Xena, Gabrielle, Callisto, and the Olympian Gods are not mine. They belong to other people I just want to play with them. All the others are mine, hands off.
Sex disclaimer: The main characters are women in love and sexual situations occur in this story so if consensual same sex activity bothers you or is illegal, go some where else.
Violence/Language: It’s a Xena story with Callisto involved. She isn’t very nice. Curse words are used.
My Xenaverse: In my Xenaverse, there is no India, no Eli, and no Ides of March for the ladies, no Eve, no Twilight of the Gods and especially no trip to Japa.
Acknowledgements: As always first to my family for allowing me my hobby and then to my favorite Sweetdish beta reader, Nat, you’re the best. Thanks. Very special thanks to LL who helped me to “Do something scary, the payoff is truly awesome.”
Swirls in Time
By Janine Hilltop
A flash of bright light and swirl of green mist erupted in the park next to the restrooms. A bum sleeping in the bushes would later tell the police that aliens had landed and tried to abduct him. The story was written off as an alcohol induced bad dream and he was given a cell to sleep it off.
The woman left after the light disappeared wished it was an alcohol induced bad dream.
“Damn that hurts!” The woman tried to stand but only barely succeeded with help from the building wall. She pulled the hand from her side and looked at the blood. Sighing she pulled the shirt away to inspect the damage. The slash on her side was clotting already, the blood turning the shirt stiff.
“At least I’m not wearing leather this time. I hate bloody leather,” she muttered inspecting the clothing she had on. The fabric covering her legs was a dark soft cloth which moved easily and fit closely. The shirt was the same type of fabric, though thinner. The shoes she wore were laced and only ankle high. Her hair was shorter than she remembered it last. She felt inside the neckline of the shirt and pulled out the pendant with a glowing stone.
“Well you’re close by at least. Now I just need to find you.”
So began the chase in another time, another place and another chance to end the Swirls in Time…
The ambulance roared into the bay. The two medics perched in the back were trying to hold down the thrashing body in the back. Yells of “Let me go, she’s still loose. You don’t understand,” were coming out of the back. Medical personnel rushed to the ambulance. Calls for help rang out while a white coated body squirmed through the bodies.
“What do we have?”
“Looks like some one tried to open her up from the side.”
The pressure bandage wrapped around the body was peeled back.
“Get a blood draw for cross match and type now.”
“Doc, id card says AB pos,”
“Let me see that card, ok get some AB now. This isn’t gonna be pretty. That cut looks like it went all the way through. Let’s get some morphine in now. How did this happen, wait I don’t want to know. Let’s go now, move,” came the orders. Staff scattered to follow the orders as the doctor turned away. A hand latched on to her wrist and pulled her back.
“I have to keep looking, everything depends on it,” came from the patient. The doctor gently patted the hand and looked at the patient. Blue eyes opened wide with astonishment.
“You! I finally found you! We still have to find her, don’t leave me alone.”
“I’m not going anywhere, not until I sew you back up,” the doctor soothed the wounded woman. “Where’s that morphine?”
The wounded woman sighed and laid back letting the nurse inject the morphine, darkness closed in with the last thing she saw was the gaze of puzzled green eyes and heard “Let’s get this done.”
Blue eyes opened, still hazy with drugs, in the recovery room. Soft sounds of beeps from monitors competed with the other soft sounds of personnel going about their duties. Closer she heard the softer sound of breathing. A turn of her head took all of her energy but was worth it. Next to her was a blonde head resting on a fist, eyes closed with exhaustion very evident on the doctor’s face by the dark circles under her eyes and the lines etched on the forehead. ‘Even in sleep the lines stayed, that didn’t happen before,’ the woman thought vaguely as she drifted off again.
Green eyes opened, fists ground into eyes gritty with sleep. She slowly stretched, arched her back and grunted with relief at the cracks and pops. A look at her wrist showed time for a vitals check. The chart at the end of the bed showed the careful notes the nurses had made over the last three days. The monitors kept beeping with the efficiency that only machines could achieve. The doctor made a note of her own and put the chart back. It was time to bring the patient out of the medially induced coma. It was hard on the staff to keep up with that order; this patient was very resistant to most of the sedatives available. The speed at which this one healed was amazing. Three days should have not been long enough for the wound to heal but this one had.
“Amazing” she grunted as she turned away. As she turned to look out the window, the hair on her arms stood up. She felt a presence enter the room. A quick turn showed an empty room at least empty of anyone else except for blue eyes that were looking at her.
The heart monitor jumped.
“Welcome back,” the doctor whispered.
“Thanks, I feel like a cotton ball factory was in my mouth,” the patient croaked back.
“Water?” was the question with a quirk of a smile.
“Please,” came back hesitantly.
A cup with a straw was held up to parched lips. Several swallows later, the cup was pulled away.
“Easy there, even though you’ve beaten the odds with that wound, I won’t let you ruin all that work I put into you.”
“Thanks doc, I knew you’d take good care of me. You always have,” the patient whispered. Blue eyes closed with a small smile. The heart monitor slowed down to an even beeping as the patient slipped into darkness again.
The doctor frowned at the sleeping woman’s comment and put the cup of water down. Thoughtfully she turned back to the window to gaze out, wondering why everything about this patient felt familiar. A major sense of déjà vu had almost overwhelmed the doctor when she had stepped into the operating arena and seen the woman’s wound.
Her hands had been on autopilot while her mind had slipped away to another scene that kept intruding, a scene with bodies cut up in a similarly crude fashion. Luckily all the major organs had escaped injury as if everything had moved out of the way of the thrust of whatever had gone through her torso. After carefully checking all the intestines for nicks, the doctor had carefully reassembled the layers of tissue. Only a line of staples showed the sight of the trauma. The doctor had not been able to question the medics that had brought her in to get the full details of where she had been and what had happened. That was the least of the doctor’s worries though, she still hadn’t been able to trace any family from the meager id the patient had with her, a couple of credit cards. All she had was the name, Michelle Haussman. Well hopefully the woman would be more coherent tomorrow. Then the doctor could get some answers. For now though there was some serious sleep time needed. The doctor checked with the nurse’s station on the way out and headed home.
She was standing back to back with a woman dressed in leather and armor, batting away clumsy swings from an inept attacker. She had a big stick in her hands. The warrior behind her had a sword and was playing with another attacker. Her partner was laughing and enjoying herself way too much for her taste. Just as a maniacal cackling laughter rang out the attacker on her side managed to get a thrust in and she felt a burn along her leg.
The phone’s jangling ring jolted the doctor awake. Reaching for the phone the doctor tried to rub the grit out of her eyes. The doctor flipped on the bed table light and looked at the time. 2:30 am, hell.
“Hello?” was the grunted response.
“You better get down here; your patient is trying to get out of here.”
“I haven’t released her yet, she can’t leave,” the doctor mumbled looking around trying to find some clothes.
“That doesn’t seem to matter to her, but at least the patient doesn’t want to leave until you show up. Keeps saying she won’t leave until she sees you again.”
“Stall her; I’m on my way,”
“You got it, just hurry; this one won’t listen to us,”
Finding some pants she headed into the bathroom to get ready. Pulling on the pants, she noticed a scar along side her knee. What was that? It looked pink and tender like a slash from a knife still healing. Where had that come from? The pain from the dream hit her and she sat down on the commode with a grunt. Shaking her head to clear it, she quickly splashed some water on her face, brushed her teeth and tried to settle the short hair.
Dashing off to the hospital the doctor couldn’t help but run the dream over in her head. The slash in the dream was the same place as the mark on her leg. That laughter was vaguely familiar also. Too soon or maybe not soon enough the hospital was in view. Skidding to a stop in one of the reserved doctor spaces she grabbed her id and ran into the ER lobby.
The stairwell to the private rooms was opposite the main nurse’s station and the doctor hit the door running. She pelted up the stairs climbing two stairs at a time. Just as she burst onto the third floor, she could hear the commotion and angry voices. The doctor headed to the room where her patient was and coincidently where all the noise was coming from.
Security was in the room with the agitated patient who was looking through the closet for clothes. The nurses standing outside the room made way for the doctor.
“I haven’t authorized a move,” the doctor snapped as she pushed between the security guards. She glanced at the men and nodded her head. “You can wait outside, I’ll handle this.”
The security guards backed up and pulled the door closed. The doctor swung around and stared at the woman.
“Thanks for coming down so quickly, we need to leave. Where are my clothes? Where are my personal effects?” was the demand from the woman who was struggling to stay upright. She held out a hand expecting some help.
The doctor ignored the hand, standing with her hands on her hips.
“I don’t think you heard me the first time, I said I didn’t authorize a move. The wound hasn’t healed enough yet and I’m not going to let my hard work be ruined by an idiot who won’t follow doctor’s orders. Your clothes were ruined, they probably were disposed of. Your personal effects are in the hospital safe. You get them when you’re released.”
“I looked at my chart; your notes say I’m fine.”
“You think we would leave a chart with bad news on it lying around where the patient can see it?” she asked incredulously. “The sooner you lay back down and rest, the sooner you can be released.”
“Look doc, we’re wasting valuable time. If you just sign the release papers we’ll be on our way.”
“What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand, now lay down.” The last was delivered with a shout and a hand pointing towards the bed. The security guards took this as their cue to open the door and step back inside.
“It’s okay guys, the patient is just getting back into bed, isn’t she?”
With a raised eyebrow at the doctor, the patient relented and lay back down. The security guards left for their boring nightly rounds.
“What Gabrielle wants, Gabrielle gets. But that’s not your name now is it?” came the quiet reply. The doctor looked up startled. The name rang through her head.
“What? Who’s Gabrielle?”
Blue eyes met green eyes for a long moment.
“Come here,” was the even quieter request. The doctor walked over to the bed in a daze.
“I’ve been looking for you for an eon, it’s been so long this time,” the patient took the doctor’s hand. A jolt of energy or something went through the doctor’s system.
Visions flashed in her head of battles, crucifixes, waterfalls, boats, funeral pyres, a golden horse, fierce looking women dancing, a round weapon, a decorated staff, scrolls, a sword and at the end a face. A face with blue eyes and strong features, an expressive mouth and even more expressive eyebrow. Raven black hair swirled around a face, the face of her dreams, and the face in front of her.
The doctor stepped back and jerked her hand away.
“What the hell was that?” the doctor rubbed her hand.
“Our past travels.” said the face, an eyebrow raised, a crooked half grin, blue eyes sparkling.
“Our past travels, like in time travel? You’ve got to be kidding me, I’ve never been anywhere but this city, not even to Canada or Mexico. I don’t believe in worm holes or dimensional travel or warp drive or anything else science fiction. I’m a doctor. A surgeon and I believe in blood and guts and the reality of the injured body. You’re trying to tell me we travel in time??????”
“One of us always remembers and has to help the other remember.”
“What did you see when I touched your hand?” came the quiet question.
“Nothing, just a static electric shock.” was the lie, eyes darting every where but at her patient. The doctor kept rubbing her hand.
“OK, just think about it. I won’t be leaving for a bit but when I do leave, I would like you to come, we belong together.”
“I think I need to leave.”
“Thanks doc,” blue eyes bored into green, daring her to stay, to ask questions, to believe.
The doctor hastily left the room and leaned on the wall just outside the door. She couldn’t ignore it, the visions were flashing through her mind. It seemed so real, just like her dream that had seemed real. She spent the next several hours wandering the city streets, trying to make some sense of the last few nights. The connection she had felt with this woman was strange and frightening. The name the patient uttered felt so right and warm, the way it rolled off her tongue thrilled a part of her she had thought dead.
Yet try as she might to explain it away, to rationalize it somehow, she couldn’t. Would it hurt to hear the woman out? She didn’t seem dangerous and from what she could tell, she had no where to go. With a sigh of resignation, the doctor turned back to the hospital.
First things first, some clothes were needed if the woman wanted out. The doctor stopped at the local sporting goods store and got some sweats, socks, and a pair of slip on shoes she hoped was in the right size. The clothes were easy to guess extra large, the shoes were a different matter.
As she carried the packages back to the hospital the doctor tried to come up with some kind of explanation to give but could come up with nothing again other than an a feeling. The doctor entered the room still debating her actions and sanity. She held the bag with clothes in front of her like a shield.
“I figured you would need some clothes, so I picked up some sweats, I guessed extra large but the shoes were different…” the doctor stopped babbling with a shrug. “Here are your personal effects.”
“Thanks, I didn’t think you would let me out of here wearing only this robe.” the patient said looking into the bag of personal effects with a sigh of relief. The patient looked in the sporting goods bags.
“Wow, the color of the year, gray. The shoes are fine.” She climbed out of the bed and started to pull on the clothes. The doctor turned to the window to give her some privacy.
The reflection in the window startled her; she could see the figure behind her dressing. Even though the doctor had performed the surgery, now she looked at the other woman without a professional eye. Supple back muscles rippled as she pulled the sweat shirt on. Long lean legs that went on forever it seemed were slowly covered with gray material. Taut buttocks disappeared under the waistband. The doctor gripped the window sill, her mouth dry with the beauty in the reflection. What would she look like straight on? She took a deep breath and turned around hoping the heat she felt wasn’t showing.
She was surprised at her reaction, never in all her medical training had she felt this, hell never in her whole life had she felt a reaction like this. There was something there but she didn’t want to think about it, at least not yet.
“Hey, are you still here?” brought the doctor out of her reverie with a start. The patient was tucking a thin silver chain with a green stone inside her top.
“Huh? Oh yeah, the release papers are finished, you can leave now. Um…where will you go?” That stone looked familiar, where had she seen that?
“Right now, I don’t know. I thought you might want to talk a little.”
“Well since you aren’t my patient any more, that would be ok.”
“OK Allison, let’s get out of here,” she said with a grin.
“Uh, how did you know my name?” was the startled question.
“It’s on your id tag,” was the answer with a finger pointing at her scrubs. “Just like you know my name from the chart.”
“Oh yeah, Michelle Haussman right?” the doctor said with a glance at the other woman.
“This time, yeah.”
“This time, you keep saying obscure things like that. So mysterious,” Allison turned back to the window and continued the thought out loud. “…like always, either not telling me the plan or winging it…” Allison spun around with an incredulous look on her face.
A very expressive eyebrow rose to its highest point. Michelle watched the emotions play across Allison’s face. The memories were all in there, some were easier to accept than others. What she knew was the soul was there and that was all she needed. Michelle stood up and headed to the door.
“Let’s make like the wind and blow this joint.”
They headed down to the parking lot and climbed into the doctor’s car. Allison sat still for a few moments. Michelle watched her, waiting. Allison turned to Michelle with a quizzical look.
“You made a joke. I don’t think you do that very often, do you?”
A shrug. “Some things never change, just like that monster in your stomach. How long has it been since you ate? For me it seems like a week,” was the reply with a crooked half smile and a gesture to Allison’s middle. A chuckle almost drowned out the rumble emanating from Allison.
“I suppose. I know a little diner that will do, let’s go.”
“Whatever, we have a little time yet. Time enough for a few explanations. I also need to do some looking around.”
They ended up at Ally’s favorite diner and were sat at a corner table.
“Hi Ally, the usual? What’ll your friend have?”
“Yeah, the big breakfast and…?”
“You got it.”
“OK where do we go from here? You say we know each other, say I have another name, or better yet we have had other names, have been other places and times. You were talking about finding someone, what happened to you? How did you get that wound; how did you heal so quickly?”
Breakfast interrupted the barrage of questions, giving Michelle time to formulate some answers for Allison. How to start explaining the task they were assigned or cursed with? She knew the memories where still there, just buried deep. Breakfast was finished without any plan other than straight on information.
“Let’s go some place private, I’ll tell you all I know.”
“I guess that means my place, unless you have a place?”
A shake of her head was the expected reply. They drove in silence to Allison’s apartment. Taking a seat on the sofa, the two looked at each other. Allison stood up and paced the room.
“OK, let’s try this again. Where do we go from here? You called me Gabrielle earlier and said I always take care of you. I’ve never seen you before, yet when I was in surgery working on you, I felt such a strong sense of déjà vu. It felt so familiar to have your blood on my hands and me sewing you up. I saw some scars that I felt I should know how they got there. You start a sentence and I know how to finish it.”
Michelle watched the pacing, watched the woman she had known for eons, watched her soulmate struggle for understanding. She pulled the necklace off her neck and held it in her hand.
“This is the quickest way I know how to do this,” she stood and stopped Allison’s pacing with a hand on her shoulder. “Hold this for me?”
Allison was startled enough to find Michelle suddenly blocking her way and she reached for the necklace. As soon as her hand closed on it, a bright green flash pulsed through her sight and shocked her senses.
More images flashed in her mind, more of the same from before. More battles, dusty trails, campfires, huts with thatched roofs, farms, roman troops, strange looking animals, fierce women with feathered masks, a feather quill, tranquil pools, a woman in a lake with fish on her fists, a man with a pot strainer on his chest, a tall well muscled man with black hair, dressed in leather. Through it all a face kept showing, the face in front of her, with the bluest eyes she had ever seen. Sometimes that face wore glasses, sometimes the hair was brown, was long, other times short. Always the blue eyes. Always the connection that went to the center of her very being, a feeling of love and completeness. She didn’t realize how empty she felt until then. The face was all she needed to see.
Gently Michelle started telling her their story. How Callisto had obtained a sliver of the shattered Kronos stone. How she had tried to return to the day an army had razed the village a young girl lived in, to try to save her family from the fiery death. When the unstable crystal wasn’t able to control the godly forces, it had thrown the distraught woman into another time. The strain caused the woman to loose what little sanity she had and now she was jumping around unknowingly killing descendants of the army’s leader, thereby altering the future. By the time the Fates showed what the possible damage to the future was to Zeus and the Olympian Gods, the only option was to send the army’s leader with a fragment of the same stone to reunite the pieces. Only then would the altered future be returned to its natural progression.
The army’s leader wouldn’t consent to the task without a companion, so another fragment was provided by the elder God. The two assumed they would travel together but soon found out that this was not the truth although they always managed to find each other through the pull of the stone fragments.
Another quirk of the stone fragments was if one of the three died, they would be scattered in time again. The one who survived would be the first to manifest in the next lifetime, pulling the other two in later and yet not know the circumstances until too late at times. Callisto would always remember and start the hunt, stalking the survivor and any descendants for months or years depending on her mood. The partner that was killed would be the last to arrive, cursed with the task of returning the survivor’s memories. Allison held the necklace in her hand, watching the inner glow. It always got brighter when close to one of the other fragments and right now it was blazing. Michelle looked at the doctor, watching the eyes of her soulmate close as she tried to comprehend the tale.
To be continued
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