WHAT LUCY DID NEXT
Disclaimers: Characters from the series "Xena: Warrior Princess" owned by Universal/Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement intended, no profit gained. Any resemblance to sorcerers living or dead is purely intentional.
Permission granted for depiction of Lucifer, Lord of All Darkness in this tale in exchange for one unused soul.
Subtext: Events herein take place after the season six episode "Heart Of Darkness", and yes, Xena and Gabrielle are portrayed as lovers although you will not find any graphic medical descriptions here. If this is not to your taste, or is even remotely illegal where you live - go watch TV instead. Go on, shoo! Theres nothing for you here!
Written by Jay, 1st-6th January 2001. Feedback welcome. Jay.Static75@virgin.net
So youre sure you want to hear this? I swear this is how it happened, but I get the feeling youre not going to believe me. If you stop braying for a moment, Ill tell you the story. But you have to promise not to laugh. Okay.
The last thing I saw was the self-satisfied look on her face. She knew shed won. Shed schemed, wheedled and seduced until I had no choice but to fall into her trap. Her offer had been so inviting, everything shed revealed to me was unlike anything Id ever known. Things I had watched from afar, things I had never considered having the opportunity to indulge in myself
I was on the fast track to promotion. Everything I did was just so. I had the whole thing planned out, my ascension up the ranks until I was second in command to the big guy himself. The top bod, as it were.
She taught me to think for myself and see things a different way. Had I been blind? Was I following some pointless path where I would end up being nothing more than a bejewelled dog? Doomed to spend my time following orders and looking on while everyone else remained free to enjoy themselves? I had never thought to question it before. Her words were like poetry, caressing my soul, or as it turned out, poisoning it.
She saw everything I could be, tried to save me. Together we could rule the world the way we wanted to. Nothing would be denied to us or to anybody else. At least, thats what I thought. Whats the point of having the power to think and act for yourself if youre only expected to follow orders like some kind of drone? That was, and remains the great stumbling block.
My boss was so pompous about it. "I love my people so much, I have granted them free will." He would carp on to rapturous applause. She made me see that what he actually meant was "They can make decisions and act for themselves, so long as they do what I want them to do. Otherwise, its sayonara!"
None of his cronies could see the problems with such an outlandish scheme, and of course, none of them ever thought to question why we werent getting the same treatment. Did he not love us as much as he loved them?
It was all so enticing. How could I resist?
Thats how I fell like a ton of bricks. Thats how I came to be here.
I remember the rocks, and falling.
The heat of the flames waiting for me at the end of my descent was terrible. My flesh, such as it was now, blistered and tore as I fell further. I had never heard such awful sounds. People stumbled around blindly, wailing and screaming with misery. I seethed with them. Seethed at them who were they to go about flaunting their pain and despair? Their anguish and rage were nothing compared to mine! It amounted to little more than cheap mockery, and I would make them pay for it dearly! I would bring suffering down upon them tenfold to what they were used to experiencing and I would not stop until I felt some of it lifted from myself.
It took me a fair while to calm myself down. I had to try and think rationally. It was so difficult, having just been defeated in battle by a solitary mortal who had taken everything from me I was in a state of utter disbelief! She lured me from one precious world into another, only to steal that away from me too.
Surrounded by innumerable tortured and sick souls, I decided to take stock. I wanted revenge and somebody here had to be of use to me, so help me G no. This I do without his help.
I checked through the inventory left by Mephistopheles. My God (going to have to break the habit of saying that) he was so anal! Murderers, thieves, rapists I couldnt use any of them. Eventually I stumbled across a squat, ugly man who in life, had been a powerful sorcerer. He did not shy away from me when I approached as others tended to, but boldly introduced himself Paolo Danielus. It seemed he had a vast experience in the area I needed.
He related many improbable tales of helping people to rise back out of fiery chasms such as the one I had fallen into, and of body swapping. If I so desired, he would return me to the ground above, and place me in the body of another. I would be free to roam among the masses unrecognised, and I would be released from this ugly reptilian visage she had cursed me with.
I longed for my former appearance, to not have to watch helplessly as women shrank back from me in revulsion. All he asked in return was that I grant him once again the power to perform these rites, and he would keep things under control during my absence. If it was all talk, and he was merely trying to win my favour, I had nothing to lose and he would be dispensed with accordingly. After all, I was now the King of Hell, and with all the supernatural powers to match. However, if he spoke the truth, I could rise up to Earth, exact my revenge on that dark haired bitch, and indulge in all the pleasures of the flesh she had flaunted and then denied me.
"I thought Id lost you there for a minute", confessed Gabrielle more than a little relieved that this chapter in their lives was over. After all, had it not been for a little divine intervention she might well have ended up doing the wild thing with Virgil who technically may as well have been her son. Still, kudos to the guy. He seemed to recognise how delicate the situation was as soon as everyone returned to their usual state, and promptly made himself scarce. Judging by the perturbed look on Xenas face, and the way you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife, he was still in considerable danger.
"Yeah?" Xena enquired, completely non-plussed. Or at least thats how she hoped it was sounding. "Which minute was that?"
"You and Lucifer were looking a little, er " the blonde gesticulated, somewhat flustered and embarrassed at both her lack of faith in Xena, and at her own recent actions.
"Gabrielle, every time I felt myself lose control, I just thought of you. Led me right back home " the warrior explained as though it were obvious. Then she turned on her heel and began to make her way out of the temple. It was probably a good idea for her to put some distance between herself and the bard both of them for a while until she could get her head together.
"Sure " came the matter-of-fact reply as Xena turned and noted that Gabrielle was following her. By now she should have realised that where she led, Gabrielle was sure to follow. Ah well, that was a good sign at least.
"Dont go getting all emotional on me Xena " jibed the bard, knowing exactly what her friend was playing at, and vowing that she wasnt going to let her get away with it for a second. Yes, evil was intoxicating, and despite the small matter of the darkness being wiped from her heart, the memory was still fresh and vivid Now the question was, what to do about a sulking warrior? She doubled back and located Eve and Virgil who had been trying their best not to listen to the warriors conversation.
"Gabrielle! I thought youd gone!" stuttered Virgil, clearly still on edge.
"Tonight, you and Eve stay in Amphipolis. First thing tomorrow were all heading out for Poteidaia... But theres still something I have to do. I want you to give me ten minutes, then I want you both to come barging into Cyrenes tavern. Okay?"
They both nodded in confusion. It was probably better not to ask.
And so the deal was made. He had the perfect body lined up for me. We were all set. I watched dubiously as he spoke various incantations, his voice transforming into a high pitched nasal whinny as the spell reached its apex and the surrounding caverns began to spin and whirl around me. I felt my spirit tear from my hideous body and catapult upwards, away from the blistering heat.
As I soared back towards the Earth and its plentiful delights, I must have passed out. Everything became black and I remember nothing more until the moment I awoke in the body of my hospitable host. I blinked a few times as I tried to get my bearings. The world looked so small from down here.
Perhaps he had placed me in the body of a child. Nothing to worry about. Such an eventuality would give me even more time to carry out my deserved vengeance. I walked forward, stumbling at first, for my feet were alien to me. I would grow more accustomed to them in good time.
If things didnt work out, the moment I desired to return to my throne in Hell all I had to do was utter the words "Ahlahkit Naughtalot" and I would be gone from this place. If the mission failed, I would simply have to get used to the idea of inflicting all the suffering and anguish I felt myself on the souls wandering aimlessly in that terrible place
An ache in my gut prompted me to seek out food. There was, however, nothing remotely appetising nearby, so I reached down and gnawed on some nearby fronds and berries along the path. Inhabiting the body of a mortal makes one so very hungry
Gabrielle raced towards the tavern and upon entering noted that her brooding partner was seated at the bar knocking back more ale than was really necessary. Without a word she sidled up, perched on the next stool and poured herself a drink of equal measure, swiftly downing the lot.
Xena reached again for the jug to fill her empty tankard and frowned when Gabrielle mimicked her action.
"What are you doing?" she grumbled.
"Demonstrating how ridiculously youre behaving"
"Well knock it off. You cant take your ale."
"Not until you do."
Xena drained her drink and topped it up again, this time placing the jug far to her other side so that it was well out of the bards reach. Gabrielle clambered onto the bar, retrieved the jug and poured herself another drink, intent on matching her friend tankard for tankard. Eventually Xena would stop if only because she didnt relish the prospect of having to take care of an appallingly hungover bard the following day, especially since she would no doubt be feeling just as bad herself.
Returning to her seat, the blonde pulled her silver bra-top out from behind her and with a flourish, draped it over her friends head.
Xena removed it with a scowl, remembering how Gabrielle had been wearing it while sprawling shamelessly over a half naked Virgil.
"You kept that?" she asked, not bothering to disguise the distaste in her voice.
"Its a great look. Worked on you didnt it?"
"What are you talking about?"
"About you, Miss Tippy Toes. Youre not exactly the dancing type."
"Maybe you should give me lessons "
Gabrielle slid herself off the stool and moved in front of Xena, facing away from her. The warrior stood up defensively, unsure of what was coming next. With a glance over her shoulder, Gabrielle reached behind herself and placed Xenas hands on her sides as she began to sway seductively against her.
The warrior closed her eyes and began to dance behind her partner, wrapping her arms around the shorter womans stomach.
Sensing the almost imperceptible quickening of Xenas heartbeat, Gabrielle grinned to herself. Her plan was working perfectly. Feeling soft lips brush against her neck, she tilted her head backwards and wondered how much longer she had to pull this off. Evidently Xenas sulking was more for effect, as she gently turned the bard around in her arms and leaned down to kiss her only to watch helplessly as the blonde pirouetted away across the room.
"Still feeling a little rowdy, huh?" Gabrielle purred.
Xenas eyes narrowed, smouldering, as she tried to anticipate her friends next move.
At that precise moment Eve and Virgil burst through the entrance, talking animatedly and doing their utmost to pretend their arrival was in no way part of any set-up.
Perfect timing, thought Gabrielle. Her gaze locked with Xenas, never wavering.
"Wanna go for a ride?" she asked, before walking brazenly out of the front door as though she couldnt care less.
Xena collected her thoughts, drained her tankard, and not in any hurry whatsoever - oh no - strolled nonchalantly after her companion.
Once outside she was amused to see Gabrielle sitting atop Argo II and waiting expectantly.
"Who said you get to be drunk in charge of a horse?"
"Shut your mouth and get up here behind me!" Gabrielle commanded, offering her arm.
Xena climbed up onto the steed behind the impatient blonde and asked "So, you know of any nice secluded spots round here?"
"No, but Im sure you do "
Without another word they galloped away into the night.
It would seem I had not been away from the mortal world for very long. I followed the trail of the conniving bitch and her slut of a girlfriend straight from Amphipolis. It was still fresh and they could not be that far away. There was no trace of the brats they were associating with during my stay. That would make things a Hell (excuse the pun) of a lot easier.
As darkness fell, so fell the temperature. There was no hope of any decent shelter nearby and I had never experienced cold before. I was shivering and desperate. I sank to my knees and for a flicker of a moment it occurred to me to pray. Obviously being a free agent was going to take a bit of getting used to.
In the distance through the trees, I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a campfire. Excellent. Where there was a fire, there were people. I was in disguise and I hoped to introduce myself, share the warmth of the flames for the rest of this freezing night, and possibly gain some information as to the whereabouts of my prey. Who knows, there might have even been some food in it for me too I was so hungry!
I raced towards the orange glow with; Im ashamed to say, a flicker of hope in my heart. However, as I reached the strangers camp I was floored again by my agonising rage. For my eyes fell upon two familiar figures. Dark and fair, naked and moving frantically together in the firelight. Their moans the only sound and a look of strange desperation on their faces.
My memory tortuously rewound to remind me of her dark eyes, her fantastic curves hidden by the beautiful burgundy dress, and later, by the minimal amount of underwear all this had been offered to me on a plate. I could still taste the wine on my lips. I remembered the way she quickly stole away from me, (as I think back, it was rather too quickly), to distract the blonde from her task at hand. They had writhed and gyrated together shamelessly for all to see, and damn it was good to watch.
Now...now I was seeing even more and I HATED them. This was my chance. They were vulnerable, defenceless and most importantly, unsuspecting. Seizing the moment, I sprang from the trees and charged towards them with an unholy roar
With a strangled cry, Gabrielle came crashing down on top of Xena, breathing hard and her pulse pounding around her skull. Resting her head on the warriors chest, she closed her eyes and began to relax.
The hand that was idly caressing her back abruptly stopped, as the body underneath her suddenly tensed.
"What is it?" the bard enquired, brushing damp strands of hair away from her eyes.
"Cant keep your mind on the task at hand, huh? Im flattered."
"Gabrielle, be quiet were being watched." Xena whispered, surreptitiously reaching for the chakram lying next to her.
"Youre kidding me ?" the bard asked, pulling the fur up over their bodies as her gaze steadily swept the surrounding area.
"One of them, behind that clump of bushes "
"Just one? Thats odd "
The perpetrator made himself known without further delay. The two women watched with relief and amusement as a small goat trotted out from behind the bushes, bleating meekly. It stopped right in front of them and gave them a light nudge with its head.
"Aw, how sweet!" exclaimed Gabrielle, as the goat nudged them again.
"Careful kid, Ive gored people for less than that!" Xena warned the creature with a wicked grin on her face.
"Doesnt that remind you of Minyas goat?"
"Do goats live that long?"
"I dont like its eyes. Its staring at me. Makes me feel naked." Gabrielle complained.
"You are naked "
It took all of a second for the full horror of what they were discussing to register. I thankfully remembered that I had an escape route should the plan fail, and without further hesitation uttered the phrase "Ahlahkit Naughtalot." Except of course, I was a goat, and all that sprang forth from my bearded face (Damnit to HELL that was itching!!) was more cute bleating. What had I done? I Lucifer, fallen angel and King of Hell, had once again found myself ensnared in a devious trap. Worse still, I had left an insane sorcerer reigning in my place.
I started to panic, and realised it was I who was unsuspecting and vulnerable. Not to mention completely defenceless and alone at the mercy of these two very adept and very rudely interrupted warriors. I fled back into the woods as fast as my four legs would carry me and continued running until I collapsed just outside a farm.
And that my friend is how I came to be here, in a tannery, talking to a donkey named Tobias Junior.
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