Disclaimer: This story was originally intended for Eve Ng, and was meant to be a first season story, but due to the unfortunate and continuing influence of Archaeobard and Lawlsfan, it went in another twisted degenerate direction. Theirs. Im sorry, Eve. I was aided by Advocate and Ice, but sadly, they made little attempt to restrain me.
The characters as always, belong to the people at Renpic, and there is no chance Ill see any money for this.
So well guess at, say...second season.
Anyways, this could be thought of as my attempt to answer those burning questions: Why cant our heroines get separate rooms? And why doesnt Gabrielle mind if Xena leaves when shes telling a story?
Horror, mutilation, and my sense of humour. If Ive done this right, this should not be read by the squeamish.
Xena drew on her ale, and looked about her in contentment. It had been a good day for fighting and now the grateful villagers had gone out of their way to show their appreciation. The young bard was on stage, spinning an epic tale of Hercules, and the whole room was caught up in her pure delight and enjoyment at performing her art.
There were a few eyes that occasionally strayed to regard the dark warrior in the corner, and Xena was enjoying appraising each of the bodies attached to them. Which of these admirers would be the one to break her dry spell? How long had it been since Odysseus? At least two seasons? Well, that was going to end tonight, if the lustfilled looks she was receiving and returning were any indication.
The husky, broad-shouldered cooper in the corner? Or perhaps the barmaid with those perfect breasts? Well, not perfect, not as perfect as Gabrielles... but Xena immediately thrust the vision of her innocent companions body from her mind.
No, tonight would be the night, and she smiled seductively at another passing entranced male. Gabrielle finished to rousing applause and the clink of dinars, as the audience rewarded the performer. Cries for another story filled the room, but the Bard waved them off, promising to return.
Xena stood as Gabrielle approached, jingling the coins she had just received. The warrior felt her heart race as the beautiful girl approached, and some of the delight she felt for her companions happiness was allowed to slip through..
"Xena, look at all this!" Gabrielle whooped.
"All well deserved." The warrior drawled. "And youll be glad to know that you wont be having to share a bed with this broken down warrior tonight. The innkeep has offered us two of his finest rooms, at no charge."
If this news affected Gabrielle in any way, there was no sign. She smiled and dropped the coin sac into her partners lap. "Remember, you promised me youd pick up some supplies at the leather shop, and while youre gone, Im going to tell one of YOUR adventures, so you cant be embarrassed."
"Our adventures, remember?" Xena smirked, and picked up the coins while checking her list. "I will never figure out how you ran out of that ink so quickly. And Gabrielle? Please, try to keep out of trouble while Im gone. You got that?"
Gabrielle shook her head and replied seriously. "Ill be good."
Xena leaned over and kissed the girl on the forehead. "I know you will. Ill be back in less than a candlemark." As the warrior left, she could feel several lascivious gazes following her, and her skin warmed in anticipation.
Gabrielle waited for a moment until she was sure the warrior was gone. She made her way to the platform, and in passing, doused a few of the torches to darken the room slightly. The few that flickered near the stage gave an eerie cast to her face as she sat down on the stool. Almost immediately the tavern fell silent.
"This," she began in a monotone, "is the story of a great hero and the terrible price she paid to be released from bondage to Ares, the God of War...." She paused, and waited for complete silence before beginning.
"When the God of War discovered that his Chosen had resolved to free herself from his evil, when he found he could not turn her from her new path, he decided to transform her into a hideous creature, one that would be driven to destroy for all eternity. But Athena, the great Goddess of Wisdom, went to their father, Zeus, and petitioned him, saying "Father, this warrior was meant to be mine before she was seduced by Ares. Now he plans to use her for an even greater evil against her will. I demand that you allow me to intercede."
Gabrielles voice dropped to its lowest register. "You demand? You would tell ME what must be? The bard turned and posed as though considering. "You may have certain claims on this warrior, but she chose the way of Ares, and he is within his rights to demand a punishment."
Her inflection returned to that of the boldest of the Goddesses. "Then I ask only that she may continue her fight for the greater good, and that whatever this penalty is, it might still be overcome. So it was decided, so it was done, and the curse was cast.... By day the great warrior would be able to right wrongs, to fight for the helpless, but each month, just before the rising of the new moon..." at this several of her audience glanced at the darkened sky outside with growing uneasiness, "she would feel an uncontrollable desire...to MATE!"
The hush was now complete. There was no sound except for the harsh breathing of the patrons, as they watched the bard in the flickering torchlight.
"Each month, this desire would arise within her, unquenchable, and corrupt, and she would select at least two victims unknowingly. She would be drawn to one member of both sexes against her will, and would seduce each prey with her dark beauty and magnificent body." The bards voice grew softer and the audience strained to hear her. "She would take them one at a time to a secluded room in an inn, where they would be slowly undressed, their senses stroked to a peak, never imagining the horror that they would soon have to endure. The moment the poor dupes were unclothed, would trigger within the warrior a terrible pain, a complete fogging of her mind and a two new objects would force themselves out from within her jaw. And then, in the guise of just one more kiss, these new fangs would bulge OUTWARD, and the once attentive lover would begin TEARING INTO THE FLESH OF HER INNOCENT SACRIFICE!" The audience recoiled in shock.
"POISON would drip from their pernicious tips. POISON which would paralyze her victims, keeping them alive to feel every appalling moment of their own horrible deaths...." Gabrielle made a quick survey of the room. She noticed that cooper had grown quite pale, but the barmaid was definitely showing signs of skepticism. Plenty of time, she thought before continuing.
"Then the warriors awful transformation would begin. First her throat and face would change, her vocal cords would cease to exist, so that her painfilled screams could not be voiced. Now her only cries were almost a sort of rustling sound, like.... chitterchitterchitter..."
Gabrielle whispered the noise while fluttering her fingers in front of her mouth. "Chittterchitterchitter...." The audience as one, shivered.
"And well might her cries be silenced, as four new hideous limbs would begin to torturously sprout from the sides of her body." the bard began to contort in pain bringing up one arm and then the other, turning the palms away. "These were not arms, like human arms, but more like a spiders legs. And at the ends were not hands like a humans hands, no! These were like the sharpest of flint, designed solely to SLICE and SHRED human flesh! She would approach the male first, and as he stared helpless at this hideous apparition, unable to move, barely to breathe, the only sound was that dreadful whisper chitterchitterchitter..."
Gabrielle hunched and tottered across the stage. "Crossing the blade-like appendages, she would ever so slowly approach her victim .Then reaching down between her defenseless victims legs, those terrible arms would begin to tear and saw at the precious sacs between his legs, (There was a soft thud as the cooper fell from his chair in a faint, but no one turned to look) until she would extract the tender eggs that were nestled there, and then using both her hands, bring them to her malformed mouth" at this the bard imitated a chipmunk chewing, " and she would gnaw at them ever so deliberately and delicately....."The Bard noted that several white faced male members of the crowd crossed their legs. Still mimicking her monstrous creation, the bard deliberately licked each of her fingers, one at a time.
"This would beget a new growth, and where her womans sex was meant to be, a growth as large and as thick as a blacksmiths forearm would form, and she would then creep to her next prostrate victim, the female." Finally, the bard was gratified to see a reaction from the barmaid.
Gabrielle made a show of restraint. "I will not describe the immense agony that these poor women endured next, but the greater horror was still to come...For while this dreadful attack occurred, their wombs would be flooded with..." she paused again. "EGGS. And not ORDINARY eggs, but thousands upon thousands of demon SPIDERS eggs. And this foul creature that the warrior had become would take a special evil, night black oil, and after drinking it, would spew it out through those awful fangs and cover her still conscious victims with it, staining every inch of their bodies, before collapsing in a delirium beside them.
Watching the barmaid closely, Gabrielle allowed some enthusiasm to creep in. "Then... deep inside the woman, the eggs would hatch, and the hatchlings would FEED on the woman, devouring their way out of her living body, erupting from each of her orifices, drinking the oil, chewing and feasting and all the while going... chitterchitterchitter...chiterchitterchitter..." Her voice sank to a mutter. Gabrielle let the images settle into her audience for a moment before raising her voice again.
"Then as Apollos Chariot would commence across the skies, the warrior would awaken alone, with no memory of the terrors she had inflicted. Once again filled with her resolve to remain the hero that she had become. But she would look and find to her surprise, that there were always two broad strips of some kind of strange black skin, several inches wide, and half an arm in length. And thinking that they were a gift from some God, she would wear them...never knowing that this was all that remained of those poor souls after the frenzy of her demon children. And the Gods decreed, should any mortal tell her of this terrible truth, they would become her next victims..."
Gabrielle moved to the edge of the stage. "How was this great curse to be lifted, you ask? Athena sent a talisman, in the form of an innocent girl, and blessed her. So that as long as this girl was in sight of the warrior, this harrowing transformation would never occur...but should they ever be separated when the moon is new, the spider would once again begin her hunt..."
There was a long, tense silence before the nervous applause began.
Gabrielle had finished just in time, for at that moment the door opened and Xena strode in, carrying her purchases. She looked about bewildered as the patrons moved as a group away from her, staring at the bottles of black ink that Gabrielle had requested, and then at her leather skirt in horror. Gabrielle smugly noticed that the buxom waitress was amongst the several who fainted at this point. She joined her partner who continued to stare about her in trepidation.
"What is it about your closing story, Gabrielle? Its Morpheus again, right?"
The Bard nodded.
"It still isnt working, is it?"
"No," Gabrielle agreed sadly. "I tried a few new things tonight, and I think this time it was just because I was so tired. Id better head off to my room, alone, and maybe work on a new one." She gave Xena a chaste hug and with a yawn began climbing the stairs.
Hearing this, the barkeep raced over to talk to Xena, and while Gabrielle listened above them, Xena received the disappointing news that, once again, there was now only one room available for the two of them. She looked up towards her bard, and they both shrugged.
Xena looked about hopefully, but she could see that the once friendly atmosphere seemed to have returned to the usual Destroyer of Nations chill. Bewildered that the mood had again been lost, and frustrated, she began to climb the stairs to join Gabrielle.
As they made their way to their room, Gabrielle asked innocently, "Xena, you know that talk you keep saying we should have? Why do you keep putting it off? Maybe tonight would be a good time for it." The warrior unaccountably blushed, and trying not to become lost in her best friends eyes, began to stutter uncharacteristically. "Ah, tonight? Ah, Gabrielle, I think, I should really check on Argo, and Ill be up in a moment, okay?"
She retreated towards the stables, not noticing the quick cringing movements of the remaining patrons away from her as she cut through the room.
Gabrielle remained at the head of the stairs watching, and a smile came to her lips. "Its all right Xena," she said to herself, "This spider can wait..."
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