XENA WARRIOR PRINCESS: TIMEGATE
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WARNING! The following piece of fan fiction may contain adult material, and scenes of extreme violence. So if you’re under eighteen, or are easily shocked then perhaps you might want to read something other then this story.
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What was that voices calling her, it sounded so familiar, like a voice she had overheard in a dream somewhere?
Opening her eyes, Xena squinted, as she tried to climb up out of the darkness.
“Xena it’s me…Ares”
Turning her head towards the rich timbre of his voice, Xena blinked as the first symptoms of a raging headache took a hold of her weary mind. “Where am I?” she heard herself saying in a voice that sounded far too weak to be coming from her.
“You’re probably the first mortal to visit mount Olympus” said Ares smiling uneasily, as he paced restlessly round the room. Running his coarse war torn fingers through his long tousled hair, over, and over again like a child rocking back, and forth to comfort itself.
…I’m actually at Mount Olympus! Thought Xena to herself…sitting up she took in her surroundings, but if this was Mount Olympus, then it was nothing at all as she had imagined it to be.
As a young warrior she had often pictured in her mind what her former mentor’s home might look like, but the picture in her head had looked nothing like the reality she was surrounded by.
What could have happened here? Everywhere she looked she was met with signs of devastation. She was in what resembled a giant hallway; or rather it was the corpse of something that had at one time echoed of grandness.
She was lying on a huge four-poster bed, wrapped in velvet sheets. It was probably the most lavish bed she had ever been in.
“Sorry the place is such a mess” exclaimed Ares “But I really wasn’t expecting any company, and I’d just about given up hope on you”
“What do you mean” said Xena coldly “As far as I remember, the only times you ever bothered to show up…was when there was something in it for you!”
“Oh come now Xena,” said Ares giving her one of his most devilishly charming smiles.
“That was all in the past, and you know deep down inside that the only reason I ever did all those things was to bring you back to me. But believe it or not there’s a lot more at stake this time”
“What are you talking about?” said Xena as she tried to hold in the anger that was threatening to crush her.
“You mean…you really haven’t noticed what’s been going on around you,” said Ares unable to mask the overwhelming disbelief from his voice, as he stared at her incredulously. “Oh, but of course not…why should you. You’ve been too busy feeling sorry for yourself; you know I can’t believe you’re still pining over that irritating little blond!”
“WATCH IT ARES…THAT’S MY FRIEND YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT!!!” Grated Xena… unable to keep the anger from her voice any longer
“I know…I know” he said
“I guess I just still get a little sore when I think that you chose her over me. You know how strongly I feel about you Xena. I can’t stand seeing you like this” he said as he sat down on the bed beside her.
“I’m not coming back Ares” she whispered so quietly that the God of war had to strain to hear her. “I’m not like that anymore, I don’t care about being your private little trophy, but don’t get me wrong that doesn’t mean that I want to help you do good either. I just don’t care about either of those things anymore. Without Gabrielle the whole damn thing just seems so pointless. I did try…you know…Gods how I tried! And what was my reward for all of that. Having the only person I have ever loved taken away from me! WELL TO HELL WITH THAT!”
“I know” he said draping his big burly arms about her, as though he was trying to comfort her somehow “But what I’ve got to say just might be of interest to you”
“I don’t have time for this Ares!” said Xena pushing the God of war a little harder then she had intended to. “Why don’t you just go get you’re father, or one of the other Gods to help you out…cause I’m just not in the mood for playing the good Samaritan this time…so if you’ll excuse me” she said as she rose up off the bed, and began to walk away.
Ares stared into Xena’s eyes, and for the first time Xena saw something that she had never seen before…fear. “I can’t get my father to help” he said
“He’s dead….so are the rest of the Gods. I’m the last one left.”
“Remind me when I care” said Xena coldly
“Xena…Xena…please” urged Ares as he tried to grab Xena’s hand, but like a insect that had crawled onto her skin Xena angrily pushed him away. “
Don’t leave” he said chasing after her “This concerns you as well, and it concerns Gabrielle!”
“GABRIELLE IS DEAD!!” interjected Xena as she began to walk even faster
“”Xena, Xena listen please will you please listen to me” he shouted after her “And for just once believe that I’m not lying to you this time…Gabrielle wasn’t supposed to die, this wasn’t supposed to happen.
There that had done it. Xena was now standing perfectly still in the middle of the hall, as though rooted to the spot. Confusion dancing across the finely sculpted features he loved so well, and for just a second all Ares wanted to do was ease away her pain.
Tell her everything would be alright if she would just believe in him.
“You can still save her” he said as he pulled her gently towards him
“How?” she asked narrowing her steely blue eyes in suspicion. She could feel his rugged hands on her face brushing away the tears that she had no control over.
“Come with me” he said tilting her face up towards him with all the tenderness of a lover “and I’ll show you”
The sound of Ares footsteps echoed through the deathly silence sounding almost deafening to Xena. Her mind wandering off once again to Gabrielle, what had Ares meant when he had told her that it wasn’t too late to save her?
What could he possibly do? …And why would he possibly want to help her or Gabrielle for that matter. Maybe this was just his twisted of tearing through the supports that were just about managing to hold the pieces of her fragmented mind together.
“You still doubt me,” said Ares…How could he make her see that this time there where no tricks, no hidden agenda. Not that he blamed her for her apparent apprehension. Given the same circumstances, and if their roles had been reversed then he would probably be feeling just like Xena was feeling now. I must be getting soft…thought Ares, but Xena always seemed to have that effect on him.
Not that he was going to go out to become…can you imagine it…a kinder gentler God of war, but he wasn’t all that bad either. Like Xena he had a flicker of light mixed within the overwhelming darkness, even if it was only a small flicker, and hard to make out.
“Xena” he said turning towards her, his face a reflection of his deep sincerity. It was an expression Xena had seen on him countless times before.
It wasn’t that she was being awkward…she really wanted to believe him, but how could she when there was nothing to base that belief on.
Then suddenly a thought took hold of her…what if what he had said was true, what if she letting her own personal grudge against Ares blind her judgement somehow. What if she could somehow save Gabrielle…then wouldn’t it be worth her while to at least listen to what he had to say to her.
“You wanted to tell me something,” she said giving Ares her complete undivided attention. “I’m ready to listen” she said “But you’ll have to forgive me if I take whatever you do have to tell me with just the tiniest pinch of salt. Let’s face it you’re not exactly known for being a wielder of riotousness and virtue”
“I know Xena” he said trying his best to stop his frustration from ebbing out “But as I told you earlier…things are different this time, and what I’ve got to say doesn’t just affect me”
“If you say so,” said Xena She wasn’t exactly making this easy for him. Then again she wasn’t exactly the most pleasant of mortals to be around when she got in a mood like this. But then hadn’t her fiery countenance been one of the many things he had loved and admired about her.
“Well” interjected Xena giving Ares a cold steely look which would have probably been capable of transforming even a god to stone with its sheer intensity, but the overall effect was simply lost on Ares who chose to ignore her. After all there were more important things to consider then Xena being pissed at him again.
Where to begin though? Where to begin? The thought ran over, and over through his head making him dizzy. He could feel Xena’s eyes following him around the room making him even dizzier. So much had happened though, so much in such a short space of time, and not all of it had been expected.
His brow furrowed in concentration Ares waved his hands frantically about him, as though he was trying to pluck the words out of the empty air before him.
“Take…your…time” said Xena this time a little bit more gently then before as she regarded him with eyes that spoke of concern this time, and not anger.
“Okay” said Ares as he somehow managed to regain his cool exterior…but try as he might he couldn’t stop himself from shaking on the inside. Come on Ares…his weary mind barked back at him…you’re meant to be the God of war.
Fear wasn’t an emotion he was meant to experience, but neither was love, and he loved Xena so very desperately. Why else would he have spent what seemed like an eternity trying to coax her back to him?
His heart was winning the battle over his head, but he couldn’t bear to see her like this. So weak, and in so much pain, bearing no resemblance to the warrior who still to this day inflamed his desires as no mortal had ever done, or ever would again…and he hated himself. For the first time he truly loathed himself for having to tell her what he knew he must tell her now.
She was tormented enough…why else would she have tried to kill herself; he didn’t want to hurt her further, but there was no other way out of it. He had to help her break through her grief, had to make her open her eyes so she would finally see what was happening to the world around her.
“Xena”…a brief pause…”Do you remember what happened to Gabrielle in Dahak’s temple” he asked sure of the inevitable explosion of rage that would come lashing out at him any second now. More then a little taken aback when there was none. Instead Xena’s face betrayed no emotion whatsoever as she silently murmured… “Yes, I remember”
Okay…so far so good…we’re over the first hurdle…now on to the next. Another brief pause…”Do you remember Gabrielle’s daughter Hope?” he asked…and this time there was a reaction, as like a phantom rising from the grave Xena reached out for him as though she intended to squeeze the life out of him.
Her eyes blazing with newly kindled anger she spat out the despised name like a curse “Hope! What about Hope we both know she’s dead which is no more then that monster deserves after what she did to my son!”
“No Ares, I don’t want to talk about it, she’s gone now, It’s all in the past now. Before I lost Gabrielle we’d just about managed to heal the scars that evil witch had inflicted upon our friendship. So if you’ll excuse me, I do have better things to do with my time then listen to you!”
“Xena, Xena! …Gods Xena! Will you just listen to me, just this once? Hope’s not dead!”
“She’s not…but she has to be no living thing could have survived through that poison”
“I’m afraid she is alive Xena, but that’s just the beginning”
“What do you mean by that Ares? Wait a minute she doesn’t have anything to do with Gabrielle’s death does she? Does She!”
“No Xena of course not!”
This wasn’t going exactly as he had planned, already he could feel what little control he had somehow imagined he had slipping through his fingers like sand.
“Then what she doing back? What could she possibly want now? And how in the Hades did she mange to find a way back anyway?”
“Well that’s where things get a little complicated,” said Ares shifting nervously from foot to the other.
“Exactly how complicated?” asked Xena…Now aggravated beyond the point of no return. Then it dawned on her, and she turned on Ares, things were beginning to make sense now.
“It was you wasn’t it! She said turning on him, her eyes like blue ice on fire. “You brought her back didn’t you! What did she promise you Ares? What could possibly compensate for sending the world on a one way trip to Hades?”
“Xena…you’ve got this all wrong” said Ares
“No I haven’t…No this time I’m right…I know it,” said Xena as she made her way towards him, her eyes on fire, the rage inside her spreading faster with each passing second.
“Xena…you’re not sure of anything at the moment…please let me explain”
Explain what? Explain how you set that thing loose upon the world after all Gabrielle did to stop that from happening…You deserve everything you get” said Xena drawing her sword from its sheath in one fluid motion.
“Xena please” said Ares as calmly as he could, but on the inside he was anything but calm. “We don’t have time for this” he said, already he had the vague impression that time was running out even as they spoke.
“No Ares” said Xena pressing the pint of her sword against the dark skin of his throat. Drawing a thin line of blood, which healed almost as quickly as it had appeared. “Its time for you to pay…so first I’ll deal with you, and then I’ll deal with Hope”
“Xena stop it now!” yelled Ares…and in that same split second Xena felt a pair of invisible hands knock her sword away from her, felt the sudden cold rush of air as her weapon whizzed past her face. Then she stood frozen to the spot as though suspended by shock as it embedded itself into the wall opposite her.
“Good…now I’ve got you’re attention” said Ares pausing to catch his breath “Maybe now you’ll listen to me. “It wasn’t me who brought Hope back…Xena…she killed my family!” he said his entire body shaking with suppressed anger “Why would I do that?”
“Because there was something in it for you…you’re family getting killed was probably just an unexpected side effect.”
“No” he said sadly “I’m afraid Hope’s return to our world is all down to Callisto this time”
“Callisto…but that’s ridiculous…I trapped her, and besides if she had escaped then I would have known about it” said Xena…especially since Callisto always seemed to follow her around like a bad smell.
“Xena, in all fairness” said Ares placing a hand upon her shoulder
“You haven’t really been aware of anything besides your grief these past years. I can’t blame you Gabrielle was after all a huge part of your life, but ever since you lost her Xena, you’ve been locked away in the past. Living life like a ghost…living off your memories…you only saw what you wanted to see. You couldn’t see the hell that was beginning to form around you, you preferred to live in your head rather then face the truth”
“What do you expect Ares” said Xena crumbling to her knees in defeat “I loved her, but I never had the courage to tell her, and now its too late for me…”
“Hush Xena” said Ares placing a finger to the warrior princess’s lips “Nothing is ever really set in stone…you might still get a second chance to tell her how you feel”
“But how? How can I?” Implored Xena through tear stained eyes “She’s dead…once that happens there’s no going back”
“Oh but Xena there is,” Said Ares reassuringly “Do you remember what I told you about Callisto” he said kneading away the tension she hadn’t even realised was there.
“Yes, you said that somehow she resurrected Hope, but how could she do that on her own?”
“Well here’s something that’ll grab your attention. She didn’t do it alone. I don’t know how but somehow she managed to gain access to the Timegate of the Gods”
“Yeah…I remember Gabrielle told me something about that, it was in one of her stories, but she also told that only a god may pass through the gate…is that true?”
“Yes it is, but remember Xena the last time you saw her Callisto was…”
“A god” said Xena finishing off the sentence for him.
“Yeah…and a powerful one at that” said Ares
“You don’t have to tell me that” said Xena “If we hadn’t trapped her, and Velasca in that volcano, then there’s no telling what havoc she would have caused. Just as a matter of curiosity though, how did she find out about the Timegate…you’d think that something like that would be best kept a secret”
“It is…I mean it was kept secret from your realm, for centuries only the Gods knew of its existence”
“And let me guess what happened next” said Xena “Callisto became a God, so she found out about it, don’t you have anything hidden from each other “No” said Ares it comes with the turf…tedious though it is the ability to read people’s minds isn’t just an ability we like to waste on you mortals. We can also…”
“Read each others minds” Stated Xena
“Exactly” said Ares “but here’s where the real problem starts. You and I both know what Callisto is like, we both know that while she was mortal she had no respect for any of the rules you mortals set. So as a god do you really think she’s going to be responsible with her new found powers”?
“Come on Ares…you expect me to buy that, after all you Gods aren’t exactly known for playing by the rules either”
“Yes Xena, sometimes the rules do bend for us…a little, but one of the things we are strictly forbidden to do is to meddle with time. The consequences would far outweigh the thrill of it, and the consequences if that gate falls into the wrong hands could be disastrous for us all. I mean can you imagine how powerful a weapon like that gate would be to someone like Callisto…this world is proof enough of that”
“So she did it,” said Xena “she altered the past…and by doing so.”
“She changed our future,” said Ares
“But how can we stop her” said Xena “If she has Hope as an ally now, then she’s probably ten times more powerful then she was before. So with that kind of force behind her how can we possibly expect to defeat her…surely the odds are all stacked in her favour”
“That’s where you come in,” said Ares
“Me…what can I possibly do…I’m just one warrior, and if the world is in as much a sorry state as you say, and if Hope and Callisto have really united as one, then it looks like I’ve got one bitch of a battle on my hands”
“Xena your job isn’t to fight either Hope or Callisto here in the present” said Ares
“If not here then where? Where do I have to go” asked Xena
“To the past” said Ares…with my help you’ll have to go back through the Timegate to stop Callisto from changing the past to her liking, and to stop this horrific reality we are surrounded by from ever happening. The fate of Gabrielle, and the fate of thousands depends upon your success…So Xena do you think you’re up to it?”
End of part 2…
Continued in Part 3Return to the Academy