have to be so Bitchy Xena." Aphrodite pouted.
Xena growled, then she took a breath and realized that the Goddess was right.
"You're right. Sorry Aphrodite. But..."
The Goddess smiled and winked at the Warrior, "Iím out of here. Iíll keep an eye on little bro, see ya!" She vanished in a flash of sparkles.
Picard and Riker's eyes met in mutual shock. Deanna looked triumphant and Beverly simply looked amused, "She wasnít like I read about at all."
Gabrielleís eyes sparkled with curiosity, "Oh my, you mean you read about the Godís in the future even though they are gone."
Beverly nodded, "Yes, there are many legends of the Greek Godís from this time period." She said to the curious young woman. She felt no qualms since the Gods had already broke the prime directive for them.
"Xena, how can Ares use me to break this Twilight of the Gods?"
Xenaís cool blue eyes met his and she answered him quietly, "He has many ways. He is a powerful and ingenious. He can be very charming and clever. He will try to find a way out of here to escape the Twilight," She shrugged her shoulders, "I guess he believes you're his way out."
"What is this Twilight?"
Xenaís gaze got even more intense and Picard had to blink in pure reaction. Slowly she took a breath and smiled, "Iíll tell you after dinner. In fact Iíll have Gabrielle tell you. Sheís the bard in the family after all. Come on, Gabrielle lets give these people some privacy while we get ready for dinner and take care of Eve."
* * * * *
Xena was tucking Eve in and her expression was thoughtful. "Well my love, " She cooed to her little girl, "It seems you are a powerful person in your own right. But donít worry Mommy and Mommy Gabrielle will protect you. No matter what, we will do anything in our power to protect you...I will die to protect you, sweetheart."
"Just like any Mother." Cyrene said from behind her daughter.
Xena looked at her mother with a sad smile on her face, "Mother will you watch the baby while Gabrielle and I take care of our guests?"
"Of course, darling. Donít worry everything will be ok." Cyrene enfolded her daughter in an embrace.
Xena relished the comfort from her motherís arms and said quietly, "Does it ever end, Mom? I mean do you ever stop worrying about your children?í
"Nope, thats the blessing and the curse of becoming a parent, darling. Xena you are my little girl. Even when you're old and gray, you will be my baby. So will Eve. She will be your darling little girl forever even when she is old and gray, that I know for a fact. You and Gabrielle will worry and protect her to the best of your abilities as long as you live, forever."
"Forever." Repeated Xena. Though she said it in barely above a whisper it was a commitment from parent to child.
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